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eG Foodblog: Franci (2012) - From heirloom tomatoes to zucchini blosso


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Morning!

Also this morning I got up at 6 o'clock. First thing, I put my coffe on. We also have a Nespresso machine but I do prefer my old bialetti and leave the Nespresso for a midmorning and afternoon coffee.

Is that an induction surface with a plate to allow you to use aluminum cookware?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Is that an induction surface with a plate to allow you to use aluminum cookware?

Yes, Anna. It is induction and, in fact, the moka pot is aluminum. I use the interface disk just for coffe making.

Tonight, as I told you, we had sweetbreads. I soaked them 3 hours in salted water, quickly blanched and cooked in salted butter. I served them on a bed of peas and favas.

tuesweetbreadscooked.jpg

Now, it's time for me to go to sleep. Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow.

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Is that an induction surface with a plate to allow you to use aluminum cookware?

Yes, Anna. It is induction and, in fact, the moka pot is aluminum. I use the interface disk just for coffe making.

Tonight, as I told you, we had sweetbreads. I soaked them 3 hours in salted water, quickly blanched and cooked in salted butter. I served them on a bed of peas and favas.

a>

Now, it's time for me to go to sleep. Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow.

That looks SOOOOO good. I had sweetbreads for the first time a few months ago at a local restaurant and found them quite enjoyable. Again..I would not even know where to source them or how to prepare them, though.

Donna

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I know what you can do! Visit a bunch of the local patisserie and take pictures! I assume they're usually French in style?

Are there any locally made snack foods (potato chips, or traditional snacks from Monaco)? Or are most of them imported?

I noticed what looked like DeCecco dried pasta in your cupboard. Is that a favourite brand of yours?

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What lovely meals you prepare! Do your children eat a pasta dish every day?

I wish I could get fava beans here. I tried to grow them once, but they don't thrive here.

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Morning everybody!

Today it's Wednesday, so, no school for the boy. But I need to go out for an appointment and have only 10 minutes before I need to wake up the sleeping family.

I know what you can do! Visit a bunch of the local patisserie and take pictures! I assume they're usually French in style?

Are there any locally made snack foods (potato chips, or traditional snacks from Monaco)? Or are most of them imported?

I noticed what looked like DeCecco dried pasta in your cupboard. Is that a favourite brand of yours?

  • Yes, they are in French style. I'll see what I can do on the way back home, there are a couple nearby.
  • In bakeries you find the already mentioned barbajuans, little calzones with a chard filling and deep fried, the chard tart, the pissaladiere, really no different than the other versions on the riviera.
  • I am not too particular for pasta. As I mention earlier I could skip it no problem, I do more out of convinience factor. But I have a minimum standard. I prefer De Cecco over Barilla but I prefer Cocco, over De Cecco. Also Latini for some kind of shapes. I definitely want spaghetti De Cecco and not Barilla.

Do your children eat a pasta dish every day?

Almost. If it is not pasta is rice or potatoes. Ilike to make other grains: spelt, quinoa, barley but the answer I get from my son is at the moment: bleah!

Edited by Franci (log)
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This morning I got up slightly later, still in time to bake some muffins

I had my coffee while preparing the ingredients

wedcoffe.jpg

I tell you. I don't like to bake sweets. Also in cooking school, while most of my female class mates really enjoyed pastry, it was the only station that really irritated me. In fact this muffis turned so so. I was mixing up recipes and I think I really got the amount of baking powder and baking soda wrong. My son said they are ok

wedmuffins.jpg

I had a couple muffins with my son and shared salmon with my daughter.

Edited by Franci (log)
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We left for my appointment and since Prasantrin wished for some pastries, on the way back home, we stopped in two places.

Prince's Tea first stop

wedprince1.jpg

An employee was suspiciously looking at me...

wedprince2.jpg

We got in to bring something home

wedprince6.jpg

wedprince4.jpg

wedprince7.jpg

Then we stopped at Riviera Patisserie in Boulevard des Moulins

wedrivierap1.jpg

wedrivierap2.jpg

I went inside but they didn't let me take pictures, only this.

wedrivierap3.jpg

Edited by Franci (log)
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Although in Prince's Tea shop everything looks so beautiful, so far I've alway been disappointed with their pastries. Also today.

We got this cookie. I just wanted to try a little piece and while cutting it, the jam was oozing everywhere and the shortbread was not memorable at all.

wedvaleriocookies.jpg

At Riviera Patisserie I've only bought brioches or croissants, always very nice and light with a good butter taste, although their display looks less impressive

wedvaleriobrioche.jpg

Edited by Franci (log)
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Lunch was fairly simple as usual.

I made a risotto "giallo", yellow. That's how is called often in the North of Italy. Although many Italians really horrify at the idea, I use a pressure cooker, which gives me a more consisten result and I use less precious stock. For this rice you really need a beef stock but for some reasons my son is so accustumed to chicken stock that I've been using that. To make it richer, at the end of cooking, with the "mantecatura" with butter, I also add a little bit of veal glaze I have in the freezer.

This is my dish. Maybe it is the Chinese genes but both the children don't like cheese.

wedrisotto.jpg

I also made a little beef fillet on the grill for the children and I had some zucchini and peas to cook from yesterday

wedfilett.jpg

The boy can be really frustrating for me. Of course, my husdand and I, before having children didn't really think we were going to have picky eaters...The boy would have been happy just with the jam cookie and didn't eat any of the rice and only a couple bites of meat and zucchini. I hope that, like for Bourdain, he is going to have the revelation or I should move to China for a couple months to challenge him a bit...

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I don't have any outing planned for the afternoon. I think I'll go to the Condamine tomorrow morning.

I've defrosted some filling for Chinese dumplings and thinking of making pot stickers. I also need to use the asparagus I bought yesterday. So, while my daughter is sleeping I'm going to take the opportunity to make the dough.

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Don't know if I missed it and can't find it...but did you make those muffins in silicone wrappers? I've seen them but not purchased them. If so, are they easy to clean? (Don't like cleaning silicone very much although I use silicone flat "silpat-type" things constantly.)

Thanks.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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If it's of any consolation to you, I was maybe the pickiest child in the world. Somehow, in my late teens - early twenties things did a huge turnaround and now I am not picky at all (other than a stickler for quality) and in fact am very adventurous!

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. . . .

The boy can be really frustrating for me. Of course, my husdand and I, before having children didn't really think we were going to have picky eaters...The boy would have been happy just with the jam cookie and didn't eat any of the rice and only a couple bites of meat and zucchini. I hope that, like for Bourdain, he is going to have the revelation or I should move to China for a couple months to challenge him a bit...

For whatever it's worth, there have been quite a few studies suggesting that there may be very solid evolutionary reasons for pickiness (food neophobias) that often appear suddenly, even in children who once ate pretty much everything.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Franci, I forgot to respond upthread, but we had made pasta al forno with little tiny meatballs.

My son is a hugely picky eater and he drives me crazy. He also thinks he only wants pasta with butter yet when it is put in front of him, he won't eat it. Obviously, because it's boring or he is sick of it. I do find that he eats better when in the company of others leaving me to believe his likes and dislikes are all "in his head." He even eats at school. And there they have a pasta course AND a meat course. He never eats meat at home.

You mentioned leaving, are you going to another part of Europe? (I hope I didn't miss where you already said this!)

I was also wondering are you going to be making anything with the zucchini flowers? I have some to use up and wanted to see if your idea was better than mine. ;) heehee

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Don't know if I missed it and can't find it...but did you make those muffins in silicone wrappers? I've seen them but not purchased them. If so, are they easy to clean? (Don't like cleaning silicone very much although I use silicone flat "silpat-type" things constantly.)

Thanks.

Yes, Darienne, I used silicone cases, you can see them in the last picture of previous page. They are not difficult to clean, I just don't like to clean molds of small size...I just dump them in a bowl of soapy water, rinse and dry.

. . . .

The boy can be really frustrating for me. Of course, my husdand and I, before having children didn't really think we were going to have picky eaters...The boy would have been happy just with the jam cookie and didn't eat any of the rice and only a couple bites of meat and zucchini. I hope that, like for Bourdain, he is going to have the revelation or I should move to China for a couple months to challenge him a bit...

For whatever it's worth, there have been quite a few studies suggesting that there may be very solid evolutionary reasons for pickiness (food neophobias) that often appear suddenly, even in children who once ate pretty much everything.

Thanks Michaela. My husband is a very particular eater as well, he doesn't lilke his food to be mixed, in some ways, he is very simple in his taste. So he doesn't eat lasagne, or mapo doufu or even stir-fries, he is not particularly interested in Indian or Mexican food just because looks too messy for him, he prefers a piece of meat over a meatball and really doesn't understand the necessity of stuffing food. But he still grew up with respect for food, the effort to bring it to your table. And that is important to us. So I really try to be understanding but I want to instill some ethics, I'd like to cook one meal rather than multiples meals.

KennethT, thanks, so maybe he is still too young and he is going to be allright :wink:

I was also wondering are you going to be making anything with the zucchini flowers? I have some to use up and wanted to see if your idea was better than mine. ;) heehee

As I just mentioned my husband doesn't really like stuffed food but he loves zucchini flowers, so I usually fry them.

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Ok, so tonight dinner is almost ready.

I made the pot stickers skins

wedpotstickersskins.jpg

And closed the pot stickers or as the other members of the house call them: guo tie.

wedpotstickerstocook.jpg

I also quickly pickled some cucumbers and blanched the asparagus. I have left over risotto to make some rice cakes.

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Franci,

In your picture of Prince's Tea windows there is an abundance of lilies of the valley flowers. We just returned last week from a trip to France with a stay in Nice and know that it is tradition to give your mother/wife these flowers on May 1 but we never got an explanation of why that flower. We certainly saw them in all the stores. Do you know why?

Kay

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So delightful, the chicks in eggs, and the ladybugs in the foreground of a photo in Prince's Tea. Are they marzipan?

I second not wanting to make multiple meals most of the time! Frustrating as it is, your picky eater eats more vegetables than many will.

I hear the same thing about grains - from both the offspring and the spouse.

Thanks for sharing a 'day to day life' foodblog. So nice to see your delicious looking food, especially as your repertoire (sp?) is so different than mine.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Franci,

In your picture of Prince's Tea windows there is an abundance of lilies of the valley flowers. We just returned last week from a trip to France with a stay in Nice and know that it is tradition to give your mother/wife these flowers on May 1 but we never got an explanation of why that flower. We certainly saw them in all the stores. Do you know why?

Kay

Hello Kay. I do not know much, just that besides being Labor Day it is "Muguet" Lily of the Valley Day, so the two are associated.

So delightful, the chicks in eggs, and the ladybugs in the foreground of a photo in Prince's Tea. Are they marzipan?

I thought they were more sugar work but maybe I didn't pay enough attention! I was concentrating trying to take a picture with my daughter in the carrier :biggrin:

Before I go to sleep, I'm coming back to post about dinner. Not bad. We barely tried the cucumber because my son ate the whole plate (he likes the rice vinegar plus sugar combination :hmmm: ). The guo tie were approved by the husband and the little girl was ok with almost everything.

Riso al salto, rice cakes. This is a staple I always make after risotto.

wedricecakestocook.jpg

The small pieces of rice that fall on the pan and get very crunchy are reward for the chef :biggrin:

wedricecakes.jpg

Pot stickers, served with chinese vinegar/soy sauce/spicy oil

wedguotie.jpg

Quick pickle of cucumber

wedcucumbers.jpg

Cold asparagus salad and Kimchi bought from the little Russian deli (not pictured)

wedasparagus.jpg

Time to sleep. Tomorrow mornig I'll go to the Condamine market by the port.

Edited by Franci (log)
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Franci – I very much like your rice cakes! I’ll try that next time we have leftover rice. And your pot stickers are gorgeous – both the exquisite folding and the nice crisp bottoms! A question about the cucumbers – they seem to be ridged slightly where they are peeled. Is that your peeler? It looks attractive and I’d imagine helps to hold on to the marinade the same way pasta ridges help hold sauce.

Edited to add that I hope you are feeling better.

Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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Hello Kay. I do not know much, just that besides being Labor Day it is "Muguet" Lily of the Valley Day, so the two are associated.

Franci,

Thank you for the extra piece of information. Using it and a little google work I found the following:

"As the story goes, on the first of May 1561, King Charles of France—who was ten at the time—was presented with a fragrant bunch of muguet: the delicate green sprigs capped with tiny white bells that we know as lily of the valley. It was a gesture signifying luck and prosperity, which so touched the king, he continued the tradition by giving the sweet-smelling blossoms to the ladies of his court each year on the same day. La Fête du Muguet continues in France today, and though men, who wear a few stems in their lapel, still present women with fresh bouquets...'

It is always amazing what you can learn on egullet. Thanks for all your work blogging with two little ones.

Kay

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