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KING CAKE EPIPHANY TRADITIONAL CELEBRATION...

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In the beginning of January, French bakeries are filled with exquisite puff pastry pies that are called “ Galettes des Rois ” in France but also "King Cake" in the US. Epiphany is a traditional Christian feast celebrating the 'shining forth' or   revelation   of God to mankind in human form, in the   person   of   Jesus Christ.  The name "Epiphany" is a greek word meaning revelation. It’s based on the biblical story that tells of the Magi or   Three Kings   - Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar - who saw a bright star on the night Christ was born and followed it to Bethlehem… The Epiphany is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. At this occasion, families meet to share the traditional “galette des rois”. This puff pastry pie is filled with almond cream and... something else ! It’s time to find the kings. The French call it “ tirer les rois ”. The traditional galette is cut in slices (one per person sitting at the table plus one. The slice
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"KING CAKE"  FRENCH TRADITIONAL PASTRY CELEBRATING THE THREE KINGS An exquisite almond & cream filling sandwiched into two rounds of buttered puff pastry HERE'S OUR "GALETTE DES ROIS" ORIGINAL RECIPE... INGREDIENTS (makes 8 servings) 14 ounces all-butter puff pastry, homemade or store bought, chilled and ready to roll 3/4 cup almond cream 1/4 cup pastry cream 1 tablespoon dark rum 1 large egg 1 trinket (as the one who has the chance to get it, wear the king’s crown) DIRECTIONS Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand. Divide the pastry in half and work with one half at a time. Keep the other half in the refrigerator. Working on a floured surface, roll one piece of the puff pastry into a circle that is about  1/8-inch thick. Using a pan lid or the bottom of a tart pan, cut a circle that is about 9 inches in diameter. Transfer the circle to a lined baking sheet, cover with pla

Home-made French Pain d'Epices "Gingerbread"

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This cake is a great classic, a very old recipe dating from the Middle-Ages and even earlier. We call it "pain d'épices" in French as ingredients include honey and spices mix and especially cinnamon, a tribute to the Alsatians. However this pain d'épices is very popular in Burgundy, made by Mulot et Petitjean famous bakery. I recently went to Burgundy and Dijon and of course added this pastry to my shopping bag. Back home, I was on the way to open the pack when I had the idea - a brilliant idea indeed! - to look at the ingredients on the back. I almost felt down when I saw the list of chemicals and other preservatives. Mulot et Petitjean unfortunately turned into the food industry... Bad for them but good for us, as I decided to make my own gingerbread with the best organic ingredients. It took me less than 15 minutes to do it. I'm putting my recipe in writing, glad to share it with you, and my cake is baking. It smells so good... Here is my recipe : IN

Sautéed scallops, braised fennel, orange butter and walnut pesto

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Photo : Corinne A. Preteur Lifestyle Vacations France INGREDIENTS (8 servings) 4 large scallops per person For fennels : 4 fennels medium size, olive oil, 5 juniper berries, 1/2 cup dry white wine, salt and pepper For pesto : 40g walnuts, 40g parsley leaves, 4 tbsp walnut oil, 4 tbsp cold water, ground pepper, 2 pinches of fleur de sel For orange butter : juice of 4 oranges, juice of 1 grapefruit, 200g unsalted butter, salt and ground pepper Parchment paper. DIRECTIONS Walnut pesto : Mix all the ingredients except the salt in the food processor. When you get a smooth mixture, season with fleur de sel, and reserve in a bowl at room temperature. Braised fennel : Cut and peel the fennels for removing the hard parts and the strings. Slice it thinly lenghtwise. In a pan, warm 2 tbsp olive oil, and add the fennel.  Stir with a wooden spatula, season with salt and pepper, and add 5 crushed juniper berries. Cook for 5 minutes before  pouring the white wine, cook over low heat

Roasted Butternut Squash soup with Goat Cheese

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Autumn is like a second Spring where leaves, fruits and vegetables offer our eyes a feast on vibrant colors of the countryside. Even if the weather is still very nice, in the evening we are delighted with a flavorful soup. I suggest to roast the vegetables with spices such as paprika, cumin and a pinch of chili pepper. For my recipe, I have chosen two squash varieties (yellow crookneck & butternut). I've also added carrots, red onion, and garlic clove.  In buying organic vegetables, it's not necessary to peel it. It's even healthier and you spare time! INGREDIENTS (6 serving) A small butternut 800 gr yellow crookneck 600 gr carrots 2 garlic cloves 1 red onion Rosemary 1/4 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp cumin powder 1 pinch chilli pepper Salt, ground pepper Olive oil 1 liter chicken stock 200 ml coconut milk 1 fresh goat cheese 1 tbsp olive oil 20 gr pumpkin seeds 20 gr sunflower seeds Fleur de sel DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Wash the vegetables under cold water, c

Zucchini & Quinoa croquettes

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Preparation : 15 minutes - Cooking time : 15 minutes INGREDIENTS (6 serving) 125g organic quinoa 2 organic zucchini 100g grated parmesan 50g bread crumbs 1 egg 3 tbsp olive oil 300ml water 1 garlic clove 1/2 tsp dried oregano DIRECTIONS Wash zucchini under clear water and dry it and grat it. Put it in a strainer with 1/2 tsp salt. Strain 10mn. In the meantime, cook the quinoa in water for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and seed the quinoa with a fork. Leave 10 minutes. Pour the quinoa in a large bowl. Add the grated zucchini (drained). Peel the garlic clove and crush it over the bowl. Add the beaten egg and then oregano, bread crumbs and grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and shape croquettes. In a pan, warm olive oil, and cook the croquettes 2 minutes each side over medium heat. Serve with a yogurt sauce simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Bon appetit!

Salmon & Spinach French Pie

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Preparation : 25 minutes Baking time : 40 minutes INGREDIENTS (6 serving) 500g (1 pound) fillet of salmon without skin 500g (1 pound) fresh spinach 2 eggs + 1 yolk 2 puff pasty rolls 3 tbsp creme fraiche 2 tbsp pine nuts Garlic & parsley broth cube Nutmeg Salt & Pepper DIRECTIONS Bring to a boil : 2 liters water with the broth cube. Poach the salmon fillet 3 minutes. Strain and cool. Remove bones if any. Wash spinach under clear water. Cook in pot without water for about 5 minutes over medium heat until tender. Strain and cool. Beat the 2 eggs in a large bowl, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the creme fraiche. Stir to combine.  Crush the salmon, and add it to the eggs mixture. Combine.  Add the spinach. Combine again. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9-in mold with pastry without triming the edges. Garnish with the salmon and spinach mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit the top of the pie and cover the filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cross the top o