donderdag 27 augustus 2009

Foody Friday and a gourgous dessert!

Is this not a picture??
Last week I promised a blogger on the Foody Friday party to look out the coming week, for a gourgous dessert without to much calories.
This dessert is my variation on a traditional bavarois. A French dessert made with fruit, and whipped cream and set with gelatine.
When I was on a diet 3 years agoo I wanted something lush and gourgous en sweet en fruity for dessert and....something to was not to heavy on the hips.
Since I like bavarois very much I made a light version on it. Since that day we actually only eat this light version because it is so light and so fresh and so fruity.

You need:
500 grams or 18 ounces of fat free curd cheese. The Dutch call this 'kwark', Belgians call this 'plattekaas' with means as much as runny cheese. This is the first thing you get when you start making cheese. It tastes a bit like ricotta but its runnier and less grainy.
500 grams or 18 ounces of raspberry's or strawberry 's, witch you cutter uncooked and sive to get the pips out.
1/2 cup of fine white sugar
3 egg large of 4 small egg whites
7 leaves of gelatine. Mine are 2 grams a piece. So you need 14 grams that is half an ounce.
Juice of half an orange.

Take a large bowl and mix the curd cheese with the raspberry sauce.
Put the gelatine and let it soak in cold water.

Mix with the sugar.
Then put a little saucepan on with the orange juice. Let it get hot and take it of the heat.
Remove gelatine from cold water en remove excess water. Let is melt in the hot orange juice. Never boil gelatine or it will not set.
Beat the gelatine under the fruit mixture. Beat fast so the gelatine has no time to make strands.

Whip up the egg whites untill they are very stiff. Hold the bowl upside down!

Mix 1/4 of the eggwhites under the fruit mixture. When the mixture is losened than fold the other eggwhites under.
Take a mould and rinse it in cold water. Don't dry it!! This tiny bit of water will make sure that the mousse will glide out of the mould easily.
Fill the mould to the top.

Put it in the fridge overnight or at least 5 hours.
To put it on a serving plate.
Losen the side of the mousse. Place the bowl for a few seconds in hot water. See that the water does not go over the side of the bowl.
Create an air pocket by gently sliding a knife between the mould and the mousse.
Put a serving dish on top of the mould and turn it upside down.
Gentle let the mouse slide out of the mould. If it does not come immediatly you can help it with tilting the mould slightly and creating another air pocket.

Decorate with fruit and some leaves of the raspberry bush. I had a gourgous deep red rose in the garden that had the exactly right colour for the mousse. It was'nt sprayed with anything so you could eat it if you wanted.
This is a least fit for 6 people. I even had some left over. I managed to fill a glass with it.
You can do all the mousse in single serving moulds if you wished. I often do this for a party.
And if you are not on a diet, a bit of whipped cream is always nice to go with it.....
Enjoy and see you next week!

dinsdag 25 augustus 2009

Three or more Tuesday cups with or without saucers

Of course we all have cups and saucers in the house. I do too but I also have a few very special ones and these I want to show you today.
The first one is from the famous Irish factory of Belleek. For those who do not know it, this factory is famous for its paper thin porcelain. A lot of their earlier collections are in the form of shell's. So is this delicate cup. You wonder if ever anybody drank tea out of these cups. You can see right trough the porcelain. They also call it eggshell porcelain. That is a very good name for this kind of porcelain.
Sadly I do not have the saucer but I will surch to find one so the set is compleet.

This is I think a very old cup. It is what is called Lustre ware. You see the shiny rosy golden stripe on the rim and on the foot. On the one side there is a landscape with a castle and on the other side is a lady in 1820's dress walking a lurcher.

This is a very,very old cup and saucer. It must date from about 1780! You can tell this by the fact that it has a very deep saucer and there is no rim to hold the cup in place in the saucer. This is something you only see in very old saucers.
The saucers is handpainted with a Chinese scene and is very fresh in colour with all that pink and green and red.

This is a totally different kettle of fish. These cups and plate (it is not a saucer) is made by the for us well know porcelain factory of Maastricht. This is a Dutch company that does not exist anymore. It was situated in the town of Maastricht. This town sits on the border of Belgium and Holland. I had an uncle who worked in that factory in the sixty's.
This is from their childrens range of Little Red Riding Hood. It is such fun. I hope that in a few years my little granddaughter will enjoy it.
For next week I promise some other beautiful cup and saucers.

donderdag 20 augustus 2009

Foody Friday, tasty chicken salad

More then 10 years agoo there was an exposition of Antique American Quilts in Brussels.
Of course there where also shop and in one of those stalls I bought a cookbook called "The quilters cookbook". It contained recipies from quilters all over America. This has become one of my most used cookbooks and it learned me how to bake and cook with cups.
My cake baking has increased immensely since.
This recipie comes also out of that cookbook.
Chicken salad
Start with a grilled chicken or gently boil 2 to 3 fat single chicken filets in some chicken stock.
I always do the latter.
Clean a whole green celery and chop in 1/2 inch pieces
Add half a pound of green seedless grapes.
You could add a can of waterchestnuts. This was in the original recipie but is hard to find here.

Then make the dressing.
Add to some good mayonnaise, 1 heaped teaspoon of curry powder, juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, and 1 spoon of sojasauce.Taste.
Mix well en pour over the salad. Mix and let it stand overnight or at least a few hours.

Just before serving you chop up an iceberg lettuce and mix with the other ingredients.
Serve in a bowl of the outher leaves of the lettuce.
This is truly a great and easy to make salad what you can make in advance and is good to take to a potluck lunch.
It has become a staple in our family .

maandag 17 augustus 2009

Three or more candle holders

Despite the fact I hardly ever burn candles, this is because I can't trust the cats around them, it seems I have a lot of candle holders. The ones I show you are not all the ones I have. There is in the house at least another pair of slender wooden ones and a very tall modern single candle holder that I can think of.
The candle holder above is Art Deco in style and was made by a Belgian company called Thulin. I collected some of its ware a while agoo. This range called "Airain " always has the green and black color combination. A very typical Art Deco combination. I like the shape of this piece very much.

This candle holder holds special memory's for me since it was a gift from my late father. He had a friend who was cleaning out his garage and he wanted to trow this candle holder away. My father asked if he could have it because, I think this would be something that my daughter liked, he said. He gave me the candle holder on my next visit and I indeed liked it. I does not do it's job very well. I never have found a candle that would fit the thing so candles always topple over. So this is one never to be used but also never to trow away....

A very cheap wall sconce but I love it. It is modeled on an antique one. You can take the candle away and close the sconce so it will take less place.

Anonther antique Art deco piece. This is from one of my other collections. It is made by the world famous Val saint Lambert crystal factory's in there Luxval depression glass range. It is still a very handsome piece and I love the strong Art deco lines.

This last stately candle holder is one of my price finds in a second hand shop. I was abble to buy it for the equivivalent of 20$. If I wanted I could replate it and it would be very pretty on my table. But I like its shabby chic feel and I will keep it like this.
Thanks for looking. See you next week!

donderdag 13 augustus 2009

Foody Friday Gratin Dauphinois

Last week I did not participate because of the fact that I let the chicken burn that I wanted to talk about! I put it in a pan to boil and forgot about it! Of course I was busy on my laptop and then time flies by.....
On sunday my son and his family came by for a chat and a meal and for us to see our little granddaughter and I decided to make a simple but festive meal of lamfilet with French beans and cherry tomatoes and a Gratin Dauphinois.
First you feel, wash, dry and slice your patatoes. Don't use a flowery one.

Than make the combination of milk and egg. I used 2 eggs, half a liter of semi skimmed milk, 1 clove of chopped garlic, peper and salt.Take a shallow glass or otherwise ovenproof dish and start layering.A layer of the raw potatoe slices, a layer of the milk mixture and a bit of cheese. The cheese is not traditional in France but we like it so we used about 2 ounces of grated emmental cheese.Bake in the microwave, yes, we like the microwave for this. It saves you lots of time. This one was ready in 35 minutes instead of at least 1 hour in the oven.

In the mean time that the gratin is in the microwave you steam of cook your French green beans until tender but still with a crunch.Drain.
Put the pot back on the fire and sautee a small diced onion.
Put the tomatoes in and when they start to soften put the beans in. The tomatoes need just to be popped a little and the beans just need to be warmded trough.

Add pepper and salt and a dash of vinigair. It is like a warm vinaigrette.

Then it is just a question of grilling the meat.I just like it pink, sprinkled with some oregano and peper and salt. Serve with the gratin and the tomatoes and beans.

Enjoy my sunday dinner!

See you next week.

dinsdag 11 augustus 2009

Three or more cat paintings

Today, my big boy, Jack, the first Maine Coon I ever bought is celebrating his 10th birthday. He is the kind of cat you don't want. He sprays, even after being castrated for 9 years of his life and he is not the cuddle type that sits on your lap.But never the less (and only other catlovers can understand) I love him dearly.
So, to celebrate this birthday I show you my collection of cat pictures that I collected over the years. This is the cat picture wall, situated in the cat room. As a catbreeder I needed a room for the cats for when they are sick or pregnant or for when I have kittens. So when the children left the house a small bedroom was rearrangd to accomodate the cats.

This and the picture below are the work of Elie Harper. Her husband is very famous in the US and I love these funny catpictures that hang in our living room.
On the above a cat is looking at the snow outside, peeping from under the blinds

This second one from Elie Harper is a cat looking trough a fish bowl.

The work of this lady is totally different. On the cat picture wall I have two other small painting of her. She works a lot in green and depicts a lot of cats. Her name is Sarah Kiser. The other two pictures are on the top left in the cat room. You see immediatly the likeness to these two pictures.

This could be a painting of Jack but it is not. When I saw this one on Ebay I absolutely wanted it. All these pictures come from the USA and are all bought trough Ebay.

A very small painting only as big as a postcard.

This one, also from Ebay, also reminded me of Jack somehow and it was given to me for my birthday by my daughter.
Jack, darling, I love you and I wish you a very happy birthday. Tonight before bedtime we will celebrate with a few cans of tuna. Together with your 10 other friend we will make a party!

dinsdag 4 augustus 2009

Tree or more Tuesday Bird bronzes

Last week I told you about a beautiful bronze statue of a bird on a wheat ear that was hidden in the last birdcage of that blog.
My husband and I where trilled about this silver wedding anniversary gift from our family.

The bronze is from the well know French artist André Vincent Becquerel.
We came across his bird bronzes by accident. A few years before this gift was made to us, my mother and I where at an antiques fair and all of the sudden we saw a bronze statue of a branch with 4 birds on. Its black base lay beside it. We where both immediatly atracted by it.

The base was signed by the letters AV Becquerel. We never heard of this artist before but since the bronze was not too expensive I advised my mother to buy it. Since that day it stands proudly on her coffee table and everybody loves it.
My younger brother, the man he is, wanted to know more about that Becquerel.
He surched and surched the internet but there is not much to be found. We see his work regulary at auctions and on Ebay and so, but he seems not to be a major artist.

There are two versions of his day of birth. Sometimes you see the date 1880 to 1940. On other websites you see 1893 t0 1981. Much of his work has influences of the Art Deco period so I would personaly rather go for the latter date. He has exhibited in Paris in the period between 1914 and 1922. That then again suggests rather the earlyer birthday since he only would have been 21 years old when he exhibited in 1914... I stays a mystery.
We have discoverd some other beautiful other sculptures of him, like leaping fish, deer, lioness and his famous panthers. He also made some bird booksupports and some radiator caps depictings dogs and hares. All these sculptures are much more Art Deco in style then the birds. But we mainly love his bird sculptures.

My brother was so fasinated by the bird bronze of my mother that he looked out for them and managed to find and buy some more. He knew I loved the one my mom bought and one day he found the one with the bird on the wheat ear in a small antique shop. First he offered me to buy it from him and I accepted that offer. Then when I wanted to give him the money he refused to sell it to me. I was very disappointed in him but afterwords of cause we found out that in the mean time the family had decided to gift it to us for our silver wedding anniversary.

So this one became the first I owned.

Of course I wanted some more... Trough Ebay I found the other once. The second one in the house where the seagulls on the waves...It is a common subject for Becquerel since I know of at least two other sculptures with gulls.

After a few years I saw this small one on the French Ebay site and bought it after asking my brother if he was also going to bid on it. We tell each other if there is another Becquerel on Ebay and we decide amoung us who is going to bid for it. We never bid against each other. Last september I found this big one with the whole flock of birds on a branch and managed to buy it. I weights a ton. But I love it so much.
A month agoo I found the last one. This is a sweety too. Look how graceful the grass bows and see the little snail that is crawling up the stem?

The birdies are just fledgelings.They look so young with hardly any feathers, huddled together looking at the snail that is crawling up to them. This bronze is more Art Deco in style than the other ones.
After I maneged to buy this one I said, now I have enough sculptures.I have no more place to put them...but I know I at least have my eye on two more. My mothers sculpture and the one with the birds picking cherry's that I managed to lose on Ebay. So I am saving up again for the next upportunity....