Archive for April, 2012

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Beautiful breads

Une boule de pain

Une boule de pain, that simple little amount of dough has been the staple of food for century and yet, most people are not making bread at home but rather go out and buy it.  It is ok, to each its own I would say.

I have come to a point in my life of not judging but to listen and to understand.  My first bread was made when I was 11 years old.  It was so heavy I could have used it as a door stopper.  Over the years, like anything else on this planet, my technique has improved and mostly important my understanding of the reaction of the ingredients mixed together got a better part of my acceptance in why certains ingredients react this way and that way when they are singing together!

I made this bread using the technic by Artisan Bread in Five minutes (the master recipe is here as well).

View of the inside

To make a long story short, basically you make a master recipe (bread dough), you put it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and you use part of it everytime you want to eat a freshly baked bread.

I tried this and this is the photo above of my first bread made from the mix.  I am amazed at this way of making bread.  I mean, having a fresh bread baked, on my table each day, including the aroma del pan in my kitchen????  You guys have to try this.

To test even farther this little discovery, my husband made the second bread, here, the olive bread.

Olive bread from master recipe

Oh my gosh, it is even better than the first one.

Look at the olives

What I like about this master recipe is that I can make very small breads to very large breads depending of the outcome expected.  Here on the pictures, I made a 1 pound bread, big enough for two people.  The crust is wonderful, crispy and has a nice golden color to it.  A very tasty bread.

The inside of the olive bread

I am hooked now.  So I got three books from them, one for me and the other two for my family.  I think I will embark on a journey of making every single recipe of this book.  The book is full of wonderful recipes and I can use my imagination to even make other recipes based on the master recipe.

Grilled cheese tartine made with olive bread

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

favorite photowow saturation book coverspring is comingbuildings up in the skykees jonenbrug
vonderparkpark with tulipbeautiful parkiamsterdamtulip umbrellascheese and more
tulips displayback streetbridge uptypical streetwarmely streetchildren transportation
moulin a ventred bikeamsterdam panoramaamsterdam bridge saturationamsterdam bicycles on bridge sapia tint rosycorner street with water saturation

Amsterdam, Netherlands, a set on Flickr.

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The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake.

PDF Nazook and nutmeg cake recipes here


Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

Armenian nutmeg cake

Both desserts were a challenge for me as I had never made either one of them.

Unmolding the cake

Armenian Nutmeg cake reminds me of a good brown sugar pound cake with nuts and spices.  It is the kind of cake to be served the day after it is made, as the flavor of the spices get stronger with age.  The butter used here keeps its taste when the cake is done and it adds a very nice perfume to the finish cake.

One thing that surprised me was the formation of a base crust before filling up the pan with the rest of the batter.  The final product gave us a cake with a crust basically, very nice, very good.

Nazook for me is completely not in my knowledge of baking.  I knew of the name for having seen it in bakeries and so but not by tasting or baking it.

Basically, Nazook is a yeast little rolled cake, made with an endless of possibilities as filling it.  I made the traditional cake, started in the recipe and it did turn out very nice and very tasty.

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Door Wreath

Door Wreath done with pages of paperback book

Big into recycle again, La Belle Aurore into action today!

Yesterday, doing some cleaning around the house, I came across some old pocket books that have some missing pages to it.

Construction of the wreath

Not wanting to discard a book (I happen to love books, any for that matter), this door wreath was created out of the pages of the broken book…

Little bundle of rolled paperback book

This is very easy to do.  You just take apart the pages, roll them up and glue them together with a mix of flour and water.

Attached with ribbons or others

It could be a wonderful project done with children and each could decorate its own door wreath with ribbons of color or others stuffs.

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First and foremost : coffee at Starbucks downstairs

Just to show what a typical shopping morning is for us, here, in China!

Wines of course

No car but… selections of anything we can imagine, at our fingertips.

Fake or real stuff? Who can tell? A display of 'Mom Smile'

Fake or real?  I don’t really care!

Aprons, gorgeous ones at the local store below our condo, get one of course!

Have an open mind guys, this is downtown Shenyang.

My hip shooting of course, much needed in stores in China

Done, now lets get cooking!

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