vendredi 13 septembre 2013

Local Honey

It's always a joy to get together with friends
to either visit a new place, listen to someone's story or face a new challenge,

it''s always an exploration
of a new territory that gets me excited and leaves me inspired!

One of my friend recently became a beekeeper and invited a bunch of us to watch hime assess the hives and taste his honey.

First we had to get equipped, this is Hazel getting bee-proof.

Here's a type of hat that you might want to wear if you're going to be near disturbed bees...
...or at least that what we thought.
As for the scenery, these bees are pollinating in paradise.

Their hives are situated in a garden where chicken peck away under abundance of flowers, where ponds are creating a cool contrast against the heat of greenhouses.
It's an amazing gardener's self sufficient wonderland.

Ok so there were a lot of informations
and I forgot the name of this plant,
but bees love it.

So our bee-keeper checked his hives, all went farely well until some bees got under his hat!
he got stung a few times on his face (brave, right?) !!!
and then it was time to finish the harvest.

When he came back
he cut chunks of freshly harvested combs
and dropped huge chunks in our hands,
for us to eat.

Wait. What?

That's right,
we ate it straight from the hive
where a few seconds ago the honey was being kept at a perfect temperature
by some seriously busy bees.

I will never forget this moment.

The honey was still warm, exploding with flavours and sweetness.

I felt connected to the bear within me,
who just found a hive and tasted raw honey for the first time in her bear life.
Thinking : "this is worth all the hibernations in the world"

I didn't even want to spit out the wax, really.
There was also some darker part in the hives, where the bees store some pollen.

I popped one pollen bead right out:

It tasted good too.

Christoph kept cutting through the buttery textured honey comb,
Filling up a mason jar with chunks.

Then he screened it and tapped another mason jar on top of the first one.

Flip the whole thing upside down to let the honey drip through the screen.

Then a Bear grabbed it!

Only to take it outside and let it do its magic in the warm sunlight.
Then it was time for our brunch
Crêpes, blueberries and whipped cream with tons of honey all over it.
That's when I got so overwhelmed with happiness that I actually stopped taking pictures.

Thanks you for this experience Christoph, it was incredible!
Your patience, calm and wise bee education are unforgettable.

Thank you Hazel & Toumbi for lending me some beekeeping gear
and helping me to feel brave enough to get close to the bees.

Thanks Bear for not running away with the honey jackpot.

dimanche 8 septembre 2013

Sumac, goat cheese and other dairy bliss

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about appetizers
to make for a catering gig.

How about some goat cheese marbles?
with some kind of flavourful surprise inside
and looking cute too.

Ok so let's try this at home first, it would go well with figs, nuts...maybe some fresh herbs...

First I re-hydrated some dry figs in a jar with water, red and white balsamic vinegar, added some dried basil.

1 to 2 days later, I got everything ready to make the goat cheese balls.

I crushed some walnuts,

I crumbled some goat cheese into 10g portions.

I cut the figs into pieces
(I also tried it with re-hydrated raisins, but the figs-marbles were better)

Then I put a small piece of fig into a portion of cheese and rolled it
until it would form a nice & innocent looking marble.

Then I would fill 2 bowls
one with:
crushed nuts + nettles + salt & pepper
green mix

Another one with:
crushed nuts + sumac + beet powder
red mix

I rolled half of the marbles in the green mix, the other half in the red mix
Planted some toothpicks in it...


You guys! I'm so going to replicate the recipe with chèvre made from scratch since I've been to an amazing CHEESE MAKING WORKSHOP !!

The other blissful moment of my summer 
involving dairy
was eating making cheese cake.

It all started with the savoury cheese cake recipe that called for agar-agar.
With that one being so yummy,
I was only one step away from making its sweet counterpart.

Crust = gluten free graham crumbs + butter + almond meal for the crust.

Cheese cake mix = cream cheese + yogurt (in which a pinch of agar-agar is dissolved, then bring to a boil for 30") + fair trade 55% chocolate, melted

No added sugar! Cause the chocolate adds enough sweetness for our taste.

Let it set for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge.

Serve topped with wild strawberries from the garden
(love the tangy/ sweet contrast in flavour)


jeudi 5 septembre 2013

Backyard dinner

Take 2 friends who are excited about food and other things aesthetically pleasing,

Let them live next door to eachother for a while so that they can share ideas
about food all the time,

wait until it's summer,

and you have the right conditions to organize a fabulous Backyard Dinner!

That's how Kalika and made it happen, with the help of the talented Marnie for
the beautiful invitations & menu:

I wanted to make so many things, Kalika too, she helped me organize it all so that it would look like this:

For the roasted red veggies tartines,
Kalika made the Sourdough bread and I used her recipe.

Then I made aubergines Tatins

(aka : upside-down pie)
 with puff pastry made from scratch, please.
Inspired by my Mum's melting eggplant recipe.

(it was my first time making this pastry dough and I have to say it was amazing)

It puffed!

then there was the dolce vita savory cheese cakes!!!
with tapenade!!!

then toped with golden zucchini slices.

We served all appetizers on one board, in small portions so that guest would feel good about it all.

Then I ran out of time to take pictures of everything
but here are a few more, including the strawberry tart
made by Kalika and served with her homemade cookies.

Salmon Wreath
(recipe from my Mum)

Dessert anyone?

I might post recipes in details in upcoming articles,
stay posted.