It's Valentine's !

February ...our favorite month ! We just love to celebrate love and all our loved ones!

Happy Valentine's day everyone !

Lovely cards printed in Portland with an antique letterpress on cotton paper using soy ink IMG_0173 (Large).JPG

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Our most precious lavender sachets made with antique linen and  lace

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IMG_0180 (Large).JPGExclusive cards made in house with vintage stamps by Alice !

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Lavender or Violet  Syrup make a delicious kir when you mix them with Champagne Taste even better in  pretty Champagne glasses !  

Biscuits roses de Rheims are perfect to make a trifle: deep the cookies in the flavored champagne and layer with whipped cream and fresh fruits . Yum !

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DSC_8629 [1280x768].JPGHeart necklaces made by my friend Lisiane ; come in all gold ,all silver and also mixed like on the photo

DSC_8422 [1280x768].JPGAntiqued brass and ruby red crystal for a vintage look .

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Sweet and unique ...our macarons are the best in town ! DSCN4375 (Large).JPG

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22:30 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Duck Confit and wild mushrooms winter tourte


This is fabulous recipe I use to make back in France for the Holidays . Originally the recipe called for fresh duck breasts and fresh duck foie gras....the foie gras bringing enough fat to the otherwise dry breasts making for the perfect Holiday dish . Now living in California where such delicacy has been banned ( and I have to say that our own livers have also a hard time digesting it too now ) I have modified my recipe to something just as delicious and tasty but healthier, much easier to digest and also legal !! No need to smuggle foie gras on your next trip to France ! 

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Serve it with a wild arugula salad , caramelized pears and pecan with a basalmic vinaigrette .


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But before to get there you first have to make your own duck confit as it is just impossible to find some here . Duck confit is one of the most delicious way to eat duck , even for those who do not care for duck as it is cured in such a way that it falls of the bones and melt in your mouth . I just wish we could find fattier duck legs with a thick fat skin but I still got delicious results with the legs I find at Whole Foods . Once cooked the duck confit legs can be kept in the duck fat for months in the fridge making the whole process easier as many steps can be done in advance .

Making duck Confit legs at home :

It is a "long" process but a very easy one , so don't panic !

First cure the legs with sea salt rubbing the duck . Lay flat in a baking sheet and put in the fridge for 15 to maximum 20 hours ( any longer and your duck will be way too salty ) Then rinse well and pat dry . I would make as many as possible since they preserve so long . You will need 5 legs for a tourte ...but a duck confit leg with a crispy skin served on a potatoe gratin is also a fabulous dinner any day !

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In a crock pot put the duck legs and cover with melted duck fat . You can buy duck fat at specialty stores like Whole Foods . It comes in small containers and looks solid . Buy as much as you need to cover all the duck ....this will also preserve the duck once cooked and can be used over and over ....also tastiest way to saute some potatoes ! I always have some in my fridge ....DSCN8586 [1280x768].JPG

Simmer at a very low temperature 70F to maximum 80F so the fat does not boil for about 6 to 8 hours .This is when the crock pot comes in handy ....but I could not adjust the temperature on mine so I had to go from "low " setting  to " keep warm"  in order to keep the temperature under control . When the meat is super tender , put in a container and cover totally with the duck fat . Store in the fridge .DSCN8587 [1280x768].JPG

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The day you want to make the duck tourte , take the duck out and warm up to melt the fat. Boil some thick potatoe slices . When almost cooked , drain and lay on a baking pan . Display the duck legs on top and put in oven to broil until the skin gets crispy and gold. DSCN8802 [1280x768].JPG

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For a 12" round pie mold big enough to serve 8 people :

Pull the crispy skin and duck meat off the bones of 5 legs , lightly mash about one big cooked potato ( the one sliced that was under the duck in the oven ), mash slightly a small jar of cooked and peeled chestnuts. Rehydrate a bag of wild dry mushrooms ( 25grs from Trader Joes ) then saute in butter with a bag of sliced crimimi mushrooms ( 10oz bag chopped ). Once all the water is evaporated ad to the meat + 2 eggs and 20ml of whipping cream , pepper , NO salt .Mix well DSCN8804 [1280x768].JPG

You will need a package of 2 frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry sheets . Defrost the day before . Roll flat the 1st sheet and lay inside the pie mold. Fill with meat mix , cover with the second puff pastry sheet using water or egg white to "glue" the 2 together . Decorate with the rest of dough .Make a small chimney so the steam can get out and keep the crust crunchy , brush with egg yolk so it will get a nice color and bake for a bout 45 mns at 375F or less. Serve warm not hot .DSCN8815 [1280x768].JPG

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And voila !

06:31 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


All lights up for the Holiday season !

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03:56 Posted by Marielle Giai in Christmas | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Corporate gifts


Preparing some corporate gifts already !  We can personalized your Holidays client's gifts , match your budget and gift wrap ! Nobody dreams of  a traditional gift "basket" from a chain store ... Our gifts are unique , can be more personal , feminine  like a monogrammed  lavender sachet hand embroidered on antique linen and a wool scarf   or more generic for an office   but are always high quality and gourmet (we proudly sell some of the most prestigious French brand )


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Best fresh macarons in San Diego !!

06:26 Posted by Marielle Giai in Corporate gifts ideas | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Holiday ornaments


Winter has arrived in our shop and a lot of pretty glitter ornaments too

These are hand made in California with glass glitter

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DSCN8549 (Large).JPGAntique papier mache boxes / ornaments ....precious !

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05:51 Posted by Marielle Giai in Christmas | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

La Creche


Pascal setting up the "Creche" our traditional nativity display ...First the rock paper ; the more you crush it the more real it looks . Keep it years after years , it gets better and better !

Our figurines or "santons" are all hand made and hand painted in Aix en Provence by the Fouque family workshop a 3 generation business . We love their santons the best  and think they not only have the best details but also the most unique figurines like the men walking in the Mistral or Cezanne painting the St Victoire mountain . Make sure you come to check it out and bring the kids !


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05:34 Posted by Marielle Giai in Christmas | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |