02/20/2015

The good maners at the table ...in french on plastic plates ...best way to learn !

DSCN4927 [800x600].jpgNew Designs , bowls and mugs for boys and girls !

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21:44 Posted by Marielle Giai in Kids | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

12/28/2014

Olive harvest in Provence

I have to share these photos of my family in Provence in the village of Nyons ....where the famous olive oil is produced .  My cousins Alain and Regine own and operate the family  olive farm just like in the old days ( It is the 6th generation and  they make the most delicious organic first cold pressed olive oil I know ). Yes it is Christmas and it is also the season to pick up the olives . The day after Christmas everybody is giving them a hand  !

http://fermebres.fr/index.html

 

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My little cousin Lou-Anne

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My cousin Regine

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Processing all the olives by hand as always .

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Nyons is a cute little town in "Drome Provencale" the northern part of Provence at the foothills of the lavender fields ( we get our lavender oil from there ) . The olives are legendary and driving east and north of Nyons is just marvelous ... our very favorite area to go to ...unspoiled tiny roads and villages . ..worth exploring if you go to Provence ! 

 

04:47 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

12/27/2014

Happy Holidays !

Joyeux Noel from all of us !

Marielle, Yvonne , Alice , Plemmie , Pascal who took the photo and Chimo !!

We can't get enough of Yvonne's  sweet sweet puppy ....

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DSC_1997 (Large).JPGWith his daddy ...

05:03 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

12/09/2014

Christmas in Mission Hills !

This Holiday Season is all about crystal and faux fur !

We just finished decorating the shop and Pascal's mum old bike .

Now we are ready to celebrate and welcome happy shoppers .

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Pascal / master "creche" maker with at least 40 years experience is setting up our nativity display . Growing up in Provence both of us have been perpetuating this old tradition and still do it here every year DSCN0107 - Copy (Large).JPG

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Final touch before our Holiday Open House coming up this Saturday .

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01:22 Posted by Marielle Giai in Christmas | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

11/18/2014

Fall in Provence

If you go to Provence in the fall on a sunny week it can really be beautiful . Vines and cherry trees are turning red ... temperatures can still be around 68-70F ...you  just have to take a chance in between end of October and early November ( before it is not quiet red and later all the leaves may be gone after just one storm and some Mistral to finish it off ) This year we got lucky ; no Mistral , no rain just a beautiful fall week in Provence !  It has been raining everyday ever since we left !!!

 

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Yes there are some animal crossing here too ... maybe more wild boars than deers !DSCN0057 (2) [1280x768].JPG

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Halloween is getting more and more popular in France . We had a good bunch of scary kids asking for candies . Lucky them we had brought some Reese's shaped like pumpkins :) IMG_4803 [1280x768].JPG

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Packing up some pottery ....IMG_4795 [1280x768].JPG

....That is now in the shop !DSCN0084 [1280x768].JPG

19:38 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

11/11/2014

What Pierre is cooking ....a French classic : Omelette Norvegienne

Pierre is back in the kitchen ! This is an easy desert that you can prepare ahead of time for most of it and that will really impress your guests !

Get your apron on !

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An omelette norvegienne is Not an omelette and has nothing Norwegian about it .....it is an ice cream desert that you put in the oven to sizzle the meringue and  finish by "flambe" at the table ! This desert was created in 1867 during the Exposion Universelle of Paris by a french chef of one of the grand hotel to impress their guests with a technical desert . It had been said that egg whites didn't conduct heat well so a meringue would be a good isolation from the heat of the oven ...and the "omelette Norvegienne " was  created ! For the longest time it was the pride attribute of palace hotels only ....not any more !           

You will need : 1 quart of Vanilla ice cream , some golden raisins, a good dark rhum to soak them in , 6 eggs and less than a pound of sugar.

Start by macerating the raisins in rhum over night . The next day take the quart of ice cream and let it soften at room temperature for a while so you can mix in the raisins and some rhum as well ...no measuring ...you can put as much as you wish . I like it on the strong side . ( You can also layer different type of ice cream or ad some crunchy toffee in)

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Layer the bottom of a "pound cake"mold with plastic wrap so it is easy to take off the mold later . Fill the mold with the ice cream and put back in the freezer. This can be done weeks in advance.DSCN8773 [1280x768].JPG

The "genoise" bottom  sponge-cake : Separate the egg yolks from the whites of 2 large eggs . Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks are formed , then ad 1,5 oz/ 40 grs of sugar to make a meringue . Beat until shinny and firm . Mix the yolks with 1,5 oz / 40 grs of sugar until creamy and fluffy . Incorporate a little bit of white mixture to loosen the batter , then sift in 1,5 oz /40grs of flour . Finish to incorporate the rest of the meringue by folding it in delicately with a spatula .DSCN8794 [1280x768].JPG

Put the batter down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper . Shape it to be big enough for your cake mold . Bake at 375F for 6-8 mns max until barely colored and cooked through .DSCN8796 [1280x768].JPG

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Put the sponge cake on top of the ice cream and back into the freezer until last minute .DSCN8801 [1280x768].JPG

Last minute prep : Heat up your oven to 500F .  Make a meringue with 4 egg whites  , a pinch of salt and 10oz / 280 grs of sugar . Make sure you beat the whites until firm before to ad the sugar and keep beating until shinny and firm . I tried to make this before my guests arrive and keep it in the fridge . The meringue soften and my desert was a mess . So make this part at the last minute to insure you have a nice and firm meringue OR you could probably make an "italien " meringue witch means to boil the sugar into a syrup and ad this hot sugar into your beaten egg whites  beating until the batter cools off making a more stable meringue that should be able to wait in the fridge . Put the meringue in a ziploc bag , cut a tiny hole at the bottom ( or use a pastry bag with attachment ) and you are ready to decorate your ice cream cake ! Take the ice cream cake out of the freezer and out of the mold onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil . Decorate with the meringue and put in the oven for 5 mns until the meringue get colored . In the mean time warm up some Grand Marnier in a pan so you can "flambe" your desert when it comes out of the oven .( Do not have the hood on when you Flambe anything or it will suck the flames up the hood ! ) DSCN8749 [1280x768].JPG

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Slice and serve immediately !! The combination of hot and cold is really what makes this desert so special and a perfect ending to a Holiday meal .

Enjoy !

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03:39 Posted by Marielle Giai in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |