Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Squash season, cream Hakkaido squash soup

Note: For the French version it' s on my French blog: " La cuisine de Babeth"

It's fall season and I love it! All the warm colors: the vibrant red and orange warm up our mind and spirit while the weather is starting to become chilly. It's the perfect time to become a child again (if you were ever a grown-up anyway) and run into the falling leaves.

At this time of the year, near Halloween I always got nostalgic of my years in California where at every single cross sections pumpkins patches open, and all homes are decorated with carved pumpkins.

While visiting my parents in the Northern-West part of France, I went to help my mother to get her weekly AMAP basket. AMAP (Association pour le maintien de l' agriculture paysanne) is a French nationwide association promoting sustainable organic agriculture. My parents are members and each week they got a basket full of organic vegetables grown nearby so no outrageous amount of gas are used (because everything is coming from not too far away of consumers' homes). In her basket my mom got carrots, leaks, cauliflower, spinach and lovely orange Hokkaido squash ("potimarron").

The squash was decorating my parents' kitchen beautifully until I transformed it into cream soup ("velouté" ). The recipe I' ve created is a tasty vegetarian recipe with an Asian twist to it (coconut milk added).

- 1 Hokkaido squashes (about 2kg)
- 2 leaks
- 2 spoons of powered ginger
- 30 seeds of coriander
- 2 liters of water
- 5 spoons of corn starch (in France we call it Maizena)
- 200ml of coconut milk (about half of a can)

1- Remove the seeds and the heart of the squashes. Our squashes were organic so no need to peel them, just clean them. Cut into pieces the squashes.
2- Clean and cut the leaks.
3- In a pot combine the squashes, leaks, ginger and coriander. Sprinkle with the corn starch.
4- Add the boiling water.
5- When in the pot it's boiling again, cover with the pot lid and let it cook for 30 minutes at medium heat.
6- Scoop out the mix then add the coconut milk to the food processor.

Other soups recipes:
- Jerusalem artichoke soup
- soup at Tiffany
- cream slip peas and bacon

Note: For the French version it' s on my French blog: " La cuisine de Babeth"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

[pink ribbon] pink recipe contest

If you like my beet mousse recipe you can vote for me on Couture Cupcakes: here
or any other pink recipes featured you may like!

Monday, October 15, 2007

[Pink ribbon] beet mousse

Note: the French version of this recipe is here on my other food blog.

Fall is the season for Breast Cancer awareness, in France we' re having " la chaine rose" an e-cookbook realized by bloggers with only pink recipes. You can download it from the pink flashing widget on top of this post (see my previous post).

And while reading food blogs in English I realized that Couture Cupcakes is having a pink recipe contest. I wanted to be part of it because breast cancer is running in my family and in my entourage, also I got really scared last year when my doctor send me to do a mammography and a biopsy because I have some solid -alien- stuffs inside my breasts. Thanks God it's not malicious, but I still need to check with doctors every other years.

But I didn't want to use the same recipe as the one I used while participating of the French e-cookbook (if you' re curious see page 80 of it) so I dig into the recipes I have and already took pictures of (did not have enough time to create a brand new recipe). And Eureka! my beet mousse is pink and one of my favorite dip mousse.

Here a very fresh and original recipe.With this red dipping sauce you will bluff your guests I promise! And the good part is that it's a very light dip (much lighter than tapenade(olive paste made here in South of France and very popular for "Apéro") for instance).


- 2 beautiful red beets already cooked
- 1 generous table spoon with of dairy fresh cream
- 1 onion
- olive oil (e.v.o.o as would say Rachel Ray)
- 4 basil sheets
- salt and pepper


1- Cut the onion and cook it with olive oil in a pan.

2- In the food processor: put the beets, cooked onion, the cream, the basil, 1 table spoon of olive oil, salt and pepper

3- Et voilà c'est prét! Enjoy the dipping!

Bon appétit !!

Note: the French version of this recipe is here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Deceptively delicious, Jessica Seinfeld cookbook

As you may know, if:
1- you know me
2- you read me often :-)
I live in France on the beautiful French Riviera, in Antibes, but I love and miss America. I used to live in California few years ago.
I do miss many aspects of my life back there, my dear friends of course, ethnic food, weather ... and TV shows! I try not to be a TV junkie but I still like my TV shows and soap opera. Once in a while (OK, very often I must say to be honest) I watch on internet the Today Show, Oprah or Martha Stewart.

This week on the Today show and on Oprah I discovered a friendly woman talking about her first cookbook: Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of Jerry Seinfeld the great comedian.

In her book: Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld reveals all the recipes and nifty tricks she created over the years feeding her children to have them eat the terrific: VEGETABLES ! Her children and other kids she feeds have for lunches and dinners: broccolis, cauliflowers, spinaches, sweet potatoes. Yes you 're not day-dreaming, they eat veggies! But she tricks them, her sneaky secret is to purée everything.

"The trick to all of this is hiding vegetable purees in your children's foods. You can match the color of the puree to the color of the food that your kid is used to eating." she says.

Well very ingenious and smart! And she also always put the real veggie on there plates so they are used to see veggies during meals and they assimilate that it's important to eat veggies. Also she controls portion sizes, a key in obesity growing propagation!

I don't have kids yet, but I think I will try her recipes and in the future use them!

You can find some of her recipes on Oprah web site and of course in her cookbook: Deceptively Delicious.

Here her recipe for chicken nuggets:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat, white or panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup broccoli or spinach or sweet potato or beet puree
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders, rinsed, dried and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal, Parmesan, paprika, garlic and onion powder on the paper or foil and mix well with your fingers.

In a shallow bowl, mix the vegetable puree and egg with a fork and set the bowl next to the breadcrumb mixture.

Sprinkle the chicken chunks with the salt. Dip the chunks into the egg mixture and then toss them in the breadcrumbs until completely coated.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Place the chicken nuggets in the skillet in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until crisp and golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn and cook until the chicken is cooked through, golden brown and crisp all over, 4 to 5 minutes longer. (Cut through a piece to check that it's cooked through.) Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brunch in the city: Effy's Cafe (Manhattan)

Note: French version is on my other food blog: La cuisine de Babeth

A week ago I was in New-York visiting Mathieu, my husband. Yes we are living far away from each other. He is finishing his MBA and I am in France, Antibes (right on the French Riviera) waiting for a legal US work permit.
I spend a 3-day week-end in New-York and we enjoyed touristic stuffs, time spent with each other and some very New-York experiences.
In this post I want to write about a very nice cafe where we had brunch and coffee (coffee for me, I cannot live and even talk in the morning without my coffee joint), this cafe was perfect for us:
- it has outdoor tables
- very good coffee (my favorite is the cafe au lait)
- wonderful bagels
- salads and omelettes, must have for a brunch
- pricing is reasonable
- and it's recommended by Zagat

I just didn't like their cookies, not baked enough for me too much dough like.

Effy's Cafe
American, Mediterranean Style
1638 3rd avenue
(between 91st & 92nd )

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nice surprise: the mailman delivered a cook-book

I'm very pleased to present you the gift I found this morning in a nice colorful yellow and red envelope: a desert cookbook. Ok people it's in French but I am very happy like a kid unwrapping a birthday package.
A blogger fellow of mine Isa launch a nice game through what we call here, in France, "la blogosphère" (meaning the blog community): sending a cookbook to a fellow blogger she picked and on the nice gesture receiving back one from a surprise fellow food blogger. She named her name Ze BlogBook. -Ze because as you know in France we do have trouble with the prononciation of: THE :-)
The mysterious sender is Lucyna blogging on Zapbook.
I'm not sure how she discovered my sweet tooth :-) may be, I just say may be -look at my angel smile- she read my French blog "La cuisine de Babeth" which features a loooot of sweet treats.
I just browsed through it but it look very well done with desserts for each seasons. Stay tuned for live tests of those recipes!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

For a good cause; breast cancer awareness

After a while I'm back here on "La vie in English".
Today no recipes but many pink recipes and for a good cause: to help an association that is helping women with breast cancer.
The recipes are in an e-book you can download by clicking on the pink label flashing on top of this post. The download of the e-cook book is free and legal, and every time someone is downloading it Roche (the pharmaceutical lab) agreed to donate 1 Euro to the French association: "Cancer du sein, parlons-en"
You can find my very small contribution to it page 80.
I'm sorry the cookbook is in French but I am volunteering to translate -on demand- recipes you want. You just need to email me and but patient ... (I have a daytime job which doesn't involve cooking or food talks)
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