Un Petit Peu Francais – A Little Bit French


In our house, we do birthday parties, every birthday until the children turn ten, then it is a friend or maybe two for dinner/dvd. My little mademoiselle decided in order to celebrate her 10th, she needed to celebrate in style with a french themed dinner party. Being the obliging Maman that I am, it didn’t feel too far fetched to achieve.

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I own a raclette machine, a what I hear you say?  Raclette is a traditional french meal revolving around melting Raclette cheese and pouring it over potatoes, saucisson (salami), ham, cornichons, pickled onions and bread. It’s a delicious, fun and interactive meal, which requires all participants to over see the melting/cooking of their cheese.  While we can buy Raclette cheese here in New Zealand, it is relatively pricey and is a little pungent for younger palettes.  Edam has a very similar fat content and makes a suitable replacement as it melts beautifully. Raclette is one of those meals that gives maximum effect for minimum effort and can easily be tailored to a variety of fussy eaters. Always fun for kids because they can get involved.

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Knowing I can do macarons and eclairs sans beaucoup d’effort, for dessert, mademoiselle ordered up petit fours. My oven can be a little dodgy at times (hanging out for my new kitchen and appliances).  Thankfully the oven behaved on the day of the baking of macarons and eclairs, however it did not when it came to cooking le gateau. Merci, Moore Wilsons for saving the day on the gateau front.  I managed to brush the bought gateau off as being quintessentially francais, as after all that is what most french mamans would do!

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Thanks to Oncle Sam who lives in France, we were able to include some real french sweets in little bags to send home with the wonderful friends who came to celebrate.  Mademoiselle is now in double digits and this means no more big parties until her brother turns a rather significant number.



Loving: Summer Days, Cider & Fresh Tomatoes

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Summer Days

I have been loving these Summer days, enjoying my children more than ever and the many adventures we have enjoyed together. We haven’t had a lot of fantastic, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day kind of days, but we have made the most of the ones we have had. I’m going to miss the holidays. What a blessed time it has been!



My darling husband does not like beer, the taste has just never tickled his buds. Over the past couple of Summers, we have grown to like Ciders and we regularly try different ones. We both agree that Rekorderlig is a pretty fine specimen. It certainly seems to make a fine summers drink on a hot day, especially after a good stint out in the garden.



Tomatoes are one of my favourite fruit. A few years back, I took a photo in a market in Marseille (France), I have come to realise the vegetables in it, make up the bulk of the vegetables I most like to eat. Front and centre is tomatoes! Is it any wonder, I must have tomatoes in my garden every summer? Tomorrow, we will eat the first of the cherry tomatoes from our garden. I can’t wait for the Isle of Capri ones to start ripening.




Linking up with Megan at mnm’s

My heart is torn!

I am sitting waiting for the rugby to start so fluffing around on the net…as you do! My Facebook home page is a flood with cheers of Go All Blacks!!! or Allez Les Bleus!!!  It all depends on which friend it is….but you see as I grew up in France, so I have friends on both sides of the fence.

My problem is while my passport may be kiwi….I am not through and through a kiwi, I feel like I am some strange sort of hybrid…what does that make me? Whenever the french team and the All Blacks are playing I never quite know who to cheer for.  Trying to compromise….I am wearing black trackies and a red top and blue socks.

So Allez les Bleus and Go the All Blacks…may the best team on the night win!

Mastering the art of macaron making – the inspiration

So I have decided that Macaroons are the new cupcake….not that I ever mastered cupcakes!

I recently went to France, Marseille to be precise and saw this gorgeous display of Macaroons hanging in the window of a rather top notch patisserie.  Marseille is not home to the macaron (note singular o, that’s how the french spell it), but Paris is. Just look at all those vibrant colours!

I can’t quite remember when I had my first taste of macaroon, the kind I’m talking about here that is!  I vividly recall making coconut macaroons as an 13 year old, but they just don’t compare.

The real thing should have a shiny crunchy outer shell, yet be soft on the inside. These gorgeous almond based meringues are filled with delictable creamy ganache.

I’ve committed to mastering the art of macaroon making for a special event to be held at the end of July 2011.