Friday, December 28, 2012

Andalusia : a breath of fresh air in Riofrio

I hope you had a happy and peaceful Christmas day. Ours was unexpectedly rainy, so we went to the cinema to see the Life of Pi which enchanted me, then to a party. And the day after, we were in need of fresh air and headed to Riofrio, which is a small town known for its trouts but also for its caviar produced from a special sturgeon cultivated in this area. 
We were lucky to have some sunshine and once again, I told myself I could never tire of the Andalusian countryside and of those hills covered with olive trees. We also enjoyed meeting a very cool shepherd and its sheep and were delighted by the sudden appearance of a pale moon in the late afternoon. Beautiful and romantic....

Tomorrow, I'm going to Madrid to visit 2 pop up shops with a friend. 
Have a wonderful week end and see you on monday......

J'espère que vous avez passé un Noël doux et paisible. Nous avons eu de la pluie, juste le jour de Noël, alors nous sommes allés au cinéma voir La vie de Pi qui m'a enchantée puis à une fête. Le jour d'après, on a eu envie d'un grand bol d'air frais et sommes partis à Riofrio, qui est une petite bourgade connue pour son élevage de truites mais aussi son caviar produit à partir d'un esturgeon spécial cultivé dans la région.
On a eu de la chance d'avoir eu un beau soleil et encore une fois, je me suis dit que jamais je ne me lasserai des paysages andalous et de ses collines couvertes d'oliviers. Nous avons aussi fait la rencontre d'un berger très cool et de ses moutons. En fin d'après-midi, on a eu droit à une belle lune toute pâle.Un beau moment romantique....

Demain, je vais à Madrid pour visiter 2 boutiques éphèmères avec une copine.
Passez un merveilleux week end et à lundi....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Feliz Navidad from Andalusia

We are having such a lovely weather here
it seems like spring and I felt on holiday 
during all the previous week.
It's been a very pleasant rush between work and meeting with friends... the end isn't it also what Christmas is for ?

Being busy means that I've been really bad with my blog
and the posting of my advent calendar, here am I again
catching up with this final week which already comes to today
..... december 24th
oh yes...time flies !

So this time, we will be opening 7 little boxes at the same time, each containing
an inspiring quote.

On december 18th, I had friends at home for tea and cakes at 11 am
and I spent the afternoon visiting others friends...a lovely day...
and the quote of the day was : 

...and in the end, it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln.

On december 19th, again I went out to have lunch with a friend
and that day, the quote was :

Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.
Emmanuel Kant

On december 20th, I baked cakes for the restaurant and this quote by Audrey Hepburn
made me realize how friendship is so essential in our life

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other
Audrey Hepburn

On december 21th, a couple of friends came for tea and it felt so nice, they stayed
for dinner. And the little quote of the day by Marcel Proust was actually appropriate

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy : they are the charming garderners
who make our souls blossom
Marcel Proust

On december 22th, I went with Monchéri to a fabulous flamenco concert, given
by musicians friends whom I must tell you about one day. I meant to be home by 1.30am
and left at 3am, but I so enjoyed it.
There was again a quote by Maya Angelou in the little box, that day:

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it !
Maya Angelou

On december 23rd, we had dinner at home with some of the musicians which
performed the night before. I happily spent the whole afternoon cooking in the kitchen.
The quote of the day was :

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering
'it will be happier'.
Alfred Tennyson

Today, december 24th, I had a wonderful lunch with Monchéri,
at my friend Rocio's restaurant. A late lunch in the sun, in the countryside.
As I am writing this post, I can listen to the band of the village playing in the street.
The quote of the day was:

Christmas, children is not a date. It is a state of mind.
Mary Ellen Chase.

And with this last quote, I wish you a very happy Christmas to you,
 my dear blogging friends and my dear readers
who follow me on this blog and on facebook

You are indeed one of my daily joys !

Peace and love to you
xx Lala

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pink pepper flavored dark chocolate truffles : a Pierre Hermé recipe for a grey monday

...and just for you because it's monday and a little chocolate can't hurt
here's the recipe of the pink pepper flavored dark chocolate truffles.

How can I describe the taste to you ? 

velvety...bittersweet.....and a surprising and very pleasant after taste
of pink pepper....
in short : a bite....and you are in heaven...or almost... 
Thank you Pierre Hermé ! juste pour vous parce qu'aujourd'hui, c'est lundi et qu'un peu
de chocolat ne peut pas faire de mal, voici la recette des truffes au
chocolat noir parfumées au poivre rose.

Comment vous décrire le goût de ces petites merveilles ?

velouté une note finale surprenante et très plaisante
de poivre rose....

en quelques mots : une bouchée et...vous êtes au paradis...ou presque...
Merci Pierre Hermé !

but better than words
mais mieux que des mots

and better than  images
et mieux que des images

Here is the recipe. It is an original recipe by Pierre Hermé. 
I just replaced the black pepper with pink pepper.

You need :
50g butter
330g of dark chocolate
15g of pink pepper
25cl of liquid cream
100g of pure cacao
1g of pink pepper in powder

Cut the butter in little pieces. Cut the chocolate in small squares.
Crush the pink pepper with a baking roll.

In a pan, pour the liquid cream, add the crushed pink pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover with aluminium foil and leave to rest for 10 mn.
Then sieve the mixture and pour the liquid cream again into the pan. Boil it again and
add the chocolate gradually, turning the mixture slowly with a wooden spoon constantly.
When all the chocolate has melt, add the butter.

Pour the ganache (the preparation) in a rectangular shallow tray (approx : 28 cm x 20 cm)
covered with non stick baking paper and put in the fridge for 2 hours.

Next, pour some cacao powder in a plate. Add the 1g of crushed pink pepper and mix.
Unmold the ganache and cut in small rectangles and start to make round truffles.
Cover them in cacao powder. Place the truffles in a box and keep in the fridge.

my tip : I mix 100g of very dark chocolate 85% cacao and 230g of dark chocolate 55% cacao

Voici la recette. C'est une recette originale de Pierre Hermé. 
J'ai juste remplacé le poivre noir par du poivre rose.

Vous avez besoin de :
50g de beurre
330g de chocolat noir amer
15g de poivre rose en grains
25cl de crème liquide
100g de cacao pur
1g de poivre rose moulu

Coupez le beurre à température ambiante en petits morceaux. Coupez le chocolat
en très petits morceaux. Broyez le poivre rose au rouleau pâtissier.

Dans une casserole, versez la crème liquide, ajoutez le poivre moulu et faites bouillir.
Couvrez avec du papier d'aluminium et laissez reposer pendant 10mn.
Puis passez la préparation au tamis et versez de nouveau la crème liquide dans la
casserole et faites bouillir de nouveau. Ajoutez petit à petit le chocolat sans cesser 
de tourner avec une spatule en bois. Lorsque tout le chocolat a fondu, ajoutez le beurre.

Versez la ganache dans un plat rectangulaire peu profond de 28 cm x 20 cm, recouvert
de papier sulfurisé et placez au réfrigérateur pendant 2 heures.

Ensuite, saupoudrez du cacao dans une assiette et mélangez avec le poivre rose moulu (1g).
Démoulez la ganache et découpez des petits carrés et donnez leur la forme de truffes.
Passez-les dans le mélange cacao et poivre rose moulu. Placez les truffes dans une boîte
et conservez au réfrigérateur.

mon petit truc : je mélange 100g de chocolat noir à 85% de cacao et 230g de chocolat noir à 55%

My Advent calendar : 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17!....

I ended last week busy translating and doing another Christmas market
last sunday and here I am again...late with my advent calendar boxes...
but in the end, it's also fun to open several boxes at the same time !


On thursday 13th, I was in Granada to deliver a couple of aprons and see some new shops
and the quote of that day said :

If I can't have too many truffles. I'll do without the truffles. Colette

On friday 14th, I translated all day and then went with Monchéri to see a puppet show of
a modern version of the Emperor's New Clothes tale. The quote that day was:

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama

On saturday 15th, I spent nearly all day baking in the kitchen and made pink pepper truffles
with dark chocolates to sell at the Christmas market in Nigüelas. Box 15 revealed one of my
favorites quotes by Nelson Mandela :

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Nelson Mandela

On sunday 16th, I woke up early to set up my cupcakes and chocolate truffles 
stall at the market in Nigüelas.
My friend Ana, next to me was selling her homemade mermelades.
 She made a new one with chilis, which is just to die for......
and the happy quote that day was :

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come and join us. Life is endlessly delicious. Ruth Reichl

ps : I'll come back in a minute with the recipe of the pink pepper and dark chocolate truffles....

oops : I'm thinking so intensely of the chocolate truffles that I forgot day 17..... is a grey monday here and I'm making an apron for a little girl and the quote 
lying in our little box today is :

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern is very simple:
loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that ?
Bob Hope

to see my Advent Calendar from Day 1, click here

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Advent Calendar.....8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 !

Incredible but yes I let 5 days pass by without posting my advent calendar.....
oh la la..I've been bad but too busy also may be...

 December 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12......
5 little boxes to open with a message inside....

On saturday morning, I woke up early to participate to a Christmas market, near the coast
(see my last post) and the quote that day made me smile:

Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put eat chocolate.
Now you'll get at least one thing done today. (Gina Hays)

Actually,  I did a lot of things that day except eating chocolate !

On sunday morning, I went back to the same Christmas market. The quote that day was :

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. Arthur Rubinstein.

On monday morning, I got a translation assignment due for this coming friday
and the quote of the day was :

Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Mother Teresa

On tuesday, I spent nearly the whole day translating and avoiding eating chocolate
and I loved the quote of the day:

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Maya Angelou

And today, I'm still translating, still avoiding to eat chocolate and interrupted my work
only to visit a musician friend and the quote of the day was :

Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours. Zig Ziglar.

In short....Viva la vida !

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Andalusia : a beautiful Christmas market at Palacete de Cazulas

Last week end, I took part to a beautiful Christmas market
at Palacete de Cazulas, on the coast near Almuñecar.

The antiguo molino was all dressed up to welcome visitors
who entered through this charming little entrance
and I let you discover the beautiful things which awaited them inside.

Le week end dernier, j'ai participé à un beau marché de Noël
au Palacete de Cazulas, sur la côte près d'Almuñecar.

L'ancien moulin a revêtu ses beaux atours pour accueillir les visiteurs
qui entraient par cette porte joliment décorée
et je vous laisse découvrir les belles choses qui les attendaient à l'intérieur.

Also, the wonderful thing is that we only needed to bring our products.
Brenda, the organizer set up tables for us, all covered in white which made things really easy.

Aussi, ce qui était merveilleux est que Brenda l'organisatrice avait déjà préparé des
tables toutes de blanc vêtues et nous n'avions que nos affaires à transporter.

divine Christmas cakes and mysterious pink liqueur

des divins gâteaux de Noël et des mystérieuses liqueurs roses

 pretty pink garlands 

de jolies guirlandes roses

 an invitation to a lavish picnic

une belle invitation à un pique-nique chic

 delicate ceramic of my Japanese friend, Saika

la céramique délicate de mon amie japonaise, Saika

 colorful happy Hawaian shirts from my friend Gym's shop

des chemises hawaiennes toutes pimpantes de la boutique de mon amie Gym

exquisite little knickers in silk and cotton handmade by Stephanie 
and yes, I must confess this was my fave stall of all !

de ravissantes petites culottes en soie et coton fait main par Stéphanie 
et oui, j'avoue que c'était mon stand préféré !

 I fell in love with that little pink and black one 
and took it home with me

j'ai eu le coup de foudre pour celle-ci en rose et noir 
qui est maintenant dans mes  tiroirs

 Stephanie is also a very talented milliner and when I wasn't busy on my stall,
I tried on all the hats and fascinators she had.....
I'm a hat person so it's a big temptation for me !

Stephanie est aussi une modiste très douée et quand je n'étais pas occupée sur mon stand,
je passais mon temps à essayer  tous les chapeaux et 'fascinators' sur son stand...
J'ai une tête à chapeau et c'est une tentation terrible pour moi !

 LOVE this one !

J'ADORE celui-ci !

 and here is my jewelry

et voici mes bijoux

 and this is me on my stall, with my aprons and stationary. 
et me voici sur mon stand, avec mes tabliers et mes articles de papeterie.

and of course, I can't finish this post without showing you the magnificent grounds
of Palacete de Cazulas.
First, let's begin with the private chapel

et bien sûr, je ne peux pas terminer ce post sans vous montrer le 
magnifique Palacete de Cazulas.
D'abord, je vous présente la chapelle privée

 the terrace and its pergolas

la terrasse et ses pergolas

 the pool

la piscine

 a detail of a door

un détail de porte

on the last day, Brenda and Richard, our wonderful hosts invited us for tea
and drinks inside their home, in the living room. 

le dernier jour, Brenda et Richard, nos merveilleux hôtes nous ont invités
à prendre un verre dans le salon de leur maison.

It felt so cosy, I didn't want to leave....

It's the first time, that Brenda and Richard organized a market and it was a great success,
so I hope they will do another one next year.....
You can see more on Palacete de Cazulas here
It's available for rent for weddings or holidays.
All I can tell you is it's a fabulous place !

C'était si accueillant et confortable que je n'avais pas envie de partir....

C'est la première fois que Brenda et Richard organisaient un marché et c'était très réussi,
alors j'espère qu'ils en feront un autre l'année prochaine....
Vous pouvez en voir plus sur le Palacete de Cazulas, ici.
Il est disponible à la location pour des mariages ou les vacances.
Tout ce que je peux vous dire, c'est que c'est un endroit fabuleux !

ps : I was so busy with the market that I neglected my Advent calendar posts.... I will have to catch up tomorrow !

ps : J'étais tellement occupée avec le marché que j'ai négligé
mes posts sur le Calendrier de l'Avent.... oops...
je me rattraperai demain !

Friday, December 7, 2012

Andalusia : meet me tomorrow at the Christmas market at the Palacete de Cazulas

I'm so pleased to take part to a Christmas market at this fabulous place,
the Palacete de Cazulas, this week end

Je suis très contente de participer à un marché de Noël
dans ce merveilleux endroit, le Palacete de Cazulas, ce week end

If you are in the area, please do come !
You can read all the instructions to get there here

Si vous êtes dans la région, n'hésitez pas à venir !
Vous pouvez lire les instructions en anglais pour vous y rendre ici

Christmas market at Palacete de Cazulas - Otivar
from 11 am to 4.30 pm
sat 8 & sun 9

Marché de Noël au Palacete de Cazulas - Otivar
de 11h00 à 16h30
sam 8 & dim  9

pic via the website of Palacete de Cazulas

Palacete de Cazulas
18698 Granada

My Advent calendar : Day 7

This morning I decorated our little bookroom,
with paper ornaments and it inspired me for the
setting of our little box of the day,  December 7th

Ce matin j'ai décoré notre petite bibliothèque
avec des ornements en papier et cela m'a inspiré
pour la présentation de notre petite boîte de ce jour, 7 décembre

It's the possibility of having a dream come true 
which makes life interesting.
Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist

C'est la possibilité de voir un rêve se réaliser 
qui rend la vie intéressante.
Paulo Coelho - l'Alchimiste

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Advent calendar : Day 6

a few pine cones and a dashing purple rooster
this is the setting I chose this morning to open
our little box of December 6th

quelques pommes de pin et un coq tout pimpant
c'est la déco que j'ai choisie ce matin pour 
ouvrir notre boîte du 6 décembre

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that 
happiness was the key to life. 
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be 
when I grow up. I wrote down 'happy'.
They told me I didn't understand the assignement 
and I told them, they didn't understand life.
John Lennon

À l'âge de 5 ans, ma mère me disait toujours que 
le bonheur était le secret de la vie.
Quand je suis allé à l'école, on m'a demandé 
ce que je voulais être plus tard.
J'ai écrit 'heureux'. On m'a dit que je n'avais pas compris le devoir 
et moi j'ai répondu qu'ils ne comprenaient pas la vie.
John Lennon

click here to see the advent calendar from Day 1
cliquez ici pour voir le calendrier de l'avent depuis le 1er jour

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Andalusia : my new aprons and reopening of my etsy shop

After what seems ages, I'm pleased to announce you that
 I finally reopened my etsy shop at long last !
I've put some of my new aprons in it and will add more next week....

Après ce qui paraît une éternité, je suis ravie de vous annoncer
que j'ai enfin réouvert ma boutique etsy....enfin !
J'y ai mis quelques nouveaux tabliers et en ajouterai d'autres la semaine prochaine....

 introducing the lollipop recycled jean apron.....
it's my current favorite. I even wear it outside on a skinny velvet jean

je vous présente le tablier-jupette lollipop en  jean recyclé.....
c'est mon favori du moment. Je le porte même dehors sur un jean skinny en velours

And I also made special prices for the Holiday so grab your apron !
It's a nice present for all the cooking fashionistas around.....

Et j'ai aussi fait des prix spéciaux pour cette période de fêtes alors
à vos tabliers ! C'est un joli cadeau pour toutes les fashionistas gourmandes....

My etsy shop here
and you can see the video of my apron and necklace fashion show
last october

Ma boutique etsy ici
et vous pouvez voir la vidéo de mon défilé de tabliers et colliers
en octobre dernier

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