Wild Blackberry Jam

Come beginning of spring, I get antsy like a squirrel in front of its depleting nuts reserve : the count down to September starts as it is only then when I will be able to make a fresh batch of blackberry jam. You’ll think, why tease us with a recipe we won’t be able to make before another 5 to 6 months ? Well, because there is preliminary work to be done ! Finding your wild blackberry spots is the name of the game : you want them accessible enough not to get too many scratches in the process, but hidden enough not to be within everybody’s reach; sunny enough so that you can get beautiful ripe fruits, but not overexposed for they would get dry; also, make a mental note to pray for some rain, to get juicy fruits… Once nature played its part, you can play yours. This is how it goes :

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Pate à choux & éclairs

Key takeaway of this pastry class from yesterday : if your nerd in school, a nerd always you’ll be. Here I was scribbling notes on the side of the recipe sheet that was handed over to us, and asking all kinds of questions… imagine my joy when I realized I was heading home with homework : empty choux to fill with the pastry cream 🙂

But first things first, as a respectable nerd, I’m sharing my notes for those who skipped the class. Then I’ll submit myself to the hardest jury one can think of : mother-in-law and husband will assess my work…

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Gingerbread ou pain d’épices

If you are a purist, and you’re not famished, you will allow the dough to rest 3 weeks to 6 months before finalizing your gingerbread. This is how it is supposed to be traditionally prepared. If you’re stuck in a snow storm and hungry as it is my case today, you can also get it done in 1 hour.

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Chocolate mousse baked like a cake

Who said your life will never be the same when you have kids (understand the fun is over) and it will start the second you’re pregnant and you can kiss chocolate mousse bye bye ?

Here we are proving those Debbie downers wrong on all fronts in one weekend. Reporting from the mountains where our 2 year old has become the king of the bunny slope, our baby tags along seamlessly and we’ve had a jolly time with pregnant friends savoring chocolate mousse.

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Cheese soufflé

Punctuality is the King’s politeness and that of the soufflé eater as well ! In other words, when your better half prepares a soufflé do her the courtesy of being on time at dinner. This will give her a chance to boast for the 5 minutes the soufflé will be risen !

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Grilled almonds : quick and easy

Have you heard of the chamallow test ? It’s designed to assess kid’s ability to resist an immediate temptation in pursue of a greater satisfaction but later on. Well, I can tell you my better half fails this test almost on a daily basis, when, after a long and grueling day at work, he comes home to wolf down a bag a industrial pretzel before he gets to taste that delicious dinner I made for him. And it’s bugging me. I feels almost cheated on by this pretzel bag. So in a very “adapt or die” move, I decided I will prepare nibbles, quick and easy, and he’s snacking before dinner will not be cheating anymore.

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Sweet potato cakes

Taste works in mysterious ways ! All my childhood and still now, I heard my mum wonder why I did not like beetroots despite their sweetness. I, personally, feel they taste like dirt… There are a few, but still some, ingredients that are on my blacklist. And looking at this list I wonder if I’m fit to live in the US because cinnamon and sweet potato had been blacklisted for some time already… See, I never was too big a fan of the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and their mashy texture. But to keep an open mind I kept trying and here is at last a recipe to make them to my taste !

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