Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #126 - EGGS ARE A COOK'S BEST FRIEND

- Nature's Perfect Food -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Lynne "Cafe Lynnylu" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Friday, April 18, 2014

HAZELNUT DATE TRUFFLES - TRUFFES AUX DATTES ET NOISETTES

Blossoms - Spring 2014
SPRING HAS SPRUNG
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
Winter is dead.
- A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
It’s official, spring is finally upon us! One must be a fool not to have witnessed nature’s boisterous reawakening. The signs are omnipresent and unless you live in a cave or you are deaf, dumb and blind (not in the medical sense, but in the spiritual one), it is quite impossible to miss them.

Yes, spring is here and there’s no denying it. From morning to evening the birds are chirping hysterically, trees are blossoming rapidly, a cacophony of lush flowers has invaded the lawns and meadows, the air smells of honey and mowed grass, market stalls are looking more vibrant than ever, afternoon temperatures flirt with the twenties (celsius), the mountains are losing their snow, warm sunshine graces our skin again, the longer days have arrived and most of us are struggling with seasonal fatigue or hay fever.

Spring drew on...and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.
- Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Something in the air this morning made me feel like flying...
- Eileen Granfors, And More White Sheets: An expanded text edition
I find this time of the year quite thrilling, revitalizing and inspiring as once more life takes over and grim darkness, decay and silence is supplanted by bright light, joyfullness, efflorescence and excitement. After an extensive period of hibernation, suddenly each living being, without exception, is shaken from its torpor and fuelled with new energy.

Hen - Spring 2014
Spring, the season of transformation and resurrection, revives our hopes and dreams, blows away our fears as well as doubts and brings positive change in our existence. It is a fresh beginning for us all and like a phoenix that has risen from the ashes, we are ready to take a leap into the unknown, conquer the world and discover unexplored horizons.

I, myself am no stranger to the sheer euphoria that takes hold of us humans when we turn over the third page of the calendar, spot the very first primrose or hear the melodious morning song of blackbirds. As soon as the vernal equinox occurs, I become as restless and impatient as a small child on Christmas Eve and I cannot wait for the big transition to happen.


Unfortunately, the blooming period is ephemeral - I am always surprised by how fast things go and how soon summer arrives - and the tender and luxurious colors of spring are fastly replaced by dark shades of green. This is the reason why I try to be mindfully attentive to my surroundings and fully savor every single moment that is offered to me…


Easter Eggs - Spring 2014
En tout être comme en toute chose se côtoient et s’imbriquent Lumière et Ténèbres. Dans une datte que vous croquez, la chair nourrit votre corps, mais le goût suave et le parfum et la couleur nourrissent votre esprit. La Lumière qui est en vous se nourrit de beauté et de connaissance, songez à la nourrir sans arrêt, ne vous contentez pas de gaver le corps.
- Amin Maalouf, Les Jardins De Lumière
Speaking of time passing fastly, Easter is once again upon us and I hope that you all have wonderful plans for the long weekend ahead. Well, in case you still don’t know what treat or snack to prepare for the April celebrations, you might be interested in giving my “Hazelnut Date Truffles” a try.

These refined bites are easy to prepare (a real lifesaver) and aside from tasting divine and being addictive, they are also healthy (no guilty conscience here!) - this is a perfect after dinner or teatime nibble, especially if you have been eating rich food all day long.


Hopefully you'll attempt to make them as they are an absolute crowd pleaser (even kids love them) and besides, this recipe is highly adaptable (extra fun in the kitchen)...

Hazenut Date Truffles
Hazelnut Date Truffles
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, April 2014.

Makes about 16-20 truffles.

Ingredients:
1 1/3 Cup (about 22) Pitted & chopped Medjool dates
2/3 Cups (80g) Toasted Hazelnuts (or any other nut of your choice)
1 Tbs Whisky (or water)
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
3 Tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for coating the truffles
A pinch fine sea sealt
1/4 Cup (45g) Small chocolate (dark, milk or white) chunks/drops

Method:
1. Put the dates, hazelnuts, whisky and vanilla in a food processor and run until a fine and sticky paste forms.
2. Add the cocoa powder and sea salt and pulse a few more times.
3. Incorporate the chocolate chunks/drops.
4. Shape into 2.5 cm (1 inch) balls and coat with cocoa powder.

Date Truffles - Poem
Remarks:
Add a little water (or whisky) if the paste is too dry and crumbly, or add a little cocoa powder if the paste is too wet and sticky.
The whisky can be replaced by water or any other alcohol of your choice.
Flavoring Options (add at the same time as the cocoa powder): 1 tsp finely grated orange zest or 1 tsp instant espresso powder or 1 tsp ground cinnamon or a pinch ground tonka beans or 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder.
These truffles can be made 1 week ahead and they must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Serving suggestions:
Serve the truffles (at room temperatures) with a small glass of liquor or a good cup of coffee.

Hazenut Date Truffles
Truffes Aux Dattes Et Aux Noisettes

Recette par Rosa Mayland, avril 2014.

Pour environ 16-20 truffes.


Ingrédients:

22 Dattes Medjool dénoyautées et hachées 
80g de Noisettes torréfiées (ou tout autre noix de votre choix) 
1 CS de Whisky (ou d'eau)
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure 
3 CS de Cacao en poudre non-sucré, et plus pour enrober les truffes 
Une pincée de sel de mer fin 
45g de Chocolat (noir, au lait ou blanc) coupé en petits cubes ou de pépites de chocolat

Méthode: 

1. Mettre les dates, les noisettes, le whisky et la vanille dans un mixeur et les broyer assez finement afin d'obtenir une pâte collante et fine. 
2 . Ajouter le cacao et le sel, puis mixer encore un peu. 
3 . Incorporer les pépites de chocolat.
4 . Façonner en boules d'environ 2,5 cm et les enrober de poudre de cacao.

Easter Eggs - Spring 2014
Remarques: 
Ajouter un peu d'eau (ou de whisky) si la pâte est trop sèche et friable, ou ajouter un peu de poudre de cacao si la pâte est trop humide et collante.
Le whisky peut être remplacé par de l'eau ou tout autre alcool de votre choix. 
Vous pouvez aussi arômatiser vos truffes avec 1 CC de zeste d'orange finement râpé ou 1 CC de café en poudre (instantané) ou 1 CC de cannelle en poudre ou une pincée de fève tonka râpée ou 1/2 CC de piment chipotle poudre.
Ces truffes peuvent être fabriquées 1 semaine à l'avance et elles doivent être entreposées au réfrigérateur, dans un contenant hermétique. 

Suggestion d'accompagnement: 
Servir les truffes (à température ambiante) avec un petit verre de liqueur ou une bonne tasse de café.

Hazenut Date Truffles

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #125 - NOURISHING THE BODY AND SOUL

Hazelnut Date Truffles & Whisky
-  Indulgence -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Sanhita at "Pocket Full Of Spices" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #124 - WHISKY AND CHOCOLATE

Whisky & Chocolate
- A Classy Pairing -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Haalo at "Cook Almost Anything" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #123 - PRECIOUS

- Fresh Za'atar (Wild Thyme) From Palestine -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Simona at "Briciole" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #122 - WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU MANDARINES...

Mandarins - Still Life
- Tangerine Dreams -

This picture was submitted to
"Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Lynne at "Cafe Lynnylu" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).