Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris : Les Vendredis Francophones

Quand l’adorable Mihl a décidé enfin de me rendre visite l’année dernière elle n’est pas venue les mains vides!  Parmi les trésors qu’elle a gentiment apportés avec elle  à travers l’Europe (ou bien, de l’Allemagne jusqu’à chez moi en Aquitaine) se trouvait un sachet de jolies baies de berbéris!  Elle en parle souvent et les utilise dans ses pâtisseries, donc j’avais hâte de les découvrir.  Vous ne connaissez pas les berbéris?  Allez faire un tour chez wiki pour plus amples infos sur ces petites baies acidulées pardi!

Une fois les berbéris en ma possession, que faire avec ces petits rubis comestibles?  Je n’étais pas en manque d’idées, et le plus dur était de me décider, ce que je fit enfin!

Il faut dire que nous avons beaucoup de choses en commun, Mihl et moi, parmi lesquelles nos chers souvenirs d’enfance avec nos grand-mères respectives.  Je voulais donc essayer de leur faire honneur avec cette recette, inspirée par mon arrière-grand-mère.  Ces sablés sont  sophistiqués dans leur subtilité, avec un mélange de textures surprenant, entre le croustillant du sablé sucré et les baies séchées acidulées.  La poudre de noisette ajoute une touche d’amertume qui joue avec la délicate douceur du sucre roux qui les entoure…si vous n’avez pas de baies de berbéris, des “cranberries” séchées non-sucrées feront l’affaire.

Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris

Pour 40 biscuits environ

2 c. à café Ener-G (pour remplacer 2 oeufs)

2 c. à soupe d’eau

175 g beurre végétal (St. Hubert Bio), ramolli

2 c. à café de jus de citron

1 c. à café essence vanille

180 g de sucre glace tamisé

300 g de farine ménagère

2 c. à soupe Maïzena

1 c. à soupe levure chimique (un sachet de 11 g)

120 g de noisettes en poudre

110 g de baies de berbéris (ou cranberries séchées)

4 c. à soupe de sucre roux

1) Dans un grand saladier mélanger la farine, la maïzena, la levure chimique et la poudre de noisettes à l’aide d’une grosse cuillère.

2) Fouettez l’eau avec l’Ener-G à l’aide d’un mixeur électrique jusqu’à ce que ça mousse, 3 ou 4 minutes environ.

3) Dans un autre saladier, travaillez en crème le sucre glace et le beurre jusqu’à ce que le mélange blanchisse.  Ajoutez l’Ener-G, le jus de citron et la vanille en continuant de battre pour obtenir une pâte homogène et très légère.

4) Incorporez le mélange de farine, petit à petit, puis les baies.  Divisez la pâte en deux.

5) Etalez la moitié du sucre roux sur une feuille de papier aluminium d’une trentaine de cm long.  Farinez vos mains, et avec un des pâtons, formez une bûche ronde de 20 cm (si votre pâte est trop molle, malaxez-la avec un peu de farine, elle sera plus facile à manipuler).

6) Roulez doucement la bûche dans le sucre roux afin de bien garnir son extérieur.  Enveloppez-la ensuite dans une feuille d’aluminium en fermant les extrémités en papillote.  Faites pareil avec votre deuxième pâton, puis, laissez-les reposer au frigo pendant deux heures.

7) Préchauffez le four à 175°c et préparez 2 plaques de cuisson avec des silplats ou du papier sulfurisé.  Retirez l’aluminium et détaillez chaque bûche en tranches de 10 mm.  Si vous ne pouvez pas couper votre pâte facilement, mettez-la au congélateur pendant 15 minutes, puis réessayez.

8) Enfournez les biscuits pendant 13 à 15 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient fermes et dorés en dessous.  Laissez-les tiédir 5 minutes avant de les mettre à refroidir sur une grille.

Miam!

Un très beau cadeau…

My lovely friend Robin of Robin In Reality has sent me the most wonderful package!

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Really I should thank her dear son “Fritz”, he chose my name in a little drawing Robin had over at her blog. I’m really going to have to thank that cute little guy!

I was so thrilled to check the mail box and find something special and totally unexpected (I knew I’d won, but had no idea Robin had sent my gift yet.). The package included huckleberry-flavoured tea and coffee, two vegan snack bars and a hand-knit scarf! Robin knew I wanted to try something huckleberry-esque, because I never have before. I’d heard of them, but had yet to taste them. I haven’t tried the tea yet, but the coffee was just yummy as can be.

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I can’t wait to try these Bumble Bars! They are organic, vegan and gluten-free! Is Robin sweet or what?

But I must admit, this is my favourite part of the package :

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Here we have Guppy graciously modeling my new scarf! It’s so soft and beautiful, I just love it! Thank you so much Robin for the lovely gift, and what wonderful timing you have, because I really needed something to brighten my day. I also just love the fact that both my mother and myself now have scarves made by Robin – even though we have never met! The Internet, making the world smaller, one blog post at a time!

I’d also like to thank everyone for the sweet comments and emails you’ve sent. This blog is a sacred space, and I try to keep it as happy and creative as I can. Your friendship and support have meant so much to me – I’d never imagined such an outpouring of solidarity and compassion could come from my little blog. Thank you.

Here’s to more happy posts!

A Very “Cool” Gift : The Vegan Scoop

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I’m a gleeful little Shellyfish today because I’ve just received a copy of the brand-spanking new The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream That Tastes Better Than The Real Thing” by Wheeler Del Torro, Founder and Owner of Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert Company.

So here’s the really, really cool part – the super-cool Amanda of Gemusings sent me this sweet sweet New England love! That’s right, Wheeler’s yummy ice cream has been for me (and for many others) out of reach – because well, there’s that Atlantic Ocean in the way and all…but I was a lucky ducky in Amanda’s drawing. I just love Amanda’s blog, she’s always got the cutest critters and blogs about the New England area in the United States – an area I find so exotic sounding! I’m so happy that she’s become a friend over the past few months.

The Vegan Scoop

The book itself is a glossy scoop of eye-candy with 9 mouth-watering chapters. It’s beautifully photographed, a real pleasure just to sit down and look at the amazing frosty creations. I’ve not yet had time to properly ogle over the pages, but I’ve already dressed a list of things I can’t wait to make, including : Mojito Sorbet, Lavender, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Key Lime, Black Currant Tea, Toffee, Green Tea, Sweet Curry Coconut…ok, you get the idea. There are even chapters on “Ice Cream Vessels and Sauces” and “Ice Cream Sides and Desserts”!

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and…

Ice2

and…

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and…
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Now all I need is an ice cream maker! Amanda has a great mini-review here if you’re in the U.S. I couldn’t help but look at Ebay France earlier, you know, just to see…actually Monsieur Fish is a big fan of sorbet (raspberry in particular), so I might have to suggest to him how wonderful it would be if I could make him some of these delicious recipes…you know, for him.

And I almost forgot! Amanda included some delicious dark chocolate!

Coastline Choco

Salt chocolate! One of my favourite kinds of chocolate. It’s only an occasional indulgence, but oh so heavenly! Thank you again, Amanda. You were already such a generous member of The 60-Day Project, and now this! It really means so much to me.

W.I.P. Wednesday : Meet May’s featured Wipster, Carmen!

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I’m very excited to present May’s featured Wipster, Carmen, who blogs at About a girl… Carmen was one of many unexpected blessings that grew from my accident. A fellow runner, she left me some very encouraging words when I really needed them – thanks again! After a visit to her blog I found we had more in common than just our love of running, and I’ve been a regular reader ever since.

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A super-cute doll by Carmen

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Super-Knitting Skillz!

Carmen is a Canadian crafting Mamma, and she is one of my knitting heros – she can knit socks! That is so rock and roll in the crafting world! I hope I someday get to hang out with Carmen so she can teach me how to get crazy with the knitting needles, but for now, I give you Carmen in her own words…

I think my crafty bone comes from two sources. My Mom, who was an artist (an oil painter) and studied art, and therefore raised me doing all sorts of craft adventures – we sold fleece mitts and origami bird earrings at community hall craft sales to name a couple. But, I was surrounded by her personal craftiness – quilting, sewing, knitting (she even owned a knitting machine!). The second source would be my Art class I took in Grade 12. I had a spot open for an extra option and thought, what the heck, I’ll try art. That decision moved me from following the sciences to heading to an Art College. I studied photography, drawing, screen printing, and acrylic painting for five years. I let all of it slide until my daughter was born, in 2007. Being at home with her I wanted to take the opportunity to learn new things and get back to my artsy roots (I work in the Oil & Gas Industry). I took two cake decorating classes, re-took up knitting, took a crochet class, and have recently started quilting. I love it. I hope I can inspire my kids the same way my Mom inspired me.

Five Random Facts About Carmen:

1. I live in the same city I was born, and in practically the same neighborhood. I have lived two other places (one being East Africa) but I always knew the prairies were my home.
2. I have played music since the age of 3 and have my Grade 12 in piano in Royal Conservatory. I grew up playing duets in the church with my Mom, and hated doing music festivals or competitions.
3. I am addicted to Starbucks. I have at least one latte a day. Usually a Chai or a Caramel Macchiato.
4. I am turning 30 this year and I’m not scared about it. I’m very happy with where I’m at in life. I did have a hard time turning 25 though, not sure why.
5. One of the most interesting places I have travelled is Japan. I would still love to go to Thailand, New Zealand and Australia. Oh and Ireland too. Mind you, I could probably add alot of other places to that list. There you go, I love to travel!

Thanks so much to Carmen for opening up and sharing some of her craftiness! Is there a creative blogger out there you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Just email me or leave me a comment and we’ll try and get them on the featured Wipster list!

Little update : In last week’s W.I.P. Wednesday post I told you about the Tie One On Aprons – well Amy’s got the gallery up. Go check it out if you’re looking to be inspired!

I have some major blog reading & post writing to catch up on this week – including updates on the 60-Day Project, Guppy’s birthday and more!

Have you managed to get any lingering W.I.P.s finished up? Whatever your works-in-progress, have a crafty week, and don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are up to, and to check out our W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool, too.

Jessy’s Butter Bean Burgers & a 60-Day Project Update

You 60-Day Project People are all just amazing! I can hardly keep up with all your generosity! Huge thank yous go out to: Maria Rose of Little Things Are Big, Sophie of Her Heart, My Hands, Amanda of Walking The Vegan Line, Carmen of About a Girl, Jessy of Happyveganface, Meg of Becoming Whole and Amanda of Gemusings! It would be impossible to show you all how grateful I am for you and your helping my mother’s 60th birthday the best yet! I’d also like to wish Maria Rose a very happy (late) birthday (again)!

If I could, I would make you all delicious and healthy veggie burgers like these :

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I regularly sing the praises of Jessy’s culinary creations, but have I told you how amazing all her burger recipes are? A few of us are trying to convince her she needs to write a Veggie Burger cookbook, because she is just so talented!

Jessy’s Butter Bean Burgers recipe is easy and delicious and everyone agreed they were fabulous! We ate them with regular buns and “the works”, and the next day the left-over patties were a fun lunch just served on a bed of fresh baby cabbage leaves. If you’re ever in a slump and you’re not sure what to make for dinner, head over to Jessy’s most excellent recipe index – you’ll find the inspiration you need to get your dinner on!

Now I really need to get cracking on Guppy’s brithday gifts…I have less than two weeks to get things done! She’s going to be 4! Aaarrrk!

I’m feeling so special!

The 60-Day Project has gotten off to a delicious start!

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Look at those phenomenally-gorgeous mini-cupcakes that the dear Maggie of Dog Hill Kitchen made for my mum, aka Mammafish! Not only did Maggie put love, time and genuine effort into this sweet birthday gift, but she delivered them personally to my mother! I know not everyone lives close enough to bring her something sweet – heaven knows I can’t - and when Maggie said she was up for a “special delivery” I was just giddy with excitement. She even made them vegan! She also threw in a jar of her homemade quince jam made with organic quince from her father-in-law’s garden! Talk about an extended-family affair! Maggie’s got the recipe for the Strawberry-Topped Vegan Lemon Mini-Cupcakes up on her blog if you want to make some for your mother (or for yourself!).

Thanks again, Maggie! You are a real friend, and you made my mother’s (and father’s) day!

Riding the high from knowing how well this first surprise went and hearing the joy in my mother’s voice over the telephone, I stumbled upon two other (much less important) surprises! My humble little blog got two very special mentions this weekend and I’m feeling so snazzy-pants about it!

Erik Marcus featured my Vegan Spinach Pasta from the March Daring Bakers Challenge on Vegan.com! I must admit, I was feeling a little sparkly!

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And the Feeling Stitchy blog gave a special mention to my Little Bear which I literally just happened upon. I clicked on the blog and began scrolling down and was like, “hey, that bear looks like mine…it is mine!”. How flattering!

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I obviously wish that I had come up with this cute little bear, but anyone can stitch themselves one! Just visit Hillary Lang’s Wee Wonderfuls blog, and you can score yourself a free pattern, too!

We’re about to begin an exciting week! April is just a few days away, Friday is my mother’s birthday and I’m feeling really excited about getting gifty-projects ready  for Easter and Guppy’s birthday. Have a great week!