Personal: Things on My Mind

What have you been doing/watching/reading/visiting/making this fall? Please share! I’m always looking for new things to try.

Here is a glimpse into some of what I’ve been up to lately.

  1. Recently watched: Call My Agent (French, set in Paris), The Great British Baking Show (who can resist Paul Hollywood?), Sex and The City (started from the pilot episode, makes me want to to to New York), Kid90 (Soleil Moon Frye’s documentary), Mixte (French), Maid (based on the autobiography), this short video by Sadeck Waff for the Paris 2024 Olympics (watch more of his work – it’s mesmerizing!) – and I’d recommend all of them!
  2. Recently read: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez, The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi – I’d recommend all of these books!
  3. Recently played: The John Derion Painter’s Palette puzzle, Globe & Mail Saturday crossword (one of my favourite things to do over the weekend)
  4. Recently visited: The Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain (I’m already eager to return. My nearly-back-to-normal sprained ankle, back, and skin felt so good.
  5. Recently purchased: an incredible antique Italian armoire (absolutely stunning – my office design dream is slowly coming true)
  6. Recently made: NYT plum torte (so good that I made it twice in two weeks!), slow roasted chicken and garlic (a hit for a crowd), Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp and orzo (eaten warm rather than room temp)
A completed Globe & Mail crossword is so satisfying!

Two for Tuesday: Structured Curves

Sorry about that little technical hiccup with yesterday’s announcement post. I thought the solution was going to be much more time consuming than it was, but my web host Namespro worked magic and resolved my tech issue quickly. I have been a loyal Namespro customer for many years now (too many to count), and I am always grateful for their service (which is always explained very clearly, I might add). Anyhow, I’m back in blogging action, which makes me happy.

So here we go with today’s potentially surprising duo.

dress (currently sold out)

cake, Hint of Vanilla

Food: Vanilla Danish Cookies

A couple of years ago,¬†I learned about Danish¬†chef Trine Hahnemann¬†as I was¬†munching on some simple¬†vanilla cookies that a friend made from Trine’s recipe. The little white¬†rings are full of goodness¬†– they’re¬†perfectly sized¬†and have¬†just enough¬†sweetness.

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I didn’t make them in time for Christmas, but I did bake a batch in time for my family’s New Year’s Day feast.

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before –¬†little ring cookies ready for the oven

Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-2Trine-hahnemann-danish-cookies-White-Cabana-1after: little ring cookies ready to be eaten

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Trine Hahnemann’s Vanilla Danish Butter Cookies

375 g butter
250 g sugar
1 egg
2 vanilla pods
500 g plain flour

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating.
3. Split the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Stir them into the flour.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. (I knead the dough a little bit so everything sticks together.)
5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill for (at least) two hours.
6. Preheat the oven to¬†200¬įC (I¬†set mine at 390¬įF).
7. Roll the dough into very thin sausages about fix or six centimetres long. Curl each on into a ring and press the ends firmly together.
8. Place rings on a parchment-lined baking tray (I put the trays in the fridge for a few minutes before putting them in the oven. This helps them keep their small ring shape).
9. Bake for about eight minutes (I baked mine for about 6 minutes.)
10. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
11. Store the cookies in an airtight container and do not mix them with other types of cookies or they will go soft.

*Instead of converting the measurements into cups and tablespoons, I used a scale and weighed each of the ingredients.

Thanks to Emmy for teaching me about these delicious Danish cookies. Recipe via Red (original recipe is in The Scandinavian Cookbook). Photos by me.

In the Kitchen: Blythe’s Blueberry Muffins

One of the first recipes I tried after my friend¬†Johanne gave me Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter a few years ago was¬†Blythe’s blueberry muffins. I have been making them ever since because they’re so darn good and easy!

I recently gave them a try using my KitchenAid stand mixer. I didn’t really need to use the mixer, but I wanted to because I love it. Here’s how things turned out.

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prepping the mini muffin tins

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prepping the KA mixer

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prepping the ingredients

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mixing everything together

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fresh blueberry mini muffins – just in time for breakfast!

Here’s the recipe taken from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter:

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs (preferably organic)*
1/2 cup whole milk*
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided**
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

*I use whatever milk and eggs I have in my fridge.
**I always forget about the extra sugar, and I tend to under measure the sugar, especially in muffin recipes.

Directions

Heat oven to 375¬į. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners*. Whisk butter, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients***; fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; spring with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

*I often use mini muffin tins, and I think I can usually get 24 mini muffins and 8 regular sized muffins with one batch of the recipe.
**I threw everything in the mixer at almost the same time, and the muffins still baked perfectly.

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