No-Bake Recipe

No-Bake Recipe

Julia Child said it best, “A party without cake is really just a meeting.”

Well Julia, that’s easy for you to say. For the rest of us inept bakers, turning mere ingredients into an edible and photo-worthy creation is nothing short of a miracle.

If you find yourself wondering what to do with all of those extra summer berries or any other lonely ingredients left over from your 4th of July celebrations, look no further!

Unfortunately, I am not skilled in the way of cake baking. A cake eating expert, definitely. I’m always 100% successful in that area. And pie, I can manage, as was shared in last week’s post. But cake, not so much…le sigh.

So… much to your reading disappointment, I have no tips on how to make your cake the fluffiest or how to make adorable decorations out of frosting. I do, however, have a picture of one good lookin’ cake in one remarkably appealing display. *See the miracle below.

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Luckily for you, we happen to offer many marble selections here at Couleur Nature & Caravan Home. You are quite literally a click away (maybe four… if we’re being realistic) from becoming the proud new owner of these beautifully hand-crafted marble pieces. Even better news is that we have them in stock. The cake is not included.

  For all you bakers out there, you can now create the perfect backdrop to showcase your culinary skills. However, if you lack the cake baking gene like I do, you’re in luck. I have created a list of suitable alternatives to allow you to utilize our marble serveware in all its glory without subjecting your guests to any baking failures. You’re welcome.

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You’ll have to use your imagination in picturing some of the following suggestions as I apparently lack the photography gene as well. Though, I’m sure that Pinterest could be a pretty good resource here. 

  • Create a centerpiece by arranging the extra summer fruit that I mentioned earlier.
  • Display a variety of candles for a little dining ambiance. Oh-so-fancy.
  • Wow your guests by providing an assortment of your favorite bread and cheese spread.  *No baking required.
  • Channel your inner chef and arrange olive oils and other cooking necessities in your kitchen. If you don’t use any of those items, plants might be a better option.
  • Showcase delicate perfume bottles, soaps and hand towels for your guest bath.

If all else fails, keep a trusty baker on speed dial for any unforeseen hostess emergencies and because…well…cake.

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MISS AMERICAN PIE

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Miss American Pie

Who doesn’t love America? Well, probably some people but that’s a topic for a

different author.

What’s not to love? When I think of America, I typically think of the following: baseball,

apple pie, celebrations of all kinds… and that one liberating benefit, freedom. See what I

did there?

People have been coming to America, the land of opportunity, for centuries. For many, it

meant beginning a new life with a bright hope for the future. With Independence Day

quickly approaching, it makes me appreciate America’s finest qualities for which I am

grateful.

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As I was jotting down ideas for this blog post, it occurred to me that the Statue of

Liberty was gifted to America from the French as a symbol of freedom and democracy.

Voila! We here at Couleur Nature are very into all things French and it seems oh-so-

appropriate to mention this fact.

I continued searching for inspiration and was hoping to find some fun and fresh

ideas for entertaining that I could share with you. However I could not get apple pie out

of my mind. What could be more American than apple pie?! As it turns, out…a lot of

things are more American. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. Apple pie originated in parts of

Europe and we can thank the French for introducing the lattice-style crust. It eventually

made its way to North America in the early 17 th century. We have since adopted it as

America’s favorite dessert. But is anything truly American? We all immigrated here from

somewhere else and have brought with us culture, food, and traditions to be shared.

With that being said, I have a marvelous apple pie recipe from my family that I

would like to share with you. I’m not entirely sure which continent it actually derived from,

but my family hails from Ireland and according to my research, the apple pie did not.

Either way, here it is for you to enjoy on this most patriotic of days.

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My Grandma’s Apple Pie

Use with your favorite pie crust recipe because I can‘t do all the work for you! (But really,

it’s because I don’t have hers.) Just be sure to make enough for two crusts.

Ingredients:

6 medium apples sliced thin

Granny Smith and Golden Delicious

I use three of each because the Golden Delicious are very sweet and soft, while the

Granny Smith provides a little more bite.

¼ cup of brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp butter

* Preheat oven to 450˚

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix. Pour dry ingredients over apples

and turn over gently to coat all the apples.

Add mixture to pastry lined pie plate. Perhaps a red, white and blue one would be fitting?

Dot filling with the 2 tbsp butter

Cover filling with a layer of rolled pastry dough (If you want to get fancy, make a French

lattice-style top)

Brush top with cream (I use half/half)

Sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture (3 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon)

Cooking Time:

Bake for 10 minutes at 450˚

Turn temperature down to 375˚ and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes

Let pie cool to room temperature before serving

There you have it! Originally American or not, this pie will taste just perfect à la mode

and with a side of freedom. Happy 4 th of July!

If any of you have any recipes to share, I would love to feature them in future blog posts

for Couleur Nature & Caravan Home!

The Story of Lemonade: Slightly Sweet, Slightly Sour

Lemon Tree

Via AGypsyChef

 

Why are we talking about lemons? Because it’s summertime, folks! A time for enjoying backyard barbecues accompanied by the sweet, succulent taste of homemade lemonade, perfectly paired with our vibrant  Lemon Tree Linen Collection.

 

Couleur Nature Lemon Tree Linen Collection

 

With it’s incredibly simple nature, you’d think that lemonade would be a pretty universal drink. Not so! Here in North America, as we know so well, lemonade is often a homemade drink made with lemons, water, and a little (or a lot) of sugar. There’s also pink lemonade, but we’ll talk about that later. However, in the UK, and a few other English speaking countries, lemonade commonly refers to a commercially produced, lemon flavored, carbonated, sweetened soft drink. In other words, its like our 7-Up and Sierra Mist. In India, lemonade may also contain salt, ginger juice, or other herbs and spices like saffron, garlic, and cumin. And then there’s hard lemonade, for those of you who like a little lemonade in their alcohol.

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Tasty Tuesday: 6 Secrets for French Baguettes

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

Growing up, I had the good fortune of living nearby a little hole-in-the-wall bakery, which made the best baguettes I ever knew (well, apart from the ones in Paris). My mother told me they would wake up at the crack of dawn everyday to start baking, and as soon as they opened their doors to let the people in, the baguettes would start flying off the counter. The crust of their baguettes was perfectly golden and crunchy, but the interior was smooth as silk and so, so soft!

French Baguettes

Via Mister J Photography@Flickr

Every bakery has its own secrets for making its bread, and French baguettes are no exception. But I’ve gathered 6 key points of any good baguette recipe to share with you, so you too can have a try at making your own delicious baguettes! Good baguettes definitely take a while to make, and this recipe is no exception (it takes at least 8 hours–but don’t worry, most of the time is for letting the dough sit around), but I promise the results are worth the wait! The recipe I use has been adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, with a little tweak in the baking process.

Secret #1:        The Right Flour

Sure, you could go ahead and use regular All-Purpose flour, but the closer you can get to that Parisian ideal of crispy, chewy perfection–well, the happier you’ll be. The French typically use Type 55 flour for their baguettes, which has a lower protein content than All-Purpose flour (usually 11.5% protein). I know that’s not found in your standard supermarket, but you can buy it online from King Arthur Flour. (There’s also a math formula for making a substitute from various flours but I never really fancied math.)

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Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Normandy

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

Chicken Normandy

Via SimplyRecipes

We’ve done roosters in French Country style, roosters in home decor, and so this week’s feature recipe is–you guessed it–Chicken Normandy!

Chicken Normandy, of course, comes from the French region of Normandie, famous for its cream, butter, cheeses, their exclusive Bresse chickens, and its apples! Their Calvados, or apple brandy, is especially delicious, sold everywhere from people’s cellar doors.

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Tasty Tuesday: Croques, Monsieurs et Madames?

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

 

I admit, I’ve never really liked ham and cheese sandwiches.

 

But I guess I just never had the right kind.

 

That is, until now.

Croque Monsieur

Via Confections of a Foodie Bride

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Tasty Tuesdays: The Classic French Pear Tart

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

 

French Pear and Almond Tart

Via Nook & Pantry

 

Today’s feature is on a classic French pastry, the pear tart. It’s a staple in patisseries all over France. But, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult at all to make from scratch! The recipe we used this week is from Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking From My Home to Yours and Around the French Table.

 

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not very partial to eating anything with cooked fruit (except blackberry pie), but I might have to reconsider that after having tried this pear tart! Every bite is a piece of heaven, and what makes it even better is that it is fairly easy to make.

 

The recipe is very versatile too–if you’re not a pear person, feel free to substitute it with peaches, apricots, or apples. Even more convenient is that you can use fresh, poached, or even canned pears in the tart (yes, even French women tend to use canned pears for this!). I opted for the poached pears (if you’ve never poached fruit before, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at it), but you really can’t go wrong with any of the options. This is a wonderful recipe for fall and winter, as there are still an abundance of pears about in the frosty season.

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Fig Newtons

Welcome to Couleur Nature’s Tasty Tuesday, a weekly feature on a French recipe—with tantalizing pictures to accompany!

I remember some summers at my grandmother’s house, she would have figs lying out on tables to dry. It was quite the mouthwatering sight: rows and rows of plump figs sitting out in the hot summer sun for days at a time.

Recently I’ve had the luxury of a enjoying a fresh fig, and now I can’t understand why on earth she would have wanted to dry them before eating them–they’re absolutely heavenly when fresh!

 

Courtesy of zapxpzau@Flickr

 

Sadly, fig season has been dwindling to an end, and while dried figs may never compare to fresh ones, they’re still quite the treat. Which is why today, I’d like to share this recipe for homemade Fig Newtons (if you’ve never tried them or have no idea what they are, you won’t need to find out after this recipe!).

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Couleur Nature Loves a Picnic!

Looking for fresh, new, but easy recipes for your 4th of July pinic?  We combed our favorite recipe sites and located these three fabulous choices – there’s a sandwich, salad and dessert.  All healthy, different and easy to transport to your favorite outdoor gathering.  We’re going to try them all this weekend. . .

First, there’s Radicchio, Roasted Pepper and Provolone Ciabatta Sandwiches

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