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2019 Easter Cake

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-senza-ricetta-Sardegna by Linda Hopkins

can accutane cause ear problems I made this cake for our Easter supper and served it alongside THIS Citrus Sorbet. Since baking is not my forte, of course, there is a mishap story to go along with it. I found the recipe is a real estate magazine that my mother-in-law sent me from Illinois. Thank you, Mom!

source url I switched it up a bit. The original recipe was for a Tangerine and Chamomile Cake, using chamomile tea bags. I am not a fan of chamomile, so instead, I used my absolute favorite tea, Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea. If you love chamomile tea and want to switch it back to the original, use four chamomile tea bags instead of the two Bengal Spice that I use here.

My sweet girl, Bailey, in the foreground and my mischievous boy, Bombay, in the back

follow link Here’s the mishap story. On the Saturday before Easter, I had several Harmony Boards to make and deliver. The first deliveries began at 2:30 and the last was at 5:00. I made all the boards and delivered the first batch. I came home and realized I had just enough time to put together the cake batter, get it in the pans and bake them. My timing was impeccable. The layers were finished baking 5 minutes before I needed to pack up and leave. I knew better than to leave them to cool on the kitchen counter because of these two cats.

here I set up the cooling racks on top of my washing machine.

I set the cakes on top and Bombay was immediately interested. I went back to my bedroom to set the alarm. I closed the laundry room door and went out into the garage. That’s when I realized I’d left the car keys on the kitchen counter. I knew I had enough time to go back in and grab the keys before the alarm was fully set. I went in and had a brief moment of panic when I didn’t immediately see the keys. I found them and hurriedly went back out the garage door.

It wasn’t until I came back home that I saw that not only had I forgotten to close the laundry room door, but that one of the cats had tried to jump up on the washing machine and in the process, knocked down one of the racks. I didn’t look to see what damage was done until after I’d gone to the bedroom to disarm the alarm. I came back and saw the rack on the floor by their food dishes. Where was the cake? I looked behind the laundry door and there it was, out of the pan, upside down, while the pan was further back in the corner behind the door. The good news is that the cake was completely intact with the parchment still stuck to the bottom, not a crack or a crumb missing. The pan was as clean as a whistle, and that is a win in my baking history! I picked up the cake, sliced a clean layer off the top and used it.

I knew the cats or most likely “The Cat”, had not touched it after it fell. He was probably too startled from the crashing he’d caused. And I am certain it was “the he”, Bombay, and not “the she”, Bailey. I say this because Bailey was sleeping in her usual spot when I went looking for them, while Bombay was hiding in the front room, where he seldom, if ever, goes. But it is nearly impossible for me to be mad. I mean, look at that face! OK, enough about my cute cats. Recipe time.

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April 23, 2019   12 Comments

Our Lady of Paris

On Monday morning, while I was sitting in a waiting room as the oil in my car was getting changed, I received this text from my daughter, Marissa.

I quickly searched Notre Dame on Google and immediately saw images of the fire. As were millions of others around the world, I was devastated.

I got up and changed the channel on the waiting room TV from the game show it was on, to NBC. Tears did stream from my eyes while I listened to Lester Holt describe the scene playing out in from of me.

Before digital photography, we used to get our photos processed and kept them in photo albums. Seems like a novel idea now. The photos in this album are from 1997

Once the car was done, I came home and watched for hours more. When the announcement was made that the next 90 minutes would be crucial as to whether the two front towers would continue to stand, I could take no more. I went to Target to get a vaccination for shingles that my doctor had ordered. Then to Home Goods to wander aimlessly, finding nothing that brought me even an ounce of joy, leaving empty-handed. That tells you how devastated and depressed I was feeling.

This photo was taken on our first trip to France, in 1997 to celebrate David’s 40th birthday. This is the lead and wooden spire that fell in the fire. The copper statues were removed before the renovation began. It is believed the fire started in the attic under this spire.

The 90 minutes was almost up, so I headed home and was beyond relieved to hear that the towers were expected to stand. I watched a bit longer and once again could not bare watching that inferno blasting out of Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. (Notre Dame de Paris translates to Our Lady of Paris.)

This photo of the front two towers was taken in 2000 when I was in Paris on my way to work with Barb Fenzl at La Combe en Périgord, a cooking school in the southwest of France.
Another trip in 2005 to La Combe with Barb. I visit Notre Dame every time I go to Paris. It is the first place I go, always!

It is the Mother church of France and it truly felt like our mother was being injured and possibly dying. I turned it off and instead, starting searching my computer and albums for happy photos of all the times I’ve been to the Cathedral over the years.

In May 2007, I took Marissa on a mother/daughter trip to Paris and London. It was the summer between her freshman and sophomore years at UA. Our first stop, Notre Dame, of course. This is Marissa’s first encounter with a gargoyle. I absolutely adore this photo!

If you’ve been there even once, you know those feelings. The feelings and knowledge that the beloved church that has stood for over 850 years and holds such majesty and humility is being so violently threatened. Of course Notre Dame holds great meaning to Catholics like me, to all Christians around the world, but it also houses art, poetry, literature and priceless antiquities of mankind. It is a true icon of civilization. And icon of what is best in our humanity.

Now it feels ironic that on that day Marissa and I visited the Cathedral, there was a fire under one of the bridges between Ile de la Cité (the island Notre Dame is built on) and the other side. May 2007

Notre Dame has survived the Crusades, the French Revolution, two world wars and so much more. It is the most visited structure in the most visited city in the entire world. Thirteen million visitors a year, approximately 30 thousand a day! It is a gothic masterpiece.

Statue of Joan de Arc
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

In 1909 Joan de Arc was beatified under in Cathedral Notre Dame by Pope Pius X. You feel all of that whether you are in its shadow or inside its sacred walls.

I’m certain that at least some of these brave firefighters (pompiers) were amongst the nearly 500 that fought the fire on Monday, April 15, 2019.
Photo: May 2007

There is so much to be in awe of. From the flying buttresses, the gorgeous rose windows, and the wonderful gargoyles. My family loves the gargoyles!

May 2007
Marissa returned to Paris in January 2008 for a semester abroad. She told me that she often went to the Cathedral when she felt homesick or just needed quiet time alone.
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

(I’m taking a break here to let you know that all of the above was written on Monday afternoon and evening. Knowing I would not post this until Wednesday, I tried to write in the past tense.  Everything below was written on Tuesday afternoon, after seeing and learning what had survived the fire.)

At the end of Marissa’s time abroad, we went to pick her up and enjoy a two-week family vacation in France and Italy. We arrived the day after Connor’s 17th birthday and immediately went to Notre Dame. It was Connor’s first trip to Europe.
May 2008
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April 17, 2019   11 Comments

Joanne Weir’s sorbet

This was the dessert for Joanne Weir’s classes at Les Gourmettes last week. Barb kindly gave me the batches that Joanne made in class.

I used my Simac ice cream maker to freeze. I’ll be serving it with a citrus cake I’m making for Easter.

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April 15, 2019   8 Comments

Au revoir Les Gourmettes

If you’ve read more than a few posts here in the past nearly 10 years, then you know all about Barbara Fenzl and Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Barb started the school 36 years ago and has been selling out classes ever since. I came on board 30 years ago, but it doesn’t seem that long ago at all.

Barb has decided to hang up her apron and close the school. I understand, when you know it’s time, then it’s time. That is exactly how I felt when I closed Les Petites Gourmettes Children’s Cooking School after 18 years.

The Red Book Magazine’s April 2019 issue has the most wonderful article all about Barb and Les Gourmettes. Karen Fernau, the former food editor for the Arizona Republic, wrote the loving and lovely article. You may view and read the full article (pages 48-54) HERE. (Use the – + feature at the bottom of the pages to zoom in and be able to read the print. Also, the photos in this post are screenshots I took from the online magazine.)

Below is the last paragraph from the feature.

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April 13, 2019   18 Comments

grilling cheese

*An update on my knee situation is at the bottom of the post. Many thanks for all of your emails, comments and texts of inquiry and concern. xoxo

As with anything new in life, there come new challenges, good or bad. The not too terrible challenge I have found with my new business, Harmony Boards, is having so much more cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables to keep track of and prevent from over-ripening or going completely south.

Such was the inspiration for this recipe. I stay on top of the meats and cheeses since they represent the largest expenses. When buying, I look at each “sell” or “use by” date and calculate how much I have on hand and do my best not to overbuy.

The fruits and veggies present issues all their own. We’ve all experienced the joy of buying lovely looking raspberries, blackberries and strawberries and the anguish of having them turn on you in a matter of days. Sometimes, literally the next day! I have become basically terrified of berries. With so much energy focused on them, I sometimes lose track of the other produce in my refrigerators. Such was the case last Sunday with two varieties of plums that got pushed to the bottom of the fruit drawer. They needed to be used now. Not tomorrow or the next day but TODAY! I had a family pack of pork chops in the freezer so grilled chops and plums were now on the menu.

While you might think I’d have no interest in purchasing a different cheese than what I use on Harmony Boards, you’d be wrong. I love Halloumi cheese and knew it would pair perfectly with the pork and plums.  Halloumi is a uniquely perfect cheese for grilling. It’s made with sheep’s milk on the Greek island of Cyprus. It has a high melting point so it can easily be fried or grilled. I went to my local grocery store in search of Halloumi but wound up with something else instead. I discovered a similar grilling cheese called Juusto. It is made in Wisconsin in the way that Juustoleipä, also known as bread cheese, has been made in Finland for more than 200 years.

Here is an article all about the cheeses from Bon Appétit to learn more.  I am also using the crushed Aleppo peppers on my finished dish. If you missed my mention of them previously, HERE is a link to that.

Oh, I almost forgot, I use Mama Mai’s S&P to season everything in this recipe. Honestly, most of the time, I use it to season everything, but I end up just writing “Salt and freshly ground black pepper” in my recipes. It is easier and universal to write that, but now you know the truth … I use Tram’s mama’s seasoning because I love it!

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April 10, 2019   13 Comments

Thyme for Palomas!

Most people don’t know that the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico’s most beloved cocktail. 

A classic Paloma uses grapefruit juice and tequila. Since I had a bowl full of blood oranges from my tree that weren’t getting any better with age, if you know what I mean, I decided to use the blood orange juice in place of the grapefruit juice in the classic Paloma. I also infused fresh thyme in simple syrup and lemon juice I had leftover from this cocktail. Oh, and they don’t call them blood oranges for nothing. After I finished cutting and squeezing all my oranges, it looked like a bloody scene on my cutting board!

If you want to make this in the near future, Trader Joe’s has bags of blood oranges right now. When fresh blood oranges aren’t in season, TJ’s also sells Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda and Grapefruit Soda. Using these flavored sodas is a great shortcut in place of the fresh juice.

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April 8, 2019   10 Comments

Tomato Toast!!!

I made this quick and easy appetizer for Sunday dinner with my dad. I only toasted six slices of bread on the grill for our meal. Then I ate this for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next several days, using the toaster to toast the bread as needed. Now I miss it and want more. It really is that good!

The recipe calls for Aleppo pepper flakes. Aleppo chili pepper is from the Syrian town of Aleppo near the southern Turkish border. Aleppo pepper has a moderate heat with a mild and sweet undertone, a bit of fruitiness, and a hint of saltiness.

Aleppo is a wonderful substitute for the usual crushed red peppers. In fact, I nearly always use Aleppo pepper in place of regular crushed red chilies on pizza, in pasta and salads, on my morning eggs, really all day long. You can find Aleppo pepper online, at specialty stores and I’ve even found it locally at Safeway.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=bloody-stools-from-accutane-use Roasted Tomato Toast

  • 2 – 3 pounds mixed tomatoes *
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, washed and dried
  • Baguette, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • Sea salt (I adore Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • Crushed Aleppo pepper

(* Mixed tomatoes are a mix of colors and type such as cherry, Roma, pear, beefsteak, etc)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut large tomatoes into cubes, slice larger cherry tomatoes in half and leave small cherry or pear tomatoes whole. Place tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until smaller whole tomatoes burst. Remove from oven and set aside.

Use a microplane or small grater to remove the zest from the lemon over a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Cut the lemon in half and set aside.

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a small bowl, mix the garlic and mayonnaise together.  Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Keep that lemon handy, you may want to add more juice later.

Either toast the baguette slices in a toaster or toaster oven or heat the grill and toast.

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April 5, 2019   16 Comments

2,000 is worth $200

Good morning and a very Happy 2,000th Post Day to you!

I’ll bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing as 2,000th Post Day but there is in the world of LesPetitesGourmettes.com! watch This is my 2,000th post! That’s quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself. To celebrate this milestone, let’s have a contest and giveaway. Since I don’t have $2,000 laying around to give away, how about I give away 2,000 pennies? Wait, that’s only $20, that doesn’t seem like much of a treat. OK, let’s make it 2,000 dimes or $200. That’s a nice prize, right?!?

I’m going to split that in two and give away two (2) $100 gift cards to Target or Trader Joe’s. The winner(s) will have their choice since I know that not everyone has a Trader Joe’s in their town but I’m certain that a majority of you have a Target. If you can prove to me that you don’t have a Target either (Mom) I will consider making it a gift card to … Walmart. There, I said it. Don’t shop there myself but will make the exception if absolutely necessary, because I’m just that nice! There will be two ways to win and if you complete both of them, then you’ll have a chance at both gift cards or two entries in the contest.

follow Here is the first way you may enter to win: Leave a comment on every post here on LesPetitesGourmettes.com during the month of April. That includes this post and the previous post from April 1, 2019, and every post from now until April 30, 2019. Now, I don’t post every day, so you’ll probably only need to leave comments on about a dozen posts. I’ll remind you every now and again. I’ll gather up the names of all those who leave a comment on EVERY APRIL 2019 post and those names will go in the pot for the first $100 gift card. (This means that Shelley and Nancy already of a leg up on the rest of you since they left comments on the 4/1/19 post already. Thank you, Shelley and Nancy!)

follow *I should also mention that leaving comments on Facebook, where these posts show up automatically, does not count. The comments must be left here on LesPetitesGourmettes.com. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the comments there, but rules are rules, y’all!

accutane online The second way you may enter to win: Get on Instagram and if you haven’t already followed my Harmony_Boards page, do that! Next, get a minimum of five (5) of your Instagram friends and family to follow the Harmony_Boards page. Here’s the tricky part of this way to win, I will need to know that you sent them there to follow the page. So they will need to send me a DM or leave a comment on one of the photos letting me know that you suggested they follow Harmony_Boards. I understand that this is more complicated than leaving a comment on a post, but it is another way to win, a way to have two chances and maybe win BOTH of the $100 prizes. That’s pretty cool!

There is no “also-ran” in this contest. If there isn’t anyone who leaves a comment on every post for the month of April, that $100 stays in my pocket. Ditto on the Instagram portion of the contest. I’ll still love and appreciate each and every one of you, but I’m not just giving money away for nothing here! I’m not Oprah or Ellen, after all.

The winner(s) will be drawn, notified and announced on http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-online-prezzo-pi%C3%B9-basso Friday, May 3, 2019. There are no restrictions on this contest, any and everyone may play and have a chance to win. Good Luck! xoxo This contest is not endorsed, sponsored or supported by either Trader Joe’s or Target.

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April 3, 2019   16 Comments

not a recipe and not an April Fools’ joke

This was supposed to be a recipe post. I have a couple of really great recipes for you, but this is not one of them. Sorry. And I wish this was an April Fools’ joke, but it’s not.

Instead, this is a story post. The story of my knee and what is going on with it. If you’re wondering, “Am I supposed to know that there is something going on with her knee? Should I go back a few posts and see what I missed?” No, I’m going to tell you all about it now.

Back on February 26th, my dad and I drove from Phoenix to Austin, TX in one day. I picked him up at 3:00 AM and we headed out on our 16-hour adventure. I’d rented a minivan, loaded it up with Marissa and Jeff’s childhood stuff, large Christmas gifts from this past year and a patio set I was giving to them. I had planned on making the drive myself but my dad insisted that he come along to “help” me. OK, he’s 87 and how many road trips will I really have the opportunity to spend with him? So I invited him to come along for the ride, to HELP me.

We got as far as Tucson, a mere 1 hour and 35 minutes into our 16-hour drive when it happened.

I had stopped for gas and a bathroom break. He insisted on helping, but by the time he got out of the car, I’d already put in my credit card and put the hose in the tank. I was heading in to find the toilet. Unfortunately, this place did not have a toilet, the clerk told me the next place over had one, sorry. Dang, now I have to hold it! I walked outside (mind you it was still pitch black outside) and walked past my dad, who was standing near the back of the minivan, I went to step over the gas hose to get back in the car and at that exact moment, he took the nozzle out of the tank, lifted the hose and I tripped on it. I tumbled to the ground, slamming my left knee hard on the concrete. As one does when one falls and is embarrassed, I popped up and said I was fine. He said he was sorry and we got in the car and drove to the place with the toilet. He didn’t need to go, so I hobbled in, cleaned up my bloody knee, noticed that my middle toe on the left foot was swelling (I had sandals on) and went on our merry way.

Although my knee, and subsequently broken toe, hurt like hell, the rest of the trip went off without further incident.

The inside area of my left knee had stabbing pain for a few days and felt healed up in about two weeks. The broken toe also mended nicely.

So why am I mentioning all of this now, more than a month later? For good reason, I assure you! I woke up last Tuesday morning, turned to step out of bed and nearly fell to the ground. The pain in my left knee was blinding! I downed a bunch of Advil throughout the day and vowed to myself that if it was like this on Wednesday, I’d go to the doctor. I woke up Wednesday and called to make an appointment, it was that bad! They took x-rays, said it may be a torn meniscus and gave me an order for an MRI. I have the MRI scheduled for Thursday of this week. I wanted to get it that same day, but insurance is making me wait. I’m far from happy about it, I even pulled out the old cane, which I had purchased in Hawaii years ago, now that’s desperation! But onward and upward.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I had four Harmony Boards to make. The first was a pickup scheduled for 8:30 AM. I woke up at 6:30 and got started on it and by 7:15, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to make the three remaining boards. To say that I was in pain is not descriptive enough…

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April 1, 2019   10 Comments


Yup, another post about that pickle juice vodka I made that isn’t so great. It wasn’t my intention to write another post but a comment from Nancy on the last post prompted this one.

Nancy said, “Did you think about pouring some of the vodka back into the pickles to have “pickled” pickles? Maybe for Bloody Marys?”

Actually, I’d not only thought of it, but I’d already done it. Although I didn’t pour the vodka back over the pickles, I poured it over the contents of this jar of mixed vegetables I had picked up at World Market. As you can see in the photo, the vegetables are packed in safflower oil. The oil taste and smell were unappetizingly strong. Seriously strong, when I opened the jar, I gagged a little. An no, the oil had not gone rancid, you can see the “use-by” date is 2021. It was just Very fragrant!

I used part of the contents in a Custom Installation of Harmony Boards earlier this month. To make them taste and smell good, I drained off the oil, patted them as dry as I could get them and then rinsed them in apple cider vinegar. That worked. They are on the rectangular dish in the photo above.

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March 29, 2019   1 Comment