Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Art of Flowers

Taking the time to arrange a vase or two of flowers can lift your spirits and make a room sing with the explosion of beauty. There is nothing quite like the arrangement of flowers to have a sensory high! The touch, smell,taste ( use fresh herbs as well from your garden), sound of flowers rustling together as you form your work of art.
Here are the flowers in bloom in Autumn in Australia that I love to use inside the house... Garden roses, Gardenia, Hydrangea, Jonquil, Lavender, Sweet Pea and Camellia.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Raspberry And Coconut Butter Cake

Raspberry And Coconut Butter Cake


Millie and I came up with the idea for this cake one morning when we had excess raspberries to use. The berries are scrumptious with the coconut.
Raspberry and Coconut Butter Cake, page 284.
125 g butter, plus extra for greasing
275 g sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125 ml milk
185 g self-raising wholemeal flour
70 g desiccated coconut
200 g fresh raspberries
icing sugar, to serve
clotted cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and line a 23 cm springform cake tin.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and milk, then fold in the flour, coconut and raspberries. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50–55 minutes. The centre of the cake should feel firm, not liquidy, to the touch; if it is not ready, replace in the oven until cooked.
Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and serve at room temperature with clotted cream.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The French Table 2013 dates

The French Table
2013 Dates
Last places available

April 19-26: The French Table at Chateau Bosgouet(2 places)
May 22-29: The French Table Burgundy (3 places available)
June 1-9: The French Table Bordeaux FULL
June 15-22: The French Table at Chateau Bosgouet FULL
July 11-18: "In the footsteps of Julia Child" (2 places available)
July 25-August 1: The French Table at Bosgouet FULL
August 6-13: Chateau Bosgouet FULL
August 15-22: (2places available) Note: Due to demand now a French Table at Chateau Bosgouet
September 5-12: The French Table at Bosgouet FULL
September 18-25: "Champagne Adventure" 

Please email jane@thefrenchtable.com.au for itineraries and pricing.

Chicken Confit

4 chicken marylands
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
200 g sea salt
2 kg duck fat, melted
6 kipfler potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
12 Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
12 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
200 g baby spinach
Choose a ceramic dish that will fit the chicken snugly (a lasagne dish is ideal). Place the chicken in the dish, tuck the bay leaves and thyme sprigs around it, and sprinkle the sea salt all over. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 100°C.
Remove the chicken from the dish and wash and dry it thoroughly. Discard the salt and herbs, wipe out the dish, then place the chicken back in and pour over the melted duck fat. Cook in the oven for 7 hours.
Carefully remove the chicken from the dish using a slotted spoon (the meat will be literally falling off the bones) and transfer to a large dish to keep warm while you cook the vegetables.
Heat a couple of spoonfuls of the duck fat from the oven in a large frying pan. Add the potato and whole garlic cloves and cook over medium heat until the potato is tender and browned all over (about 10 minutes). Add the mushrooms and brown them for about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 3–4 minutes. Finally, fold through the spinach.
To serve, spoon a mound of vegetables onto each plate and tuck a chicken maryland next to it. I like to provide guests with a large jar of mustard, and warm crusty bread.
Serves 4

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"French Ties"

    'French Ties' BOOK LAUNCH     After Years of painstaking work renovating an old Chateau in Normandy, Jane Webster has found her bearings, running The French Table over the summers and juggling family life across two countries year round.   Help us welcome Jane Webster and celebrate her gorgeous sequel to the bestselling 'At My French Table' with her new book 'French Ties' Join us for a special evening with light entertainment and a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival.   When: Wednesday 21st March Time: From 6:30 pm Where: Berkelouw Books 1044 High St. Armadale VIC. 3143 RSVP: armadale@berkelouw.com.au

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Paris Wife

What I'm reading: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain It seems that the heady days of "the lost generation" is all in vogue! I purchased this book at Galignani Bookshop on rue de Rivoli, Paris. ... Just nights after I first saw the movie "Midnight in Paris". In this gorgeous story by Paula McLain, told from the perspective of Hadley Richardson ((Hemingways first wife) We are taken back to 1920's Paris to an era of poor artists and painters where Ernest and Hedleys lives are filled with trips to the horse races, writing holidays in Spain and skiing in Austria. They befriend the likes of Gertrude Stein and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald ... And the voices Paula McLain gives these characters are truly realistic. In this genre of biographical fiction we are given a true insiders view of the famous faces and places of the Paris Jazz era.