52 weeks of French cooking – Week 30: Hachis parmentier

(via – I forgot to take a photo of this dish myself!)

Hachis parmentier is somewhat similar to the shepherd’s pie and is the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. I used this recipe, and because it’s in french, here’s a translation just in case:

You will need:

  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • butter, 1 tbsp flour, salt and pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg yolk
  • parmesan
  • 10 oz mashed potatoes
  • grated cheese
  • herbes de provence

In a pan, drown the diced onion and garlic cloves in a little butter. Add the diced tomatoes, then the ground beef. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp flour, some salt, pepper and herbes de provence to taste. Once the meat is cooked, set aside and mix in the egg yolk and some parmesan to taste. Spread the meat mixture in a gratin dish and cover with a layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with grated cheese (I used swiss cheese). Bake at 400F until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Weekly Wishes #10

Weekly Wishes is a weekly feature where I share the goals I’d like to achieve for the week. It is part of the Weekly Wishes linkup from The Nectar Collective.

LAST WEEK’S WISHES

  • Catch up on my 52 weeks of French cooking posts. Done!
  • Prepare a 3 months calendar and dedicate a 3-4 hour block to blogging every week. Done! I went through my blog post ideas list and ended up with a 5 months calendar… Now of course that was the easy part, the blog posts aren’t going to write themselves! I’ve blocked out time on Tuesday mornings to work on blog posts.
  • Go through all my old photos and decide which photos I still want to edit + edit 10 images. Nope! Moving this one to this week…

THIS WEEK’S WISHES

  • Go through all my old photos and decide which photos I still want to edit + edit 10 images. Same goal as last week, definitely have to get going with this one as I’d like to work on a portfolio site soon.
  • Edit 3 photoshoots. I had 2 family sessions last week end will have a newborn session this afternoon. I’d like to get all these retouched and sent off this week.

I’ll leave it at that for this week!

52 weeks of French cooking – Week 29: Strawberry tartlets

These mini strawberry pies are one of my favorite dessert. Other than the waiting time for the shells and pastry cream to cool, these are very easy and quick to assemble and make the perfect summer dessert. Because I used mini pie tins, I was able to bake the pie crust in my toaster oven, which is perfect for the summer when you don’t want to create too much heat in your house!

You will need: (for 4 tartlets)

  • 1 pie dough (I used a pre made one)
  • 1 recipe pastry cream
  • about 16 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jelly
  • 4 tartlet pans (I found a set a Michaels)

For the pastry cream:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk + a little extra
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter

Place your pie dough in the pans and pierce a few holes in the crust with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes at 450F. While your pie shells are baking, prepare the pastry cream. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes light yellow. Add the flour and whisk until combined, it’ll become thick. In a small saucepan, warm the milk until small bubbles form on the edges. Slowly incorporate the milk to the egg yolk/sugar and flour mixture while whisking. Transfer back to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil while whisking. Remove from the heat when the cream is thick. Incorporate the butter and vanilla extract. Place in a bowl and let the pastry cream cool (a crust will form on top so make sure to cover with cling wrap, touching the cream). Allow your pie shells to cool when done baking. When you are ready to assemble your tartlets, warm up the strawberry jelly in a small saucepan. Using a pastry brush, generously cover the inside of your pie shells with jelly and then fill with pastry cream. If your cream is too thick, thin in out by adding some more milk. Slice your strawberries and place them in your tartlets. Brush some more jelly on the strawberries. Place your tartlets in the fridge for at least an hour before eating.

Weekly Wishes #9

Weekly Wishes is a weekly feature where I share the goals I’d like to achieve for the week. It is part of the Weekly Wishes linkup from The Nectar Collective.

THIS WEEK’S WISHES

I took a break from this feature last week so I’m starting fresh again!

  • Catch up on my 52 weeks of French cooking posts. I’m a little behind with these. I’ve actually cooked and photographed the meals but still have to publish them…
  • Prepare a 3 months calendar and dedicate a 3-4 hour block to blogging every week. It’s probably about time I start treating this blog like I do my shops if I’m hoping to see any kind of growth happening. I like dividing my days into blocks to make sure I work a little bit on everything each week, but had never dedicated one to blogging. I’m going to change that this week!
  • Go through all my old photos and decide which photos I still want to edit + edit 10 images. Whenever I travel somewhere or go to somewhere for a photoshoot, I always come back with 500 + photos, get really excited about all the potential new images, edit about 5 or so images, and then get overwhelmed and move on. So now I have a lot of potential images just sitting there in folders somewhere. The goal is to go through all of them and flag which photos I can still edit for my shop. I’d like to do that before shooting anymore new images.

Looks like I just have a lot of catching up to do this week…