Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pistoulet Dinnerware Giveaway

Thanks to our friends at Pfaltzgraff and Lifetime Brands, we have a new giveaway just in time for the holidays! A 16-piece set of Pistoulet dinnerware plus an additional hostess set of whimsical sugar and creamer plus an adorable butter dish!

To enter, visit The Red Kitchen Project blog and follow the instructions. Bonne chance! (good luck!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joyeux Noël

In northern France, the Christmas season begins today with la fête de Saint Nicolas.

French Christmas Ornaments

Last year on a trip to Alsace, we came across a wonderful shop filled with French ornaments. Now wishing we had bought a few for our little Christmas tree! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ragoût de Surprise

Ragoût de Surprise
Last night I prepared a dish with ingredients I already had at home. I roasted 1/2 lb baby potatoes in olive oil and sea salt for about 30 minutes at 425°. I happened to have a jar of Seeds of Change Tikka Masala simmering sauce which I used as a base in a saute pan. I added the potatoes, 1 cup of frozen pearl onions, a couple of mahi-mahi fillets cut into 1" pieces and handful of arugula. After simmering everything for about 45 minutes over a very low heat, I served it over whole wheat couscous in a Pistoulet wide-brimmed bowl. My guests were delighted and I was surprised I could come up with something so tasty with an odd bunch of ingredients.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Soup du Soleil

A sunny fragrant vegetable soup which will fill your kitchen with the warmth of southern France on a chilly winter day.

1 T. of the greenest olive oil.
1 T. of the sweetest butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups of the brightest orange chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups parsnips, chopped
2 cups of lush orange butternut squash cubed skin and seeds removed
Approximately 4 cups of good quality vegetable stock or chicken stock.
One juicy lemon Sea salt and freshly ground fresh pepper

1 1/2 t. olive oil
1/2 garlic clove, minced
3 T. chopped parsley and cilantro a pinch of the finest quality sweet paprika

In a large pan heat the oil and butter until melted. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 or 4 minutes until soft. Add the carrots, parsnips and squash and stir well. Cover and cook on a low heat for approx. 5 minutes. Add the stock and then simmer for approx. 40 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.

When cool puree in a food processor until smooth.  Pour back into the pan and reheat. You can add a bit of water if it is too thick.

For the garnish: Heat oil in a small pan. Add, the garlic and herbs and sauté for 1 minute. Add the paprika and sit into the mixture.   Add lemon juice to taste and then pour into bowls. Then swirl a spoonful of the herb mixture into each bowl and serve.

All You Really Need

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” —Laurie Colwin

Welcome to The Spirit of Pistoulet!

Far away in the remote French countryside, there is a magical farmhouse known as Pistoulet, where there is most certainly a happiness that feeds the spirit. It has been said that all who spend time at Pistoulet leave with their hearts and minds transformed.

It was here that Mademoiselle J. (Jana Kolpen) went for a period of repose one magical summer and came away with a renewed sense of life. At Pistoulet she learned many recipes to help cure the wounded heart, give strength to the weary, and bring out the best in even the shyest guest.

Visiting Pistoulet highlights the beauty of life and the joy and true essence of living. Initially, we thought that this could only be found at this magical farmhouse. But we have since learned that The Spirit of Pistoulet is not about a time or place. It lives in your heart, it lives in your home. It can be found in everything you love and hold dear.

The Spirit of Pistoulet is something we can celebrate and share, no matter where we are.