Monday, January 21, 2013

Galette or King's cake

Galette des Rois or King's cake is a delicious puff pastry concotion with an almond cream filling, sometimes an almond-creme patissiere filling, and now coming in almost any variation in the fancy Paris bakeries (banana-chocolate, seriously?).
The watercolour recipe goes something like this:
Original or High resolution prints available by contacting us here.

Originally a symbol of the Magis' arrival to bring presents to the newborn Jesus (the "Epiphany"), it was meant to ressemble middle-eastern treats such as baklawas.  Hence the heavy almond use and puff pastry, akin to Phillo pastry. 
We've had about 10 of these since the 6th of January (the official "Epiphany" date).  The husband even made the puff pastry at some point.  A delicious tradition.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heart-shaped Owl or Chouette!

This little barn owl, screetch was a christmas present custom-made for a person who loves all things owl.  It reads "Effraie de Clocher".  Their name describes that they live in church roofs. They are the archetypal French owl.  Recognizable in the way their face is heart-shaped.

If you would like you own custom watercolour, contact us!

A little juicy detail

Monday, January 7, 2013

St Jacques

The christmas/New year break was a festival or great food, family and friends. Among these were lots and lots of "Coquilles St Jacques" or Scallops.  

Like any food mixing tradition I love that they are linked to the pilgrims and the St Jacques de Compostelle trail from France to Spain. The pilgrims always carried an empty scallop shell. Shells on buildings and fountains signified to them that they were welcomed to rest there. These shells (or their representation) are also supposed to hold great powers and bring serenity and clarity.

Contact us if you would like your own watercolour of St Jacques scallops!

(These particular one had a little baby scallop growing on its shell, explaining the bluish round spot on the upper right corner of the shell.)

Other foods I can not resist are Galette St Michel, buttery cookies with an imprint of St Michel crushing the dragon. St HonorĂ©, a splendid cake of choux pastry, whipped cream and caramel, bearing the name of the patron saint of bakers. And St FĂ©licien or St Marcellin, wonderfully runny creamy cheeses.
Having a Saint's name in them makes them in my mind calorie free item (almost)!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Carrots Of Love

Carrots are one of my favorites subjects to paint.  Don't know why I find them oddly relaxing.  That and I love all shades of oranges.  These includes the purple and yellow carrots found at the farmer's market. 
In a soup with cabbage and leeks, the carrots give sweet creaminess and body.