Welcome to "A Mad Designer's Journey"

The comic, inspiring and always fashionable adventures of this "mad designer" as she navigates the reality of pursuing her dream...living the artisan lifestyle of a jewelry designer.

Phoenix Design, Artisan Jewelry is a one woman shop powered by zany energy, midnight inspirations and the support of my friends.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friday, September 14, 2012



Fresh Chanterelle (ou Girolles en Francais) Mushrooms from the market in Fontainebleau. They have a distinct rich flavor with a woody or  earthy aroma. There are many ways to cook chanterelles. Most of the flavorful compounds in chanterelles are fat-soluble, making them good mushrooms to sauté in butter, oil or cream.
Though records of chanterelles being eaten date back to the 1500s, they first gained widespread recognition as a culinary delicacy with the spreading influence of French cuisine in the 1700s, where they began appearing in palace kitchens. For many years, they remained notable for being served at the tables of nobility. Nowadays, the usage of chanterelles in the kitchen is common throughout Europe and North America.
I had a plate of sautéed Chanterelle mushrooms as a  starter dish in a local restaurant in Barbizon which I decided to recreate served with spätzle (traditional Alsacian egg noodles) for our dinner.



First I washed and brushed the chanterelle mushrooms, then  sauté  in  butter in a pan with garlic and shallots. At the end add a bit of fresh chopped parsley.
The spätzle, since I didn’t have fresh, I cooked in water according to the directions. Then in a pan sautéed with butter and a bit of cream fresh, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste.

And Voila…dinner is served.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beaucoup du tomates !

Our friend Deloisy just dropped off 4kg (aprox. 8.8 lbs) vine ripe yellow tomatoes yesterday morning. So what do I do with this windfall…

Sliced tomato salad with goat cheese and a fresh baguette for lunch,with the tomatoes that are in really good shape and beautiful.

The really ripe tomatoes and those with spotty skin, I will make a Blond Tomato Crumble or Crumble Tomates Oignons et Parmesan. Last weekend Blandine made this for us and it was so good I decided to give it a whirl. I didn’t get the recipe so I looked one up on the internet that seemed the most similar to the one Blandine made. I have gotten fairly good at reading recipe’s in French but I also look at the Bing translation just to be sure I am not missing something (see below).

Crumble tomates oignons et parmesan

Cuisson, cooking time : 35 min
Ingrédients (pour 6 personnes) :
  • 200 g d'oignons grelots, 4  medium onions
  • 1 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive, 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cuillères à soupe de sucre roux, 2 T. sugar
  • 15-18 tomates olivettes ou 4 grosses tomates bien mûres, 15-18 small to  meduim tomatoes or 4+ large tomatoes (I used 18 in mine)
  •  2 gousses d'ail, 2  cloves of garlic
  • 1 cuillère à café de thym, 1 tsp. dried thyme or I used small handful fresh thyme from our garden.
Pour la pâte à crumble, for the crumble I used a French measuring cup for the amounts in grams but here is the conversions (not tested) I looked up. :
  • 120 g de parmesan, 1 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 120 g de farine, 1 cup flour
  • 100 g de beurre, 8 T butter softened
  • salt and pepper to taste
Préparation :
Préparez la pâte à crumble : râpez le parmesan à la grosse grille, mélangez-le à la farine puis ajoutez le beurre bien mou en morceaux.
Mélangez du bout des doigts jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte granuleuse. Réservez.
Prepare the dough to crumble: In a bowl combine grated parmesan, flour, softened butter and salt/pepper to taste. Combine with fork until small grains in texture. Set this aside.
Epluchez les oignons et les tomates. Coupez les oignons en 2, faite-sles compoter dans un sauteuse dans l'huile d'olive et le sucre à couvert 10 minutes.
Peel onions and tomatoes. I used a mandolin to slice the onions. The tomatoes I roughly chopped after they were peeled. btw to peel a tomato put tomatoes in a pot of boiling water until the skins split then remove immediately. Once they are cool enough to handle the skins will slip right off.  
In a dutch oven over medium heat add olive oil followed by the  onions and sugar. Cover and cook 10 minutes. The onions should soften but not get colored.
Ajoutez les tomates coupées en morceaux ainsi que l'ail écrasé et le thym, laissez cuire à feux doux encore 10 minutes.
Add the peeled, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic and thyme to the pot. Cook another 10 minutes until fragrant.

Versez ce mélange dans un plat beurré, recouvrez de la pâte à crumble et enfournez dans le four préchauffé à 200°C (thermostat 6-7) pendant 35 minutes.
La pâte doit prendre une belle couleur dorée. Servez tiède.
Pour this mixture into a flat buttered casserole dish, cover generously with crumble and bake in preheated oven 400F for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Serve Warm or also great leftover cold!

Bon appetit ! This goes well with grilled pork chops or chicken or all by itself, LOL!

ROCK ON! by Phoenix Design Jewelry