Mirabelle Season in Luxembourg Confiture and Tarte aux Mirabelles

IMG_2444Mirabelle’s are ready to pick here in Luxembourg right now. As it grows colder and the leaves fall from the trees, the Mirabelles, Prunes (plums) and Quetsches are ripening on the trees. Last year I made confiture (jam) with Mirabelles and Quetsches. This year my neighbor offered the Mirabelles from his back yard. He has three trees that could easily have 30 plus buckets of fruit. It was a beautiful day to climb the ladder immersed in the fruit and take in the smells of the trees and hear the bees buzz.  I made several pots of Mirabelle confiture and a couple of Tarte aux Mirabelles.

It is quite easy actually to make confiture. The recipe is simple.

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Mirabelle Confiture

  1. Split the fruit open and throw the seeds.
  2. Put the Mirabelles into a large pot and sprinkle some sugar on them. I don’t use very much sugar as I don’t like my confiture to be too sweet.
  3. Let the pot simmer on a low setting for 2 to 4 hours, whichever you prefer. At the beginning keep the lid on. About halfway through take off the lid so the liquid can bubble off.
  4. Have the glass jars and covers clean. Put them on a baking sheet in the oven at 80C or 175F to warm them up for a few minutes.
  5. Fill the warm jars up to the top with the confiture and put on the covers. Then turn them upside down on the counter so they seal.
  6. Let them cool and they are ready to put in the pantry for the winter.

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Tarte aux Mirabelle

1 pate brisée (pastry crust)

750 g de Mirabelles (enough to cover the bottom of the crust)

50 g beurre ( 1/4 cup butter)

75 g de sucre (1/3 cup sugar)

1 oeuf (egg)

  1. Cut the fruit in half and throw out the seed.
  2. Put the pastry crust in a moule huilé or oiled tarte pan. An alternative is to put papier-parchemin or parchment paper in the pan and put the pastry on top so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  3. Put the Mirabelles on top of the crust.
  4. In a sauce pan, melt the butter, take it off the heat and add the sugar and the whipped egg and mix.
  5. Pour over the Mirabelles.
  6. Bake in the oven at 170C  or 325F for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

 

 

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10th Annual Tapping World Summit

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I have been using EFT on myself and my family for more than five years now. This will be the fifth Tapping World Summit that I have participated in. I cannot tell you how much EFT/ Tapping has made a difference in my life. It has helped me so much that I became a certified EFT Practitioner in January after doing my studies in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2016 and putting in a year of practice, research and case studies to achieve my goal of becoming a AAMET certified practitioner as well as start my own practice called Tap Into Your Happiness just over a year ago.

This never would have happened if I had not seen my first Tapping World Summit and  watched The Tapping Solution documentary film and read the The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. It has been life changing for me and so many people around the world. Here is a link to the books about EFT and Tapping on my website.

The story on how Nick Ortner made tapping so popular is inspiring. He brought the tapping methods to the survivors of the Sandy Hook school tragedy, hoping to heal the people in his community of Newton, Connecticut after the school murders.

I would like to invite you to join in this year’s 10th Annual World Tapping Summit which is free to watch for 11 days starting February 26th. I will attach a few videos for you to get a taste of what is to come in the Summit.

EFT/ Tapping is an amazing gift that each of us can use to make our lives better and the people around us.

What is the Tapping World Summit?

The Tapping World Summit is an online event that you can attend for Free (while it is live). Each day, twice a day for ten days, in the “Virtual Seminar Room” attendees are personally taught how to use tapping for specific issues. You also get to “tap-along” with the experts for the specific topics. You are walked through each section, step-by-step and learn the fundamentals of Tapping all the way through to the more advanced techniques.

You can listen to each presentation while it is live each day. If you want to own the audios, manual, transcripts and bonuses you need to upgrade and purchase.

What Is Tapping and Does It Really Work?

Tapping, most commonly known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a type of energy psychology that combines eastern medicine and modern psychology.

It is extremely effective with both physical issues (back pain, headaches, etc) and emotional issues.

If you haven’t yet seen the documentary film “The Tapping Solution” make sure to watch the trailer here:

Video #1 with Nick Ortner
In this video, Nick speaks on how and why Tapping works and takes the viewer through a powerful Tapping process.

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Video #2 with Dr. Lissa Rankin
In this video Nick speaks with Dr. Lissa Rankin on the toxic effects that stress has on our health and how to use Tapping to rebalance the body to create lasting health.

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Video #3 with Cheryl Richardson
In this video, Cheryl Richardson speaks with Jessica Ortner about how to overcome the unconscious fears holding you back so as to create the success, health and happiness you truly want.

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Video #4 with Dr. Christiane Northrup
In this interview Jessica Ortner speaks with Dr. Christiane Northrup about the power of the mind to control the health of the body.

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Video #5 with Dr. Mark Hyman
In this video Nick sits down with Dr. Mark Hyman to discuss the importance of resetting the nervous system for creating better health.

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3 Tapping Meditations with Jessica Ortner
Jessica shares 3 powerful Tapping meditations called Tapping to Release Stress and Overwhelm, Tapping to Release Anxiety and Worry, and Tapping to Move From Anger to Peace

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Moules Frites – I Miss Bretagne/Brittany

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My favorite French meal is moules frites (mussels and fries). The first time I had them was in 2000 when my mother-in-law (not at the time) made them for me and my friend Barbara during our first trip to France. My mother-in-law Marie-Cecile grew up in Bretagne (Brittany in English for some reason) and I love the recipes she has shared with me from France and Morocco. Bretagne is known for it’s moules frites where it is served in almost every restaurant and cafe. Oh, did I forget to mention galette-saucisse is my second favorite French food. I love visiting the farmer’s markets and getting these every time. Since the saucisse is not replicated anywhere outside of Bretagne I can only get the real deal there. Maybe next summer.

While I will never be able to reproduce the tasty moules frites she made when we visited Bretagne every couple of years from the United States, I can try. Now that we live in Europe it is quite easy to find moules in the grocery store. This weekend I decided, since we wouldn’t be visiting Bretagne this summer, I would bring Bretagne to us. I have made moules quite a few times and it is always different. Why, because I don’t go by a specific recipe. A true cook just throws in the ingredients and sees where it leads them. These moules frites were one of my favorites that I have made.

moulehotMaking moules is quite easy really. Fresh moules are always better but the grocery stores ones are also quite good.

First, just before you cook them clean the moules, taking off the beards and seaweed (if they are fresh from the poissonnier/ fishmonger).

Next sautee onions, scallions, shallots, celery, garlic (whatever mixture you want) and herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves in butter in a very large deep pan. Add liquid – I prefer a white wine and cream – about a cup or so. You can also use broths. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Then add the moules and put the cover on for about 5-10 minutes, mixing them with the liquid and spices, until the moules open up to show that they are cooked.

Now that the moules are done, spoon the moules into your bowl, alongside a bowl of crisp fries and a fresh baguette. Use one of the moule shells to pick out the meat of the moules. It’s kind of like using the shell as tongs.

Oh, if the moule is shut after cooking, don’t eat it. And don’t forget to have an empty bowl next to you to discard the shells.

The liquid on the bottom of your moules is great to sop up with the baguette. I’m drooling just writing this. I hope you enjoy your moules frites. You haven’t lived until you’ve had an authentic moules frites meal and don’t forget the baguette. If you ever get to Bretagne you must try the moules.

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Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Potatoes and Fresh Fruit with a View

Since I have been lax at posting on this blog I decided to share tonight’s dinner with a view. It has been a beautiful day in Luxembourg.

Dinner included grilled lamb chops with Italian spices, asparagus baked in the oven with salt and butter, small potatoes drizzled with olive oil and spices baked in the oven. For dessert we had fresh Melon Charentais and strawberries.

There is nothing like making it from scratch and savoring the results.

While I write this Luca is laughing… He says, “I’m not laughing. I’m just reading it with a crazy voice.” Followed by his cackle, I  swiftly kicked him out of the room… and he continued to cackle as he left. Now I’m laughing too. He has now read it to me three times in a radio-friendly voice.

Massive Cucumber Hides in My Garden

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After being on holiday for 12 days I came back to a very bountiful garden. The tomato plants are thriving, but the slugs decided to munch on my lettuce leaves. As I parted the leaves of my tomato plants to check on slug damage I came across a surprise that had been hiding out. I had to muscle my way in to get it and what to my eyes appears, a massive cucumber that longed to be free. It was a cucumber entrenched in the small, green tomatoes and shrouded by leaves.

Only in Luxembourg… can something like this happen… well not really, but. So, as point of reference I measured it and took pictures of it to scale.

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It’s huge! It measures 11 inches/ 28 cm long, 3.5 inches/8 cm wide and 10.5 inches/25 cm in circumference.

Now I just need to put it to good use today for lunch.

 

Fresh Fig, Goat Cheese and Avocado Salad

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Fresh, fragrant figs are in season and I snagged a few over the weekend in France. Here is my five-minute salad without dressing. The toppings share all the flavor.

Fresh Fig, Goat Cheese and Avocado Salad

Mixed salad greens (Melange de Jeunes Pousses)

Salade de Mâche ( greens I never found in the US)

Alfalfa sprouts

1/2 Avocado sliced

Two fresh figs cut into quarters (Figues)

Soft Goat Cheese with honey (Fromage chevre au miel)

Goji Berries (Baies de Goji)

Pine Nuts (Pignons de pin)

 

 

Fried Sardines the Mediterranean Way

I love sardines but have never had them fresh. Since my husband grew up in Morocco where sardines are abundant I have heard stories and really wanted to try them. When I found fresh sardines during my shopping trip to France this weekend, I thought why not give it a try.

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The fish were whole and needed to be cleaned. I haven’t cleaned fish since my childhood in Minnesota. I am not squeamish so I jumped right in. Sardines are rather small fish but easy to clean. Just insert a knife close to the bottom of the fish belly and cut from one end to the other lengthwise. Pull out the innards with your finger. It’s quite easy. Then take off or leave the head. My family didn’t want to see the eyes so I took the heads off. Now rinse them with water. I also took the bones/spine out of some of them but this is not necessary since the bones are small enough to eat and easily separate off when cooked. Since once again my family is particular I deboned half of them.

I found a recipe from my favorite cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by Cailtin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar and Diane Sanfilippo.

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Crispy Fried Sardines

2 pounds sardines

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 cup almond flour

Fine sea salt and ground pepper (I prefer to use Himalayan Pink salt for its healthy minerals)

2 Large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

up to 2 cups sustainable palm shortening or coconut oil

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  • After cleaning the fish place them on a paper towel to dry.
  • Mix in a bowl coating ingredients: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, parsley, almond flour and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Heat the palm shortening or coconut oil in a deep skillet. I only used a small amount of coconut oil to cover the bottom but the book suggests it be two inches deep over medium high heat.
  • Dip the sardines in the egg mixture and then dredge through flour mixture, coating both sides of the fish.
  • Add the sardines to the pan and fry until a golden brown, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
  • Drain the sardines on a paper towel and garnish with parsley and served with lemon halves and aoili if you would like.

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The sardines were a hit with the family. I also made Spaghetti Courgette (grated zucchini) lighting sauteed in butter and a Jamaican spice.  Give sardines a try. If you like smelt ( a Minnesota favorite in the north), then you will love sardines.