31 October 2014

Halloween Pumpkin Sablés

Happy Halloween ! 

Halloween actually isn't a big deal anymore here in France. It was huge in the late 90s, and we'd all dress up and have a party with family, but the hype died down after a few years. 
I made this sablés (they're like sugar cookies) for my little brother, who'd been talking about Halloween for days, drawing witches and ghosts and vampires and putting them all over the house. 
I don't have a pumpkin cookie cutter (though this one is on my list), so I used a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin shapes. For the round eyes, I used an icing tip, and then again freehanded the triangle eyes with a knife. I colored the dough using Wilton Orange icing color and (too much) Americolor Leaf Green color. 

You will definitely see this recipe again on the blog, as it's one I've used for years, and will continue to use. Enjoy it !

Sablés (Sugar Cookies)
125g of granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
250g of flour
125g of softened butter

Whisk together the sugar and salt and mix in the egg.
Gradually add in the flour.
Add the softened butter, and mix until the dough forms a ball.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 5/10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your work surface : flour your surface, rolling pin, and once the dough is chilled, roll it out. Cut shapes using a cookie cutter. Place the sablés on a baking paper covered cookie sheet.
Put the sablés in the fridge (or freezer) for 2/5 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven (TH3/4) for 10 to 12 minutes, then let cool.

Note : You can decorate them using royal icing, or leave them plain.

24 October 2014

Apple Crumble

Once upon a time in a far away land, I hated cooked fruit. And I mean hated. There was no way I'd approach a baked dessert that had fruit in it, even with a ten foot pole.

And then one day my mom made one and it smelled really really really good, so I thought I'd get over my hatred of cooked fruit and try it.
Oh, my. The warm apples, the cinnamon, the crumble. Heaven. Crumbles are definitely a favorite of mine in Autumn or Winter. In the past few weeks I'm pretty sure I made at least three. Or four. Five if you count the banana one I made. I might have a crumble addiction. I mean, just look at that deliciousness. 

Apple Crumble
Serves 4
6 apples
100g of softened butter
100g of granulated sugar (OR  100g brown suger OR 50g granulated sgar, 50g brown sugar)
100g of flour
1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Peel and cube (or slice, whatever you prefer) the apples. Arrange them in a 20x20cm (8x8in) pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, and put in a preheated oven (TH4/5) while you make the crumble.
Mix the butter with the sugar until well combined. Add flour, and mix until just combined.
Take the apples out of the oven, and sprinkle with the dough.
Put the pan back in the oven for 25/30 min until the crumble is golden.

Note : stop mixing the dough as soon as the flour is combined with the sugar/butter. You should end up with little pieces, not a ball of dough.
Putting the apples in the oven while you make the dough is optionnal, just like the cinnamon.

16 October 2014

NOTD : Bourjois 1 Seconde Prune Stellaire (n°9)

Hey everyone ! Long time no nail polish post, huh ? Well, here's one !

Today I have Prune Stellaire (or number 9) from the Bourjois 1 Seconde line. This is an oldie (sorta). I bought this in 2011 (I think ? Or early 2012) at a discount store, and I'm about 80% sure that this was one of the first colors Bourjois released from the 1 Seconde line.

Prune Stellaire is a beautiful deep plum with pink glitters that shows more in the sunlight. It was hard to capture it on camera. I applied 2 coats and removed the polish 6 days later, and only had some tip wear. Yay for long lasting polishes !

But what exactly is the 1 Seconde line ? Well, the back of the polish says 1 nail = 1 stroke = 1 second, with 50 seconds of drying time. Do I agree ? Definitely. Now obviously application time also depends on the size of your nails, but with a brush that size, 1 stroke = 1 nail for me, for sure. The brush is wide and flat, and I don't have any problem with it polishing my cuticles at the same time as I'm doing my nails. It might look a little scary but it's honestly one of the easiest brush I've used, and the shape of the handle really helps.

I took a picture of the 1 Seconde brush next to OPI's brush (this is Gouga Gouda Two Shoes), so you can compare.

Have you ever tried a Bourjois 1 Seconde polish ? What's your favorite nail polish brush ?

30 September 2014

September 2014 Reads

I definitely didn't read as much this month as I did in August, but I did manage to read a couple books. Here they are :

Vanity, Vengeance and a Weekend in Vegas, Kyra Davis : This is the 6th book in the Sophie Katz series by Kyra Davis. I read the first five back in February/March, and really loved them. They're chick lit mixed with mystery and I couldn't put them down. But for this one, I had a harder time getting into the story. I don't know if it's because I read the other books in French and this one in its original version, but it took me longer to finish it. I didn't have that "oh God what's happening I have to read the next chapter" from the start, like I did with the other. I did read the last few chapters in one go, though, and I'd definitely read the next one if there's one.

You're The One That I Want, Giovanna Fletcher : Because I loved Billy and Me so much, I figured I'd read YTOTIW. Like with Billy and Me, I'd only seen positive feedback for this one, and was worried I'd be disappointed. Well... I was a little. I did like it, but I didn't love it. It took me a while to get into the story and finish the book. I was also a bit disappointed by the ending because SPOILER I felt like Maddie stayed with Rob because she had to, not because she loved him. I honestly thought that the kid in the epilogue would Ben and Maddie's, not Ben and some random girl's child. /SPOILER. It's definitely a good read, I love the writing style, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

What did you read this month ? Do you have any book recommendations for me ?

24 September 2014

5 Things Tuesday #8

More like 5 Things Wednesday. Oops.
1) It's Autumn ! And it's also that annoying time of the year when it's cold in the morning so you wear a sweater and by noon it's so hot you're melting.  Like I said, annoying.

2) TV shows are coming back this week ! Eeek !

3) Speaking of TV shows, does anyone feel like Doctor Who hasn't been that great ? I like Capaldi, but I don't know, I haven't been really excited about this new season... Also, everyone was saying how amazing 'Listen' was, that it was Doctor Who at its best, one of the top episode, but... I didn't find it that great ? Sure, it was creepy, but it actually didn't make that much sense to me. Who was under the blanket, sitting on the bed ? Who was grabbing the ankles of the people we saw at the beginning of the episode ? Who was banging on the door ? Plus, Moffat had already touched on that "who's under the bed ?" theme in The Girl In The Fireplace. So no, for me, Listen wasn't that amazing.

4) Christmas is three months away. THREE. MONTHS. WHAT ?!

5) Happy birthday, Friends ! You've made me laugh, you've made me cry, sometimes both at the same time, and I love you forever.