Monday, November 30, 2015

L'Occitane Holiday Gifts With Recipes, Please Give Your Hosts What They Really Want.

By Laura Medina,82,1,72694,785580.htm,82,1,39195,337175.htm

Since we're camping out back home or crashing on somebody's couch for the holidays, make nice and give them stuffs they need before they do or too afraid to ask for.

This scribe like diffusers because they smell just like candles without burning down the house and they can do double-duty as perfume.  Plus, those fancy glass bottles look gorgeous on a table.

L'Occitane Diffuser Set for $36 is an affordable way to ease everybody's nerves with relaxing Lavender, refreshing Verbena, and the sweets-inspired Candied Fruits warm up the spirit during blustery cold weather. 

 French Advent Calendar

If you're really thoughtful, give them want they want and help out in the gift-giving.

Easy on the hip and thighs, instead of spoiling them rotten with calories-laden treats, give them an assortment of lotions and potions to try before they decide to plunge right in and buy the full-blown sizes with L'Occitane's French Advent Calendar, a bounty of stocking stuffers that allow anyone to use and try.

      L’Occitane Welcome Home Sparkling Hand Soap & Lotion Set

You know, with this chopping, dicing, stuffing, stirring, mixing, rolling, and roasting, cooking a feast and baking treats is a dirty business born from the heart.

As an "holiday camper," be a dear and be considerate to bring  L’Occitane Welcome Home Sparkling Hand Soap & Lotion Set to scrub the cooking grub out of your host's finger nails then moisturizer to soothe and heal those chapped hands.

Your host will like you better which brings bigger tidings during the holidays.  Return the love. 

 Savons De Provence,82,1,39195,337175.htm

Since your host is understanding enough to know your budgetary needs during this gifting holiday to let you crash,  the bathroom is a great place to dress up while showing your gratitude.

With L'Occitane's 4-piece soap Savons De Provence set, consisting of 2 milk soaps, one verbena soap, and one lavender soap, there is a enough to split for the kitchen, one for yourself and the host in the bathroom, and one more for the road when you travel.  Not bad for $25.

Winter Forest Scented Candle,82,1,29345,781978.htm
Sans office paper clutter and far away from the stove...and hopefully, only adult kids, the bathroom is a perfect place to pleasantly surprise your host with L'Occitane's Winter Forest Candle, wafting of winter pine.  Your host will like this.

Jasmin-Immortelle Neroli Eau de Toilette,82,1,74986,806173.htm

The gift-giving doesn't have to stop at Christmas.  Concocted in collaboration by pastry/macaron chef, Pierre Hermé,  these holiday fragrances are sweet enough to be saved for Valentine's Day and for Spring for yourself.  Pierre Hermé, the "Picasso of Pastry," whipped up two fragrances, one to warm up the holidays and another one to brighten up your senses for spring.

Jasmin-Immortelle Neroli Eau de Toilette's softness of Orange Blossom with the wild, honeyed and aromatic scents represents the sugary-warmth of winter pastry.  Lemon and Petit grain tantalize the palate as they come into contact with Pink Pepper and the floral note of Jasmine balances everything out.  It's a macaroon in a bottle.

 Grapefruit Rhubarb,82,1,74985,0.htm

When Pierre Hermé places Grapefruit at the heart of a creation, he means to celebrate all its facets. And that includes the slightly bitter, white inner skin – its character underlined by the green and crisp aromas of Rhubarb. This beautifully balanced note is soon ruffled at its heart by sensual, piquant spices. In this original composition, woody notes of Cedar conjure up the sensation of mischievous Grapefruit cutting through the tartness of Rhubarb stalks.

Simply once spritzed, it's a Spring/Summer dessert in a bottle without the calories.

What's really giving during the holidays,  purchase a L’Occitane gift set this season and they’ll donate $10 to Dress for Success to help prepare women for their job interviews. 

L'Occitane has the stuff to make your host to like you better for next year's holidays. 

Still not enough?  After beautify-ing and making your host's home look and smell better, help out in the kitchen...especially if they're too tired or can't cook period...and whip up center-piece meal.  Go to L'Occitane's main site and go to "Recipes,",82,1,t63.htm

 Stuffed guinea fowl with a medley of heirloom vegetables by René Bérard,82,1,a1174.htm

In the glamour industry, they say there is a difference between fashion girls and beauty girls.

Beauty girls know the importance of good nutrition, protein for collagen for skin and hair, and oils and good fat to plump and moisturize the skin and keeping the hair glossy...and beauty comes from the inside as well as the outside.  In other words, beauty girls eat.  Some love to cook too.

Contributed by René Bérard, this is a great alternative to turkey and roast beef,..

Stuffed guinea fowl with a medley of heirloom vegetables, by René Bérard

 Serves: 4

Preparation time: 40 min
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 min
Cost: €€

Equipment: casserole dish • blender • chinois sieve
1. Guinea fowl and vegetables
Ingredients: 1 guinea fowl (approximately 1.6kg) • 30g butter • 
30g grape seed oil • 
250g fine stuffing •
 guinea fowl/calf/chicken liver • 
1 whole egg • 2 tablespoons brandy
 • 30g raw breadcrumbs 
• 50g brousse de vache or ricotta
 • 50g toasted pine nuts • 250g parsnips • 250g chervil root • 250g carrots • 1⁄2l chicken stock • 250g salsify, salt, pepper • 4 épices spice mix to taste

1. Remove the offal from the guinea fowl, putting the liver and heart to one side. Next cut off the neck, wings, gizzards and fat, which will be used in the preparation of the sauce.
2. Make the stuffing by mixing the liver and heart of the guinea fowl in a food processor, adding the meat, brandy, egg, seasoning, breadcrumbs, brousse (or ricotta) and pine nuts.
3. Roll this mixture into a cylinder 6cm in diameter. Use it to stuff the guinea fowl before closing the opening with a cooking string and trussing needle.
4. Brown the guinea fowl in a casserole dish with the butter and grape seed oil, then hermetically seal and cook on a medium heat (150°C). Top up the sauce base if necessary and pour over the meat every 15 minutes until tender.   
5. Peel and rinse the vegetables before chopping them as you wish. Next, poach them in the chicken stock, removing them when adequately cooked to maintain a crunchy texture.

 2. The sauce
Ingredients: 30g grape seed oil • fat, neck and wings from the guinea fowl  • 300g chicken wings • aromatic garnish • 2 onions • 2 carrots • 100g celery • 1 bouquet garni • 1 tablespoon acacia honey • 1 white calf's foot or 30g gelatin • 1⁄4l white wine
1. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole dish. Add the fat and brown the aromatic garnish, guinea fowl giblets and chicken wings.
Pour in the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate.
3. Add the bouquet garni, chicken stock and calf's foot (or gelatin).
Cover and leave to simmer for 40 minutes, then strain using the chinois and put to one side.
4. Heat the honey in a small pan and moisten with the sauce. Adjust the seasoning, then slowly let it reduce until you obtain a shiny and very tasty sauce.
5. When ready to serve, divide the guinea fowl into 8 portions. Put the heirloom vegetables into the casserole dish while you are doing this, to obtain a flavoursome medley. Put your portions on their plates and arrange the heirloom vegetables around them, then pour over the sauce and serve.
> Here you will find a portrait of chef René Bérard.
If you really want to kiss butt this holiday, try whipping this up as a foodie thank-you gift when your host is too pooped to make dessert.  Since it's a frozen dessert, you can also do this for Summer...

 Provencal Iced Nougat Recipe by Armand Arnal,82,1,a1028.htm

The chef of the La Chassagnette restaurant in Arles revisits for L’Occitane the Thirteen Desserts of Provence with an original iced nougat recipe accompanied by a brioche bun, and served with seasonal fruit. A recipe to test for the holiday season!  

Provencal Iced Nougat Recipe by Armand Arnal

 Serves 6

1 - Caramelize the almonds, hazelnuts and sugar
  • 22.5g sugar
  • 16.25g roasted almonds
  • 16.25g roasted hazelnuts
2 – Whip the cream with glucose and add Grand Marnier at the end
  • 3.75g glucose
  • 225g cream (whipped)
  • 22.5g Grand Marnier
3 – The meringue; beat the egg whites and add the honey
  • 37g egg white
  •  107g honey
4 - Mix the whipped cream and the meringue together and place in individual moulds
5 - Place the nougat on a plate and place the macerated fruit on top.
Macerated fruit
  • 3 dried figs
  • 50g dark and golden raisins
  • 3 apricots
  • Cover with Grand Marnier & orange zest
Refrigerate before eating or prepare just prior to serving

 Want to help your host beat out the jealous neighbor?  Bake this instead of the boring old apple pie...

 Swiss Chard Pie, A Dessert of Provence,82,1,a1016.htm

Serves 6-8
• 500g flour
• 200g butter, melted
• 150g sugar
• 2 eggs, well beaten
• Salt
• Water
• 1 bunch Swiss chard
• 6 Reinette apples
• 50g currants
• 50g Malaga raisins
• Figs
• 2 eggs, well beaten
• 150g brown sugar
• 100g pine nuts
• 50g Parmesan, grated
• 50ml brandy or flower water
• Juice of half a lemon
• 1 tsp. olive oil
• Pepper

Prepare the dough:
  • Place the flour in a pyramid on a counter top.
  • Make a well in center and pour in the beaten eggs, butter, sugar and salt.
  • Work the dough with your fingers until you have a smooth dough - add a few drops of water if necessary. Work the dough as little as possible to keep it light.
  • Leave to sit for 1 hour.
Prepare the filling:
  • Soak the raisins and currants in brandy for at least 1 hour.
  • Clean and wash the Swiss chard leaves, pat dry with paper towels or dry them in a salad spinner.
  • Roll up the leaves together then slice into thin strips.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Swiss chard, the brown sugar, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, raisins and currants, olive oil, lemon juice, and beaten eggs.
  • Wash and peel the apples, core them, and cut into thin wedges.
  • Coarsely chop the figs.
Assemble the pie:
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (390F).
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out to make two thin rounds.
  • Line a 40cm pie dish side with one of the rounds.
  • Add the filling then place the apple wedges in a ring around the edge.
  • Cover with the second pastry round.
  • Pinch edges together to seal the pie.
  • Place in the oven.
  • When the crust is brown, check if the filling is set by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, the pie is cooked.
  • If not, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350F) and leave to cook a few more minutes. 

Navette Biscuits,82,1,a1065.htm

Navette Biscuits

  Makes approx. 15 biscuits
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cost €
Ingredients: 50g butter • 80g sugar • 1 beaten egg with 3 cl milk • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water • 250g flour • A pinch of salt • Zest of ½ bio or untreated lemon
Material: whisk, plastic wrap, parchment paper
1. Whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the beaten egg and orange flower water, then add the flour, salt and finely grated lemon zest. Knead the dough and form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C (gas mark 6). Divide the dough into small portions of 20g. Roll each portion into sticks of about 8cm long and 1cm wide. Using a sharp knife, split them down the middle, stopping 1 cm from each end. Pry open the slit to create the Navette’s characteristic shape.
3. Bake for 15 minutes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper: the Navettes should be rather pale and soft; they will harden as they dry.

Note: the Navettes will keep for two weeks in a closed metal tin.

  Almond paste, the recipe,82,1,a748.htm

Alternative to plain sugar cookies or a way to jazz up sugar cookies or just plain straight-up candy and filler, Almond Paste goes a long way.  What's really cool, no cook or baking necessary!

150g almond flour
1 egg white beaten until stiff
150g icing sugar
Rose petals, dates, prunes
The marzipan recipe in 4 steps
1 – The almonds: With a mortar and pestle reduce the blanched almonds 
to a powder to obtain about 150g of almond flour.
2 – The egg: Beat the egg white until stiff then delicately mix it in with the almond flour.
3 – The paste: Add 150g of icing sugar to the blend to finish the paste.
4 – The presentation: Make little candies by stuffing dried fruits 
like dates or prunes, or rose petal





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