Category Archives: astuces

Pretty and practical homemade food ideas for picnic


IMG_2940It’s now the perfect time for outdoor activities in Doha. Everyone wants to spend as much time as possible and take advantage of the weather especially it won’t be for so long.

I heart picnics! what’s better than throwing a fun picnic with the family and friends, enjoying good homemade food while surrounded by nature. The best thing, we didn’t have to go far to enjoy our picnic, 10 minutes drive and here we are in the beautiful museum park. It was full of people picnicking, but the space was so big that everyone got his private green spot.

picnic spaceI know lot of you find it hard to prepare food for picnic and prefer to buy them ready packed to save the hassle. I will give you great food ideas, so easy and pretty that will make you think twice before having take away.

The aim of this post is not giving detailed recipes but ideas of practical food for picnic and how a small detail makes it look fancy and creative. Yes why not, you can have a casual picnic with beautifully presented food that looks fancy.

chicken sandwich1- Grilled Chicken and avocado sandwiches. Very easy to prepare. You can use any type of bread, personally i like beignet bread for its soft texture. Stuff it with the grilled chicken, avocado slices, iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise. You can use any stuffing you like, wrap the sandwich with craft paper and tie it with a twine.

chicken in beignet breadEh voila the pretty and creative sandwiches yet practical. Now it’s easy to put them in a container or even a zip lock bag.

2- Spinach and Emmental quiche. Any type of flat food prepared in a baking dish and cut in geometric shapes is very easy to be stored, if you don’t like quiche you can have pizza, kibbeh bil sanyeh, tarte….

quicheThe best part of lunch is when everyone shares his food. If you are a group of people, no one has too much to prepare, distribute the tasks! This quiche was prepared by my friend Hajar. It was delicious!

3- Pasta, crab and orange salad. Salads are always a hit in picnics. Great as a side or main dish if it has substantial ingredients. Easy to pack in a container and stays fresh up to 4 hours without a fridge.

pasta and crab saladSalads are colorful and cheerful. Long tubular pasta (casarecce), matching the shape of the crab sticks, orange wedges and corn. Yellow, orange and red go really well with the green backdrop.  Serve it with lemon mayo dressing to go with the tangy flavor. There are open ended choices of salads. I am sure everyone has his favorite.

4- Hotdog puff pastry and cheese straws. Very easy and quick especially the puff pastry is ready made. It only takes the time of baking (15 mns almost). You can replace the hotdog with cheese or spinach.

cheese strawsCutting boards are very practical and beautiful to serve the food. Jamie oliver was a big inspiration in this matter. In previous posts i showed you how to decorate your cutting boards for such presentations.

5- Marbled cake. There should always be at least one dessert to please your sweet tooth especially if you have kids with you. A basic but delicious cake is one option.

marbled cakeIt’s so clever to bake them in individual molds for picnic. No need for plates and forks, each can have his part with no mess! One day I will share the detailed recipe (it is Cyril Lignac’s recipe) for this cake because it’s so yummy. Again thank you Hajar for introducing this cake to us.

6- Custard and jello in a jar. This was a fab idea for this type of dessert. You can use any mason jar you have at home, close the lid and here is the most practical dessert ever. It can be any pudding you like.

custard and jelloIt was a fun day, we really enjoyed the weather and the green space. It was a great opportunity to play with the kids and unwind after a long busy week.

picnicpicnics funpicnickingpique nique

Handy conversions and equivalents for easier cooking


measuring-cups marmite et ponpon

 

We have all been there, amazing recipes that needs to be converted with no doubts. Finally i got time to creates these super handy charts. I am sure many of you (like i did after writing them) will print this. This way you can keep it in the kitchen at your fingertips.

No more confusions and with the oven temperature chart, no more reason for burning stuff 😛

Volume for dry ingredients:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume for liquids:

 

Weights:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equivalents:

 

Oven temperature:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbreviations:

  • Teaspoon: tsp
  • Tablespoon: tbsp
  • Cup: c
  • Pint: pt
  • Quart: qt
  • Gallon: gal
  • Milliliter: ml
  • Liter: l
  • Ounce: fl. oz.
  • Pound: lb
  • Fahrenheit: F
  • Celsius: C

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Useful pasta guide: how to know which pasta to pair with the right sauce


i love pasta

The perfect match between pasta and sauce creates the hit. Sometimes the wrong choice of pasta can turn an excellent sauce to failure. It’s all about the marriage of the right shape of the pasta with the right sauce texture (depending on the components), and your dish is made in heaven!

The possible combinations of pasta and sauce are limitless. There are hundreds of shapes of dried pasta alone. I will go through the most commonly used.

Long thin pasta:

long thin pasta

 

These long pasta needs lots of lubrication, they best go with olive oil based sauce and tomato sauce. Use capellini for the lightest sauces, this delicate noodles can’t support the meat sauce, which gets left behind in the bowl as the pasta gets eaten. Use linguine for seafood dishes and spaghetti for meat or vegetable sauces.

Astuce: When cutting vegetables or herbs for long pasta, cut them string-like rather than in cubes to help them blend better.

 

Thicker ribbons:

 

Thicker strands, like fettuccine and tagliatelle, can stand up to cream sauces and ragus. Ideally the wider the noodle, the thicker the sauce. Fettuccine and tagliatelle pair perfectly with butter and parmesan (alfredo sauce).

To differentiate: Tagliatelle is a little more fat than fettuccine.

 

Shaped pasta:

shaped pasta

 

 

They pair well with all kind of sauces, especially they capture thick, textured sauces. Pieces of meat or vegetables nestle in the twists, dimples or folds…

Info: conchiglie means seashell, farfalle means butterfly and fusilli means spun.

 

 

 

Tubular pasta:

tubular pasta

 

Goes well with sauces that are thick and chunky. Keep in mind to match chunks of meat or vegetables in a sauce to the diameter of the holes in the pasta. For example the tiny elbow won’t hold inside a chick pea and a rigatoni is too big for a simple tomato sauce!

Astuce: The tubular shape makes them ideal to retain sauces on the entire surface, inside and out, use elbow macaroni for mac & cheese and indulge in the creamy cheese taste with every bite!

 

 

Orzo pasta are meant for salads and soups.

orzo

 

 

 

And lasagne for baking in layers.

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Tips to know:

  • Use plenty of water to ensure pasta cooks evenly and has room to move. Always keep stirring while cooking.
  • Bring the water to boil before adding the pasta.
  • Never add oil to the water while cooking pasta, it will prevent from absorbing the sauce, you should add plenty of salt (2 tablespoons per 4 liters of water). Don’t skip the salt: It’s the only opportunity to season the pasta itself.
  • Drain pasta when it is al dente (firm). It will keep cooking after it’s mixed with sauce.
  • Shake the colander to remove excess cooking water. Avoid rinsing pasta, which removes the starchy coating that helps the sauce adhere.

Recipes recommended from marmite et ponpon:

orzo, chicken and spinach salad

lasagne alla bolognese

nouilles

spaghetti bolognese

mac n cheese

linguini alla scampi

creamy shrimp tagliatelle

caprese pasta salad

Chicken fricassée

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If you have 5 minutes lets DIY! Irresistible goat cheese appetizer


goat cheese & rosemary

With less than five minutes, you can make this beautiful appetizer from scratch.

All you need is spring roll pastry and cupcake mold to make the base shell. Very simple technique:

shell crust

Cut square shapes. Place them in the cupcake mold and adjust the edges in a way to have like a cup. Leave a space between each one so they don’t touch. Bake them on 180°C for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

appetizer shell

crust shell

As you see it’s like a cup, you can fill it with any food of your choice. For instance, i used goat cheese (my favorite) and rosemary. Et Voila it is ready to serve.

goat cheese & rosemary

Wouldn’t you just love to have one of these beautiful appetizer? Small tips turn a simple food to a decorative one, giving you pleasure to the eyes and butterflies in your stomach.

Happiness is in details! If you want to see more of interesting things,  follow this blog and like marmite et ponpon facebook page. Happy day to all of you!

How to jazz up your drink with floral ice cubes – DIY-


floral ice cubes

Freezing edible flowers in ice cubes liven up your drink. It’s a cool way to celebrate the flowers charm. If you have a special guests or you just want to spoil your family and friends, it is a must do. You will wow them for sure, and they will talk about this festive presentation for sometime!

floral ice cubes

Very simple to do, taking into consideration some small tips;

  • for clear ice, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This avoids impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.

floral ice cubes

floral ice cubes

  • make sure to use edible flowers such as: rose, lavender, lilac, violet, tulip, orchid, pansy, jasmine, orange blossom, lemon blossom, marigold, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, chamomile, gardenia, sunflower, thyme, rosemary, mint, marjoram, hibiscus, fennel, dill, coriander, chives, chicory, basil and sage.

floral ice cubes

  • if you don’t want the flowers to float to the top of the water, fill the water half way up, add the flowers, freeze, then cover the flowers with more water and freeze again. This will ensure they are completely within the ice cube. But i still like the flowers poking out from the cube!

floral ice cubes

floral ice cubes

  • Use an ice tray that makes large cubes so the ice will last longer and the flowers are more visible.

Even a simple glass of water would look cheerful with these attractive ice cubes! Beat the heat with fun and simple ideas (especially Doha heat, almost 45°C now with high humidity).

floral ice cubes

People used to dry meaningful flowers to save them, now you can freeze them to be used in drinks. By the way these are the flowers from our wedding anniversary bouquet!

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