Friday, October 23, 2009

A Table! Dinner is Served...

Autumn is lingering like the afterglow of a wonderful soirée under the full moon. Tonight, a rainy evening beckons me to the little French village tucked away in my imagination, where winding streets lead to lofty castles and humble cottages.

Tonight chez nous, it's raining outside and it's time to start cooking. Will you put on your raincoat and come with me to the village to do some last minute shopping?

There are just a couple of simple ingredients that are essential for our recipe tonight that can be found on the simplest of grocery shelves.

So let's get ready and make sure that everything is in check and that we follow the master chef's directions

and that our oven is correctly set

to bake the rustic French bread that will mop up the glorious olive oil

and that will accompany our Salmon and White Bean Stew. The most important ingredients go first, to set the stage for the star players. Take two crushed garlic cloves and chop one large onion and sauté in olive oil in a dutch oven until translucent.

Add two 15 oz. cans of Fire Roasted tomatoes

two 15 oz. cans of cannenelli beans

two salmon filets

one tablespoon of Herbes de Provence and a dash of salt and pepper

a pinch of saffron

and last but certainly not least, make a chiffonade of fresh basil, about 1 cup.

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn to a simmer, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the salmon falls apart and the stew is thickened. Serving suggestions: you can also make fresh basil pesto and do as the French and Italians do by drizzling the pesto into your stew. And, if you are not a fish lover, you can substitute with chicken

and it will be just as comforting

and is sure to put a smile on your face.

So now my dear friends, entrez dans la salle à manger

and let us sit and enjoy each others' company over a humble, yet elegant meal

and retire to the music room and share each others' talents

until it's time to call it a night

and let another moonlit, misty night shower you with dreams of promise of another beautiful day.

Que notre Seigneur vous bénisse!


Unknown said...

Audrey favorite. I have all her movies. Delightful!!


{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Missy!

Oh my gosh...another fabulous post. I love, love, love that house in the second picture...especially the window boxes. Every house looks prettier with a window box, don't you think???

Oh, and Audrey Hepburn...wasn't she just the cutest little pixie? I don't usually cook in that type of ensemble, however! (Laughing at self).

That recipe looks just delish. I've never made anything like it before, but I think I'll try this one. I'd better jot it all down before I forget how to accomplish this yummy dish!

Have a wonderful weekend sweet friend!


Marie said...

Karina, Jenifer and I are true fans of Audrey's. Karina dressed like her for a school event last year, I'm not sure anyone had a clue who she was but us and we just didn't care.

LiLi M. said...

Bonjour Anita! Ah you have outdone yourself this time (again!). I really think you are the hostess with the mostess: a beautiful castle to have guests, the perfect dining room, the perfect ingredients to a perfect dinner and last but certainly not least the perfect company (I mean you dear! and with a couple of miles distance Audrey Hepburn, who I adore).
Your post are always bringing back sweet memories. Can you imagine me in a 50ties bathing suit in my early 20ties? I don't even have a photo to proof as I didn't have a camera at that time. I spend that holiday in the Dordogne. I love the south of France too and I think there isn't a region in France that I haven't visited, but when our kids were small we didn't make those very long drives. Mmm I made a fresh pesto last night and it was good! I like to see that you like that too, but with fresh and good ingredients you cannot go wrong! That is exactly why I always love your blogposts! Have a great weekend Anita, mine started perfect!

Presépio no Canal said...

Oh Dear God, I am with water in my mouth!! Com agua na boca! Looks so delicious!
I love this dish! So good, specially in the winter!
Lovely castle and wonderful hostess! I will catch the plane again! Just a minute, please, I will be there soon!

mnhmnhmnh I will follow your recipe ;)

Bisous, ma cherie :)

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Really too wonderful. You always have a way of allowing the imagination to run wild (rampant)! I did so enjoy this visit. "Lady" Audrey is such a delight all the time. Enjoy this weekend!!! Cathy

Jorgelina said...

Hi Anita!
Lovely castle and wonderful hostess!
I love Audrey Hepburn...adorable.
Happy weekend !!
Es una alegria visitarla.

Lisa Kettell said...

OMG what a wonderful post, such amazing photos to pull you in, love those castle images!
Magic and Joy!

Kirsten Steen said...

Oh my goodness, how I do love to be invited to your castle for dinner! You are so creative and make everything so cozy! Thank you so much for sharing, for the recipe and the beautiful photos of Ms. Hepburn (I cried when she passed!). And I have that very same French wooden spatula from DeHillerin (a gift from a friend)!
Thank you,thankyou,thankyou!
Bon weekend!

Fete et Fleur said...

Yummy, Anita! I know first hand exactly what your cooking tastes like. It is heavenly!

This recipe looks amazing. I will try it with chicken someday


Unknown said...

Oh Anita,
You had me at hello with that amazing chandelier and chateau. Oh, I love all the images and your descriptions. You have managed to make me totally hungry, but inspired to make something mouth watering for dinner. That recipe looks wonderful and who doesn't adore Audrey Hepburn. My mom bought me that huge book about her life, and inside her the sweetest pockets filled with all kinds of scrapbook things.

Happy Pink Saturday,


Chemin des Muguets said...


If you need a sous chef-call me. I'll bring the Chardonnay for the feast.



Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hi Anita....That was so nice! Lovely photos and could you be a fan of Audrey Hepburn? You have such an imaginative shows so much in your writing!~Hugs, Patti

Unknown said...

Let me grab ya and kiss ya on each cheek like those Italians do! What a dish and dine experience that only dear Anita could bring to the table. Okay, the fawn in the store is my favorite pic of all. I would love to write a story with you on Anita and Jacquelines girl time adventures in the castle...I can see us in a castle, bumping down stairs on our bums and having an adventure like no other. One day, we simply must do it...better yet, heading over to France when we grow ancient and we could still bump down the stairs at 88 and counting...

The Victorian Parlor said...

My goodness! I am so hungry after reading this! The dining room is divine and the food looks scrumptious! I think I'll have a glass of wine with my dinner:).



Bonnie said...

Anita, I always look like Audrey Hepburn when I'm grocery shopping and cooking - Oh, how I wish!

I am going to make that dish, in fact I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Guess what, Sadie and Kitty love salmon too, so I guess I'll be sharing with them!

Please be sure to save us a place at the table!

Bonnie, Sadie & Kitty

PS - love the new look of your FABULOUS blog!

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

Anita, you made me so hungry.That looks devine.
Love the castle type houses,They are to die for.I could live there. Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite stars of all times.I think Jennifer Huett,I think i spelled that wrong, anyway I love watching Ghost Whisperer because I think she looks like Hepburn.
Love this post dear, love you too XXOO Marie Antionette

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon dear Anita, This sounds like such a wonderful recipe and oh how I love bread dipped in olive oit with some herbs. It sounds like it would be a fabulous evening. Charli and I would love to hear you play. The art work in your post was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing and also for the lovely comments you leave on my blog.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Bonjour mon amie!

Oh what a wonderful dinner, I couldn't eat another bite... unless... of course... oh I musn't... well ok, just a small piece of the rustic apple tart for moi! You are so kind to have invited me ma chere. Merci beau coup!

Bisous & fais dodo, sherry

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Dear Anita...I have my raincoat on ready for some last minute shopping!!! Your Salmon and White Bean Stew is very tasty indeed...and perfect for the evening!!! I am comforted...I have a smile on my face...and have thoroughly enjoyed myself tonight...Bon Appetit...Dzintra♥x

Barb said...

You know, any post with Ms Hepburn is a favorite of mine. Years ago, we were fortunate to visit her resting place. Very humble, not what one would expect.

Thank you for a wonderful post, again-hehe.


savvycityfarmer said...

girl, you're rockn my world again!!!!
where do you find time for finding all this cool cat stuff

let's chat

KeKe said...

OOoh...I LOVE those castle-houses!! I want to live in one!!!

Stay warm!!

Woolytales Miniatures said...

Oh my dear,I have tried and tried to leave comments for you and this computer is playing with me. *grin* !!!!
Like everyone else , I am so in love with your posts ... they make my heart smile and to dream.
You have such special way to make the pictures to *talk* !*smiles*
I also love your black and white title. I have to go back one more time and read this recipe. You must be a fantastic cooker!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Oh Anita...thank you so much for your very generous comment and visit!!! I agree those raspberries are indeed vivid!!! If you look under Labels on the blog...then TAFE...there should be a post dated 20 March...Welcome to My Dolce Vita...this explains the course I am doing...And no I didn't cook it all!!! My contribution were the Chocolate Cups and biscuits that accompanied them...Hugs to you across the miles...Dzintra♥x

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

My dear Anita...that would be a blast!!! You sound so very experienced in the kitchen having done all those years growing up...As to my favourite cuisine...I have been thinking and I cannot truly say I have a all depends on the mood...the Season...the occassion...during my thinking I have to have those Chocolate Cups tonight now!!! Bon Appetit...Dzintra♥x

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour! What a lovely post, the images are fantastic. Those castles at the beginning, where are they located? I'm going to try out this recipe this weekend, it sounds delicious. I'll be back soon!

Tristan Robin said...

What a delightful post! ... though with so many photos of everybody's favorite, Ms. Hepburn, how can you go wrong?!

The photos are luscious - though, obviously, we used the same decorator for our dining rooms - mine looks JUST like yours!

Speaking of Audrey - have you heard the latest horrible show biz news?! They're going to remake My Fair Lady - with Keiera Knightley!!! rrrgh. Why would they do such a thing?! alas. Nothing is sacred.

Unknown said...

Anita...just me again. check out my were given an award...enjoy!

My Casa Bella said...

that was fun going shopping with you...and Audrey...LOL. And now I am hungry and I am imagining myself with a bowl of your stew sitting by a large window overlooking a beautiful french scene.....that sounds nice.
My Casa Bella
Love your Blog

The Dutchess said...

So lovely my dear...I did see this post several times now and I didn't leave a comment yet..busy busy...I am so sorry..and now me and my hubby are having a strange bug visiting..his name is Flu..we don't like him at all and hope he will leave the building as soon as possible..
Stay warm and stay happy dearest and keep away from this bug..

Rita said...

What a beautiful blog have I just discovered and i am soooo glad i have. It's so royal in style and full of elegance, charm and humour, too. The dining room and its beautifully set table is just eyecandy. Makes me dream.
Thank you for posting those beautiful pics of Audrey Hepburn. She was my fave actress. Wasn't she pure charm, so gracious, cheery and beautiful??? I had my wedding dress made exactly like that gorgous black one she was wearing in Breakfast at Tiffany's - mine was cream though - of course! And same hat and opera gloves, too (also in cream).
Come and visit my blog if you have a chance. You can find me at and it will me pleasure to "show" you around a bit.
With warm wishes from Italy and une bonne journée à toi aussie.

Woolytales Miniatures said...

You are such a good friend...blessed are those that are near you...

Woolytales Miniatures said...

You are such a good friend...blessed are those that are near you...

~CC Catherine said...

Anita, After reading thip older post, I know exactly how Claudie came to fall in love with you and your blog, it's got traces of Audrey throughout. ;) I want to try this recipe! I love to cook & adore making scones with lemon curd and devonshire cream for high tea. (I make any time of the day high tea here in my home) ;) Seriously, this stew looks divine and it has all of my favorites in it! Ciao for now~