watercress and orange salad with cumin flavoured vinaigrette and pistachios

We have had a very chilled-out long Jubilee weekend holidaying at home. Drawers have been tidied, cupboards organised, films watched, knitting nearly finished... but the thing that I have enjoyed most over all has been cooking some recipes from this beautiful and inspiring book.

© la tartine gourmand all images used with permission

© la tartine gourmand all images used with permission

Beatrice Peltre is a Frenchwoman living in the USA who cooked and blogged, blogged and cooked and took gorgeous photo’s of her dishes.

© Beatrice Peltre la tartine gourmand

© Beatrice Peltre la tartine gourmand

It was the photo’s of the food that initially caught my eye as they inspired ideas for paintings (more on that when I’ve created something to show you).

© Beatrice Peltre la tartine gourmand

I love the way she styles the food with beautifully coloured dishes and fabric.

© Beatrice Peltre la tartine gourmand

I sat in bed a few nights ago and decided to read through it like a novel and I’m glad I did because her writing is so personable and inspiring – it’s full of her stories of family life and events that have given rise to the recipes.

Coriander-flovoured carrot and zucchini tartlets

I’ve only read 117 pages of the 300  and I’ve made five dishes over this long bank holiday weekend.

Carrot and red lentil soup with coconut milk

Some of the  groceries and techniques have needed a google translation to help me proceed; Cilantro = parsley, broiler is some kind of grilling, Comte cheese is like Gruyère and there is no shop nearby that sells any of the recommended 12 types of flour, but I have adapted anyway and the outcome has still been delicious.

Basil-flavoured zucchini and Comte muffins

So with all that cooking and eating, I think a bike ride might be order today.

Tartine with walnut, lemon, ricotta pesto and sautéed mushrooms

Maybe to the shop for more ingredients…

PS, not to be outdone, my other half made a cake (he is usually strictly a chef and not a baker) but it was magnificent (rather like my waistline now).