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March 19, 2012


Happy brand new week from me and My Petite Maison.

I'm sharing my research project (my trying out something new here... a new dish, a new cookbook).   I'm making a dish from my friend, Fifi O'Neill's cookbook called The Romantic Prairie Cookbook.

Here it is, on my kitchen counter... ready to go.  It's a darling cookbook with nice stories and mouth-watering recipes.

To me, my kitchen needs to be in order and eye pleasing to me BEFORE the cooking begins, you too?

Since it's been raining and cold here, during the last week, I've decided to make one of the soups in the book.  The one I've made is Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro Oil (it's on page 28 of the cookbook).

The soup I made was fantastique! It contained pumpkin, coconut milk, curry powder, ginger and an onion.  I was happy to see that the soup called for water and not chicken broth since my husband's a vegetarian... Works perfect and delicious too!

I also made a platter of freshly cut cantaloupe and prosciutto (Prosciutto de Parma is the brand I used here).  Fifi's cookbook has a page devoted to prosciutto with fresh figues.  Since figues aren't in season, I chose to use melon instead and pair it with fresh limes and a little arugula for the taste of its peppery goodness to enjoy.

I have to admit, I cheated on the cilanto (coriander) oil, as we have our favorite brand, in our favorite tin brought back from Eze.  There's really nothing like it that's already prepared that I've tried EVER.  I'm sure the fresh in the cookbook is superb made from scratch.

I served a light, fruity sauvignon blanc wine from a local vineyard with our meal.  I love using different shapes and sizes of wine glasses to make it rustic and "picnic-y" for us.

We have a very small, Paris sized kitchen (I call it ;), so our door is usually open to let the beautiful, fresh air in and allow us to view our garden we've worked so hard on throughout the year.  I truly love the feel of outdoors inside always... even when it's raining.

Most of you have probably seen my little garden shack that's right outside our kitchen by now.  I am loving the vintage olive colanders from Italy.  I've placed an olive tree in one and fleurs in the other that drape over and cascade.  Love the look!


I can't wait to try more dishes from this book and to read the entire contents.  I will make the soup again, it's delicious and the subtle taste of coconut is always a favorite for me.

Vintage escargot dish from my grandmother

Our daughter is always throwing big, vintage Euro pillows on the floor and eating her meals that way.  Started as a little girl and continues on whenever she visits now that she has her own apartment.  Thought it was only fitting to throw down a pillow of my own and eat a delicious bowl of soup along with prosciutto and fresh melon and just kick back and relax with the gentle rain sounds outdoors and on our roof.

You can find Fifi's cookbook at

You can find a selection of fine, French vintage plates and bowls at my boutique and more items too.

Hope your week is special and you find something new to enjoy.  Maybe a new recipe for yourself and your family.

Please visit My Petite Maison 
in the following locations below: 


Mar said...

Yummy! I have only had but a quick moment to dream over Fifi's, I feel inspired to make time to sit down and relish each page.I love your post, and feel I have spent the day in your darling kitchen, chatting away as you stir the soup. Thank you for the inspiration...and the rumbly tummy I now have! xxoo

Blondie's Journal said...

This looks so delicious, Tracie, and an escape from the norm! Have you ever tried using vegetable broth for your is pretty good. My daughter is a vegan and I use it for a lot of things.

Thanks for this post, I wasn't aware Fifi had a cookbook and now I'm off to order one!!


Kris said...

I'd never heard of pumpkin soup until we were in Belgium with daughter and had it at her host family's home. It considered a staple there and eaten pretty regularly. I really liked it!

Sweet garden!

Phyllis@Around the House said...

Your home is delightful...thank you so much for sharing the beautiful photos...

Curtains in My Tree said...

I love your aoutside area and those colanders as great as a planter. I would not have wanted to put dirt in them LOL

your meal looks so refreshing makes me hungry and I want a glass of that wine right now

Roberta said...

Thanks for the peek into your petite 'Paris Kitchen' Tracie. ha! I have one of those too:) Love the olive planters and view from your kitchen door. So sweet!
As for the stack of vintage, gold trimmed cafe au lait's a stunning collection (that I covet!), although I am off to a pretty good start with four now. I also saw your home in a recent magazine and knew it was yours right away. Beautiful!
So happy for you too! xoRoberta

Mrs. Sutton said...

Lovely peek into your beautiful home and'Paris' kitchen - it may be petite but but it's oh so perfectly formed! Your blog is gorgeous and the recipe looks wonderful - yum!

Kelly Ash said...

Hi Tracie,

Your meal looks delish! And I am in love with your "Paris sized kitchen" - that's the kind of kitchen I love, I always feel like I should be running around a lot in those large "gormmet-style" kitchens. I like everything to be within reach, and also look pretty and cozy!

Loving your olive tree colanders and garden!


mossandivy said...

So nice to find your beautiful blog, it made my day!

Florence said...

I just got my copy of Fifi's book, I am anxious to go through it page by page. Happy Spring! We had a bump in our spring, I got 7 inches of snow last night. Ugh! Hugs! Florence

Simply Me said...

I love love your Garden, looks so Beautiful !!! I want one... your one looks amazing, now only if i could cook!!!!! Congrats on the Fifi thing!! Cant wait to see.. Take Care and have a lovely weekend!!

Tutti Chic said...

Oh tracie-you made everything look so delicious & so beautiful! I can't wait to get my copy of fifi's cookbook-thanks for sharing such pretty pics...:) chris

La Vie Quotidienne said...

What a lovely post from begining to end. The food looks delicious, I will be looking for the cookbook...but also love the views of your charming garden and the house.

victoria said...

A beautiful post Tracie... which I could join you for that bowl of soup!


A Romantic Porch said...

Oh Tracie, It all looks so fresh and yummy! xorachel

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Good morning Tracie! The soup sounds wonderful! I haven't picked up the book yet, but knowing Fifi, I am sure it is absolutely delightful. And speaking of delightful, I love your home!! The Zinc baskets used for planters...**swoon**. I saw a bunch up at Alameda a few months back and kick myself for not snagging them. Little jelly jars do make the best wine glasses. Infact, I have some at the shop I think I will bring back home to use.

Have a lovely wet day! Raining in the Central Valley, too.


PS: I have enjoyed reading about you in the magazines! **so happy for you!!**

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Tracie:I found you and am enthralled. I love your tiny french kitchen and your soup sounds delicious. I would love you to visit the Cottage when you have time..Happy Friday..Judy