8 May 2010

yesterday was a lovely day - have a biscotti

I know we are upside down at the moment and our world is unpredictable, but things just came together for me yesterday so I thought I'd share.

In the morning,  I made biscotti for the first time, which worked out perfectly.
Not a milestone event, but cooking for Tony who doesn't like it sweet can be tricky, so I reduced that distinctive sugar by 1/6th, juggled with the additions and hit it first time.
Flavoured with a hint of lemon zest & ginger with some complementary vanilla.

Afterwards, I wander chirp-ily over to the studio where we have a Korean painter who is sitting for us for 2 hours. 
& that simply works too.
Indeed I make 2 rapid oil paintings of her, the first one I prefer, but the second has her likeness.
I just need to plump her right upper lip which will correct that perceived imbalance of her face - I was blind to it whilst I worked but could see it afterwards.

There we go, upper lip fixed

And as these come in threesomes, I went to a house party last night, our first party of any sorts for about 10 years.
Claire and Simon were recently married in New York - congratulations to you both.
And imagine my surprise as I walk through their entrance landing to work my way out into their garden party,  when I am met with 3 of my oil paintings on their wall, which they've just acquired.

Some painters don't like to release their works, it's a wrench for them, but I'm not one of those types.  Selling and hanging my pictures is completion to me, if I'm lucky enough for it to happen that is.

So, back to those tasty biscuits .............................


500g  plain flour
100g muscovado sugar - or 500g if you like them sweet
2 tablesp honey
400g roughly chopped almonds - I've used hazelnuts here - & 100g ground almonds
4 eggs
vanilla - I've made vanilla extract after Celia's recipe,  but you could use vanilla sugar
grated ginger and lemon zest
pinch salt and a pinch of baking powder

pulse the ingredients together using a soft dough blade or bring the ingredients together in a bowl
form into a dough and divide & shape into 2 sticks

bake at 190 for fifteen minutes
then slice into angled biscotti shapes 

& bake for a further 10 minutes one side, then 10 minutes the other

leave to cool and harden on a rack


Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Gill, your biscotti look most fine, and your paintings are wonderful - I'm so impressed you were able to paint both in such a short time. And what a buzz to find your artwork on the walls of someone's house! Congratulations are in order there, methinks.. :)

Gill the Painter said...

Thank you Celia.
It was quite a buzz now you mention it. I'd better make some more pictures, hadn't I.

& Joanna at ZebBakes told me about your vanilla extract. It's just come into brew nicely, having now lost it's raw alcohol-ness.

Debs @ DKC said...

Hi Gill, how wonderful of your friends to display your paintings for all to see. Congrats to them too on their recent wedding.

Biscotti looks fab, something I've been meaning to do too; but never seem to get around to it LOL.

If only it were that easy to have my lips plumped up a bit LOL.

The Wandering Pit said...

Love your paintings, Gill-you´re very talented! Congrats for both your biscotti turning out well(they look wonderful BTW) and for finding your paintings on display.It must make you feel very proud!

Gill the Painter said...

good morning Debs and Tracey.
& thank you.

Unknown said...

Forgive my being so late in commenting Gill but I'm still jetlagged.
Just love those portraits and it is so wonderful to hear about your paintings hanging on the wall at your friends' house. You must be thrilled and rightly so! The biscotti look every bit as lovely as they sound. Someone's ears pricked up when I was saying "what lovely biscotti"! Elisaxx

Gill the Painter said...

Hey, welcome home Elisa.
And don't forget to up the sugar in you biscotti for your OH.

Lush said...

My God Woman - are you bionic....??????!!!!!!!!!

Just rustling up a batch of gorgeous biscotti - then a spot of very successful potrait painting, before partying the night away with people who are falling over themselves to get hold of your work........!

And I bet there was never a hair out of place, or a chipped nail the whole day!

Sounds like a day in Larkinland.....

Perfik....just perfik

La cocina de Babette said...

Gill, beautiful portraits, I've checked your web and you do great stuff. It's so weird, I don't know why but I had imagine you completely different when you left a message in my blog. I thought you were a peculiar bloke from the North of England who painted houses and made bread. What a surprise!

Anyway, thanks for the biscotti info, I´m really getting into those now.



Gill the Painter said...

Hello & welcome Bea. It's great to see you here and thank you.

Yes I get that sometimes - funny int'it!
People think I drive a white van using my knees whilst eating a chunky hot pie with one hand, & holding a mobile phone with the other - with the Sun newspaper on the dashboard.

Not quite though.

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Lushness.

It's a hard life in the Painter household isn't it.
Must go and repair my nail varnish.

Lush said...

Does this mean you can afford the rent now Grilly? :-)

Seriously tho'.... it's wonderfull to be appreciated - you must be chuffed!

I agree with you - I prefer your first attempt at the potrait, it has bags of energy and somehow more 'real' if you see what I mean.

The only biscotti I've made was the Rowley Leigh recipe - they were good, but again too much sugar, It seems to be the norm. - grated ginger & lemon is a good idea though!

I'll let you get back to washing your white van then...........:-D !

A toute a l'heure.......

Anonymous said...

ah biscotti, was that the first time you made them Gill? I haven't tried that yet, on my list along with oatcakes and other flat hard things to make..... yours look excellent! Joanna

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Joanna.
I've not made them before, they've been on the "far too sweet" to make list.

But I thought I'd have a go.
The vanilla flavouring in there's perfect.

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