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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Sunday, January 29, 2017

In the Kitchen #5 - Madeleines

This little French butter cake has been on my baking bucket list for some time. But, I was a little more than intimated to give them a try, until this week - and I'm beyond happy that I kicked my fear to the curb.
The recipe I used is from the Laduree Sucre recipe book ...

2 lemons, unwaxed
3/4 C. + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/3 C. + 1 tbsp cake flour
2 1/2 tbsp. cake flour for moulds
2 tsp. baking powder
12 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. butter for moulds
4 eggs
1 12/3 tbsp. honey

Create the Magic:
Prepare the madeleine batter one day ahead.

Using a grater remove the zest from the lemons. Mix the grated zest with the sugar in a large bowl. Sift the flour and baking powder together in an other bowl. Melt the butter over low heat.

Place eggs in a bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest mixture, and honey. Whip until pale and frothy. Fold in the flour and baking powder mixture. Add  melted butter and combine. Refrigerate batter in a closed container for minimum 12 hours.
Love that all the messy stuff can be taken care the day before. So that there is only the baking pan to clean the next day.
Pre-heat oven to 390 °F .
Melt the 1 1/2 tbsp. of butter and brush the moulds, chill moulds for 15 minutes so the butter hardens. Lightly dust with flour , be sure tap excess flour by turning upside down. 
Fill moulds 3/4 to the top with batter. (I used a tablespoon scoop) - Place in oven bake: min madeleines 5-6 minutes; individual madeleines 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven when golden - letting cool slightly before removing from moulds. Best served after they have  cooled and are slightly warm.
Madeleines are the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon cup of tea... but I have discovered it is equally delightful with a morning cup of coffee. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container , so they remain soft and moist ( I stored mine in a zip lock bag - and they remained mosit and tasty for 3 days). 

Please share any tips you may have for baking madeleines in the comments.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

High Heeled Life - The Next Journey ...

Long time readers have seen this little blog morph from a place where I shared my journey of healing after what should have been a fatal car-pedestrian accident, to my life in the countryside as I healed, to a little of this and a little of that - THANK YOU for your encouragement, support and love over these almost 7 years!!

Over these almost seven years I have been blessed to have connected with some amazing women! Some I have had the honour of meeting in person over the years, and others I continue to bond with virtually. But whether in person or virtually these women (you know who you are) have become friends and true inspirations. I treasure each and everyone of you! It was through your belief in me, friendship and encouragement through your emails, blog post comments and chats that I had the courage to pursue my dream of creating a website dedicated to inspire/motivate women to practice self care and self love on the daily! - my dream resulted in the launch of Resilientista.com last year. Resilientista is where I will continue to advocate/write for the importance of taking care of yourself and making yourself a priority in your life! I've also created some great tools and products to help you on your journey of self care, self love and creating the life you want to live. If you haven't checked it out, I invite you to pour yourself a cup of your fav beverage and pop on over for a visit.

So, what about High Heeled Life, many of you have been emailing me. 

Well, at first I thought I didn't have anymore to share here - then I realized --- that I'm actually starting a new journey ... as some regular readers may already know - after almost 10 years of living in the countryside while I healed; this past year I have been trying to spend a little more time in the city; with the hope that I will be able to make a full return in time.

It's interesting when I first started returning to the city - I some how thought it would be the same as when I left! So much has changed in the past 10 years, in Toronto. Not to mention I'm now a decade older - with different priorities, interests and out look on life. So, I hope I will continue to inspire you with my adventures of navigating life in the city, discovering new places, activities, shops, restaurants and learning the TTC (subway, street cars and the occasional bus) - and re-discovering some long time favourites. Oh, and adjusting to a much smaller house - learning to let go of things (because, well there really isn't any spare space for things I "may" use one day). Yes, it's going to an adventure ... Hope you will come along!!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea at The King Edward - Toronto

When my friend Sophia, who often steeps an afternoon cup of tea for me - during my writing break in the day, was about to celebrate her birthday recently; her daughter (Jennifer) and I along with her darling granddaughter (Miss A.) decided an afternoon tea would be the perfect outing, since we all enjoy an afternoon cup of tea. We choose The King Edward, as it had been a place the ladies wanted to try and I had not taken afternoon tea there for many years. - so it would be a new experience for us all.


Once seated we were presented with two beautiful chests of tea, each containing a wonderful selection of teas. Sloane teas is based in Toronto and Tealeaves is based in Vancouver.

I choose a Sloane tea : Bergamont Rose blended black tea... 
Ceylon and Assam black tea perfumed with Italian bergamot, finished with fine French lavender and Jaipur roses, creating a citrus and floral finish. Lovelies this tea was everything that I imagined as I read the description!!
Cheering the birthday gal ... with tea of course!
To accompany our tea - we all choose the Duchess of Bedford, which made our taste buds dance with excitement... as we read the selection of delicate pastries: Blood Orange Posset with Cranberry Oat Biscotti Chocolate Mint Macaron Vanilla Bean & Berry Cream Tartlet Layered Chocolate Chestnut Slice and scones: Currant & Cinnamon Scone Classic Cream Scone Served with Devonshire Cream, House Made Ontario Strawberry Jam and Apple Brandy Butter.
The birthday gal was given her own sweets tier - with a special little touch...

You didn't think we forgot the bubbly - now did you?

We had a wonderful experience celebrating Sophia's birthday! Miss A. was particularly fond of the scones; I know Jennifer is planning to return again soon and I will be bringing a special young lady who recently turned double digits - to experience her first afternoon tea - in the next few weeks.

While we opted for Duchess of Earl which includes pastries and scones ... the Earl of Sandwich offers savoury finger sandwiches and scones; and the Traditional Experience offers pastries, savoury finger sandwiches and scones. And of course a glass of bubbly can be added to any of the Afternoon Tea options ... we treated ourselves to a glass of  Glass of Mo√ęt & Chandon Brut Imperial; but you can also opt for a glass of sparkling or sherry.

I was impressed by the service and options of afternoon tea experiences - for full afternoon tea description of options click here .   Reservations are suggested.

The King Edward is located at 37 King Street East and is easily accessible by TTC. 

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

5 Thing's I'm Loving Right Now ...

1. Morning Glamour Satin Pillowcase - Morning Glamour & MYNC Beauty: Just before Christmas I picked up this amazing pillowcase at MYNC Beauty (my go to place for eyebrow styling). It's not my first try at satin pillowcases - but I had been needing to replace my much "loved" satin pillowcase that I had for a few years. What I didn't like about my past satin pillowcases was that the pillow often popped out of the case in the middle of the night as I turned; ladies the Morning Glamour pillowcase has a stay-put pocket flap which prevents this from happening. Why sleep on a satin pillow case? - well besides all the fun print options and feeling luxurious - the satin pillow case offers many benefits: no waking up with sleep wrinkles, reduces hair frizz, and unlike cotton it doesn't absorb moisture so our (expensive) night creams stay on our face not the pillow. 

2. Gusto TVGusto Canada: I came across this channel during a damp, rainy, autumn day on the sofa and now I'm hooked. It has helped fueled my desire to get back in the kitchen on the regular. The channel has something for everyone, and it's not just about food, it's also about lifestyle - check out their various topics wellness, travel, house & home, entertaining. If you are looking for some inspiration I highly recommend checking out this new channel! On Fibe TV ... you will find it on channel 1619.

3. Chocolat Menier MugNestle FranceI was gifted this adorable mug by a girlfriend almost 15 years ago!! I love drinking my hot chocolate from it. Sometimes I just pour in enough milk and chocolate for a "traditional size" cup of hot chocolate other times I make full use of the generous size. It's size and shape make it perfect for holding with both hands - when you just need a little comforting. 

4. Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion - Shoppers Drug Mart: Baby it's cold outside !! Toronto has been experiencing some really harsh freezing temperatures and I'm keeping my skin luxuriously hydrated with this little drug store gem. You don't have to break the bank to keep your skin moisturized throughout the cold weather. I start and end my day with a lathering of this and I can tell you, I have not experienced the flaky dry, itchy feeling on my legs that I tend to experience during this time of year.

5. Makridis Greek Delights (Loukoumi) - Serano Bakery: If you follow High Heeled Life on instagram you will have seen various photos I share of the wonderful treats I enjoy with my afternoon tea, from this local neighbourhood bakery! Well they just upped the YUM factor with these little delights they brought in from Greece!! - and they will be creating them onsite!! HELLO ... can life get any better? I recently picked up the rose ones and it was like a sensory trip to my rose garden at our country home, during the warmth of summer. 

What are you loving right now?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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