Quince paste and Brebirousse d’Argental cheese

Some tastes are so good that you feel a moment of perfection–heaven-like if you will. It’s like that for me with quince paste and brebirousse d’Argental (a soft brie like cheese made  with sheeps milk.) I paired the two for christmas and eating them together made me instantly happy. Oh, if only we can be so happy and gratified all the time.

The quince paste was produced in a monastery in the Gard region of france. In French cuisine, quince paste or Pâte de coing is part of the Provence Christmas traditions and part of the “thirteen desserts” which are the traditional dessert foods used in celebrating Christmas. I bought it from the market in Uzes when i was there in early December, anticipating that i’d use it

with a soft ripe sheep’s cheese in our french macarons. I choose sheep’s cheese because many with gluten intolerance also have issues with dairy. Sheep’s milk, being extremely low in lactase, makes the most easily digestible cheese (next to Yak milk, so i’ve heard!) And it is so tasty. I myself eat mostly sheep’s cheese and yogurt.  The cheese we are using is  from the Lyon region, but bought in the USA. (I probably couldn’t have gotten the cheese past the airport dogs!)

Come on down to the Somerville Winter market this saturday and try our french macarons with quince and sheep’s milk. In addition to this savory, we will have three sweet filings as will. Try all four! A happy way to start your New Year!


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Looking for something delicious for New Years? Sneak preview of next week’s menu

We are still working on next week’s menu, but here are a few things we’ve decided to make:

For cookies so far we’ve decided on two french macaroons: one with fresh quince paste and cheese, and secondly with a Cassis ganache. Both the quince and the cassis are from a local monastery near Leesteffy’s house in France. And of course, our Cassis macarons  will not be as bright a purple as this picture. Did you know that bright colored macaron shells are colored with chemical dyes? We use only natural fruit and vegetable based coloring, that’s why ours are so pale. Lots of times we leave them natural color because we think they are pretty that way too.

We are trying to decide what to make with our homemade marzipan! Italian Pinoli (pine nut) cookies this week, but hmm, what should we make next week?

Double chocolate brownies with homemade elderberry marshmallows will also be on the menu. The elderberry infusion is also from said monastery.

For cakes, so far we’ve decided on a lemon poppy cake made with meyer lemons and filled with a meyer lemon creme and toped with lemon-rose french buttercream. We are also making a double dark chocolate cake with tahitian vanilla bean Italian buttercream drizzled with a reduced champagne syrup. And a triple chocolate mousse cake!

More as the menu unfolds! Preorders are welcome.


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Holiday Farmer’s market at the Charles Hotel–Dec 23

The Charles Hotel Farmer’s Market vendors will be holding a special Christmas/Holiday market on December 23rd from 10-3. Come on down and get some last minute holiday treats. Violette will be selling tins of gluten free christmas cookies from around the world, as well as an assortment of  cakes, breads and other treats. Stop by and pick up some special stocking stuffer treats!.

All the vendors are excited to return for this special day and we hope to see you there (weather dependent–heavy snow or ice might result in cancellation, as it will be outside.)

We will be accepting special orders for delivery on this day.


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Gluten free cooking is becoming more upscale!

Good article in the NYTimes. I agree with  Aran Goyoaga who didn’t even want to put “gluten free” on her book. Haven’t seen her cookbook yet, but plan to look at it now that it got such rave reviews. The problem with putting gluten free on the cover is that with all the bad press gluten free food has gotten over the years, putting gluten free on the cover will make everyone else pass the book by.  But why should they if it is just good cooking? I’m gluten free but the majority of our customers are not–they just like our baked goods.

Here’s the article:  Thanks Matt for passing it on!


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More deliciousness getting packed into my bags!

For our lactose intolerant suffers, we are bringing back some wonderful Confiture de lait de brebis. . . its kind of like a cross between a ganache and an only mildly sweet caramel made from  sheep’s milk. I’m bring back 7 flavors!

I confess, i happily tried all the samples they were willing to give and walked  out of the store with a big bag of goodies. And then of course, there is the truffle oil and truffle salt, not to mention other salty combos.  And lastly, but not least, my favorite lavender honey!

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Just opened the vanilla i’ve been brewing for the last year!

It is super yummy smelling –the best  vanilla i’ve ever smelled. Can’t wait to use it! Its in the Porto bottle just because i needed something dark to store it in. I made it, of course, with gluten free (potato) vodka. I also made some vanilla white rum. Smells good too! I admit, i don’t want to come home, but at least i’ve been collecting yummy things for baking. Yesterday we bought several bags of tea that smell incredible. I intend to make some macaroons with chocolate ganache

infused with tea de Noel a Paris! Maybe some milano cookies as well. Tomorrow and Sat i will head to two of my favorite outdoor markets to buy goodies. Then next week, there is the christmas market in Montpellier. I packed light so i could load up foodstuffs to take home.

Bought a collection of Brebis (sheep) cheese as well. Had some tonight that was similar to Camembert in my omelette with mushrooms, tomatoes and smoked trout. So simple, so good. Bread is baking in the oven right now, and i am happy.

If we don’t have a market to sell at (Somerville still has not reinstated our every week status, and without a busy market to go to each week we can’t bake), maybe i’ll just come back and bake for the markets here!

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We need your help!

As we shared with our customers throughout November, we have been eagerly looking forward to participating in the Somerville Market through the winter. Unfortunately, after being accepted to the market as a weekly vendor nearly a month ago, we are now being bumped to an every other week status.  We are an independent artisan bakery with a kitchen to pay for and staff, and couldn’t possibly sustain our business on only an every other week basis.

We believe that customers benefit from being able to buy fresh baked gluten free products. We hope that all of you will complain loudly to MaryCat and the City of Somerville.  Tell her if any vendor should be excluded based on lack of space, it should be the vendors with local brick and mortar stores where customers can buy food any day of the week–not vendors that the public has no other means of buying from.  This should be done immediately. Without such activism, we surely will not be able to continue selling our gluten free goods at this time.

Emails should be sent to Mary Cat at: Somerville Winter Farmers’ Market <>.

Calls should be made to Doug Kress 617 625 6600 (main number of city of somerville).  He said his duties were finished as of Nov 30 and so you might have to leave a message for the mayor’s office or whoever else they tell you handles the farmer’s market. We don’t have a phone number for Mary Cat.

Thank you for your help and we hope to be able to continue baking for everyone.

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Maiden voyage at Sunday Harvard Sq market a success!

Thanks everyone for braving the weather to show up. Lots of cake sales! A dozen orders for sourdough bread. Market goes until weekend before Thanksgiving. Please come out and support your local food producers! And say Hi to Caroleen (pictured below), a new member to team Violette!

By-the-way — The lobster woman gave me a piece of salmon at the end of the market. I cooked it last night and it was THE BEST fish i’ve ever eaten. So check out her stand at Sunday’s Harvard Sq market–she’s two stalls down from mine.  Artisan producers are REALLY making a difference in the quality of food.


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Thanks, pot pies and new market day!

Thanks to everyone who braved the inclement weather to come to the market yesterday. Your patronage (and company) is much appreciated. And thanks to mother nature for holding off the worst of the storm until the market was over! Wasn’t that lightening amazing last night?

Starting next week, Sunday Oct 28, i will be doing the Sunday Harvard Sq (Charles Hotel ) market as well as friday.  Just for four weeks, until the market closes the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I have a new helper, Tim, who has lots of farmer’s market experience, but is new to my product, so be patient with him please! He has been selling honey and working for a second vendor who makes cheese. So desserts are new for him, though he has tried my products many times while working at the same markets  as me. If you are interested in starting your own bee hive in your back yard, talk to him!

I now have gluten free organic ingredients* pot pies. I par-bake and freeze them so they are ready for you to pop in the oven for some warm homemade goodness. Personal size and family sizes available. This week i made two sauces: béchamel and cheddar cheese. The cheese is Cabot and is the only thing not organic in the pies. The veggies i used this week were broccoli, green beans, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash and yukon gold potatoes. All mixed in a creamy sauce.  And decorated, of course, with either flower cut-outs for the cheese or stars for the béchamel.

*i can’t use the label “organic” because i’m not certified, but all the ingredients i use, except for the cheese, are organic.



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Vegetable pot pies this week

With either cheese sauce or bechamel. The flowers designates the cheese sauce and the bechamel has stars!

Pies contain all organic ingredients and are gluten free,  of course. Veggies include: broccoli, green beans, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, yellow potato.

Comes in personal size or family size. The one on the right is a large family size –a 4+ pound pie!



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