Thursday, April 28, 2016

Linda~Orecchiette~Cookies












Linda..I ..."met".. years ago through blogging..we always keep in touch even though she is on an extended hiatus from her well loved blog.
We clicked and we still click:)
She's such a great cook/baker..and I love when she sends me an email with a link to something she has tested and liked..or loved:)
The latest was this orecchiette dish ..that both Jacques and I favor.
The little pasta bowls end up holding such flavor..w/ the pancetta(Costco)..we used to get it in Little Italy..but the last time we were at Costco they had some so we picked it up and it's good..very good..
I add toasted pine nuts to the recipe..and some red chili flakes when charring the leaves of the sprouts..
and I add basil when I have it.
Since she told me about it we have had it twice..and we will have it again soon:)

April was Letter writing month..and I think I will keep it up..
It's over now..but I think next year....I will do it again...but more.

I love posting a note as well as receiving a note..

I always want everything to get there the same day though..like an email..;)
Take for example the seeds..I ordered them online..because I really want Watermelon radishes:)  And I can't find any..
Ater 10 days the seeds had not arrived and I inquired..asking if this was habitual because it's all within Canada ..and she said yes..

Murphy's Law..the next day or close to the next day the seeds had arrived..

have to wait until summer to plant..they are not like early French radishes..

I think I am changing..Jacques is slowly ripping out a hydrangea/goatsbeard bed..(what a job!)  so we can plant a few more little veggies..
I had planted all those to hide an unsightly heat pump..I guess growing a few more veggies or garlic appeals to me more than hiding ugly now.
:)
Also chopping down those hydrangeas and goatsbeard plants is a huge job in the fall..

It's been so cold..and prepping the gardens is more difficult when cold..
Tonight..I am going to take a warm bubble bath .. wash my hands and face..and apply all those Rose samples to myself.♥
And make believe I am at a spa..and make believe I like spas..and make believe I have tried a spa.
I love home grooming.. what can I say...definetely not high maintenance.
I used to streak my own hair..till it got old too;)And till I goofed twice:) Orange was not the new black back then..:)

Bus duty..pulled out a recipe from my real estate yrs....one client had made these to greet the agents:) Sold!

They are called Terri's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies..

they are so good.I sample the batter.

Here you go:)




My notes..
I first had these over 10 yrs ago..maybe even 15.
I did not add nuts..nor the peanut butter kisses although they are delish w/ those..the Littles..like w/out fanfare.
I use a cookie scoop..and so mine take about 12 mins to bake.
They are puffy when I take them out of the oven..and flatten.
This recipe makes ap 36 cookies.

Definitely keeper cookies..

Bon weekend..may our temps warm and our gardens grow~

Shameless nana had to add Oli..a pic I took last weekend when he donned my hippie era fur collared and cuffed jean jacket to stay warm while playing football..~


He cleans up well:)♥He's the baby of all the Littles..6.
He's so cool.



photo courtesy of his mommy's Iphone.

Hmmm....he always reminds me of a very young...


Monday, April 25, 2016

Million Dollar Pound Cake~









One of my favorite molds is that heart silicone mold from Ikea..It is so pretty..turquoise..and works like a charm.
I wanted to make a pound cake to serve with fresh fruits and CF..
I found this recipe online..for A Million Dollar Poundcake..
I used half the recipe and it's it's a perfect size for the mold.
Look at the details..
I did have to cook as long as for the full recipe..it bakes at 300..

it is dense..and very flavorful.I didn't put almond extract..just my Italian vanillin powder and a touch of the same line's baking powder..but a smidge..the recipe does not call for any,but I love what it does..
my daughter made it the next day and she is keeping the recipe in her keeper file also..she bought whipped cream and fruit..it's a great cake too add to..like a pound cake normally is..
I had decided to add Lego frozen yogurt/chia seed treats for Noah..I got the cute idea from Sue..at the View from Great Island..it was plain greek yogurt..I need to add a dash of honey for him next time;)

Noah came for dinner..that's why I made it..he is our shy..reserved
Little as you can see;)
He knocked my socks off doing a Rubik's Cube side:)


video

Oy my voice...  and I was kidding when you hear me say:"but you have to go much faster Noah":) I can't line up any..

Anyway..he's so funny..♥And very good at doing one side..
We watched the last Star War movie..where Harrison Ford..Hans Solo...dies.:(
Not a fan of Star Wars..at all..but he and his mom love it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mamm'ouls~and Maps~








Mammouls are wonderfully shaped little stuffed cookies..sometimes w/ a date filling..sometimes with a nut filling..sometimes both..
I had not made any in ages..
I like the little ritual..of forming little balls then making a deep dent and filling..folding the dough over..and pressing into the mold..knocking out the perfectly shaped little filled cookies and baking.

Soo many recipes for mammouls and not all are created equal..in my mind..these are my faves..so far..
Please refer to the recipe here..they are from The Book Of Jewish Cooking by Claudia Roden..
I made the date filling.
But above..my dough was from a different recipe and not nearly as good.It included semolina..I much prefer all flour.
The first time I made these..was over 10 yrs ago I am almost certain.I got my molds at our Lebanese market..Adonis..yrs ago.
I have seen some 9 cavity ones in plastic that look adorable.
The molds are also available on EBAY etc..
Sometimes..I even omit the orange or flower water..and put in almond essence..then they can be filled w/ Nutella.
I am not a purist as you know.Nutella and my Littles..a marriage made in heaven.
I'll be making that cinnamon swirl banana bread this aft..
and I made fantastic muffins but the pics are frightening..all 3 littles gave them a 10..The recipe is here..

The cookies by the way.. end up looking as though you had picked them up in a lovely salon de thé~

I have been writing again..trying different little nibs..

one nib I like and really it's small and a bit of a wallflower looks wise..but does it ever pack a little punch..the Gillott 303..
I got them on Ebay..fast shipper..honest..(I had placed the order twice and he emailed asking if I had meant to do that..kudos.)
I'll add the link if anyone is interested..

..speaking of the name Gillott..it struck my fancy as it is Carol's last name from Paris Breakfasts  and her wonderful Salons des Thés arrived..you can subscribe to the Paris maps by clicking on the link to the right..on my sidebar..the maps come w/ so many cute things..

brochures..business cards..my art room looks like a shrine to Carol;)







Carol just celebrated her 10th anniversary of over 2250 posts over at Paris Breakfasts..
Bravo !

Bon weekend~!

P.S..  Garden Lore..

Its pouring and grey..Wuthering Heights-like today..weekend should be better.
I planted peas and beets..and nasturtiums the past few days..hope they all take..I want to split open the peas and admire..then eat..same with the beets...admire first..then eat.
The garlic is up and the local one is 100 times more robust than grocery one..it was a test..
I'll never have enough garlic..I need a field..
so if any of you planted some last fall..it should be up;)

Monday, April 18, 2016

~Fresh~ And..Very Nantais~













I think I scanned it fuzzy:)


I made something cool;) 2... something cools.. in the kitchen..

Madonna's CF..I tried once and failed..because I did not buy whipping cream..so I tried again..and now it is a staple here for J not me.
My staple is a chip..;)Or pineapple.
But he loves a dollop on little cakes..and strawberries ..etc..

so now I make it..thank you Madonna!

So easy..

Mix one tbsp of buttermilk w/ 1 cup of whipping cream..place in a clean sterile jar and cover w/ a coffee filter..leave on counter 24 hours..then refrigerate..that's it..:)

last time..3 pots:)

I made a delicious 8 inch cake..a Nantais Cake..I found the recipe on Mamina's Blog..Et si c'était bon~

It really is delicious..

La recette..gleaned from Mamina~Merci!

125 grams semi-salted butter softened..room temp..I used salted
140 grams of sugar
110 grams almond flour
30 grams of flour
3 beaten eggs
2 tbsps dark rhum
1/2 envelope of  baking powder..(I put 1 tsp)

10 cl of dk rhum******  see below..
100grams icing sugar..

In a bowl cream butter and sugar..add almond meal and flour that you sifted with the bp..add the eggs and the 2 tbsps rhum..
Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 mins

let cool 5 minutes..
unmold..

now..you should poke the cake and add some of the 10 cl of rhum..but mamina felt the icing was rhummy enough and I agree..

***so forget about the 10 cls of rhum:)

And simply make an icing by combining the icing sugar w/ enough rhum to create a nice coating..ice cake letting the icing fall by the sides..

Hope all this makes sense...because it is so moist.. look at the cumb..cuts beautifully..
And Jacques will add a dollop pf CF.
His parents had a grocery store when he was growing up..maman stayed home and always had something cooking..baking..
I guess he got his love of a sweet bite after dinner from that.

The stories he tells me..
I am reading The Only Street in Paris..the author..Elaine Sciolino.. describes working in her father's food store..
Jacques has so many stories..delivering groceries up and down streets Christmas Eve with a sleigh..he was 12..he eventually graduated to a car..but young..the girls in the family worked the cash..the boys delivered..it was not optional to work in his father's store as she said..it was mandatory:)

At the age of 7-8..he delivered milk..for a brother-in-law of a brother-in-law..
 left at 7 AM..back by 3PM.. $0.75 for the day..a container of chocolate milk and doughnuts..lol..he said they ran in and out of that truck all day..for $0.75 ..

I do love those stories..

which brings me to mine..


The garden in April above..brown and beige.

The garden later on below..not much later on..when things start to happen here..they know they are on borrowed time and grow fast:)



The bare bones of a QC garden in April..
..when the temp is screaming summer..Nana's 2 biggest Littles..came to help..
We rake and blow every single leaf in October..for some reason..come April when the snow recedes..every bare bed is full of leaves again..the potting shed opens it's doors..the rakes and tarps come out..and these 2 darlings came to help nana while grandad raked elesewhere.
I remember putting these 2 Littles  to sleep as infants out back.. swinging them on the swings Jacques built..swinging on the front porch watching grandad mow his lawn..
my heart was bursting working alongside them in the garden.


They worked in harmony..I was so proud of the little gentlemen they are becoming..
nice..nice boys.
All 4 boys are tenderhearted..each in their own ways.

OK..
moving right along..The borage seeds were first to germinate...a few little tomato seedlings with a new way of planting..

have a peek.

I'll see how they do..
I need more prepped gardens for the food I want to grow..
when my Littles will be older:)

And painted a few Spring and Summer clothing items..find an ad..on Polyvore..or Pinterest w/ real clothes and try and draw and paint..
Fun...
found some new nibs to write with..Gillott 303s..hope they arrive soon.
That sweet serving spatula.. ..Anthro..artist is Molly Hatch..I love her.Sarah..from Texas introduced me to both the darling spatula and Molly Hatch♥

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lately~ mostly pinks..















I love adding fruits to our salads.. even if chicken and avocado are involved.. when we ate at the Bistro..we had a salad w/ a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette..so funny.. that was the only thing that left me wanting for more..of..salt.
Not one hint of salt in the salad..which left us both wondering how the rest of the meal would be seasoned..Jacques is not a salter..I have become one.

No salt in a salad=bland.

I found a recipe and we tried it atop all that..but.. hardly any ..and it was just right..not the best..  don't jump in and make it until I say and mean it's the best:)...just right...for my craving for it salted.

All was well:)..at the Bistro..after the salad..


I have been brushing up  on my calligraphy..I find it relaxing..and good for me to be still..and write..and paint...
My Windsor Newton ink..on the other hand has clumped beyond repair and I threw it away.
I love painting little vignettes and adding words..to cards..
I have an oblique pen on order..curious to see how that will work..but this pen..which I have had for eons..is a treat..

I read that April was letter writing month..so why don't we take one minute to drop someone a hand written note?:)
I will:)


I made more of that jam.. w/ a stronger hint of Cassis this time.
How many times have I made it?
Too many.

One of my favorite things in life is cooking in the kitchen with sunshine streaming in..
it's one of Jacques' too:)

A kitchen..no matter how big or small..things happen..and usually magic.
Have you read Pat Conroy's cookbook?



Sam at My Carolina Kitchen spoke of it..I was able to get it..

That man writes like a poet..a chef..a traveler..a father ,a husband..
a son..sadly he is gone..and not that long ago...

Prince Of Tides is one of my all time fave movies/books..and he is a favored author of mine.
The book is a delight.Reads like a novel of short stories sprinkled with recipes..
Un coup de ♥

Do you remember that sweet set cof cookie cutters Marie had sent?
I made the British Custard Creams?
This time I made her Bourbon cookies..like Marie..I used vanilla..had no bourbon..her recipe worked like a charm..see how clear the words are?
Quality little cutters and a good recipe=success:)

The weather shaped up beautifully..today..Thursday..

we had an appt. in Mtl..and stopped in Little Italy on the way home..

Ings. for a Marcella Hazan dish..and a few odds and ends..

I love that place..

Bon Weekend~


Miracles do happen~


Borage..happening now~

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A bit of this a bit of that~mostly blues..














The past couple of weeks..I have made old standbys..because it has been chilly and before warmth sets in..
so chilly and snowy..

I made home made stock..soup bowls..I adore soup bowls..


Shepherd's pie..which we love and I jujj it up a bit every time..this time I added wine on top of the worcestershire sauce to the beef..and egg yolks and Spring Green onions  to the mash..our forever corn is always in the middle..my mom made it that way..J's mom too..of course that's pre-baked above..we are hungry by the time dinner is ready..and well..there seems to be no time for photos.
..picture it.. bubbly and golden brown..

I love making it in the morning and then at the end of the day..it's as if Mrs Patmore or a butler had made it for me..Bake till bubbly..warm plates..

We ate Marie's Korean Beef ..it is a staple here and at my daughter's..I have posted about it before..so good.. and I made yet another General Tao Chicken that was baked..too sweet so I won't post :)
I get a GT craving once in a while..
Speaking of Marie..I made another SP..larger..and basket weaved my mashed potatoes..because she does;) So pretty!

And I made Averie's soft cream cheese chocolate chip cookies for bus duty and they are good..you can find her recipe here..


We had avocados that needed to be eaten up..we try and eat one a day..just plain..or w/ tomatoes and garlic and oil on toats..or even Naan..mini naans so cute..
I put a bit of salt on my half..but this day..I had gone through old saved recipes the day before and pulled out my famous crab stuffed ones..from 1979..I was just learning to entertain..

I was married in '74..

..so both girls were born..and I started having aquaintances that had babies too..
I took great pleasure back then in having friends for dinner..and my entertaining mentor..Nicole..had served us these..everything she did IMPRESSED me so much.
Lovely lovely girl.I am sorry she moved many yrs ago and we lost touch.
The recipe is from those recipe box cards..LOL remember?

1971 it was published..

From The Betty Crocker  Recipe Card Library

1 can  7 1/2 ounces drained crabmeat
1/3 cup chopped celery
3 hard boiled eggs chopped
2 tbsps chopped pimiento
1 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mayo
3 large or 4 small ripe avocados
lemon juice
salt
3 tbsps dry bread crumbs
1 tsp melted butter
2 tbsps slivered almonds

Heat oven to 400F
Mix crabmeat,celery,eggs,pimiento,onion,1/2 tsp salt and mayo.Cut unpeeled avocados in half,remove pits,brush w/ lemon juice,sprinkle lightly with salt.
Fill avocado halves w/ crabmeat mixture.Toss breadcrumbs in butter,spoon over avocados
Place in an ungreased shalow baking dish..bake uncoverd 10 minutes..add almonds over crumb topping..return to oven for 5 minutes until bubbly and golden.

My notes..I used panko..I halved the recipe..so we had it twice for lunch..I baked mine longer and used sliced almonds.
Total flashback for me.
I was in my twenties again.



Speaking of mashed potatoes..Am I a collector or what?
Ricer,single masher,double masher, round masher..not to mention the food mill and etc..but each ones serves it's purpose..the round one makes the best chopped egg salad..it was my mom's♥
that's what cooking and baking for 42 yrs does..you end up with "stuff"~
Another night I made Ricardo's crepes..but added chicken..you can find his recipe here and of course the above pic is pre-baked.

All food no fun this post:)

Too cold.

I promise to be back as the temps warm up..later in the week..;)

I kid you not..we store all the winter garb away..and it snows..

went for a walk today IN winter garb and FROZE.
Back w/ softer posts ..

Friday, April 8, 2016

Stinkin'Cute~ Susan Quote:)















And this is the reason it's nice to be a crafter in Qc.
Snow in April.


I used one of Z de Las Cases books to imitate her girl w/ the leaf..and Vivian has a lesson on leaf painting in her new book..
I need practice..not snow days..:)



It's no secret I like  pretties..

gathered through the years..some things are over 150 yrs old..
some things are recent.
My mother's things..are my favorites and then heartfelt gifts through the years..I still have my  string of 8 tiny miniature pearls on a necklace  from Birks..it was for my 1rst communion from my godmother.
On our honeymoon 42 yrs ago..we bought a ring for me..enamel on copper..a floral design ..a large band..w/ white inlay and roses..I never take it off..like the 4 rings I wear in permanence.I am amazed that although the gold came off..the stirling silver has remained as beautiful as day 1.
My girls offer me such cute things too for birthdays..and friends.
I never buy expensive things for myself..I'm not interested in the best gold jewelry ..
I like cute..
even statement necklaces I bought w/ my daughters on sale..
so heavy..but then you just look at the necklace;)
Great at 62.

The perfume bottles are the age of 7 maybe..we babysat Lucas and Max one week when the kids went away:) Caro brought me back that set of minis..keepers;)See.? Cute.

Pretty..I don't know why but pretty matters to me ..that's not good..
I would prefer to be neutral.
I read Susan Branch's book The Fairy Tale Girl..I told you already..
I did what she did when  got married..I taught myself to make meals..grow flowers..stitch and craft and always tried to make things ..well like a fairy tale:)
I loved to cook and bake and have friends over back then  and loved when they said they loved the food..the tables etting..the company..

times change..and things aren't always fairy tale fodder..


but I still like doing pretty.
A friend had sent me a sign she found at a B and B in England..the sign simply said:"Please Park Prettily"..she said it was meant for me.

So I guess you feel joy at having compliments in home making.''child rearing..and so you keep doing it..
I am older and wiser now..I still like pretty..to each their own and I adore people who don't care.
Who wear no makeup..no jewelry except the same earrings and necklace and watch..or nothing..
that don't care if the garden looks a little raggedy..and the house needs a sweep.
It's too late now..but if I had to start over I would want to be neutral.
And just care about what really matters..:)

But I have not started over so I still get sidetracked by stinkin' cute..and there you have the embroidery hoop necklace story..LOL

I didn't set it in permanently..as I am not sure it's my fave look;)

I really want a black background:) I had no black fabric..:(




It's a kit..from Australia and arrived in a very short time..it comes with everything except your floss and fabric and needle and scissors and glue gun and hoop:)But I am a stitcher and had it all.

Here is a link if my stitching friends would like one..what a fun thing to give as a gift or to do w/ daughter..
Tiny wearable art:)

The seller is quick at corresponding..friendly and looks adorable:)

On Instagram I found her..hooked on the stitchers ..I am..and food and Montreal ..and artists ..etc...

By the way..just in case you think this is a plug..well it is..but Ifoundheriboughtitiloveitshedidn'taskmetosayallthis:)

Bon Weekend~