Monday, September 26, 2016

Roasted Beet Hummus~Kuretake and Koi~




MMMM..love hummus and had seen roasted beet hummus popping up in so many blogs I decided to make some because the color appealed to me..
It was just ok in my opinion..I roasted the beets w/ evoo and garlic and s and p..

I used my processor and put the drained..rinsed chickpeas(1 large can)..put 2 large cloves of home grown garlic and the roasted ones..some evoo..the juice f the roasted beets..1 beet..1/4 cup tahini..s and p..lemon juice..a touch of water..even added a nice mix of roasted pine nuts..sunflower seeds..oil..garlic chives..sesame seeds..and still I found it bland.
Served on mini warmed naans.


Oh well.

I did however polish off so many Tostitos and Tostito Cheese dip..
We went to one of our daughter's for dinner and I sat in front of them..and never stopped:)

Scrabble..etc..French dip sandwiches..apple crisp♥
Fall is in the air.
It's been cool the last 3 nights and the trees are proof of the cooler air..they are shedding their green color for the fantastic shades of autumn..
a little football on Sunday..I love when Max waves to us all:)
They had company the night before and Max..9 ..at 9.15 PM announced he had to go to bed because he had a game the next day.

So today I have two sets up..I painted the same teapot twice..and both could be vastly improved upon..the first I did on Arches paper with a travel set I have had for a long long time..my friend had one too..I liked that the water brush came with it and it was my first I think..
The kit is available on Amazon ..I find they are fun to travel with but again..more chalky than I like..





However if you go peek here..on Instagram..I follow this girl and most of her paintings are done w/ this kit..they don't look chalky with her talent!Becky..aka Caobecky..
I really should use it more..
Again Parka Blogs has a review..

Even Walmart carries it..



Here is a set I do like..not the above ones I painted..but below.. Kuretake ..you may remember those were my birthday gift this year..they were bought on Amazon..I don't find them chalky at all ,although more opaque..but vibrant!
Parka Blogs has a review..And it's fun to have all the colors right there..I used some paper I just love...the book is very big 10x14 and thick w/ a natural cover..the sheets are bright..white..lovely texture..deckled edges,this book was a gift..bought at Mtl Japanese paper shop and is from St-Armands.it is different than my individual sheets that some of you may have tried..if you look on their site there is an area for pads etc..mine is there..:)underneath to the right..my friend had the one bottom left..horizontal..for her landscapes.





So 5 stars to my lovely book and paper..and I do really like this green Kuretake set above..my favorite brush is Raphael Petit Gris Pur 0/2 le "803"~
Paints to me are what my Prismacolors..Crayolas..etc were to me young.I loved getting new pencils.
You will find me more in art departments than clothes depts.
And maybe that's why I get such a crush on artists..
all kinds..

Again most of my brushes are very ordinary brushes except my 2 Raphaels and some Japanese brushes..but the rest are generic to the stores,have come w/ the kits..or are waterbrushes.. etc..I have not invested in fancy brushes...
but I have quite a few..
and paints I am a novice..so check out Parka Blogs when you can:)Because I am not an expert..so far..in linking here..I have read and agree..it surprised me my thoughts were alike.

I think St-Armands ships..so maybe you could go take a peek at their site..it's a phenomenal place.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bakewell Tart~Watercolors~And Internet Usage.







It's no secret I love the GBBS:)

And I have grown fond of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry..
I hear things are changing..I hope I still get to see the show.
I like them together..and she is amazing.
81 years amazing.
Anyway..I have seen Mary Berry's bakewell tart here and there and decided to make one..I used the crust I have fallen in love with..I shared it here..
just try it..it's so easy and so good..
doesn't fall apart..crispy and flaky.

PS Edit today Sept 24th..in emailing with my friend Linda I remembered I omitted to mention here I had 4 tbsps of jam..I covered the base of my 9 inch fluted pan.

I must have merged a few of Mary's BT recipe found here and there.


I was quite unpro though and used an almond frangipane type filling I bought in the USA..
Next time I will make my own..because I do like being true to a recipe to give an honest review..as it stands it is delicious.And pretty.
So if possible even moe delish following the recipe.

the one on her recipe..
here..I used store bought raspberry jam..lovely sliced almonds and then a drizzle of icing sugar glaze..
after all fall was Wednesday..the 21rst..
I made a stew the 19th and it was boiling out..
I am in the mood for fallish food now.

Onto what is interesting to me..and I have no clue of knowing how to determine..

I have had an Instagram account for a long time..and never used it..never looked..was not even curious..lately..I became curious..seems our internet usage is at 75% after less than half time..
can this be it?
I would hate to think..that it takes up that much usage:(


And...

I mentioned I would sometimes talk about watercolors..
Now is a good time to start?
If watercolors are not for you..just skip:)
I know it makes for a long post.




Most..if not all.. my watercolor books.Some I have had for 100 years.



See the Quinn violet blob on the # above?
That was not planned I bumped my brush while loading colors for the swatches and it spattered on my man..it's my favorite blob..it ran into the beard etc..
that's what her art is about..letting colors merge and create beauty..

Jean Haines





In the past 20 years I have bought a few watercolor books..then in the past 6 years..I added some..and more recently 4..
I don't have that many as you can see..
and I don't know what I get exactly out of each one of them..yet..
I will read..experiment..and maybe get a better sense of what works for me..

but I know one.. I have particularly liked  very much..
and it is You Can Paint Watercolors in Twelve Easy Lessons/ Yuko Nagayama....
I will get into that one..later..on another post w/ another paint set or two.

So that's not the one I am going to talk about here..

I am going to talk about the Jean Haines one.. World of Watercolor..and the DS paints..

I have loved her work online and two artists had mentioned her in the same week..I'd love to get looser..so I went for it..

I am just starting to really look at it...it's beautiful..lots of animals...I may try the chicken..well I did:)but it's not presentable..there are koi..a koala..chickens..etc..
I would have loved more vegetables..outdoor scenes..countryside..etc..she has many books so perhaps I picked the wrong one..but I love her choice of colors..and the loose dreamy look of all her work here..Atmospheric it is called..
She has some nice tutorials..and I plan on practicing:)
And plan on reading her every word:)


there's a lot of what to have..in it..supplies etc..about which paints she had when starting out and how she  kept getting to know colors and buying more..and how they please her.
I admit to being such a paint lover..I love a new tube!♥
So..as I said just getting into it:)

I had mentioned the DS color cards..this is the only one my shop has..
The paintings you see..are 2 paintings I did..copying what I saw in her tutorials..albeit the Christmas tree one is minus a cute little child..

A funny thing about the man in the hat if you can make it out..she calls him a cowboy and in her detailed piece he does look like one..but in this one..I saw Monet.
The swatches I painted on the right hand side are not the colors I used..some yes..not all..
But I wanted to show you colors I loved on that card..and the quinacrodones win for me..
I have Quinn Rose and Quinn Gold..I have a few on my wish list..
I also bought Imperial Purple because of this card..and Anita's cards..you may remember I received dot cards from her:)

I don't like the luminescent colors at all for me.They are on the bottom portion of the dot card you see above.

The Christmas ornament one..I had painted something terrible on the other side so flipped it to paint this..the paper was still a bit wet..so wet on both sides..it gives it the feeling of fabric ..sort of when dry..
oh well..

here is my favorite paper/ art journal..one of them  ..I do have a few others;)
I bought it through Curry's online and I should have bought 2 in my initial order..I like it so much..I save it for things I apply myself to:)
I wish we could just go to our fave art store and buy them.
Thank goodness I have my big St-Armand's book♥





So first of all..this is for novices..like me..not the paper..but..

..see the cold press words above?

That means you will have some texture in the paper.
Hot press..think of it as ironed paper..
Rough grain..I don't like ..apart from the one I get in Montreal from St Armand..I love that one..it has a lot of texture..but it's not hard..hard to explain..



I save that book for small things here I like..a miniature cup..a miniature vase..I should really scan instead of taking photos at the last minute..it's brighter and whiter and crisper in person.

I love Daniel Smith colors..I love them..M Graham are vivid ..and I like the ones my Fl friend had me try..
but I think I love DS more..
I squeeze the tube paints into empty half pans or palettes..
those are like a collection though:)
Half pans and pans are hard to come by here..so I just ordered more from the UK..shipping is not great.More than the actual pans.

I'll come back to paints and the novice;) later..

I did get one comment I found very interesting about investing in watercolors for a débutante..






I read all the time..invest in the best paints etc.. you can afford..but I do know that painting will not be for everyone..

so..
Artist Loft  brand,cheap and cheerful..Michaels..Amazon..for loads of colors..the coupons do not work at our Michaels as they are considered always low price..
but if you want to SEE if you could get into painting..and do not want to invest too much..these would be fun..
I took an online art class 2 yrs ago..or 3 ..and the recommendation was Prang..I have those too..cheap and cheerful..whole different consistency..very bright ..rich gummy..
The Artist Loft..I compare to higher end Grumbacher ..I have the 24 color set that actually came w/ 23 colors:(
Amazon..I only noticed much later..
so I never said anything.

I find Grumbacher..in this form..chalky and that is the attribute I would give to AL..

and not because they come in pans..because I have pan ones that are not chalky..but to start..AL  paints..would tell you..in using watercolor..if you love to paint or not:)

Blablabla..I am a novice..my tastes..are novice like..but just in case some want to try:)

And that paper ..Michael's ..you can use your coupon and there is a LOT for that price..not textured..not flat..not great..but to start..:)

Or..we can just bake;)As I know a bit more about baking than painting..and even that not a lot...like many of you.




Bon weekend!
In case our usage gets cut off..I am publishing..now;)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Do you love peanut butter? Jam? I do...look what I found..







When I saw these..here..

I must have been trying to get to sleep..and stayed awake..

I mean..look...at her post..breakfast was but 9 hours away..:)

I have a bad habit..after my 1.5 hours of TV at night..I go to bed..resolute to read..on my mini..
I think I will switch to my Kindle..because the Mini  Ipad..has way too many temptations for me..

Blogs..emails..IG..Pinterest..
I end up not reading and planning the next day..a new nib for a pen..a new painting tutorial..an email from one of my girls..

my head just stays busy..
as in the case of the above muffins:)

Give them a try if you like muffins..pb and jam..use your best pb..and jam..I used muffin liners..sprayed..but I would not again..I would just spray the heck out of the mold..I made 5..halved the recipe and it gave me 5..
lovely warm..the next day pop into the micro about 12 seconds.

I have been practicing w/ manual settings..I have only ever shot w/ A or P..never all manual..

well all manual gets my Olympus to to want to play....whereas in automatic ..or the P or A..it would not..always in different light conditions..now it plays with me..
so it's a learning curve..but I love it..

one thing that can be discouraging..is finding out which camera/lens someone you admire has..

and discovering..it's in the THOUSANDS.

Jacques is very supportive  of my blog...he says..it's not like you would ever want to sell any anyways..and he is right..

One thing I would like to try though..is getting photos larger like on Wordpress..because try as I might here..it doesn't work..they are HUGE..then on the other computers they are all cropped off..
so I stick to what Blogger lets me do w/out knowing what I am doing..
After the brocante Saturday ..I stopped by such a favorite place of mine..the park at the lake..there is some land art and it is so nice and natural there with the wildflowers..
I spotted the newer Inukshuks right away..I had not been in a little while..
we went more often when the boys were not at camp..
I don't think I went once with Jacques this year..first of all it has been HOT..ter than usual..
and I love to dawdle and take photos..when the leaves will change and it will be cooler ..he'll come walk the trail with me..
there's just something about the water that attracts me like a powerful magnet.
I met a man who was with his binoculars..,camera and monopod in tow..very nice..we started talking and he showed me some of his photos and the practicality of a monopod.Fun to learn..another nice young man was there..you never know who you will meet and who will just help make your day a better day.
I loved seeing the lady reading also..all by herself..so peaceful.
Some people know how to make a day better on their own.
It is a beauty of a spot♥
I repainted this 3 times..this was the first.
The next I painted on Fabriano cold press/rough grain..I am not crazy about it..too grainy..maybe for flowers it would be better..then I tried w/ ink first..on the rough again..not good either..so this is the only one that caught my feeling of the lady reading.lots of stamping going on to detract..


So Sunday..I stayed in..in the last few years I have bought a few watercolor how to books..

I am not experienced enough to give reviews..but I am going to:)
Just in case there are novices like me..who would like either a new book to be inspired by or new paints or paper..

nothing deep..and not many..maybe all in one review;)

Review #1..not Fabriano grano duro block..too many craters..for a day at the park:)For a novice.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Aprons~ And..Pinafores and the change..etc...










Not five minutes after I took the above foto in the gardens..a formation of geese flew overhead going south!




The annuals are still very nice..:)I loved this fresh new one.














And here is a little idea for some of you..




AACK..the change is happening..the first tree to show autumnal changes is our maple to the right if you are staring at the back yard..we have 3 maples..one golden..2 reds..and a tamarack..they are at least 100 years old ..our treeman Dominique told us..
And sure enough this happened..I noticed Tuesday.. it is because of the cooler nights..
The grasses are tall in the borrowed landscape..the wild black eyed Susans are still great sports..the pink hydrangeas adore this time of year..and the last of the roses are taking their curtain call..
the morning glories are turning to seed..the sedum takes a place of importance like all the hydrangeas do..
Indoors ..the light is changing..in the kitchen so bright..in the sunroom  a little darker..it's the height of the sun..soon we will need sunglasses to look at our computer screens:)

It is bittersweet for me as I love fall..as my mom did..but I know what's ahead..and although I settle into winter exceptionally well now that I do not work..it's the monochrome of winter that can get heavy on the eyes for me..and the shoveling for Jacques..always bothers me.
However..it's a fact of life here..we love the seasons..we have to get with the program..


It's no secret I love aprons..and all summer I have looked at the "pinnies" a very talented girl sells at our brocante....they are not used as aprons but as pinafores..I had seen some on rough linen..on Etsy etc..the girl at my brocante has a pale grey one she wears over an off white plain thin cotton dress..and I have loved the look all summer..
 one day ..I was tidying a cupboard in our dining room buffet and again laid eyes on a tablecloth I had from my mom..
..and the story I remember ..is that my grandmother was quite the stitcher..
I have a couple of her embroidered tablecloths..and rarely use any of them except when we are the whole family ..12..  w/ extensions in the table etc..
...all of a sudden in looking at this écru one..I thought of the Pinnie girl.I brought it to our brocante and asked Lynn..(aka the Pinnie girl :)) if she could make one out of this tablecloth..it was linen and I loved it.. she  said she wasn't sure how she could make the embroidery work..I called her after 10 days because I was not able to go the Saturday  we were away and.. she said..she had not had time..
I said don't worry Lynn I know it's hard..and if you can't I will buy one of your pre-made ones I love them so..

I actually got my lesson because another girl had white cotton sleeveless dresses..and I waited too long..they were all gone and she could not get more..and it has been the hottest summer in eons here..so yes I learned my lesson..

sooo  2 Fridays ago she called  and said:"I think you are going to be very happy w/ your Pinnie".

Well..I went the next day..and I cannot explain how moved I was..
She made the embroideries and cut work fit so perfectly!
I just love it..I rarely show clothes etc..but I had to show you her craftmanship..and care..and talent.I sew..I know well made:)
Not only that..but she had made a bag for my Pinnie..from the tablecloth too..



These are great for many ages..not just older girls..they are quite popular here.
Every week she has many orders..she's at least 20 yrs younger than I am and it looks great on her.. Mylène and Noah and Giuliana came for tea and pie Sunday ..it was sunny and cooler..and I asked Giu to take a pic of it w/ her phone.Because they liked it too:)So here you have it:)

I love how comfy it is..the deep pockets..the cross back..
it dresses up jeans..dresses down a white linen dress.
I have no regrets of using the tablecloth..I never used it and it would have been in a garage sale when I leave this world..:)Along with a lot of other "treasures":)


This is my favorite way of dressing..always has been ..Jacques and I are so different..he is so sporty dressed..always. has more clothes than I do..he was a golfer most of his adult life and his clothes reflect that.

I am not a sporty dresser..I love the look of a sporty girl in golf shorts and a white polo..but I look ridiculous and feel ridiculous..you have to wear what you feel so good in..
I like layers..and leggings and artsy things..longer skirts and boots..and ballerinas..never ever shorts..skirts over my bathing suits..not in the water..but I only ever go in the ocean..
skirts over footless tights..legwarmers..

big sweaters..lace..bows on shoes and sweaters..  on a skirt or a coat too....frills..linen..cotton...white..beige,black..charcoal.. I have 2 coral pieces..tops ..and my girls say ..that's your color;)
I never wear them..Too flashy for me.
And yes my denims..shirts..jeans..dresses..white shirts.

That little touch of the bag..w/ the pinafore?
Stellar.

The loaf ,is a recipe I have had since Feb 2005/Bon Appétit..I just saved the page..there is an article too:)
I have no idea who wrote it?  Ina? and old Julia recipe?
no clue..but the recipe is in the link..I have enough marmalade and yogurts at any given time that I can do this ..spur of the moment..even though I was not excited by it..apart from the E Dehillerin pan from Lee-Ann and Jonathan..that I made it in..Jacques really liked it w/ Susan's crème fraiche~:)

Merci!

I am still painting..and wanted to show you the cute book I mentioned..:)Purplicious♥

Bon weekend everyone~


Look how uncanny..had placed my coffee..cream(in my mini cow creamer..) ..placemat and my half muffin..opened IG..




:)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cheddar Crumb Apple Pie~ Food And Drink ~and how looks can be deceiving..














So Friday was just gorgeous again..and still in the 90's..we ran errands in the morning and in the afternoon Jacques mowed the lawn and I did all the trimming..when I finished..and thought so many grateful thoughts for where we live..I picked a bouquet of my Russian Sage and wild asters from my driveway..the messy right side..and my borrowed landscape..filled one of my sap buckets..and found the late afternoon light so pretty in the section of the potting shed..(J's) that I have been using once in a while for photos..I hung Ikea sheer curtains at the double doors..it's the class I took w/ Kim Klassen that suggested a studio..you should see hers..well..go look..:)

I may take more classes eventually..but I am so into painting little things here and there..I am torn with my hobbies..

Anyway I have a small stepladder in there..a tv table..and a white board from the dollar store..
there was a breeze again so it was start and stop..but I just thought I would show you..that that pretty bouquet is not in a lovely room in our home that has a breezy sheer giving a sublime light;)
It's placed exactly how you see it..and then the magic happens when you crop out the ugly..cause the potting shed sure is pretty outside..but as I have said not inside..garden tools are every where..a potting bench, a work bench..but see what cropping can do.
A make believe world.
Like Photoshop for all those exquisite women we see advertising anti-wrinkle creams..they have nary a one..yet they are 60..they cannot all have the same perfect genes;)
Below..is the truth photo..the whole truth and nothing but the truth photo.

Jacques had picked up the LCBO's Food and Drink Thursday..it's been months ..probably 1 year since I have had one..we usually both look at it..Nothing really grabbed me..but Jacques said:"Did you see the Cheddar Crumb Apple Pie Recipe?"
I did and I didn't I guess because it is not the one I bookmarked..
Saturday was going to be glum glum and heavy..my outdoor chores were done..I thought I would make it for him..
It's so pretty..the crust is lovely..and the result is..quite delish..the taste of cheddar..subtle..
the only thing I did differently is instead of the cinnamon..I use the apple pie spice I mix..I use cinnamon..nutmeg and freshly ground cardamom..I like the cardamom freshly ground:)and added 1 tbsp of sugar to the crust...omitted the salt because my butter is salted. I don't get unsalted butter:)

So here is the recipe..courtesy of The LCBO.

Crust..you can use whichever one you like or store bought..I made the one they suggested for the galette on the previous page and it turned out perfect.It will be one of my go tos now..

You will need a 14 x 4 1/2 tart pan w/ removable bottom

Your oven will be pre-heated at 400F..

Place pie in oven and immediately reduced to 350F
Bake for 45 minutes..

Again..I switched this up..I did preheat to 400 then immediately went to convection 315  for about 55 miutes after placing a foil gently covering the crumble at about 40 minutes..I kept an eye out..


The dough

2 cups of flour,
2 tbsps granulated sugar(I put 3)
1/2 tsp salt..not me..my butter is salted
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
3 tbsps ice cold water.
In a food processor pulse the first 3 ings..cut up your butter and sprinkle on top of the flour mixture..pulse until coarse crumbs..through the feed tube w/ motor running add the water slowly until it starts to come together.
Mine came out of the recipient so nicely..I just formed a flat disk on parchment..wrapped and refrigerated 30 minutes..

Crumble

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2tbsps packed brown sugar
3 tbsps room temp butter
1 1/ 2 cup finely grated old cheddar cheese..I used 1 cup 
Mix flour w/ sugar..blend w/ your fingers add cheese and work in until evenly combined..press into clumps and place all over the pie mixture..a handful at a time..

Pie

5 medium apples such as McIntosh peeled,cored and thinly sliced
(ap 4 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
3 tbsps granulated sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon..I used my blend and did about 1 tsp.
I placed all the above pie ings in a large freezer bag and gently shook to coat all.

Take the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin..roll dough a little bigger than your rectangular tart pan.
place in pan..shape and trim to fit edges of pan..
place your thinly sliced apples in the dough..don't mound..gently press in evenly.



Sounds like a lot..it's not..a pleasure to make.

would love a human dishwasher for hire though..lol I am messy.


oh..

..and here is the truth.

this is how the pics were taken.
I guess what I am trying to say is that we show the good parts of the gardens..the recipes that worked..the cute stories about our families..everything can seem hunky dorie..with sheers blowing in the wind;)but remember it has all been edited in many cases.
I am sure some people feel blue sometimes..and think oh my goodness what a life so and so has etc..

it could be true..but it could be edited.♥

Many things..in blogland..IG..FB..we are seeing what the poster chooses to show..chooses to share at that particular time..
some may need to share personal triumphs and tribulations..some share their likes..dislikes..

some prefer to focus on la vie en rose to not focus on troubles..others feel better sharing their troubles..
I had an aunt..quite different from my mom..married to my dad's brother..she was very wealthy..and I am sure had lovely qualities..but was so different from my wonderfully  educated..talented..non wealthy beautiful and  down to earth mother.

When I married.. my mom had passed away the prior December..she said to me.."never air out your dirty laundry..people never forget..they always remember the negative.."

I guess in some ways that has stuck w/ me..well not in some ways ..look I still remember and it is 43 years later;)
And I find it is mainly true..in many circumstances.


I quite admire people who say it all like it is..but I  also  admire  quiet courage.
We are all so different.

Like quiet giving..quiet receiving..quiet do gooding.
I have a friend that volunteers in palliative care hospitals..and will soon go to people's homes on an individual basis.
She never talks about it.
She just does it.
Quite the role model if ever there was one.
And that's my Friday and Saturday..

today is Sunday Sept 11th.. it poured buckets all night..the sun is  out and the wind is howling..
and we are watching the news like every morning..I usually don't pay attention..I am reading my blogs..but it is such a rememberance day..our channels here in QC Canada are honoring the day,with the news being just about that day this morning.

I do remember what we were doing..I remember the circumstances..everything.
Quelle Tristesse.