Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bake at 350..and enjoy~

                                              Bridget's Cookies Grace Imperial Sugar's Boxes~

I loved this blog the minute I set eyes on it..
It's Bridget's blog..Bake at 350.

She had me hook line and sinker w/ her beautiful cookies..the references to her mom..posts about her dad..her son..Trader Joe's even:)
I buy things based on her reviews..I do!

She's so good at baking and decorating cookies.. that  Imperial Sugar chose Bridget's cookies to grace their Powdered Sugar boxes..can you imagine having something you made on the boxes of such a product? In stores? On shelves..?
I think I told Bridget at the time..I would have a display in my kitchen;) 
Well I do now because of her give away..
I am set for Christmas Baking and more with Imperial Sugar's generous gift.

She just exhudes such warmth and real..and nice..apart from her many talents..

..or is it anyway..?

One day I was so very pleased to discover I had won a give away of hers.
With her books:)

Prior to receiving the lovely gifts..Bridget had posted some of her gorgeous cookies..  w/ her new airbrushing talent..and toothpick roses..
I set out to try them..had to find the Wilton 101S here in QC..I found the 101..not sure it is as small as the 101 S..
anyways..you should see how much fun I had trying to make her roses;)
My mousepad even had icing on it;)
I was in my pj's till 11 AM..

You can find her tutorial here..


I just read the tutorial and kept looking at her photos..all beautifully explained and detailed..but do yourself a favor and watch the video Bridget recommends at the end..it just puts it all in motion and I am not motion savvy in piping decorating..:) 

I used her Royal Icing recipe 101..find it on her side bar..and had just made sugar cookies w/ my fave embossed La Table De Nana rolling pin~
I have lots of little roses now..  not one perfectly sculpted..but I am going to do more..and they keep..for cupcakes..cookies..cakes..
sugar cube toppings:)
I once paid for sugar cubes topped w/ roses..imagine..now I can make them;)
Try them..little red roses on shortbreads? For Christmas? Or to adorn the Christmas Yule Log?
So many opportunities to be able to use these roses..

 I want to be able to flood and make some cute cookies in 2016.

Bridget's books will be my guide.

You can find Bridget's books here.. and here..

and now in our home..personally inscribed.

They were included in her giveaway along with 2 beautiful Kate Spade gifts..the apron.and an insulated tumbler..so cute..
Thank you Bridget:)
I look forward to perusing the beautiful books in their entirety.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I like to start early~ I always have~

I always have something..in the making in November..and even October for Christmas~
And who could not use a little angelic Christmas inspiration at the moment..a temporary shift in thoughts..
I fell in love with these plain  little white houses..that you cut out..that you stamp so you can see inside the house..and on the rooftop..
they are invitations..that pop open..and become 3 D after you give or send out flat.
I decided to add a small string at the top..so they could become Christmas ornaments that you can mail..
Anyone can make these..
..you just pull at the sides and it pops..

The initial inspiration..came from here..loveee....
and it linked to here..where you will find the pattern..

..the rest? Is up to you and your imagination~
Pre ~requisites..? Scissors..  the template that you print up.. glue..string..stamps:)Or not..
I love little white houses at Christmas..add sparkles..or sprinkles..secret messages or greetings..make with your chidren..or  a friend..or alone.
And just rest in the creativity of them and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Footnote..I have started reading Life From Scratch..on my sidebar you can see it..I can't put it down.
Many of you may like it also.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This and that food latelys..~and a cute book..

Muffins , perfect with tea in cooler weather.
I had an almond muffin w/ coffee somewhere recently and tried to recreate the recipe..I found many recipes online..and tried this one..they are good..but not what I am yearning for..if anyone has a link to a tried and true one..I'd love it!
I made a Damn Delicious soup and it was..mine was a tad less creamy and that was fine w/ me..I love thyme w/ mushrooms and chicken..so added a bit more..
my chicken soups are always broth based..this was a nice change.

The root veggie fries.. are also a lovely change from regular home baked fries..they were featured in my ..November Canadian Living magazine..

I used one rutabaga,one sweet potato,a beet and a regular potato..I did not have a celery root..which was on the original recipe..

Rainbow Root Fries w/ Chive Mayo..


Make sure when you are peeling and cutting your fries.. you don't mix the beet ones..as they will discolor everything..so I did what they suggested and did each ind.
So slice them all ap. the same size..  toss individually  in EVOO..salt..pepper,garlic powder and rosemary..

Place on parchment paper/seperately..and bake in a pre-heated   for ap..40-45 mins and sprinkle w/ parsley.

Serve w/ mayo..
this one:)

1/3 cup mayo
1 tbsp fresh chives chopped
1 small garlic clove finely grated or pressed.
1 tsp lemon juice.

The first time I made these I baked at their recommended 425F oven..

Next time I will try 375 F convection..for 50 minutes..

although they are delicious w/ that mayo..I am not getting the nice crunch factor like Jacque's home baked fries.

Remember I mentioned a book I love?

You know..everywhere I went..I saw coloring books for adults..I was not sure I was into coloring in a book again..The Secret Garden had tempted me..had to be the garden thing..

but ohmygoodness when I saw this one..

It's different than the others..I bought it to practice line drawing..sketching..on a sep.piece of paper..to watercolor..
so much fun..I just love every page..every illustration..
soo many of them..a treasure..not sure I will end up cloring IN it..just want to learn and I love the way she draws.
I took some of her sketches..and tried.. and added things around the kitchen..
then I did some of her ice creams and gelatos..
this book is a great reference book for anyone who wats to draw..paint etc..
and so cute..pages of coats..handbags..French food..the Eiffel tower..buildings..birds..
you can color in it..for sure..
I like that I am trying to not look at what I am drawing as much..just guiding my pencil while looking at her drawing..then glancing and correcting..
but I am using it for a different purpose..
If anyone sees themselves in it..I can assure you it's a keeper.
PS Again she has no clue who I am..
I am working on the girl from the back:) She was an immediate attraction for me when I flipped through the book..
And wanted to show you one in the just drawn form..before painting. 
The images are all dear dear dear.
One could even trace..but I like practicing contour drawing..you would be amazed what can happen when not looking at the drawing you are working on..but only on the object itself.

For all of these I am using a Sennelier Aqua Mini set ,bought at Omer de Serres..but I am using a longer handled brush.
I like how the teacups turned out..more to follow:)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Butter Tarts~

It was not a great day a while back in October..Kitchen wise..photo wise..and art wise..
thank goodness the tea was good..I have the Dowager too♥
..but this day was a rosebud day:)

I decided to make butter tarts..from my best and longest 43 yr old recipe..

I tried a different dough,which is absolutely delish..but not right for butter tarts,because the dough is sweet and the tart filling is of course..sweet..I even cutely blind baked;)

plus I used my mom's old muffin tin..


even w/ blind baking..a touch of that butter tart filling seeps in or over..

you're done.

Yet..Jacques ate them all..

so I started over the next day:)
with a different dough..  same pan..
my engineer husband said ..why don't you put parchment in the bottom of each?
Oy..really? Anyways not hard at all..just keep folding your parchment and cut the desired circle size in one shot..and SPRAY your tin..

overfows and all..perfecto..

La Recette~

Pastry of your choice..use a tried and true..cut w/ a cutter that is bigger than your cavity because the circle must fit inside and a bit above.

The Filling~

One big tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg well beaten
4 tbsps corn syrup..SYRUP:)

walnuts and raisins are optional.I plumped my raisins.

Melt the butter..mix..fill cavities..not too high as this mixture puffs..bake in a 400 F oven until dough is golden and top bubbly..mine took about 20 minutes..remember every oven is so different.
I love wearing an apron on a miz day outside.. and baking.

and while everything was baking and cooling..I decided I was not busy enough and painted..

well ..you know what I mean..when I say ;" painted.."  painting - 101.
I have seen so many artworks w/ similar English crockery as my mom's..I tried..

I used Ronelle's splashes and splotches..TY..Ronelle..I am getting it a bit I think;)

I used Vivian's frame..at least I think I did..I think I remember Vivian mentioning this..if not..go and enjoy anyways:)

I am looking forward to her next book..I am grateful to have 2 already.

and Nancy's bookgift she sent me..Nancy ,my friend,with no blog.

The book has Ivory pages and bigger than what I am used to..

so I use the frame..and draw a rectangle and paint INSIDE the box:)

Funny side story to my butter tarts..so the recipe is ..my guess.. 45 yrs old and I am 61..and  it is handwritten  in my second cookbook when I was 21..

I had put corn OIL  ..there must have been a reason..the person must have said corn OIL..because I did not know the difference between corn OIL and syrup..back then..so for about 5 yrs..well my recipe.. left much to be desired..failure after failure...No kidding..

Finally..learning a bit more..I changed corn oil for corn syrup.
Et..la victoire~victory!
Quintessential Canadian Christmas Dessert table fare..
Fresh is best..but I have frozen to rave reviews too.
You don't have to wait for Christmas..   
Bon Weekend..

P.S.I just got a new book I am enjoying so much and I have not even put it to it's highest and best use yet..

I'll come back w/ a post and recommend it..the author has no clue who I am..it's just a book I thought I would love and I do♥
I do that a lot don't I?
Also..we have watched a few British Baking shows..and I had never heard of hot water pastry..can't wait to try something..

Marie..you must have made something w/ that:)?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lemon and pretty packages tied up w/ string~

I think many of us collect lemon loaf recipes..from a girlfriend .. our mom ..an aunt.. a neighbour..a blog..Foodgawker..Tastespotting ..Pinterest..Lee~Ann:)

I picked up a new Nordic Ware pan..(2:))..one for someone and one for moi..and decided to try a new recipe..

Googled..and this one popped up..I had everything I needed except lemon essence but I had my home made ..baked rinds:)

They  add a terrific lemon punch..and I must say ...this cake is a little winner and popped out quite perfectly indeed..
I was seeing my hairdresser for my streaks..
I decided to pack up a few slices so she could have some w/ her coffee..
The Graphics Fairy had just posted a post about printing on tissue paper..I dare NOT print on fabric anymore..I think it led to the eventual demise of our previous printer..so this one..knock on wood ..is about 18 months old and still printing..the tissue paper worked fine..do go read the tutorial..the tissue lying down..is from The Graphics Fairy one of her free beautiful French Typography downloads..and the M one is from a blogger I miss..this is from 2009 I think..she also made me a cute one w/ my blog name and I have LOST it in my files somewhere..

Boohoo..anyways hope you try the cake and have fun w/ the GF tut..

Laura Calder makes a fun little lemon cake too..the reason I bring hers up..is that many French recipes call for the little glass yogurt containers..

we made yogurt at home the whole time the girls were growing up..and then we stopped and who knows who I gave our SEB yogurt maker and little glass pots to..?
Anyways the pots were French..but not French  cute and to make this recipe w/ kids? How fun w/ the proper pot.
I was going to bring back a pot or two during my next French getaway..hahaha..
imagine ma JOIE..when I found the above little pots in a local store♥
J'aime beaucoup.
Hope they are here to stay.
I couldn't stop looking at them..I mean..turquoise accents to boot.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Photo courtesy of the web~

I wonder if when they will be 15 I will still be picking up furry friends for them.
They like them..they always bring a smile to their faces..:)
At Thanksgiving..3 of The Littles came over the day before for a visit..the day before we all went to Mylène's for TG dinner..when they walked in Max said it smells so good..I've been baking I said..it always smells good here nana:)
Anyways he asked what I had baked and I told him the Maple Cream Cheese Cake..and the Chocolate Pecan Tart..for our dinner the next day..he said:"But what did you bake for us kids?:)
His mom said..those are the desserts Max..
So the day of ..I made cupcakes out of a mix..I cannot tell you how utterly LOUSY I am w/ mixes..I had to hide the flaws w/ homemade icing and Halloween sprinkles..icing hides a multitude of flaws:)
Had to make sure Max was happy too;)
Hope all the little Goblins setting out for Halloween will have fun.
I know our family loves it..
I still remember Lucas..he was a LION as a wee baby..when he walked..he was a Monkey w/ a banana..
Some things you don't forget..Like Oli picking a Halloween outfit for a birthday present..Max always loving to play dress-up w/ Noah..and Noah being..

I love how some families create scenes outside for Halloween..the one above..that is just the driveway area..the front door..right side..all like a movie:)

I love how it's always Arlene's birthday!!!!

Everywhere I look..so many cute cute scenes..I am too shy to take pics:(


I remember being in a transaction for a home..and my kids were waiting for me..

Anyways I was home in time and my clients got the home they wanted..

I  also remember a less than stellar Halloween eve..when I went out w/ childhood girlfriends and came home at 2 AM:(
My husband was shocked to say the least..not impressed ..is a better term;)
In my defense..I was in my twenties..with 2 Littles....but not babies..  maybe they were 6 and 7 1/2..
...and 99% of those childhood friends were single..:)
And had to dress my Littles..and be a Happy Halloween mom~
I did it!

Hopefully no one here is perfect.

So funny how in today's day and age I don't think a husband would voice an opinion:)

I LOVE how I can laugh about it now...but back then..not so much~

This year Noah is into..Frankenshtein..yes he says Shtein:)

Frankenshtein and his bride;)Photo,courtesy of his mama:)
His mom..has always loved decorating pumpkins..
  not as much as  someone else's mom..♥
But she does love it..

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27th~

No recipes..


Today I was ..again bowled over..by infinite charm..in driving through my little town..

We had to go to our new Costco..for an eye exam for Jacques..
I went along and said I would wait in the book department..

we thought 20 minutes max..
it was 45..
I roamed the aisles..and met a fave person..my hairdresser♥

And another girl:)..I have "seen"  known for years..and lately it seems everywhere we are..we bump into each other.
We are never at a loss for words..she is bubbly and energetic and so well traveled ..and creative..and I feel as if we have really known each other for years:)
The 45 minutes flew by:)
I cannot imagine a better 45 minutes in Costco apart from when I used to go w/ my daughter and her 3 boys when she did not work outside her home..
Thank you J..for real conversation:)

We both appreciate every view..every glance ..here and there where we live.

When we came home..I thought:"Oh just go..go see"~

And I did..I got in my own car and spent a little while driving 5 minutes away..

And repeated in my head what I told Jacques the whole way out today.
We live in Paradise.

And then..I bumped into a dear dear girl..and met her dear dear friend..

and we chatted..she.. her friend and I..and we all agreed..this is paradise..

we all have different definitions  in life.. for value.. regarding paradise ..the beach can be  paradise for me..  a quiet  beach..  snow ..w/ it's sparkles and my snowshoes or x-counrty skis can be paradise.
May! With it's greens and ferns and sprouts..
A sleepover w/ my Littles..

a dinner with la familia..

but Autumn..

it's as if it's in neon lights..for all to see..

but usually you feel solitary ..as if the magnificent show was for you and you alone.
To be grateful.No matter what.

And all day in my head...
this song kept playing..but about people and autumn.