Sunday, December 17, 2017

Eight Days Away~ Oui...









Today was -7 F  when we got up..now it is 5 F.
Very unusual for December.
Lovely snow cover but cold.

However watching the news re California..

we have NOTHING to complain about weather wise.

I bought ear muffs yesterday that heat up..

one caveat..for kids..

so they cover half my ears..
still..better half than nothing..

I'll show them to you:)

I did not leave the house today apart from putting some things in the freezer..(screened in porch)..

I started preparing the cake I will serve Christmas eve..

and I was into my ears in dough..

and cleaning up..

I still want a clean up Elf..

Jacques is my tech husband of almost 44 yrs..

he bought Alexa..

She is great for weather and music..

"Alexa..play Christmas music by Manheim Steamroller"~ done..

Ditto..Michael Buble..

Ditto..Bing Crosby..

Ditto..Rosemary Clooney.."

Alexa..great job!

So.."Alexa.. clean up my kitchen.."

?????????????

Obviously..she is Jacques':)


Things that make me smile..

the music..

the baking..

the movie WONDER that we saw yesterday w/ Noah and Mylène..see it if you can..

Julia is Julia..Jacques said..:" Elle est telllement belle.." he rarely says that..ok Catherine..Audrey..

but day to day..rarely..she is beautiful and so natural in this movie.

I bawled more than 5 times..and I had read the book..
ok..and Jacques shed tears..that says it all.


Receiving Paris Maps/Letters..look at Carol's work in our tree:)♥

Some cards..I pop in our tree:) Too precious to not see..during the holiday season.

Tellement de bonnes choses ..allez..dégustez..rincez-vous l'oeil♥
Ses aquarelles sont absolument charmantes,des coups de coeur...

I had an appointment 2 nights ago..had not driven in the dark alone in years..popped by Urban Barn..
to have made it worth my while..  and that camper jumped nto my hands..and the salesgirl?I could have brought her home..
I told her manager.
25..polite ..adorable..charming..♥

Oh and Strawberry Shortcake?

I made that ornament ..in the 70's:)or early 80's for a craft sale to pay for my real estate course:)

So glad I kept ONE..salt dough lol..:)

I loved the whole line..and Trolls..and Mon Chichi and Cabbage Patch kids and Barbies for my girls~:)


And..  I know I'll come back before 8 days  ..

but I just want you to know..that I love my cyber friendships..

you have no idea how much.

Thank You.







Friday, December 15, 2017

Pretty festive soup~



My mom's Crown Ducal soup bowls and her silver soup spoons~♥


A home in our 'hood♥


Don't they look like mischief personified?♥




We had a wonderful beautiful snowfall..with very chilly temps mind you but all is calm all is white..♥

The day it fell from the sky this magic..I took a short walk and this pretty home caught my eye..I live in a neighbourhood of many pretty homes..they are all different..bungalows..cottages..all quaint and charming and many are historic.

It's a fairy tale village you know..old as the hills~

Anyway this one just popped out w/ the lights inside and out..I took several other pics of other homes....but this one was my fave..this home..:)

I am loving felt on our tree more and more..especially after shattering many glass ones bringing an upstairs bedroom tree outside..no one sleeps up there anymore..so one could be sent outside..I get lazy and left the balls on the tree dragging it out of the attic nook..the lights didn't work..blah blah blah and my laziness shattered glass balls:(
So yes..lovin felt w/my clumsiness this year.

Calendars are coming to an end..I loved this Shutterfly one this year on a stand..have to look into making a new one..and making 2 books..our trip to Provence..and one of Christmases past..I have pics..but I'd love to take out a book every year:)
Too late for this year..
By the way the cute little add ons to the last pic are from..here..

Christmas cards have started to arrive..one always includes a photo of the year of their daughter:)♥




Again in Ricardo's magazine..I liked a presentation he made for shooter/verrine soups..it was a cream of cauliflower.

I am not an entertainer per say for groups apart from family anymore..
but I wanted the pretty presentation for just J and I..

Just brussel sprout leaves and pom seeds..how to dress up a bland looking soup..but not bland tasting..

I didn't use his recipe because I make soups ..w/ a little bit of this and a little bit of that..

Ma recette..enough for 6 servings..at least..

1 tbsp of butter

1/2 onion chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1 clove of garlic confit crushed through the garlic press..

(I love that stuff..I first discovered it at one on my fave Instagrammers Teri Turner..No Crumbs Left..I follow her blog too but her stories on IG are so refreshing..she's so real..and fun and talented and knowledgeable and generous).

1 large baking potato cut up in chunks  about 1 cup
about 2 cups cauliflower florets

ap 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock..
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
1 tbsp maple syrup
fresh herbes de Provene..to taste..

I say fresh because we bought some at a market in Provence..and they taught me that mine were getting old..Adieu old bonjour new.

So..melt the butter ..sauté the onion and garlics..don't worry if you do not have garlic confit..

add potatoes..cauliflower and stock..cover and simmer until fork tender.

Using an emulsion blender ..blend all..adding the maple syrup..s and p(taste taste taste..nothing worse than a soup that tastes like nothing),the cream and finally the herbes de Provence.

Your consistency should be like a delish cream of soup..and it is delicious.

Top w/ that festive garnish..It's Christmas outfit♥

Perfect holiday soup:)

Have a lovely day~

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Holiday Magazines~A new recipe and a small reminder~




I think I am down to 0 magazine subscriptions..even Ricardo I let go this year..but at Walmart.at the cash here in QC you can get 3 magazines for $10.00 .. impulse buying..it's Christmas..I did it..

I honestly find that there are so many ads and little content in magazines  compared to viewing beautiful blogs online..that I have lost interest in magazines and that's too bad..cooking magazines..

It may be temporary:)

Ricardo's styling is impeccable,,the cover alone pleased me..the pics are always fantastic in his magazines..he's up up and away this QC treasure..  so much going on for him.. a beautiful line of EVERYTHING.. restos..shops..

Inside was a fun recipe..very similar to one I have made for years..but in the shape of crescent moons..I love the balls..they look like snowballs:)And less sweet than my go to one that has more icing sugar in them.


The recipe is very easy..
Just make sure you roast your pecans..it just enhances the flavor so much.

La Recette~ Sablés aux Pacanes.

 2 cups of roasted pecans  finely chopped in the processor.
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter(I always use salted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp amaretto liqueur..I used almond extract/emulsion.I forgot we had amaretto.
1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour


 1 cup icing sugar


Pre-heat oven to 375F
Prep 2 baking sheets w/ parchment
Combine butter and sugar..add egg and amaretto..combine until homogenous..add pecans and flour w/ wooden spoon or delicately w/ the mixer.
You can use a small cookie scoop..to form balls.. of 1 inch..roll gently and place on sheet pans
Bake for ap 12 minutes or until they start to turn a light gold..
Let cool completely..Place icing sugar in bowl..coat..dust off..coat again.
C'est tout..
Will keep 2 weeks in a hermetically sealed container room temp.





After school treat.. clementines were featured too..lol just so you don't think all I feed them are sweets..I am so happy my Littles..now big..have parents who love them and care for them so much.


So I am sure 99% of you have seen the video of the young boy that was bullied at school..his mom posted the heartfelt video..
I can't tell you what it does to me and probably 100% of you.

I was bullied from the age of 11- 15 ..4 long grueling years..not at school..in my neighbourhood..  everyone was quite cute and English and slim..

I was not cute..only my parents found me cute..I was heavy..  no one at school noticed and Gwen told me she didn't either..but ohmygod there were a few nasties out there..and I was French..lol as if that was bad..now there are francophiles everywhere.

I bawled my eyes out..and the hurt and pain it caused my mother is what still gets to me..it hurt her to see them make fun of me:(
Shame on you.


I have told many of you this..
but just in case someone new is reading..  please tell your kids not to bully..maybe that's why I adored Wonder..

I will be seeing the movie Saturday..

You have to know what it's like to be made fun of..to know what it feels like.
Stand up and don't let bullying happen to anyone..if you have to..go tell the people to stop..go higher or nearer if you have to.
I would act immediately f I heard or saw someone bully anyone.

One day I heard someone had been unkind to one of my Littles on the bus.About a haircut of all things..
I used to think she was cute and charming.And so well-mannered..
Not anymore;)
What a phony baloney kid.Hypocrite..the true meaning of the word.


So things changed for me..and I lost weight and the phone started ringing.Susan..said to me:"you don't want to be a fat teenager all your life"..LOL  no  I can't BE a teenager all my life....anyway she helped by saying that..and we have talked about this time together .And all is good.


Life has ups and downs..

but to have such downs so young..is really sad.
It does build character..it does teach empathy..makes you love the underdog..and teaches you to never bully.
But there must be gentler ways to learn:)

OMGee I am getting off my bandwagon now.
Promise.
xoxo

Have fun baking..
And prepping or whatever you are doing..

The snow is falling..the roads are a mess..I addressed my last Christmas card..it will be the last one mailed..others are gone.

I'll never stop.While my hands still work..I won't stop;)

PS..Seems like a few of you like the mittens as much as I do..I found the tutorial..here..made them last year..




Sunday, December 10, 2017

Alice and Noah have been up to mischief♥









They insisted on getting into the spirit of things by making 12 days of Christmas cupcakes for dinner at Caroline's home..
cupcakes love being transported in a cupcake carrier..love that thing!

Let me tell you that anything Meri Meri is an affair of the heart for me.
It lets me be a little girl..
toys..favorite toys..

speaking of which my post will now be short and sweet w/ a link to a great cupcake recipe I fell in love with at The Susan Branch Book Signing at Titcomb's library in June..King Arthur Flour Very Vanilla..and yes pump up the vanilla..I love vanilla sugar..pump it up!!

The cupcakes..

The reason this post is cut short..I made myself a cup of coffee..to come and write this hohoho happy Alice and Noah post and missed the computer table..for the cuppa..which fell into my see through storage container that was open for the season beside my computer..w/ all my adorable baking tools and kits for Christmas..As a child I looked after my toys to within an inch of their lives..the same for my baking toys..oh my cute little carboard boxes are now stained and wet..the cookie cutters spatulas..trim and copper..ugh.....
woe is moi.

Next post will be happier.

What a nightmare  to clean up..coffee..pale carpet..round yoga mat..recipe books..every nook of the storage bin..WAHHHHHH.




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Oh Deer~












I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..

OMGee this global warming is playing havoc w/ our Québec Christmases..

I need snow..and mistletoe..;)

Yesterday..it was pouring as I took the top pic.. December 5th..that meant we had 19 more days only to have a snowy Christmas Eve..and Christmas day..it can leave Feb 1rst..but please ..for Christmas Santa..a white sparkly cover.
Today..the 6th the sun shone..and well now we have 18 more days..hurry..

So the tourtière..meat pie..above..is from last year..

We make a few extras..so that we can enjoy them during the year..saving one at least for early December.

Everyone has their fave recipe..some add potatoes..like Ricardo..and people are thrilled with it..

I should have paid attention when my mom made hers..:(

I had to learn from Jéhane Benoit..(our Julia Child) when I married at the ripe old age of 20.She has a few recipes..this one with oats is delish too.

I always work my way around the first recipe..
I have the book The Canadiana Cookbook..

AND her huge compendium..of so many individual 3 punch hole booklets my mom collected..I will NEVER part with that huge book that's in an ugly black huge 3 ring binder.!~Over 1050 pages.
1963 was the first published date.Over 1.5 million copies have been sold..
She is an institution here..and for valid reasons.

The size reminds me of Marie's beautiful book..do you know that it weighs almost 5 lbs?
Well it does:)
It is BIGGER than Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours!

Now.. getting back to the tourtières..I make my own variation w/ my daughter..we usually use pork and beef....breadcrumbs....onions..garlic..and my own blend of spices..I have bought them also..but we kept adding..

Jacques is there helping..he loves that day..and Caroline and Jacques taste test.It is not an exact science in our case..

I was brought up w/ a tourtière tasting like cinnamon and a spot of cloves..
Jacques adds sugar on top:)
And he loves it w/ the home made fruit ketchup I shared again this year..

It is beautiful on a Christmas dinner plate w/ turkey and stuffing~
And the scent ..aroma throughout our homes..is so festive and cozy.


The link to all my talk bout the ketchup..leading to another link..is here..
That too is beautiful and spicy on the Christmas table.

I am slowly getting more things out..  I switched up the kitchen window a bit w/ my vintage scale and greenery and little reindeer lights..I could have those everywhere:)That egg basket was bought in Provence this Sept♥

The stockings are ready to be filled..
Still grateful for having been taught step by step..and still grateful to Frances who nimbly turned my needlepoint into stockings that will last forever.

Feel free to type in Christmas on my search bar upper left hand corner as I just did for a few Christmas past posts..:)
Provence shows up once because of the appetizer lol..just keep going:)If you have nothing to do..at the bottom it will be written Next posts..
I don't want to bore some of you who have been with me forever and a day..♥

One of the girls that has been with me from day one..even before blogging was a thing..is so stinkin' talented..and cute..

See that brocante/Provence/crochet bag?♥

Arrived for me for Christmas..hand stitched by her..
..look at every stitch..that's how many times she thought of us ..she and me.Or me and she.
I love it.
I received it in Fl..our manager ,Karen brought me the box..she even thought the box was so cute:)

And then Brenda did too..
and then I opened it and showed Brenda..

and she said:"That is so you".

Imagine that.

This is such a time of the year..

Hohoho and hohoho.

I love that part..

But I am not all hohoho..
that's me.

I like to just be quiet..and think..about everything.

The past..the present and the future.

What Christmas meant in the past..what it means now and what it may mean in the future.

I love listening to the music of Christmas.. I love the lights..the cards..the ornaments..the children..although..because Lucas started high school..his parents decided they had better tell him the truth..


"What? That there is no Santa Claus?" "I knew that.."  LOL...

Came back and said..: "So what about Buddy?"(Their elf).
♥♥

Happy preparations to you..be they humble or over the top..on your own or with many..to each our own♥



















Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Holidays~










I have been away..seeing some sunshine..it seems hard to find these days in Québec..but as always it is always good to be home..
Oh Toto..I just want to go home;)

I started with Christmas preparations..we put our new tree up..that is taller and skinnier..I was used to more girth..but this one was so much easier for Jacques to put up while I fluffed the branches and then decorated..not sure why but something is missing?
He put the colonial candles in the windows..we may add a few lights and maybe a projection light out back..not sure..I bought it second hand on Varage sale:)
I am happy w/ just the candles..fell in love w/ them 100 years ago in Burlington Vermont and they have never failed to be our go to♥

Started baking too!
With help from a beautiful beautiful book..by Isabelle Lambert..our Québec treasure..a native of France..she calls Québec her home and we are so lucky to have her..
You can see behind the scenes of making her book here..

I started with an unusual recipe that is quite frankly delicious..
A cookie recipe w/ cooked egg yolks!

La recette

For the cookies..

1 cup of flour
2 hard cooked egg yolks
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup icing sugar
 2/3 cup cold butter cut in cubes
a pinch of baking powder
2 pinches of salt.
1 tbsp of dark rhum


Glaze

1 beaten egg
1 tsp Fleur De Sel

Pre~ heat oven to 350F
Prepped your baking sheets w/ parchment

Place all cookie ings except the glaze ings. in your food processor successively (pulse function) and process until a ball forms

Wrap  dough  in cling and refirigerate 30mins.

Flour your work surface and roll to ap 1/4 inch.
Use your cookie cutter or stamp  (I flour)and make your impressions.
Freeze for 10 minutes.(I can use..and did use my screened in porch..)


Brush with beaten egg wash and sprinkle w/ Fleur de Sel.

Bake ap 15 mins until lightly golden
Let cool on rack..
The book is filled with wonderful recipes..

*** I only had 2 eggs left..so for my glaze I used milk mixed w/ sugar..  the egg wash keeps dough more precise.

Makes a fab fab gift under the tree for the cookie lovers.
A great addition to your cookbook collection..
I am in awe of these cookbook authors..
The hard work that goes into every book is astounding

The book is available in most bookstores..and I saw them at Costco too!
She is a very popular author.
And a nice person.
We have exchanged emails through the years..I know it:)
Happy to have her beautiful book in my collection!


Below..2 pics  I love.
We're allowed to get nostalgic  during the holidays~

 Our white plastic tree..tinsel..faux fireplace..tv..my shiny shoes..frilly socks..pink dress  that had raised dots..like a dotted swiss organza ..crinoline .. and black velvet ribbon..the ashtrays..the cards..my uncle and his skinny tie..and my very own canopy bed for my doll.God I loved my life.



Thanks mom♥(my dad too♥..but she was everything to me..)





Thursday, November 23, 2017

~Bonnieux and Lacoste~A GREAT appetizer,and a fail:)


Before I dart forward to  Christmas mode..which I love.....

Let me take you to Bonnieux and give you a  glimpse of Lacoste..
.. and show you a great little lunch I had that could very well be a nice appetizer .. see below below....
which it will be ..for Christmas eve :)But larger for our family.I know Max will love the charcuterie part..



































Pardon the pics..I just ..am not competent at all..indoors..and point and shoot..Shoot!:(
It just was so darn delicious.Loved the spray bottles.The US and UK carry them on Amazon..
You need the charcuterie around and baguette slices..in little pails:)


I mean..look..scoop some of that pistou w/ the cheese and the crunch and spread on the best baguette you can find♥My mouth waters looking at these pics not for their quality but the sheer memory of the lunch..(déjeuner in France).Petit déjeuner is breakfast.






Enchanted w/ it in 2008..we returned..

In Roussillon..the girl that sold me my artists supplies..lived in Bonnieux..Bonnieux is one of those places..there are many though..where the views are outstanding.
While in this area..we also visited Ménerbes,Gordes,Roussillon  and Lacoste.

I love doors and views and stone and charm..

There is no getting around any of all that in Bonnieux..it was one of those drizzle days..we didn't have many but this was one of them..still the town held it's charm for us..

the park at the top..the homes..

the lunch I had..
Yes..I ate almost all that..

I's a baked Camembert..but first..a flour/egg wash/then bread crumbs..and pan crisped..then baked in the oven ..make sure you place it in a snug baking dish to oven bake..it just keeps everything perfect!..On top..un pistou..(pesto)..served w/ baguette slices..charcuteries..and salad.
I recreated it at home and I will be serving this Christmas eve.
Larger lol..
A nice change from all our usual baked cheeses..It was my first prepared in this manner.

Bonnieux is a medieval village and you climb here..up and up and up..

We visited Lacoste the very same day..

I loved my Keens for all the walking we did..

You need comfortable shoes..as the streets of these medieval towns are uneven..some ..cobblestones..uphill down hill so you need some grip too..

In Venice Italy you will see gorgeous girls in Stiletto heels..in Cannes along the boardwalk too..but in these villages..
COMFORT footwear only.A must.

So if you are not too bored yet..we went to Lacoste the same day~

I had ordered a blue sky..   no one listened.








The thing about foggy..cloudy ,drizzle days in Sept..in Provence..NO ONE..
We saw 24 villages/towns..most in sunshine..I didn't mind at all..















Lacoste to me is mystery:)
Perhaps the Marquis de Sade stories..and then Pierre Cardin..just an air of mystery..as if every era still exists there!







I'll take you along to a few other towns..but after Christmas..I just feel I am overloading you with photos that may not mean a thing to you:)

At least they are not on my phone and I am  not showing you      one            by          one:)
Lol?:)

I am going to put my Christmas stockings and hat on and get ready

 for a holiday we both love..

I'll share some recipes I hope.. and some ideas..

I have my Christmas desserts in my head..

I have  Isabelle Lambert's new cookbook to review:)

Surely a Christmas post where a book of cookies is involved!

Our tree will be up early December and come down quite a bit after New Year..too pretty to get rid of fairy lights too early ,especially with our Québec long winters..

and maybe.. after..no..who am I kidding..not maybe..

I'll continue w/ our love affair w/ Provence~



I have to recommend another book..

WONDER  it's on my sidebar at the right..

If you have a child that can read..the book takes place around a grade 5 classroom..and is about that age..this is a must read  for the child..his school..his classroom..
A book for everyone.

My eyes swelled with tears a few times during the book ..and at the end..the tears fell.

It's about being different..bullying..love..great parents..friends..teachers..and Star Wars:)

What a great Christmas gift..stocking stuffer.

I think this is a keeper book..
It's in French also.


BTW..an EPIC  fail for me..  were these..this week..LOL try sticking the skewer in without banging it on the counter..try spiralizing a potato by hand w/ a wannabe knife..FAIL.