Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soul Food #101~

Hmmm....Almost sounds like the 101 books for Dummies:) Soul Food 101 for dummies..that would be me.. not you:)Ahem...

And so it goes~

The gardens are waning from lack of water..too much heat and sunshine..I am not complaining,it's just that the gardens do suffer..in fact some of our grass seems like jute almost..

But there are still some pretty sights..
We do have a family of raccoons living on our street and as soon as a tomato turns color..a blueberry.. etc.. they are gone.I hope to have added enough security to some tomatoes for Jacques to be able to enjoy them:)
They surprised me when I saw at least 6..after dinnner scampering through our back yard to the neighbors..

Nature..





Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~Pablo Picasso



Still in the thows of watercolor journaling~


I added a bar of soap to one of my dish palettes:)Thank you for that tip!

I am enjoying having a cut off tube sock on my wrist to clean the brushes and absorb the color and water..

That's a tip from the book..

I noticed a most beautiful blog..Paris Breakfasts also lauds this book.. I was happy to see so many enjoying it.



Have a lovely week..

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cute as a button cheese crisps~



These are the easiest little hors d'oeuvres you could have ready in a roll in the freezer..
We like them very much..
I first started making these..at least 20 years ago.. a client invited us to a house warming and served these..she shared the recipe..You can tweak by adding herbs..
I love fresh rosemary in them~

The recipes abound on the web..I am including one..try it..

I love to make a batch.. roll tightly in individual rolls and freeze.. then if Jacques and I want a melt in your mouth treat with a glass of wine..they are there waiting for us~

This is an original recipe..


La RecetteOne of many on the net~

CHEDDAR CHEESE CRISPS
3/4 c. softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
10 oz. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 c. Rice Krispies
Cream butter and cheese until well blended. Add flour, salt and pepper and cayenne and herbs.. Blend well. Add Rice Krispies . Make tiny balls of teaspoon amounts of dough.(See below for the version I make off by heart)
Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press down with fork. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. . Store in airtight container.




I roll into logs and cut coin shapes..partially frozen..and bake ap 13 mins...at 350F

This is how I make ours..

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup strong cheddar..or parmigiana.. whatever you love
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp of salt
a pinch of cayenne
chopped fresh rosemary to taste or sage.. any herb you enjoy
11/4 cups Rice Krispies

My recipe says..mix knead roll:)
So you can see that I adapt..and modify:)And re the amount of Rice Krispies..I can FEEL how much to put so they are not too crumbly..or soft.
I like them dry and melt in your mouth.

From the original recipe book I made for our girls..ap 10 Christmases ago.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Soul Food #100~



I had to share this book with you..
I don't know how I happened upon it..but I did.. and ordered it from Amazon.ca
It's a treasure trove of great ideas for keeping a journal..
I kept a full one during our trip to Europe..that I enjoyed adding little ephemeras to.. a watercolor here and there..(more than novice)..wine labels etc..

When I saw this book I thought it might be of interest..and it is..
I highly recommend it..

It is full of journaling ideas..



I bought a small Moleskine watercolor journal..it fits in a pocket...I have read mixed reviews about these Moleskine books..but I like it..I think I would love even more of a watercolor paper texture..but this is my first..so I am happy:)I will look into a richer textured journal..I have a beauty sent to me by a friend..but I am saving it for a trip..

It sounds like saving new pyjamas.or candles.I don't mean it that way:)But I have been guilty of that..I don't want to do that with journals..



I started my book with a watercolor recreating a day at the beach with the boys..


and then added 2 small sights of the garden..

..

The next day..we had watered my son-in-law's garden and picked a cucumber and beans..while in the morning ..my friend had graced us with one of her 2 first zucchinis..

I laid them all on an AnnT board ..and sketched from above for the Savor little entry..

All these ideas are in the book..
It's delicious that book:)
It's made me want to fill the little journal in..
I showed one of my daughters and she said;" I want that when it's done"..how nice was that?

I've added a few.. some are pretty scary:) She may change her mind..

A little finch.. who looks like Zorro and Batman on a bad hair day:)
And hydrangeas..Annabellles.. that don't look a thing like them..so I added a nice capital H from Victoria magazine..and a quote from the same magazine..then your eye is drawn to the glued on pretties instead of the art..

I enjoyed this one.. it's just not good.. at all...but I know who they are!!
You may remember the post I did that featured the photo..



The kids even recognized themselves..I guess it's because we draw alike.In fact I know that's why..


When I asked Noah..the 3 year old..I said "Who is this"? He said.. Kids.. boys..:) Lucas and Max knew so I think you have to be older than just turned 3 to know who they are..

:)

I have to say I am liking doing the chldren so far the best..

Oliver's real name is Olivier:)
One day maybe I can add faces:)


Do you like to draw? (Charles Schulz)

I do like to draw:) I must add..that I am just learning..as if we all could not tell..:)
I took an art class maybe 10 years ago..I loved it.. she taught us a bit of watercolor.. I haven't really picked up the brushes in years..on a daily basis..and found some fun things I had accumulated over the years.. watercolor pencils..pastels..etc..
I used the pastel watercolors and pencils for the next page which in the end turned into a fiasco(not a fresco!:) )Yes..Zorro.


I received a darling card for my birthday this year from a long longtime netfriend..she took the photo and made a card..It's adorable..
I tried to recreate it..Thank goodness my Canon has manual focus where you can make the object you want seen..sharper..or foggier..you'll notice how foggy I made my birdie..as I told Susan..

He looks like Zorro/Batman on a bad hair day..(I mentioned him earlier:) )
I'll keep practicing ..to get that eye right..there must be a trick..!



Don't look closely..and I am glad I sent this to Susan ahead of time..


Susan..is a wonderful,accomplished watercolorist..that makes me brave:)to actually show Zorro..

As my husband said..;"you're not doing this to create a masterpiece and sell it"..Just enjoy it.


LOL~(I've never cared deeply for this shortcut to laughter..but ..here.. it works..for me..and it has for friends who have used it to it's best use!)

All this to say it is so nice to sit in peace..outside by the garden w/ very little paraphenalia..and enjoy creating.Indoors too..when the weather reaches 100F !
Of course this has led to having an art wish list again..This is a long winded post..But it is the Centennial Soul Food post~


Fiou.C'est fait.. 100.. jamais j'aurais pensé~

Je ne croyais jamais en avoir assez..à dire..
Le hasard a fait de moi..une blogueuse..qui en a eu à dire..

Bon..je me tais.
Pour le moment:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Une Jolie Gelée De Porto~



This is so pretty! And Easy..Remember that beautiful blog I mentioned to you a few times?

La Casserole Carrée?

That's where I found this little treat that had my husband's name stamped on it..
He is a lover of Porto~And Bread..And Cheese..and Wine~:)And some Ales~..

And I..just loved the look of it~



The above is after a sliver had been removed:)

La Recette~

Courtesy of the above beautiful blog~

1 Cup good quality Porto

1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsps gelatin.

In a small bowl.. combine the Port..and raisins and let the flavors meld ap 1 hrs..

Place all in a small saucepan..
Sprinkle the gelatin over..and let it bloom for a few minutes..
Warm over low heat until all the gelatin is dissolved..
Remove from heat and let sit until it becomes room temp.

Strain through a Chinois....very very fine sieve..

Reserve the raisins..

pour the Port mixture in small molds..
I made 2 of the small molds that I showed you here..

Perfect size..

Place in refrigerator for ap. 3 hrs..

To unmold.. moisten the mold with warm water..

It will pop out~

I made 2..

Slice thinly upon appetizer presentation and place on a slice of baguette or crostini.. top w/ a strong delicious cheddar or really any delicious cheese ..

It's really very good..

You can also add the raisins..the Porto raisins:)I found mine chewy and sticky..I think a light chutney would be better because of my poor raisins:)

I will make this again~



With a home made baguette..it's even better..add beautiful French Flair background and foreground..and le tour est joué~
C'est vraiment beau et bon~

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Soul Food #99~


Texture,Courtesy of les Brumes~
4 cute boys,courtesy of their moms


Found this little place straight out of the 40's.. the boys love it.



Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monsters gone
he’s on the run
And your Daddy’s here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy.
~ John Lennon

(s)

P.S.. see the 4yr old?

Any ideas where I can get Harry Potter round glasses for him here in Canada?Just decorative:)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dinner Was Delicious~



I knew it would be..it won a prize:)
And I know the wonderful young woman who submitted the prize-winning recipe..

A few years ago..I met a great family.. so nice.. and genuine..they have a beautiful little girl also..now.. not so little..growing up so fast like my little grandsons..

One day at their home.. ..I was served the best lemon loaf in the world.. and she shared the recipe with me..It was her grandmother's.. we had tea.. and everything was served on a beautiful tablecloth..April Cornell..I think..
I have continued to make it ever since and have thought of her ever since..in many different ways..under many different circumstances..and even for no reason at all..

One time her husband went to Paris and brought me back a perfect little French loaf pan for my loaves:)

They have moved back to the USA now..and we have kept in touch.. I am so happy about that..I learned things from her..important things~
recently she offered me a magazine..and sent me the issue personally..with a sweet note and a mention of checking out ..page 100..humbly..because that is how she is..



In a matter of days this great little magazine arrived.. and page 100 was a keeper:)



Her recipe!

It's a delicious marinated chicken..served with a home made tzaziki sauce and pita..I used warm Naan(Nana bread here..in my mind..) bread..and I let my chicken marinate during the day:)

It was warm Monday and the dish was perfect for the weather~



It's exciting for me to have the magazine..and the published chef's recipe here..
I remember once..going in her beautiful little girl's bedroom and there were fresh flowers there.
Not in the living room.. in her daughter's room:) Just for her..
That's how she is.Unique,warm,smart and kind..
Did I mention I fell in love with some photographs in their home? That's right..she had taken them.
You would all love them.

You can find the whole recipe ..

HERE~



I know I am early with this post.it should be Thursday..But I just couldn't wait~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Soul Food #98~



Because~:
It's sunny..most of the time..
It's in technicolor
It's warm
No boots
No big coats
I can wear my all time favorite shoes..flip flops..(and yes ..crocs:)
Wear white with abandon
I can grow herbs and flowers
I can add those herbs and flowers to our home made food
I can dig in the earth
I can snatch earwigs from the boys tent with the littlest one who knows no fear:)
I can watch the boys at the beach
I can see them play ball,ride bikes,breathe in fresh air
I can listen to music outside
I can swing on the front porch swing and watch the world go by.. very quietly most of the time..
I love when that quiet is interrupted by squeals of laughter after our dinner..coming from my favorite neighbor's home..our daughter's.. road hockey..soccer..the sweet sound of children's laughter..
I can eat outside
I can sit in the screened-in porch and read..or sketch or watercolor
I can watch the birds take birdbaths and hear them sing..
I can leave windows open and see my curtains sway in the breeze
Hang linens and things to dry outside and have that sweet scent linger inside

It's such a lovely season here in QC..


There's something about every season..but I guess because our summer is somewhat short..It's a little peek at heaven.

And my clematis never look like this in winter~:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Daughter's Quinoa Salad~




I tried quinoa last year and liked it..enough..

but I didn't love it..

Now I do..
Cold..and in a salad.
My daughter's..



All she does is combine 1 part Quinoa Bio.. with 2 parts water(I used broth)..and let it cook until all the liquid is absorbed..
Let cool..add the juice of one lemon.. 2 tbsps of EVOO..fresh mint..chopped spring onions and red peppers(I didn't have any)..I added basil..because we have some in the garden..season to taste.
It's a new addiction for me.It's simply delicious.

We've since experimented w/ kalamata olives..feta..crumbled..red quinoa..I eat some almost every day:)
It's a superfood..and with added color..it's exquisitely beautiful..and quite like little pearls..My daughter's salad is always better than mine..I just keep trying:)



I love the way my neighbor's /friend gardening basket looks..

We're all so different w/ the way we garden and the tools we use.
Look.. you will see the way..the accoutrements..are often so well suited to the person.

This basket to me is artistic..and creative..and beautiful.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Soul Food #97~



Coloring outside the lines is a fine art. ~Kim Nance


I just had to share with you these little watercolor pens..My Neighbor/Friend..Nancy..bought herself one or 2 of these..She is a true artist..like some of my blogger friends are:)

She showed me and I said:"Next time you go to your art store..can you pick me up one or 2?"..:)

And she did..

She does all kinds of art..she writes.. she does gouache,pastels,oil,watercolor,sketches..Adds fine papers.. I love her studio..Her easel..the way the light shines.. her works in progress..It's a treat for me to go in..
I like playing w/ my small Cotman pocket kit..next time I will make sure it has a little water bottle..

But look at these little marvels...the water is in the pen:)

I keep them in our sunroom w/ the travel kit.. and a new sketchbook..

I am a paint by number artist..I've told you that..
But these are so much fun..I encourage all of you who would like to try tarvel watercolor:) to get one of these..

Speaking of artists..Have you seen Ronelle's new gallery? She is African Tapestry..the Food Blog..and The Art blog,she's just been on a painnting trip to Provence..and has just opened up her own absolutely charming gallery..Go see here..In person would be so nice!!