Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Soul Food #136~

Hello..  :)

My favorite Soul Food~

Little boys by the beach~

We had a getaway to Florida..and 3 of the alphabet boys and their parents joined us for 1 week.
Heaven.
When our girls were growing up Sandcastles were castles with Princesses :)
These.. designed by Max and Oli..,grandad and Max's mom..designed to protect the beach!:)
I find little boy things so different..yet equally charming:)




We ate well..The very first time..I have eaten fish..cooked the same hour it is caught..So delicious.Caught by the boys..cooked by the boy:)
Not this particular one:)

The boys caught a few that magical day~

And even indulged in sparkly water challenges..

J'adore the diamonds on the ocean..and when 2 of my little gems :) are silhouetted by them..the whole scene is a blessing.

to be read..their:)



So cute. Every moment.

L M and O..


The Sea,Once it casts it's spell,holds one in it's net of wonder forever~ 
JYCousteau




The Sunshine State..It really is~
Thank you Florida for being a meeting place of many nice people from various parts of the world~for your beaches and skies..your fish and birds..Thank you.For enabling family vacations..the memories..Thank you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

These Are A Few Of My favorite Things~

It's been a while~

French Inspired Tea Towels
My Old Flower Frogs
Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
Sprinkle Bakes Cookbook..For ap $10.00 at Amazon..so much creativity in this book~
Fresh Scones in The Morning With Bonne Maman
Zinc French Christmas Tags
A Day At the Beach Candle..not  just for the label:)But mostly so~
The Last of My Neigbour's Fuschias..they look like...ballerinas..fairies :)
A Very Special Coffee Cup:-)
Sunsets
My Shark's Tooth Necklace..someone we have met found this big sharks tooth and offered it to me..a talisman of sorts:)a very nice gentleman..I made a necklace from it.
My Reading Chair,special pillows..and a special button:)
Staw  Hats~






Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Best Gluten Free Bread I made~

At one point we thought someone in the family might be gluten intolerant..Bread is a staple here..so I had to try and make a good gluten free bread.. My attempts proved unsuccessful. Until this one..
It became a fast favorite,,and I will continue to make it even though there is no apparent gluten intolerance here. In fact I made it again recently....A gentleman I know is gluten intolerant..and did not like the bread he bought..I made him a loaf and brought it over..He liked it:) It's great toasted..and wonderful to dip in oils..It's flavorful and does not fall apart..the only thing..with this bread..I actually bake it in the bread machine..contrary to all my other breads..that are baked in the oven..
 The recipe can be found on many sites..and it is on one of them..that someone posted and said..she threw everything in the bread machine and voilà! Since I had had no success in hand made and baked,I did this one in the machine..Just right..not pretty like hand formed and oven baked..But it's part of this one's secret..


  Here is the recipe I found on a few sites~

 It's a bit Challah~ish~
 2 cups rice flour 
1 3/4 cups tapioca flour
 1/4 cup sugar+ 2 teaspoons sugar 
3 teaspoons xanthan gum 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2/3 cup lukewarm water
 1 cup lukewarm water
 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
 4 tablespoons melted butter 
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
 4 eggs 
sesame seed (optional) 
Directions: 
 1.. In mixer, combine the flours, 1/4 c sugar, xantham gum, and salt.
 2 Dissolve the 2 tsp sugar in the 2/3 cup of water and mix in the yeast. 
In a separate bowl combine the butter with the additional 1 cup water and vinegar.
 3 With mixer on low speed, blend the dry ingredients. Slowly add the butter/water mixture. Blend in the eggs, 1 at a time. The dough should feel slightly warm. Pour the yeast mixture into the ingredients in the bowl and beat the highest speed for 2 minutes.
 4 Place the bowl in a warm spot, cover with greased plastic wrap and a towel, and let rise approximately 1 hour
. 5 Return the dough to the mixer and beat on high for 3 minutes. Spoon the dough into a greased, floured loaf pan. Fill 2/3 full, you may bake the remainder in greased muffin tins, etc. (or make all rolls~about 18). Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds. Let the dough rise until it is slightly above the tops of the pans, about 45-60 minutes. 6 Preheat the oven to 400 F and bake the large loaf for approximately 1 hour. Bake the rolls 25 minutes.


My Notes.. baked it right in the machine and put all the ings in the machine..Easy as pie.. I know the gardens have nothing to do with this bread..just remembering:-)
Do try this bread if you have a machine..It's quite tasty..

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Stitch In Time~(Long..so long!)

Ever since I was a young girl..I have liked stitching..
My earliest recollections are of a wooden spool of thread and 4 nails..I would wrap yarn around the nails a certain way and out would come a long knit chain..that I would roll and sew together to make rugs for my Barbie.
I remember a pink one for beside her canopy bed~
 I see she's come a long way and drives a Fiat :) Cracked me up..
I never really sewed well..And only started once married as a young bride..My machine didn't make buttonholes..so all the girls matching outfits had Velcro..
I made all our Priscilla curtains..w/ elastic as the ruffle(taught to me by a friend at that time..) I was 20..
Jacques put up with a lot of frills..It's amazing how you can be a teak loving bachelor and end up under a frilled canopied bed with Priscilla curtains in just over 1 year:)~
To  Jacques and I  ....the girls looked adorable ...and let's face it ...fabric was $1.00 a yard..they barely needed 1 yard..so it was.. at that time, very economical..for we  3 girls to even be dressed all alike..(I won't go there:) )..
This was  at Caroline's 3rd or 4th birthday.. Mylène would have been 5 or 6..she looks really happy:)Must have been her Mickey Mouse Club sticker on her pinafore..a Polaroid shot..I loved my Polaroid:-)
Our  2 girls have the home made pinafores and dresses:)I loved making their special outfits..Then they started deciding what NOT to wear..All those kidlets were so sweet..Hope they are all happy and well ..this foto is over 30 years old..
Can you tell they were in the basement in the kiddie playroom?Is it the faux paneling that gives it away?:)I loved those days..LOVED♥.The very best of years--

Everything I made had to be easy..
Then I discovered Bucilla~  In my early 20's Bucilla had crewel kits..I would even ask for a kit at Christmas..I loved stitching those kits when the girls were napping or we were watching TV at night..I didn't work until both girls were in school all day..so stitching filled my time with such a nice relaxing ,quiet pastime..
I made over 50 in our married life. .. some were gifts..some were kept...the last move..11 years ago..
I gave many to a client..and kept maybe 5..
I did keep  a few pillows also..
A few years ago..a net friend..showed me how to make needlepoint Christmas stockings for my family..she painstakingly even bought all the materials for me to get started and sent them from California to Canada..She even took....made...a movie of her doing it so I could learn..
Such kindness..
And she got me started by drawing my canvases..
To make a long story short everyone in our family has one now..The boys ..the 2 oldest..know..or knew last year..who's is who's..:) I loved that!
I have made 11 I think..each one was a true pleasure.

I must say..I stitched the canvases..bought the lining..cording and backing,and then an ANGEL turned them into first rate stockings for me..she even made some for Jain..
She is almost ..or more than ~~~~  years now..and the last one was made 3 years ago.I will never ever forget Frances.♥♥
My eldest daughter hand drew the latest ones for me:-)


They are all finished now and I kind of missed the habit this year..
Until I stumbled upon Alicia Paulson's blog(her blog is a treasure of beautiful photos and crafts..) and found her cute cute kits..they are a bit vintage looking to me..and I immediately fell in love with them..
I must tell you that they have a new addition to their home in the form of a precious baby girl..so brace yourselves for  more than adorable.
I ordered a downloadable pattern set..and set forth gathering the materials..(WE HAVE A MICHAEL'S NOW!!)..Even that part was fun..
Then I got started..a bit early to try and make a few Christmas presents for the girls  (They won't see this post..I am 90 % sure..and anyways Caroline has seen 2 while I was working on them:)


The pillow is old..one of the ones I made 100 years ago..but the Gingerbread doll is an Alicia Paulson original pattern one that I stitched..The link to her blog is a Christmas present to you:)  Early..but it keeps on giving:)
If you feel like making  gifts..enjoy stitching and working with felt and embroidery..these are sublimely..happiness in a basket~You can improvise too adding your own touch..I added the small wood heart in her pocket..and a real ribbon for her apron..my scalloped shears couldn't get through the felt nor my punch so I just xx's the bottom of the apron..Those small scissors were my moms♥
She would have loved making these..I love the feeling of felt..warm on our hands..cozy..
One day ..I was stitching while Lucas was here ..he was engrossed in a movie..but asked if he could try..
:)
Of course he was more than adorable to me:)
The skate pattern is so much fun to make  also..and the cocoa cup:)


Instead of embroidering the eyelets on the skates..I used metal eyelets..small ones..found at MICHAEL's(I am so happy we have that store..  have I mentioned that?:))and added bells to some of  the embroidery laces..because I am sure I had bells on my skates..Sure as sure can be.
On a few..I added European embroidered initials that I had bought on Etsy a few years back.
It's almost retro to felt and embroider..but if I could have picked my middle name..it would be vintage..Vintage..I enjoy all things that sometimes seem passé..yet they're not..
Many of her complete kits are sold out..but if you just want the patterns..and  a list of what you need..and perfect instructions..there is still time to go and spoil yourselves..with..peace..and contentment in sitting by the fire..and stitching.And..there are still full kits left..that must be like receiving a Christmas gift in the mail.:)
The set I worked on  for this Christmas is called Ice Skating Afternoon~..It has the Skate..the Cup of Hot Cocoa and the Gingerbread girl..They are lovely as a set..but on their own..each in their own way..they are special..So they can be offered individually or as a set of the 3.They are time consuming in the nicest way~
Listening to..
Classical music....  or Tony Bennett(all the duets..especially KD Lang)....or Diana Krall..or Ariane Moffat (Trauma)..  Or..Vincent Vallières..Quand On Va S'Aimer Encore......I chose the UP you tube video for everyone to relate...never expected to find someone having uploaded this song to UP:)...this song..was my favorite in the last yr plus~
and someone I know..  really... fell in love watching UP..
 J and I saw it in a cinéma with the boys~and loved that little movie for that reason alone~
My dear son-in-law bought the Cd:-)
It's life..with your life.

On to the subject:-)
The last felt project I did was over 30 yrs ago..a large Advent calendar for the door with ornaments for every day that you velcro onto the tree..The kiddies have it now..~
So now the moms will have their own little ornaments.

I told you it was  a LONG  post..But Alicia Paulson's blog..and stitching..is worth it all~
I ordered another set of 3 for next year..Wonder how long I will last without starting:)
Sorry for the long post~:)
But I hope ..it rekindled the stitching flames in some of you~
The Ricrack..alone should ignite the Vintageness in you♥
I promise you:-) l will give you a  looong break after this  lengthy post:-)





Sunday, November 4, 2012

Love these~

Little pearls of frosted sugared lavender:) I made that cake again I like so much..to take to friends..
You can find the recipe here..



But in the interim..I had found these food decorations at Home Sense..They are from France and they are lovely~I think they spurred me on to make more cake:)

Look how cute..no plastic extras..you cut the spout you want..or remove..I liked that idea..
I recommend them if you find them..don't bite down on them..just let them melt in your mouth..like little candies..

Friday, November 2, 2012

Grandads~



Two of our grandsons had chocolate bars to sell for their school..Instead of going door to door..our daughter set up a table at the corner of her street..with the boys so they could sell them there:)

It was so cute..2 young  neighbors helped too.. a beautiful young girl..(take my word:) )  and her equally cute brother..I think the kids had fun..and the mom is to be commended.. all afternoon:)!

Even with a grandad across the street..

Let's just say he bought a few:)
8 to be exact..and I had bought from a neighbor:)  Oy a small town..

Anyways Jacques' wonderfulness at being a very special grandad that buys 8 chocolate bars paid off..I made him cookies..
some w/ the dark chocolate and some with milk chocolate that both my daughter and I prefer..
I was looking for a recipe..that made cookies..in the shape of a hockey puck..I have tons of chocolate chip cookie recipes..but none that look like hockey pucks..Les Moulins Lafayette..a bakery I like..sells their cookies in that shape..they form them in logs..cut and bake and they stay exactly that shape..That's what I wanted..
I Googled recipes of cookies that you refrigerate in a log and slice and bake..and when I read the directions..that said cut 3/4 of an inch thick..I don't know why but I thought these would be them..
Wrong:(

These cookies spread..I was disappointed..until I had a bite..see the bite?

These are so good..Jacques loved them..
So a mishap ended up actually giving me a new terrific chocolate chip cookie recipe..
I ♥ vanilla bean paste and put that in..

So Good..

They are a David Lebovitz recipe..
Not terribly photogenic for me..but so good!

Not sure about reprinting one of his recipes..but I did find it here and it says it had permission..So in lieu of doing a wrong thing..you can find the recipe here..
Mine spread a lot more but in this case it was not a bad thing:)

So..instead of me trying every new chocolate chip cookie recipe I can find..does anyone have a recipe that the cookie would look like a hockey puck?:)
I would love to find one..