Sunday, March 19, 2023

I love this town..

 A walk to the post office.. some cuties..

I'm about 4000 steps to my post office.. about a 20 min walk or less.. ap 3 kms.. there and back.Town is just a few blocks further..

We walk by the waterfronts which I have always loved..

Some are McMansions..but very few..most are from way back and they are my faves..no real mansions on our way and I love that.


Having been a realtor for ap 30 yrs..I loved my share of waterfronts and showed many to my husband..he's an inland guy...





Once you pass the village.. the properties become even larger and so do the homes..I am fond of the smaller charming ones..

I was lucky to see so many homes here in my 30 yrs career as a realtor.I picked up ideas.. I also couldn't believe how many people never used heir gorgeous kitchens..or lit their fireplaces..(Gets too dirty..messy)..

Showpieces.




Is this not the sweetest again? A card sent..Just because..These Signature Hallmark cards are just works of art.They pop open:)Snail Mail will never go out of style.Thank you so much.I wonder if anyone can guess who sent it?



If you want to make cute Mary Engelbreight style cherry cookies..  just make your fave cookies..cut with a scalopped cutter.. on half.. make cute little dot details and I used my macaron Wilton tip to make the holes.. the pastry chef I was inspired by is..LesAteliersToquĂ©s @lesatelierstoques on IG.

She made her own jam filling..I had some already.

I love baking what can I say..? My husband weighs ap 155 lbs.. super fit..eats everything in moderation..So I can't bake a lot..I wait until he finishes things:)

I'll be baking for the weekend.. a festive one..so not just for us.

Anyone else deeply admire and respect doctors who are human?Who care..who take the time with you?

I'm one of those people ..

I have sometimes hit the jackpot.

Many times not.

Sure makes you appreciate the gems even more.

Still painting my people.

I have quite a collection:)

I love looking back on them.

Not because they are Picassos lol but because I remember liking the photos of the people and enjoying painting them.

Have a very good week..It's brisk today..26F.

 


One of my paintings this week was of Jeannette..


Jeannette is a perfectly bilingual Montrealer.81 years young.She has lived in Vancouver,Paris,Boston,the South of France ,Hudson and Montreal.She loves yoga and walks every day no matter what the weather is like.She volunteers at a well known hospital on the palliative care floor.She reads to them,holds their hand,and listens attentively to their life stories.She never ever misses a dayđź’•
Based on a true person.
@ericbranover a beautiful account I follow gave me permission to paint some of his people.
Thank you.


I apologize for the manner in which my texts of the stories show up but I copy and paste from Instagram..Here my background is black so my text is white..the opposite for IG.


TV wise..

Ted Lasso is back in town..Ill be craving shortbread again;)

I am still enjoying Daisy Jones and The Six..J not so much at all.

A Spy Among Friends..great acting but I have dozed off twice;)





Saturday, March 11, 2023

Spring forward why don't we?

 




Today is the day..I almost wish we would just settle on a time and live with it..

Snow will start to melt with sunny days..longer days..and then the earth will laugh in flowers as the famous saying goes..

I have new seed packets to try..
 Outdoors..not indoors this yr..let's see how that goes..






I wanted to tell you about my newest favorite focaccia recipe from Cloudy Kitchen..
The pics speak for themselves..easiest..and I made her quickie version..both times..:)
Here is one of my Montreal peeps again and their story:)
Photo courtesy off Myriam @passionmontreal
Have a great weekend and ensuing week:)




OcĂ©ane is a tiny pearl of a little girl.Her daddy,Lucas,adores her.Her independent vibe,like his,her curiosity,her giggles and kisses.What’s not to love?Many of us can remember those puffy snowsuits,kitten ear hats,mittens with strings.Now ,for some of us ,even our grandchildren have outgrown these days of our lives.The best of times n’est-ce-pas?


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

As close as it gets for now:)

 



I get funny around my birthday..I pull out the last card my mom bought for me..and I look at my little girl pics with even more longing.

:)


For Christmas I received delicious cookies..from Susan in Ontario..I have talked about them..I've since bought another box..but I make cookies right? So I started Googling the cookies..


This is the closest I could find and in a pinch ..or a budget friendly version of store bought ...I made these.

More than once:)



Found online:)CTV news.


Here it is..

Mary McCleod's traditional shortbread cookies


And here is another..


Here


Personally..I love them.. you can adjust to your liking..J still loves mine better..I am leaning towards these:)


Shortbreads are good all yr long.

Speaking of Shortbreads..Ted Lasso is coming back in March:)

1923 is done..Season 2 coming..

1883 still my fave.

We have had so much snow..  and it is still snowing:)




This is Gilbert..a retired school professor.He loved his profession.

He taught in McGill UniversityFrench Language and Literature.He never married but has a nie circle of friends with same interests...And of course his pup ,Molière.

Another in my series of Montreal people first captured by the talented eye of Myriam  .

She is a MONTREAL expert in all things..And an expert photographer.









Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Birthday Month..

  












Our home was beautified with Spring bouquets last Week..And of course they are still lasting..
I take pics of them all the time:)

We had a double celebration for my youngest daughter's birthday..46..oh lala..and mine.
We were invited to our eldest daughter's ..she hosts our double bdays:)

Generous Italian dinner.. so so so so good..
Lasagnas.. meatballs..arancini.. caesar salad ..garlic bread..so many apps..We were twelve and all the men are tall tall tall..Noah is catching up!

The next day I had soup for lunch and soup for dinner and went for a very long walk:)

I was in charge of desserts..






 


I made little tea cakes ..Now those turn out adorbs.. Tips..add mint LAST minute.. my mint would last but store bought wilts soon after..
Make sure you have a container high enough to keep these little naked cakes moist.
I do like brushing on a simple syrup to keep cakes moist but because these are naked all around..and you cannot put a Saran or the piped roses will squish...a good airtight container is a very good idea.

I made the recipe where I found the cakes..but would stick to my own versions of coconut cakes tried along the yrs.
American friends even have a cake mix that one reader said is ideal for these..Dolly Parton's coconut cake mix.
Who knew she cooked..Debbie at Mountain Breaths first mentioned them:)

The choco cheesecake is Preppy Kitchen's recipe.

Such a nice night..

I prefer giving gifts..
But who can resist receiving a watercolor of a bouquet I made years ago?
It was tucked into my birthday package from Susan..who never brags about her artistic talents..I know because I have some here..some watercolors through the years.
Even Jacques thought it was a photo it's so perfect and I love the cream paper.
I love it.

One sweet girl has  added to my  colllection of these sweet La Fermière crocks.I brought blue ones back from Povence..we don't have them here.. in the last couple of yrs Sarah has added so many to my collection and in many colors.She's a jar lover like I am.
I use them for many things:)
Mostly as vases:) For my garden flowers.
She lives in Austin and has beautiful gardens.
We exchange Valentines..  I mailed her card over 1 month ago and it's still not there.:(

How much pleasure does a gardener get in seeds? Let me tell you..gardening is exponentially more rewarding when something actually works from seed you have planted.
Last yr I discovered I could grow Zinnias..because of 
Susan..in Canada.
This yr I'll get to the rabbits before them for sunflowers:)

Susan and I were friends with our beautiful Linda..
She shared February with me..

Have a good week..

PS Yes I took out the last birthday card my mom ever bought me in 1973..Unsigned..I have kept it.
Found it in one of her drawers when I was sorting them..I was 19..
You really think you can never be happy again..
it takes so long..but you can..














Thursday, February 16, 2023

Mid February..and a sweet movie.

 



Triple lemony loaf:)


Antoine parked in le parking of MĂ©nerbes with his beloved Pitou.They like to stroll about tat totally charming commune in the Vaucluse.The views are spectacular.He will scout around for lunch to see who will accept Pitou.Un must.





The lemon loaf .. very good:)

I had made the curd..and the rind had been saved  so it was a really quick do.

The recipe for the loaf is  here..

I added a lemon crumble on top instead of the glaze.

Saturday the 11th was so sunny but brisk..we went snowshoeing..mostly icy unfortunately..

But we enjoyed just being out walking.

Jacques spends hours out..I don't so it felt good.:)


Remember the book I went on and on about..

The Boy..the mole,the fox and the horse?




That I love so much.

You can watch the Oscar nominated movie on Apple TV..here is the trailer.

It's so dear! I loved it.

More books and movies like these are needed in our world today..

The words are so profound..the animation charming.

Have a very good weekend:)




Wednesday, February 8, 2023

One week done..February..

 




On Instagram..I invent little stories to go with my people:)
She is Glory..  heading to her art studio ..she will stop and pick up provisions for her lunch @Vival, her local small Ă©picerie..just fruits and veggies:)



I decided to use up some lemons(I've bought more since:))..So I peeled them and used my Nutribullet to keep pots of rind..for last minute lemon desserts or even gremolata for the osso bucco this past week.
I then pulverised the lemons with ginger and made big fat ice cubes.I put one in a glass the night before..the next morning add hot water and I am so good to go:) I made a small batch of lemon curd to try something else soon..
Vintage lemon juicer for the lemon curd..
Old things are sometimes good to keep.

Pâté Chinois is a staple here in fall and winter..
1000 different recipes.

It's actually Cottage Pie in the UK..but I just use cream corn and niblets..nothing else apart form the mashed potato topping and meat base.
You can read of it's origins here..

Lean ground beef..onions..garlic..s and p..Worcestershire sauce..brown completely..then top with the rest..I put parsley and paprika on top because my mom did.

I am still painting backs of people that have caught someone else's eyes first..then w/ their permission I try my hand at them.
I have well over 130 now I think..I get rusty though..you should paint every day.I don't.

So many AMAZING artists on IG:)
I love so many styles..

So I finally saw..



I went with my girls..  the stars finally aligned.
He does give a performance of a lifetime.
It's a tragic take on human nature.
We are so complex.
I didn't cry my eyes out like I thought I would.
I did get teary eyed..at the end.
The thing with movies is that you see so many trailers..bits and bobs..that you know what is happening.
To me it was like a play.It's all shot in his apartment.His dark apartment.
He is a dear dear dear man.
You cannot help but love him.



We started Dear Edward and like it..




As for 1923 it took me a while to get into it..  because I just loved 1883.
It's more of a soap opera to me.
But the cruelty the indigenous people suffered is sickening.. 
shocking..At one point Canada is mentioned and the man tells the young beaten woman... :it's worse.
So both countries..have a great cross to bear on this inhuman treatment.
And the nuns and priests.
:(
I hate them in this movie.

Religion is a personal and private issue..The Whale ..has something to do with religion also...
I know some of you often mention religion and your beliefs..I just can't offer an opinion.
Religion and politics.
I try to stay mum.
Because you cannot ever be 100% in agreement with someone's choices.

But I respect your beliefs and choices.
:)

February is such a short month:)Like this post ;)
Until the gardens start up..it is not the easiest thing to chat..
I think I will abstain from staring seeds indoors this yr.
Two yrs in a row my tomato plants are ravaged .
I'll see..but for now..direct sowing zinnias.. marigolds..and buying tomato plants.
I think;)









Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It's a snowy winter here..February already!

 


Some of his winter tools



I never tire of his paths..



This is such a great everything cake..Ina's blueberry crumble cake..
I used an 8 inch springform..
I omitted the lemon..we just finished lemon poppy seed cupcakes..
added more vanilla and cardamom.
Jacques had a piece after dinner and later said those exact words..
We don't eat a thing after dinner. from 6  PM till the next morning.. nothing.So I thought this was a true compliment:)






I loved this series so much.We are fans of Yellowstone..but this one is very different.
Great actors..dialogue..cinematography.
Taylor Sheridan is a wizard.
Elsa is mesmerizing.
Loved her so much.I hope she wins something..anything.
Kleenex required..in my case.We both gave it 5 stars.Just started 1923 and I am having a hard time LOVING it..


Also All Creatures Great and Small..so sweet..the tempestuous  horse..God Bless Siegfried:)
A note..  because some  may think I watch TV all day..LOLOLOL.
Night only after dinner and bath..7-9.



The porch views back and front.Snowy snowy snowy:)
You have heard of Hygge..
Norway has Koselig:)
You can read about it here:)
Enjoy.

Friday, January 27, 2023

L'hiver..Winter.

 




Winter is acting differently this year..some. ..few ..days are glorious with sunshine and blue skies..but many are very dull and monochromatic..snow seems to hit in fury..  here and there..
I do love winter but I must preface by saying..sunny winter;)
I need it all.
Perfect you know..
Nothing ever is..  but one can lean towards preferences I think.

I have been baking but apart from a new cookie recipe..I have had some misses.
Twice I tried muffins that never ever ended up looking like the original poster showed..LOL I asked a few questions..no answer.
Then I made that beautiful Excellent White Bread recipe and tried shaping it like this..
I gave my shape a 2/10.
To the salon..  oops..to the drawing board;)
So in short nothing to write home about.




Soups are one of my favorite food groups.I love having one for lunch..any warm kind in winter..and gazpacho in summer.
You can whip up a soup avec  presque rien.(Almost nothing).

I used 3 very large carrots.. sliced
1/2 head of caulflower,broken up
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves
Chicken stock
s and p
milk or cream.
chipotle chili pepper seasoning.
Hot sauce.

Just sautĂ© onions and garlic..in some butter and evoo.. add veggies and toss to coat well.. add enough stock to cover veggies..  cook until fork tender.
Use a blender or a hand held blender until smooth as silk.
Adjust your seasonings add a bit of milk or cream..

Add croutons or puff pastry hearts;)


LOL on two of the same;)





Winter was not my fave season as a realtor..
Every Tuesday we had caravan.. visiting the new listings.. so we traipse around in boots..  then take our boots off upon entering the homes..always..our feet ended up in puddles of wet feet.
Back into cold boots with freezing wet socks..for ap 2 hours plus. in and out.
I was always shivering at the end of the day.
Open houses..Sundays 2-4.. stopping the car to put out heavy sandwich boards.. directing people to the open houses having to stop traffic ..oh I loved that.Wind..snow..snowstorms..
The ads went in newspapers days before.
I retired 11 yrs ago..there was no IG for ads..no Tik Toks..no Facebook..
All newspapers.
Some homes were empty..relocations.. so they were so cold when we would arrive..
2 hrs..waiting for people.. keeping our coats on..
Those are the things I do not miss.
Driving clients in horrendous road conditions..
Those are the things I do not miss lol.

Now I appreciate winter.
I don't mind it like I used to.I am not fond of cold but very fond of getting out there.. walking..snowshoeing.. shovelling is not my fave..My face hates cold.
But I get such an amazing feeling in white snow with blue skies.
So I do it.

My husband is intrepid.I mean it.
I think he appreciates the maintenance more now.He sees it as great exercise.
He never bemoans it.
That helps..if he crabbed about it all the time I may not be so ok with it.
Picture postcards some days.
I swear as awesome as walking the beach.

Have a great weekend.
 






Monday, January 16, 2023

Just chatting..:)





Present state of affairs


Christmas has been put to sleep..It takes a day..a long day..but it is worth it..

A different Christmas..looking forward to next yr.

We will be home in Nov..Less rush about..

I am considering a buffet for brunch..That long table I bought..for the kitchen for us all to sit comfortably is already a tight squeeze..

These boys..

I am telling you..

Sooo talll..

And they do gym..

so all bulked up too.




So I watched The Menu..am I ..the only one that hated it? No my husband did too.

Rave reviews..

I like dark..

But this was a satyrical horror ridiculous concoction of awful ingredients.

I like dark..

I like happy.

I love a great ending.

I love to smile..

I love to cry watching a movie.

This did nothing but make me wonder what are we coming to?

I mean it's not a biography like Dahmer..for the horror of it all (Only watched one..) a true story..

It's a flight of unappetizing fancy.

Give me all my fave shows and forget about this.

Have you seen Hidden Figures?We loved that.We loved it because the women become victorious.



I hope to God this kind of racism does not exist anymore.

We got mad like we always do when we see this horrible racism.


I still like Yellowstone..and yes Kevin Costner is in the above mentioned movie too.



He's a great... natural ..well aging actor.

All Creatures Great and Small back on:)




The Bear was great..season 2 coming..




Ted Lasso coming also..



Dopesick was amazing.



Elvis ..that Austin Butler..WAS Elvis.Kudos..and Poor Lisa Marie.

Tried to go see The Whale..my fault.. I didn't know movies changed over so fast.



Anyway speaking of The Menu..I saw a very neat tip.. you know your whole head of garlic? Mine is still so fresh that dividing and peeling can be a tiny chore..But if you need the WHOLE head..microwave 15-18 seconds depending on size and you will not believe how easy it makes the task.

However if you need only one or two..better to not do that keep the remaining head intact and fresh and pull apart and peel as needed.

I have a new BFF in my kitchen..

It's a cordless hand mixer..cordless!

Here it is.....



Mine is white and I bought. it on sale.


I would have bought one yrs ago..had I known.

I don't always need my almost 30 yr old KA stand mixer.It's out and available..Bt sometimes i need smaller.

This is it.


It's great!

I have been painting..but I can't share..  as they are gifts:)




That's about it..Take care..stay well..