Sunday, March 18, 2018

Still Winter~

So the above happened..

A Nor-Easter..LOL EASTER.Not.

It's March that's the longest.

I must say I don't miss my real estate days at all in winter.
The open houses..oy..hoisting those stupidly heavy sandwich boards onto snowbanks..w/ the car running w/people in back.
Sometimes I felt mortified.

Wet snow all over me..onto an empty cold house sometimes.

Thank goodness I loved it most of the time.My clients♥

I prefer winter ..not driving.

What a great job it was though looking back.
The families,
Some became friends.
I learned so much about so many things.
It was exciting..but also stressful at times..I can't lie.
You want what's best for your clients and if it's not worry for them.
But some..I fell in love with.

Anyway..being INDOORS..let's me start Easter baking early..
A carrot cake is in the freezer..some cookies are started.

It's so easy and good and I pump up the almond flavoring.
It's lovely w/ a dusting of snow on top;) ..Icing sugar..;)

I made an Irish Soda bread for St Pat's..but before the actual day..
..I am part Irish;) 

This time w/ caraway and raisins..if you Google..Oodles of recipes will show up.

To me it's part scone part bread.
I like it the first day.
I do like it but prefer a scone.
Or a great bread:)

But I like it.
And it's pretty..I need to eat pretty;)
Don't give me a raw oyster.

I wanted to talk about basil..because it never lasted here indoors in cooler months.
I found the trick for us.

The pic above is the day she came to live here..always so cute that first day..makes you think you can grow ANYTHING indoors in winter..and then..she leaves you.

So if  you live in a zone like are my new tips that work.

1. Don't bring it home in extreme cold.It will sulk and die.

2.Put the pot it came a bigger pot..and water inside the big empty pot.It will sip it all up.

3.Only pinch at a fork.

4.Keep in sunshine during the day.

5. Place under your stove top light at night away from drafts and windows.

Look.. 3 weeks later..:)

And take cuttings! Root in water..and then pot up.

I was a very lucky girl this week and found some vintage copper canelés molds♥I had only ever used the silicone.
Not sure I'll use beeswax though..I'll see..

Ok ..and this some ways..

I bought it from The Book Depository..$10.00 less than Amazon Canada..and always free shipping.I have never been disappointed with them..

so about this book..

Look..a few instructional pages..beautifully and perfectly illustrated..and many true(albeit not my favorite ..beige..not white..and not much oomph.. watercolor paper pages ensue..all sketched..for you to try..palette suggestions)..a treasure!A treasure as in modern day learn to add layers which I am so bad at.I do everything fast and wet apart from that PEAR:) This ..these are along the Pear.. lines.

Don't expect instructions..very very few..

24 colors are in her palette..I improvised because I don't have her exact colors..I have lots though....well..lots.. is relative right?
Lots to me is like nothing to many;)

This is a game of patience and learning layers..

I spend more in a pharma..or on food in less than 5 minutes..
and these pages will last and last..
She says to apply pressure and pull gently to remove the watercolor pages..
I am a caution girl..and gentle..and it ripped.I would use an X ~Acto..gently.
And be prepared to be patient and let layers dry.
But you cannot even go to a good movie w/ a little popcorn for $15.00 Canadian right?
$11.00 US:)

Caveat Emptor

So..the book is all about botanicals and precise work.
I am not great at this ..especially full sized.Th pear was actually remarkable lol..
Not so much this Bird Of Paradise..I did one w/ Jenna Rainey's book and it turned out much better I feel.

But it is a great learning tool..and oh so pretty to have and to hold♥

We still have a lot of snow..but all that icing everywhere has melted..The sun is shining but it's cold..

Muffins on the counter..  they rose like stars!M and N may drop by before or after his guitar lesson.

Making one of Isabelle Lambert's dinners that she gleaned from Donna Hay..Looks terrific!

Have a great week~

Monday, March 12, 2018

La Vie En Rose~ Spring Forward~

Above..Carol's macarons

Yesterday I had a brief taste of Spring..we have set the clocks forward..and the sun shone in while I prepped dinner and I had Tony Bennett on Alexa..and I felt warm.

That's the only thing I don't like about winter.Feeling cold.
I love sweaters and leggings and socks  but months on end..the style becomes repetitive and my fingers just seem to get colder and colder with age.
I need hot pads to snowshoe now..and quite frankly could wear them in the house..
Jacques always commented on how cold my hands were..and so did my girls..
Always cold
Not sure I believe..cold hands..warm heart shivers!

My Paris Letter arrived ..which sparked such a yearning for pink and prettiness..You know..Carol G's letters..Paris Breakfast..
So much pretty in a pretty envelope!
Her art..little business cards..flyers..charm charm charm.

Also charming the cute Renaud-Bray jam labels and toppers I found..I made jam for an upcoming birthday gift and these make the jars look so fresh and cute.However they are rigid and glossy and I needed the glue gun to affix everything..but..cute:)

I have a few little Easter things out..

See that's below the Oeil De Boeuf window..that Jemima is sitting on..that wicker cradle was mine..and the teeny quilt too♥so maybe 60 yrs old..and my daughters played with it.I am so happy to still have it:)

As I am so happy to still have my daughters Sunbonnet Sue quilts..I saved them..and then my girls had I still have them..who knows..maybe one day a great-grand daughter will have it..
Or they will be sold on Varage Sale (HOPE NOT..)

I found a sweet IG post suggesting ReadTeaLeaves.
And she had made little Epsom salt ..etc pouches..on her blog..
I have received bath bombs etc..w/ flowers  and oats in them..and they leave a mess in a tub..

this way..your muscle relaxing epsom salts..and dried flowers..etc..stay put in pretty muslin mess!
Loved this little craft thought you might too:)
Find the

I've stitched a bit to keep my fingers nimble:)

I made a granny square scarf..I will make another next winter I think:)

I have been painting:)

The enchanted cottage.

A little door to a special place..( a gift this will be)

In my defense..  10 minutes..above;)

Jacques offered these lovely books for my birthday..I looked through Liz Steele's..  too think you get then you try..and don't:)
lots of great tips..

Have just started the People Sketching and LIKE it..a lot..have not started Marc Taro's..I do have one of his Craftsy classes.
One thing I have that quite a few urban landscape buildings and such ..have a graphic artist/design background.I don't ..and it makes things ..quite difficult for me..if it's too's lost on me..the People so far..I at least get the 8 eggs:)

SNOW the forecast..

Jacques had thought it was done last week..I see a snow covered Easter..:(
I don't think we have ever had tulips or green grass:(

Still it was nice prepping dinner in daylight..last night..well 5 ish..

This is a GOTO here and I can thank Diane..(Anonymous) who visits here ..for introducing us to this dish w/ her husband..about 100 years ago:)

With the years..we've adapted some ways..
Basically ..penne and rapini.

I cook 4 slices of chopped bacon:)
I sauté 1 French shallot..chopped
3 chopped cloves of garlic
red pepper flakes..
add my chopped rapini(I removed tough bottom stems..I don't blanch..I don't mind the bitterness of rapini)
Let wilt..add a shot glass of cooking sherry:)

Add my cooked penne..  salt and pepper..and a lot of parm cheese..I reserve some pasta cooking liquid sauce it up a bit..
Top w/ fresh basil..toasted pine nuts..and more red pepper flakes..adjust the seasonings..taste taste taste..

Serve in warm plates..always serve warm food on warmed plates.

Have a great week:) The sun'l come out tomorrow..tomorrow..
Spring always comes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Let's go to St-Paul -De-Vence♥

Simply because..

we LOVED it~..and it's grey and morose out here at the moment..damp  and just blah.So..onto Provence.

St Paul..♥
We parked in the indoor parking.. Jacques was a trooper..let me tell you..those indoor spots are tortuous lol and treacherous.. through there you arrive at a myriad of cute boutiques..where you can get a lot of specialty products..if you are not going to markets..this spot has a lot.
And then out to a main meeting funny..I thought I was talking to Jacques..he was feet ahead of me and I was talking to a strange man..  who said he didn't mind:) Sweet man..

St-Paul is gorgeous..GORGEOUS.

Lots of shops..views.. art boutiques..and  a knock out Occitane..knock out.C'est si beau..designed by the founder himself.

We had lunch at Le Tilleul..outside..oh mais ce fut magnifique. a movie set.Truly..the leaves were golden and gently was beautiful..I just loved it all.
We had a father daughter beside us,so nice..southern gentleman  from Charleston....she had just married.. and her honeymoon yacht was docked in Cannes..her dad had flown out to meet her for this day♥ Imagine that.And they had a chauffeur..I think Jacques would have loved a chauffeur a few times;)
When they left we had a handsome young man from India..on a business trip ..loving St-Paul -De -Vence..I do kind of say hello to people:):)
Everyone has a story.
Anyway..I can recommend this place with all my heart.

I have not been many places in my life..but I can safely say Provence is somewhere I could have lived .

Friday, March 2, 2018

I was going to take you to Provence again..but next time:)

I still want to share a few favorite Provence places with you..but  I don't want to forget a few things to share with you..before the next Hop On Hop Off:)

I am so happy to be stitching ..we have a long winter here..I have made a couple more tea cozies..and am working on a scarf:)

For next fall/winter I guess..

I just made 2 dishcloths for a special girl..isn't it funny how when you are purposely making something you screw up?
Lol I did.
My daughter said..she will never notice♥

If anyone wants to learn how to crochet..may I recommend a site?

She is by far..the one MY brain is in harmony with.

I wonder..had I found her first..would I have struggled so much?

I love her.

Blossom Crochet.

Different people ..learn different ways..

I know if Jacques tries to explain something to me..he loses me in the first sentence.

He is an engineer..I am the farthest thing from an engineer:)

Other me something once..and By George..I got it!:)

We are all wired differently..

Blossom Crochet is one of my learning wires.I had never SEEN her until I Googled to link here.

Lovely girl..and she explains clearly..her voice is perfect..calm..relaxed..nothing superfluous.Perfection.

I have mentioned Instagram..perhaps one time too many and here I go again..I found..Caroline..

and she made a beautiful hummus and beet hummus..

I had Costco hummus in the fridge and beets..Chioggia mind you..which don't give the rich red of a regular beet once roasted..but I did not mind the pink♥

Make your fave hummus..or buy..

I love to roast my beets in foil..with a big drizzle of EVOO..s and p and fresh(ours) garlic..  roast till fork tender and save those juices..

I used my hand held food processor to purée my beets..while adding some pre-made fact lightens the beets again..

Sooooo good!

Plate the reg hummus..add your home roasted beet hummus..drizzle w/ a great EVOO..and I like to add sesame seeds..and sunflower seeds..

even walnuts..pine nuts ..will do..NUTS are GREAT for us:)

Serve w/ veggies..French radishes would be BEAUTIFUL..  croutons..warmed Naan..or crackers..
I truly do love this dish.

Ahh..tea wise..I keep talking about blooming teas..
I want you to know..

Don't disregard if you do not have a glass..suitable teapot.

When my friend Nancy lived across the street..we used a huge Mason jar..
I do it here too..
For taller blooming teas..
This one is Lily Bouquet♥

My ceramic French canisters are from Nancy..when she moved she gave them to me..she lived in Paris..and the South of France for innumerable years..these were bought at a brocante..w/ her husband.
I am honored to be the keeper of them♥

I do not mind a sprinkle of Stevia in my tea.
Except my morning green  loose leaf tea.. lemon..ginger and honey are added.

Ok ..if you sometimes crave an apple pie but want quick and oh so delish..

Just visit Ricardo..
This is a keeper..

My only notes..I added a bit more cinnamon and my everloved cardamom.
La perfection Ricardo.

Sidebar anecdote..I updated my camera w/ a new firmware..and all my settings were temporarily Ricardo's lovely squares were shot HDR..:(
and ..I cannot remember where I dowloaded the dishcloth printable:(I hope I thanked you.  

Have a lovely weekend~