Monday, September 30, 2013


We went to the market in town is my favorite time of the year for the market..
We were closest to Jean-Talon that day..It's indoor/outdoor and sprawling..smack in Little you can also shop at specialty stores.
I wanted to get our bushel of peppers..
They are split.. seeded ,de~ stemmed and then charred on the BBQ..placed in a paper bag to help steam their charred coats off and then...
Placed in a  huge bowl prepared with garlic, evoo and basil ..I let them sit for about 1 hr.. then they are bagged and frozen.
I dislike the taste of brine.. so jarred roasted red peppers are not my fave..this gives a most falvorful topping for pizzas.. antipasto..sauces..
They are delicious..and the scent of them marinating in their flavored oil bath is heavenly~
The market was glowing with reds oranges.. greens yellows.. Montreal..their leaves seem more advanced than here in the country!
It was a gorgeous day.
I bought broccoli on stem..asparagus..cauliflower..many items..
It was very busy..I saw someone w/ a wicker trolley..
You guessed it..from France..I've been on the lookout since I left the one I wanted in Fance~

Made a good apple crisp..(s) 
My friend Linda sent it to me:) The recipe is perfect.
I will post at the end if I can copy and paste..
I did add some crushed Biscoff recommended by my recipe and liked the little edge it gives..
I know we all have many apple crisp recipes..but I like trying new things..:)

Alos ..who knew just adding little pieces of your pizza dough..sauce ,cheese ..could make such cute little pizza muffins in our parchment baking cups:)

Also taking the time for lovely fall walks..Our weather has been SUPERB.

Killer Apple Crisp courtesy of Linda~
(Serves 8-10)

7-8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup dried cranberries (optional, but good!)
2 T. lemon juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 T. light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
10 T. cold butter, diced
Optional: 1 cup pecans (or walnuts), lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, toss the apples, lemon juice and sugar until mixture is well combined.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. With food processor or pastry blender, cut in/pulse the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in nuts.

Spread the apple mixture in greased baking dish. The fruit should be about 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. 

Sprinkle the topping evenly over apples. Bake the crisp for about 55 minutes or until bubbling and top is golden.

So it worked..but  don't look at the white bars:)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This week~

..5 years ago..  this week..we were in Italy..and I loved it.I am so glad I got to see it..The benches in the photo were built by the son of the original   owners of the villa we stayed at..their spots to gaze onto  Assisi.
I loved walking in their olive grove..sitting on those benches..having a glass of wine at the front where the sun set.
We stayed in the smallest annex of it.. yet it was LARGE ..spacious..spotless..Beautiful bedroom w/iron bed and huge windows..combined living room/ dining with gas range.. spotless.. updated with charm bathroom..
This villa is divided into 3 I think..a dream would be to go back w/ the WHOLE family when the children are much older.
Nowhere else did we go..  the whole month in France and Italy..that upon entering..there was a home  made cake..jam.. wine..olive oil..all beautifully presented on the table for us.
I don't like glitz.I love home..
This felt cozy. ..and honest.

I have to's the countryside that appeals to both Jacques and I's our comfort zone.. and yes..Venice ..:) Seemed like country to us..compared to Rome..  etc..

And really? home.. fits me best.

This in real life ..

There was an apple pie  on the go..found here. where a beautiful little princess resides..different than my others..this pie is...I enjoyed making it and tasting it~with sour cream..crumb tops are enjoyed here so I knew this version would be pleasing~
It is there that I have purchased my patterns for my Christmas ornaments~  The tea cup..the gingerbread girl..skate..  etc.. I think I have 2 sets...of patterns.. a new set should be coming out soon..I have started set #2 to give out this year~

And "gnocchi maison"..thus the memories of Italy:)

I never watch TV in the day..from 8 till 10 PM.. I do..but I am not interested in the day..I like to stand up not sit down..
In that time slot..I have favorite shows and my tastes are eclectic to say the least:)

A lot of Netflix...PBS...  Showtime..My fave French shows..

I WILL be tuning into this  ..  tonight..Thursday..because I am a  HUGE his books saw him fall in love w/ his wife  on TV ..

and fell in love w/ At This Moment:)  Okay..I still love it..and I am..on the very brink of 60.
He's a great treasure for all of us~ and yes so is she.

anyways..or way.. I happened to catch a show America's Test Kitchen..And she was making Gnocchi..I had tried 20 some odd yrs ago,and now see what I had done this worked and is delicious.I wish I had seen so many episodes of this show and would love to watch as often as I can..

You can watch the segment on line..the measurements are just fail..don't overwork.I think I only have a 14 day trial you can try also:)

The video is here..
I have bought Gnocchi vacu packed in Little Italy..  there is no comparison..the other is chewy and a bit rubbery...this  is so tender..You need to have the little pouch on the flip side..the sauce finds it's way in.
I served it with the brown butter sauce..sage..shallots..
It is great with a pasta sauce etc...even in escargots dishes..
I even enjoyed rolling the little morsels on the tines of the by one..
It's not something you do in 20 minutes..  ..But it goes well and smoothly.
Will make again!

Here the leaves are changing as I breathe..puts us in the mood for  a nice soup again.. :)this one..

We ate all the trimmings..:) the day I made this is my usual topping when no shrimps are involved:)
Go see Chris' for the original version.
Love the coconut milk carrot ginger soup has it too:)
If you don't want the toppings.. you can use Spring onions as above..or add some ghoulish embellishments ..

I still remember some photos my daughter and I  took one day when  Oli was a bit younger..they were on this computer and as I transferred many to an external hard drive..I kept a few on the computer:) He loved blowing the milkpods into the air..
I'll have to see if it's lost it's charm on a 4 yr old~

Autumn carries more gold in it's pocket than all the other seasons~

I watched the 2 first episodes..of the new MJF show..and I say Kudos to all..real life is not..all about perfect people functioning in perfect ways..
But about brave ..courageous people..functioning in challenging ways..
All we see when all is beautiful..
With time..or even without things can change in a heartbeat..
Hope the show becomes a hit..

Have a lovely Weekend~

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pastels In The Kitchen~

The last bouquets are being picked..nothing cohesive really..just what I see still blooming that strikes my fancy..and isn't yellow or orange..The odd roses..pansies.. phlox..hydrangeas~
I will be disappointed to not have little bouquets scattered here and there..
And  it's the time to pick the Pink Diamonds from our largest shrub that always threatens to gobble up the back porch~
I keep this old wicker basket filled with these yr round..but replace every yr..It sits on the TV armoire..and I love looking at it year after year..I am a creature of habit and get used to something..and just want to keep it that way~
I just cut them.. strip the bottom leaves and water..nothing..and they stay like this forever.

I brought some to my daughter and she said..:"they're so big mom:)" I don't know if she meant:" they're too big for me mom"..or..they're big..:)They are..they are HUGE..I have lots of others and not one grows cones or branches like this one..Can't wait to see what Pinkie Winkie does in the years to come.

She's very sleek in her home..not fussy..I think Pottery Barn looking..Must say we finally have one here.. quite a drive..  but the things in there are quite nice indeed.:)
I had a chance to visit recently..there is a coffee table she is coveting.
It's like a city that shopping place.. Quite something..Williams Sonoma too..Marshalls..etc..

Also ,recently..Mari..posted this ice cream that really made me want to get up and make some..I'm not the sweet eater remember..but it was so pretty..and I had not used my ice cream maker once this year..I gathered the ingredients..
And set out to make it..
Jacques loves it~ He said :"  c'est un délice~"
That always works for me..
The recipe can be found by first going to Mari's post on the ice cream..HERE..I mean c' don't you just want to get up and make it?:)

One word of advice..don't be like me and be in such a rush that you stick your bowl in the freezer overnight and think :"voilà!"~
Cause chances are it won't be voilà will be oh no..did I put too much sugar etc..?
Upon reflection and quick Googling.. the bowl may need up to 22 hrs and the temp should be below 0 ideally..
so we adjuted our small fridge freezer upstairs..made room..set it to -2..and left it from morning till the next morning..
Vive la différence.
I had kept the mixture in the fridge after I removed it from my first failure..
And it worked perfectly..
I used to keep my bowl in the freezer when I made ice cream more frequently and had never had a counted on past experience..
But it had not been in the freezer a sufficient amount of time..
You need a CCCCCOLD bowl.
And le tour est joué~
I may have lacked enough purée to get the brightest beautiful color like M..I think I had barely 3/4 cup..barely..
Thank you Mari..I know you inspired others to make your ice cream too:)I saw Madonna's but I am sure there are more:)
So much fun to share and learn.♥I know Jacques likes that.
And I am grateful for that~

Friday, September 20, 2013

Let's Bake~ The Lady's Apple Cake~

We really enjoy apple cakes~

And Tis' The  Sunday is the official beginning of Fall~

The first one I made..I was in my early twenties.. 2 baby girls.. and an outing..a home and garden tour I first.. the lunch was served at St Mary's church and the dessert  was  an apple  cake:)my first.also...

I tasted it..asked for the recipe.. and dubbed it.. :"Hudson Apple Cake " and it is still a fave in my files..and repertoire..will share:)Next time I make it..

Since blogging..I have made a few too:)  if you click on the will get to the cakes and recipes..

 ♥This a show stopper it is so pretty..
 ♥David Rocco and Isa.. inspired this delish..
 ♥Loved Dorie's~
 ♥Hélène's fabulous one..
 ♥A Finnish one:)

I made one of Ann T's too and cannot find it :(  in my blog..anyways..I just keep making them because we love them..
So.. lo and behold my friend Linda ..said :"Have you tried The Lady's Apple Cake?"
I said..:"no"..
So she sent me her recipe..from Patricia Wells..and she was right ..unlike all the others..different..
It's got a creamy thing going on in that stained glass..and it's good:)
The whole recipe and the inspiration of my making it..can be found here..
I love it when a friend emails you and recommends recipes..then sends links..or hand types something she thinks you will enjoy~
I didn't pick apples this year..
I drove to my country market/stall/greenhouse/indoor market and bought my apples)
It was a beautiful day for a drive.. and a sunny day for photos.
It's a charming little place that sells all annuals..perennials.. fruits ..vegetables..  home made food.. pumpkins..
It opens in May and closes in October with a big sign thanking their clients..for their support.
I thank them:)
I wish we could have it all year long~

Bought a few small pumpkins and gourds there  today~apples..onions....and browsed all the other goodies..some hyacinth bulbs for this March indoors:) I forgot the last 2 years..Hope I don't forget them in the fridge:)
The leaves are really starting to turn..
as soon as my baskets call it quits..(they are still thriving..)..Don't ever believe begonias are only for shade:)

I'll start making our home inviting for  Fall ..Halloween and the Alphabet boys:)

So easy..same thing year after year:)

They never's the same..

Like they never notice if we look tired.. or having a bad hair day...or worse..
they just love you the way you are~
Have a great weekend..
And bake an apple cake..any kind.. Perfect season~

Again..the recipe for this Lady's Apple at this ladys' place.. Linda's~


Monday, September 16, 2013

Harvesting and using some herbs~

I wish I had a scratch and sniff screen:-)

The weather has been up and down.. with some chilly days..I brought in the Rosemary plant..that looks like a Christmas tree... the Lemon Geranium..the lavender topiary will be next.. with my olive tree..they all go through an adjustment phase when they come in and lose their prettiness for a while..
Hope my Olive tree doesn' looks so good does the lavender..we will see..
Made some pesto with the easy whizzing all your fave pesto ings. together then freezing in ind. portions and then bagging them..
Handy to have to top pizzas.. add to soups.. pastas..grilled chicken..snadwiches..And you know what went into your pesto:)
The other herbs..and the rest of the basil I did not want to lose..
At about the same time as I was planning on harvesting the herbs.... Pam at Sidewalk Shoes posted this.. and I set right out to try..I was excited to see if it would preserve the green...
Everytime I have frozen's turned far so good with this method..everything is still green in the freezer:)
I'll let you know if something unforeseen happens when I cut them far as I said so good..
I did a few bags of mixed herbs for my next big batch spaguetti sauce..smaller ones for smaller sauces..Mint..Sage..
It all looks so neat and tidy too♥
Snug..and cozy.The machine we have had for about 5 years is a Food Saver..purchased at Costco..They must still have them..albeit a newer model..and Amazon has some  also..
Thought I would share in case some of you want to try before it is too late..
Thanks again for this idea Pam~


September 21rst..I made a big batch of spaguetti sauce and pulled one of the mixed especially for this reason herb packs.. out from the freezer..
Herbs were bright green..still.. and so easy to chop frozen in this  compacted form!!
Great taste,color.
Will always do~

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Delicious apps..Appetizers I mean:)

The gardens are burnishing as I type~ Not quite as much as  the Goddess of Oy above~ But it changes by the minute~
I have always loved her.. she even winters indoors.. She just reflects  so well how I feel at the very end ..when I am chopping down everything I grew..and bringing in everything I want to preserve!
She was a very special gift..

I will miss this summer we had..
the beautiful blooms..the green grass.. everyday a different a good way~

All the alphabet boys had a birthday and our oldest daughter too..38..8..6..5..4..all done~
There was a new deck to appreciate even more the outdoors~
The long days.. warmer days.. sunnier days~
New plantings..Like Pinkie Winkie:)
Picking fresh herbs..and cooking with too~
A new season will be upon us soon..
I thought in case you can still get cherries.. but grapes would work well too..

I would share this DELICIOUS..appetizer~

The N hostess napkins were a gift from my daughter..  N   for ...Nana:)  Instead of M..for Monique.. she knows Nana is my favorite name ever.~♥
You can find the original recipe  for these appetizers  here ..that I modified..
and the second one that gave me the balsamic pearls
Both are BEAUTIFUL and you will enjoy looking..the second site is in French..
The balsamic pearls I learned how to make from here..

Method.. recipe.. La Recette~

So what you do is have some nice crostini ready..
a baguette..or pieces of sourdough work well..or just the regular loaves I bake..but with Robin Hood Multi Grain flour~  In their best for bread line~
Paint it if you wish:) adorn w/ sage leaves.. or shape an escargot  ♥ as seen in France~pardon the gloomy through the vitrine photo of those:)
The first time I made this appetizer.. I used Ricotta cheese..the second time also..
the third  time... w/ the balsamic pearls..I used Caprice Des Dieux cheese..a soft cheese.We ♥ it~

Next time..and I know when I am making them.. will be with chè my family loves chèvre~
I would do Ricotta again.


 1 1/2 Cups Pitted cherries,halved..I usd only the red cherries I had..but a mix would be gorgeous..
1 Tbsp good aged Balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp superfine sugar
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
2-3 tsps honey
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

I added thyme and rosemary the first time:)
Only thyme the second time around.and the third time too~
After tasting the original recipe I just felt it needed an herb..
it heightens the cherry/balsamic taste..

For the balsamic pearls..  I made them because I knew I live too far away from epicurean areas to find balsamic pearls in one instant...unfortunately I like to make things the moment I am inspired to..:)

Stem, pit, and halve the cherries..let them marinate in the balsamic vinegar and sugar..( and herbs..)
Mix your ricotta with the honey..season with S and P to your liking..
Spread the ricotta mixture on your w/ the cherry mixture..(and sprigs:) )
And pearls~
Adjust the amount of cherries etc.. for the number of portions you are making.. even by is easy to know how many..sma efor cheese and crostinis..

I had dabbled in pearls.. I think of juice..of some sort a few yrs back..
So I knew what I was getting into..and I didn't have much to lose..
They are fun to make..

Just watch the video..
the amounts are listed..
I made the full 150 ml recipe.. but I will do half next time..
You will need Agar Agar..
It's a fun little experiment.. and so darn pretty:)
I would never hesitate to make again when a recipe can be enhanced with them.

Have a lovely weekend~

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mise En Place~ A delish Shrimp dish~And the waning gardens:(

The last time my friend came for dinner.. she said : "I bet you are always organized..tidy.. when you prepare a my husband is.."~ sort of.. those words..
Well of course when someone is in your kitchen.  and they have been invited for dinner..and you have puttered all day.. and then made sure all was gleaming..(because they are gleaming my friends..:) )..You have left no stone unturned..and everything looks ..well pretty darn gleaming:)..
It can I guess appear that way~

I am not..I often just read the recipe.. mostly SCAN it.. start and go about getting the ingredients as I go along..
Sometimes thinking..:"That can't be right..?"..and sure enough I scanned too quickly..the recipe did in fact say let sit overnight......
And get every dish I own dirty while preparing..and then wash everything.

So I don't prepare prettily except when a day is gorgeous,the sun is streaming in the kitchen.. and I am in the mood to garden..cook ..bake..take pics and paint.~
The first pic was one of those days..and I made  Ricardo's Honey Sesame shrimps served over basmati rice..

You can find the honey sesame shrimp recipe  right here~I dare not  retype..

It is one of our faves..I even make it while we are away..Shrimp are readily available almost everywhere~
C'est tout simplement délicieux ce plat..
I like walking on the sweet side in this type of dish~
I try and make more sauce..
I always add a touch of sesame oil to my rice also.
Out of all places we were in  a William's Sonoma  in Fl. one year and a chef was doing a demonstration..I told him his rice was fantastic with the fish.. he said he added sesame oil..
Done.. Since then.It's carved in stone.  w/ anyting I think it will go well with.
I  also add szechuan peppercorns to the shrimp because I just love them..
In the garden..the last roses are reblooming.. the Pink Diamonds are turning pink.. and I know all to well what that means.
Dug a new little garden by the potting shed today..and added late bloomers..
Brought my first outdoor plant in..Lemon Geranium.. refreshed the earth to others that will come in soon..
I would dearly love to be able to grow my cherished Olive..rosemary..and lavender ..topiary..bushes..outdoors all year long~

But unless my family moves somewhere..that I could do that..

It will be In and Out Of The Garden  for them..~

Watched 3 good movies  this week..since it is getting darker so early..

Les Misérables..AH deserved her awards..
The Late Quartet..I love CK
Silver Linings Playbook..

In all three.. I had tears.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Oh lala..first full day of school.. Tuesday Sept 3rd..

One thing I love... is being able to greet the boys and their mom at the bus stop when they get home..(sometimes..  as we try and not overdo it..) the lookout..
It was a rainy~ish day..on Tuesday..
But he was as happy as a clam.:)
Boys love rain and puddles~
I love boys now.
I have always loved little girls..but oh how I do love little boys now too♥
Their sense of style...:)
Wolverine.. was Thursday  Sept 5th when we took him out to lunch and he got to pick a birthday toy at Toys R Us~
He never hesitated..headed to the costumes and picked Wolverine.. He is fully dressed under that costume..:)

Greeting Max on his second full day of shool:)

The leaves are changing in the time of an inhale:(
It will be pretty and glorious and multicolor soon..
But all too fast..Monochrome.

My project this summer was unearthing all our flagstone pathways.. where the grass has grown OVER them.. we have a lot of pathway..we laid them all under F's tutelage ap 12 yrs ago~
Our other son-in -law helped us add a platform to our deck area so I had to make the stones follow to the platform..they weigh a many years ago..they never felt that I cheated on 2 and used cement steppers I made w/ words..
A Weed Is But An Unloved Flower~
The an is hidden somewhere..
On our street some properties have left the cubside/ more wild than manicured..
I love how they keep it all naturally groomed.
Like the old days..
It's an OLD street..
So it works~

In the kitchen I made Martha's Onion Bacon Jam..
Great topping for will have to bring to room temp or warm in the micro before slathering the burgers or Brie paninis with this.

Not for the calorie or fat weary.

But the Easy Minestrone from Chatelaine is.. for the calorie and fat weary..:)
I used the whole container of broth..and used chicken broth..I used a mixed medley of beans..
Keep your parmesan rinds..
I do and love the way they flavor soups..

I didn't have any small pasta tubes so used mini farfalle.
Added more basil..and some salt..taste broth was organic etc.. It was soup day that particular day..
So good with bread too:)

I love making 6 indidividual  breads if we are seeing family or having company..the trick to keeping an herb  in a non-burnt applying the herb to the bread w/ an egg wash..and then saturating the herb w/ a coating of flour prior to baking..then you simply dust the bread off after cooking and the herb..still looks like an herb~
Last but not least I Pinned a free download I found charming..
My daughter repinned..
and had it printed for us..
Love it on our  old dry sink in the kitchen~
You can find it here~
A nice dark frame would look great..I didn't have one on hand:)
Use what you have..

Which brings me to such a sweet song I discovered..

I loved it so much I went to Itunes to buy it..
It Makes you feel good. and listen...

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)