Thursday, October 30, 2014


Halloween~  is right around today's corner..

It's my friend A's birthday.. we met on Gardenbuddies and have stayed in touch.
I never forget her birthday..because..well it's Halloween..
Nothing frightful about her..all goodness..and talent.
Great mom..
One of the best photographers I know.
And a school nurse:)
How good is that:)

I am a muffin person more than a dessert person.
A favorite thing for me to not to go out to restos for dinner..but to stop at lunch and get a coffee and a muffin somewhere charming.And treasure the moment~

Or home.

Our homes are charming to us..
Is there never a time you get home from the city..or a trip..
..walk into your dear  home..or apartment.. and think..and say:
"I just love it here".Far from the crowd..away from it all..
Up a colorful street..or around a pleasant corner..or up a few familiar steps.
It's got the people I love in it..or close by..memories..souvenirs.. stuff..paints..ribbons..stamps..flower pots..a cozy bed..a quilt..a bath,shampoo,picture frames..warm socks..water,food.
We are the lucky ones.

 Getting back to muffins..
I had found the cute downloads here..look how adorable  she made her cupcakes.

I love printables..send them off to Bureau En Gros(Staples) and pick them up..
I wanted to use of some of our still crisp delicious apples..and Googled for a new Apple muffin recipe..
I found the one I altered here~
Really good.. w/ a cup of tea or the leaves continue to fall..
They are hanging by a shoestring now except for our neighbor's large oak..

La Recette

Adapted by me.
Make sure your ings are room my case I had to soften the butter.
Read through the whole recipe before starting:)
12  muffin wrappers
Muffin pan

Pre-Heat oven to 375F

2 cups of flour + 2 tsps flour** (see chopped apples)
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 2 tsps of more for topping...and the chopped apples
1 tsp a touch more for the chopped apples
1/4 cup milk
 1/4 cup apple sauce
2 cups chopped apples coated in the 2 tsps of flour..and  add a touch of cinnamon and cardamom..
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 1/4 cup melted butter
 1/4 cup sugar a few piches of vanilla sugar
 2 tsps cinnamon
 1/2 tsp cardamom

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in eggs one at a time
beat in vanilla

Sift  the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt together with cinnamon and cardamom..
gently fold into the butter mixture alternately with  1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of apple sauce that you have mixed together beforehand..(That's why I say read everything first:) )
Gently fold in your chopped apples that you have coated w/ flour and spices..

Fill your 12 muffin cups
Bake for ap 30 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile melt your butter and mix your sugar,cinnamon and cardamom..
Once the muffins have cooled a bit.. brush the tops w/ the melted butter and dip in the sugar mixture..

Add toppers..
Or a candle to sing Happy Birthday to Arlene~.

PS..I also love oranges:)
Bon Weekend~

Monday, October 27, 2014

I love this bread! I love it..I love it.

Last Monday morning we woke up to SUNSHINE!

It had been a while and was short lived..
The weeks have been mild enough but the sun is only making cameo appearances..
I picked bouquets of leaves and acorns..
and settled a dearly loved bowl (my mom's) on an ancient book..Les Fables De La aunt Florence  would be 100..  at least I think.. was hers.
I her name is in the book and then my brother's name John..who would be 70 now.
I ♥ that book.

 In those few moments of sunshine..from inside the sunroom I was able to catch what really is like a huge ray of light that permeates our home this time of year when the sun does  shine..3 majestic maples flank our backyard..but this middle like gold.It's the one that had 4 baby swings on it..only one is left and I am sure it will go next year..maybe I'll just ask Jacques to add an adult plain swing:) It is really a tree that needs a swing:)
I love it.
And my boots are made for raking..and blowing all the million leaves that dance around our backyard...
Those boots?
Comfy..  sturdy..warm with extra socks..
I am definitely a boot person..
Not quite as much as one of my daughters..:)
But give me boots over shoes any day...except flip flops maybe..

La vie de campagne I imagine.

Sunday afternoon..I had prepped this..from Lady and The Pups..yes..AGAIN~

Look at it on her beautiful black background..

Anyways..big fan of bread here..and I have shared many with you and still have another post prepared  for a different one..from Chris.Yes..planning on those crisps one day too:)

But when I read about this one made w/ yogurt..I knew it would have that yeasty taste I like..even more than the no knead  one I make with beer.
Monday morning it was ready to be baked and I followed her instructions..and it is simply amazing.
That top part you see?Rose above the bread like Paillards!
I made the dough with my KA.
I used Activia yogurt.
I proofed my bread in the oven for 18 hours simply with the pilot light on..
It's less than warm  in QC these days..overnight ..and inside   I put all chances on my side.

I used a Cuisinart enameled pot.Red..the one I got with my banking points.
It's fantastic..the bread..I did line w/ parchment..

I made a really "cochon" ..piggy dinner..  after blowing so many leaves..and picking a bowl full for our coffee table..Tuesday night..
a rich Mac and Cheese..w/ Fruilano..Smoked Mozzarella..Parmesan..bacon..shallots..topped w/ Panko that was tossed in garlic butter.
Why did I do that?

FABULOUS.And rich..

And the next day..I watched everything I ate.

If baking bread appeals to you..and a sourdough taste ..even more..try this.
I still plan on trying  my friend's w/ a home made starter..but with the roofers..and the gardens and the leaves..this was a great option.
It's terrific.;)
It is time for candles here now..even before dinner~
That must be why I made that "cochon" dinner:)~
More substance is needed:)

Friday, October 24, 2014

NumNum..Num~And Tranquility~tea~ Stitch Time~

The Lady and The Pups blog has such incredible photos..I am often (always) inclined to try her recipes..Every one I have tried..has been so good..
One of her  noodle bowls  ....was no exception..
Except:)..that I thought I had a bunch of scallions and had only one  lonely I grabbed red onion..and some broccoli..added some szechuan peppercorns and garlic and ended up with what you see.
This will be a staple this winter..and this fall while I am so busy putting gardens to bed..and stitching during rain:)

Alicia Paulson  has all her kits the little wreath on the door is so lovely to stitch~
These are for next year..
Ariane Moffat on my Ipod her,,have this CD..
..and a blooming tea~Infinite Tranquility:)In French they made an l..not 2.
My idea of happiness watching the leaves fall  in the rain..but from inside:)

This year's ornaments.. are packed in a box ready to be wrapped.

I like to make them ahead of time.
I never like feeling rushed for such projects.
It has to be a pleasure not a chore
I buy the this case it worked well because this color blue door matches..more the rest of the colors I have used for my ornaments..
My newfoundfloss is fantastic for these projects~

The second photo kind of shows the progress in making the ornaments..I started with the door..then the transom..etc etc...then the this is one side of an make 2 to have 1 ornament as you stitch back to front..this should  not be stuffed as it's a door and doors are flat..snowflakes I have made are flat also..but most are stuffed w/ polyester fiberfill.
You can bejewel them ..add anything you like.I may add addresses when I am done in gold thread..will see..
The door and frame look a bit off as light is in the back shining through..The colors are more the ind doors  you see.
I succumbed to tempation and stuffed my door..slightly..ever so just looked amiss to it is quite the ornament..and with 2 ambitious sides..I wanted a bit more "oomph":)

I have loved stitching for years..
When we moved to this home ap 13 years ago..I gave most of my stitchery works away..
My country decor was left my style and in me..
I had made about 70..through the years..
I kept a few large ones..maybe 3..and 2 small ones..
This large village above I kept's ap 16x20..and it has been in our basement for 13 years in a hallway....I brought it up..
Who cares if styles are different.
Our powder room sink is in an old pine dry sink..I hung it there.The country look of this piece works in that room.
I want to remember the stitches .. and pleasure I took in making this one when my girls were tiny.
I feel all these things taught me patience and how to be quiet.Later in life this has been a Godsend to me.
And it reminds me of the Paradise:) ..I know..a long shot:)

Psst..anyone else watched The Knick?
I loved that show..the first  operation scenes made me hide behind a pillow..but I was hooked by the get go..
In a totally different way that I am so hooked on Parenthood.since day very 1....and Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife...and The Paradise..The Killing..
The a very different way..Clive genius in his role..and did you know?
Eve Hewson is Bono's daughter?
Superbly plays her role.She is magnetic .
I love her.
Her mom is beautiful..her dad..well you all know who he is:)
I just want to rescue Clive Owen and make him well and happy.

Ok..getting back to this amazing bowl of noodle recipe:)

You put the sauce that you make in the bottom of the bowl..(you can warm your bowls..we are big on warming our plates before plating..)
Then place your just cooked noodles..I am crazy about these ramen type(LOTUS SEED) ones I find in my Asian the right..your add~ ins to the w/ bacon..and then stir it all up..and you get the first photo.
So so good..if you like this kind of dish..and Oh how I do♥

Please click on the link to see the way she did hers..

What I did..

I made the sauce..for doubled it

Soya sauce,brown sugar and black vinegar..
I rendered 4 strips of bacon that I had cut up and removed  with slotted spoon and placed in a dish.
In the fat that was remaining I added a bit of Evoo and on high enough heat I cooked my lonely scallion..the cut up red onion..and cut up broccoli..added sliced garlic and szechuan peppercorns.
I cooked my noodles.
The rest is written up above..
If you enjoy this type of dish..try it.
Bon Weekend~

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Cake~

We have had so many acorns this year..Our neighbor's tree hangs over my front bed and the squirrels have a hay day..with the oakleaves and acorns..I had a wheelbarrow full!
So that's why they are being photographed..They're so cute.
How many apple cake recipes do we have?
I seem to collect them like cookie cutters..
This latest one was found  right here..

Is it my fave?

No but it's moist and flavorful and does the trick..and makes a cake that is large enough to share..
I didn't add a glaze..I simply dusted it..I did put the topping on the bottom and on top of my pan..but no nuts.
No nuts at all in my recipe.
It cuts well too and stays together as a moist cake does♥

In all fairness it is a 2003 recipe..and I wanted a BUNDT cake recipe... most of the ones I have made are not Bundt~

So different..all of them

Like here..

and here..totally diva.

and here..  David Rocco..what's not to like?

Et Dorie..

And Hélène's~

Ricardo's ~

There's also my first one..Hudson Apple Cake from the first home tour I went on.
I was in my twenties..with 2 children..a home and a husband early 20's..
This was the best thing I had ever far as a cake was concerned..
I have it in my handwriting:)

Italian apple cakes..~ Mine..I have 2 somewhere.. and Ann T's I my archives..
Apple cake crumb bars..
apple cake tartlets..
I can't even find the links anymore to my past posts..
I should have been more diligent in ...labels...
Believe me..
I wanted to make the Apple cake tarlets again and again at one point..
I only had a link ..
ALWAYS print up a recipe you love and keep it.
Sadly..many blogs disappear..and the links are nowhere to be found.
I cannot tell you how happy I was that I had PRINTED it up..
I should frame that one.
I promise..
If ever I stop pages will remain..
Unless they disappear on their own.
Eureka..I had printed up the tartlets:)

For dinner  Sunday night ..I made this.....

( the above..found on the net..Pinterest)
I loved it.. so did Jacques..we have been eating salads..and fish and very light..
Julia's dish called my name..staving for a bit more substance:)..was I...
I did make changes..
I added more sun dried tomatoes.only because I am quite nuts about them and wanted to finish my oil paced ones...mushrooms..  many.. a French shallot..Pineau De Charentes.( a niece hooked me).and Parmesan cheese and quite a bit of salt and hot pepper flakes..
You have to taste and make to your liking like everything else..
I could have had a second plateful..and really..never have seconds.
But this is not the first dish of hers I love:)
Thank you Julia~
It was pitch black by the time we ate..

There's no adding lights take photos of our dinners from now till Spring..
We are hungry when dinner is no pics..Go see Julia..her photos say it all~

I also tried these Friday..we have roofers and I like to send out treats with their coffee~
Apple..maple syrup blondies..They are good too.
But give me the pasta before the sweet:)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Got Leaves? Preserving Summer~

Better get this post in before the snow falls:)
The day before yesterday every leaf had been blown..tarped and carried away..
We had green grass..Yesterday it rained all day..the first photo is how it looks this morning..

I enjoy  putting up preserves for the long winter months..
Summer and Fall are ephemeral..To be able to put something in the fridge , freezer , cold room or pantry is a treat~
I made Chases' Dill Pickles again.They are our very favorite..You can find the recipe at the link..I found Chase and her pickles on Gardenweb..the Cooking forum.
Ever since she spoke of these I have made them..
I even read a book..I forget the an author..and her pickles were in the book.
Too much controversy for me to put the recipe here.
Go see..and if you wish to make them do.
I have never been concerned about eating them..but apparently some of the proportions could be different..
We are happy with these:)

We also BBQ'd  roasted our bushel of peppers like we do every year..I like doing that with Jacques..on the back deck..this year we made them late in the afternoon ..almost we had a nice glass of wine while they were roasting..So easy to do on a BBQ
We  wash them.. split them..remove the seeds..and char in a closed paper bag for a while..then peel off the skin..they go in a big bowl that has quality extra virgin olive oil..garlic and a LOT of basil..they kind of marinate in that delicious bath..until we bag  in ind Baggies and freeze.
Nothing like the brined roasted peppers.Flavor PLUS.
On sauces..soups .So good.

I made Val's adorable pickled cherry tomatoes..they are so easy..and cute..just one jar to see..I will be making more:)
Go see and try them:)
After a couple of weeks in the fridge ..they just pop open with a burst of flavor in your mouth~

At the garlic farm I went to..they had sold out of their pickled garlic/lavender garlic scapes.
I found garlic scapes au marché and made a jar..
I based myself on this recipe..but added some garlic..the buds ..nasturtium.. mustard seeds..etc..
Nice to serve with baguette and cheese etc..though a tad crunchy/toughy..but good!
I have a feeling I will make again..but will blanch to soften first..
The rest I chopped up fine and froze in baggies to add to sauces as the man at the market says he does.
The weather has been inclement here..from sun to dark foreboding clouds and gusts of wind with rain..
Too hot and humid and then sun..the pouring rain..
No frost yet the dahlias are like loners in the garden..
My beds are near done..
My neighbor will get my hanging ferns..a friend of Caroline's..The girl with a most beautiful smile~
I have no room for hanging plants and I cannot just compost them.They need a home..

This is really what it looks like around here right now..
A neighbor's driveway entrance..Lucas has started riding his two wheeler up and around with Adrian who lives there and Ava and Lauren..Be still my worried ♥..
So many homes are so cutely decorated..:)

Bon Weekend~
We will be blowing leaves..

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving..Bit of this..bit of that~

One of our daughter's hosted Thanksgiving..both girls and their families are sweet to have taken over many of the holidays.
Up until about 5 years ago.. we did the holidays..and then they stepped in..Christmas eve was first I think..Caro   and Fred took over....Mimi and Alain did Easter and we did Christmas morning..we seem to have developed a nice routine..Birthdays are there..and there..
Last TG the boys were we skipped it..
This year Mimi did it.. turkey and all the trimmings..from apps to desserts.
We each bring something.It's a great afternoon with the boys running wild the older ones starting to keep company with the adults much more..and it runs late into the night..
I know the brothers and cousins will always always remember these fun times..
Makes it all so worthwhile.
The adults will remember too:)
So I chose dessert..
I wanted different than this one..and this one..but what?
A roll? A Beeautiful one?Or the Pumpkin Pecan Praline cheesecake?
Or Linda's Pumpkin bars I love so much?
Something Thanksgivingy..:)
I have discovered I like decorarting cakes..with things that are pretty to start off w/ without a huge amount of icing..Seeing a whole lot of icing actually makes me not interested..Unless it's a cream cheese icing or the best buttercream ever..
But overly sweet lots of colors icings..nope..
I knew I wanted to add special to the dessert and chose Ferrero Rochers for the top.
It's not a FR cake thought..It's Fine Cooking's Triple Chocolate Cheesecake..My family loves chocolate and they don't get that from me..
The recipe is there  on the link if you wish to make is very good..It did not crack or stayed perfect..not even baked in water.Gotta love that.
We like it chilled..I have to tell you even the small children ate it.I think I had 16 pieces one was left..mine.
Not sure if anyone ate it later as I know I was still picking at the turkey and stuffing around midnight.:)
So I baked this cake the day before..and chilled it..the next day I melted a bit of chocolate and added the FR..Previously I had baked tuiles..knowing I would add them as the final decoration.
The tuiles softened..I must say they were never totally crispy..Noah ate some leaves..don't know who else..But they are a very pretty way to decorate a cake..Use you own tuile recipe..
Reserve some of the tuile batter and add cocoa powder..Mix and place in a ziplock and cut a fine fine hole in the end..Make sure there are no lumps at all in your batter..Draw veins on the wet leaves..
I used my form the leaves..
Make the shapes..with the white batter..then paint the veins..
And bake..drape over something round while warm for the curve..
You can find the recipe I used here..such pretty little cakes..I only did her leaves..Instructions are there also.
Again..I wish they would have been crispier..and I am certain it's my fault:)

Darling Max brought me a gift at Thanksgiving....His leaf collage in a's in my kitchen lookin' mighty nice♥

Another recipe I made ..two nights before..were Susan's Cauliflower steaks..can't believe it took me so long to make and enjoy..

I made two..One for Jacques and one for me..the only thing I did differently was to add roasted red peppers to my tomato sauce..and roasted red pepper oil to the relish as I had some..
I am happy with vegetables for dinner..Jacques had a mini- tourtiere on the side..Finishing up last years as we will be making new ones soon~
Susan..this is so pretty!And I loved the taste.

If you are really grateful..what do you do?You share..
~W Clement Stone

Like all of you~

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Nothing has reminded  me of breakfasts at la Ferme De la Huppe in Provence years ago like this jam I just made.

La Ferme was owned by someone else back then.. it was perfection.

Our morning breakfasts were straight out of a  French movie scene ..GORGEOUS..and home made jams on the outdoor tables with individual Bodums and paniers of croissants etc..

One of the jams was fig jam..
And while there we could pick huge figs off one of their trees~swoon.
Anyways getting back to figs..we have been so happy to have had a continuous stock of beautiful figs here..not in our garden..but imported and very tasty.
I think 3 out of 5 lunches have had figs in them these past weeks.
I had mentioned a fig jam to Jacques..if he would like me to make him one..and he said..yes:)

So I did make it's figg..y  easy peasy..and pretty:)
I found the recipe here..but did find it on many seems to be a gold standard.

Confitures aux Figues

for two jars the size I made

500 grams of ripe dark figs..intact..(bruise free)
260 grams of sugar
the juice of one small lemon
1 quality fleshy vanilla bean

Wash and cut up the figs.put them in a pot and pour sugar over( I used the pot I would cook the jam in..)..add the lemon juice and vanilla bean.
Mix..and let rest one hr (more is good too)
Bring to a boil  and boil ap 8 minutes..stirring occasionally and skim if necessary.
Turn off heat and let rest overnight ,(that is what I did)..or at least 4 hours.
Bring again to a boil and boil till 103-105 C..
It will take a few minutes..
If you don't have a thermometer..just take a chilled plate and put the jam on must gel..not run..
Pour the jam in pre sterilized jars that have been boiled or placed in a 130C oven for 10 minutes.
Cover with the sterilized lids..And turn upside down..
This is a very traditional way of making jams in France..
My friend Linda had told me and we watched a show about France and fig jam the very next day!
Let cool and then store in a cool dry place.
Once opened eat the jam within one week..
(I am sure ours can keep more than one week,,if it gets that far..)
You see we tested it..w/ the leftover that did not fit in the pot:)
It's lovely on baguette and cheese too..
But with croissants.
Back in Provence.

It is a staple in Provence..  good..home made jam.
It feels like a a little bit of heaven.

One day ..maybe again we will sample more jams there...who knows.

A trip down memory lane this jam session was♥
The little bird painting was done at  Le Mas Des Cigales..where we stayed for 2 nights in Tourettes-Sur-Loup..I don't remember a hot tub at all..I think they have changed owners since our visit~
It was cozy and remote..
I just kept writing during that trip..still have the journal ..and it is nice to read once a year:)Every thought was recorded at the end of each day~
Looking at our set up under the pergolas..
I hope I was not dipping my paintbrush in wine:)
I love the jars Marie sent me...lined up on the windowsill they are as sweet as sweet can possibly be.

Bon Weekend~
It's a long one here w/ the schools out tomorrow and this is our Thanksgiving weekend..
Our daughter is hosting~Will be lovely:)

As I enter Publish..It's Thursday the 40's and we have a fire going!
In the 40's when we got up also w/ the furnace going..c'mon..