Thursday, March 30, 2017

Orange Blueberry Muffins~Oreo Brownie Cheesecake~Seed Packets.

And the recipe can be found..

HERE:) is long gone..wonder why?

I printed it up in 2008:)

Can you tell I am going through things?

OY..mama mia.

Any way they are really good..Miami Herald~

Grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
3 tbsps honey
1 stick of  unsalted butter melted and cooled
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

decorating sugar for topping if desired..

Center a rack in the oven and heat t0 400F
Butter and  or spray molds..
pour OJ into a large measuring cup and pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup.
Whisk in eggs..butter and honey.
In a large bowl  rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange is strong (I love this part!)..Whisk in flour..BP..BS and salt..
pour the liquid ingredients over the dry..and w/ whisk or rubber spatula  gently and quickly blend..The batter will be lumpy and bubbly..Fold in blueberries..

Divide batter amongst muffin cups..

Bake for 22-25 minutesIf you want to add sanding sugar..add after 10 mins of baking..

Transfer the pan to a rack when baked and let cool 5 minutes..

Jacques had a lovely ..birthdays:)

They tend to last a few days..  which is nice I find..  

there is the day we go out for lunch..

there is his real birthday..

and the birthday..

we all get together.♥

It was at Caroline and Frédérick's:)

I have mentioned for 16 yrs at least what a chef he is:)

You should have seen the plated platters♥

And look how cool he is.. 6 ft my brother was..

he loves watches..

now bracelets..for causes..

he wakes his boys up ..calmly and gently..

he walks them to the bus stop..EVERY single morning..

he coaches football..

takes them  to track..

serves up  Frangelico on ice..

makes his own beer.


Offers to trial run me on the train to Mtl..

The list goes on and on..:)

Did I mention that apart from his immediate family of 5..he adores his mom and siblings?

I have another son-in-law with qualities that are so different..but admirable..tag he is next:)

Everyone was there..the table was beautiful..the sweet
his beautiful family..loves him..and that makes me very happy.

The cake was liked..

Hahaha  this one was saved from their 2005 Holiday Issue..LCBO..

if you make it..DO make the cinnamon fudge sauce..that's what sends it over the birthday cake top.

I found the brownie layer could have been less dense..I have a super brownie recipe..may use that next time..however..w/ the thick warm probably need substance..and I should have pushed the cheesecake part further really can't you add the cheesecake filling on top of the baked brownie..there is a parchment collar all around the springform pan to hold the filing above and inside the when you make..if you do..push the filling was fine everywhere else..just not on the outer ridge..when cutting was beautiful.

here you go..:)

Painted small seed packets..

If you want some I think you can print some up from here..tny tiny one and 2 less tiny:)

Just know that they are imperfect..the ruler slipped in a few places..etc..

We were out Jacques' birthday week and did errands here and Asian market I love.. an Art store I love..a pristine bulk store ..we picked up things here and there..

At the art store.I won't get into the impulse item..  but I will say I bought 3 watercolors..
Sennelier Raw Sienna..because I am INLOVE  w/ all Sennelier..ALL.
I have only 1 tube of Sennelier..must correct that..all my good tubes are DS.

I did buy 2 Van Gogh's..I have a few of those from YRS  gone by..their sale had the VGs..I bought Azo Yellow  Deep and ..
Permanent Red Deep..No regrets..

I never paint on 6x 12..I am not at allc comfortable with large...or landscapes I usually paint a few things on these pages of my Strathmore book..but yesterday I bought the annual daffodils for La Société Du Cancer..and Shari..had shown us a tutorial..when I came popped into my mind..go see..I have 2 of her Craftsy classes..that are excellent..this was a demo..
I tried once..10 minutes max..I will try again and may enjoy this:)♥
Find her demo here.
I am excited to have my garden grow and try different free hand free bouquets.

For super cute Peter Rabbit Seed Packets....don't forget these I shared a few years back from Strangers and Pilgrims..♥

  By the way..this is the Wave Hoop the boys and I use..

Have a nice weekend..~

Easter is in the air~

For today..BUT..
winter is coming again John Snow.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Daylight Savings Time..

Takes me a while to get with the program..

One thing I do like though is that we get to eat dinner in light..
so I can snap a pic here and there..
pasta has been up front  lol as you can see..

Carbonara..and Penne w/ rapini and bacon..actually both have bacon figures big time too..
We love rapini..and this dish is a staple here..carbonara..I think it had been at least 1 yr since I made it last..anyway..see that bread?

That's my friend Susan's recipe.

I love it..I made single..and would not hesitate to make individual fact I will:)

this bread layer after layer of..well maybe like a "GRANDS"?

I had some once and maybe I am wrong but this bread reminds me of that..pillowy puffs of bread..garlic..butter..and look at the color:)

Easy peasy I did what she did..bread machine..we both have the same one:)
You just pull apart the delicious layers..and you know what? Jacques toasted some pieces to eat w/ Frédérick's bouillabaisse..and he loved it..
it's a win win bread.
And cute.

A sweet surprise of pretty seed packets arrived in the mail..I'll be potting those up tomorrow I think..thank you so much Terry...
we had a lot of snow again yesterday..and everything had thick sifted icing sugar everywhere..
I organized my craft room yet again..and we are celebrating Jacques' birthday fact it's Susan's bday today..Jacques' was yesterday!
Hope you are all having a nice weekend..

PS Look how cute this is..Jeanie made it.
And look..look how darn cute for Mother's Day..  Susan Branch's crown..

So many cute ideas everywhere.

Happy Birthday Susan!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oh Goody!

Oh Goody..stands for Karolina..aka Goody Woody custom wood products..she has a line of beautiful large rolling pins..and a beautiful line of small rolling can even have your rolling pin may remember years ago I had one done with my blog's wood products have been added..the beautiful boards.
She can personalize them..think of your blog..a dear friend..a collector of pretties..a nana for her Littles..with their names ..etc..a shop name..a bakery..a tea room..a housewarming gift..a foodie friend gift..etc..

..on Instagram I discovered Karolina..

..her photos are fantastic..and the rolling pins caught my different and cute..

I ordered one for a friend..personalized..regular size..and a small one for me..for me I chose the Scandinavian design..

In corresponding with Karolina she was great:) I had a few questions because..well Canadian currency is not US currency and I got a bit confused..she was so helpful..never missed a beat on our Etsy Convos.
The shipping was so fast!  And duty free.
Her products are top notch..Jacques has remarked on how beautifully crafted they are.:)
They come so well packaged..I am sure no harm can come to them.

There are sooo many to chose from.The ease of use was great.
They come with a recipe..I made hers and mine..the first I will share are the first ones I made above..I mean come cute is that pin? 
They would be lovely things to collect lol.

Lucas came over and it's on a little antique washtub type piece of furniture in the kitchen w/ my antique scale..and he said..:"Oh look nana..that's cute".♥

I used that recipe I have shared a few times..the one I make the Starbuck's cookies with..

..the one Jacques and I LOVE..Google Translate..if you need to..I halve the recipe.

it's a little weird the recipe..because you have to play with it..

80 grams of butter..cream that with 60 grams of brown sugar....till it's very creamy..add 125 grams of flour and 50 grams of almond flour..the zest of one organic lemon..and a pinch of salt.stir..pour on work surface and knead until lovely and soft..
wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hr..
roll out..cut.. and then refrigerate again for about 20 mins..then bake at 350F  for about 20 minutes..check them dough..:)

My notes..

I use more butter..not sure why but for the perfect ratio of fat to dry..I need will have to could even add really soft butter afterwards..and knead again..if you find it too dry..the original poster said you could dampen your hands..not me..

I don't salt them because I always always use salted butter.

Lastly..that's the new watercolor book I bought..I like it..if I could paint out of my head how she paints I would be very happy..Joyce Hick's..I love her book has exercises..I have done 4..she suggests 9x12..I am just not comfortable that am going more in my comfort zones..
She says to use watercolors as if you were a millionaire!
I need manganese blue lol..she uses it everywhere.

This little post about cute cute things..well it was my one asked me to post a review..or say anything..I bought them myself...they were not sent so that I would review them..but..once I received them..had to share..
When I worked..every thank you meant the world to me.I was working  with a salary based on commissions..and when people pay for a service..that is thanks enough in the real world..
I was so get hand written notes to me..sometimes to my manager..on top of my salary.
I still have the notes..even w/ all the simplifying I have done over the years w/
well not all of them..many of them..

So this is like a thank you card to Karolina..:)

The snow is slow to melt..but we have had some beautiful sunshiney days..just not today..

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The cold led the quite a storm..

Porch Snow.


..To probably the most accumulation of snow in one shot..than we have had all winter..schools closed..pile buried..pretty..and yet not pretty.I have a warm house..light..things to to eat.
Not so for everyone:(

Spring will always's a one true thing.

I baked cookies for all 4 boys and must admit these are addictive..they are from here..and her recipes.."rock" lol.

Anyways..baked the cookies..organized cupboards in the kitchen..
Noah had a ped day the day after his return from Disney and came to spend it w/ us..we hula hooped..(kids LOVE it) I do too..if you get one get the Wave one..the others are too light I find.This one seems to have water in may take you a few tries..but you WILL get it:)
You cannot ..not laugh watching the kids ..and they laugh too..and once they get prepared to count to..500 then 800 then at 1500 I said can go to 1500 each ok?(I am the counter)..

He painted in my craft room..had lunch..he will eat anything and be appreciative..and watched Back To The Future..

It was too cold to go out for Jacques and I so it was an indoor day.

We also..moved the printer from a desk in my craft that I can have another area to paint on since the card table has chains and hanging lights under for the debut of my seeds.

Painted..  read..the last nesting days I guess..April should take care of winter~
No one paints Macarons and Paris Patisseries Carol..
seeing her art is inspiring much so that you want to try..far cry..but fun to try..
one day I Googled macarons..and it helped to paint some..from real life..since I have made them..I can feel the shape..and seeing real photographs of different ones on Google helps..
I am better (I use this term loosely) painting something I see FLAT..3D is ..I don't know ..but it seems impossible to me..must get back to Drawing w/ the right side of the brain and that frame thing..:)
So here are my takes..the one top right is a blank watercolor postcard I bought at Sennnelier while with my I painted it for her to snail mail her..added some favorite stamps..
the bottom left was my first try..and the bottom right.. 3rd try ..incorporating some things learned from my Creative Girl book by Danielle Donaldson:)
I still LOVE that book.
I recently received..a Joyce Hick's's out of my comfort zone..but I did the first exercise's fun to's not easy at all.
I loved this from Mary Oliver's book:)

"The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work who felt their own creative power restive and uprising,and gave to it neither power nor time."

I am not convinced they are the most regretful..but..
I think it feels good reading this no matter how awkward we can be in what we's like being a child..and playing..and we stop all that way too soon.

My apologies to my friends on are seeing two of these pics for the second time.

Have a nice weekend~

My favorite show...watched the finale last night..if you haven't watched it..try to get it..this wasthe first season.

Remember my love for Parenthood? This is my new love.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cold again in our forecast~BRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Mushroom soup is very hard to make photogenic..but it's beauty lies within:)

Well we are bracing ourselves for arctic air this more wood will be brought in today..and I have a chicken carcass et al..simmering on the stove for stock and soup etc..

We had tulips and still do..they just make the sunroom pop..and kitchen..I love tulips and how they droop and look like graceful dancers taking a bow.
My trick to keep them..tricks..when you get them home..snip about an inch off the bottoms..remove all leaves that will be under water..replace water every day..I use a ladle..yes..because that bowl is huge..maybe leave a couple of inches and add fresh..yes that's worth it to me♥
I hate the plant food..and stopped using a copper penny yrs ago..made no difference..these tips are what work here..
We had a few other colder days..and I made that Roasted mushroom white bean soup.I love it..not rich like the others I make ,and I love the roasted flavor..You can find the recipe here..I have been making it for years..However I DO drain my beans..I hate that thick slimey liquid lol..and you season to taste..add a splash of heavy cream if you her directions carefully and make sure your mushrooms are well roasted:)

I was in a mushroomy day..see the little crescent up there?Under the Eiffel tower:)?
I had a sweet sweet client 100 years ago..I had a few:)Her kids were adorable..they would put on their scout and brownie outfits to show me♥They were young..she moved back to England..I wonder if she is still there..
anyway one day I was there and she served me those little mushroom bites..the recipe is typed she gave it to me..
I must must mush share my original mushroom roll recipe from Jehane Benoit one day..Caroline and I are nuts about them..

I have been baking bread..this one from a great book I received..Josey Baker...real name)..I am always loving new starter is still being worked on LOL.:)

Nancy sent me Mary Oliver's book..lovely essays to read here and there♥
I just finished They Left Us Everything..really liked it.
Just started Killer Chef;)

I may start some seeds this weekend..maybe..

See that adorable little March girl above?

This is the March page of Marie the  cookbook author/artist's 2017 calendar..♥

Have a lovely weekend~

And look who's having a ball..great mommy:)I would have never had the the courage to plan everything..get us there..and do all that just my child and myself.I admire her independence and her love of Disney:)

I think he may be smitten w/ Tinkerbell:)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Remembering Paris~

I have wanted to stop into this local  bakery to try their croissants..Jacques said:"Not flaky like in Paris".True.

We had a patisserie just below our accomodations..that was right above a went from peace and boisterous and street partying a couple of nights during Euro-2016.. pas du tout "funny"~;)

A tiny walk to rue Cler..we were the next street.I loved that area..if ever we went back it would be there or Montmartre..♥

If you are not near a pastry shop..

may I..

 recommend that dessert above:)

I am sure you have heard of Sticky Toffee Puddings..
I am not a pudding girl..
I am here to tell you that this is much more like a MOIST delicious cake  w/ a memorable sauce.
Jacques loves Pouding Chomeur..which is again more like a cake..cooked in syrup..but I think he loves this one even more.

And me? believe it or not..I could eat a whole piece.DECADENT deliciousness.

How did I find it ? 2006..I have kept almost all my LCBO Food and Drink magazines..time to let little by little..I am going through them..quite quickly..and whatever catches my eye..knowing someone in my family will love it..I tear the recipes out and keep..this was in one of them..

Such a keeper!!

Print it out because it is a do again and again.

I used a 7x7 square springform pan and it was just the right line w/ parchment as the batter can seep out.I think I had to bake mine a tad the toothpick test..keep the extra sauce in the fridge and warm up for every piece.Micro will do it.

Oh Yum.

I have loads of paintbrushes..well loads..not like what I see on blogs..but a few w/ the years..those are my faves up there..

There's a spot in my garden I like when it's filled's that small fairy garden the a big heavy old cement urn..weathered and beautiful..for  a few years fuschias have been in it..sometimes scaveolas..but I had this photo of it w/ the fuschias and tried to paint..first watercolor.. w/ M Grahams..

In Montmartre it was the first time I saw someone paint Impasto..well mine is more impasta..and will take forever to dry..but I love doing this and will look at some youtubes about it:)

The weather here yesterday and today is positively Siberian.
As for me..I'll sit in front of the fire later w/ wine and a good book..finally..that I am reading..

They Left Us everything.. so far so good..the story starts .. it is the eve of the principal characters' 63rd birthday....having just turned 63 a couple of weeks ago..I was hooked from the get go.
The story of  loss of parents..most recently her 90 + yr old mom..coming to terms with it..and organizing chaos and clutter in the familial home.
Have a nice rest of weekend..