Thursday, August 25, 2016

Every Liitle Thing's Gonna Be Alright~ The Littles..





video



Everything's Gonna Be Alright..

We all need to hear these words  at one point in our lives..and sometimes..many times..
I loved this little video Caroline put on her FB this past week.
So the story is..Madame Francine is the owner of the pre-school that all 3 boys went to..and she knew their dad when he was young..the boys have super fond memories of that pre-school and she was always so nice to them.
The story behind this..is that when the 4-5 yr olds graduated..:)..they sang those exact lyrics to the parents on graduation day..and all the parents..cried:)
Madame Francine is on my daughter's FB..and loved this..

Some young adults in their 30's had her also..that's how long she has run this fantastic pre-school in a local church..I got to meet her because over the years..sometimes we picked up the boys..
Caroline doesn't mind my sharing it here..you've all seen them..thought you might enjoy this little uplifting video:)
Putting real life personalities on the faces you have seen transform before your eyes..

So granparents are a bit off their rockers you know..we see these boys all the time..
yet we replayed this video..so many times:)Even before bed that night.
That's a grandparent.

You can imagine how busy this family is:)
Not to mention the paraphenalia and sports equipment:)




Their dad built this in their garage this past weekend:)
Max is fixated on Odell Beckham:)  



Meanwhile ..Noah has been in Sandbanks getting buried in the sand..so happy they had great weather..it's raining here..


I browsed some vintage cookbooks..a little trip down memory lane:)
I had forgotten about The Food Lover's Companion and I love that book.
The Classic Italian Cookbook:)

On Instagram I follow Liz Steel..she suggested we sketch/paint a routine we have..every day for 5 days..
she does her latte..
I have coffee one morning green tea the other..just a habit we recently got into..used to be only green tea..
So I have done it 3 mornings and they are all different..surprisingly I still favor my first..

You can read about this on her blog..Liz Steel..
I mentioned on IG I was a novice and she mentioned this would be helpful..
I am enjoying doing this and may try and repeat the exercise with other things..
I'll show you when I have done 5..trying different paints etc..
same journal though..
I just love being inspired..

Food wise.. a huge spaguetti  sauce..and a new marmalade recipe..it's upside down resting..if it's good I will share:)

I was in an organizational mood..
Feels so good afterwards..
I guess I was feeling like Fred who built the organizational structure..

Pouring rain keeps you in..:)
And wanting to paint..:)
More than organize these days..but the latter has to be done..
I like things..in their place:)

Have a wonderful weekend..the sun's about to peek out..
I'll share  some cookies next week..and maybe the marmalade:)

Everywhere I go..people comment on the totally blissful summer it has been here
Grateful for it.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

La Saison Des Tournesols~Sunflower days~






Look at me!
Don't you find she seems to be saying that?:)








The weekend marked my worst pie ever.

I knew when I was putting things together..it is healthier ..but not better.
Anyway..not going to put a link nor the recipe..
that's how much I was disappointed.
Loads of apples..etc..etc..
Oh well,c'est la vie.

I also went to our market stand for corn..the apples..and brussel sprouts.

Saturday I went to our brocante..and came home with sunflowers which I love..

remember when I went shooting w/ my friend?

and then the field we found?

These were all ready and in a bouquet.Ideal.

Then I spotted heirloom tomatoes♥
Locally grown..I have cherry ones and a bit bigger coming out of my eyes..but no heirlooms look how beautiful:)

In the afternoon..we went to catch half a football game of Lucas' and half of Max's.
I have to commend the girls..great moms..Jacques said it is like all 4 boys have been away on holidays all summer..with activities and sports etc..
I never had a life like that..
In summer we got up and went outside.Often we came in..our moms would make us a sandwich and we would eat it at our fort..later  as teens..we hung around the pool.
I never went to camp..I did take swimming but I already told you that fun story.."Tidal Wave".:(
I never had classes or outings..
I played Barbies and read Nancy Drews and La Comtesse de Ségur..day in day out.
I had a very good life..don't get me wrong.I was loved and cared for.
But the buck stopped there.LOL.
We were left to our own devices..and they were not tech.

Ok back to football..so Caroline had been to Oli's Soccer game at 9..then onto a football field for 11 to watch Lucsa play..while Frédérick coached them..till 1..then at 1.30 Max plays while F coaches..
I can't tell you how hot it was.. we went 1-3..we had umbrellas to protect from the sun..I don't know how those kids play with all that equipment..
Anyway we left w/ Oli ..what a trooper he is to be in his soccer outfit..staying at the field all that time..NEVER complains...
As soon as we left..Max scored a touchdown:(

I took a few pics..hard holding an umbrella..had my point and shoot..we are so far away!!

Anyway I was able to get a shot of each..in a pose I tried to draw.
I love painting our boys,no matter how amateurish they are..I know I have THEM in those paintings.
:)♥

Noah was busy..w/ swimming and soccer..and was swimmer of the week..next year ..baseball we think.

It is Sunday as I type..and we are having a deluge..feast or famine this summer~
Some things are gorgeous like the sage and rosemary and parsley and lavender and cherry tomatoes..
the basil drowned I think:(
As well as my trailing petunias.
Even the wildflowers are starting to turn to seed.
I won't rush it all along..but I feel it.

Still ..it has been a very very lovely one.♥

PS..The following is my personal opinion only.
When I see IGmers..or bloggers..writing about stolen pics..stolen recipes..
I beg to differ.
If you are sharing ideas on IG or blogs..you are sharing.
Copyright your photos etc..put a padlock on them..

I find it would be reprehensible if you were pulling them off as your own..but if you are sharing something pretty you found on Pinterest..or on a blog and Pinning...
I think..that is fine.
I think credit should be given to the author /artist..
and you should never make it look like it's yours..and you should always refer to the artist.
But apart from that..if it's on the web..you wanted to share.
Ohmygosh..stop w/ the Stealing part.
Some don't even know that they are sharing something you don't want shared..
It's a compliment.

I have seen The Mona Lisa and the Statue of David..everywhere..
I have not heard any complaints.
Get something important to worry about.
I can't believe I said that:)

Stealing my daughter's cute cupcakes for a closing party for end of summer swim club..she got the idea on pinterest..19 swimmers will be happy.



If not for Pinterest..?Come on...



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mellow Yellow~












I am still gleaning from Isa's book..when I spotted Nonnettes..and her cute pic..I thought I have to try these..Nonnette..Nana:)
I was..  intriguée:)
I was not familiar with these..they are a French delicacy..and go way back..
so I set myself up to make them..and ..

..I went downstairs to the preserve /beer/yogurt/cheese /chocolate milk fridge..and I was out of marmalade..

so I made some..takes minutes for a small 1 orange batch..:)

Juice the orange..leave pits out..this is my take..I made it up..as I went along..
then try and remove some of the pith..sharp scalpel:)..and process the peel and pulp in a processor..
Combine  the juice..peel..pulp and sugar..ok and I added a squeeze of lemon..and orange juice:)

So ap 32 ml of Orange juice,170 grams sugar..the peel..etc..

Bring to a boil.. cook until it looks good..this small amount..JELLS..far quicker than a larger batch of jams..plus it's citrus..
So..then I had everything I needed..even the bees:)

Cute as buttons..I made half..
..again..yes you can use half an egg:)
Simply crack an egg in a measuring vessel and whisk..use half the amount..
I made very little icing..a minuscule amount..to simply top off..as they are perfectly sweet..as is..
and then the bees:)

Some fill w/ marmalade..others incorporate it..
Isa incorporates..

So good..
Some call them Nonnettes de Dijon.

See the small brown muffin liners..recently..in Little Italy..at Dante..they had these mini parchments..why did I not pick up MANY...I bought 10..very silly me.They work "superwell" and are "supercute"~

Here..in Little Italy..
at Dante..
an icon.
Milano is still closed..and we stayed for a very short time..
every time I see the owner of Dante..I am like a broken record and remind her of a funny episode from maybe  18-20 years ago..

Jacques said:"She doesn't remember..too many clients etc..":)
He is probably right but I liked that moment and yes like a broken record I bring it up..
so..the story goes..
I bought a gift for a friend..a set of 4 plates..and they rang up the decimal at the wrong place..I guess I could have said:"start the car"..but I said..:"I think you should check my bill.."
And they did and they thanked me..
The reason I think I bring this up..is that I also needed to use the ladies room..and there was none in sight..

she handed me the key to their washroom downstairs and I was so grateful:)

Why I bring this up I have no idea:)
I think I like remembering moments that make me feel good.

The light is changing day by day now and the perennials are waning..some baskets too..
thank goodnes for annuals..that do keep well through summer and heat~
It takes all summer for Cobea Scandens to bloom here..still.. I think it's worth it..like Morning Glories..they are annuals..but striking and fun to photo.
That pathway..is maybe 1/4th of our pws..there is that one..from driveway to garage to decks..
the same length..to the mini pond and around it..and then to the potting shed..then..the front of our home..  every few years..I have to chop away at the QUACK grass..creeping Charlie etc..overgrown grass that covers the stones we laid 17 yrs ago..they become hidden..
our son-in law Frédérick had helped us  lay each and every stone..we had a patio made with them also..but I found it could stay damp  after a heavy rain..2 years ago our other son-in-law Alain  built this one with Jacques.
I have been procrastinating ..but attacked at least that part..it's like ripping the strongest turf ..like burlap out..this took me 5 days..granted only a couple of hours or hour a day..but still.
Stinkin' hot out.
I just cannot wait until the boys are ok w/ x`acto knives and scissors and knives..aka my arsenal for tuff turf;)
I will pay them:) Happily.


La Recette..for Nonnettes
Courtesy of the book Miel
Author: Isabelle Lambert

This recipe is for 32 Nonnettes..I halved it.
You use a mini muffin tin..well prepped/oiled..

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

5 tbsps water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 egg room temp
3 tbsps sunflower oil..I used canola.
1 cup orange marmalade.
For the icing..

1 2/3 cup of icing sugar
4 tbsps orange juice.

In a casserole..on the stove heat sugar ,honey and water until the sugar is dissolved.
In a large bowl mix the flour ,baking powder salt and nutmeg.Incorporate wet ings.
Then add the egg,oil and marmalade until you have a homogenous mixture.
Fill your prepped mini muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes..wait 5 minutes before removing from pan..and then cool on a rack.
In a small bowl combine icing sugar and orange juice...then glaze the Nonnettes:)
The next day they are just as good if not better..more orangey:)
I had put them sous cloche.
Elles sont vraiment délicieuses Isa..et vraiment..si petites que l'on peut en manger une sans avoir un besoin de confession:)

The light changed in a breath..Wednesday..Tuesday we had heavy rain and lots of it..but Wednesday morning I went out to check on things..what had grown..what looked perkier etc..and I felt a change..not a slight change.. but the beginning of the end.
The sun is so much lower.


I loved this story this week..this IS a feel good story;)
Bon weekend~

My trials this week..



It's not so easy painting teacups!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Miel~Honey~ bzzzzz





So what's all the buzz about?:)
I have the pleasure of presenting to you Isabelle Lamberts' new cookbook..Miel..which means every recipe has Miel /Honey in it..
I am not a stranger to her beautiful books..I have ..


Citron




..Tarte..



and now..Miel..



Isabelle is a French blogger /author..that I am so proud of..I saw an interview with her and literally had goosebumps..you do feel a sense of pride..like when  one of our Olympians wins something..I think everyone is guilty of this:) Even if we are not related..seeing someone succeed and do it well is inspirational and fills us with pride for them.

Isa..that I "met" at her blog..Les Gourmandises d'Isa..
is so talented..in all aspects of baking and cooking..not once have I made something from her blog or books that did not turn out perfectly.
This book has over 200 pages and I must applaud the photos too..they are spot on perfection.
The recipes are clear and concise ..as well as the format.
Bright..and beautiful.
I am a foodie what can I say?
The book covers the appetizers right up to dessert and then some.♥

I love to prepare food for my family..my Littles usually go to a cabinet I have in the kitchen that has a plate rail..and below an open counter that has various cloches../glass recipients..that hold what I have baked..the Littles go directly there:)
So yes..even though the word is cliché and getting worn and old..I am one.

We had rain all day Saturday..



and I felt like playing after I had done some small chores..
playing meant trying one of Isa's recipes..and then practicing some lessons I recently took.
I signed up for Kim Klassen's Still Sunday photography workshop..along with that,came and intro to Lightroom..(which I really had not used..I go to Photoshop..and even at that I am skimming the surface of the surface..)..anyway it came with that intro..and some KK presets.
So I applied little things I learned..like using linen etc..cropping square..and applied some of her filters.
The filters suited the day.. the mood.
It's so nice to hear rain when you have not in a while..we have a metal roof and you hear it ever so slightly..
Jacques had some lovely music playing..

so..

I love the book!  Isa's..
I love the Still Sunday class..Kim's
And I loved the rain..
I will make more of Isa's recipes when we finish the sweets I already have..
For my first recipe..I chose..a cheesy savory appetizer..

Jacques loves blue cheese..and I love wine;)
These are for a wine and cheese app.in my opinion:)

La Recette~
Courtesy of Isabelle Lambert,from her book..
Miel~

1 cup of  roquefort
1/3 cup room temp butter
1 cup flour
2 tsps of honey.
Mix all the ings in a bowl until you have a firm dough..roll into a 2 inch diameter log..wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or freeze 30 minutes.
Slice by 1/4 inch rounds and bake on parchment in a pre-heated 320F oven for ap..13 minutes..
I baked mine a bit longer..
A delicacy.

We watched the finale of The Great British Baking Show and of course I cried:)
Especially when Ian cried..and Nadiya won..
And Tamal♥
WHAT A GREAT SHOW.

Then we watched The Chef's Table../Netflix..
so far..so great.


Meanwhile..Sunday ..today..proved grey and humid until 4.30..still.. I had to walk about and see what was happening..or not happening..

Not happening..my beets..  in the ground since spring..and the size of radishes..

so in came the leaves..


The tomatoes are all from our garden..the orange ones are Sun Gold Susan..I checked:)
It's that time of year when production is higher than usage..we are so lucky to be able to grow food.
Pretty food.
This is when the sun came out and I was on 800 ISO and ++ Exposure compensation..
Do I sound like I know what I am talking about? LOL I don't.
I am just trying to tell you why it's overexposed:)
so..we have been eating a lot of this:)



When it was still dark and humid..earlier..the anemones were still gorgeous.





They are stellar in gardens..and I encourage you to grow them:)

My small garden endeavour..




When Isabelle first told me she was writing "Miel"  I had recently bought Creative Girl..Danielle Donaldson..and an image inside struck me..so I tried my best to make it look like a DD creative girl..by almost copying but I added  twists  w/ ribbon.. and hair.. and a charm.. and stamps.
I saved a photo of it:)
How could I resist w/ a beehive hat?
More to come from Isa's book.



By the way.. when I published some Citron recipes..I was asked if her books were available in English..I have good news..Citron will be in stores August 20th..naturally called LEMON♥

And out came the sun♥

Friday, August 12, 2016

This summer..here in QC..has been phenomenal.



Not for our larger perennial beds..as we have not been allowed to water..except by hand..and I just cannot get around all the beds.

Thank goodness our garlic mini crop..had a chance to go forth and prosper prior to all this..maybe 50 ..




Rocambole..is the small variety..rosey tinted..White German ..the large one..Music will be added for 2017.



unbaked of course..







I was immersed in beautiful Beauberries:)

I am on Instagram now..but mostly following not posting..no wonder magazines do not sell as well as they used to..the photos on Instagram take your breath away..I am a newbie..but already have favorites..I have even gotten to know Montréal better by following the photogs..

And gardens..oh the gardens..

and travel..
and art..

and pie making art..

I follow this lovely girl..
her pies are nothing short of inspiring..and her mom is not well w/ Alzheimer's..and she is so devoted and loving..
take a peek at her pies..ohmy.♥

I made 2 mini blueberry pies..for Jacques..one cup of beaus in each tin..he ate one at each seating..the dinner seating..one full cup in each mini pie:)

and I made these..they are quite delish..I may have even made them before:)

I don't know why some of the comments are off..just add wet and dry by your baking flair:)

My son-in-law USES his kitchen stuff..I can have mine for 40 yrs and because I am so darn careful..most look the same.
I love how Fred's age well..so I asked if I could have one of his pie tins:)
He even BBQ's with it..he had 3 and nicely parted with one..his Ann T's wood board has been used every day I am certain..it is aging so beautifully,,


Things will quiet down here soon..as the gardens are burning up..I am very grateful for the rain that is falling as I type..and there is more to come.

We saw my friend this week as she had a birthday..went to Little Italy and enjoyed a great little pizza..some wine..a little Dante shopping..very little..and then home..in this heat..home is best..now ..because of the heat..yesterday the temp on the upperd dec in the sun rose to 120F.



I painted things that were close by..the small arrangement in the BM jar.. my Aqua Mini Sennelier set....a lone pansy..a necklace:)Miss Dior Chérie....I love Moonglow..Daniel Smith:)
With the rain..I'll play more.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, August 8, 2016

I found my thrill ..on Blueberry Hill~





My basket in the car..at my feet..:) Jacques' was in the back seat..




So..I went blueberry picking w/ Mylène and Noah and I loved it..
I have never seen so many LUSH..
blueberry..bushes ..ecolo friendly in my life..and I must say..the owner and his staff are quite adorable:)

So I think Jacques loved the jam..I made w/ my récolte... as he said:" ..I will go back with you.."

and so we did..and the owner shook my husband's hand after I introduced them..and brought stools  :)How many people do that?

You get assigned a bush/area..and I do not blame him as people would go haphazardly here and there..

It was the hottest day on earth:)

We went early..and we came back with abundance.

So I doubled Christine Ferber's Wild Blueberry Jam recipe..the one that corresponds w/ Canadian and US blueberries..as there are two in this book I love..

I pre-cooked the same day..and macerated that night..the next morning..I made the jam at 9 AM because we were taking Lucas out to lunch♥

I have all these lovely pots stored away..and an assigned blueberry jam spoon..color coded♥

I sterilized all the pots and lids and rims..but I do not water bathe anymore..well I do some things..

They form such a tight seal..that I need a mini..pretty..feminine ..sledgehammer to pry the seal off:)

I love all the jams I have made from this book..

and yes I still love D. Lebovitz's strawberry jam..♥

One of the things we adored in Provence..

was the petit-déjeuner w/ freshly made croissants and home made jams..
ce fut le paradis.











..sure Bonne Mamans are adorable and I love her jars..and jams..
but nothing beats home made..

like they had and like we love..

I mean look..does that spot not look like paradise on earth?

Dinner by candlelight..or breakfast w/ rising sun..♥

Occitane products in our rooms..

I fell in love.And never fell out.



♥Gordes~

I had brought a journal and paints and enjoyed drawing and painting small things..

I had very few paints in 2008..I was working..did not have much time..
seems  that since I no longer work outside our home..I am collecting bits and bobs here and there.
I am fortunate to have a few travel sets..the lovely Cheap Joe's in the leather purse I showed you last Nov..and little kits I make here and there..little palettes I alter here and there..

Cigar boxes are sometimes found at my brocante and very reasonably priced..the one filled w/ my favorite Daniel Smith colors..was $2.00.
I bought empty half pans and filled with my favorite colors..even a novice has favorites..



I think 3 of the colors are not DS..
I still have empty pans:)
I already have colors in my mind..but you can't get them all at once..those tubes add up.

I have been revisiting my Craftsy class from Shari Blaukopf..about buildings..houses..



I know from the get go that buildings and landscapes are not my forte..but I like keeping the moments in journals..
The kiosque at that great Bleutière is not a thing of beauty..but I had to try:)It is crooked on the land..in my attempt to straighten..I made it off in the opposite sense.:):):)

A cute clothing and accessory store ..and a street scene from 2008 in Venice ,Italy.

Painting ..calms me inside.

We had a double party Sunday..for Mylène 41..(I cannot believe she is 41.)..and Lucas 11(I cannot believe he is 11)...



I was not the only thing wilting ..our heat pump stopped working on Friday..it's been in the 90's..
I was melting chocolate.. whipping icings..inspired by The Great British Bake Off..LOVE THAT SHOW...only 1 episode left until the winner is crowned..we were sorry to see Flora go..but we would have said that about each one of them..:)
They all have a certain je ne sais quoi.
Nadia and her tears..she makes me cry..what a beauty:) Tamal..what a nice young man..he is a doctor/ anaesthetist..Ian..his molds etc..  I had no idea he was a pro photog and is the personal photog of the Dali Lama when he is in the UK.
In this case more was better..
Carrot cake..cream cheese icing..
Lucas..checkerboard cake.. whoppers on top ,fine belgian cookies around and MELTED Callebaut chocolate name and greeting.



Poor wilting chocolate...

His Auntie..the 41 yr old:)  Made him this..gift cards and candy..in every cup..yu poke through and the gifts are revealed..




That spells I love you..I care so much about you..I made you this:)

PS Watching an amazing HBO show..The Night Of.
Have a great week..I think I have said enough for the week;)