Thursday, October 1, 2015

Look how cute this gift idea is~

One of my daughter's mentioned a book that her co-worker brought in to work..
and I had read something about it somewhere else..
I happened to see it last week and browsed through it..
this recipe caught my eye..and then many others in the it came home with us..
this soup is the first thing I made..
You offer it as a gift..on the front of the says what it is:)..on the back of the tag..the instructions simply say:

Add contents of jar to a large stockpot along w/ a 28ozs can of diced tomatoes and 3 cans of water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 or minus a few words..see last pic.
You could happily print it up on your computer..this is very tiny's a normal sized tag.

Guess what?
It's really good and well look how cute..

I recommend a 2 cup capacity less.. and the mixture would not fit..more..the mixture would just move measure first..2 cups.
I had everything on hand except beef bouillon..I used chicken.We use organic liquid chicken and beef broths when I don't have home made..and really I rarely have home made.
 But I  did have some chicken bouillon powder form....and now I have bought a few sachets of the beef one because I will offer this gift..whenever the opprtunity arises.

Great gift to bring a daughter..a friend..this makes a lot of soup.

I also recommend bringing along the needed can of San Marzano diced tomatoes..then the recipient will have everything on hand to even make it as soon as you get there:)

Mylène,Noah,Giuliana,Jacques and I all liked it a lot..Mylène did pick out her mushrooms;)
You can lighly bake slices of baguette brushed with olive oil ..sprinkle w/ salt and serve along..makes a great little dunk:)
We had a picnic on the boat..and Caroline had brought this dunk in Frédérick's most excellent southwestern corn/potato chowder..I hope to try and make that one and share with you also~.

Anyways this book is very dear and well done..and so far the recipes have been very good..
I am totally charmed by her.
Smitten actually.
The book was originally published in French..the English version is available..
She was a French Canadian singer..and felt she wanted something was important to her..she has suffered from anorexia....and overcame it.. you have all kinds of recipes in this book..her husband is the photographer and the pics are beautiful..Marilou is visual she says..and it shows.Everything is so know lasagna? Instead of saying..put the sauce,put the noodles..she actually writes down the order w/ a sketch.Brilliant.As I am visual too:)
She is beautiful..and charming..and together in my opinion they are a sweet , extremely talented couple.
A link to her book..  it is available also at Amazon..etc.. my Costco had it..
She also has a beautiful bilingual blog.
Last night we had a very flavorful mediterranean chicken recipe and her couscous to accompany was great.I did add a handful of chopped fresh sage because for some reason that worked beautifully!

The night before I made her fig and prosciutto pizza w/ my good!

I tried her Parmesan Crisps..delish..and you could add rosemary..but I loved them as is..

They say if you glean one good keeper recipe from a's worth far it's really worth it.

La Recette~

The jar ingredients~

1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup red lentils
2 tbsp beef bouillon powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms roughly chopped.

The fall cleanup begins..I am sure that means less posts..
It's arduous this month of Spring.
I want a genie. In a bottle or not.
I did plant the garlic today and I am hoping every little clove goes forth:)

Can you believe a SQUIRREL had the audacity to dig a big clove up?
I opened the door and scared it.
And that's fine..and now I have a bright blue tarp over the raised bed.So pretty..:(
I hate squirrels.We have too many.
There is still sooo much pink going on..The Pink Diamonds..the dahlias..anemones..sedum..and not much in way of fall color yet..everyone is's so late..we are a society of malcontents;)
But in case you feel like feeling..content..and want to make a few gifts and a pot for yourselves this coming weekend..enjoy the above recipe..
I know..I bake cookies all the time..but one of my faves?That I don't bake?
Bonne Maman ♥

Bon weekend~

Monday, September 28, 2015

Appledom~Biscoff Apple Crisp~

On Thursday we had to go into Montréal~

Our GPS..shows 45 minutes away..our destination was in the city centre..
we know Mtl is 45 minutes away..but..w/ traffic,for a morning appt..give yourself 2 hrs.
we are used to this and had given ourselves 1 hr 45 the skin of our teeth ,we made it.
We left at 7 AM..and got there at 8.30 ..and my husband had to drop me off at the door to whip upstairs..I don't know how some people do it every day.
Many take public transport ..I don't blame them.
If I had to start over and work downtown:(
Kudos for those who do it .
Give me the country..forever I hope.

The day was chilly in the AM..but we decided to go the Jean -Talon market..Little Italy..about 20 minutes away..from where we were..we went because's bounty season..
apples,tomatoes,garlic,chilis,beans,eggplants herbs,you name it they have it..mums..
so so pretty to go there..and I am glad some "éducatrices" think it is such a great experience for wee ones..we saw 2 groups ♥
So cute.

I must add..I have no sense of direction..moved out here when I was 40 yrs ago..never got to know the city..I went to McGill university for 6 monts..public transport..
so I do not know my way around anywhere..nor how to get there.Let's not even talk about traffic..I was a realtor in the country ..
My husband is my chauffeur..he knows Mtl inside out.
Grateful..what would I do?

On Sunday  Mylène invited me to go apple picking w/ she and Noah and Giuliana..
we went to a place that is now my favorite..
It's organic..young family run..along shore road ..
We had bought our apples at JT..but I did buy honey and Mylène bought juice and 10 lbs of apples..
It's a beautiful by a beautiful young family who started it in 2003.They planted the trees etc..In 2013 they were ready to open to the public.
Cute cute cute place.
Next year I will go directly there for my apples..
So nice that you know nothing has touched them..

Ok so the apple can really make any apple crisp you love already..
I have made this one w/ Martha's,with my mom's version..with the Killer Apple Crisp recipe ..that Linda had sent me a few years back..I now make an apple crisp that combines all therecipes and varies every time;)

the topping makes enough for the 3 dishes above and another 3 inch ramekin.
The only thing I do differently from all the recipes I have gleaned and combined.. is  that I pulse some Lotus Biscoff (3-4 for the following recipe) cookies and add them to the crumble..and some chopped pecans..the pic is I made it when Noah came for dinner and there's no time for pics then:)  Serve warm w/ ice cream..make sure the apples are fork tender..never omit the spices..I have tasted some very bland apple crisps in my apple crisp w/ out not an apple crsip;)
Noah loved it..he even loved my lasagna and garlic bread.
He is the one w/ the most developed taste palate.

La Recette~  but kind of..I switch it up all the time~glean this one..

6-7 apples of your choise peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/3 cup of sugar


1 cup plus 2 tbsps brown sugar packed..I like old fashioned brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg..I only use fresh..grated
10tbsps cold butter diced
1 cup chopped tosated pecans..I use less

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large bowl combine the apples lemon juice and sugar and set aside.
In a small bowl stir flour,sugar,oats,spices.With a pastry blender or a food processor..cut in/pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbsstir in nuts..
Spread the apple mixture in a greased oven proof casserole..
Sprinke topping over top..
Bake ap 55 minutes or until top is bubbling and golden..

My notes..I add the ground Biscoff Lotus cookies to the topping..and a touch of cardamom..
I bake until I can enter a skewer in the crisp and it slides in..
I sometimes add a pat of butter on top of the apple mixture:)

Jean Talon~ is always a very special treat~

Friday, September 25, 2015

Warmer Colors~Warmer Words~

The first beets my daughter gave us from her husbands' veggie garden were lovely..delicious..and cute:)Above..
But the last batch..they were the size of small grapefruits..those are the ones I used for my roasted beet quinoa salad~
So good..
I am definitely growing his beets next summer..his;)
The recipe is a cinch..cook your quinoa perfectly..add some diced roasted beets..garlic that roasted with your beets....spring green onions...chopped fresh chives..chopped red peppers..feta..parsley..the juice of the roasted beets..s and p..  some EVOO..and white balsamic vinegar..Top with larger beautiful chunks of those roasted beets..

This is a complete meal for me.
It's a side for Jacques;)

You know the smallest things are the greatest gifts.
My daughters and I email always..we are not phone people..and one lives across the street kittie corner..
as soon as  I stopped working I bid the phone adieu..I HATE the phone.

They work..they can sneak an email in here and there..before bed..anecdotes..all kinds of STUFF.
slews of emails.I adore
Wednesday morning this was one of my emails from Caroline;

Last night, im lying in bed with Max, and I sing my nightly awesome rendition of
You are my sunshine..
He says ok, mom two questions,
1. Who was the first man on earth..
2. Who invented the song ‘you are my sunshine’… I say…I don’t know…he says I think Nana did.
How CUTE!!!!!!

Well that just fills me up.
They are the grace in my life.
And I am so very grateful for them.
The light is so different ..the mornings are cool,dappled heavy shade everywhere,the trees across the street are turning,they seem to turn where the East sun hits them first..taking photos.. the sun is so harsh..everything is still too green and brown ..that old look..
I've started afternoon tea again even though it is so mild and sunny,fall makes me do that..and the music is not being played as much outdoors..
it's mostly I type this entry..Rod Stewart is singing...I can only give you love that lasts forever..I still enjoy his songs and music..
...and a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall..

All time favorite fall song..Nat King Cole..Autumn mom's favorite.
Fall is very nostalgic for me,I think it's beauty just brings out every emotion we have.Stunning splendour.Gorgeousness .

I started preparing my Garlic planting..see the gloves? Raffia?Stakes?Shears?
I had bought a gift a few years back for an occasion that was canceled..a pale yellow metal bucket  filled with even knee pads..and an apron..the occasion never happened..and I kept it..all shrink wrapped from Chapters/Indigo thinking maybe another occasion would happen and the gift would again be never happened.
I unwrapped it.
My garden is shocked to see new things.
Usually I find clippers and scissors and shears and hand rakes and trowels all old and worn..lost in a bed here or there.
Why was I saving it?
We have also been relentlessly dropping our everyday utensils(for years!!) on the floors  clearing the table..they are bottom heavy and just slide off the plates.
I was saving the bees..for what?
No more.
The others are gone..and the bees are out.
See ..fall is the new year..a new leaf;)

André Gagnon is  a QC artist..AMAZING..all instrumental..a client.. maybe 30 yrs ago got me hooked..Greg.
André Gagnon has many CDs ..over the years I think we have picked up 5.Love them all..

Henri Salvador, a client who also became a friend me hooked..all French..OMgosh the songs are just so pretty.Henri also..we have a few of his CD's..

Richard Séguin is also a QC talent..I went to a show of his..and bought the CD which he autographed.. 

Stacey Kent..adorable..again from Robert..she is from here too..
So nice to find music you love.. fall.

Bon weekend~

Monday, September 21, 2015


I am STILL making David Lebovitz's Strawberry jam..
Jacques says he is tasting his youth....with every biteful and he asks if I will make some again maybe 4 times this year..I have made it..I am giving the link again because even my daughters love it..
such cute mini mason jars at the $ store.I went in for something totally unrelated and these little gingham sparklers were right there:)
The faes are busying themselves with fall activities..they come in as to not be buried by 5 feet of snow..already some have lost limbs etc..I should not say already..they've lived here 14 years..that Maidenhead fern adores it's spot and returns year after year to create a litte waterside forest ~like atmosphere.
They had been whispering amonst themselves..asking themselves what nana was waiting for ..where is our fall decor?:)Checkmark..
But it is like a Secret Garden have to look down and find them..not like the rest that is still quite pinkish..
They are in the bed where the twin adirondacks are..I am sad to say this is their last year..14 years the set lasted..Costco..unfinished..we painted it white..and repainted..and repainted..we dragged it into storage every year except the last two..I renailed/screwed is no longer salvageable:(
Next year probably white plastic Adirondacks:(

The Paul Farges..I wanted to show you..these are a small portion of the heads!  Picture 10 times those.. and it was chopped down in the fall last year..the arbor is not visible..Betty grows on the other side of it but they grow into each other at the top..Betty blooming first..with PF taking over afterwards..and reaching well over the other side.There is a harmony when both are in bloom simultaneously♥

The last pic is that hedge I mentioned..all pointy and pretty:)The dahlias grow there..and roses ..iris..lilies..phlox..a few clematis..It gets all the neigbour's oak fall AND spring that bed needs attention..not to mention the years the acorns rain down.
Great c'est la vie..c'est la nature.
That sweet book is from the movie I's one of the prettiest pop ups I have seen..and all the characters slide into a pocket.
I am reliving my youth.
Just for me.
Wee foxgloves popped up at the base of my big tardy  bloomers but how pretty..
We have a new art store  close by..I may be in trouble..imagine if I was a real artist.
This store is fantastic.Even my husband found the look and concept beautiful.
Quite industrial looking ,loft ~like inside..
Everything tasteful..antiques..antique is offered when you enter..second floor..all easels and expositions (vernissages)of artists..
every type of paint...palettes..paper..pencils..books Absolutely amazing.
I am grateful to have this place ~it's not like a Michaels..if you are looking for that..well it's not..and it's not an Omer de Serres either..and both the aforementioned have their place and fun..and products and nice nice service..this  concept is so unique..a different experience altogether.
I left a very cool Frida (Kahlo)apron there.That was self-control.
Bought some paint..etc..
Art stores,neat grocery nice to time I will go alone..Jacques was very patient and appreciative of the place and staff etc..but it's my kind of place..and I want to linger~

Footnote..  geesh do I need a footnote after all this?

Last night..we ate this for the 4th tme too this summer..and it may be the last time..

because the tomatoes are getting..not scarcer..but now they will ripen less quickly..

tip..make twice the salad:)
It's just beautiful too..pile the arugula..add the tomato mixture..a few fresh basil good..

and tonight we are having this..because it is daughter Mylène made it first..and I just keep making it since 2013.And I bake my squash  longer..prick w/ fork or knife to make sure it is done~
I use Costco spicy Italian turkey I am sure..

it is a keeper too and looks beautiful and tastes great..the Acorn is baking now..the spicy Italian sausage is the deal maker here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Almost Fall Sightings~ And a great weekend cake~

Well this one could take the cake~
It is the easiest chocolate cake I have made.
All done w/ a whisk in a medium size pot..stove..a few ings..the mold..s of your choice and you are done.
Jacques loves dark chocolate desserts..and coffee..this is an espresso chocolate Bundt cake but I made it in 2 pans..a German/Austrian pan..a Rehrücken I have had for over 1 year and was itching to try..and  my small mini Heritage type Bundt.
I divived the long loaf in 2 and sent half  across the street..
after you put the glaze on you can leave as is or decorate w/ whatever.
I chose fruit.I had figs and yellow raspberries and seedless concord blue grapes.
I loved the look when I was done and Jacques loved the taste.
BTW this cake..s..popped out perfectly of the coated metal loaf and the silicone intricate one.

I found the recipe is from 2011~Took me this long to find it..
It is printed up for safekeeping~
I tried growing figs..even wintered the fig trees in the garage..after 3 years I gave up..same w/ try again..
I have given a bit of thought to next year's potager..and..

I have my wish list for next years' potager..

Curly Parsley                     ......... no more flat should see my son-in-laws ♥
New Zealand Spinach             ... it reseeds..I have gathered some in case
Borage..                                .........I have gathered seeds as it reseeded here in minutes after it all fell 
French Radishes                   .........from France
Globe Zucchini
Cherry Tomatoes
Italian Tomatoes                ...........again should see my son-in-laws
Beets                         plant after my garlic harvest
Basil                                    ..........Plenty ..after Susan's recommendation
GARLIC                             ..........many varieties♥. It will be planted mid-Oct.

maybe a pumpkin patch at the back:)

Some things are still ripe for picking and making small indoor bouquets..
In fact I have Huldine blooms on branches in my 3 glass vases w/ the candles..
but here and there..things are glumming up..
take all my other clematis..they are all having bad hair days after a very floriferous summer.
You know what?
I got tired of looking at my group 3s turned to twine all winter..can't even get past the arbor..the white fences w/ all that the last 2 years..when I have put the beds to sleep..I have been ruthless w/ the group 3's and chopped them all down too..Not one has come back less vigorous.
So that's the deal here pereferential treatment for group 3s..anymore.
I am getting too picky  for finicky in the garden.

Japanese Anemones..  hanging on..but the last pic of the end is near~ year Dinner Plates or nothing..these are all the same! far..and not dinner plates..feverfew if you can believe ..and a hodge podge of late roses..
I will take whatever I can:)
Whenever I can..
Fleeting my blooms..they are fleeting.

Perfect weekend cake by the way:)Perfect.
Just sitting there waiting for you..or a friend to drop by..or family.It just sits pretty .
When I worked..
if a client offered me a cup of tea and added a nice treat..I knew instinctively..this client/woman..was special.That sounds a bit off but 100% of the time.. a treat was offered by the female part of the equation.
I was just hired or soon to be hired help to help find or market a home..there was no need to spoil me..but that made such a difference in getting to know the person♥

Bon Weekend~