Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lemon~Lemon Verbena~Zucchini~and...


















Saw a bundt/heritage cake that struck my fancy here..and well ..so I made it..I added a smidgen of chopped Lemon Verbena because I grow it..
I brought in my last summer's LV..and I kid you not..w/ numerous clips..that plant was 6 ft tall and had a 3 ft girth..it got so big..it lost it's form..stamina etc..so bye bye..
I will bring in this years' and try and contain it to stay bushy and shorter..
the scent when it brushes your hand is amazing.Great indoor plant .
Lucas said the cake was great..which is suprising because it's not chocolate..or a pinata..but it is great and it is pretty.
We were able to go onto our son-in-laws boat..and the skies turned very bad..so we couldn't sail away with me..  but tried again the next day../night..this is after work for them..
even the time we spent NOT going out was pretty amazing.
I have always loved the water..no one was there..  it was a Monday..stormy skies..  perhaps one gentleman came to do some maintenance..but apart from that..personne.
I walked to the beach..the kids have a pool there..a park..and look at those views..
the names of the various boats are so quirky and fun too;)
So we took a raincheck and aimed for Tuesday..same time..  guess what? The skies opened up and it poured..

only F would call..I answered the phone..and he was singing :"Tomorrow..tomorrow..is only a day awayy"..anyways he said..:"don't give up yet"..what an optimist I thought:)....at 6 the sun showed it's pretty little face..partially..and we headed back out to the yacht club.
There was a small race about to happen..

 F took us..to the middle of the lake away from the race..and we just moored there..eating dinner on the boat..
my point and shoot comes in very handy on a boat..tnks again A~

I always said I don't have a bucket list..people have often said..:"this is my bucket list..I want to do this" etc..etc..
I never had one...I have always just felt satisfied that I have lived what I should be living..
...but if I had one..I tell ya..that (those) night(s) would be on it.
Back to the dock at dusk..candle..  blanket..3 of my Littles..

Je trouve cela tellement ZEN..sur l'eau..un monde à part.
Notre capitaine..vous le voyez..:) the 10th photo.

Bon weekend...~

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tomato..tomatoes..tomates..& varia~











So many tomatoes so little time...
Not complaining..how nice is it to pick tomatoes in your backyard..make a savory tart and still have loads leftover.Pocketfuls these days.
I have made this tart before in mini form..I made a long rectangular one this time..used my garlic..my tomatoes..added some fresh herbs to the crust..
I bake mine longer..unfilled..I like a crispier bottom.
I even like reheating it on a grill in the oven w/out the bottom pan.That crust is so darn delicious.. I put less butter..I find it doesn't need a full 1/2 cup(Is that an oxymoron?)
I just know now when handling certain doughs which consistencies I am looking for to get the results I want.
In all honesty I find this tart dough recipe worked better in the smaller tarts..less tomatoes..less filling..the tart stayed crispier.
I think I have OVERMADE  this delicious dinner during the tomato/heat wave..

Pick your ripe tomatoes..or buy..cherry ones..

slice..,add garlic..capers..sliced kalamatas..loads of fresh basil..chives ..red pepper flakes..evoo..basically anything you like..do this early in the morning in a large bowl ,toss..and cover..ideally sitting in the sunshine is amazing..

cook  your pasta of choice..and add to this mix that has been enhancing all day..Parm on top..delicioso.
This time I made 2 sep.dishes from the get go:)

Another of our very fave tomato dishes since last year is Gina's Skinnytaste Baked Chicken Milanese with tomato ad arugula salad..

I always make more of the tomato topping..make it well in advance and I bake the chicken longer..honestly if you have not made it..do try it..you NEED the arugula:)


We rarely eat out..but once every summer I love to go here..




It's a hop skip and a jump away..we eat lunch up on the terrasse..and then go further below and sit by the water's edge.
This is my idea of lunch out:)
I went there as a young girl..a young mom..now I have taken a grandson..and this time it was just J and I.
I think I live in Paradise..  for QC..
Sat...last night..early evening..  I went to see Matt Holubowski..



 it was a  concert..by the water..followed by fireworks..magical.I did not stay for the fireworks..

but someone went:)


To see and hear this young local talent who is like a shooting star ..to stardom...by the water w/ the sun setting..with one of my daughters was just inexplicably..bliss.
He is such a nice..old soul young man...perfectly..but perfectly bilingual and spoke throughout his show impeccably in French and in English..to everyone's delight.
He is most charming if I do say so myself..and to hear him sing..play guitar  AND harmonica..all in the same song(s)..is truly astounding.
He's so cool:)I am sure his mama is just bursting with pride over her children.
Remember my regret at NOT having bought a couple of CD's while in Provence..of artists that were regaling us with their talents?
I said that will would never  happen again;)




Sailboats..and boats..sailed by..the sky's color changed.. the mood was summery and festive..
Jack Layton Park..by the water ,was named after a very courageous politician that grew up in Hudson..I bumped into Valerie Sat. night and she said it was 4 years to the day that Jack Layton had lost his battle with cancer.
He must have felt so honored Sat.night looking down into his birthtown..hearing Matt sing in his glorious namesaked park by the water's edge.
I adore small towns.
And I am so grateful to live in one,whose landscape may change through the seasons..but in truth each has a loveliness and purpose for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bread Machine Egg Bread ,yummy scones and an art tutorial via Gail.



my mom's measuring cup


Frédérick's hen





Sounds like something Violet Crawley would say;)...about the scones that is~
But it's true..because we love scones..I have shared many of our favorites here..but these caught my eye at Butter and Brioche's beautiful blog..the addition of almond meal..and the jam on top just did me in.
I didn't have any rose petal jam..but I did have the David Lebovitz Strawberry jam..that I made..and made again..and made again;)..so I went ahead..
when Jacques says:"Ne perds pas la recette"..it means they are keepers and delicious.♥
And they are.
Of course her photos always catch my eye also.I am sure they will entice you also~
Go peak..and make them..I have printed the recipe up for safe keeping.

I would not recommend making scones in 100 degree weather..I made my pomegranate scones  except w/ figs..and the butter didn't stay cold so they were like scone/galettes..oh well..some days are like that.
We are having a "canicule"..heat wave..
I even had 2 Kilkennys:) One in a resto and one here at home..

no gardening for me..
I can faint in too high heat.

I found a wonderful offer one day from Artisan State..

investigate..  I am not sure if the offer still stands:)




There was a one time introductory offer ..that happened upon me..I love Shutterfly don't get me wrong..I get ap 3 albums every year..from them..but this one looked different..hard..cardboard..lay flat..not big 8x6..you could pick one of a few things to try..
I chose to do the summer book with them..
I only used 2 of my photos and all the rest were the moms:)
I think the intro offer is still in force..

Lucas made the cover  because the backside of the book shows..the rest of the pic;)



But all the Littles are equally portrayed..poor Ray..no Ray though..I only noticed after..anyways the book is top notch..here within the week..at my door.
If you can get in on their fabulous offer..I suggest you do it..even if you cannot..they are different and lovely and we are happy to have one and I would definitely order from them again.
Customer service via email..was great!
(Again..they have no idea I am writing this:))..no compensation..

If you want to sit down and have some fun.. go see Gail at Painting The Hamptons..this recent post of hers was so much fun..
look at the tutorial..w/ supplies in hand..and lose yourself at the beach.

Gail is a very talented artist as well.. and her husband Hugh is also .They plein air paint together and I find their outings charming..I recently read My Paris Dream because of Gail on  another of her posts..her art was featured in the write up for Kate Betts ..

Ok now..the egg bread.. the recipe is from  an old book of mine..Better Homes and Gardens,Best Bread Machine Recipes  circa 1997book.Not the new one that Amazon has..an old one..and you can probably get it for a song~

I make the 1 1/2 lb loaf..and it's big:)
I don't bake it in the machine..I take the dough out..shape..braid..let rise and then bake.
This is not like our no-kneads ..or Ricardo's..it's a soft..slightly sweet ,,sliceable ..toastable bread.
Not rich like the challahs I make..
I love it..one slice..mayo..fresh sliced tomato  s and p.
Easy peasy..

La Recette~


3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of water
1 egg
2 tbsps butter or margarine
3 cups bread flour..
2 tbsps sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast

This is what I do..all liquids at the beginning..I melt and cool my butter first..add the rest..I use reg flour that we buy at Costco..for this bread..

I use the dough cycle..mine is 1.30 hrs..

I remove..shape..braid..cover let rise..and bake on stones..in a pre-heated 350 F oven..for 35 minutes.
It won't have a crisp bottom..crisp like our others..but I don't always want crisp .
I sometimes want soft..sliceable and delish.
I love painting,baking scones,making bread..
and many other things:)





I have since repainted these..twice more:)





My little trial run with the tutorial..one w/ pen one w/out.
The beach scene..not the Lori Davidson collage page:)I love that Digital page from Lori..where my humble trial fits in:)
I am a member of Scrapbooks Graphics and this was a latest offering..I could not resist the artist.
Have fun..and bon weekend~

P.S...We have finished watching Friday Night Lights..pity there are not more shows like this(Parenthood ..was too)..we must have been living under a rock to have not seen this fine series the first years it aired.
Great actors..storylines..
I am not a footbal fan..only when I see my littles in their uniforms and that's it..but this show is so much more than that.
It's about relationships and families..friendships and character..and mistakes..and making amends..and being good..and loving..careers,teachers,parents,addictions,afflictions,faith,courage.
Loved the cast so much.
Clear eyes,full hearts,can't lose.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A fun book~ and I guess a recipe too;)long...














Postcard from Torino♥

You know I am happiest at home..but when I get beautiful postcards..I travel in my dreams..
Hélène travels like no one else I know..
She lives in Cannes..with her beautiful family..and travels and travels and explores..
I send all her posts to Jacques.
I have loved watching her beautiful young boys grow into men..
I have loved watching her work with people that need help ♥
I cannot imagine a kinder caregiver.
I have loved seeing what a great daughter, mother,spouse,chef,friend ,author,photographer,poet, she is..
They were recently in Torino..I am sure a blogpost is to follow..right now..  there is a nouveau post..but not yet Torino;)
I am so looking forward to it..
every trip she takes..  we get to see everything..:)
Love that.

Today..Sunday  August 16th,2015...

See one of our trees in the backyard?  FALL colors starting..I noticed in town driving out today also..OM  way too soon:(

Since my blog is ..really a food blog..but I can't help but share fun stuff I find for you to try..I had better start my post w/ a recipe and what started my quest..

See the shrimp cocktails?
I fell in ♥ with this presentation at Cooking Melangery..not the first thing that I have copied from Yelena..
That blue ice and the pretty vintagey servers..  so ..I am not a tartare person..nor is Jacques..I really really wanted to make something pretty for my daughter's 40th birthday..as a starter..
if you can believe..I commented on Yelenas servers and she kindly offered to send me hers..I told her that one day she would be making a special dish ..for her own daughter ..and to keep them..but how nice was that?

so..I was on a quest..and I found 8..  4  each of 2 styles..resales..from local people here..
took a while..but I did find some..the hard part was the blue ice..can you believe I practiced?
That's the practice shot above w/ the practice cocktail sauce..too mayonnaisey~

My blender ..did nothing but whirl air below the ice cubes...even if I let them melt a bit or add water..
my ice cream machine..made ice around the circumference and a puddle in the middle..what finally worked was making blue ice cubes..putting them in ziploks..and smashing the ice..repeatedly.:)
Even Jacques was involved..

Giuliana..  placed the ice in the servers..while I fiddled with the rest..Had to make 8..The Littles just got shrimps on a plate w/ the sauce..The Middles got a real one..and so did the Bigs.

So here finally is the recipe..and not for the sauce you see in the photo..

a better one..a perfect one..

I made Ina's for Mylène's birthday and it's delicious..I love horseradish so I went heavy on the horseradish;)

Just in case you ever want to make shrimp cocktail served on blue ice;)
I am totally impressionable



I always love those quirky,cute,sweet cards I see here and there.
In May ..I pre-ordered a book from Amazon.. Creative Girl by Danielle Donaldson.
It FINALLY just came..
Enchanting.
I have never painted this genre..I followed her tutorial for one of her projects one morning and loved doing it.Imagine the possibilities.
The book is pretty..has tips..tricks..tutorials and ideas.
I then tried my hand at  making cards.. thought they would be so sweet.
What a talented girl Danielle Donaldson is.
You could certainly personalize each and every idea..
FUN book.♥
I would say this book is great for  ages 13-113..and I give it a full 5 stars.
That's saying something..it is already looking a bit worn..usually a book looks new..like FOR EVER.
How many books do we fall in love with online only to find not much applies to us?

This one is for everyone who likes whimsy.
Above are some practice runs..3 cards reserved for sure..I know exactly for who..and I have since added personalized words..messages..glitter..gemstones..:)
The girl w/ the blow dryer  and scissors and comb in her pockets..is my haidresser..I shouldn't say hairdresser..  I leave w/ wet hair.. she adds highlights  and low lights ..
In and out in one hour.
She is so kind..  and is a gardener..thus the gardens growing out of her head..:)
she dreams about her gardens while doing hair..she started very very young doing this..she just turned 40..it is her salon..the team never changes..that's how happy they are there.
Omygosh not fancy schmancy at all..another thing I love about it.
I have slipped and gone elsewhere over the years....my niece..is a hairdresser..and an excellent one and I love her.. but she could not do two colors..
not pink and blue..  brown and beige.
She too is accomplished..her own salon..a success story!
Anyway..all that to say I sent Josée the card..


You can make them itty bitty..or full page..

I know a certain talented  young girl in the US..California..Palo Alto..to be precise..who might enjoy this ..she is so crafty.
You do need watercolor paper..and watercolors..and a brush..scissors ..there is a list..but one can easily get away with just those.
Years and years and years ago..when I took a painting class with Sandy Ferguson..she taught us how to use liquid watercolors..w/ just 3 colors.. she had us paint a painting..mixing them to obtain other colors..that year..we were in Fl..and these PH Martins were so affordable compared to here..I bought a set..the sets have changed..but for the cards..I used them as DD does talk about them also.So happy to have found a use for them..love the bottles..
I also used vintage Grumbacher paints..a set of 18..in a metal box..watercolorsin tubes ..2 flip palettes..the paints are used..but have more than half in the tubes and they are all fluid..not dried up..
The original price on the cardboard box was still affixed.. Spécial..$1.49..!!!
Imagine that.


PS forgive the pics..day was dull and dark..and humid)  and again and again..  what a funny week here weather wise..
All my cameras hate that weather...being my offspring and old too..they are very much like me now.
The pics in DDs book are clear..and inspiring!
I must admit ..I find..when artists share how to books..they are being so generous with their talent..and giving such enjoyment to sooo many people.
A great gift.
A huge Pay It Forward~
PS She has no clue I am talking about her book;)
She has no idea who I am..:)

There are a multitude of ideas in this book..
If I take it to bed..it means something.
Anyone can make these dolls...and her other projects..
The book is available so many places.. online is where I got mine..at Amazon.ca.
Go have fun.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I love corn~and relish~










                                                                        the above are directional blooms:)













It's that August feeling..no other month feels like August..ok December too..and maybe May..but August is like the end to me.
I always said if I go away..end of August would be fine..my gardens have had the proverbial biscuit..
things look tired..forlorn..
as I was weeding one of them this afternoon..I heard those August crickets..August ones..they sound dry even thought it's been raining on and off for days it seems..
Some whites are blooming..Phlox "David" and all the hydrangeas varieties we grow..
some pinks..  but mostly GOLDS and yellows..
Noah is en route to Toronto w/ his mom for a getaway..we went to his swim meet last night.. he's so cute in his bathing cap and knee length Speedo..
he LOVES swimming and I can't believe how much he has progressed..
I LOVE seeing the kids swim..OMG to have their courage and tenacity..some are no bigger than my thumb..and take a breath every paddle w/ their goggles..I swear they melt my heart.
I clap loudest when Noah..Emily or an underdog finishes.

One lady has 7 children.I kid you not every one could be a Ralph Lauren ad.
I think she is 30.
She said she would have more..oh they're cute! The cousins too.

The 3 other Littles are in Sandbanks:) Great place for families and beach and fun..
I love getting pics:)

OK..so..

The few vegetables I have are still ripening..the garlic has been harvested and I enlarged that bed to plant twice as much this October..
I..adore corn..strong word but I do.
Not  mid -July corn,  only end of July and ..August corn.

Tastes so buttery even without the butter.
It's my fave thing about August apart from M's and L's birthdays...

I like it in salads too..Marie block your eyes:)  and I will be posting a great new quinoa salad we had today soon..so block twice:)
..this is like the beet salad I make except with chard and corn..and petals;),tomatoes from our garden and garlic from our garden..spring green onions..
..this salad is even good the next day.I had saved the beet vinaigrette and used that..easy peasy...but you can use any vinaigrette you like.
I only use half cup uncooked quinoa..one cup broth..it's plenty for a salad w/ leftovers for Jacques and I..


Another thing I like to do in August is make relish..
You may remember this one....la relish de Josée..I have made it and made it;)

In case anyone is going marketing ..  like I should be doing right now...and want a delish and pretty project..her relish (Tricia's this time)..is worth the effort..and mindfulness~

I made Tricia' s at Saving Room for Dessert..







You can find the recipe on her beautiful,appetizing blog.
I made a few changes,and not because I wanted to..it's because I was caught..w/ out yellow onions so used a large French shallot and a red onion..and I only had black mustard seeds..!  Well a smidge of normal and loads of black.

Make this when you have time to finely chop everything by hand..this is not something my processors would do well.

She was an inspiration to be mindful..and patient;)
Thank you Tricia...it is just the kind of relish we love...Sat. night we had burgers on the grill ,baked home fries and her relish was just right.
We are so lucky to learn so much..left right and centre through blogging.
I received my Martha Stewart..I was done in a heartbeat ready to pass it along..
magazines don't come close anymore I find to what we learn here...in our webworld.
Thanks for all the inspiration..s all the time.
Bon Weekend~