Monday, April 24, 2017

It's slow..but it's coming..









Oli loves Noah..









After the picnic







It's seems so slow to finally get here once you have been teased..Sunday was such  a tease..

It was the first really sunny day w/ scillas and snowdrops..and buds on trees..

It was the day Caramelle and Bécassine came to love with us..lol that is a typo and I am leaving it..live with us is what I had intended to write.


Alain brought his work of art/heart over w/ a friend's trailer and Frédérick helped him set it up..etc..
It..is the chicken coop Alain built for us..it is a mini version of his large coop..

the back corner here  was a busy place till almost 3PM..all 4 boys were there..Mylène came..she had been to the gym..Caroline came she had been running..I came.. I had been making muffins lol..and Jacques kept the boys company getting things that were needed along the way..

it is so cute..  I am leaving it natural..the climate in QC is not ideal for painting decks..wood..white etc..pretty soon the large shrub in back will be bushy, leafy and green..and that side part Alain and Noah are working on is a planter box..much too early to plant in it ..it will come..

Alain gathered everything we needed..even got the chickens and built it all..
Jacques and I both love it..and I gathered my very first warm egg..the next day..the temp was 32F..
I got up at 6.15 like  a farm girl..and they had not laid yet..I woke them up..they were upstairs sleeping;)

Not sure if you spotted the vintage bell..Alain bought that for us for the coop..just so cute..I hung a frame in their coop..laughs ..everyone laughed..I know they appreciate it:)

I'll show you an update when it is finished w/ flowers and shrubs filled in..

I won't show you Noah's hands full of worms..to give to the chickens..because the shot is so clear..you might feel queazy;)

The boys had a picnic..made discoveries in the secret garden..and did what boys do..get filthy.;)

Remember my tulip tip..well it didn't work w/ this mixed bunch





See..they drooped everywhere..same treatment..so I guess you just never know and no one is an expert;)

I named this bouquet Heather;)  
Because..she knows better than me;)


By the way I made these..and they are delicious..from Dorie and Tutti Dolci..
How can you go wrong?:)
See the cut out? My taste test;)

since this is a food blog..I had better stick to the program..




Honestly..every moment/chance/second..I get..I am outside..when the weather permits..

so cooking takes a slight backstage..

and the gardens and girls become first and foremost..

I know I am posting early..but all of a sudden in QC..

everything happens at once..I can't skip a beat for this journal of mine..

The garlic is all up..

Who knew curly parsley was a perennial?Here..

Thyme..oregano..chives..lovage..rhubarb..all poking..up..

I have started seedlings and dahlias..and foolishly maybe..I have planted Ranunculus♥

Time will tell..

Right now..it's..



And FEATHERED FRIENDS .
Grateful.

Friday, April 21, 2017

~













So you saw chaos in the kitchen for Easter..

this is my peace and quiet version....in the kitchen..not nearly as lively or happy or busy..yet I am ok w/ calm too.


all seasons are clearly seen through our windows..and I am so grateful for this....white..brown..green..technicolor..this is where I spend a lot of time...

there's a lot of stuff going on..in my kitchen..actually probably everywhere and maybe that's why I am a tidy freak..you can't have collections AND a mess..that becomes hoarding to me..I need to see everything in it's place..
yet I can visit..anyone who is not like that and appreciate their fun.

What is it they say?"Dull women have immaculate homes?"
I am on the verge of dull..Goodie One Shoe.


I like looking at things that make me happy inside..like Rita Moreno I guess..just saw the inside of her home..she's not living in her house to be like a magazine on a shelf..it's got her stuff..:)

So..looking  outdoors for one..for me..is a treat....a basil plant..my Cucina things..the scent sends me to the moon..
the jade plant that was almost a peanut when I bought it to go into this planter a friend gave me..

Nancy's  Sel..Café..Thé..etc..  apothecary very REAL  French jars.. etc..bought in the south of France maybe 40 yrs ago..more more.. even..


I think I am taking those w/ me when I go..I don't want to see them on Varage Sale..or in a Garage sale;)

Avez-vous lu mes belles filles?:)♥
These have to b kept..like my mother's things:)

I don't like windows hidden by curtains here except bathroom and bedroom..lace in the dnr..  darkness to sleep..apart from that..please let the light shine in..
right now is possibly the ugliest time to look out..no leaves..brown grass..leftover leaves..bleak w/ the rain..

as I type..I can't help but feel for people that live in flooded areas  right in my area..we are by a lake..bt we live UP the street,,..state of emergencies have been declared..evacuations..

can't imagine:(  

Can't imagine Les Champs -Elysées....




I visited chickens this week..gorgeous chickens..

I like naming chickens;)


I always used to cut my tulips..the stems..then remove leaves that would be below the water line..change the water every second day..fill my big round fishbowl w/ water..and place my tulips..eventually they drooped and I loved that look..but this look is cool too..from the Marchande De Fleurs tip..at a flower market..

don't cut..place like an inch of frigid water..

and they will not droop..and they will last...top off w/ ice cubes every few days..

Jacques likes this upright look ..so does  Caro ..I do too..but the loose side of me  ..likes the droopy look too..

I made this of Marie's w/ Jacques' home made hot Italian sausage and a ton of that basil..it was good!
I had not used cottage cheese in yrs..this makes 2 meals for us..we ate half..so easy and good!

I made some quiches..because I had so many pretty eggs:)!
See the minis?The little brown ones..?

These  are what ..eggs look like from new laying chickens..small and gorgeous and fresh..they will get bigger..

Pol Martin's  quiche recipe..my fave recipe..so much cream!  LOL whipping..thick cream..  1 .5 cups to 3 eggs..well worth the indulgence though..That makes 2 dinners for us..

I..  by chance..read on a Wet Canvas forum..(I had Googled something which led me to WC)..that Legion paper was sending out a set of 3 sheets of watercolor paper..samples to those who asked..
I went and asked....  and forgot about it..you know Canada..US..shipping etc..I thought what are the chances that it applied to here..

out of the blue about 1 month ago..I received a note saying they had not forgotten about me..and then on Good Friday..(delivered the day before..no mail here GF and Easter Monday)..I had the sheets..
how totally generous of them  ..I was with my daughter and she said..: "Wow ..$9.50 in shipping..for 3 sheets of paper.."..
I acknowledged that ..it was indeed very very generous..

I was so surprised..anyway..I tried half of one sheet and I am smitten..I never frame what I paint..I have an oil of Lucas that is sitting in a frame..unframed but on display..but this one I did frame..I matched the frame to the one I chose for Susan's beautiful gift to me..and now they are one above the other by my cookbook/telephone kitchen office area:)

I love the paper..and will buy more.

So samples work.
Next time I am in the US..  chaching.:)♥That good!

Have a nice weekend..at least I think I am starting to see buds on trees.










Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017~














Easter 2017~

Sometimes we have snow..sometimes we have rain..sometimes freezing..rarely sunny and mild..and never ..ever..ever..what I see on blogs or IG w/ daffodils and tulips and bright green grass and little chicks running around..
..here..you just never know..

Wuthering Heights heavy..misty..spitting rain kind of day here..it was..

once a week ..about..I wash my hair and blow dry the kinks out..straight..I ironed it as a teen..w/ wax paper..lol..
one of my daughters arrived earlier in the AM to hide clothes pegs all over our property..more later...she told Jacques:"Tell mom it's frizzy hair day.." I was making the salad inside..

and thought..just let it go..so I dampened the ends..and stuck 3 bobby pins in it..and went outside later in the rain to take photos etc..
so Janis Joplin I was again..(Respectfully.)

Easter is so different for us now..

Little ..I had my dress coat..gloves..shiny shoes..went to church all my life w/ my mom until she went to see Him up close and personal..I was 19.:( You all know how many tears I have shed over that day throughout my life..


I married that yr..and was saddened to learn I could not marry in church because Jacques was a divorced man.He was divorced when I was 13..
 At 19 I was still going to church..

so we married at city hall and the Justice of the peace said to Jacques:"Better Luck This Time"~
Well my romantic notions of a wedding in church..being blessed by the priest..didn't happen.

I stopped going to church.

When we had the girls..we went back..they were baptized..had their first communions..etc..then the girls grew up..and it was harder to get us all to go..

and by then..I was ready to stop.

we returned for about 1 yr a few yrs ago..and have stopped again..


All this to say..that Easter here..is really all about the bunny.

Our children and their children..are ..well of a newer generation here..that seems quite prevalent.

It does not change what our beliefs are..just the way we live them.
So all this to say..

this post is all about cake ,braided breads,cookies and straws.
No religious context..so forgive the materialism of the whole thing.


Mylène..brought empty baskets and the boys had to find 25 clothespins each to earn their filled basket..the last few yrs..the eggs were found in a heartbeat,this made..the hunt outside last even longer..in the spitting mist..;)

so the pins were packed away and the filled goody baskets brought in..and the fun continued..I think they had a ball..at one point it was pouring and they all went out and took their shirts off..and ran in the rain..(I had daughters in pretty dresses w/ dolls..) this is all new to me..but I find it hysterical and wish I had done that.;)  Not yesterday..but young..:)

I made cookies..the ones I make every yr..just used a unicorn cutter....let me tell you that horn..is FRAGILE..in case you ever make them..I made the speckled cake..I had Pinned some last yr..just used a coconut white chocolate cake recipe..(Part boxed lol)..my girls loved it little..

the spattering is messy..I did it outside..you can do it a few ways..just Google around;)

I made these cute breads..all the kids ate the eggs  too!

Just a word of caution..one recipe makes 8 rolls..not 4:)  I doubled it..lol..

the last thing you want to do one hour before everyone arrives is braid 16 buns..I had made 8 eggs so only 8 had eggones..the rest I put sprinkles on them..
..I felt so silly..I often..do not read through a recipe..I read..makes 4..done..double it..later in the body of the recipe it says form 8 balls blablabla..I have told  the more than delightful fabulous talented accomplished fantastic blogger..just so she fixes it:)
You can find the recipe here..

Made a clam chowder..you can see the lovely ladle..lol..the basting brush for the loaves..the tulips Noah gave me:)  
A clam chowder..made te oyster crackers..we don't have any here..a spiral cut ham..a Goat's mustard sauce:)..and  chinese salad..where it got that name must be because of the bean sprouts..it's a classic 1970's salad w/ spinach and rice and raisins and cashews and sprouts etc..

The day was..

Chaos.my beautiful chaos.

Mylène ordered  adorable straws for the Littles..(not so little anymore..)..
and I loved that shot Caroline took of me w/ Lucas..I hate having my photo taken..  not crazy about the bobby pins ..frizzball hair..the bright nail polish that is already OFF..LOL and all the at the moment clutter lol..but I love the feeling..this is how I love them..so much.



Here's a funny little story...



Katie and Brooklyn..Oli's friends..walked by and saw me working in the garden..Saturday..they had baskets ..I said:" Hi Girls!"

Katie said: "Hi!"And walked up to me w/ Brooklyn..they were selling cookies they made $1.00 each♥

Brooklyn still had a few..I bought her bunny..Katie..had that half egg left..lol.

I asked her if someone ate half? She said ..:"Oh no..Vanessa broke off half.."I told her I would of course buy it♥That it looked delicious.


In the words of Art Linklletter..Kids say the darndest things.and I love that.

They don't care if their hair is frizzy..if they have bruises on their eye (Oli.. a helping Nana in the garden mishap)....or missing teeth..they don't care if they are shirtless in the rain..and they are such good people.
If I had to pick friends..they would all be children.


So those were my Easter purchases apart from 3 large Kinder Eggs:)

P.S. I always post about Easter because my blog is my journal..not my deep down personal one..just my every day one.
I like to come back and look and read..
Have a great day..

I'll be washing my floors lol.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Just..like right now..nothing exciting..














I discovered that the recent glass art table I bought on a whim w/ Jacques..(he found it..he brought me to it..it's his fault..)..I discovered ..it makes an amazing light table..better than my small light box and better than my computer..
I rarely use a box..rarely..I prefer looking at a photo and drawing it out..but I tried w/ that photo I took..

I placed it on the table..the watercolor card on top and a light under..traced the outlines and the sign..then set myself up and painted..
I liked doing it..cheating in a way..but it works:)

The seedlings are popping up..those are calendulas..the tomatoes are getting really big..this was Aril 5th!

Tried these braids..so cute and fun..but I may have erred..found them here.. a blog I like..and she had linked to here..  At BHG they divided the recipe..she didn't..I got confused and divided..froze the other half..and  made 4 braids..not sure if they shoud have been smaller?

Oh well..cute and good.
I did use semolina..I get it atan Italian grcer.I use it in pizza doughs sometimes.

I signed up for a weekly delivery of a farm basket..not a regular farm..a conglomeration of farms..  rooftops..  dairy..etc..

once a week they will deliver to a local spot.
I think I am smitten..

No..I don't think...
I am smitten..♥♥


the greens..were so crunchy and fresh..the eggs so pastel and free range..the microgreens beautiful.

Friday night w/ the micro greens atop..I made baked Bang Bang shrimp.. ***** sautéed chopped baby bok choy w/ sesame oil..and garlic chips.. and sweet rice w/ red peppers and spring green onions..love that sauce:)

Baked..so the only really bad thing is the Bang Bang sauce..
C'est la vie:)

***
I don't even turn the shrimp over anymore..I have made this a few times..

I now brown my Panko first..makes a prettier coating..
I add  this to the sauce..



Linda told me about it..she sent me some years ago..I have never looked back:)

It adds zing and color..w/ the sesame seeds..
really good.

It was a thrill for me to add all the farm basket ingredients..

I'll pause till after Easter..and then share some of the fun stuff:)

I am sorry the first pic..the watercolor one..is greyish..not sure why..

I am so happy to have been able to grow things under lights here..

I was able to go to  one or two..MTL flower markets this week..and I cannot say I am enamoured..at all..:(

that's one thing in Paris..that took my breath away..HUGE bunches,

healthy..etc..presentation..♥♥

I am not ready to say that of MTL..  in April..in a flower market stall.

Actually très disappointed.

Maybe more later..

until then..





PS..I added my watercolor..a second time..brighter..  thanks to a really nice person who actually took the time to take mine..brighten it and send it back to me..

you know..these little acts of impromptu kindnesses..are just tops in my books.
Thank you Bryonna:)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Deliciousness~














My newest fave dish..

apart from my umpteenth newest fave no fry General Tao..and sauce..and Jacques'..new Korean Beef recipes. this is my hands down favorite here..

that sunny Sunday..we just had?Remember?

I made this..keeper..rrrr..

I do have some tips though to actually make it more delicious.

Never use   bottled roasted red peppers..(if you can)..
This late summer..coming up..(let's not rush it along..)..get a bushel of fresh red peps and roast them on your BBQ..  skin  them and macerate in basil..evoo and your home grown garlic;)
Then bag and freeze..

you will have so many bags of delicious roasted red peppers that don't taste like brine..

So yes..I used ours..and in the vinaigrette..I added the juice that's in the bag..so the vinaigrette tastes like all that goodness too♥

We baked our salmon at 350..for 25 mins..and I did not have escarole so used baby spinach..I didn't even miss the escarole..in fact I don't even remember what that tastes like ..no fresh dill either..but I used  dried..not at all as pungent..but worked..
I love this!
We ate the whole thing.Serve w/ additional wedges of lemon..I like lemon;)

Here it is..but if you don't love it..it's the peppers fault.

Next time..I'll make sure my asparagus are cut and placed prettily..I just got too hungry..I take 5 pics quick max and then we eat..and that's if it's room temp..warm..2 pics.
And I'll make sure the salmon plating spatula is facing upward..hmm..maybe she should be swimming downward:)

This is great!

PS..if you cannot wait till late summer..just roast in the oven now..but bag and evoo and basil and garlic them:)

About 18 yrs ago we had salmon at a friend's home..she had bought knives like these on Ebay w/ the forks for fish..I was able to find some in such a pretty vintage case..

still like them..♥all these 18 yrs later;)

Monday and Tuesday we had glorious sun..the trees are reaching to the sky..the buds wanting to go forth and pop in a few weeks..
The indoor plants are happy happy..makes for nice indoor color.

So I think I figured out a way to make that cookie stamp  dough I love so much..work for all of you..use a Food Processor.

As soon as it comes together.  when you are adding the last of the dry ings..Stop.
You may need less than the recipe states..just stop..and follow suit for the rest.

This recipe:)

It's still my fave..  it's the brown sugar and lemon zest..:)  and almond flour.

And I have to show you how Susan's turned out..perfection!

Go have a look:)




I wish you all a nice weekend..

and may you always have  some cupcake people in your lives♥

In any way shape or form.


Been prepping Easter..it's underway..





Sorry fellow Instagrammers for the repeats...