Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Baking Will Start Soon~!

And I will most certainly start with these.. a variation of a Linzer cookie..I have a few cherished recipes..One from Good Housekeeping with pecans..But the last ones I made.. and made again...the recipe was included with the cutter and they were delicious.

They're pretty and festive on the Xmas dessert table..
The little cutter is worth it's weight in gold~


The recipe says it makes one dozen…..Mine made more..

1 1/4 cups softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups ground almonds (I added a splash of essence also)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsps raspberry jam(I used more as I had more cookies.
Confectioner's sugar for dusting.

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.Beat in flour 1/2 cup at a time..almonds and cinnamon.Continue beating until dough becomes slightly stiff.
Shape into a ball wrap with saran and ref. 30 mins.
Divide dough in half.
On a lightly floured surface..roll out the first half 1/8 inch thick..
Cut out plain rounds..

Place on an ungreased baking sheet..1 " apart.
With the other half..cut out with the heart insert..
Place those on an ungreased sheet.
Bake the small hearts too !

Bake in a preheated oven of 325 for ap 10-15 mins(Mine took at least the 15)until lightly browned.
Let cool 20 mins..

Spread some Raspberry Jam on the bottoms… top w/ hearts..
You can add more jam in the hearts..I didn't need to..

Dust w/ Icing sugar.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sandcastles In The Sky~


The only thing that would have made this castle more enchanting to if my darling grandsons had built it.. here.. today.~

It’s not Thanksgiving for us.. we celebrate ours the second Monday of October..
Still ..I know so many American friends..that I think of it today again..and can reflect on Thanksgiving twice.

I received adorable photos in the mail today..Lulu sitting on Santa’s knee..

Max.. lying on the floor laughing out loud..I could tell..
And Noah being overtaken by his adoring cousins..

Keep in touch.. always keep in have no idea what it means..

Tonight it won’t be turkey here.. shrimp pasta.. but I took out the NEW..
To share a bit in the celebratory mood.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Bonjour~ Who does this remind you of?:)The word? Her cups from Jain? The word she likes?

It was beautiful today.. Coolish..but beau!
It was also a special day..As I knew I would be meeting a friend IN PERSON..for the first time today!

We almost met about 1 year ago..but fate had it otherwise..
But this year..we had the opportunity to finally meet:)

I met Jayne today.. Jain and she had met already.. so I knew what to expect..
She is as nice and fun and pretty as Jain had said.What lovely people live in cyberspace!
What a nice girl!
It is amazing to me this internet.
I don't think I ever imagined I would actually MEET the people I grew to admire in written words..I have never ever been disappointed.
I can truly say..what you see.. is who you meet.
We had a lovely time together..and I hope to see her again.
Her eyes are blue like the sea:) like Jain's..
I ..on this eve of my American friends very grateful I had this chance to meet .
That's my way today of Giving Thanks.~

She met us for lunch..

We needed a reminder of our link:)

Too cute and funny ..we both offered each other April~:)

I will be sharing with you in the future beautiful placemats and napkins.

All prettily wrapped w/ ribbons that I will keep ..she knows I like ribbon..

A frame..Vera B like my backpack..I think I will put us in it:)

4 mugs that J is crazy about..and the cutest little cappuccino stencils! World Market..
Look.. How can you not smile and have a good day?

Thanks for making my day special Jayne...and Jain:)(We chatted after!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Enter~ Noir Et Blanc~

I imagined myself living beyond these doors while in Europe..
I took so many photos of doors and windows~

These are just a few of my favorites..

Have Fun and Play~

I really like this feature at Bighugelabs.

It's so easy..You can do some with family shots.

Easy as pie.. Pick the Magazine Cover and experiment!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Is there anything more beautiful than a Sunset?
Perhaps a sunrise.. with the promise and hope of a new day..
But the Sunset is so peaceful..the day is done..there's nothing more you can do.
What needed to be done is done..and the rest can wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Favorite Fall Cheesecake~

With my dear American friends Thanksgiving aroundthe corner..Ithought I would share my favorite fall cheesecake recipe ..
It's courtesy of Epicurious..

For praline
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans For crust
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted For filling
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make praline:Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Stir sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts and mixture comes to boil; boil 1 minute without stirring. Mix in pecans. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake until sugar syrup bubbles vigorously, about 8 minutes. Cool praline completely. Break into pieces. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight.)
Make crust:Preheat oven to 325°F. Stir cookie crumbs and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Add butter; stir until crumbs are moistened. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake crust until set, about 8 minutes. Cool. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Place in large roasting pan.
Make filling:Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in flour and spices. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin, bourbon and vanilla. Transfer to crust.
Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to reach 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake cake in water bath until center is just set, adding more water to roasting pan as needed, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from water. Cool in pan on rack. Remove foil. Run small sharp knife between cake and pan sides. Chill until cold; then cover and chill overnight.
Release pan sides. Place cake on platter. Sprinkle praline over, leaving 1-inch plain border at edge. Cut cake into wedges.

Black and White and Red all over~

Remember that old joke? What's black and white and red all over which really was and READ all over?
The newspaper! How I laughed the first time I heard that as a 10 year old:)
Jain suggested reading more and I followed up..I am in the midst of the last one..The sequel to the Kite Runner..Do you often chose a book by it's cover?I am so guilty of that quote.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wishin' and Hopin'

I only had to wish for it... and there it was~Now... if I could wish for the canadian dollar to climb... and the economy to change..and it would..well..then I would WISH it... out loud.I feel sorry for friends who's families have lost jobs.. I would wish for them to get them back. For people to keep their homes.. I would wish out loud for sure. I am lucky my little wish was granted this morning... A few more now please..:)

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I also want to pass my first Blog award onto one of my all time favorite blogs, fabulous fifi. I had the opportunity of meeting Fifi.. and she is a delightful as her blog..Go see It's eye candy galore..I love her site.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sea Urchins~

Look.. all the same ..yet all so different.Aren't they a bit like all of us?All different shapes and sizes.. even different hues and shades..But intrinsically.. mostly all the same..We all need pretty much the same thing.To love and be loved.It pleases me no end when different nationalities.. from different parts of the globe.. meet..and share sweet moments with one another..Sharing laughter.. of children and customs..All under the same beautiful sky.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Little by little..I will share some of Provence.. I had the opportunity of a trip of my lifetime by visiting Provence ..Tuscany ..Umbria..and Rome this year.

Our arrival was in Marseilles.. and we drove right away to Cassis..a beautiful harbor town... We spent the afternoon visiting this charming town.. and then headed straight away to our first port of call..

Gordes.How I loved Gordes..I highly recommend it. We stayed at a darling darling place...recommended by a friend's son. I will always be grateful for the recommendation... From the time I arrived..until I left.. I was enraptured. How can you not be when you start the morning off with a breakfast under the wisteriad pergola.. listening to classical music.. enjoying fresh home made jam and croissants.. freshly squeezed orange juice..and aromatic coffee beautifully presented.

Our days were spent touring local markets.. co-ops.. beautiful medieval towns. All the while driving amidst vineyards..charming narrow roads and round abouts:) I took over 3000 photos.

The breads and cheese we ate..the wine we tasted..the sights we saw. I hope I never ever forget them.


Is demonstrated in many different ways...To me a true blue friend is of the utmost importance.

I never actually thought one day I would meet someone who actually had blue in her name:)

Actually her nom de plume name has blue in it..not her real name..But that's how I first met her..through that name..

She could not have picked a more appropriate nom de plume..

The bonus ? Her real name is part of one of my favorite sayings..:"I am over the moon".

I was again at lunch.. Over the moon:)

I love this quote by Anais Nin..

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My mother was an artist.. a true artist..Studied art at a famous art school.. was gifted in a very special way..
I have some of her beautiful art work in my home..And feel so lucky. Every day..I am blessed to see them as I walk around our home...

One of my daughter's inherited her beautiful black hair.. A daily reminder of my mother.Not that I need any visual reminders..She is part of me in an indescribable way. In an indelible way..

Unfortunately..I was not gifted in that way..But everything artistic attracts me. Anything creative.. I am drawn to:) That's why I usually have my trusted Winsor &Newton/ Cotman WaterColours Sketcher's Pocket Box close by.. whenever I travel..and whenever I am home... I think this is my third:) I am no better than at my first..But love it as much as my first Crayola or Prismacolor box..

One of my daughters recently shared a photo of one of her darling boys..Lulu.. smiling in front of a huge watercolor he had just made. I only saw it from afar.. but to me..

It was a Monet.

If The Earth Laughs In Flowers..

Then the sea surely laughs in shells~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ebb Tide.

Getting my feet wet.

Trying to learn about journaling this way.. Yesterday I tried my hand at more than one photo and ended up with photos and text askew. I can barely talk with no can I journal with hardly any photos:)?

I'll try and get around this..

Because I do want to have a way of looking back in writing.I kept a journal while in France and Italy..and enjoyed it.

I want to keep track of my family gardens changing and my kitchen adventures.

I love taking pictures and hope to marry all together here.

All play work here.

I hope I can learn quickly.It looks like fun.

Beau and Bon Bread

I really truly enjoy baking bread.. I am certainly not a pro..I only know the basics.. But I enjoy everything about making bread. I used to make it ..only in the bread machine..dough cycle.. then form.. embed herbs..etc..let rise and bake on a stone in the oven.. Then came along new and fun techniques.. the No- Knead breads..the Almost- No- Knead Breads.. The 5 Minute Artisan Breads..the Let -Me -Try- Julia's -Bread- Again breads..:).. Cafe Chocoladas ..Little Piggy Breads..made me want to try them on the spot! I like them all.. I even like my Kitchen Aid let the dough rise in the stainless steel bowl..with a bag on top.. I like pull- aparts and garlic.. cheese stuffed and pizza doughs.. breadsticks and focaccias.. My husband's breads and pizzas too.It's even better I think when I don't make it:) I guess I have never met a bread I didn't like:) I highly recommend The Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes a Day book if you would like to get started making homemade bread without a lot of equipment at all..yet a multitude of options for delicious,different breads. I think it would make a great gift also. With Christmas right around the corner..I would definitely give this book numerous stars as a thoughtful gift for the baker you know on your list. Tie it up in a nice new French teatowel:)w/ a shiny new bread knife in the ribbon if you really really like the recipient:) I just looked up at my husband for the next few lines..and he said "Don't look to me as your muse:)" But he did just add ...that toasted.. the bread is equally delicious! And the possiblities are endless...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love Letters...

I look at every e-mail I get from my daughters as love letters..
When I am home ..across the street from one and her family and maybe 15 minutes away from the other and her family.
Or when I am miles away.
We're close..but I still love the written note.. even if it is the new net way.
Because I can read them again.. and smile..or laugh out loud..and because I can enjoy the candid photos they often attach of their children.
I save them all.

And the newscasts ..the latest everything they do..
from actually having a whole sitting up for the first time..
Their first day of school..their first steps.
My daughters are amazing at keeping us up to date one everything.
Last night Lucas..our Lulu.. caught what his brother Max had and his mom has.. an ugly bug that gives you a very upset stomach..Poor darling is 3 now and realizes this is not normal ..

He woke up with his favorite pink blanket not so pink:(..
His tummy still upset he still needed trips to the bathroom.. As his little body was reacting to this upset stomach.. he asked his mommy if he was doing it the right way..:)"Like this?"

3 and pre-school is... I guess the transitional age.. of letting it happen without knowing.. and knowing.
She is always so in tune with her small boys ..she never misses a word action..a reflection.

He was hugged.. taken care of..kissed and put to bed in a clean fresh nest.
He loves his mommy and his eyes light up every time he looks at her.
I know..I see it almost every day.
It's a wonderful feeling to see your children be role models for yourself..

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have always loved the sea..
Each one I have seen..
From The Florida.. to the Cape.. to a Caribbean cruise..
Their simple beauty soothes my soul..
and replenishes my spirit.
The sound,the color,the expanse.
The shells, the waves, the sunsets.
The diamonds sparkling and dancing about.
The sandpipers,the plovers,the seagulls,and the pelicans..
The sea turtles and manatees..the dolphins and the crabs:)

I feel so small and so humbled and the face of the greatest landscapes..nature's own....