Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oh Goody!

Oh Goody..stands for Karolina..aka Goody Woody custom wood products..she has a line of beautiful large rolling pins..and a beautiful line of small rolling pins..you can even have your rolling pin customized..you may remember years ago I had one done with my blog's name..new wood products have been added..the beautiful boards.
She can personalize them..think of your blog..a dear friend..a collector of pretties..a nana for her Littles..with their names ..etc..a shop name..a bakery..a tea room..a housewarming gift..a foodie friend gift..etc..

..on Instagram I discovered Karolina..

..her photos are fantastic..and the rolling pins caught my eye..so different and cute..

I ordered one for a friend..personalized..regular size..and a small one for me..for me I chose the Scandinavian design..

In corresponding with Karolina she was great:) I had a few questions because..well Canadian currency is not US currency and I got a bit confused..she was so helpful..never missed a beat on our Etsy Convos.
The shipping was so fast!  And duty free.
Her products are top notch..Jacques has remarked on how beautifully crafted they are.:)
They come so well packaged..I am sure no harm can come to them.

There are sooo many to chose from.The ease of use was great.
They come with a recipe..I made hers and mine..the first I will share are the first ones I made above..I mean come on..how cute is that pin? 
They would be lovely things to collect lol.

Lucas came over and it's on a little antique washtub type piece of furniture in the kitchen w/ my antique scale..and he said..:"Oh look nana..that's cute".♥

I used that recipe I have shared a few times..the one I make the Starbuck's cookies with..

..the one Jacques and I LOVE..Google Translate..if you need to..I halve the recipe.

it's a little weird the recipe..because you have to play with it..

80 grams of butter..cream that with 60 grams of brown sugar....till it's very creamy..add 125 grams of flour and 50 grams of almond flour..the zest of one organic lemon..and a pinch of salt.stir..pour on work surface and knead until lovely and soft..
wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hr..
roll out..cut.. and then refrigerate again for about 20 mins..then bake at 350F  for about 20 minutes..check them dough..:)

My notes..

I use more butter..not sure why but for the perfect ratio of fat to dry..I need more..you will have to experiment..you could even add really soft butter afterwards..and knead again..if you find it too dry..the original poster said you could dampen your hands..not me..

I don't salt them because I always always use salted butter.

Lastly..that's the new watercolor book I bought..I like it..if I could paint out of my head how she paints I would be very happy..Joyce Hick's..I love her houses..fences..flowers..the book has exercises..I have done 4..she suggests 9x12..I am just not comfortable that big..so am going more in my comfort zones..
She says to use watercolors as if you were a millionaire!
I need manganese blue lol..she uses it everywhere.

This little post about cute cute things..well it was my idea..no one asked me to post a review..or say anything..I bought them myself...they were not sent so that I would review them..but..once I received them..had to share..
When I worked..every thank you meant the world to me.I was working  with a salary based on commissions..and when people pay for a service..that is thanks enough in the real world..
I was so fortunate..to get hand written notes to me..sometimes to my manager..on top of my salary.
I still have the notes..even w/ all the simplifying I have done over the years w/ magazines..letters..cards..etc..
well not all of them..many of them..

So this is like a thank you card to Karolina..:)

The snow is slow to melt..but we have had some beautiful sunshiney days..just not today..

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The cold led the way..to quite a storm..

Porch Snow.


..To probably the most accumulation of snow in one shot..than we have had all winter..schools closed..pile ups..cars buried..pretty..and yet not pretty.I have a warm house..light..things to do..food to eat.
Not so for everyone:(

Spring will come..it always does..it's a one true thing.

I baked cookies for all 4 boys and must admit these are addictive..they are from here..and her recipes.."rock" lol.

Anyways..baked the cookies..organized cupboards in the kitchen..
Noah had a ped day the day after his return from Disney and came to spend it w/ us..we hula hooped..(kids LOVE it) I do too..if you get one get the Wave one..the others are too light I find.This one seems to have water in it..it may take you a few tries..but you WILL get it:)
You cannot ..not laugh watching the kids ..and they laugh too..and once they get it..be prepared to count to..500 then 800 then at 1500 I said ok..you can go to 1500 each ok?(I am the counter)..

He painted in my craft room..had lunch..he will eat anything and be appreciative..and watched Back To The Future..

It was too cold to go out for Jacques and I so it was an indoor day.

We also..moved the printer from a desk in my craft room..so that I can have another area to paint on since the card table has chains and hanging lights under for the debut of my seeds.

Painted..  read..the last nesting days I guess..April should take care of winter~
No one paints Macarons and Paris Patisseries etc..like Carol..
seeing her art is inspiring ..so much so that you want to try..far cry..but fun to try..
one day I Googled macarons..and it helped to paint some..from real life..since I have made them..I can feel the shape..and seeing real photographs of different ones on Google Images..it helps..
I am better (I use this term loosely)..at painting something I see FLAT..3D is ..I don't know ..but it seems impossible to me..must get back to Drawing w/ the right side of the brain and that frame thing..:)
So here are my takes..the one top right is a blank watercolor postcard I bought at Sennnelier while with my friend..so I painted it for her to snail mail her..added some favorite stamps..
the bottom left was my first try..and the bottom right.. 3rd try ..incorporating some things learned from my Creative Girl book by Danielle Donaldson:)
I still LOVE that book.
I recently received..a Joyce Hick's book..it's out of my comfort zone..but I did the first exercise yesterday..it's fun to learn..it's not easy at all.
I loved this from Mary Oliver's book:)

"The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work who felt their own creative power restive and uprising,and gave to it neither power nor time."

I am not convinced they are the most regretful..but..
I think it feels good reading this no matter how awkward we can be in what we attempt..it's like being a child..and playing..and we stop all that way too soon.

My apologies to my friends on IG..you are seeing two of these pics for the second time.

Have a nice weekend~

My favorite show...watched the finale last night..if you haven't watched it..try to get it..this wasthe first season.

Remember my love for Parenthood? This is my new love.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cold again in our forecast~BRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Mushroom soup is very hard to make photogenic..but it's beauty lies within:)

Well we are bracing ourselves for arctic air this weekend..so more wood will be brought in today..and I have a chicken carcass et al..simmering on the stove for stock and soup etc..

We had tulips and still do..they just make the sunroom pop..and kitchen..I love tulips and how they droop and look like graceful dancers taking a bow.
My trick to keep them..tricks..when you get them home..snip about an inch off the bottoms..remove all leaves that will be under water..replace water every day..I use a ladle..yes..because that bowl is huge..maybe leave a couple of inches and add fresh..yes that's worth it to me♥
I hate the plant food..and stopped using a copper penny yrs ago..made no difference..these tips are what work here..
We had a few other colder days..and I made that Roasted mushroom white bean soup.I love it..not rich like the others I make ,and I love the roasted flavor..You can find the recipe here..I have been making it for years..However I DO drain my beans..I hate that thick slimey liquid lol..and you season to taste..add a splash of heavy cream if you want..read her directions carefully and make sure your mushrooms are well roasted:)

I was in a mushroomy day..see the little crescent up there?Under the Eiffel tower:)?
I had a sweet sweet client 100 years ago..I had a few:)Her kids were adorable..they would put on their scout and brownie outfits to show me♥They were young..she moved back to England..I wonder if she is still there..
anyway one day I was there and she served me those little mushroom bites..the recipe is typed up..above..as she gave it to me..
I must must mush share my original mushroom roll recipe from Jehane Benoit one day..Caroline and I are nuts about them..

I have been baking bread..this one from a great book I received..Josey Baker...real name)..I am always loving new recipes..my starter is still being worked on LOL.:)

Nancy sent me Mary Oliver's book..lovely essays to read here and there♥
I just finished They Left Us Everything..really liked it.
Just started Killer Chef;)

I may start some seeds this weekend..maybe..

See that adorable little March girl above?

This is the March page of Marie the  cookbook author/artist's 2017 calendar..♥

Have a lovely weekend~

And look who's having a ball..great mommy:)I would have never had the the courage to plan everything..book everything..get us there..and do all that just my child and myself.I admire her independence and her love of Disney:)

I think he may be smitten w/ Tinkerbell:)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Remembering Paris~

I have wanted to stop into this local  bakery to try their croissants..Jacques said:"Not flaky like in Paris".True.

We had a patisserie just below our accomodations..that was right above a BISTRO..it went from peace and quiet..to boisterous and street partying a couple of nights during Euro-2016.. pas du tout "funny"~;)

A tiny walk to rue Cler..we were the next street.I loved that area..if ever we went back it would be there or Montmartre..♥

If you are not near a pastry shop..

may I..

 recommend that dessert above:)

I am sure you have heard of Sticky Toffee Puddings..
I am not a pudding girl..
I am here to tell you that this is much more like a MOIST delicious cake  w/ a memorable sauce.
Jacques loves Pouding Chomeur..which is again more like a cake..cooked in syrup..but I think he loves this one even more.

And me? believe it or not..I could eat a whole piece.DECADENT deliciousness.

How did I find it ? 2006..I have kept almost all my LCBO Food and Drink magazines..time to let go..so little by little..I am going through them..quite quickly..and whatever catches my eye..knowing someone in my family will love it..I tear the recipes out and keep..this was in one of them..

Such a keeper!!

Print it out because it is a do again and again.

I used a 7x7 square springform pan and it was just the right size..do line w/ parchment as the batter can seep out.I think I had to bake mine a tad longer..do the toothpick test..keep the extra sauce in the fridge and warm up for every piece.Micro will do it.

Oh Yum.

I have loads of paintbrushes..well loads..not like what I see on blogs..but a few w/ the years..those are my faves up there..

There's a spot in my garden I like when it's filled in..it's that small fairy garden area..in it..to the right..is a big heavy old cement urn..weathered and beautiful..for  a few years fuschias have been in it..sometimes scaveolas..but I had this photo of it w/ the fuschias and tried to paint..first watercolor.. w/ M Grahams..

In Montmartre it was the first time I saw someone paint Impasto..well mine is more impasta..and will take forever to dry..but I love doing this and will look at some youtubes about it:)

The weather here yesterday and today is positively Siberian.
As for me..I'll sit in front of the fire later w/ wine and a good book..finally..that I am reading..

They Left Us everything.. so far so good..the story starts .. it is the eve of the principal characters' 63rd birthday....having just turned 63 a couple of weeks ago..I was hooked from the get go.
The story of  loss of parents..most recently her 90 + yr old mom..coming to terms with it..and organizing chaos and clutter in the familial home.
Have a nice rest of weekend..

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ronds Ronds Macarons~Take2.

Take 2..macarons~

I enjoyed making the first ones of this year..tried cocoa ones..
I referred to D Lebovitzs' recipe because a blogger used his and said they worked perfectly..
I could tell..maybe because of our climate..the mixture was too dry..and started over..adjusting.. a lot..this came out doable..this recipe..but too many adjustments to recommend it..however it taught me I now know what to look for..
Another tip I learned just recently from a new to me macaron maker..is to add brown food coloring for a real..well not real..chocolate color.And I will..next time I am near a store that sells it.

I have been Pinning macarons even more than before..and my daughter sent me some very cute ones..I think she sees my macaron making talent w/ rose colored glasses:)
We will see..

On another note..I follow all types of Instagrammers..blogs I follow..or moms..or bread bakers..artists..crafters..photographers..

One photographer I follow is from England..she is terrific..MeanderingMacaron..oh the cute homes..flowers..cars..pastries she posts..dreamy.

I am used to the homes in my little charming town..and at one point..(I cannot believe I actually did this..)I used to try and paint a small pic of the home they bought..or sold..if I thought I could remotely convey a feeling:)And offer it to them..

So  one day I was inspired to try one of her shots..

I emailed her  ..actually it's called a DM..lol.. and asked if she minded if  I tried to paint some..

..she responded :"Absolutely Not":)

I love that..

So I started w/ this one..most of her homes..shops..are straight on.
So nice of her to share her beautiful shots.

Another beautiful site for English homes is here..
Every day these Instagrammers post and post and post..
lots to see..lots to like♥
I had previously tried painting this on Fabriano paper w/ DS and M Graham watercolors.
This one is done w/ my Prima  The Classics and the silver in Decadent Pies..the paper is the cheapest Canson large pad.I bought it for my Littles..and was trying it.
If you look at  Meandering Macaron 's feed..you will find this pink facade.at about the 113th place as I type this..so it might be beyond that..she posts regularly.

A funny little Oli anecdote..he was over and asked grandad for more chips or something and grandad said :"Ask Nana"..he looked at me and I said:"Oli nana will never refuse you anything..she won't say no.."..he said:"anything?"  ..I said :"well not a horse or a car or a phone or an Ipad..you know..usual things.."
before he left he said can you buy me new mittens?He never asks for things except things that are already here..like crayons..a pen..a sharpener..
When he comes over he has been in the snow etc..everything is wet and I pop everything in the dryer..

I said you have mittens..but they are all wet..LOL
so I bought him mittens..and the next day I received this note from his mom:

So Oli was so proud of his new mitts this morning and he told me that nana would never say no to things ..except a horse and a giraffe:)

Have a good week..I am playing with paints and papers and all sorts of too many things.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pam' s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies~And a GREAT new cookie stamp:)

I love when the moms send me pics:)Look at my little Oli in his "the Fonz " jacket..I know the toilet bowl cover is not really  what I like to see in a pic..lol..but it's reality♥He's actually combing his hair!
Gosh when all 4 will be teens..I will be watching them;)
Like I did their moms..we had funny chats about this last weekend..I totally embarrassed them on one occasion..ok or 2 or three:)

So many cookies nanas like to bake~

I was taken w/ Pam's soft peanut butter oatmeal cookies..and they won the stamp of approval..you can find Pam's recipe right here:)
Thanks Pam!

Also I wanted to tell you about some top quality stamps..I always say top quality when they are..you may remember quite a few sets:)
Not all are created equal though..
Nordic Ware rarely disappoints..
This is a kit of three stamps..I wanted to make sure the recipe would work..as stamps can be iffypickyquirky little things...

These are spot on..and here is the delish recipe..
So fun..no flouring anything..you just kind of press the stamp in the dough..to kind of grease it..then put is sugar then press your 20 Gram ball.

I made half the recipe:) Looks how clear it stamps..love the designs..little waffles..shells..a flower..
the dough even works well with plunger type cutters as Mr Minion is clearly demonstrating:)
They are rich..chocolatey..and the taste intensifies once melting in your mouth.

Have a great weekend ..thawing here..

Did not think I would start seeds indoors..but I bought 2 packs from an organic gardener in my area..tomatoes..
"Dancing Smurfs" and "Stripes Of Yore"~

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Birthday Cake and Truffles~Looong..

So I am sure you can see..that our youngest daughter turned 40♥

She was celebrated with friends at a resto..in such a touching way..

here Mylène does the birthday dinner..combined w/ mine..hers is the 21rst and I am very close..
we had a great time.
All Mexican food..delicious..

I like making them a special cake..Mylènes' had Snow White on hers when she turned forty as she is our Disney Princess..

The cake I made was this Chocolate cake with Nutella  Buttercream Frosting..the decor..I saw in a Ricardo magazine..I saved the photo.But I have no clue..what yr..even if it was this year..!!
You simply place Pokys around it..ap 120 to be exact.Pipe a few rosettes and add ribbon.
I was once told I had the patience of Job..:)
In this case..I agree..skinny little things;)

The girls we have are fun..and smart and kind and loving.
Wonderful moms..
I will not go on and on..you get the picture..

and I received beautiful cards..these two..♥well these are the ones I am sharing..:)

All of them..so sweet..daughters ..so nice..brother..husband..friends.. niece,lovely cards.

but the above..again they go to French school..
I am so happy I am sweat♥

Re the Truffles..

I find them so pretty in these colors..like petits fours..when I saw them at..Sally' s Baking Addiction..
I Pinned them..under Valentine's..but then..they would have been too much w/ the cookies etc..still I had to try..I mean birthdays..parties..decorating cakes..and you can add a few decorations to these too..but overkill.
They are adorable..and that little spiral tool at the forefront of the second truffle photo..is "winner"..
All you have to do..is go get her easy truffle recipe..you will be smitten as I was.. she has a link to choco truffles w/ a video on how to use this invaluable tool:)
I know I love tulips ..etc..peonies..lilacs..ranunculus..irises..roses..delphiniums and hollyhocks..soon hellebores..gerberas ..hydrangeas..etc..
but it has been about 20 yrs since I have had one..an orchid..
this one came to live with us.
I am struck by the size of these flowers and the number of them..I hope I hope I hope I can get to bloom again once done.
it's a beautiful..graceful arch..

Wanted to show you the precious artwork..framed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ronds ronds macarons~ and sweet sweet artwork♥

Valentine's is ending as I am typing..I think everyone enjoyed their day..although at school..not much happened ..we asked Lucas..however our teacher daughter..well so many cute tokens of love from the kiddos she she teaches..

I am experimenting w/ different macarons recipes.. and manual settings on my new camera;)

This recipe is from..  a small batch macaron..the only advice to you is to concentrate on the whipped egg whites or whipped egg white..
the first time..I didn't whip enough..this was the second time..perfection!
The 3rd time I was cocky and overwhipped..you will know..now I know:)
My daughter knows her macarons more than me..she loved them.A lot♥
I did pulse my almond flour and icing sugar in my small food processor.

I have now made 2 different recipes and had made more in the past..next one..well the 3rd one..not next..will be different.

When you just cannot buy yourself florists flowers..( I was fortunate to get some♥ recently)..white agapanthus..carnations..gerberas..beeautiful!..but when you cannot..

I think Costco..has the patent for tulips where I live..

Pink macarons w/ pistachio ganache filling..:)The colors of..

Have you seen this?

I don't watch America's Got Talent..but Max showed us two links..

You have to watch this after you make the macarons:)Or while..

Grace Vanderwaal~ 12 years old.

Why do I tear up?A lot.

Love her..no beauty pageant fake anywhere.
I hope you love her as much as I did..do.
I hope she retains her natural persona.

By the way..she won.

And I know some of you like my chocolate Christmas house..at Christmas..the molds were unavailable..or outrageous in price..at the moment..those silicone molds are available at ap $15.00 on both Amazons.
Great additions for anyone.

Speaking of America's Got talent..

Susan and I go back 16 yrs..I remember because it is when we built here..and I found Gardenbuddies..
I "met" Susan there and for 16 years we have corresponded.
It has always been light and breezy..gardens..food..family..then Littles.

She has 2 daughters ..3 grandsons:)
I have 2 daughters..4 grandsons..

It just seems like many things happened at the same time..she once wore a bikini.. and so did I ..lol  now I wear a bathing suit..only in Fl because I can't go in the water with jeans..but believe me..I love maxi length sarongs..wish I could go in the water with them...

So this was in an envelope last week and I confess it touched me..I have to find a perfect frame..
she is an artist..this is my second original..and yet she never talks about it on her blog.. she is humble.
It reminds me of our potting shed a bit..I need to add cottage flowers in front..I will..I have enough elsewhere to move some..shh don't tell Jacques:)

I mean..how cute and adorable is this?
I find you can actually feel.."feeling" in art.
I sure did in this one.♥

A far cry from the gardens and our  borrowed landscape now..