Sunday, May 31, 2015

Peter Rabbit and Being ..Une Fleur Bleue~

Being.."Une Fleur Bleue"~

Means being tender,sensitive,sentimental.
The color blue signifies tenderness,poetry~

I love blue flowers..des fleurs bleues..just not dyed blue flowers..never..
only flowers that bloom blue in the garden~

I tend to have a mainly blue/lavender garden the last week of May first week of June~with bits of yellow Irises and peonies showing up:)

The Baptisia is up..the first glad I staked some..Sat. we had some hard rain fall..and Korean Lilacs..the Alliums~the Pansies are still going strong..
Johnson's Blue Geraniums..
The Ajuga is neighbor's the in front of a bench and has become invasive..
You know what?

Looked like a postcard.
Some invasives certain spots..are POETRY:)

I had been Pinning Mr McGregor's Garden..because of our small,new "potager"~

Too anxious to wait for blue felt as I have none left between the Christmas felt decorations and the dolls..
I tore off a pocket on some of my gardening jeans and made a wee jacket and felt shoes..Peter's clothes ..that Mr McGregor used for a "scarecrow"  I have one now..and will make more..felt though...
I love everything Beatrix Potter..
Imagine my delight in finding seed packets..from..: Strangers And Pilgrims On Earth~
They are adorable!
I only wished I owned a laminator..I covered it in plastic:)

They are so so cute.
Thank you Jes~

We did have sunny bright periods Saturday..but such high was really a sign that the skies would open..but the BBQ was had been 100F in that exact area..just a little earlier..and then the rain cooled it off..
Jacques had started the BBQ while the sky was blue;)
God bless him..really..
No wonder I never learned to light the BBQ.

Last time I made Ricardo's Rhubarb cake..was in daughter had found the recipe..I have shared it here before..but the day we went to meet Grizzly..Wednesday..she had made one..and Jacques enjoyed it I made it again;)
You can never go wrong with Ricardo.

That daughter..Mylène..and Noah..and Grizzly came for lunch..♥so it was fitting..
In the afternoon..  Grizzly and Ray met;)
The 2 doggie cousins like each other.
Good news.

It's almost 6PM  Sunday..tomorrow is June 1rst.
Imagine that!

La Recette~

Gâteau à la rhubarbe de Monette

Ingrédients (1/2 cup) unsalted softened butter, 1 egg,375 ml (1 1/2 cups) brown sugar,5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla,500 ml (2 cups) flour,5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda,1 pinch of salt,250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk ),500 ml (2cups) fresh cut in cubes rhubarb unpeeled, of 1 cm (1/2 inch)...Topping 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar5 ml ,(1 tsp) ground cinnamon
Prep time 30 min.. Cooking time 1 h Portions 8

1 .Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Butter a springform pan 20 cm (8 po). 2 .In a bowl beat butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla with a mixer until homogenous. 3 .In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add previous mixture alternatively w/ buttermilk. Add rhubarb and mix w/ wooden spoon..Pour in the springform pan.. 4 .In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon.Sprinkle on the cake.. 5 .Bake in middle of oven ap 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean:). can use frozen rhubarb..and you can use vinegar mixed w/ milk to sub the buttermilk..

The simplest ingredients sometimes pack the sweetest punch..Moist tasty.. and with seasonal fruit from here.

PS..I used only 1/2 cup of brown sugar this time.. It was just as good!
I did add a sprinkling of icing sugar since it cracked and was not terribly photogenic..

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jaws....and Max ,Noah and Grizzly..,Gardens~

It's no secret our darling Max has a fixation w/ sharks.
I had no idea the day I mentioned the movie Soul Surfer and Bethany Hamilton..that Max would be so smitten.
Mind you these boys FISH..
In Florida..the whole I click..
The boys,dad,mom..enjoy casting and casting and watching and waiting and catching.
They are good.
You never ever hear..:"I am bored"~
They have their bait..eeewww,lures,rods,book about which fish they can catch and cannot..

They have caught small sharks..
funny though..when their dad prepares lobster..
it's a different story..
They can bit a bit squeamish at that.
Anyways Max's bday this year is shark themed.
They are all going to Toronto..there is an aquarium w/ sharks..they will stay in a cake at midnight..and have fun en famille before his celebration dinner at home.
We will do what we always do and take him to lunch..he gets to pick a gift or two.I jumped the gun this year because where would I find sharks?
So Amazon..was the source for his Shark Toutou(furry friend,stuffie)..EBAY the source for a silver shark necklace and a shark's tooth bracelet..and Ebay for this shark cookie cutter that came in a set of 6 different sea world cutters...I had some..but not one shark.
I made the usual Sprinkle Bakes sugar cookie I have posted..and whipped up..some sort of Royal Icing.
I have given up on outlining...for the moment.
I think I would need a class..The outline is often too hard and cracks..
the lines not flowing like the ones I see on blogs..
so I head to flood fill right away:)
No lines just flood the cookie..
Then add food marker and icing accents.
I bought a little globe shaped vase and decorated it like the sea  with shells and a net..
Easier to give  this way and Max may actually notice..
Do you know he has known the exact countdown in days to his birthday..geesh since Christmas I think.

I think he will like these:)
8 years old..
So much so..I cannot believe I made the sand dollar cookies in 2012~
They are so easy and so good too..
And then 2010
That post brought a tear to my eye when I reread it recently..
Someone I "knew"  through my Texas..
was just such a nice nice person..she would send me links to recipes for the boys..  if she made paper things that were so cute she would send me one.. she once sent a JoAnn's fabrics craft bag..we spoke of fairy gardens and Texas..and here..about our husbands..and food..
When I posted about Rod McKuen and my LPs..on this particular post..she wrote and asked if she could send me some of hers..
I said no..I had his poetry books and I was all grown up now..and didn't even have a turntable any more..
But I just could not get over all her kindness..
She is the one her husband wrote to me to tell me of her passing.
I think about her so much.
A little angel in heaven fo certain.
Probably overlooking all our fairy gardens now.

The peony side  garden will bloom soon:)  The Alliums lead the way as do the Korean Lilacs..the scent at the moment is so nice..I have about 4 clematis in there two growing up ..and 2 meandering..some roses..Irises..poppies.. a yellow tree peony..odds and ends..and hydrangeas at the back..I added cleomes and salvia at the front for wher the Forget Me Nots ..Forget Me.
The thing about it's green before color happens..and green it is..
The round cutting garden is sooo green..can't wait for the pops of color.Some roses..Irises..a tree peony..shastas.. rudbeckias..perennial geraniums..the hostas circle my little Trevi Fountain:)

My little family across the street got a new camera and let me play with it♥
It gets a lot more in than mine..and these were automatic!
Mind you it's a very good camera:)
I would love to be a camera tester...
I think I would..just to see how they all work differently.
You know..I thank God for my liking hobbies.♥

Some of you might remember Noah's dog Kali  went to heaven while he was in Florida..she was older and apparently had a weak heart..we never knew.. and she was checked regularly..
Anyways.. a couple of months ago..they went to meet Grizzly..
Tuesday night much to all their joy..Grizzly moved in..

Happy Boy..happy dog♥

Forgive the resolution...I will get better ones from her..The day we visited..Wednesday..he was either too busy running around..or sleeping in his bed..
Hope he gets along with the far..he has fit in perfectly there.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

~More Of Spring,here in QC~

It's been very unusual weather..from stinking just about fact my Thai basil did fragile,her leaves are brown and curled in most parts..
Growth has been pretty much stunted..but the hostas are starting to fill in nicely..the clematis had little nests of bugs in the recent growth as well as the hydrangeas so those were pinched off..
The Alliums are starting to bloom..I have thick buds on certain Irises..the Bleeding Hearts and Forget-Me-Nots are still in full swing..the lilacs too..this latest cold front made what was already in bloom stay.
Like a temperature controlled fridge at a florist.
I was back to socks and slippers ...for a few days.
I bought a few more annuals ..unfortunately a very pretty zinnia was snapped to it's bottom in one heavy wind..I have two more..but will probably pick up another if I can..and they are edible,a beautiful way to add color to many salads..and presentations of desserts etc...
I forgot snapdragons!
Those who know me well will see what I meant about the tulips..they scream at me.
I was about to pick them I think;)..until Jacques walked in and said :"I just love all those tulips in the front..all the colors."..............alrighty then;)

Today was much nicer..just right to garden.
Still awfully seems the weather just gets windier and windier.

I repotted some african violets ..they were so pot bound the poor things..
Garlic..radishes.. ♥
The rest a bit's just been too darn cold for the veggies.
I transplanted a lot of Irises..since  there is even more sun than before in certain spots..they love sun.
Some Goosenecks..into a back shadier garden..where I WANT the INVASIVES to take over.


Call The Midwife and Mr Selfridge are over:(
I found the latter not as good this season..
Ray Donovan..Orange Is The New Black.. The Affair (Oct)..etc ..will begin again..seems I go from wholesomeness on TV to..well ..not;)
And I enjoy both.

We are almost done Grace and Frankie..
Have you seen that Netflix original series?
Jane Fonda,Lily Tomlin,Martin Sheen,Sam Waterson?
We like it..
I have to say Lily and Jane look great..
I know there has been a bit of behind the scenes work done..
but ,well done.
Jane is 78.Unbelievable.
I won't be going near a knife and scalpel ever unless I need it medically.
But it works for them.
But then I watch a movie with Isabelle Huppert who has visibly done nothing..and I love her face just as much....even fact I admire her aging so beautifully and gracefully.

Dans la cuisine~
I made some very yummy muffins .

If you enjoy the taste of cranberry and orange..try these.
I found them Culinary Concoctions By Peabody.
I made exactly half the recipe and I got 7 of those cute smaller muffin cups that are in most HomeGoods/HomeSense since last year.
I could have made 8:)
They are REALLY good.
Too good? Maybe:)
I made less icing ..just a drizzle..
I used Craisins.
The sour cream gives them that wonderful know like a sour cream donut.
They would be great if you have overnight guests..or just for you..w/
I love finding a great recipe.
I think you will agree~

And what a difference a day makes~

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Those Parrots~Financiers ...and Rhubarb♥

It has been Parrot Tulip time here..I planted 50 last fall..maybe 30 have come up..
they were a mixed bag..of pinks and yellows and oranges..
I am a and blue girl in Spring and Summer..
I only develop a love of late summer..fall..I am not a red person either.there is not one red flower here..  except a rose or two..
So every photo I have taken of my clumps of Parrots..have screamed at me..They are show for sure..but next year just pinks I think ..if I am lucky.
These tulips do nort return for me..every year I have to plant the pretties..
The orange and yellow overshadow my pinks..
But.. I have adapted..
just not for photos..

Years ago I received a cute cute book from a friend..Gardening In Eden..
we all know..QC is far from Eden for Gardening..
at this time of year..
Eden rings true.
You can live anywhere and experience Eden.
It is the feeling of the moment..
the view at that moment..
how you are at that moment..
so when the pink parrots were dancing in the wind..and my humble rhubarb was staking it's spot..s..before I transplant for a bigger stalk..bigger stalks..
I picked some pink parrot small rhubarb stalks..took out my jar of pralines roses..
some coconut..almond flour..beurre noisette was prepped..and I made small rhubarb financiers~
Some I made heart shaped..some true financier shape.
I adorned some w/ pink pralines..and some with finely sliced rhubarb.They are not cupcakes,nor muffins,nor cakes..
The beurre noisette..aka brown butter.. gives them a deep flavor..the coconut some sweetness..the rhubarb and pralines..some ♥ color.
They are minis in my books..and we are minis now.
If our family is not coming over..or we are not going there.

La Recette~ Coconut -rhubarb financiers.

Basically a financier is made with browned ,butter icing sugar ,almond flour,egg whites..flour.

2 small stalks of cleaned,chopped rhubarb..mine were very if yours is big..don't use more than 1/3 cup of finely chopped rhubarb.

50 grams of butter that you have browned and cooled..

30 grams almond flour

35 grams coconut..I use sweetened.

20 grams of flour

65 grams of icing sugar

65 grams egg whites

almond or coconut extract to your taste.

Sift the flour,icing sugar,and almond flour togetherin a bowl.
Add coconut..mix

add the egg whites ..(not beaten)..
add cooled browned butter..
I filled 4 financiers and 3 this recipe makes 7 mini cakes..
On top I added slivered thin rhubarb to some..and crushed pink pralines to others~
Bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for ap 15 mins..

sprinkle w/ icing sugar..
A financier mold looks like this~

They are great molds..I think mine is Silikomart

We visited their store a few years back ..maybe 5 years ago.. in Mtl..and I bought a few of their good quality molds.
The hearts were made in cheap silicone heart molds..the same ones I use for my beeswax .

For the pralines pralines..

You can watch a video here..I keep mine in a small hermetically sealed jar~

40 grams of almonds whole

80 grams of sugar

70 grams of water

a tiny bit of red or rose food coloring.maybe two drops.
Place everything in a pot and bring to a boil..stirring constantly until the TEMP is 125,remove from stove top and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture caramelizes..see video..make sure to coat the almonds thoroughly..once the consistency is right return to stove top to remelt the sugar and recoat completely..Place on
The video is perfect!

The peony heads are forming..I've caged them..early blooming clematis are doing their thing..
The apple blossoms have lost their panache.
The high winds ..made it look as if it was raining apple blossoms here..and in a heartbeat..they were gone.
A lot is fleeting..that's why I like to pick up a few annuals..geraniums..bacopa..cleome..cosmos..zinnias..dahlias..pansies.. salvia..not too many..
Thanks to The Graphics Fairy for my garden graphics~
I saw some oregami dresses on Pinterest..and wanted to make some..I found a neat tutorial on Youtube..
They are so sweet♥
Love them on packages.. I think a jar of pink pralines ..would be perfect wrapped this way..any gift really:)
Enjoy the long Memorial Day Weekend my American friends~

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blanc de Blanc~

Barbara's Tree~

It was a long weekend here..
Saturday was a bit of a curmudgeon day..humid..grey..heavy.. absolute ..perfection.
The kind of day..where the outside looks as good as the inside..
The grass is green..the gardens are growing..
the house is sunny.
As is everything had been groomed for you..but you have groomed it..
so..effortless it seems.

A funny little footnote..

A shout out to Staples/Bureau En in order also..
Jacques and I each bought a computer last year from them..I took the prolonged warranty..

they had sold us a security program..that ended after one year..
We removed it this week..but could not get the computers to kick in to Windows Defender..I called them..and they said come in..

I did stop at a nursery;)

And we went..

Samuel..the young BRAINIAC ..I mean that in the kindest way..adorable ..sweet smart tech guy..took like 10 magic minutes to make everything right.
No charge..brought my computer back to the car and would not even accept $ compensation.
Kudos.. Staples /Bureau En Gros here in QC.
I already am in love w/ their print centre.."Isabelle".

Back to the gardens..

Some white is popping out and there..Violas..Lilacs..Sweet Woodruff..Solomon's Seal..did you know that all these apart from Solomon's Seal  are edible blooms?Apple blossoms?
I have them I know that there have not been any insecticides used at all.
I have  found a great site for edible blooms..
Lily Of The Valley is definitely NOT edible.. poisonous..but what a mom♥
It grows wild here..on the side/length of the driveway..the area is not a great gardening area so I have left the ferns..LOTV..Lilies etc..just grow wild~
I love much so that if you look in my shirts and tshirts are white..  90% or black..the other 10%..I have very little color..
I like white furniture..white blooms..I have a Blanc Pinterest Board:)

The scent of lilacs..and lily-of the valley..are uniquely and individually intoxicating~

Lily Of The Valley has lovely meanings..The Return Of is also said that they bloomed at the foot of the cross where Mary shed her tears..:(

I loved a book called The Language Of Flowers..may just read it again..I rarely do that..but I think I will..

Dans la cuisine~

I wanted to use the pans I bought at Amazon..5 ,small, 5 inch Wilton pans to make smaller cakes..
I halved my Gâteau Au Beurre recipe..but it only made 4 layers..will have to try and perfect a small 5 layer cake recipe..
The cake was as good as always..but because the cake is small..the icing was too time I will up the cream cheese and butter and reduce the sugar.
But I must say..small is in when you are baking for 1 person.
I have shared  this cake recipe before..I'll do it again..this time..halved..

La Recette~

Courtesy of Denise Cardin..when I was a young bride of 21..and she was our back door neighbor..w/ 3 her later 30's..

 2 eggs
 1 cup of sugar
1 cup flour sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 /4 cups of milk that you have simmered  to melt butter the size of an egg yolk..1 tbsp is fine for this halfer recipe.

Combine eggs,sugar,flour,baking powder, salt then milk/butter mixture'until homogenous.

Place in 4 of the Wilton pans.. I make sure the same amount of batter would be in all 4 pans...bake ap 25 min..until a toothpick comes out clean.. check  after 20 mins..these are small playing w/ Easy Bake ovens almost:) at 350F.

Let cool..unmold..stack and frost and adorn...with violas..or cherry blossoms..or lilacs..etc..
For the full will make 2 8inch round pans..and you would bake 1/2 hour.

Fresh is the operative word for our gardens this weekend..
nothing is burnt..the greens are vibrant and new still..
some of my garden ornaments are getting tired and old..
a small flat garden stone I made..when we moved here.. that has these words on it..

In Search Of My Mother's Garden..I Found My Own~
Alice Walker

With thanks to Derek.
Some people you never ever ever forget.
A smile.. an act of kindness, a twinkle in their eye..compassion..dedication..artistry..kindness..
That..and more..  Derek~