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..
well..
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.


Update..
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..




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentines~






Very soon it will be Valentines Day..or Galentine's Day~

What I like about it? Such a cute holiday..

I remember getting Valentines at school and loving them..little..
and because I thought I would NEVER get one during a period in my adolescence..a little later I loved them..too.

And Jacques..I think I have many many from him..maybe the early ones too..

I like preparing for the boys..

making special cookies.. a little furry friend..which Jacques says I have to stop..Lucas will be 12♥

Anyway funny funny..Terry ..who I knew at GB's and here..emailed-me with a Smitten Kitchen recipe..
that I had Pinned the day before to make the cookies..

you can find the recipe here..with another link.

I froze the rolled out dough a few days before..and wow..there you have it..just cut out..and then decorate.
They keep their shape perfectly..and certainly not too sweet so you can..add things..
I am disappointed I used my food writers for the names..  food coloring and a small brush..much more delicate and precise..they will not notice..

See the hearts lined in black (could have been darker)?
I found these on Bridget's site.You know I love her blog..happy to follow her on IG..(such a nice family)..

I used her icing for cookies..you can find anything you want about cookies right there.
I have her 2 books..They are great.  Bake at 350 is her beautiful blog's name.
So these she called Ombre cookies..go see..I call mine Hombre cookies.
Hers are perfect.
I actually should have looked at them right before..her hearts are a cuter outlined shape and I love her colors.♥

That little bracelet in the center of the boys ..is a bracelet I made when Lucas was born..aww..memories..

Just this week..like 2 days ago..that beautiful Susan Branch book arrived in the mail from Texas..
Sarah..has an eye for beauty..and a heart for kindness..
Hyacinths for the soul..talk about Valentine's.:)

I have a bag of home made cookies for the boys..

and..



They don't read my blog...so I am safe..;)
Have a lovely weekend..~


And PS..Flash News!


You have heard me mention Marie many many times here.
I have been so grateful for her recipes..I think I spoke of a few a couple of posts back..
weel she is not only a great cook/baker..
but a very accomplished artists and shew writes beautifully..
soooo...guess what?
Marie is publishing her first book that will be available on Amazons..I'll let you know when..I know the book must be finished by the end of March.
It was always a wonder why someone had not snapped her up by now..her cookbokklets available on her site are utterly charming.
I am certain I will pre-order this book..
I will keep you posted..
Again Marie..congratulations.
They sought her out:)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Back to the starter~and back to my start:)








                                                           


When Christmas came..Susan..at Savoring time in the kitchen..sent me an added gift..this Black Hills Sourdough Starter..

So I have been playing with it for a couple of weeks..I did make one loaf..not sure the starter was ripe enough..will definitely have more goes at it..it was good and pretty but dense..the verdict is perhaps it was not well started enough..
when you feed the starter..you discard some..that kills me;)

So on the KAF website..there was a recipe for the starter you are going to discard..I had half a cup ..so I tried their sourdough buns..

the recipe makes 2 pans of bread buns..I thought hmm.. too much ..rolls..as bread..people said making cinnamon rolls out of the dough..was winner..

So I rolled up the dough..but on the left hand side..I brushed the butter and parika mix..on the right side..I spread butter..and cinnamon sugar..
there you go..a sweet and a savory all at once..
both are good..
Jacques said..add plumped raisins next time:)
I baked mine Convection..fan as Mary and Paul would say..thus the more golden color..

They are  good..but both best right out of the oven..not the best rolls..in both cases.. but definitely easily palatable:)
I have made many more bun recipes that are softer and more delicious and at least 2 cinnamon roll recipes that are way better.

And back to my start :)When I was a starter..

I grew up with Barbies.

I LOVED Barbie.

I was maybe 6 or 7 with my first.

She was the spitting image of this one..but blonder hair and a red bathing suit...the red bathing suit though..this one is telling me that maybe it was this one;)And curly curly bangs.

I had her case♥Vinyl..she was on one side..her clothes hung up on the other side.

Not 100 % sure..which one I had..

I know feminists are not Barbie fans.
I never gave it a second thought at 6 or 7.
And having her now I still don't.
There's a lot more plastic on real people now.

I had her Barbie Fashion Shop..it was  cardboard back then..






I got these photos from the internet..they are fuzzy..but see the stage?And the chairs to view the parade of clothing from the stage?
My fashion shop was never messy like the middle one lol.
I had everything placed on the shelves..in the display case.
You could see some of these items from outside Barbie's shop.


I had her Red Flare Coat, velour ..and her velour clutch and velour pillbox Jackie O velour hat..long white gloves and shoes to match.
I wish I still had that.



I don't think I ever had the dress....look at the gold clutch and pearls:)



And for some reason..I had the above for both Barbie and Ken..


And this one♥ I loved the velvet skirt..skates and furry jacket..when I was 21 I bought one..OY.

Later on..Ken came to live with us..but he had flocked..kind of velveteen  hair and part wore off..



Midge too..but she was never like Barbie..



I had the brunette..
they came like this..poor dolls.



Barbie ..I could change her hair a lot and make it stay with straight pins through her head..lol.Big buns ..braid and then bun too.
I loved every pair of shoes..:)

I had other outfits but it's the red flare coat set I remember loving most.The swing coat.

Eventually Skipper w/ her long blonde hair and bangs came to my house too..case and all..and a pj..I remember the pj..I may have had Scooter..but she is not clear in my mind like the others..
Skipper had hair like I would have loved...straight..even at the beach,and bangs.





Oh and I had Barbie's plastic pink and white canopy bed..(my love for canopy beds was always existent:) )
I wonder why the fabric was PLASTIC.



I didn't get all these at once..we were not well to do..at all.
But w/ birthdays etc..that would be my favorite gift..I was still playing w/ them at 11 ..

So..a lady on my daughter's Facebook sale was selling this anniversary one..w/ THAT BOX..that cardboard box I loved..
So..I bought it..♥
I showed the boys..and they were not that impressed..but they humor me.
So I am very tickled pink to have her..as I wish I had all my "stuff".

I don't know why I gave Sophie Soulis many of my things.
She was little and I was a teen..
Regrets....I've had a few..(Frank Sinatra..:)

2 other toys I liked..Chatty Cathy w/ her string and holes on her chest for the voice to come out..what an invention..did I pull on that string or what?See her talk here..



And baby Thumbelina..she was beautiful..I took such good care of her..you would put her on her stomach..on her back she had a button...you wound it up and she would gently move her head .I had the small one.I looked on EBAY..yikes.The price!



I can still smell her♥
She felt so real..I had the small one..I Googles and 

remember those fake milk bottles you turned over and the milk would disappear as if your doll drank it? I LOVED those too.
I still have one of my toys..a beautiful little cradle..I will show you..it's in the attic..
When I had my girls..I was 21..23..Needless to say..I PLAYED with them..and they had a canopy bed..at one point we had 2 cribs in the house.
Happiest days of my life.

I am sure many of you have treasured memories of a favorite toy.
Maybe some of you fortunate ones still have one or 2..






Friday, February 3, 2017

The dark side~






Just practicing..but I have wanted to try those dark and moody photos..I tried this week..was home alone one afternoon..I need a better spot and more black..we have a bright home even under cloudy circumstances..of this though I am not complaining at all.Light..I need light.

I also need a hand model..hands model..Jacques is game for like 3 minutes..not enough time for me to do anything..holding up blackboards..moving chairs lol.
I also love those photos at a table..with pretty hands holding cups:)
That's a whole different story.
I just love learning things..

So this was our cream of broccoli/potato soup that I like..
On a Saturday..the 28th of January..

La Recette~

A pat of butter ..a generous one in your soup pot..melt..add 1 large chopped onion.. 2 garlic cloves(home grown;)).. also chopped...let soften..add one head of broccoli..mine was average..not a huge tree or anything...all cut up..2 large baking potatoes..peeled and chopped..salt and pepper this..add one large container of Chicken stock..or your home made one..I add my home grown chopped garlic scapes..and a few rinds of parmigiana .Save those hard rinds..it flavors soups  beautifully..
Bring to a boil.. then lower heat to simmer and cover..ap 20 minutes..until fork tender.
Take out your motorized plunger and off the stove(remove the rinds and discard) add about 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of cream..pulverize..add more liquid if you need to..this consistency works for us..TASTE..adjust salt and pepper..a bland soup will never taste like anything..
Top with more garlic scapes..or croutons..or a spiral of sour cream..I like to add a touch of grated parmigiana.

I also wanted to make a small Chocolate marbled cake..I love that pan Jonathan brought me back from Paris many many years ago..it also has a lid to make a pain de mie.
This is a fantastic loaf pan..you can tell E. Dehillerin is a cut above the rest..like Sennelier.:):)♥

This loaf is called

German Marmorkuchen..

Click on the link and you will find it.
My notes..I made half..it worked beautifully.

And be aware that you mix in the chocolate mix into the remaining batter before spooning into the vanilla base.This step seems to have been omitted..or maybe I am wrong..but that's what I did.
I also added 1 tbsp full fat sour cream.
I baked it at 350..for ap 30 mins then tented it for an an additional 20 I would say..
Do check..I don't use a knitting needle..for doneness I use a long wood skewer.

Kaffee and Kuchen~

And now..let there be light~

Do you remember Rod McKuen?
I loved him when I was in college and did a paper on him..my professor wrote that I had picked a very ..well I forget the exact term he used ..but maudlin?  Or..not deep? Not a serious writer I guess he meant..my professor ws a published writer..hmm..that might have had something to do with it..I think he loved his wriring best.
I beg to differ..when I was 17..he was deep to me..
And he still is..I have kept his books.
I had his LP's but when we moved 16 years ago..Igotridofthem.:(
You can read Caught In The Quiet here..one of my favorites..the whole book..







And fireworks that fizzle in July should not be held accountable in August~

Caught In the Quiet~ Rod McKuen.

Bon Weekend~

PS..I follow this girl and her family..her blog..if you feel inclined check out her latest post.
Everything..I love everything about her and her family..and her photos~