Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bits and Bobs today on the Blog...

A small bronze Eiffel Tower sits on the shelf above our Shaw farmhouse sink.
I look up when I wash and scrub dishes and pots and I ponder my trip to Paris
and the south of France
it feels like yesterday in so many ways...

I recently received a lovely diamond eternity band from my husband and I do not want it to get caked with soap so I took it off while doing dishes and popped it atop the bronze Eiffel Tower.
(thank you darling!)

We keep our humble bungalow decor in the arts and crafts style...
not very many "modern accents" dip their toes in our heritage listed home.
That might surprise many of you but we try to be purists.

Cookbooks take up an entire shelf in our kitchen.
I will put Ina Gartens' newest cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey
on my Christmas Wish List.

The kitchen table is a quarter sawn oak mission arts and crafts trestle table
distressed by over 100 years of wear.

This is
where I sit and blog...
a Diptyque candle
adds to the ambiance.
(Mr. HB is watching the hockey game)

I enjoy cooking and feel very content in the kitchen.

I made a delicious Caesar Salad tonight...
if you want a seriously garlicky dressing this is the one for you!

I have several Caesar salad recipes and have shared them over the years.
If you want to see any of the recipes on my blog just scroll down on the right of my sidebar until you find the labels and click on the title recipes...

Caesar Salad Dressing
Place all the following ingredients in a blender
1 egg
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
 1/4 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
then with the machine running add slowly
 in a continuous stream
3/4 cup good quality olive oil

arrange washed and dried romaine lettuce on a tray 
(or in a deep bowl)
bacon or anchovies over top
(if desired)

I like to plan dinner early in the day so that I can walk to the market and buy what I need.
Pacing myself is much easier now in retirement than when I was working.
Its one of the best perks of retirement.
Time to accomplish things at a slower pace.

I write what we eat for dinner in my day timer so that I can easily see what I have made and I try to rotate the menu so that we get a variety.
Browsing in my cookbooks 
helps to inspire me to be creative and try something new and different.
Increasing my repertoire is always an adventure and not every new recipe is a winner... but I never give up on trying to find new and tasty dishes.

Mr. HB is planning to try a new recipe this weekend.
He seems to be enthused about cooking after his successful Saturday fare last weekend.
I feel so fortunate that he is getting his "chef hat" on.

Finnish mid century "FINEL" mushroom bowl
one of the few "interlopers" in our humble bungalow.

Have you got some fun planned for your weekend ?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Good Evening to you, Your little Eiffel Tower memento is the perfect ring holder, so each time you wash your hands, you know exactly where your rings should be.
    Your home is beautiful and your kitchen table is very special. It is lovely to see that you have stayed true to your own love of design, because nowadays, so many people are influenced by what they see in magazines. My home is an ecclectic mix of things we have discovered on our travels. I have plates I have bought in Morrocco, linens from Cyprus, statues from Africa.... it might sound like a strange combination, but each item brings back a memory, just as your little Eiffel Tower does for you.
    I am a great lover of cookery books and I have a tendency to search out old cookery books because they provide such a culinary history for women who went before us.
    Thank you so much for the Caesar Salad Dressing recipe... I am very partial to Caesar Salad.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes to you.

    1. Hi Daphne,
      Thank you for your comments. I love your idea of decorating with finds from your travels...those plates from Morocco and statues from Africa must look rich in your home.
      I love looking at magazines and would love a white themed condo or cottage at some point but this historic house is not meant to be white inside...the details were always dark wood, beams and floors with built ins and dim lighting.
      Hope you enjoy the I am going to see if you have a blog!

  2. How similar some of our days are! I have been sorting through cookbooks this morning. I have many that are not used. Back in the working days, books were often sold in our staffroom and I was very susceptible. I don't use a lot of them so I shall donate them. I love to buy fresh food daily so like you, I walk to the shops. I even asked for a Rolster cart for Christmas one year. I was just saying to a friend that retirement days are without pressure but can be as full as one wants. I always have a drawer or cupboard to organize. I still have an admiration for Finnish midcentury and I really like your bowl. I still have my Norwegian Lotte china that I started collecting in 1973! Have a good week-end.

    1. I have seen a lot of Lotte in my travels to the consignment shops you have the blue or the green Lotte? If there is a piece that you need please let me know and I will look for you. I took my culled cookbooks to the consignment store and they sold like hotcakes!
      The sun is shining today and I imagine that you will be enjoying the weather across the pond!

  3. I love hearing about your days and how you pace yourself and plan. We are enjoying a wonderful weekend at our farmhouse, but our days in the city still seem way too busy.

    1. I'd love to hear more about your farmhouse...perhaps you would consider a blog at some point?

  4. Love your white teapot!
    Margaret P

    1. Thank you, the teapot is a Sophie Conran design from the Portmeirion line.

  5. No anchovy in the Caesar?! A Caesar salad is actually my very favorite thing. It's always the star of my birthday lunch! Though many try, a precious patina like that of your table cannot be replicated. Good luck to Mr HB. Having enthusiasm for cooking is the most important part.

    1. I agree Stephen!
      The anchovy gets cut and popped on top of the lettuce before the dressing...
      I used bacon here as I did not have any anchovies in the house!
      He is making a chicken chow mien recipe that he found online for us tonight!

  6. What a clever idea, having that pretty little Eiffel tower to store your rings whilst at the sink.

    1. You know what they say...necessity is the mother of invention!

  7. I love Caesar Salad and will definitely try your recipe. Tonight I prepared poached salmon, using Aunt Glad's recipe. Buy center cut salmon and have the salmon cut in to 1/2 lb. pieces. Place the salmon in a 9 x 13' pan. Surround the salmon with milk (do not submerge the salmon). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook salmon for 10-15 min. Serve with boiled potatoes. Prepare lemon dill sauce to pour over the salmon and potatoes. (Make a basic white sauce and add lemon and dill to your taste.) I serve this with steamed cauliflower as well. Easy and delicious.

  8. I believe that I have many of those very same cook books - read them like novels. One of my projects over the next few months is to pick a couple and work my way through a good number of the recipes in each that I haven't as yet tried. I couldn't see them but do you have any by the Cdn. writer - Laura Calder? She is French trained and I love her recipes, very simple - she had a show called "French Chef at Home". I love a good garlicky Caesar dressing!

    1. I do not have any Laura Calder cookbooks....I will look for her books!

  9. Let's hear it for diamonds, Paris and Caeser Salad. You'll love the latest Ina Garten cookbook. Just got it today and can't wait to read and start trying her recipes.

    1. If her new book is like all her others it will be a best seller...I look forward to hearing what recipes you try and how they are received at your table!

  10. I so envy you being able to walk for the ingredients you need as and when you need them. Living out in the country a car is essential for any shopping so I'm careful not to forget anything especially as the vehicle can disappear to the golf course! We felt that once I retired we couldn't justify the expense of running two. Most of the time it is fine but just on the odd occasion disaster reigns and recipes have a slight adjustment.
    I enjoy reading about your life and home. The photographs are beautiful as usual.

    1. It must be a challenge remembering to stock your pantry with everything you need to keep..and that disappearing shared vehicle would definitely make you substitute ingredients on occasion! Owning two vehicles is very expensive...
      I have a friend who lives on a Gulf Island that does not have a store and she needs to catch the ferry to do all her shopping...I have seen her grocery lists which are essential for her to keep track of what she needs to buy.

  11. I so envy you being able to walk for the ingredients you need as and when you need them. Living out in the country a car is essential for any shopping so I'm careful not to forget anything especially as the vehicle can disappear to the golf course! We felt that once I retired we couldn't justify the expense of running two. Most of the time it is fine but just on the odd occasion disaster reigns and recipes have a slight adjustment.
    I enjoy reading about your life and home. The photographs are beautiful as usual.

  12. I love the little Eiffel Tower. What a nice reminder of your trip. You might enjoy my nightstand lamps which are black metal replicas of the Eiffel Tower. They were purchased from Target and were not at all expensive, yet I love their look.

    1. Oh your lamps sound like a fun accent piece.
      I so miss Target...we only had the stores here for about a year and I got "hooked" on their seasonal merchandise and kitchen accessories.
      I have a framed photo of the Eiffel Tower is nice to see it every time I pass by...

  13. Your little tower is a wonderful idea. My rings get caked with sunscreen, so I should do as you do before applying. Our weekend was quite and fall like for the first time this season.

    1. My daughter reminds me that I need to clean my rings a young child she used to clean her grandmothers' rings and I suspect that is where she got her love of fine jewelry.
      Your camping trip sounds like fun!
      Today I have felt like cocooning...the wind is blowing and it is a typical Fall day here.

  14. I have a little Eiffel Tower that sits of my desk where I blog. It reminds me of the wonderful trip I made to France with my granddaughter. Unfortunately mine isn't embellished with such lovely jewels; Your rings are beautiful.

    I love Caesar salad and the more garlic and anchovies the better...oh, it also has to have great garlicky homemade croutons. Yours looks delicious.

    1. This recipe makes enough for a large salad so I have refrigerated the leftover dressing and will use it up throughout the is good on top of potatoes!!!!
      Souvenirs like our Eiffel Towers are powerful reminders of a special time in our lives...your grand daughter too must have some lovely memories of your time in Paris.

  15. What a wonderful kitchen table!
    Your home is full of nice details,it looks so cozy.
    I like to read cook books like novels and get some inspiration :-)

    1. Cookbooks are like food novels...very visual and evocative !
      Dottoressa...have you ever considered writing a blog?
      I know you wrote a few posts on materfamilias' blog which were quite have a lovely "voice."

    2. Thank you so much,it is a great compliment!
      Could you believe that I didn't follow or read any blog until two years ago?
      It is really a great commitment and a lot of work- I like conversation,not only posts and I admire very much all of you who,not only write interesting posts and share a lot of wisdom,informations,beautiful photos, but are also so kind, to answer all comments. I am really happy to have found a lot of wonderful people,and it is a pleasure to be here
      It is not always easy to express oneself in a language that's not yours.
      Thank you once again,I'm flattered

  16. I love your Eiffel Tower ring holder and thank you for the salad recipe too.

    SSG xxx

  17. Oh I hope if you try the Caesar salad you will enjoy it...
    I liked your tip about refrigerating your eye pencils before sharpening them!
    Thank you!

  18. I have that same mushroom bowl! My husband and I received it as a wedding gift almost 28 years ago. We use it often. I've never seen another and have always felt it was special.

    I will retire next August after a lifetime of working. I am so excited by the thought of gaining so many hours to do with as I please. Your lifestyle appears to be very much how I wish to live mine. Thank you for the encouragement, which I bet you don't realize you are providing!

  19. The mushroom bowl is a fun piece from the 1970's...I liked the pattern so much that we gave the same bowl to our son and DIL...then I found one in a vintage shop for us!
    You have earned your retirement...and I hope that you will love it as much as I do!
    The first year is a bit of a transition where you keep pinching yourself in disbelief and then it starts to sink in...that dream is actually a reality!

  20. Hostess, what a lovely post. I recognize some of the cookbooks on your shelf...I too love Ina. Like Dottoressa, I read my cookbooks like novels.

    I am presently visiting your city (from Calgary) and looked for consignment stores, hoping to score a vintage handbag like you did. No luck, but what a wonderful store I found on Oak Bay Ave. Good Things Consignment. I left with a few treasures that will be Christmas gifts. And an antique mirror from the shop across the street. What a lovely neighbourhood is yours. I thought of you as I had tea this afternoon at The Empress, looking out on the harbour. No wonder you love to walk!