Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Welcoming the New Year...thoughts

A bright and shiny New Year is on the horizon.

Feeling very encouraged that we will see some significant improvements...
 the vaccines are here and are being doled out to the health care workers and the residents of long term care first and then they make their way down the ladder to those of us who wish to get the vaccine. 

Our Covid cases in BC are moving slowly downward.

I cannot help but feel optimistic...

Every year, for decades, I write in a day timer.
The Moleskine day timer for 2021 has been updated with birthdays.

I chose a new gel pen with a pretty peacock blue shade of ink.

The little things that can be mood shifters and change they way we see life
are so worth embracing...

Ideas for small Joys:

a new shade of lipstick
wearing a vintage piece of jewelry
mixing up your outfits, pairing different items
wearing a bright coloured pair of socks or tights
fresh flowers and foliage in a jug
a new blend of tea
experimenting with a new hairstyle
sampling a new fragrance
painting your nails
rearranging an area of your home
hanging your clothes in a different order, by colour or grouped by item
polish your leather shoes, boots and purses
buy a vintage accessory or piece of clothing that makes you smile
get rid of any clothes that are "ho-hum" ~ keep only what makes you feel great
invest in a new teacup and saucer or mug
read a new magazine, perhaps one from another country
sample an exotic variety of fruit
make a vinaigrette with a different type of oil and vinegar than you usually use
walk in a different area and explore
take a thermos of coffee or tea and sip it in a park or on a beach

The list of ideas could go on and on...

Maybe it is time to start a new collection?

I know people who collect smooth rocks from the beach...
some only collect pure white and others opt for dark black.
Put them in a bowl or a jar and enjoy looking at them.

“Always keep your eyes open. 
Keep watching. 
Because whatever you see can inspire you.”

~ Grace Coddington ~

How are you approaching 2021?
Are you feeling positive or negative?
Have you got goals or are you making New Year resolutions?

I'd love to hear your ideas of things that you do to lift your spirits.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.
Wishing you peace and joy in the New Year.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, December 20, 2020

French Canadian Tourtiere Recipe


 French Canadian tradition

This recipe makes 3 double crust savoury meat pies.
I use the pastry recipe off of the box of Tenderflake Lard.
Make the pastry ahead of the filling as the dough needs to be in the fridge for an hour before rolling out.


2 tsp olive oil
2 cups finely diced onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of finely minced celery
2 pounds ground pork
1 pounds lean ground beef 
1 tsp ground sage spice
1/4 tsp each ground cloves and ground cinnamon spices
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 cup water
3 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

In a large pot heat the oil and saute onions, celery and garlic until soft.
Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink.
Drain any fat from the pot.
Add the sage, cloves, cinnamon, salt, pepper and water
Add a lid to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the mashed potatoes and parsley stir well to mix.
Cool on counter.

Roll out the pastry dough thinly and line 3 pie plates 
make sure to save enough dough to top each pie.

Fill each pie with the filling.
Roll out the pastry tops and seal edges.
Cut in some vents in the tops for steam to escape.
(You can use a very small star cookie cutter to make these vents attractive)

Brush pies with egg yolk and milk
bake for 35 - 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

If you make these ahead you can freeze the uncooked pies.
remove from freezer, thaw then in a fridge then bake them.

Allow pies to sit on the counter after baking for about 20 minutes before slicing them.

Serve with the condiment of your choice...

HP sauce 
Branston pickle
sweet mustard pickles

Hope you have fun making these tourtiere pies.

They are usually served on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Christmas Traditions

There are many traditions that we embrace over the holidays...

We hang this hand made wreath that was made in the ealy 1960's.
This was made by a friend of my husband's mother.

It has shiny baubles, pine cones, faux holly and vintage rhinestone brooches.

We were fortunate to be given this wreath...
we hang it in The Humble Bungalow dining room every Christmas season.

Christmas is going to be VERY different this year because of the pandemic.
We will be visiting each other via ZOOM and FACE TIME.

Baking and cooking for Christmas occupies a lot of my time
 I am enjoying trying out new recipes.
Sharing Baskets and Food Hampers with family.

We'll be doing driveway drop offs!

With a focus on comfort these days I want to share a super simple pot roast recipe.

Pot Roast with whipped potatoes and peas.

Savoury Pot Roast

3 pound beef blade pot roast
2 Tbsp. oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp soy sauce ( I use Braggs)
2 Tbsp worcherstershire sauce
1/2 Tsp minced garlic 
1/2 Tsp dry mustard

3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water

In a Dutch oven heat oil and brown roast on all sides.
Sprinkle with salt
Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour into pot.
Simmer covered for 2 hours.

Remove to a carving board and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes.

Make a slurry of  3 Tbsp flour and 1/4 cup of water and shake in a bottle.
Whisk into the fluid left in the pot and thicken and use as a Gravy.


How are you celebrating the holidays this year?
Are you able to meet in person?

I'll be busy for the next week or so baking and preparing gifts.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Thank you for dropping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

December Vibes


The Christmas tree and fairy lights
we've added a few festive touches.

Our decorating has happened much sooner than usual.
Spending most of our time in The Humble Bungalow during the pandemic 
has made us much more aware of our surroundings and we need more Cheer!

Snow capped Mount Baker in the background at Willows Beach.
Walking along the sandy beach listening to the sound of the waves 
gulls calling as they fly overhead.

Walking under sunny skies is preferable to the rain...
there is rain in the forecast for most of the week
so I will don my new red raincoat and grab a brolly...
Needs Must!

Cooking through Covid is helping me stay focused on comfort food.
Why not make a soothing meal each night for dinner?
Ina has hit the ball right out of the park with this timely cookbook.

The Ultimate Beef Stew recipe is full of flavour and makes a big batch.
Leftovers can easily be frozen for a future meal.

While this stew was simmering in the oven our Bungalow 
sumptuous scents wafted out from the dutch oven.

We were extra hungry by the time it was ready to sit down to dinner!

This wonderfully written book is transporting me back to Tuscany.
Its a delight to read...thank goodness for armchair travel!

Mr HB is busy building our deer fence. 
He installed the 3 panels this past weekend.
The tall cedar posts will be cut down and capped.

Our roses out front should be safer next Spring and Summer.

We listened to Dr. Bonnie Henry's announcement yesterday and learned that the Covid cases here in BC are showing no bend in the curve...

We are not allowed to gather with friends or family inbdoors or outside.
Fines will be issued if we do not obey the rules.

Christmas will be only allowed for the family that live under one roof...
so we will need to be creative 
meet up remotely via Zoom or FaceTime.

In good news the vaccines are on their way!

How are you holding up during the pandemic?
 What are you reading?
Have you decorated earlier than usual for the festive season?

Stay Safe

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Thursday, December 3, 2020

My Stylish French Box reveal...

I just hopped on to the blog to quickly share the November contents of My Stylish French Box! The luxurious items were themed "holiday chic" and they did not disappoint. Sharon Santoni and her team know their clientele very well.

My favoutite item is a bespoke cashmere and wool wrap.
It is so cozy!

Our weather is colder now so it is perfect for the chilly afternoons and evenings.
I am draping this over my shoulders and don't feel any of the usual drafts in our 100+ year old bungalow.

This lipstick is super moisturizing and luscious.
The box is pretty too and opens up like a flower petal.
The lipsticks are refillable and come in a red velvet pouch.

Emollient balm
Writing paper and a beautiful pen.

Antique crystal drop strung onto a purple velvet ribbon
It can be worn as a necklace or hung in a window to refract the light.
A lovely pouchette to use as a bag or for makeup or whatever you fancy!

I've got to run now as I have a bunch of things that I need to get done.

It surprises me how busy my days are during the pandemic.
The homekeeping chores haven't gone away and despite the fact that we are not entertaining I cannot let the dust bunnies take over.

I've been cooking a ton of new recipes, reading oodles of books, walking, and more recently I have ventured out to the shops to buy gifts for friends and family.

Take care, stay safe.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~