09 December 2008

A little farmers market love...

On Saturday, we had a Christmas market downtown. It is an off shoot of the farmers market that takes place all summer here. It also takes place on one of the busiest weekends around - holiday barrel tasting. I think this may only be the second year that the Christmas market has happened. Last year, I just happened to have a migraine that day. But this year, my luck seemed to be much better...

I was delighted to find a few vegetables there. The most exciting thing I found was the cavolo nero kale. I tried some from one of the last fall markets of the year and I loved it. Of course, I couldn't find it at any grocery store around town, so I'd been waiting anxiously to see if I could find some more. Lucky for me, they had plenty and I bought three bunches. After a little research, I discovered that this particular variety of kale also earns the nickname of the dinosaur kale. It is a great winter green, as it gets sweeter with the cooler weather. I am looking forward to some good greens this week!

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I found a few other winter treats - some yellow carrots, along with a lovely little cabbage. I think I am going to braise those two up together. Braised cabbage is a fairly new dish to me, but I absolutely love it - warm and mellow, it somehow makes me feel more connected to my cabbage-loving relatives! 

So, with my hardy winter vegetables in hand, I'll hunker down by the stove and wait for the magic to happen. And hopefully before I tire of the greens or the pan of braising cabbage in the oven, spring will be here and I will be happily at the market, shopping for the next fresh thing.

09 November 2008


I had a lot of big plans for the weekend. They always start out that way for me. And by Sunday night, I am wondering where the weekend went, let alone what I managed to get done. But this weekend I tried to keep it a little more realistic. I wanted chocolate. And not just any chocolate. I've been seeing this fetching little label for Donna Elvira around in a few places. I love the simplicity of it and the orange just caught my eye. Lucky me, I found it, plus a few other friends to keep it company. It is the perfect solution to the weekend to-do list, plus, you have something sweet to help you through the week ahead. Chocolate, anyone?

05 November 2008

Beautiful decay

Somehow, I had never really thought of the transition from vibrant autumn into sparse winter as a beautiful transition. Sure, I love the brightly colored leaves, the crunching heaps of them that fill the yard and litter the sidewalk. But what of the frosted vines, the wilted plants - all new creations of the changing season? That seems to be all I want to photograph these days. 

This autumn, it seems that I am finding all kinds of beautiful decay. The roses, fully spent and bloomed out for the season, petals spread across the accumulating leaves in the front yard, still look lush. 

And I just love what is transpiring in the hostas - the once green leaves are now a pale gold smattered with dark spots, all falling flat against the pot. Sure, it's not quite the same as summer, but it is a perfectly lovely send-off for autumn.

03 November 2008

Fall leaves

I spent the weekend raking a lot of leaves - the whole yard, twice! Guess I should have waited until Sunday afternoon before undertaking that activity! Anyway, the leaves were really amazing and Simon had no trouble posing for a few photos!

31 October 2008

A little lunch

Here is a nice thing to add to your weekend to-do list: lunch! A nice long leisurely lunch with all the time in the world to just sit and watch everything else speed by. Kind of reminds me of October - it just sped right by!

20 September 2008

Me and my suitcase

This photo seems appropriate for today - while it is not nearly this sunny today, I'll be spending some quality time with my suitcase as I try to figure out just what should be in it!

08 September 2008


At long last I have finished my first watercolour! Yippy

20 August 2008

What I've been drinking...

I've been brewing ice tea in my kitchen window like mad this summer - sometimes I get real wild and even add a few slices of fruit to the brew for extra flavor!

More colours.

So I tried another felt pen drawing,
this time with out borders!

19 August 2008

Drawing in the rain

Simon was concerned about all of the lightening and thunder we had going on last night, so I took my sketchbook out to the garage to keep him company. The rain spots are all natural!

18 August 2008

I need felt tips!

With a little poking(from Ginger) 
I have produced some drawings. 
I must admit it was 
rather fun 
and now I want a full set 
of coloured felt tip pens.

13 August 2008

The goldness

There is just something about this gold car. 
If I had to get a car I would get this one!

12 August 2008

My Bike!

I love my bike! I ride it all the time 
and I still wish that I could ride it more! 

10 August 2008

Best sandwich of the summer

For me, summer is bested summed up by this sandwich. Fresh from the garden, thick slices of cucumber, tomato and onion clutched between two pieces of lighted toasted bread. A thin spread of mayo, with a little salt and pepper are really all I need. Suddenly, I am transported back to childhood - I am sitting at the table with my sister, happily munching away on my sandwich while our mom reads us pages of the children's encyclopedia. 

27 July 2008

Who knew?

Who would have thought Simon and Sufi could be such good friends?

21 July 2008

15 July 2008

Market basket

We also brought home a 25 pound bag of onions, but no need to mention that!

08 July 2008

Strawberry season

It is officially strawberry season and I am enjoying every moment of it. From snacking on the fresh berries, to the tasty jams that I have been cooking up and finally the sweet strawberry pie - a fruity strawberry jelly pie with a crisp shortbread crust - yum!

05 July 2008

After the firecrackers

I collected these exploded firecrackers from nearby streets on an early morning bike ride. I am particularly liking the flowers and birds that show up on most of the labels, but what is with the flaming skull? A potent warning label for even the smallest of children!

01 July 2008

30 June 2008

the dress with the bridge behind it

no more rules!

Recipes from Tina

Sicilian Pesto

1/2 heaping cup of peeled almonds
1 whole garlic clove
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
1/2 cup tightly packed washed fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili pepper, or more to taste
3 or 4 ripe, fresh plum tomatoes, peeled raw, split open, seeds scooped away, and cut up, about 1 cup
1 teaspoon sea salt

Yield: enough pesto for 1 pound boxed pasta, preferably spaghettini, serving 6 persons

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and process to a creamy consistency. taste and correct for salt. Toss with pasta that has just been drained and is still piping hot in a warm bowl.
Serve at once.

27 June 2008

New shoes

After several days of indecision, I think it is official - I am keeping the shoes. I suppose you could say that in part, this decision was forced because a little of the lettering is rubbing off on the inside of the shoe. But then again, I really do like them!

26 June 2008

Biker girl!

Who knew 
I was interested in bikes 
two years ago? 
Maybe I can see the future!

24 June 2008

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to me! Here is my special birthday cake - a french shortbread tart with a vanilla mousse and fresh strawberries!

21 June 2008


2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup blueberries

1  Mix up all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2  Beat together the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter.
3  Combine the dry and wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, do not over mix!
4  Heat some butter in a skillet
5  Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and sprinkle with some blueberries.
6  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
7  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup.


17 June 2008

The strawberries are key, so look for local ones that are plump, fragrant and fully ripe, with no white shoulders. 

14 June 2008

"See, most people write that name of the color of the pen that they are writing with."