Monday, October 20, 2014

Cozy days...cashmere and cooking.

Fall is settling in with cooler days and foggy mornings...
the trees are shedding their leaves and we have put the furnace on to chase the damp away.

The change in weather means putting on cashmere sweaters and socks.
Love the cozy feel of cashmere as it keeps me warm.
I have several cashmere sweaters...
a vintage Johnson's of Elgin pullover in black, a navy V neck cardigan from Lands' End, and a long grey V neck cardigan from Lord and Taylor.

After I have done most of the domestics I like to retire to the comfort of the Morris chair in the living room put my feet up and cocoon with a good book and a hot cup of tea.
The cats usually follow me in and find a chair to curl up onto for a nap...and often it's on my lap.

Warm beverages, soups, stews, and roasts are such a happy marriage with the cooler weather.
In the kitchen, apron on, stirring a broth or baking is so soothing...
savouring the scents as they waft about our Humble Bungalow kitchen.

Pepper likes to keep me company and is stretched out on the bench seat by the arts and crafts trestle table.

It's so convenient having utensils close to the stove.
McCoy jardinere in basket weave pattern holds an amazing amount of spoons and spatulas.
The yellow silicone duck is actually a spoon holder...
it sits on the rim of pots with the spoon wedged in the middle.
I have two of these matte white planters and I use the other one for the stainless utensils.
They figure prominently in our kitchen as they sit on the granite counter top right by the stove.

The new "Whitewater Cooks" book has been published and I could not resist buying a copy.

 I rolled up my sleeves, put on my apron and got busy.

Olive oil Orange Cake

Why stop now?
The kitchen is already a mess so I made some healthy muffins...
I found the recipe on the package of Roger's Ancient Grains Porridge Oats.

Martha Stewart uses an ice cream scoop to portion out muffin batter.
I have adopted her idea and it's quick and easy.

Packed with fibre and goodness these make a great breakfast with a bowl of fruit.

I'm halfway through this delightful book.
It's a bit far fetched but is a lovely escape ~ pure entertainment.

Hope your week is off to a great start.
Keep cozy.

(The"Ugly Truth" kitchen renovation post has been popular...stay tuned as a few more are on the way)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Ugly Truth ~ before and after our kitchen restoration...

Several readers commented on our kitchen and Mr. HB suggested that I show you what our kitchen was like before we did the was UGLY!
See for yourselves what we lived in before we did the restoration.
It took many years, lots of money, and hard work AND it required IMMENSE patience on my part...

I cannot believe we once lived in this kitchen...and what was with all the baskets?

Believe it or not I was able to serve meals to our growing family
host Christmas dinner
and we continued to entertain hosting many dinner parties!

The kitchen changes one wall at a time over a period of several years.

Starts to take shape...

Can you guess what I got for Christmas in 1998?

The Humble Bungalow Kitchen today.

The mission arts and crafts table is where I sit and write my blog.
I see that Chester snuck into the picture.

Mr. HB did these renovations on weekends and evenings over several years.
He could not take time off from his busy practice so he worked weekends and evenings.
He's a very talented fellow and has a keen eye for design and detail...
perhaps that is why his chosen profession is architecture.

Restoring our bungalow has been a labour of love...
Our Humble Bungalow is a designated home on the Victoria Heritage List which protects it from demolition.

I hope you've enjoyed this post.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The loot shoot...

As I mentioned in a previous post I have been on a bit of a buying binge.
Shopping that started out so innocently with a French triple milled bar of Verbena soap and then the floodgates opened...and so here's the loot shoot.

You don't need to rub your eyes, this is colour!
It's the pattern of my new dress.
I think Dani the MOP Philosopher blog author might approve as she loves a pretty pattern.

Simple wrap jersey dress by Jones of NY
It is the first dress to make the cut for the carry on for next May's Paris tour.
It will roll and unroll out of the case without a crease...

This top is navy but looks like black in this light.
I plan to wear this with a pair of skinny jeans.
In a packable forgiving jersey knit by Precis.
If it is hot this will be a cool option as it has a slight dolman sleeve and is loose fitting without being too baggy.

Everyone agrees that when one visits Paris one walks miles and miles each and every day.
Sturdy walking shoes were the one thing that most women mentioned when I posed the question of what to pack for my Paris trip.
I didn't want to wear my Lands' End trail shoes so I had to look for a comfortable option.
These baby blue Josef Seibel's ooze comfort and are a sensible walking shoe.
So you might be thinking that I have gone off my rocker 'cuz they are not black.
I admit it...
they are a departure from the usual standard shade but after all I will be walking in Paris, the city of light.

I wanted a sandal to wear with dresses and skirts so I tried on the Ecco Babette.
Very comfy and will not flip and flap about with these straps.
In a neutral shade of mettalic gold.
The bonus of sandals is that I'll get to show off my painted toes...
now I wonder what colour I will wear?

I've got lots of time to plan my minimal travel wardrobe.
So there will be more shopping...

The hydrangeas in the garden are fading as Fall shrouds us in fog and damp.
Perfect weather to spend the day in the kitchen preparing a roast dinner.

Fruit salad was on the menu when Mother came for dinner.
Savouring light fresh fruit for dessert is so refreshing.

Say yes to these power packed Sprouts.
I remember when I was young that they looked like baby cabbages.

Cranberry sauce goes well with a free range organic chicken.

Oh and the standard issue mashed spuds...
so loverly with a nob of butter or a drizzle of gravy...

Green peas and stuffing rounded out the menu.
I love spending a day in the Humble Bungalow kitchen cooking for the family when it's chilly outside.

I snapped this shot despite the fact that tea towels are hanging on the sink, dishes are drying on the mat and the counters are littered with the remnants of my cooking spree.
You can see the cat toy on the floor by the is not a snake!

These limelight hydrangeas are turning red as they wilt...
just waiting to be dead headed
 I will wait until they turn brown as they offer a bright splash of colour at the entrance to out home.

Lovely daughter and I went out for lunch today and a bit of shopping.
 We found a great coat ~ a beige zippered trench type coat by Tahari...
I am going to take it to the seamstress and have the sleeves shortened this week.
Thank goodness for people who are good with a needle and thread.

Well the supper is not going to be cooked by itself so I must get busy.
See you again soon.


Monday, October 13, 2014

The Cat and the Mat...OOTD

It could have been the cat

or possibly the mat...

It could have been both...

Can you see the connection?

Thanksgiving dinner

Sympli black jersey tank top
Lisa Campione skirt
Pelican Cove beaded wool sweater
Mee Too black flats

We were invited out for Thanksgiving dinner.
 We celebrated with a large gathering of friends and family.
The food was plentiful and delicious...
such a nice treat to be a guest!

I made a tasty yam dish to take along.
( I doubled the recipe as there were 17 of us for dinner)
Recipe courtesy of my friend and walking partner Ruth.

Ruth's Yam bake

In a pot cook 3-4 peeled chopped apples in 3/4 cup of orange juice.
When soft drain and set aside, reserve juice.

Boil 6-8 peeled yams or sweet potatoes until soft
 ( you can use a combination of the two)
Depending on the consistency you may want to add in the remaining orange juice.
Pulse in batches together in the food processor and add the following:
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Place in oven proof dish ready to reheat in the microwave or oven.


I haven't forgotten that I promised to show you the loot shoot...
the results of my recent spending spree.
It is in the works.

Hope your week is off to a great start.

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