Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spoke Too Soon

One of our favorite phrases at the flower shop is: no good deed goes unpunished.

The truth of that was brought to my attention immediately after writing my last post.

The DC area experienced its coldest day on record.

And then a couple more.

At some point the wind was so strong it tore the recently installed trellis  off my back deck.

The shop was closed one day for snow and then closed early on Saturday in the midst of a little blizzard.

Though Sunday was lovely, in a sunny, melty, wear your wellies to the gym kind of way.

Are these are just the ramblings of a woman with cabin fever or is this my fault?

In between  shoveling, well I shoveled once, usually my neighborhood husbands do it for me, I've been shopping in my attic.

I found a bird cage, a beautiful blanket and books.  I bought an old plate from my boss today for 5.00.

The colder it gets, the more I need to feather my nest.
And flower it too.

My computer is now misbehaving so I'm going to hit post and see if my apology can reach you all before total world apocalypse.

If you get this send me a message. Let me know all is forgiven and what you're doing to get through the winter that only just started.

xo J

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Hundred Million Miracles Are Happening Every Day

It occurred to me tonight that it won't always be like this.

The snow will melt, our grass will grow fast and furious.

We'll come home, kick off our shoes and slip into our flip flops.

We'll pour something cold to drink and wander our gardens,

pulling a weed here, smelling a leaf or a blossom there.

We'll be complaining about how short the spring was and  how early the heat came.


 We'll eat freshly picked salad greens,

juicy strawberries and plant our dahlia bulbs.

Maybe this will be the year we make a peach pie.

It's coming. I promise.

 I heard it thru the grapevine.

Don't cha know.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Am He As You Are Me As We Are All Together

Apparently I don't have an original thought in my head these days. I am a blog creature.

After working out I went grocery shopping with my gym partner.

She tends to buy what I buy, so we arrived at the check out counter each purchasing a head of cauliflower, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, cava cava oranges and avocados among other items.

Our shopping had been punctuated with verbal recipes for these items, roasting of cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, ingredients for and additions to a grain bowl, and a simple but satisfying braised sauerkraut using chicken sausage instead of pork.I told her roast cauliflower is as addictive as potato chips. Yes I said that.

When I came home I made a lunch of avocado toast topped with a quick pickled red onion flavored with clementine peel I conveniently have in the refrigerator and ate it while I looked at my copy of Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson that had just arrived in the mail.

This morning I finished reading The Girl On The Train someone on Instagram had recommended and the new book in my queue is The Sweet Life In Paris by Davis Lebovitz and of course I have his new cookbook My Paris Kitchen on a bookshelf.

What have you people done to me?

 So after I water my house plants, maybe whip up a macrame holder for one of them, vacuum my appropriately tatty Oriental rugs, I'm going to curl up on the couch, prop my head up with a kilm pillow purchased on Etsy, cover up with a Bolivian blanket ( actual gift from Bolivia) and watch the snow fall.

I still eat gluten though. So there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This Is My Happy Song

I have no idea where I've been these past couple of weeks.

Y'all must have thought baking that cake really did me in.

(I  don't know why I'm writing this with a southern accent)

I was reflecting today on the fact that it's been 2 days short of two years since the breakup with GG.

I think it took me a year to mourn her absence and another year to regain my happiness.

But I got here.

My people picking compass still isn't fixed and I've wandered down a few one way streets but managed to find my way back to myself without any real damage done.

I'm getting through my least favorite month by eating too much roast cauliflower, did I just say that, working out with my best and craziest work out buddy, posting a flower a day on Instagram and reading obsessively with my Oyster app.

I'm singing along to the radio, rearranging my house and learning to Spackle and touch up battered walls. This is a new skill set.

 It's winter citrus season, as we now say, so I'm gorging on clementines. I've learned how get the seeds out of a pomegranate without having to wash my floor and take a shower and am cooking rather more complicated meals for myself than a tortilla with cheese.

I came home today to a new slipcover, in a much prettier blue than my camera captured here,

 I received a beautiful little painting from Jen at country weekend

And I have these two to light up my life on a daily basis
The lounger
and the guardian. 
This is her night post. 
What's not to be happy about?
Oh yeah, Valentines.....

p.s. as soon as I had gotten up from the computer I found Lucy had abandoned her post and is now sprawled blissfully asleep on the living room radiator.

Cats. Can't trust 'em.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't Believe Me, Just Watch: Recipe Update

In my sultriest Katy Perry voice I am happy to tell you:

I baked a cake.

And I liked it.

It's not what I'm used to.

Sophie, formerly known as Prince er, Elle, left me the recipe for her Fondant aux Clementines.

She converted metric to US standard and wrote little helpful notes such as " Don't forget to grease the pan and to put a little bit of flour in order not to make it sticky".

She patiently answered my Viber text requesting what size baking pan to use and immediately posted on my IG cake picture "perfect".

I want you all to know the last cake I baked looked like an apple pizza so I'm thrilled with this.

Not only is it easy to make, it's delicious to eat and it's seasonal.

So get going!

Sophie's cake: ( as written)

3 eggs
 150g-3/4 cup sugar
 150g-1+ 1/4 cup flour
 1+1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
 150g- 1/2 cup+2 tablespoons butter
3 clementines

Sophie's syrup:
3 clementines
2 tablespoons of orange juice ( I used blood orange)
50g-1/4 cup of sugar

Preheat over to 350.

* In a bowl mix the eggs and the sugar until it turns into a light yellow color.
*Add the flour and the baking powder
* Melt the butter in the microwave (around 1 minute 30/ 2 minutes). Pour into mixing bowl. Mix well.
* Zest your clementines and add it to the preparation then add the juice of the clementines. Mix well.
*Pour the mixture into a cake pan. ( she uses a 24cm round cake pan, at her suggestion I used a 9.5inch pan) (remember her earlier instructions about greasing and flouring pan.
*Put in the oven for 35 minutes
* While it is baking, prepare the syrup by mixing the sugar the juice of the 3 clementines and the orange juice in a saucepan on medium heat.
Mix constantly stirring 5 to 10 minutes, until it gets syrupy.
* When the cake is done, pull it out of the oven and pour the syrup over it immediately.
Let it cool before unmoulding it.
*Decorate with wedges of clementines if you have any left

From my lips to your ears: Ooh la la.

Merci Mademoiselle. xoxo

Update: in my excitement I deleted the 3 clementines that go in the cake batter itself. These 3 are zested, yes this is the peel, and then the juice is added to the batter.

The other 3 clementines go in the syrup.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How I Hijacked My Weekend

I had a flat white from Starbucks on Friday afternoon.

I don't know why I switched from my usual iced latte to a hot drink made with two shots of ristretto served with skim milk but I did and I was wired like it was 1986.

Wired enough that when I came home from a full days work I decided to switch bedrooms from the little cosy room in the front to the larger room at the back.

This involved 3 dressers, one old (read heavy) pie safe, 2 beds, bedside table, lamps, 2 mattresses, 2 boxsprings, well you get the picture.

About 45 minutes into it, as I was attempting to wrestle a box spring out of an old brass bed frame I realized my shoulder was screaming.

It had been screaming since Christmas so I listened and after a brief look outside to see who was home, I text Vicky, my glamorous but strong friend across the street, for help.

Three minutes later, full make up, blonde hair flowing, still dressed from work, she was at my door asking what we were doing. Moving bedrooms I told her.

At some point as we were shoving my mattress through the little hallway she asked me if I had taken a caffeine pill.

I am a caffeine pill I told her. Flat white still at work.

45 minutes later we were as done as we were gonna get.

By Sunday I had my clothes moved into the new closet, plants and shelves arranged, pictures hung and had slept like an angel both nights. The sun rises on the front of the house. This has confused Gus so much this morning he let me sleep in till 7:15, believe me when I say this does not happen.

Also believe me when I say I was almost late for work.

I have now created more work for myself because I have to get the little room back into fighting shape before I can rent it out.

And this is a busy week. But I'm pretty sure I know where I can purchase that extra get up and go I'll so desperately need.

 ( This is not a paid announcement)

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Scandi Home

The quiet days of January are upon us.

Outside is white, grey and rainy.

Inside is black and white and dry.

Cats sleep.
I eat.
Was I the last blogger standing who hadn't roasted a cauliflower?
A head of cauliflower does give one pause, especially if you're cooking for one.
But I took the plunge and over 3 days finished it all.

Then had to talk myself out of buying another.

We had a snow day so I made my favorite soup loaded with kale, potatoes, onions, garlic, black eyed peas from the freezer and sausage.

And yesterday, Senor from around the corner, finally returned from New Orleans,made jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage. We ate it, appetites heightened by the karmic ending of the Packers/Cowboys game. ( Just had to sneak a little football in here didn't I).

I attempted baking, Martha's applesauce, oatmeal cookies. I skipped the icing, swapped out cranberries for the raisins and found myself with a tower of cookies. I couldn't tell if they were good.

The Irishman next door had shoveled me a "wee" path. ( a wee path can you stand it?)
So I forced rewarded him with cookies. I brought a few into work and once they were pronounced edible I brought in the rest.

The applesauce flavor seemed to intensify with age, nice.

This was the first time I had ever baked that I had all my ingredients measured out in advance. It  certainly made it easier but it will take more than one so so batch of cookies to make a baker out of me.

Next week I hope to bake Elle's Clementine Cake for flower shop birthdays.

The full report and recipe coming soon. 

You may notice I'd doing pretty well with that NY resolution to feed myself better.. but why oh why did I forget to add go back to the gym?

Shouldn't these go hand in hand?