Friday, November 29, 2013

Forever Chic has arrived in The Humble Bungalow!

Blogger and writer Tish Jett's book Forever Chic arrived in the post this week!
The chic and savvy Deja Pseu hosted a giveaway on her blog and I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of this delicious book. Thank you Deja Pseu I am so grateful that the book arrived safely after the post office mix up.

I can hardly wait to read it but it will have to wait as we are busy with friends and the calendar is getting filled up.
I'd like to hunker down and take a couple of days and simply soak in all of Tish's words of wisdom.

I'll write a review of the book when I am finished reading it.

(Did you notice the card that Deja Pseu sent with the book?)

My lazy lunch...
leftover butternut squash, a few strands of spaghetti noodles, and an egg beaten up and topped with chives.
When I bought this wee frying pan I had no idea that it would get so much use.
It comes in so handy for roasting nuts, cooking up an egg or two and making a single serving of French Toast.

I must be off as I have some chocolate zucchini cakes to bake.
The Root Cellar had zucchini on sale and I could not resist a bargain.

Be Well and remember Kindness never goes out of style.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday, OOTD and a blog anniversary.

This is a black post so if you are looking for colour you'll be disappointed!

In Canada, shopping Black Friday is relatively new, but for our neighbours to the south it is the kickoff for the season of holiday shopping. Stores open early and there are sales galore.
It sounds quite crazy when people camp out or stand in line for hours waiting for the stores to open...
I suppose it is no different than standing in line to get tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and I seem to recall doing that many years ago.

I was able to take part in a little bit of Black Friday shopping but it was only Thursday!
The shop I was in was having a "black friday sale" and all black garments were 25% off!

Black Giacca coat with feminine details.

Chillax coat
DKNY jeans
Franco Sarto loafers
Burberry scarf

Adrienne of La Vie Quotidienne mentioned how much she liked the Benefit mascara 
with it's new wand.
 This mascara was also the best seller at Sephora so I decided to take her advice and give this a test drive.

There should be four candles alight...
you may ask why.

Let's pretend this is cake shall we?

The Humble Bungalow Blog is celebrating a four year anniversary today.
The blogging journey has been full of surprises.
Writing has opened up many opportunities for growth.

Who knew that through blogging that I would forge new friendships near and far.

The Humble Bungalow Blog has become a part of my everyday routine....
whether I am thinking about a future post or taking a picture of something beautiful.
The blog material is never far from my mind.
 I think I look more closely at everything around me than I ever did before.
Often it is the ordinary and simple things that inspire my posts.
I plan to keep blogging as long as I have something to say.
I hope that you will be interested enough in what I have to say to stop by...

To those who read my blog and comment I am very grateful.
Thank you.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A tasty homemade Hostess Gift

If you have been following The Humble Bungalow Blog for awhile you might remember that my BFF lives in a vast arts and crafts home "Tigara" with gorgeous gardens on several acres. I posted last June and July about her home so if you want to read about her home click on the tag arts and crafts and you can find the Tigara posts.

Her kitchen has lots more room than mine so naturally when we decided that we were making a big batch of treats we got together at her place.
Our project "Chocolate Dipped Dried Fruit" required ample counter space to set out the dipped fruit before filling the tins.

The AGA cooker has a hot hob on the left and a simmering one to the right.
We used stainless bowls over top of pots of boiling water to melt the Foley's chocolate buttons.

Parchment paper, waxed paper and cookie sheets at the ready.

Foley's chocolate buttons before melted.
Dark and light chocolate were used.

An assortment of dried fruit purchased from the local health food store.
Apple rings, apricots, cherries, papaya, mango, peaches, pears, and ginger.

Doilies, tins and ribbons.
The Christmas cactus on the dining room table is spectacular!

Some of the larger fruits were cut into smaller pieces.

(in case you were wondering we did not have any wine!)
My BFF made the most delicious coconut curry soup for our lunch and we drank several mugs of restorative tea.

The dipped fruit ready for the tins.

The doilies line the tins...waiting.

Not bad for a days work.
And it is so much more fun when made with a friend.
Despite sampling a few of these at my WW weigh I was down another half a pound.
Just a couple of pounds left to go.
What a journey this has been.

I made a big batch or tapenaude last week too...
for me, retirement is all about having more time to make things from scratch.

 Pondside met me for a walk and a coffee this week.
 I told her about the Hostess gifts and she mentioned she made a big batch of antipasto with her friend.
(BTW I have tasted her antipasto and it is delicious.)
We seriously could have talked for hours and were still chatting as we went our separate ways!

Are you making any edible gifts to give as Hostess gifts this holiday season?
Do you have any standard or trademark gifts that you like to give?

Take care,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dressing Down ~ OOTD

This is my idea of comfort dressing that is one notch above pajamas and a bathrobe!

(a wee bit blurry but you get the idea)

Lands' End performance pants
Segments zip front jacket
Champion white tee
Born sneakers

Accessories are pearls and my ESQ watch.

I recently had these restrung by our family jeweler as the clasp had broken.
He designed and crafted a new sterling clasp and the pearls are freshly strung with silk thread.

This OOTD is a variation of what I wear to walk and action domestic chores.
Speaking of which I must get going and whip this dusty Humble Bungalow into shape.

Hope that your week is off to a great start.

My BFF's kitchen in her lovely Craftsman Home.

I'll be posting next about the day that my BFF and I got together to make some tasty Hostess gifts.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thorn and Thistle outstanding flower merchants and the dinner party.

Thorn and Thistle is a delightful flower shop in the Dean Heights shopping block on Foul Bay Road.
It is a small space filled with beautiful plants and flowers. They have soaps, vintage silver and candles.
What I like is that they sell a wide variety of "greenery" as well as their roses and posies.

I love packages wrapped in brown paper.
Honestly one of my "favourite things."

I happened to be shopping for some cheeses and a baguette at the nearby Chiarell's deli and popped in on my way by...the gals inside are knowledgeable and friendly and eager to help. I really appreciate the personal touch and find I'd rather patronize a shop run by people who love their jobs and greet you with a smile.
If you live in the Victoria area I would highly recommend that you go into Thorn and Thistle and see for yourself.

a simple green centrepiece

It is meant to be low,
 so the guests can see each other across the table when dining.

Keeping things simple when it comes to table setting is very much in keeping with our Humble Bungalow.

On the menu for our dinner party:

Served with Phrog Gin martinis
Caramelized onion Cheddar and Pecorino Cheese, Smoked Salmon, sliced French Baguette
~ ~ ~
Fresh Green Pea Soup served with bacon cubes (Park Avenue Cookbook)
French baguette
~ ~ ~
Roasted Cherry Tomato Bake (Barefoot Contessa ~ Foolproof)
Mushrooms with roasted Pine Nuts (Park Avenue Cookbook)
Basic mashed potatoes
Roasted Herb encrusted Pork Loin ~ Bone in
Apple Crostata (Barefoot Contessa ~ Parties)
served with Coconut Bliss "ice cream"

Humble Bungalow Pork
Pork loin (bone in) topped with dijon mustard, chopped thyme, rosemary and parsley.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Topped with bread crumbs.
Easy and delicious!

I plan to keep the rosemary inside for the holidays.
I use it quite a lot when I cook.
It will look a bit festive if I twist some simple twine or vintage garland around it.

Bunny William's book is on my coffee table and I am halfway through reading it.
I can relate to her story...falling in love with a house.
It was love at first sight when we stepped into our Humble Bungalow 30 years ago.
It was waiting for someone to come in and restore it to it's former glory.
It has been a labour of love and we are not finished yet!

Before I go and read...
I would be remiss not to mention the other gem on the Dean Heights block...
Chiarelli's a fabulous deli that stocks exotic ingredients, mustard, pickles, jams, teas, superior olive oils and vinegars. They have a wide assortment of crackers and cheeses, olives and so much more.

Mandarin oranges in the shops alert me that the Holidays are just around the corner.
I don't know about you but I am going to shop and plan ahead this year to avoid holiday stress.
It really helps to keep things simple.

Remember that kindness never goes out of style.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Food for a Fall Dinner

Our weather has been chilly and ice is on the ground, yet we are snug in our Humble Bungalow despite the single paned windows and the drafts. I just add a cashmere sweater and some woolly socks.

The Humble Bungalow is panelled in dark fir and the lights "glow" but do not offer much illumination.
It is rather like "mood lighting" and most of the arts and crafts furniture is dark oak.

On a dark and stormy night I like to serve a hot meal...
salads are fine but there is something so comforting sitting down to dinner when the food is hot.

Have you seen this book?
I hadn't until I was browsing the shelves at our local Value Village.
I enjoy reading Real Simple magazines when I get the opportunity so I thought why not...

I made the recipe for "Paprika Spiced Pork Chops with Spinach Saute."
I served them with carrots and a dish of roasted tomatoes with a panko crumb topping.
I rarely buy pork as I never know how to prepare it but this recipe on page 179 was a winner.
Mr. HB loved it!

I'll be wearing this trusty linen apron as I plan to spend the better part of the day in the kitchen.

Thinking about JFK today and the events 50 years ago in Dallas Texas.
Do you remember here were you when it happened?

~ ~ ~

Have a lovely weekend.

As per your request Lisa...
I am in full on cooking mode this afternoon so this is my OOTD.
Skinny jeans a white tee, loafers and a patterned jacket.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let them eat kale (and cake too!)

Have you ever made your salads using fresh kale?
I am on a "kale kick" these days. It is readily available in the markets at this time of year.
I've made Caesar Salad substituting kale for the romaine lettuce which is delicious and various other salads.
Kale pairs well with sliced peaches and pears in a salad with a low fat yogurt based dressing, a healthy lunch.
For colour and a burst of flavour try popping some dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds on top.
Just remember when you use kale to remove the tough inner stalks and tear it into bite sized pieces.

I recently made some roasted kale chips and now I understand what all the hoopla is about...
they are crunchy and delicious and so good for snacking.
Wash and tear into bite size pieces toss in a small amount of oil and salt. Bake at 275 for about 20 minutes turning after about 12 minutes. Remove and cool on sheet pan. Store in a airtight container.

After this weeks Weight Watchers weigh in I took Mother out for tea.
My weight is holding pretty steady these past few weeks and I need to up my activities and choose lower point counts foods until I get to my target...2.9 pounds to go!
I have been walking with a friend for 2 hours once a week and think that I need to do this more often.
The regular 45 minute walk is obviously not quite enough.

But in the meantime it was a splurge day...fruit for breakfast and a late lunch at The White Heather Tea Room.

The "Not So Wee Tea"
We ate the sandwiches and one of the smallest sweets.
After drinking two vast pots of tea and chatting for about an hour and a half we took the rest home!

I am having a salad for dinner and hope that Mr. HB will enjoy the sweets for dessert!

~ ~ ~

My grammy days are a gift and an utter delight. 
I read several books with the lovely Miss Isla and she lays her head on my shoulder and cuddles up on the couch.
She is such a treasure.
Henry slept while I was there and only woke as I was leaving several hours later.
When I was about to leave Isla pleaded with me to stay and said she loved me,
it was heartwrenching to say goodbye, talk about a conflict.
I'll be back soon for another play day...definitely a highlight of my retirement.

I am so grateful for my family.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

OOTD and more books on style and fashion...

I met some girlfriends for coffee last week and the weather was mild so I didn't wear a coat.
The cozy Cut Loose vest over top of my Segments Merino Wool Tee.

Here I am messing about with my camera in the laundry room just before dashing out the door.

The new to me Italian handbag, a gift from my daughter.
It's by Valentina.

Vintage Saldarini silk scarf purchased several years ago in Seattle.
It was found in the Antique Mall by Pike Place and is a huge square with meticulously hand rolled edges.
If memory serves me I think I paid about $15.00 for it.

g21 skinny dark wash denim jeans
(the $10 bargain whose CPW is amounting to pennies)

Reading this great book on fashion style icons.

"Tomboy Style"
 When I was a teen I think I fit into this group.

Can you tell that I am making more time to read?
The public library is on my regular route these days.

It's fun to peruse the shelves.
My book bag is pretty heavy these days.

What are you reading?