Soul Restoration

2014 promises to be very busy for me.  I nervously take the steps towards my home renovation by meeting with architects next week.  The vision is easy and of my bones.  After living in this house almost 11 years, I know it intimately and understand the way I live within these walls.  I am the current caretaker of this home and intend to help it last another 80 years, in style, of course.

I have spent many months building my look book and I would like to share some of the photos with you.  Each of them contains some element that I would like to include into my renovation.  From tucking a sleeping nook in the rafters upstairs to plank walls, there is much to think about.  These represent only a small portion of the pictures, but each one has something about it that makes me stop and think.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Take a look:

Plank Walls tucked away day bed eat in farm house kithcen the guest cottage great space planning Well appointed guest bed unique windows DP_Anisa-Darnell-cottage-kitchen-5_s3x4_lg (2) Old panelled wall. Exposed Studs painted white. Attic Bedrooms A sleeping nook tucked away The cook's cottage kitchen The guest bedroom Small but lovely. I am in love with this back splash The simple white kitchen White Painted Beadboard Bedroom tucked under a pitched roof Antique Mantel Upholstered Headboard

Discovery: Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker

I have become quite keen on a new cooking show on Food Network, Farmhouse Rules.  Basically, anything with the word Farmhouse always catches my attention.  In one episode, they made cocktails using a mason jar cocktail shaker.  I was hooked…I had to have it.  A little mining the internet and voila.  I found the website: http://www.masonshaker.com/

With this new gadget, I am looking forward to experimenting with simple syrups and flavor components to create really great cocktails.

I hope in the  New Year, you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

 

Savory and refreshing.

Savory and refreshing.

Mason Cocktail Shaker.

Mason Cocktail Shaker.

The Little Paris Kitchen

Rachel Khoo, literally in her Little Paris Kitchen

Rachel Khoo, literally in her Little Paris Kitchen

I stumbled on a lovely little show on the cooking channel, hosted by Rachel Khoo.  She lives in a little (and I mean little) Parisian flat and hosts a cooking show from her kitchen which is literally the span of her arm’s length deep and wide.

I would imagine that out of necessity, she would naturally gravitate towards simple cooking because she doesn’t have the storage for kitchen gadgets and a plethora of cooking accoutrements.  Rachel is probably a better version of my younger self.  I love the way she uses an old chippy, antique enamel bowl to do a lot of her mixing.  She has used it in several episodes.  She doesn’t even have a proper stove or oven.  She has two burners and a counter top oven and she manages to use them very well.  Not only that, she ran the smallest restaurant in Paris from her apartment.  French dinner for two by an English girl.  Brilliant.

She is confident enough and refreshing enough to show a clip in her show of a French Butcher who didn’t particularly like her version of steak tartare.  I really appreciate someone who knows the best things in life are often the things that fall outside the lines.

So intrigued was I, that I purchased her cookbook on Amazon (here is the link) and have made five recipes so far.  Three turned out great, two…not so much.  But the recipes that didn’t turn out were my errors and I will try them again, until I get it right.

One recipe I tried was “Nids de Tartiflette” or Cheese and Potato Nests.   A simple and rustic recipe with wine and french cheese, it was really lovely and easy.  Rachel Khoo is really onto something if she is determined to de-mystify French cooking and do it the way the French do at home.  I had great fun with these recipes and great result.

The mystery out of French Food prepared simply.

The mystery out of French Food prepared simply.

 Nids de Tartiflette

Click on the title for a link to the recipe.  Here is a snap of my result. Insanely delicious.

Cheese Potato Nests (Nids de tartiflette)

Cheese Potato Nests (Nids de tartiflette)