Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Monday, April 30, 2012


So had to get beyond that ugly

Here's something pretty to look at on this brand new start to the week...

There I feel much better!
Have a wonderful week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Hate Daytime TV

Now...because I am quite a proper English girl, 
I rarely use the word 'hate'.
It's just so, so very dire.
But I really, really hate daytime TV!

Because of this bloody awful weather, I have been confined to quarters today and there are only so many closets you can organize.

Out of desperation I flicked on the TV to see what was what.

We do not have extensive coverage, so I meandered through things like
the Nate Berkus Show (why must audiences yell so?) and Steve and Chris (why must audiences yell so and why is beige so amazing?), until I thought I would go mad!

I finally found a show on the radio discussing Edith Wharton...but I have to say it was less than inspiring.

Please let the rain stop...I want to go outside and play!

Weather Forecast

This is our weather forecast for the week.

There will be no cycling or playing in the dirt.

Hopefully, between showers and dressed appropriately, a walk or two

Roll on Friday!

Happy St. George's Day

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I think I can safely say that my repetoire of cooking is
fairly wide.

I've made Indian dishes...

Thai dishes...

Japanese dishes...

Chinese dishes...

French dishes...

and, of course, Italian dishes.

But there is one italian dish that has always intimidated me,
to the point that I have never tried to make it...


Well, no more. 
I have found this recipe and I'm giving it a go this weekend!

Ricotta Gnocchetti with Tomato-Butter Sauce
Recipe adapted from Jenn Louis, Lincoln, Portland, OR
Ricotta Gnocchetti1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking sheet
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Freshly ground nutmeg

Tomato-Butter Sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 small rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
Red-pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1. Make the gnocchetti: Sprinkle a large baking sheet generously with flour and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg, butter and a pinch of nutmeg until combined. Add the flour and mix until just combined. (The dough should be slightly sticky and wet.)
2. Working with about ¼ cup portion of the dough on a lightly floured work surface, gently roll the dough into a log about ¼ inch in diameter. Cut the log crosswise into ½-inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the gnocchetti loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
3. Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf and red-pepper flakes to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and butter and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt. Pour the sauce through a mesh strainer and discard the vegetables and herbs. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet and keep warm over low heat.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the gnocchetti until they float, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchetti to the skillet with the sauce. When all the gnocchetti are done, gently warm them in the sauce.
6. Divide the gnocchetti among 4 or 6 plates. Garnish with additional cheese and serve immediately. 

If anyone out there has an opinion on this recipe, or any tips to help make the process go more smoothly, I appreciate any and all advice.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Dream Job

In no particular order...

To open a butcher/fishmonger/baker in my little town
that serves sustainable, organic, heathly FOOD!

Any job they care to give me at this magical place in Portugal
Veta la Palma Fish Farm
a sustainable fish farm that has no feed to fish ratio,
that measures success by the health of its predators,
and is a natural water filtration system.

(If you would like to learn more, take 20 minutes out of your day and watch this
Dan Barber - How I Fell In Love With A Fish)

and, last but not least

I would love to be the person who gives away TOMS shoes.

Just putting it out there.
Universe!   are you listening?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eye Candy

Just a little eye-candy for you today...

Spring in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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