Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cooking with Donna and Dzintra

A couple of months ago, the talented and lovely Dzintra  invited me to participate in her Donna Hay magazine cook ups! 
Dzintra is such a creative talent, and one of the kindest souls I know. 
I was so thankful and excited, and am pleased to present my first attempt....

Now if you are not familiar with chef Donna Hay, I must tell you that I have been admiring her exquisite magazine for a few years. 

Lovely, yes?

 Thanks to Dzintra's kind invitation, I finally decided to begin purchasing this gorgeous and artful magazine. Since Dzintra and Donna reside in Australia, the current issue out is Spring...and my local book store lags a bit, so I cooked from the splendid Winter Issue 63...

And that's perfect for our entrance into Fall...
There were so many delightful recipes from which to choose....the photography and styling are outstanding.....

Naturally, I decided to choose my main dish from the Winter in Paris feature...yes, please!


"French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons"
page 85

onions caramelizing nicely


Since this was my first attempt at cooking French Onion Soup, I must admit, I was a bit nervous...especially because I was posting my results for all to see.. 
But it came out really delicious...
I did substitute chicken stock for beef since I don't eat red meat...and the next time I make this soup I will omit the flour, for it thickens up a bit too much for me...but overall...magnifique! :)

For dessert...

"Banana Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Icing"
p. 60 and 64

 of course I had to add some white and dark chocolate chips

 a bit of shaved chocolate on top

now to taste...



Add a bit of this...


 Some lovely company....
And it makes for a special evening indeed!

 Merci my dear friend...looking forward to the next issue.
Do visit Dzintra's lovely world here.

Bon Appetit!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sweet Masquerade

spooky tricks  
scrumptious sweets...

we'll soon be hearing
"Trick or Treat!" 

 Anita Rivera on Etsy

who's behind the mask

 Anita Rivera at Etsy

it is that time of year...

at last

Anita Rivera at Etsy

 Anita Rivera on Etsy

let us delight in magic, friends....

  Anita Rivera on Etsy


  Anita Rivera on Etsy

never ends....

  Anita Rivera on Etsy

So many enchanting new treats in Anita's shop!

  Anita Rivera on Etsy

Enjoy the change of the seasons, dear friends!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Horses, and Cheese Curds, and Quilts...Oh My!

A very happy September to you all, dear friends!
We are back in school mode...
the continuing warm days are making it challenging 
to focus on homework :)
Chilly temps will arrive soon enough, 
but I wanted to share some last morsels of Summer 
with a few photos of our annual day at the State Fair.

Hot and very crowded on this particular day....
We chose to cool off in the Creative Activities Pavilion...

I love this miniature Gypsy caravan....
all of the miniatures here were built with the hope 
of winning a ribbon !

Look at that sweet dog....sniffing his way to some treats?

A beautiful model boat....surrounded by a sea of quilts!

What about these pretties?
 A peek inside a tiny tea shop...

And a bridal shop....

Many beautiful needlework creations...
 this one took home the blue ribbon!

Our dear piano teacher entered with a darling cross stitch Christmas stocking...


Next we moved on to the gorgeous quilts...
 This lovely won second place....
I really like the colors and movement of the leaves.

It's a bit difficult to see, but this unique quilt is beaded!
 So much to look at here...very whimsical, yes?

Dear Dzintra, the one below is especially for you!
 (sorry for the glare)
A lovely Fall quilt in the background....
And first place blue ribbon for this beautiful Native American wooden sculpture...  

There was so much to see, it was almost overwhelming. I wanted to take many more photos, but I needed to save memory for the Fine Arts pavilion!

Dear Marcia, here is a little something I know you'll appreciate! :)
A perfect sunny-side up painting!

How unique is this? Made completely of discarded piano components....

In the Agricultural building, we were happy to see that my daughter's best friend won the blue ribbon AND best in show for her crop art!

Thousands of seeds and grains meticulously glued to the fish and plaque...what patience.

And I had to include a sweet cheval  for dear Anita..

Isn't he beautiful?

We concluded our day with the obligatory cheese curds...

Not to worry...this greasy, salty tray of goodness was split among the 
THREE of us.
A once a year treat only! :)

Until next time!
- Irina
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