Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Czech Potatoe Soup: perfect for the end of summer

The air has changed, a bit more fresh and chilly in the mornings, but we still have the summer veggies at the markets  in plentyful amounts and these days it is a perfect time for a good vegetable potatoe soup as we transition into fall and we don't really want to be there yet.
Besides, it is a nice change to those everyday varieties of cold salads!

I grew up on it and when you love potatoes as much as my family, you may likely love this soup!

The "secret" or important ingredients are: potatoes and marjoram.


Place peeled and cubed potatoes (3 medium-large) in a pot with water (2 L) and bring to simmer, covered on low heat.
Add peeled and sliced carrots and parsnips (3 each).
Just simmering on low, keep adding what the house offers! 
In mine today I have added chopped red pepper, fresh peas (1/2 cup peeled), cauliflower (1 cup cut in small bits) and simmer on low until potatoes are just soft but not overboiled, somewhat al dente I suppose.
Add salt and ground pepper to taste. You can use Vegeta soup spice if you like it, I do. 

At the same time prepare the basic bechamele souce:
Melt 1/2 cup butter on low in a steel pot and add a few spoons (approx. 5 tbsp - add butter to reduce thickness if needed) of all purpose flour  and keep mixing with a wisk until golden brown.
Put it all in the soup and add minced garlic (2 cloves), 2 tbsp of dried marjoram (gently mash it in your palm before adding it). 
Soup is still simmering on low and you will add 2 eggs and stir around, and add chopped flat leaf parsley, give it a minute and voila, turn it off and serve!

1 potatoe soup + 1 happy boy = great lunch and great day.



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fall 2013 Fashion Favorites:

Hello and how are your choices for fall wardrobe going? 

Today I will share mine with you, as it is exciting to still enjoy the warm sunny day on our terrace, some mineral water with it ... and browsing fall fashion pages.

It is less sad to be approaching the end of summer when you have some great clothes to look forward to! Right? 

My favorite is is (but of course) once again Chanel with that futuristic image in mind. 
I would describe it as outfits to wear on a spaceship with that important belt (like it contains some future technology imbeded in it) that goes with every outfit. The little globe purse is not bad either!

Love the quilted skirt:

The tweeds:

The sexied up "lady like" look:
The A-line perfection:


Second, there would be parties on a spaceship travelling to some excitements this is what I want to wear going out in Calgary (smiles), Jean Paul Gaultier:

LBD is a must to pack!
Strapless Seafoam colour with animal prints: 
Drama, long dress - tall hair: 

And one should not be without Dolce & Gabbana - Everyday  Pencil  Skirt Tweeds. 
I seem to buy some from them every season, they are just so elegant, the length is very lady like and the most flattering to a woman in my opinion.


You can wear this skirt with a simple white t-shirt or any colour simple top and you will look amazing yet casual Monday to Friday. 

OK, there is one more thing we all need "Leather Sweatpant" with oh so comfy elastic waist! Yes there, I said it! 

I will be wearing those LOTS:

Hope you are finding something to crave here and enjoying the weekend!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Just Garden: Polohouse special!

This landscaping of our front empty and flat yard has been quite the "works" and as Alison from the "Polohouse" mentioned I could join her Garden Special, I thought I should show you the complete transformation...

It used to be empty...Well we had 2 trees and they both had some we had this garden center plant us a 4 year old Linden Tree on one side...

I really did not know where to take it ... and realized I don't like the open front towards the public pavement... thought a bit of plants might improve it but it still was not much...

I planted one side, mixing in evergreens and boxwood to achieve some greenery in winter and the brown springs in Calgary....

I planted "hesitantly" on the other side of our pathway...well don't be surprised, I just did not know much about landscaping when I started... and we had a lot of grass to cover in the front of our house...but when I saw it 3D, I realized how small and silly it looked so ...I ENLARGED it...

AND IT was small ...again...not good enough...

Then I became a "buying plant's" maniac and was collecting them like the cups in my kitchen...

I got more confidence and decided (when my husband was in Tokyo - far enough to stop me) to hire a young strong help to achieve my goal and I also dared to order our wrought iron fence! 

There he is ...working hard to remove sod!
I had simplified the entry with just boxwood and a nice topiary evergreen tree.

And creating a bushier area near the hedge separating us from our neighbours...all these bushes: maple, hydrangeas and evergreens will grow up much much taller too...maple is to be 4 m tall, and hydrangeas 2m and the tall columnar pine is 6 m tall and only 1,5 m I think a great balance and coverage of our city yard from the road...

Finaly, 4 weeks later when they installed the new balcony railings and the fence (damaging our grass a bit, and my tree mellow plant unfortunately), I could not be happier!

IT was SCARY to watch....the mess they were creating for the better good.

Hydrangeas and roses, my favorite combo in this small "just flowers" area make me so very happy the back is the broken tree mellow but next summer I am sure it will be rich and plentyful again...smiles. 

And we did install &  secured with concrete our new mail box - it is very cool and can accomodate lots of mail even when we don't take it out every day due to travelling! And our boy loves to unlock and collect it much fun...

Oh and not to forget, finaly our terrace furniture can be out there without worrying about someone taking it away at night! We simply lock the gate for the night and sleep soundly with alarm and cameras (everywhere) ... 

This project was fun and it is only for those who love getting their hands  full of soil, still have to laugh about what Debra from Acquired Objects said about her gardening: "having soil up to her knickers"...yes you must like soil up to your knickes to appreciate planting and gardening!

Have a lovely weekend, I will be enjoying our front or back finaly landscaped gardens!