My cookies look pretty today and other notes from home

pretty plate of cookiesThey do don’t they?  Look pretty I mean.  Somedays I find my pleasure in a plate of cookies.  My thrifted plate is pretty too if I do say so myself…vintage apron with flowersSo is my great-grandma’s apron.  Actually I think it is beautiful not just pretty.  I love simple stitches and the butter yellow ribbon on the pocket and neckline.  I wonder how many trays of cookies she made while wearing it?  I love putting it on even though doing so makes it clear that I am much taller than she was…I dream of ways of modifying it but never do.  I think I’ll base a pattern off of it and leave it preserved as is…

my great grandmaThis picture of her has a place of honour over my stove.  Look how cool!  Her posture, the tea…effortlessly holding that cigarette…I think she’d like my cookies…IMG_2684

Sigh…what was the title of this post again?  Ah yes, pretty cookies and other news…So to the other news then.  In addition to some back issues, children with illness etc, we’ve had something pretty special happening at our place…

throughthefrenchdoorCan you guess?hardwood floor before refinishingLet’s start with a confession.  This was my floor in my dining room.  I actually thought it wasn’t in too bad of shape…well, I knew it needed refinishing but it wasn’t until the refinishing started that it hit me how bad it really was…

sanding hardwood floorI think you can start to see what I mean (excuse the cellphone quality photo)…sanding hardwood floor in bungalowWith the help of this brilliant woman, our floors now look like this…hardwood floor refinished with Vermont Natural Floor FinishHow?!  Why did we wait so long?  Answer: finances but I digress.  Ashley prepped and sanded the floors and then used Vermont Natural Floor Finish.  We skipped the stain as I wanted a more Scandinavian look and we weren’t sure how these floors would take the stain.  We were so pleased to find a “green” product and we are grateful to our friend Jill from The Happy Space Project and her husband Jamie for the product info.  Do you like it?

We are now reinstalling the quarter round and touching up the baseboards.  In a few days we’ll move the furniture back into place.  For now we live with this colourful mess piled in our back room:furniture piled upCookies, new floors…life is good.  Can’t wait until we can afford to do the upstairs : ).

What made you happy today?

PS Feel free to contact me if you need more info on the floor finish or if you are looking for someone to redo your floors for you…we highly recommend Ashley!

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If the world gives you lemons…

…make lemonade!  Right?  Well the world didn’t give me lemons but I did have a craving for my delicious Tomato, Lentil and Onion Soup.  I thought about this soup all day.  Preparing to leave the house in the morning I thought about my busy day and how I might not have a lot of prep time for dinner.  “No worries” I thought, “I’ll make Tomato, Lentil and Onion Soup.  It is so quick and easy to make”.  On the drive home I wondered if there was anything I should pick up at the store.  “Nope” I thought, “I have all the ingredients at home”.

Once home I got out my cutting board, some onions and went to the fridge to get the celery…”What is this?  Where did the celery go? Hmmmm”.  In my search I also noticed that there were no tomatoes!  Tomato, Lentil and Onion soup would be well, just lentil soup without them (they went in Thousand Islands Papa’s lunch by the way…I did check the night before : ).

What to do, what to do.  Still craving some sort of Fall soup I persevered.  I found leeks in my fridge search.  “Ah yes”, I thought “I’ll make my famous Potato and Leek Soup instead”.   So out came the leeks, chop, chop, chop.  I went to the cupboard for the potatoes. Sigh.  No Potato and Leek Soup either.

So.  If the world gives you leeks, and you happen to have sweet potatoes, you might make…Sweet Potato and Leek Soup!   I sort of used elements of both thwarted recipes.  Here is what I came up with for those of you who may be celery, tomato and potato challenged as well:

Sweet Potato Leek Soup

Of course you’ll need:

2 large sweet potatoes

2 large leeks

2 tsp sunflower oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tsp salt

1 tsp thyme

4 cups water

Peel and chopped the sweet potatoes. Cut off the green tops of the leeks. Cut the whites of the leeks lengthwise and chop. Rinse them well to get out any hidden dirt. In a large saucepan, melt the oil and butter.  Saute the leeks and sweet potatoes for about 5-10min (until the leeks are softened).  Add the salt and thyme in for the last minute.  Cover with water (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil and cover, reducing heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (until sweet potatoes are tender).  Puree in the blender.  Delicious!

So what are you going to do with what your fridge gives you tonight?