OLD-FASHIONED PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

BEL’OCCHIO   …the beautiful eye

OLD-FASHIONED PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

IMG_1058

My tattered and torn Robin Hood Flour Baking cookbook holds so many treasured memories.   This small book of recipes was included with a bag of Robin Hood Flour.  The recipes are tried and true and more than fifty years old.

I love the way the caramelized buttery brown sugar compliments the tart pineapple. This simple to make recipe requires just one bowl.  All the ingredients are probably in your pantry.   You can use pineapple slices or pieces of pineapple.  If you want to be truly “old school” you can arrange maraschino cherries on top of the pineapple.

This is the kind of dessert you can whip up in a few minutes.  It is the perfect ending to a simple supper.    It is also a delicious treat with morning coffee or afternoon treat.

Click on OLD-FASHIONED PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE for this recipe.

THEADORA OF PARIS CELEBRATES A BIRTHDAY

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

THEADORA’S BIRTHDAY

a

In a far-away country called Wonderland it was the custom  to honour a first birthday with gifts of great value.

These  gifts were unique.

Incredibly valuable.

And would last for ever.

On her first birthday the beautiful red headed Theadora blew out the candle on her cake, and  began to open her presents.

Her first gift was understanding -  of the past, the present, the future.

Her second gift was love – a great love of the unknown and the unusual.

Her final and most wonderful of gift  – a gift of words.

Words that would weave stories of delight and joy.

Words that would encircle and capture all who read them.

Today is THEADORA ‘s birthday.

Published in: on April 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

MEDALLIONS OF BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

MEDALLIONS OF BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS

IMG_1047

I am so impressed with the way my single friends meet the challenge of cooking for one.    This recipe rises to the occasion.  It is super quick to make.  You can easily adapt the recipe for one person, or double it for six to eight people.   And best of all you probably have most of the ingredients in your panty.

The anchovies in this recipe melt into the pepper mixture adding a gorgeous savory, salty quality.  If you don’t like anchovies omit them and add three tablespoons of minced green olives.

I serve oven roasted yellow potatoes with dish.   Quarter the potatoes.  Toss them generously with  olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them in a single layer  in a large roasting pan.  The secret to perfect roast potatoes, crispy on the outside and tender and mealy inside – is give these guys breathing room  Roast them at 400F convection heat for about 20 minutes.  While they are roasting prep your meat and vegetables and everything should be ready at the same time.

Prepare to be dazzled.  Click on BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN  for this recipe.  Bon Appetit dear friends.

THE DECONSTRUCTED BLT

 

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

BLT SALAD

img_1481

There is nothing quite so wonderful as a BLT Sandwich.   Layers of smoky crisp bacon, juicy tomatoes and crisp lettuce, a slather of mayonnaise all  sandwiched between slices of crusty toasted bread

Can you think of time that isn’t perfect for a BLT.  BLT for lunch, or a mid-night snack.  A BLT early Saturday morning  with a cup of freshly brewed coffee,  the morning newspaper and Willie Nelson serenading you.

Deconstruct this perfect sandwich and you have a salad that is a meal in itself.

This recipe take the luscious components of a BLT, adds crisp romaine lettuce and dresses these ingredients with a killer buttermilk dressing.    You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time, and assemble them just before serving.  Click on BLT SALAD  for this new take on an old favorite.

HOW AN IMPRESSIONIST ARTIST DECORATED HIS BEDROOM

 

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

An artist  decorates his bedroom!

“This time it’s just simply my bedroom,

Only here colour is to do everything,

And giving by its simplification a grander style to things,

Is to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general.

In a word, to look at the picture  ought to rest the brain or rather the imagination.

purple-and-white-in-bedroom-combination8

The walls are pale violet.

westbury_orangery_terracotta_tiles_2

The floor is of red tiles.

D150-16609

The wood of the bed and chairs is the yellow of fresh butter,

91Dnj2IbQQL._SL1500_

The sheet and pillows very light lemon-green.

ellery-homestyles-scarlet-king-charles-bedding-collection__96193__99685__63645.1319121342.1280.1280

The coverlet scarlet.

DSC_0669

The Window Green.

048

The toilet table orange,

gsi-outdoors-enamelware-mixing-bowl-blue-12026_grande

The basin blue.

il_fullxfull.227975096

The doors lilac.

vanGogh-Pic0089-a.jpg_4

And that is all .

There is nothing in this room with closed shutters.”

(Letter to his brother Theo.)

VINCENT VAN GOGH

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 9:52 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , ,

MY PARIS RECIPE FOR FRENCH ONION SOUP

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

It was April and we were in Paris.

Dining  at Man Ray,  then on to the Buddha Bar for fabulous people watching,  music, and  champagne.    It was our last night in Paris.  We wanted to savour all Paris had to offer.

 

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The night sky was fading as we wandered into an old bistro in the lst Arrondissment.     The  area where  the citizens of the old market place of Les Halles  worked 24 hours a day  distributing food to every corner of Paris.

This is where we ended our Paris with bowls of  restorative onion soup, crowned with bread encrusted with rich, melted Gruyere cheese.

img_2634

Most recipes for this soup use a beef stock base.  This recipe uses chicken stock.  The flavour is lighter and the onions play the starring role.  Just click on  FRENCH ONION SOUP and start slicing  your onions.  Bon Appetit!

THE DREAM DRAWER OF FORGOTTEN JEWELLERY

product-original-47888-7604-1346171544-3d43e19990c38e4b8c3310811c47b843

 

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

THE DREAM DRAWER OF FORGOTTEN JEWELLERY

Moonlight caught pearls.

Sparkling topaz.

Glittering rhinestones.

Burnished  gold and silver.

Earrings all.

Earrings we loved for the moment then set aside.

In a drawer of long ago dreams.

They lay forgotten.

Unloved.  Unworn.  Uncomfortable.

Clip- on and vintage screw-on earrings so uncomfortable we wear them for an hour or two  then reluctantly remove them.  Put them away and forget about them.

You can rescue clip-on and screw-on earrings by  turning them into post earrings for pierced ears.  This is easy peasy to do, and you can do it yourself.

IMG_1030

 You need wire cutters (heavy duty ones)

A file (you may need this to file rough edges)

E-6000 glue (this works the best for me)

Some tooth picks

Earring posts and backers (available at craft shops)

IMG_1031

Remove the clips using the wire cutter.

IMG_1032

Clip off the earring clip as close to the base as possible.

IMG_1035

If there are any sharp or rough edges file these away.

 

IMG_1037

Put a small drop of glue on the area where you want to adhere the post.  Use a toothpick to pickup the glue and try to keep excess glue off your earring.  When using this or similar glue be sure to have windows open (lots of ventilation) and avoid getting any glue on your skin.

IMG_1038

Press post firmly into the glue and put aside to set over night.  (no cheating – don’t even think of wiggling the post).  That’s it!  Your done!

IMG_1025

I have a dream drawer of earrings.  Earrings I have been collecting for six decades.  The vintage screw back earrings are exquisite but murder to wear, and I am concerned  I might loose them.

IMG_1028

 

The outrageous pink rhinestone earrings circa 1950′s were a gift from my fashionista Mom.   Too precious to loose, too uncomfortable to wear.  But, not any more.  Since I discovered how easy it is to convert earrings to post earring I am doing just that.  And, I no longer have a drawer of forgotten jewellery.

 

 

THE ART OF EATING AN EGG

 

BEL’OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

Eggs in blue bowl wm

 M.F.K. Fisher said “probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.”

A nest of eggs in a blue bowl becomes a thing of beauty.

Perfection in its simplicity.

Break the egg and it becomes a work of love.

Love dished up in eloquent, ethereal souffles  and cakes.

Love  with buttered toast soldiers dabbled into a soft boiled eggs.

Loved stirred and folded into golden omelet.

Eggs lavished with anchovies or caviar.

Eggs at midnight to send you off to dreamland.

Eggs gracing an early morning breakfast tray.

Day ends and you think tonight I want to eat something simple  and nourishing for body and soul,  that is when you want to make this pasta and egg dish.

img_32954

You start by boiling up a little linguine.  You saute some garlic, a few walnuts, breadcrumbs in fragrant olive oil.  Soft boil eggs.  Chop chives.  Toss it all with your linguine and top it with your perfect boiled eggs and goat cheese.  Heaven on a plate.  For the recipe for PASTA WITH WALNUTS, GARLIC , BREADCRUMBS AND EGGS click on the recipe and prepare a repast that is pure love.

SCRUMPTIOUS FRUIT SCONES

Making scones is so easy and the results are so spectacular.  Over the years I have tried many recipes but this is the all time best.   From start to finish you can have scones on the breakfast table in just over 30 minutes.

First of all turn your oven to 400 degrees F. and have the rack in the centre of the oven.

Collect the ingredients and have everything at room temperature except the butter.  If you haven’t done this ahead of time heat the egg in a bowl of warm water and gently warm the buttermilk in the microwave.

You’ll notice the amount of buttermilk is not precise.  The amount you’ll need will depend on the humidity that day. You want just enough liquid to hold your dough together.  If you get too carried away with adding the extra buttermilk don’t worry.  Just drop your scones on the baking sheet.  I promise you they will still be delicious.

The secret to making perfect scones and biscuits is too make them quickly – your dough looking a little ragged.

The next cool morning make yourself this treat.  Click on SCRUMPTIOUS FRUIT SCONES          for the recipe.

“THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS”

 

BEL ‘OCCHIO   …   the beautiful eye

IMG_0962

This past winter has been cruel and unusual for a great many people.  But not for those of us living in the Pacific North West.    This winter has been a little warmer and a little drier.  The flowering trees are blooming earlier and many, many days we have been able to sit in the sun sipping tea and catching a few rays.

Hoping to cheer up snow harried friends and family I created a series of  greeting cards promising them  spring was on the way.   I gathered them up to mail, but somewhere between home and post-office I lost two of the cards.   One card had a Canadian address and the other to the United States.  The cards were not stamped.

 The other day I was informed the Canadian card had arrived.  Today my dear friend Celi of THEKITCHENSGARDEN  informed me she had received hers.  I am so grateful to the kindness of a  stranger who found my cards.  Took them to the post-off.  Bought stamps for the cards and sent them on their way.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 349 other followers