Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

It's fall so that means it's soup season!
I usually make at least a pot or two a week. My current favourite is butternut squash. This soup has it's tasty, filling and really healthy. Once you have the chopping done it comes together quickly. Add a sandwich or salad for an easy dinner.
Top with a spoonful of sour cream and a few pumpkin seeds and serve as a starter for your next dinner party, Thanksgiving or Christmas

Butternut Squash Soup

1 small onion
1 butternut squash
1 apple
2 carrots
1 potato
1 sweet potato

In a large, heavy pot saute the onion on low heat until soft.
Add the remaining chopped ingredients.

Cover the vegetables with about 6 cups of chicken stock.
Add salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Puree with a hand blender.
Taste and add more salt if needed.
For a creamier soup add a few tablespoons of cream or milk.
Garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.


Friday, October 3, 2014

I am Back

After a busy summer, things are starting to slow down around here. Kids are settled, back to school shopping is done, the nights are a little chilly and now it's time to start blogging again. I loved the unscheduled, free-time I had this summer, but lately I have been missing some sort of structure. I am looking forward to a bit of a schedule and getting a few things done around the house.

I thought, for the interest of my long distant friends, I would give a quick run down of my summer, picture book style! (because it's true, I am still not on Facebook, gasp!!)
I'll try to keep it design related, mostly, maybe.

Here goes...

We went to Chicago, Montreal and Buffalo. I loved Chicago (first time there) and was pleasantly surprised with how great Buffalo is. Did architectural boat tour in Chicago and walking tour in Buffalo, both were amazing.


Seriously, Buffalo has so much to offer...if you go you must take the walking tour and the city hall tour. I once again could not get enough floor many great floors so little iPhone space!

Buffalo is not all chicken wings and beer...
Vera Pizzeria has great food and cocktails based on ones served during prohibition.

Then it was on to Montreal. It's always great revisiting the spots I use to frequent when I was at   
McGill. Can not get enough of this city.
Amazing buildings...

 Good friends...

Bad photo...excellent food..ridiculously large meatballs.

Then it was on to Nova Scotia where we decided not to stay at our family cottage, instead we rented a rustic cabin on a lake complete with a home cooked breakfast and dinner every day..yeah no cooking!
When I say rustic, I mean RUSTIC! Check it out...

I would kill to get my hands on this cabin, seriously for like a couple thousand bucks I could trick this baby out..all Ralph Laurenish!

Hiking every day.

The rest of the summer was spent gardening and entertaining.
My pots thrived.
I bought a lot of new garden furniture.
I think I have 6 types of hydrangea.

 The moss I planted between the flag stones lived! I love all forms of moss. 
Still addict to OPI Lincoln Park After Dark. I want to change colours, but I just can't. 

 It was party city here this summer. We had office parties, friend and family parties.

 No that's not mini marshmallows on the salad, it's baby bocconcini, silly.

We also went to a couple fundraisers...

And lastly we spent a few weekends exploring the city. Festivals, Blue Jays game, art fairs and of course lots of good food.

Yes, more floor photos...

CAN NOT pass a buttertart without trying!

And for the best purchase of the summer...$4.99 at Target. These floated in the pool all summer and I love and cheerful!

How was your summer?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Backyard Pool and Landscaping

Our backyard is done! It wasn't completed until last fall, so unfortunately we didn't get a chance to enjoy it before the brutal winter rolled in. It is more or less done now and we are loving it! I spent the spring adding to the gardens, purchasing furniture and adding a few finishing details.
The harsh winter killed almost all of the cedars and a few hydrangeas were damaged but they have been replaced now and most plants are thriving.
We have had multiple parties and have loved sitting around the fire in the evening when the air starts to cool off.
If you live west of Toronto and are in need of a full service landscaper who can provide you with everything from detailed drawings to finished product contact Planit Green. They have lots of creative ideas and are amazing at taking your vision and making it reality.

My landscaper recently had professional photos taken which I will share with you as soon as I get them, but for now here are a few I took with my trusty phone...but first the obligatory before shots...

 It wasn't pretty. We had a drainage issue, ratty cedars along back, very little privacy and 3 huge diseased ash trees that had to be removed.

 One of the many preliminary drawings.

The 3D images sealed the deal for me. I was really worried about things like roof pitch and scale, but with these drawings it was so much easier to visualize the final product.

And the afters...

 Spying on the photographers.

 The door on the side of the cabana will eventually lead to a change room. I still need to finish off the inside.

 I love how the square cut flag stone looks on the porch.