Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gardening and Planting

Well hello...
 
 
...how was your weekend?
 
 
We spent a lot of our outside, working on our front and back yard and planting flowers for Fall.
 
 
I feel pretty accomplished.
 
 
Other than that, it's been blissfully peaceful. Not so much happening...
 
 
...I like it that way.
 
 
We spent almost an hour outside chatting about our plans today, and we're both really excited about our future.
 
 
In other news: we've been looking at Thanksgiving ideas :)
 
 
Have a good week ahead.
 
 
Love Kiki

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The End of an Era?

Today I read this Daily Mail article: [link here]

"The days of cheery domestic goddesses could be a thing of the past as traditional household skills like making pastry, baking and sewing buttons are dying out- because modern mothers are too busy to learn them.

Researchers found millions of mothers struggle with skills their own mothers would have carried out with ease.
Knitting, baking cakes, making jam and altering clothes also made the list of tasks that many mums just don’t know how to do.

The study also found most modern mothers wished they had the skills their own mothers had but said they didn’t have the time or patience to learn them.
Built-in oven brand Neff commissioned the research of 1,000 mums under
Brand manager of built-in oven brand Neff, who commissioned the research, Sue Flowers said: 'We know that modern mums are under different pressures today compared with 40 years ago.

'As a result, many mums find it difficult to do some of the daily tasks their own mums may have done.

'However, our research has shown that many do want to learn how to do these things and feel as passionate as we do about ensuring skills such as baking and sewing don’t die out.
 
'Mums from previous generations learnt how to do these everyday tasks from their mums and their mums before them. Despite not necessarily having the know-how, many mums today are taking a real interest in learning traditional skills to help with their daily life or to enjoy as a hobby.'
 
The survey found nine out of ten younger mothers don’t know how to starch a shirt, while more than half struggle to sew name tags in their children’s clothes.
Three quarters couldn’t make gravy from scratch, while nearly half couldn’t rustle up a Victoria sponge.
Four out of ten young mothers still rely on their own mother to help them do things like cook a casserole and bake bread because they have never learnt how to do them.
While it emerged more than a third were embarrassed at not being able to do typical ‘mum’ tasks, a fifth said they couldn’t be bothered to sit down and learn a new skill while 21 per cent said they just didn’t have the patience.
More than two thirds said that they intended to pass the skills they did have on to their own children while more than a fifth said they considered most of the skills unnecessary in the modern age.

The research also showed that mums who live in the south of the country were more likely to be reliant on their own mother than those who lived in the north.
Sue Flowers from Neff added: 'We all like to rely on our mum for help and advice, which is why it’s such a shame that younger mums today find themselves too busy to enjoy time spent baking with their children and other traditional tasks.
'What’s really encouraging is how so many mums want to do something about this.

'In fact, just under half of all younger mums questioned said they had either been on - or were considering - taking a cookery course to help them become a baker or cook."
 
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In my opinion, women were a little too fast to the workplace without devising strategies before them. However, I believe that women should have the same rights as men, we should be treated equally in all regards such as voting, making decisions, in the workplace and in home place.
 
On the other hand our 24/7 lifestyles are out of hand. At least the traditional roles, lead to each partner being delegated certain tasks and even though it's nice we share those now, we all are running around like headless chickens, burnt out and too exhausted to cook home cooked meals and take time to teach our children our pastimes.

Moms used to economize to afford the luxury of staying home, and in some respects we could learn from that. On the other hand our lifestyles today afford dreams that our grandparents couldn't even dream of.

I suggest a balance. A balance of career, of home life for both men and women. Although not possible for us all, we can then establish a fullness of teaching pastimes and making a name for ourselves in our work.

If only it were that easy, hey?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Homemade Carrot Soup

I used this recipe as a base from Greedy Gourmet

Serves 4
Preparation: 5 mins [Took me 10 minutes] – Cooking: 30 mins
Ingredients
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 litre (4 cups) boiling water or chicken/vegetable stock
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) rice, washed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5ml (1 tsp) butter
  • mint or chervil, shredded for garnish
Method
  1. Melt butter and toss carrots and onions until coated. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary. Add boiling water or stock, and rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Whizz with a hand blender or in a food processor. Return the purée to pan and reheat tasting for salt and pepper and season accordingly.
  3. Add butter, divide among serving bowls and top with herbs.

Kiki Nakita Version

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 7-9 juicing carrots chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 onion cubed
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic from the jar
  • 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
  • A few leaves of basil
  • 3 tbsp rice
  • 4 Cups of boiling water
  • Salt & Pepper
Method
  1. Melt 3 tbsp butter and add chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Slightly cook for 1-2 minutes then add basil, rice, salt & pepper.
  2. I microwaved 4 cups of water for 5 minutes and added it to the pan, turned the heat down and added the lid to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently stir [I taste tested mine, the carrots give the water a nice flavor. I added more salt, pepper and 1 more tbsp butter] and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Blend, and serve.
Result

7/10 It turned out a little thick, so next time I might add some cream and simmer it on the stove.

This was defitely a simple, delicious recipe and extremely healthy...
 

Ina Garten: Paris Apartment & Interview

Ina Garten
A 2006 interview by Erica Duecy from Fodors

"I never had a day in Paris that I didn't like," says Ina Garten, the personality behind the bestselling Barefoot Contessa cookbook series and popular Food Network show. The "easy entertaining" guru is so enamored with Paris that she bought an apartment there five years ago and has since tasted her way through France's capital city, producing a cookbook -- Barefoot in Paris -- along the way.

While the book covers French cooking at home, the intrepid travel editors at Fodor's pined for the story behind the recipes -- the insider scoop on where to eat and what to buy. From organic produce markets to bargain cookware shops, here's Barefoot Contessa's guide to Paris.

Fodor's Travel: What do you love about Paris?
Ina Garten: When I used to go there just on vacation for a week, I'd always go to the street markets and I wished I had an oven, so I could just take a chicken home and roast it. As Adam Gopnik said in one of his books, "Everyday things in Paris are wonderful." It's walking down a tree-lined street; going to the parks, the street markets, and the places to buy bread; sitting out at a café; going to the museums; or just taking a walk along the Seine. It's just an incredible city.

What street markets do you like to visit?
The one in front of my apartment on Boulevard Raspail. It's called Le Marché Biologique. Three times a week I go to the Boulevard Raspail market. It goes from Cherche-Midi to Rue de Rennes. Biologique means organic. On Sundays, it's an organic market. There's a guy who makes potato pancakes. They have all the produce and cheese and everything you can imagine in a market, including an American guy who makes muffins.

Where do you live in Paris?
I live on the border of the 6th and 7th arrondissement, between three things that I think are the best things in Paris: the bread bakery Poilâne (8 rue du Cherche-Midi), the cheese shop Fromagerie Barthélemy (51 rue de Grenelle), and Bon Marché (38 rue de Sèvres), a huge specialty food store that's amazing. I'm also near Marianne Robic (39 rue de Babylone), a great flower shop. It's great because there's everything you could possibly want for giving a dinner party within a few blocks, and I love to give dinner parties in Paris.

Are there any hotels that you would recommend?
I'm a pushover for Le Bristol, which is just a deeply wonderful hotel. It's very French. I think Americans think of French service as very haughty, but really good French service is very warm. And I think that's what the Bristol is. It's one of the best hotels in the world. The restaurant there [Le Bristol Restaurant] is fabulous. For lunch, on a nice day, they serve lunch in the courtyard. It's just dreamy.

What are some of your favorite things to during the day?
Spend an afternoon at the flea market (Marché aux Pouces, Porte de Clignancourt). Take a taxi there in the middle of the day, have lunch at Le Soleil (109 avenue Michelet, 93 Saint-Ouen). It's a very earthy French restaurant, very good. And it's right in the flea market. While you're there, go to Muriel Grateau (37 rue de Beaune), a discount outlet at the flea market that has markdown tableware, mostly dishes and glasses.

Go to the Louvre. Go to the Museé Des Arts Décoratifs (107, rue de Rivoli) and then have lunch at Café Marly out in the sun. It's on the terrace of the Louvre. Walk down Rue de Rivoli to Galignani (224 rue de Rivoli), an English and French bookstore. And then take your new book to the Tuileries and sit down in one of those chairs and read.
 
Or have a picnic. Stop in to Gerard Mulot (76, rue de Seine), a specialty food store right down the street from the Luxembourg gardens. Get a picnic and take it into the Luxembourg gardens. For shopping, there's a cookware store called E. Dehillerin that has every imaginable piece of French cookware.

For cocktails and evenings out, what would you recommend?
Au Bon Accueil, near the Eiffel Tower. You go to dinner and after you walk out of the restaurant, you're at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It's just fabulous. And you just go walk down the Seine after that.

Or for a Parisian café experience, Café de Flore is really quintessential. My idea of the perfect meal in Paris is an omelet and a glass of champagne at Flore. To just sit outside at 10 o'clock at night is wonderful. You can just do that and go home satisfied.

Any suggestions for travelers who don't speak French?
Most people in Paris speak some English. I speak enough French so that I could get by easily. But I think it's changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Before, if people did speak English, they wouldn't speak English to you. Now it's not really a problem. I find that French people really are welcoming. My experience there has been lovely.

What about side trips from Paris? Any spectacular itineraries to recommend?
Rent a car and go to Reims. That's where all the champagne is made. It's a wow -- a total wow. And then you stay over, right up the street, there's a hotel called Les Crayères -- it's one of the most luxurious châteaus I've ever stayed in. You drive there on the super highway and you drive back through champagne country. It's glorious.

Images from Stephmodo


 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Feet

My last two days of classes went well.

I also got a mani/pedi for our Engagement photo shoot...

Take One


Take Two
 
It's at Clover Island.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Junior Designer

Source Unknown

This week I have been teaching a design class to 8-12 year olds.

On Monday, I went and had my hair cut & colored afterward and I felt so much better. Isn't it amazing how a little 'me' time can perk you up?
I came home to a vacuumed TV room and chicken pot pie.

***

On Tuesday, before class I visited with my dad. He has been taking oral chemotherapy pills and hasn't taken to them very well. Hopefully he gets some strength back.

***

Today, I surprised Cory and brought home some Little Caesars pizza & Pepsi as a treat. Turns out he was a busy bee and got a lot of yard work done.

***

Hope your all enjoying your week too...I have two more days of classes to go.

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