Spring is here. One of my favorite things is to watch the garden explode with color. This bed of iris starts off with one or two iris blooming. Then a little after a week it just pops into full bloom. Truly spectacular.
Family compound located on the banks of the Arroyo on the former site of the Manuel Garfias Adobe, and is designated as Official City Cultural Landmark #20. Consisting of two legal parcels totaling nearly ¾’s of an acre, two family residences, a carriage house, pool, and grounds by noted landscape architect Charles Gibbs Adams. Main house features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, open floor plan w/ spacious living room w/ fireplace, dining room, and a gourmet, custom-built kitchen by Mission Millworks. The public rooms have walls of glass which open to the rear patio, pool and gardens. Second residence includes 2 bedrooms, full bath, living room w/ fireplace, dining room, kitchen and laundry. Property includes a carriage house with ¾ bath, storage garage, and workshop. Magnificent grounds w/ 36’ brick-pillared arbor leading from the pool to a private patio area with massive outdoor fireplace and custom built outdoor kitchen. Mature trees and lush plantings create a tranquil oasis.
I wasn't sure how I was going to finish this room. I got four boxes and three bags for donation. Two bags of throw aways. Once all the clutter was out it was fun arranging their things. If we stay on top of it every day it'll be easy to keep it this way. Everyone seems to enjoy having it nice and tidy. Glad I finally did this. Feels good.
This is my son's room .... was just .....well.....awful. It didn't really bother him. It was an issue. I had to take the bull by the horns. I went in there with boxes and bags. Took out three bags if trash. One box for donation. Finally I could see the floor. It's actually quite a nice room. The blues and the wood create a nice warm relaxing mood. He's been good about putting his dirty clothes in the laundry basket I added. Realized today he needs a trash can so he doesn't make a pile of trash on his desk and floor.
It's not difficult at all to make this kitchen shine. Keeping on top of five people preparing food for themselves is another matter. I did clear off the windowsill. The stove and hood got a thorough cleaning the other week. A product called Sheila Shine was recommend to make the stainless look good. Fantastic product!
Took most of the books and collection if I-don't-know-what out of this bookcase. Took the desk that was here away. Made it into a nice sitting area. It's adjacent to the dining table. The sideboard behind the dining table never get too out of control with clutter. It's amazing how much more relaxed it feels with all that stuff gone. I donated the majority of the books to a local church for their book sale in the spring.
I've been busy decluttering and organizing. This first photo is of the cubbies in the laundry room. When they were first out in I had intended them to be a place for the kids to put their things when coming home from school. Of course this never happened. It became an unsightly dumping ground. I love how it looks now with some of my Longaberger baskets.
More to come.
i wish i had taken photos of the things i've made the past couple of days but i wasn't thinking of my blog. just of making soup. i'm not the biggest fan of soup but when it gets cold there are a few that i do like. monday night i made roasted tomato basil soup. it's a barefoot contessa recipe and it's sooo good. roasting the tomatoes in the oven gives great depth of flavor. the nice thing is that you can roast the tomatoes a day ahead and make the soup the next day. i won't post the recipe as i don't want to make any copyright infringements. just know, like i said, it's a barefoot contessa recipe. probably available on foodtv.com.
new years eve eve i made a batch of french onion soup that turned out great. the first time i made french onion soup was over 25 years ago. i used a recipe out of martha stewart "entertaining". it calls for about 5 pounds of onions. it took forever to caramelize the onions. my tiny apartment smelled like onions for a week!!! it also calls for an ungodly amount of homemade beef stock. i've made it once or twice since and it a great recipe. as i've grown more confident in my cooking i find myself winging it more often with certain dishes. i couldn't find a recipe that i wanted to use this time so i just used the basic idea. one thing i do differently is the cheese. i never like all the gloppy gooey cheese and soaked bread so i make cheese toasts that are floated on the top when served. so.....here's an approximation of my recent attempt of french onion soup that got RAVE reviews:
GAIL’S FRENCH ONION SOUP
6-8 Yellow Onions, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 teaspoons Dried thyme
(whole, not ground)
4 tablespoons flour
8-10 cups stock*
12/-1 cup cognac (or red
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground Pepper
Baguette, sliced in rounds,
toasted both sides
½ pound Gruyere cheese,
Heat oil and butter in heavy
bottomed large pot over medium-high heat.Add onions and cover pot for 5 minutes.Remove lid, stir and lower heat to medium heat.Continue cooking onions until nice golden
brown color, stirring frequently.(the
darker the color the richer the flavor but don’t let it get too dark).Add flour and stir until incorporated.Cook for another 3-5 minutes stirring once or
twice so flour doesn’t burn.Add stock,
thyme, salt and pepper.Stir.Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for
an hour or so.Add more stock if
necessary.Adjust seasoning, to taste.
Place toastedbaguette rounds on baking sheet.Top with generous amount of gruyere
cheese.Place under broiler until cheese
is melted and just starting to brown.Serve soup into bowls.Top with
*any kind of stock will
do.Beef gives the riches flavor and
homemade is the best but a nice low sodium broth works too.I made beef broth with the bones left from
the Christmas roast and it was fantastic but I didn’t have enough so I had to
supplement with store bought chicken stock. vegetable broth would work for vegetarians.