Thursday, November 30, 2017

Help Me Decide!

Once again, I would like to thank all of you for your kind wishes for my dog Gracie. We are a week out of the second surgery, and oh my, what a difference! She has started wanting to scratch her ear, so I think that's a good sign, a sign of healing. She was so funny last night, she was lying on the sofa beside me, and wanted so badly to scratch her ear. Her back paw would go up, but stop short, as if she was saying, "oh, but I really want to scratch." She has actually been quite good about keeping her foot out of her ear. The vet said that the stitches need to stay in for 14 days, so I think that if she has had this much improvement in a week, the next week should be all the better. And I will have a huge sigh of relief :)

Oh, and my toe is healing, not that it's such a big deal. I walked a little too much yesterday and paid the price last night. In time, this too shall pass :)

A few weeks ago I shared this coat that I have had forever. It's a faux fur coat that I really love. The fur is quite nice. While I won't wear it any longer as is, the fur can be saved, so I've decided to remake it. The coat is now apart, and I need to decide what to do with it.   

I have this trim which a friend gave me and I have been aching to use it. It may be a little difficult to see, but it has a lovely gold metallic thread that runs through it, and ruby beads in the center of the flowers. I have quite a bit, so there are lots of possibilities. 

I found this picture, and fell in love. I want a longer coat, so I thought I could do something to create a full skirt. I should actually have enough of the faux fur to create a great skirt.     

 Maybe something like this.

I really like this coat as well. I thought that I could use the fur and trim around the bottom of the coat and maybe mix it with a wool coating.

And then, OH MY GOODNESS, I love this coat!!! If I did this, I would forget the trim all together and mix the fur with a cotton velvet. 

All are quite dressy, so it's not a choice between something casual and something dressy. I would love your thoughts. 
Whatever I decide to do, it should be really pretty. 
Thanks for your thoughts!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase/On Being Fabulous!

Believe it or not, my most difficult birthday was when I turned 20. When I was a child, I dreamed of turning 13, it seemed to me a magical number. I would then be a teenager and my world would explode...parties, pretty dresses, driving, having a fabulous group of friends, even getting a job. The life I envisioned for my teenage years was very much out of a sitcom, Father Knows Best. Of course, no life is a television show, but what I got was far, far from what I dreamed. In fact, life was so difficult that I ended up with stomach ulcers at the age of 15. So when I turned 20, I mourned, I mourned for what I had dreamed, and what now would never be, at least that's what I thought at the time. 

One of my exchange students, being the cocky teenager that he was ;), asked,"Wouldn't you love to be 17 again?" He thought for sure that he had something on me, that I would love to once again be a teenager, like him! Since that 20th birthday, this was the first time that I actually thought about my age. As I thought, I realized that what I have now is SOOOO much better, and my answer was no. He was shocked! "But why, why wouldn't you want to be 17 again?" I replied that my teenage years were far from happy, but more importantly, what I have now, my life and what I can do, I wouldn't trade them for anything. And then I said, "Think about it, if I were 17 again, I wouldn't have you. You can be a challenge at times, but I wouldn't miss having had you come into my life just to go back in time." 

This student is now a grown man with a beautiful wife, a precious baby girl, and another baby on the way. In a recent conversation, we talked about that day, and I asked, "Do you understand now how I felt when you asked me if I would like to be 17 again? Would you possibly trade what you have now...for then?" There was a pause, and he said, "No, not for anything." 

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a brunch where Angela Missoni was the guest speaker. Talk about WOW!!! She was so lovely and such an inspiration. During the reception, I met a very interesting woman, Wendy Packer of Fashion Over Fifty. Her life story is quite interesting. She began life as a oncology nurse, became a lawyer, and then a mother. She began her blog as she has a passion for everyone, especially women to live life to its fullest. She feels that she has been "called to awaken every woman to the realization that she is full of wondrous beauty everyday she is alive." I love that! 

Since Wendy has had her blog, she has produced 3 fashion shows for Bloomingdale's, featuring models over 50. Her blog is full of wonderful tips, news on events, and fabulous ideas on dressing and pairing wonderful ensembles. 

I love this ensemble, especially the shorter pant style. I initially thought, Oh, I don't know...," 

But I really like how the shorter leg can showcase a great pair of shoes.

As I said, Wendy has produced 3 fashion shows for Bloomingdale's. Here she is in a great another great ensemble. Love the leather pants. Don't be afraid to wear a pair of leather pants!!! It's all about how you wear them and with what they are paired. The draped top softens the pants and adds movement.  

The pants she is wearing here remind me of the Marcy Tilton pattern, Vogue 9035. Love the inspiration of not being afraid to show a little shoulder!

One of the tips I found on Wendy's blog was how to walk the catwalk. Professional runway coach, Mark David Carter makes it look easy! The Haute Couture Club of Chicago will hold our annual show on Sunday May 6, 2018. Walking well is something that we can all do better ;) What struck me is how he takes his time. Take a look...

Now for the best part, at least for me, aaaand if you are a member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago, and will be attending our holiday party, Wendy will be our featured speaker. She will be sharing her life story, her tips, and fashion encouragement. She is so very excited to be around women who sew. She wishes she could sew, so maybe we'll be able to inspire her a bit too! She would like for everyone to wear their handmade garments as she would like to do a special post on the Ladies of Haute Couture. How exciting is that?!!! 

Be sure to check out Wendy's blog, Fashion Over Fifty. I think you will find her to be quite inspiring. 

When her post is up on the Ladies of Haute Couture, I'll let you know.

Not Dead Yet Style is another blog that showcases women in their middle years. I'm sure most of you know about the blog, but just in case you don't, check it out, and be sure to check out her post, Visible Monday where you can broadcast to the world just how amazing you are!

True enough, my teenage years, and somewhat beyond, were not at all what I had hoped for. I love this quote from Desmond Tutu;

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.

Morning breaks, and light does come. Embrace who you are and where you are in life. It takes a lot of hard work to live a great life :)  

I will have a very special Sunday Night Reflection's post coming up on December 3rd where I will share a little of my life. I hope that it will be an inspiration.

Now go out and shine!!!!!

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Do It a Little Different, Collars

Whenever I have a dinner party, I like to break out my silverware. The pieces aren't sterling, so not worth much, but the table looks so pretty. Many of the pieces are mix-match as I find them in resale shops and antique stores. I have a set of individual butter knives, individual shrimp forks, and so on, all in different patterns. What's interesting to me is that when I decide to have a more casual evening and not use the silverware, my friends will actually comment on how much they miss the silver and all the individual pieces that I will put out. 

I have had so many tell me that they have lovely sets of china and silver that their families have no interest in. So if this applies to you, I have a question...
Have you only used the pieces for special occasions? 
Here's why I ask...

I love individual salt and pepper shakers. I have a set of little tiny etched glass shakers that were part of a set of Fiesta dishes that my great-grandmother had. These get used on a daily basis. My exchange students always loved having their own salt and pepper, probably because it is a little out of the norm. I remember one family dinner where my niece asked if the salt shaker was hers alone to use. When I said yes, she took the shaker, turned it upside down over her food and just let it pour!!! I decided that one meal of excess salt would not kill her and let her have her day ;) She was maybe four at the time.

After one of our exchange students married, we went for a visit and to my amazement, he and his new wife had purchased a set of individual salt and pepper shakers for their table. He told how much he enjoyed this special touch and wanted to duplicate it in his home. When he married, I asked if their was something of mine that he would like to have. To my surprise, he asked for my individual corn on the cob plates and the little corn spears. He loved that our meals were not just a meal, but an event. Dinner is special, a time for us to come together, enjoy the meal and share our day.

Sharing this story may seem a little out of kilter with a post on collars, but I thought of this story as I think that rather than holding on to the old way of doing everything, a little change can be refreshing.

A few days ago, I saw an article about the Smith family and how growing up with such famous parents can be really quite difficult. But what caught my eye was how Willow Smith was wearing the collar in the picture below. My first impression was, "How Cute!" Not at all traditional, but I thought it was rather refreshing paired with the little turtleneck tank. 

Don't ask me how, but I somehow came upon a site that sells these adorable collars. The designer is Cece Merkle. Like many of us, she is a fabric scrap hoarder, and loves to keep her hands busy.

Each collar features Cece's original artwork. Love how she displays her work. You can find her site HERE, and read more about Cece HERE. At just $30.00 apiece, I think her collars would make a fabulous gift!

Image of Peach Fern - Faux Collar (NEW girl size available) see options

If you would like to take a stab at making your own collar, here's a a little inspiration... 

This is just a simple shirt collar, minus the shirt with the addition of the fun decorative pieces.

Simple peter pan collars. Love the ants in the last picture.

Another simple peter pan collar paired with a shirt. Great idea for using fabric that would depict what the wearer loves.

The collars below are much more complicated, but what fun! You can find more Vivetta collars and fashion HERE

You can find all of these collars and more HERE on Pinterest.

Just goes to show that there's almost always a new way to do just about anything!

Have a fabulous week!

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/Winter Root Vegetable Soup with Kale

Happy Sunday Everyone!!!

Thank you for all the wonderful comments that were left on my Grateful post. A couple of you had me laughing so hard with the idea of the antics of my girlfriend and I sounding like an episode of I Love Lucy!!! Like I said, we've been friends for 35 years, and have done some pretty crazy things. Yes, we could be our own comedy show ;) Thanks for the laughs, I really needed that. Nothing like a good laugh to cleanse the soul :) 

Have you ever heard of the Moosewood Cookbook? It's a funky, vegetarian cookbook that I absolutely love. In fact, the same friend from the Grateful post gave it to me over 30 years ago. My copy is now a very well worn book, loose pages and a taped together spine. 

One of the things that I especially enjoy, other than the recipes, are the cute little drawings that accompany each recipe. When I began putting the soup recipes together, my goal was to eventually publish a cookbook/soup book. I'm now working on the book(finally), and rather than photographs, I'm doing drawings that are similar to what you might find in the Moosewood Cookbook. 

I'm currently going through my recipes and testing/tweaking them just to make sure that when they are published, and tried, it will taste just like what I make. 

Back in 2013, I published a recipe for a Creamy Winter Root Vegetable Soup.   I love a good cream soup, but when I began to test the recipe, I decided to make it into a vegan version, and that's what I am going to share with you today. 

The ingredients are basically the same, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, garlic and fresh basil.

No butter was used in this recipe, just olive oil. The onions were sauteed until tender in the olive oil, and then the vegetables were added, along with the vegetable broth.

Another change with this recipe is the addition of chopped kale, green pigeon peas (for protein), and dried rosemary. 

If you have never used green pigeon peas before, they are a lovely little pea that has a bit of substance to it, not at all mushy.

This is not a creamed version of the soup, just a nice hearty winter vegetable soup.

Winter Root Vegetable Soup with Kale

printable recipe


3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 parsnips sliced, about 3 pounds in total
4 Irish potatoes, chopped
4 carrots sliced
1 large yellow onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

2 cups finely chopped kale
1 14 oz. can Green Pigeon Peas drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary 
10-12 cups of vegetable broth 
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot. Add chopped onion and saute until tender. Add carrots, parsnips, potatoes, bay leaves, and garlic along with 8 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes. Add chopped fresh basil, chopped kale, pigeon peas, and rosemary. Adjust liquid. Depending upon the size of your vegetables, you may need to add up to 4 more cups of broth. If more broth has been added, bring to a boil once again, then reduce to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, giving the herbs and kale time to flavor the soup.

Serve with warm crusty bread, or my favorite, a pan of fresh made cornbread. 

The recipe yields 8 hearty servings. 

If you give it a try, hope you enjoy it!

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Friday, November 24, 2017


Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.  
                                                        Henry Clay

If you live here in the U.S., or if you don't, but enjoy celebrating a day of Thanksgiving, I hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful meal, and maybe some time spent with family and friends. 

For me, it has been a bit of a trying week. 

The surgery that my dog Gracie had for the broken blood vessel in her ear, it seems was not done correctly and caused a huge problem. We were out of town, but found a wonderful vet who ended up doing emergency surgery. Leaving her in the office, crying for me, absolutely broke my heart. When I got home, I sat down at the kitchen table, put my head in my arms and just cried. We were able to pick her up that evening, and she and I have not been apart since. I am so very grateful for such a kind, caring, and knowledgeable veterinarian.  

We had friends visit for Thanksgiving. I love to make special meals on holidays, so I began the day with Cottage Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries. My new oven evidently cooks at a very high heat as the strawberries boiled over the side of the pan and burned the bottom. It was an absolute mess. My girlfriend and I worked, and worked, and worked at trying to get the burned sugar off of the bottom of the oven. I was in a bit of a panic as I needed to cook the turkey and I didn't want to heat the oven and burn the sugar even more. She said, "No problem, we'll just cook the turkey on the grill." We ended up cooking the turkey, sweet potatoes, and the asparagus on the grill. OMG!!!! everything was soooo good. The only thing that was missing was the pie, but we were all very satisfied, so the pie really wasn't missed.

In the course of putting our dinner together, I managed to stop up the sink by putting potato skins down the disposal. Evidently you aren't supposed to put potato skins down a disposal. I had no idea! One thing that my husband absolutely hates is plumbing issues. When I saw the sink back up, I said, "Oh my, Carl is going to have a fit!" My girlfriend said that it might go down, so just leave it for a bit. We had managed to keep him out of the kitchen, but when we went out to check on the grill, I looked through the window and there he was at the sink. My heart sank. In 33 years of marriage, he has only lost his temper twice, and I thought for sure this would be the third time, but he kept his cool, and even took dishes down to the basement to wash until we could get something done with the kitchen drain. 

While he was in the basement washing dishes, my girlfriend and I began working on the drain, pouring in baking soda and vinegar, and plunging it. I worked and worked at it and then miracle of miracles, it suddenly went swoosh!, and it was over. My girlfriend and I looked at each other in disbelief, but we did it! But then, the thought occurred to me that all the plunging may have broken the pipe and everything was in the bottom of the cabinet. Nope, it had all gone through smoothly :) She and I have known each other for 35 years, and during that time have done some pretty crazy things. I told her that we can now add plumbers to our list of abilities ;) We are not available for hire!!!

During the course of everything, I managed to run into a cabinet and break a toe. That is more aggravating than anything. Hurts, but hardly the end of the world. 

The quote that I began this post with rings so true for me. A veterinarian that said, "I'm just doing my job." No, not just doing her job, she saved my dog and healed my heart. A friend who stays calm when everything seems to be going wrong, who treats my home with the same importance as if it was hers, and steps up to help when it really isn't her problem. A husband who realized that I was already upset and didn't want to add insult to injury, a blessing beyond measure. Yes, to the one who is giving, it may seem like a small, trivial act, but to the one who is receiving, the gifts really do strike deeply in the heart. And, I am so very grateful.

I have said it before, but gratitude can never be expressed enough...
A heartfelt thank you to all of you who take the time to stop by, read my words, maybe leave a message, or send a note. You warm my heart and remind me of the wonderful gift this life truly is.

Gracie and me :) After she came home, the incision in the middle of her ear began to bleed a bit. I put a band-aide over it and now she won't let me take it off as it's rather stuck to the stays that have been sewn into her ear. Oh well, I'll eventually get it off.       

May you too experience blessings that strike deeply in your heart.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday/The Cabbage Rose

Something a little sweet today, a beautiful cabbage rose. They look rather complicated, but are quite easy to make.

All it takes are a few rectangles and a circle.  

They look lovely on a hat, bag, pinned to a coat or jacket.

They can be scaled down. Decrease the measurements by 2" and you'll have a smaller rose. You can also increase the measurements by 2" for a larger rose. 

So, have a little fun and let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities. You can even make a bouquet for an arrangement that will brighten your home all winter long!


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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thrifty Thursday/Super Cute Slouchy Hat

I have done a LOT of dumb things in my life ;) When I was in the 8th grade, I remember one particular day when it was so cold that I thought my ears would literally fall off of my head. Truth be told, had that happened, it would have been my own fault as I was just too vain to wear a hat on my head while walking to school. That day was a game changer though. As I walked, and my ears grew colder and colder, I vowed that I would never be this cold again, and yes, I would wear a hat. 

At the time, hats were just not the thing to wear, but after my experience, fashion or not, I was going to be warm. And so it has been ever since. I LOVE hats!!! If you were to look into my drawer, you would probably think I have more than 1 head since I have as many as I do. I have changed a lot since those days when I thought hats were horribly hideous. Having a hat for whatever the occasion may be is now just absolute fun! And soft hats fold down to nothing, so having a bunch is really not an issue. 

I recently saw a post from On The Cutting Room Floor for a free slouchy hat pattern and thought it was especially cute. A great little hat to wear, and when off, easily folded and stored in a coat pocket. It's intended for knit fabric, be it fleece, wool, or just a knit that you have left over from a t-shirt project. 


There are only 6 pages to print out, so quick and easy.

The pattern looks a little like church steeples to me ;)

I had a sweater that I had felted. I love the color and thought it would make into a fun hat. 

The sweater had side seams, so I couldn't cut the hat in one continuous piece, 

So I just cut it down the center and then added seam allowances to each side. 

I used the hem of the sweater for the bottom band. The instructions say to fold up the bottom 1 1/2". In the above picture, you can see that I placed the pattern right on the edge of the sweater, making it actually an 1 1/2" longer since I would not be turning up the bottom.If you aren't using a sweater with a finished edge, I would add at least 1" to the bottom of the pattern. You can always cut it off if you feel the hat is a little too long. But, it is supposed to be a slouchy hat, so a little more slouch is not such a bad thing :)  

I decided to have a little fun with the hat and add a tassel. All I did was take a piece of my sweater knit and cut it into fringe, leaving about 1 " at the top uncut. I then rolled the fringe around to make a tassel and stitched it securely together at the top. Once it was stitched together so that it would not open up, I then stitched it to the top of the hat.  

This is a very fast project, and something that would make a great, quick gift for just about everyone on your gift list. I made one for my husband, but shortened it so that there was no slouch. He loved it!

You can find the free pattern HERE

I plan on making a few more. A trip to the resale shop is on my agenda. Hopefully I'll find some fun sweaters that I can use. Our church usually has a request for hats, and or gloves at this time of year, so I thought I would use the pattern to make up a bunch. 


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase/Creating Couture Embellishments

As I began my early morning writing today, I wanted to write about all of the things that I am feeling down about. Do you ever have those days when just EVERYTHING seems like a burden and more than you can bear? I think we all do. So rather than sit and complain, I decided, NO, NO!, I am going to focus on the good, and regardless of the bad, there is always lots of good :) 

I have been especially upset over my dog. The surgery was last Thursday. We were back at the vet's office on Monday and again yesterday to drain blood from her ear. I had been told to keep the cone on her neck for the next 3 weeks, but the poor dog has been shaking her head so much that it causes the blood to form and keep the ear from healing. So yesterday I decided to take the cone off and see what would happen. Ironically, she is not scratching at her ear, and is shaking her head less, so fingers crossed that we are on the road to recovery. Sometimes ya just gotta go with your gut instinct! 

Now for something truly happy! 

If you have never met Ellen Miller of Creating Couture Embellishment, you are in for a great big treat! She is a wife, mother of 2, a sewist, teacher and an author. Sewing is truly a passion. Ellen loves the entire process, from taking a piece of paper or muslin, creating a pattern, and then moving on to the fabric. She loves the magic of giving voice to the wearer's inner vision, be it a client's, or her own. 

Ellen taught at Boston's School of Fashion Design for quite a few years. While there, she amassed a huge collection of notes which became the outline for her new book, Creating Couture Embellishments.  

Creating the book was a 7 year labor of love. Below is a small sample of the sleeves that were created to demonstrate each lesson she shares.  

There's an entire chapter devoted to creating exquisite flowers, as well as pleats, ruching, lace, grommets, and so much more. 

I was honored to have the opportunity to review the book. Needless to say, I loved it! It is a beautiful book with very detailed examples of each lesson. It is not a how to design book, but a guide to adding details that give a garment that special touch that so many of us love. She recommends the Reader's Digest Complete Guide To Sewing for those who are just beginning their sewing journey. In the video, I share my favorite book, The Vogue Sewing Book. I thought that a video would give you a better look inside rather than just taking a few pictures. 

In the video, I talk about how much I love cartridge pleating. You can find some fabulous inspiration HERE on this Monday Morning Inspiration post I did a while back. 

As I said, I loved the book, and I can't wait to start trying out a few of the projects. And what great timing!, the holidays are just around the corner. It would make a wonderful gift for any sewist on your list, and that might include you as well!!!

You can find the book at various sites;
Barnes and Noble

At the very least, check out Ellen's blog. I think you'll enjoy getting to know her :) And a little secret...she will be coming to Chicago the first of March to speak at the Haute Couture meeting!!! If you are anywhere near Chicago, by all means, come!!! We would love to have you :) 

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Murder On The Orient Express, the Costumes

It's a cold, sunny morning in Chicago, 28 degrees. Fog has rolled in over the city like a blanket that promises warmth. The fog is a sign of warmer temperatures that will fool many into thinking that winter is still far, far into the future. But...winter has a wicked sense of humor, snow, and lots of it is predicted for the weekend!

I love a movie with gorgeous costumes. The new movie, Murder On The Orient Express will be one that I will see primarily for the costumes. 

A few weeks ago, I saw an interview with the director, as well as the grandson of Agatha Christie. The movie looked interesting, but it wasn't until I saw a post by Jill of The Denver Sewing Collective that I became determined to see the movie. 

The costume designer, Alexandra Byrne won an Oscar for her work in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, so is quite accustomed to working on period pieces. 

A tremendous amount of research went into creating the clothing for the movie. She said that as she thought about the characters, she actually had to look back and think about the lives that each lived prior to boarding the train.

Judi Densch plays Princess Dragomiroff, a woman who would dress many times throughout the day, and a woman who always wore a corset. Of course her clothing would be rather rich and opulent, like the piece below.  

Love the closeup detail of the sleeve.

In order for the clothing to be believable, great care was taken to recreate the types of fabrics used during the 1930s, and fabrics in particular that would be worn by an Englishman versus an American. The fabrics of the period had a spongy quality. The fabric for the coat below was woven in Scotland using old methods of weaving.

Look closely at the plaid coat below. Love the sleeve detail!

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Caroline Hubbard, a self-proclaimed husband hunter. Ms. Byrne uses the costumes to speak about who the character is.

With this piece, she portrays that Caroline Hubbard is a woman who will wear a snow suit and yet never ski. Take note of how the fur wraps around the sleeve. Such a gorgeous detail.

Another detail that I find intriguing is the use of patterns, and how they play with and against each other.

Another piece worn by Michelle Pfeiffer. Hanging on the dressform, I didn't think that much of it.

But I found this trailer from the movie. The dress is simply breathtaking and moves with a fluid grace.

Johnny Depp plays Ratchett, a wealthy American criminal who has been traveling as a bogus art dealer for 2 years. It was important that he look the part of an American, but with some wear to his clothing. I love how the leather coat has been distressed to convey his time of being on the road.

The movie was shot in 70mm. Ms. Byrne said that this made her work all the more challenging as you can see every wrinkle, crease and seam.

There's something special about a movie that can capture our imagination and at the same time make us dream of another time. I think Murder On The Orient Express will fit that bill. If nothing more, I want to see the costumes on a big screen!

If you would like to read more about the costume designer, and the costumes, there are 3 great articles, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Wishing you a wonderful week full of delight!

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/Roasted Cauliflower with Arugula

Whew!, it's been a while since I last checked in. In my last post, I shared that my dog Gracie had a ruptured blood vessel in her ear. Well, it resulted in surgery last Thursday. She is better, as better as one can be with a cone around their head ;) But, the cone is needed as she wouldn't have an ear at this point. The cone keeps her from scratching at her ear, but I can't keep her from shaking. UGH!!! I never realized that the dog shakes her body as much as she does. 

In the meantime, I came down with a cold and have been a running temperature. Oh well, it's my yearly cold, so hopefully I'm getting it over with and will have a super fun winter, full of winter sports! As I type, I'm drinking a cup of tea with a little whiskey, actually Grand Marnier(my favorite). I'm telling myself that the orange flavor of the liqueur is vitamin C ;) Regardless, the warmth of the tea mingled with the liqueur is very soothing to my throat, so...good enough for me!!! 

I did manage to make a wonderful soup this week. I wanted something simple, and I wanted a little extra warmth as I've been so cold, so I decided to do a little roasting. If you haven't roasted vegetables, by all means, give it a try. Roasting gives the vegetables a slightly smokey taste and I think, enhances the flavor.

I wanted a big batch, so I used 2 heads of cauliflower. The recipe will be for a smaller version using just 1 head of cauliflower.

Begin by breaking the cauliflower into small florets. Slice a purple onion and garlic cloves. Line a baking sheet with foil. I laid out my cauliflower first, and then topped it with the sliced purple onion and slivered garlic. I then sprinkled olive oil over all of the vegetables and added salt and black pepper. My absolute favorite salt is pink salt. I purchase it in a large grinder and use it for almost everything.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the vegetable mixture in the preheated oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. The bottom of the cauliflower will be nice and brown, and the edges of the onion will be crinkled and brown. 

I then put my vegetable mixture in my pot. Added vegetable broth, and pureed the mixture with a handheld mixing wand. If you don't have a handheld wand, puree the mixture in a blender. I like to say that there's almost always another way to do just about anything ;)

Once the vegetables were pureed, I added the chopped arugula. Love the spicy taste of arugula. I then added thyme and oregano, and adjusted the salt and black pepper. Brought the mixture to a boil and then reduced to simmer for about 10 minutes to give the arugula time to flavor the soup. 

As is, the soup is the perfect vegan soup.

If you would like, and you don't follow a vegan diet, top the soup with a little shredded parmesan cheese and chopped green onions.

If I may say so myself, the soup is delicious!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Arugula

printable recipe

1 large head of cauliflower broken into small florets
1 medium purple onion sliced
2 cloves of garlic slivered
2-3 tablespoons olive oil sprinkled over vegetables
4 cups arugula before chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme  
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6-8 cups vegetable broth for desired consistency of soup 
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Break cauliflower into small florets and place on foil lined backing sheet. Top with sliced purple onion and slivered garlic. Sprinkle olive oil over vegetables. Top with salt and black pepper. 
Roast in preheated oven 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Once tender, place roasted vegetables in a large soup pot. Add vegetable broth. Begin with 6 cups and add more if needed for desired consistency. Using a handheld mixing wand(or blender), puree the soup mixture.
Once the soup has been pureed, add the chopped arugula, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for approximately 10 minutes to allow the arugula to flavor the soup. Adjust salt and black pepper to taste.

Soup may be topped with grated parmesan cheese and chopped green onions. Serve and enjoy! 

I have SO enjoyed this soup. It will freeze well and be great for an easy dinner in the future, or a fabulous, warm lunch. Or, you can be like me and double the recipe and share...or maybe not ;)


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