Saturday, November 30, 2013

November's Treasures

Sweet November
meandering through
 your muted hues,

 and pausing to ponder
among leaves of chartreuse,

 I hiked up your hilltops,
where the vines gleamed like gold,

and among glittering gems,
I secretly strolled.

Or so I thought!

A lazy, grazing flock of sheep,

 stood, gazing, guessing,
who'd made a peep!
Catching a glimpse of eagle's eye,
Thought I'd bid them all goodbye!

 Downhill I tread
on slopes slippery and steep,

  and arrived at a church,
nestled deep,
 among fruit bearing trees.

A few steps away,
surrounded by green,
St. Matthew's is part
of a pastoral scene.

And, in the neighbouring village,
at the top of the road,
 yet a third church stands,
 next to an olive grove. 

From there,
I spy my space, 
high in the sky,

 and spot others of stone,
stucco and dye,

Ah, November,
with your tableau
of gold and bordeaux,
December is upon us,
 and tomorrow
 you shall go,
quietly leaving
 your treasures
in my heart, aglow.

Thanks for visiting!


Friendship Friday, Amaze Me Monday, Mosaic Monday, Flaunt it Friday,
Show & Tell Friday,  Oh, the PLACES I've been!, Feathered Nest Friday, 
 Home Sweet Home, Be Inspired, Home & Garden Thursday, Tuesday Trivia
 Sweet & Simple Fridays, Open House Blog Party, Home,  Brag About It,
Wow Us Wednesdays, Be Inspired Features & Link Party,,
Tweak It Tuesday, Inspire Me Tuesday, A Return to Loveliness, Saturday Sparks, 
The Sunday Showcase Party, Make it Pretty Monday, The Scoop,
 Inspire Me Monday, Travel Photo Mondays, Tuesdays at Our Home,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Perfume, Petals, and Playing Stylist

My favourite scent for a while now,
Love Spell, by Victoria's Secret,
is characterized by its fruity and floral fragrance.

The fruity factor comes from the peachy pop of freshness,

 while cherry blossom infuses with the sweet scent 
of the flower's pale, pink petals.

 My cousin Elaine, who is much younger than me,
was wearing it one day when we met for a family breakfast,
in Toronto, a few years back.

When reading reviews on this fragrance,
I wasn't surprised to discover that it appealed 
mostly to a younger generation of women,
(okay, teenagers!)

I guess that's where the 'flirty' comes in, 
according to the description on the company's website.

I was feeling rather frisky myself, (with my styling, that is!),
and on a whim, I spritzed on some of
this subtly sweet potion, and styled away!

There are also hints of chamomile and white jasmine 
in this magical mist, reminding me of the summery scents
that surround my garden, still floating in the autumn air.

Thanks for visiting!


All images: Poppy View,
except sixth from top

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Coconut Treat for Christmas

Welcome back to my kitchen!
Thought I'd give you and your oven a little break
today, by sharing my most popular recipe,
Coconut Cream Pie, as promised.

This particular recipe comes from the magazine, 
Ladies' Home Journal, May 1991 edition. The recipe calls
for a ready made, baked, pastry crust, but because this is
not available here on the island, I always substitute it with my
own digestive cookie crumble crust, which only requires
ten minutes of baking. The rest of the pie is cooked on the stove top!

 To make the crust: 

1 single 9-inch baked pastry crust

 ½ cup digestive cookies
 (or graham crackers)

¼ cup butter, melted

1 tbsp sugar

To make the filling:

⅔  cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups milk

½ cup heavy or whipping cream

3 large egg yolks

1 shredded coconut (I add a little more)

    1 tbsp butter or margarine

     2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the topping:

¾ heavy or whipping cream

2 tbsp icing sugar (my addition)

1 tbsp rum or brandy (my addition)

 ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted


Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
Crumble cookies, stir in butter and sugar 
and press into pie plate.
Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in large 
saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and cream
until smooth. Bring to boil over medium-high 
heat, stirring gently, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. 

Beat egg yolks lightly in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in 1 cup hot filling mixture, 
then return to saucepan, whisking constantly.
Boil 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

Immediately pour filling into baked pastry/cookie crust.
Cool on wire rack 15 minutes, (I bring it to room temperature).
 Cover filling and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. 

Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.
Add icing sugar and rum, (optional, but adds to
that exotic essence!).

Just before serving, spread pie with
whipped cream mixture, and sprinkle with toasted
coconut. Makes 8 servings. 

I made this tasty, tropical pie recently for 
some dear friends, for a Sunday luncheon
 I had the pleasure of hosting, here at the house.

Now, this family is quite traditional, and
they don't stray too far away from their Cretan 
cuisine, but as soon as they tasted this pie's creamy,
coconut flavour, it was love at first bite!

Eva, the lovely daughter, and a student of mine,
carefully noted down the recipe, while her parents
indulged in the tropical luxury of a luscious coconut treat!

Thanks for visiting!

At Home With Jemma on Monday the 9th
The Cafe Sucre Farine  on Monday the 9th
Poppy View on Tuesday the 10th.
Red Rose Alley on Wednesday the 11th
Home and Lifestyle Design (that's me) also on Wednesday the 11th
Comfy House on Thursday the 12th
Cozy Little House on Thursday the 12th
The Refeathered Roost on Friday the 13th
The Dedicated House on Saturday the 14th
Across The Way  on Saturday the 14th
- See more at:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Special Delivery

On my daily walks around the village's periphery, I am constantly 
inspired by the pretty patchwork that blankets the countryside
which surrounds me, and I appreciate how lucky I am to enjoy it.

I don't know about you, but aside from the obvious benefits
of walking, this easiest of aerobic exercises, also seems to strengthen
my heart in so many other ways, in addition to the physical cardiovascular ones.

For instance,
how fitting that my little excursions be 1500 feet above sea level! 
I tell you, there are times when I literally feel
 like I am walking in the clouds! 
 Greek in origin, aero- "air" (combining form) + bios "life", 
further adds to the 'living in the air' essence!

That fresh autumn breeze, now cooler and crisper, chills and tingles 
my cheekbones, refreshing and re-energizing my senses, 

helping to clear my mind, to make space for thoughts
 that may have been 'blown away', misplaced or forgotten,

and to organize the clutter that also tends to collect inside us,

creating new nooks and crannies
 for creative inspiration to spontaneously settle in.

Yesterday, the wind was particularly sharp,
and as it sped by me, its driving force
 whistled a wonderful idea into my mind.

 The tinted leaves and sun dried fruit, barely clutching on to 
half naked boughs, seemed to be hanging on just long enough
for my arrival, when I plucked them from their plight,

and carefully carried them home, clutching them closely together, 
as some were weak and withered from their exposure to the elements.

In the garden, I scattered them on the roof of the wood oven,
and arranged them according to the wind's specifications,
careful not to exclude those less fortunate in foliage.

Once inside, they were safe and sound,

and enjoyed the airy openness of the great room,

under a cozy lamp, in the living room,

or covered in the midday afternoon sun, on the dining room buffet.

But, their intended spot, 
 (remembering the wind's final words,
just before it whisked itself away), was:

"Somewhere in the open air,
not in a vase, or a constricted place.
...You'll know where''.

So, dear friends in cyberspace
please accept this little fall bouquet,
in appreciation for your
sweet words the other day.
I know I'm far away,
but I have a friend,
who's willing to
whiz it by your way.

 Thanks for visiting!

Sharing at: 
Through My Lens