Happy Valentine’s Day

v-day-004We invited Josh and Laura over for an early Valentine’s Day meal. (We also invited Katie and Andrew but they were booked solid for Sunday and Tuesday) This happened on Sunday late afternoon. At first I set the table with these plates but then decided the main course would be served better in a bowl.

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v-day-006Dear and I tackled Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon buying all the ingredients on Saturday and starting some of the steps then and finishing it on Sunday.

v-day-017This one is a bit blurry, so here’s another one.

v-day-016This meal deserves lots of photos since the process was more complicated than it needed to be. I love Julia but her editors could have made the instructions easier and more precise. The final product was delicious and we’ll make it again with just a few adjustments.

v-day-013One of the steps was preparing these lovely pearl onions and then adding mushrooms cooking them to their delicious state and then adding them to the beef that had cooked for a few hours.

p1070146On Saturday we picked up several meaty soup bones and per Jacque and Julia’s instructions (a little vague) we made our own beef stock after roasting these bones topped with these vegetables. The steps after the roasting were the really vague part but we used our own skills to pull it off and the stock was delicious and ready for our Sunday Boeuf Bourguignon creation which is simpler to just call beef stew. Everything came together nicely even though we laughed and scratched our heads about some of the instructions, reading them out loud to each other several times. Besides Julia’s 2 classic cookbooks we have a cookbook called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (Jacques Pepin). This cookbook also has the stew recipe in it so we were flipping back and forth between the two books.

p1070147It was a fun thing to do together. I got the idea for cooking a Valentines meal with your love instead of going out from a blog post and I forget who is the one who suggested this. If it was you, please let me know. The suggestion was to pick something you had never tried cooking before. There were only a couple times we stepped on each other’s toes.

v-day-005When we got the text saying Josh and Laura could join us on Sunday I realized I was so wrapped up with Julia I forgot about dessert so before church we stopped by the store to buy a chocolate cake mix and raspberries. It was my plan to make these small heart shaped cakes but there was enough batter left to make this medium heart shaped cake, too.

v-day-011This medium sized cake with pink pearls went home with Josh and Laura so that Laura could take it to work and share it with her co-workers. It was devoured and enjoyed.

v-day-019I served the little heart shaped cakes on a bed of raspberry coulis (sauce) for the four of us.

I forgot to take a photo of the four of us while we enjoyed our meal so I’ll add this photo of Josh and Laura taken another time and in another place.

16002909_10211736628877145_8481448021831948219_nAnd in the “spirit” of selfies I’ll add this one of Dear and me taken yesterday with our shades on, too.

16711954_10212184236749413_1190845926328543452_nOur evening together was so enjoyable and it was good to get caught up on some current details of our lives. After dinner and dessert we watched a couple episodes of Hunted together. It was new to all of us but Josh and we all enjoyed it. I may or may not have watched a few more episodes after Josh and Laura headed home. It’s a little disconcerting learning how much of all of our lives can be found out if someone with skills wants to find out. Big brother really is watching us.

I’ll leave you with a couple sentiments and a solid truth for this and every day, not just Valentine’s Day!

16729031_10212190183378075_7140222896236361334_nThe upper sign was a gift from Josh and Laura for our anniversary one year. The heart has part of the solid truth you can depend on. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them!

Super Wednesday Hodgepodge

more-snow-0231. What’s the last thing you did that someone else thought was super?
16473741_10212134529706768_6284983107549192089_nDear and I drove some important papers that needed to be north about 80 miles from us on Tuesday morning. The roads were fine on the interstate but when we arrived in Bellingham the side streets were compact snow and ice. A little tricky to drive on. We were happy to make it there and back again in record time and safely. Our son thought we were super to do this for him and his firm.
2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb?
pictures68While in California we had many superb meals with family and friends. One day my sister and I picked up our dear old pop and took him to his favorite Armenian restaurant in Montebello, Golden Skewers. The food is superb and we all enjoyed our choices.
 3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial…pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently.
When I am in a large group of people I’m superficial. I find it hard to engage with anyone in particular and I buzz about without landing anywhere for any meaningful exchanges.
4. Do you love easily? If you’re comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is.
I think I’m cautious when it comes to love. Once I love you I’ll love you forever. I might not like you at times but my love will continue.
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 5. Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you’re celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend?
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This day is hit and miss at this old house. Some years we celebrate big and I pull out the Valentine bin and decorate and some years we do not. Nothing is planned for Tuesday except typically on Tuesdays we go to our local Mexican restaurant for lunch or dinner. We call it Tequila Tuesday.
 6. What’s something you are loving right now?
The anticipation of the arrival of our first granddaughter who will be our very first grandchild. Today we got a message from our DIL with a photo attached of her in the womb and she’s hanging on to her foot with her hand. They say she’s chubby and hairy!
addys-shower-0587. Write a three word (or less) phrase you’d like to see on a Valentine candy heart.
I’m For You
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Signs of Spring 007
Linking up with From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Sunlit ~ InSPIREd Sunday!

Later today I’ll link up with Sunlit Sunday hosted by Karen at My Little Home and Garden and InSPIREd Sunday hosted by Beth and Sally. Here are more churches from San Francisco and some other sunlit inspirations.

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St. Agnes Catholic Church in the Haight Asbury neighborhood of San Francisco.

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Another church I saw on the upper deck bus tour I took. Wish I knew what church is is.

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The First Congregational Church in Downtown San Francisco that is now the Academy of Art.

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A recent sunrise out my stairwell window beyond my neighbors huge maple tree.

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A timely sunlit photo for this particular Sunday. This sculpture in Kirkland Washington always is decorated according to what’s happening in our world or for holidays.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

After the Storm…

daniels broiler etc

Friday morning we had quite a deluge of rain in our area. Dear and I had reservations for an early Valentine’s lunch in Bellevue at Daniel’s Broiler. We decided because of the weather not to go to downtown Seattle to our favorite Steak house. When it was time to leave for our lunch the rain had stopped and the skies had puffy clouds with lovely blue. The views out the 21st floor were spectacular. You can see downtown Seattle across Lake Washington.

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We decided on Filet Mignon sandwiches and a Coconut Fudge Sundae. Both recommended by our waitress. We chatted with her about Valentine’s day and she said that the restaurant opens at 4:00 and they already had 600 reservations for dinner on Sunday! Yikes. We were happy for the quiet relaxed atmosphere around our lunch celebration. On our way home from the restaurant we drove through Kirkland with more beautiful views of the lake that was glistening and then we got to see how the iconic cow and dog sculpture were decorated for Valentine’s day!

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Hope you have a relaxing Saturday y’all!

A Day Off…

Thankfully today is President’s Day and Dear has the day off. We’ve been working and celebrating all weekend and our yard project continues today. I’ll be strapping on my back brace and helping Dear after my coffee. I’ll show you a little of what’s gone on this weekend already and I’ll show the complete before and afters of our yard project soon.

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On Saturday, Valentines Day, we headed to the Home Depot and bought what we’d need for the beginning of our yard project. We finished the first half of what we planned and will continue with the second half today.

2015-02-15 V-Day projects

On Sunday we took the day off from our project and after church we had a nice brunch/lunch with Josh and Laura catching up on a lot of what’s been going on in our lives the last few weeks. It was a good time filled with fun, laughter and some hard things, too. That’s life, isn’t it? After the kids left we changed up a bit and headed to downtown Seattle for our belated Valentine dinner at Morton’s Steak House.

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The food was delicious and that Grand Marnier Souffle for two was a very nice way to end our meal!

I’ll end with a little tribute to one of the presidents we celebrate on this day, Abraham Lincoln. You’ll recognize the photo from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and the quote is from Lincoln’s Devotional.

Communion with God 

 a Source of Joy

There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou has put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. Psalm iv. 6, 7.

Lord, what is life? if spent with thee,
In humble praise and prayer,
How long or short my life may be
I feel no anxious care:
though life depart, my joys shall last,
When life and all its joys are past.

Hope your cares are few and your joy is full. Do you have today off? What does your day hold?

Happy Valentines Day!

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I managed to put up a few Valentine Day decorations. I’m enjoying these fun little Valentine clothes pins. Josh and Laura bought us the sign for our 40th wedding anniversary.

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Signs of Spring 007

I bought this plate at the thrift store and enjoyed the sentiment on it. The following Antique post cards are all from Dear’s great aunt’s stash.

We are going to work in the yard together this Valentines Day. The weather is cooperating and we need to go when the going is good. On Sunday early evening we’ll enjoy a meal out at a downtown Seattle Steakhouse. What are your plans with your Valentine?

Valentine Favorites

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! It’s time for Friday’s Fave Five with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story. Here are my favorites from this past week.

1. A surprise snowfall last Sunday. Glad it all washed away on Monday. Sorry for those of you that really wish snow was in your past right now.

feb snow day 0272. A safe trip back and forth to Canada on Tuesday to enjoy a nice lunch with some of the Mennonite Girls and a tour of Matthew’s House in Abbotsford.

2014-02-11 Matthews house23. Meeting some dear friends for dinner on Thursday at our local haunt. So good to see them and talk to them. I didn’t take a photo boohoo.

4. A beautiful bunch of tulips from Costco that we’ve enjoyed all week. They are similar to these that were growing in Mount Vernon last April.

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5. A no pressure Valentine’s Day plan. I bought steaks for Dear to barbecue and we’ll bake some potatoes and have salad. No fighting the crowds.

This is the start of a long weekend here in the states and for some of you in Canada. We celebrate President’s Day on Monday. Hope you all have a great one!