It's been a busy week, some business and pleasure combined. That's the way it should be, balance. I still have a ton of doctor appointments everywhere I turn. Blood tests ordered at my last physical in December (gulp, a wee bit late) done a few days ago. A Bone Density test which I should have starting getting years ago. The annual gynecology appointment which I actually reschedule twice. I'm just very uncomfortable with that sort of thing. I think I once wrote that I'd rather go to the dentist. So now the waiting for the results and to schedule the mammogram and then wait for that. Just not a breezy sort of thing for me. Geez, isn't it great to start reading a blog post that is filled with such uplifting thoughts?
On Monday I had a great time with Emily doing a little shopping. We haven't gotten together in so long. She does a lot of work on her days off, meeting with clients and doing design work. When she is in the showroom she needs to be available to customers and potential clients. It was great to get out together. We went to HomeGoods. I didn't need one darn thing for myself, in fact I'm trying to organize the space downstairs where I keep all my seasonal stuff. I did need to get a birthday gift for a friend and Emily found a gorgeous and huge pasta bowl and picked out some fancy pasta, olive oil and jars of sauce. She is so creative in picking out gifts like this. I would have simply bought the bowl!
I also became a little nutso in picking out essentials for Abby's new apartment. I have to backtrack a little. Her lease with her three girlfriends in their coachhouse ends in a month. They are parting ways after a fun filled year together and she and her longtime boyfriend, Tom, have decided to take the leap and get an apartment together. It will be on the Northside. They are hunting for a place right now. Each of the girls will take what they brought. I know she and Tom have a lot of shopping ahead picking out furniture, rugs, curtains...all sorts of major pieces. We know there are baby showers and wedding showers, but sadly there is no such thing as 'living in sin' showers, so I hit the kitchen aisles knowing that wouldn't intrude on her particular taste and style and it would check off a few things on her list. I had a ball. Coffee cups, towels, napkins, a cute canister and all sorts of spoons and spatulas and those crazy things you never think you need until you need them. She was quite touched. I got my retail therapy done and didn't add anymore clutter to my own home.
Except this cute bunny you see above. Just one. One per year. Truly.
This bunny banner was found in the dollar bin (but one of the $3 bargains) at Target a few weeks ago. It was sort of funny, I didn't like the way it was hanging and I mentioned it to The Husband. The next morning I got up and he met me in the living room, excitedly pointing to the bunny banner. "Look, Jane! I think I solved the problem. I pinned the middle bunny up higher and now it looks like they're running and leaping!" How clever. He was so darned pleased with himself. I have to bring the rest of my spring things upstairs when I get a chance. I'm a little afraid I'm going to wake up one morning to find everything rearranged.
We've had some nice warm weather here but also our fair share of gloom. I guess when the spring-like temps tease us, it's harder to accept the cloudy rainy days. Today was dark and misty. Warm enough to have some open windows but a little too damp and humid. Funny how the weather affects our moods. Is it just us women? We seem to talk about the weather a lot on our blogs. For me, playing with vignettes here and there helps me focus on things I can control, ways to bring some prettiness indoors. I try to find inexpensive bouquets when I can, especially just before spring arrives when it feels like we haven't seen a living thing in months. To the left you can see a little jar. I made some cuttings from a Baby Tears houseplant and I really hope I get some roots. I love this plant dearly. Spring. Growth. ;-D
Playing a little on the kitchen counters. I'm really lucky to have a lot of space and I guess I will never be the type to have clean, sleek counters. I think I just like to be surrounded by what I like. Things rarely make sense...I mean a box filled with all sorts of string? And the dog treats right smack next to my flour and sugar canisters? Yep, that's me.
I promised the recipe for Roasted Chicken Provencal. I was just too pooped to write it out in my last post but I hope I left you with a good teaser. This goes together so quickly and easily yet it would make for a wonderful Sunday dinner. I'm having a love affair with chicken thighs. I've never cared much for dark meat but I really love how it stays so moist and tender when cooked in a broth or sauce. The key is to trim the fat very well. In this recipe the whole garlic cloves turn soft, fragrant and melt in your mouth with each bite, as do the shallots. Never think French cooking is terribly difficult. Some of my favorite recipes are all about simple ingredients meant to be savored and remembered.
Roasted Chicken Provencal
8 skin on chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
2 T of sea salt
1 t pepper
1/2 to 3/4 c flour
3 T canola oil
2 T herbes de Provence (easily found in your grocery with the spices)
1 lemon halved and then quartered
8-10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
4-6 large shallots, peeled and halved
1/3 c white wine
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with S&P. Put flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge chicken in it, gently shaking to remove excess.
Swirl the oil in a large roasting pan and add chicken. Pour the wine over the chicken thighs and surround them with the lemon, garlic and shallots. Top with the herbes de Provence
Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Baste with the juices and then lower heat to 350 and bake another 25 minutes. The skin on the chicken should be browned and crisp. Remove to a platter and spoon the juices, lemon, garlic and shallots over. This is delicious served with a light salad and some good French bread.
Let me know if you try this. And if you have any questions, ask away. Its a real winner!
I have to get to bed early. A visit with a friend early and after, my first appointment at a dermatology clinic nearby where I will start light therapy for my skin. Its not the dangerous sort of rays you have in a tanning bed and it helps heal the rash and its inflammation. I'll have to go 3 three times a week but it's only about 20 minutes away. I've been on the meds almost 2 weeks and I'm just starting to see some improvement. The side effects are pretty much gone other than a bit of feeling chilled after it first kicks in. Nothing bad, the headaches are gone, too. Fingers crossed.
Our trip to Vancouver is fast approaching. We leave on April 8 and come home on the 13th. We have a busy itinerary, a cocktail party the night before The Husband's presentation, then two free days of shopping and our hotel is smack in the middle of the best shopping area. We are also driving 2 hours north to Whistler, a beautiful town waaaaaay up in the mountains. While neither of us ski we are looking forward to staying in the village which looks like something straight out of Switzerland. I'm so excited!
Not a great picture but this is where we will be staying overnight in Whistler. It's right in the village as we have no need to be near the ski lifts or anything remotely unrelated to shopping and dining. ;-D
I'm off to bed now. Thanks for visiting. See you soon!