Friday, February 19, 2016


Hey everyone.  It's been a pretty good week in the Land of Blonde.  No, not perfect but it's the little things, right?  Like these tulips.  They gave me a week of pleasure and I even loved them when they started to drop a few petals.  My grocery store has a Five for Friday deal...a little bouquet for $5.00  Love it.  Today I bought some dwarf lilies.  I like to get them before they open so you will have to wait, with baited breath I'm sure, for a pic.  

It was 64 degrees and sunny here in Chicago today.  Amazing.  I opened windows in every room and let the breeze blow in to clear out the air and the dust rats.  Milo and Layla could not sit still.  They leaped around with their sniffers in the air and did their little dance to go outside every 20 minutes.  Maybe they think this is spring, who knows?  But they were happy.  I was happy and all was good.  Except the wind.  Far beyond what the Windy City is accustomed to.  Streets downtown were closed as windows broke, construction sites became dangerous; debris flying all over.  Everything and anything taking off into the wind.  I made a trip to the grocery store (I know, by now all of you think I live at the grocery store but it is what it is. :) and I was hanging on to my cart for dear life.  Other than that bit of excitement it was a sunny week and we all need that in February.

The Husband spent the most part of last weekend and then Monday and Tuesday working at home on the project he will be presenting in Vancouver this April.  We did go out for a nice Valentine's Day dinner Sunday and had a wonderful time.  I have to say, by Monday I had a little too much togetherness.  What can I say?  I'm used to being alone 5 days a week and although I never knew how much I was accustomed to it, well, I guess I am.  I escaped to Target Monday and other than a few food items, I was just wandering.  You know me too well though, I have a love for shower curtains.  Switching them up by season or just a whim.  I wanted something spring-y and this fit the bill.  At $19.00 I was pleased.  Maybe a little premature but a girl can dream, right?  I have the window open and you can see my little birdhouses swaying in the breeze.  So encouraging!

The only other thing I needed to make a soft feel was a pale pink hand towel for the shelving I have in this bath.  These are simple pieces of pine I had cut to the dimensions I wanted at Home Depot a few years ago.  I painted them a soft creamy color and they give me space and a way to display pretty soaps, towels and glass containers of essentials.  How fun it is to change a bathroom around so inexpensively.  

I really love the book section at Target.  Losing Border's was a real disappointment to me.  Barnes and Noble is about 50 minutes away and I've noticed it's filled with a lot of eye catching items I can't begin to count, nor need.  I think you know what I mean.  But...I have to avoid the book section at Target...I'm a sucker for the best sellers and pretty covers.  I did see this and when I read the back cover I was intrigued.  I thought it would be a sort of generational novel going back and forth from the times I really love--the early 1900's and 1960's.  It was but what didn't prepare me was how well written and...

...hysterically funny it is!  You'd never know.  Switching back and forth between two eras can be a little too common in so many novels, and though you can read the jacket cover (which you might want to enlarge to read above), you'd never know how charismatic these characters are and how life plays out in such comical, suspenseful and heartfelt way.  I'm eating up several chapters in a sitting.  I'm also enjoying a slow and enjoyable read of Stillmeadow Seasons by Gladys Tabor.  I savor her gentle rumination, almost meditative.  Before bed is the best time for me to relax and enjoy her writings.  Her times on the farm are a bit like my time at the lake, I get her need for solitude and simple life.  

I got wise after all of my appointment mishaps that I wrote about in my last post.  I never thought I needed any sort of calendar beside the good old wall type with pretty pictures of puppies.  But I finally broke down and bought a simple little planner and I'm getting pretty good at transferring all of those little appointment cards I usually stuff in my purse in to this little guy.  At the end of each month is a larger space for daily notes and I'm keeping a daily meal diary there.  I hear that tracking your meals helps in your diet.  I find it terrifying but heck...who knows?  I may or may not let you know how well this works.  ;-D

And on to another recipe with an awful picture as per usual.  We don't eat meat during lent and as I'm not a huge fan of seafood, nor do I eat eat many carbs such as pasta, potatoes or anything relatively white,  I have to be creative to make fish taste a a little better.  I peruse recipes all the time and I happened to find a great recipe for Cod Cakes published by the New York Times.  Of course I changed it.  The poached fish involved a lot of herbs and spices that I felt would simply get diluted in the process so I eliminated them in my recipe.  I also have specific ideas as to how to create a cake that doesn't fall apart.  I hope you enjoy this and feel free to modify your ingredients. 

Cod Cakes

1 lb. fresh cod fillets
2 T butter
2 stalks celery, diced fine
1 carrot, diced fine
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping T mayonnaise 
2 t Dijon mustard
2 eggs
S & P
1 T Italian herb blend
1 T sweet paprika
1 c Panko bread crumbs
1 c. plain bread crumbs

1/4 c canola oil


Poach fish in 1/2 c water in a small skillet about 10 minutes until opaque.  Remove and let cool.  Drain skillet and melt butter over medium heat.  Add all veggies and garlic and saute about 6 minutes until soft.  Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl combine mayo, mustard, eggs salt and pepper.  Add herb blend and paprika.  Add this to the large bowl of veggies.  Stir in the bread crumbs 1/2 cup at a time.  The batter should be moist but firm.

Flake the cooked cod both finely and in small chunks.  Add to the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill at minimum 30 minutes.  

Heat canola oil over medium heat.  Form patties of the cod mixture and cook about 4-5 minutes on both sides until heated through.  For a crispy surface, spread a bit of mayo over each side before cooking.  A lemony vinaigrette is a nice topping as well.


Well. that's it for now.  We have zero plans for the weekend but that may change.  I'm feeling very on top of things lately.  I handed in my first newspaper article of the year 5 days early.  Yay!  This is the year I want to be a non procrastinator.  If that's possible.  

I also want to say that I'm keeping the book giveaway open another week (see my last post).  If you want to be entered, please let me know in your comment.  

Have a great weekend!

Jane x 


Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Is your post complete? Ending with "and" and photos is not like you ... there's usually a whole lot more words to tell the story. I see you have an appointment book there. It would have come in handy with all those mishaps in your earlier post. :) ha-ha! The black bean concoction in your last picture looks interesting. Is that potato patties next to it?

Terra Hangen said...

Ending your post with "and", rather mysterioso. I like your tulip bouquet and this reminds me to get some for our home too.

Linda said...

What a lovely time catching up with you tonight before I go to bed! I love every word and every book and every publication Gladys Tabor ever wrote! I have read Still Meadow Sampler many times over and will read it many times more!!!

Pondside said...

The fish cakes look yummy! You will probably be tired of fish by the time you come to Vancouver, but there are some seriously good fish restaurants there!
I think I may have to go out and find a new shower curtain. I wish we had a Target!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I like orange roughy because it doesn't taste too 'fishy' ...I read a tip in a jewish cookbook years and years ago that I'd borrowed from the library...she said add a pinch of cinnamon to the flour, breadcrumbs ( etc / whatever mixture you are using ) and it makes the fish taste a little sweet and it doesn't stink up the kitchen when frying so much

Love that pretty shower curtain! :)

marty (Thrifty & Chic-on a budget) said...

Love tulips and such a pretty bouquet. The fish cakes sound so good, I need to try these.

Susie said...

Blondie, I hate fishy fish...I know you understand what that means. I fill fish should be absolutely opaque..nothing transparent about it..ever. That's raw in my book. LOL. I just use Mrs. Dash for seasonings. But I have marinaded fish in light Italian dressing, then baked it. It's already seasoned then and tastes great. See you are a real cook and I am a fast cook. LOL. I want to open our windows too. I saw where you had huge winds there. I have a desk calendar I write appointments in. Blessings to you, xoxo, Love, Susie

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The new book sounds interesting! I, too, often read Gladys' books at bedtime. Her words are just so calming. The new shower curtain is pretty and I like your shelf. The fish cakes sound yummy! Have a good weekend!

Beth said...

You're such a good and creative cook, Jane! I cannot imagine eating only fish for a whole 40 days - on Fridays, yes, but daily? I like some fish but am not totally fond of it. Once in awhile I make salmon patties with the canned salmon. We enjoy those. They are especially delicious with a white cream sauce with peas in it. I also like potato crusted cod that I purchase made that way at the grocery store. We are traveling in the south now and it's very warm. Glad the midwest is getting some warm days too; a nice break! Looking forward to spring - your bath is very pretty AND springy, by the way! Good job! I think Emily got her "decorator" genes from her Mom!
Hugs, Beth

Kathy Moreland said...

Love your shower curtain! I believe your temperatures were warmer than ours, here in N. Georgia! We've had some gorgeous sunshine, though, and I'm thankful for that.

I've used a planner for the last couple of years, and don't know what I would do without it! It's just easier, to write things down, and I keep mine beside my love seat where I sit all the time. I pickup Rheagan most days, and sometimes sit with her at night for her Mom to attend Board of Ed meetings, so my planner is a MUST!

Hope you continue to have some lovely days!

Melanie said...

I was just in Target yesterday - and found some great pillows on clearance! I went in for a lampshade and didn't get that, ha ha. Posted about the pillows yesterday.
I use a notebook planner, too. I know I can put appointments and such on my phone, but I still prefer paper and pen. I'm assuming you're the same.
The book you're reading sounds good. I looked it up on amazon and it has high ratings, too. It's now on my to-read list (along with a million other books!) Speaking of books, I'm now off to a huge library book sale. I'm hoping to find some of the books on my list. Hope you have a great weekend - especially enjoy today since it's so beautiful outside! I had all my windows open yesterday too and have the kitchen window open right now.

Kathleen Grace said...

I don't think you are premature at all in starting your spring decorating! One of the best things about having a lot of white in your decorating is how easily you can change things up. Love the new look in the bath :) I hear you on the hubby being home, mine has worked at home for 4 years. Love him to death but sometimes I need a shopping run myself ;)
Have a great weekend!

Simply LKJ said...

The fish dish sounds really good. And, I am all for bringing spring in earlier!!

podso said...

Your bathroom looks so pretty. I like the pink touches. And love seeing the window open.
I hope the planner helps. I'm now trying two places for my appointments. I should have the discipline to put them on my phone too and have an alarm remind me of them each morning!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Great post Jane. So glad that you got a daily planner. I find that really helps me and you have more space to write things down. I also keep a daily diary. Hopefully my granddaughter will go back and read after I have left this world and get to know her grandma better. They live close to San Francisco so it's not so easy to see them all the time.

I found a fish that I really like - they sell it at Costco. It's a salmon patty and you can put in in the microwave or fry it in the skillet. It's not fishy at all. I put some lemon on it or Tartar sauce, and I have even put Knorr Hollandaise sauce on it. also make a lot of Tuna salad.

Glad that you are having some nice temps and hopefully it will stay that way. We are expecting 90 by Monday.

I also love fresh flowers in the house and right now my garden is not producing many for a bouquet.

Have a great weekend Jane and hopefully you and husband will go someplace special.
Hugs dear friend.

Chel at Sweetbriar Dreams said...

Jane, I just love love love that soap dish. I now have a quest to find one! I had my windows open today, briefly before the wind threatened to take them away. It's so cold one minute and then the sun shines and phew! Have a wonderful weekend my lovely xx

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Dear Jane in the Land of Blonde - funny! You made me smile, I'm a Blonde too. It's warm in Philly too and I must say it feels delightful.
Since its Lent and we do Fish Friday's your Cod cake recipe looks yummy so I'll try it this Friday. We have a shower glass door enclosed shower but I enjoy looking at shower curtains in friends homes. They really add a decorative touch. Enjoy your weather!

Mereknits said...

Ha! I just got back from Target, gosh I love that store. I got lots of little 3 T shorts for Little Buddy on sale for this Spring/Summer. And you are so right they do have a really good book section. I have read 100 Summers by Beatriz Williams, I liked it a lot so will look up this one too. Thank you for the suggestion.

Cozy Little House said...

Funny, I'm in Target quite a bit and I never even noticed the books!

Primitive Stars said...

Evening Jane, thanks for the recipe, yum..... Love Tulips, time to buy some to brighten my fable and push Spring into coming...Blessings From Another Blondie

Carla from The River said...

I have heard Target is really doing a great job changing up its style for the shopper. I do not have a Target close by, but when I travel to our larger city, I like to make a stop at Target.

Thank you for the recipe. I always enjoy you sharing a recipe.

Kim said...

I am a big paper and pencil girl and I write everything down in my planner. I keep notes of what we did on certain days, appointments, celebrations, you name it, it's all there. That silly date book has become a journal of sorts and I keep them all in a file cabinet, year after year. Let me know how you like yours!!

Gypsy Heart said...

I love the book section in Target too! :) Of course, there isn't much in the store that I don't like. Border's closed here too and Barnes & Noble has a lot of "stuff" but hardly ever the book needed. I just don't go there anymore and use Amazon.

We've been in the 70's here this week and wayyyy too windy! My allergies have been horrible as has everyone else's. Humidity has been horrible today although rain is forecast for tomorrow. We really need it!

I'm going to re-do my bathroom too. Just feels like time for a change. Don't you love having the windows open? Just feels like you can refresh everything like that. I should have taken a photo of the tulips I bought today although they're really not open yet. I was at the grocery store and checking out the flowers. The girl working there said she would discount them if I wanted the tulips so she marked them down to $2. They're planted in a container so I got one for my daughter too. I so love tulips!

Have a great week ~

Sarah said...

Late arriving. I was in Dallas all week and away from the computer. It was beautiful all week with sunny skies and 70s, but Thursday was strangely windy.
I buy fresh flowers each week. I find that Trader Joe's has great flowers and excellent prices.
I need to go buy some tomorrow. '-)

Scribbler said...

So glad you didn't have any mishaps with that high wind. I heard on the news it caused some damage downtown. Your food looks good as always. I like your tip about spreading a little mayo on the fish cake before dropping in the oil -- I am going to remember that. Down here we all grew up on salmon patties -- the kind made with salmon in a can. I don't think the fish you used as common here. I buy crabmeat sometimes at Costco and made crab cakes -- we like those, too.

I will check out that book. I am reading Circling the Sun, and so far it is really good. We have had some nice Spring-like days, too, so I sat on the back porch for a couple of hours this afternoon reading.

Tammy said...

Now that's more like it. :) High winds are very scary especially where building sites are concerned. I wish I could be a non-procrastinator.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I can't believe how warm it's been there! That's great! We've had a lot of wind too, but our A/C has been on all week. We've been in the 80's already. Yuck. I need to check out the book section at Target next time I'm there. I always forget they have books. :) Enjoy your week!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Just had to stop by and say hello Jane. Also, to see what you've been up to. Of course, you are always on the go and busy, busy. I need to take more time to read and spend less time on the social media sites and the computer in general. Also, I need a break from keeping up my booth spaces, but that will probably never happen. I love what I do.
Enjoy the nice weather. I think here on the coast we are going back to rain and cold.

Have a wonderful week.


Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Hi Jane, I heard about those terrible winds in Chicago. I saw a video of an older woman who literally almost got blown away, and might have, had three strangers not come to her aid. I remember being in Chicago once, and have to hold on to a pole so I wouldn't get knocked over! Ever since I stopped working, I became very forgetful, and have had to purchase a daily planner just like the one I used at work. Even still, I have some things on my phone, some on the planner, so I still mess up! The cod cakes look delish!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jane,
I have returned from a lovely trip to California and soaked up some sweet time with my grand babies and daughter.

Love fresh flowers, Jane-I usually purchase a bouquet weekly and then guard it with my life in hopes that it will last all week.

Target has so many great things!!

Vel Criste said...

Target is 'horrible', I always find something to buy there too, but I think, for LENT, I will make the sacrifice of avoiding the store! YIKES!!!!! Loved the weekend weather too, me and the fam had a good stroll in our neighborhood, love the fresh air and just getting out! I wanna try that cod cake for sure, something I can try for Fridays! Welcome to the date book club! I cant live without my planner, it has everything in it!

chateau chic said...

We've had a teaser with the warmer temps too...I'm ready for these gorgeous sunny days to stay awhile. Love your new shower curtain and I'm liking the idea of changing it up seasonally.
Mary Alice

Theresa said...

Fresh flowers in my house makes me smile:) I love Target and get some really good bargains sometimes:) It has felt a lot like Spring down here but raining today and is gonna cool off this weekend! Enjoy your week dear friend! HUGS!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, Target is like a magnet for me too. I have one so close by and it does have a nice book section. In fact, I found a beautiful waffle design shower curtain at Target and love it. I change them up for the season too.
Thanks for sharing the recipe. Love fresh flowers in the house too. We had warm temps but today turned cool and we got some much needed rain.

Have a great week. xo

Helen Philipps said...

Lovely does feel like spring even though it can still be chilly here. I will put the book on my list, it sounds great. The planner is such a good way to keep track of everything.....I have to write everything down as I am vague about dates otherwise! Wishing you a wonderful week.
Helen xox

Rue said...

I just love tulips. It wasn't always that way. I used to be a rose girl only and now I'm a daisy girl that loves all kinds of flowers :)

Your bathroom looks so fresh and spring-like! I've been working on my downstairs bathroom this week. I FINALLY got all the green paint of the tile. What a pain! Post about it soon ;)

That book sounds interesting. I might just look for it when I get through the pile that I already have built up lol

Happy belated Birthday to your beautiful grand baby :)

And hugs to you, sweet friend,

Benita Roberts said...

I love your tulips and hope to get some this weekend! After last week's ordeal, I need some spring around the house. The hubster had some cards and flowers (hydrangeas) waiting on me when I got home last night. He came home early to get back to work and me and my sisters had to help my mom with a few things. Tulips always remind me of a breath of sunshine. I know that sounds weird, but they do.

Like you, I have to avoid book sections sometimes. I don't know, I just go crazy in a book section or a book store and just start grabbing things that look funny or interesting. I have so many favorites that I can no longer keep up.

The recipe looks interesting...I've never had cod cakes before but will definitely save this recipe to give it a try!

Love the new shower curtain. I'm boring, I stick with white so that I can accessorize everything else! :-)

Love and hugs to you sweet friend!

Bluebird49 said...

I love the shower curtain--it's so cheerful-looking! Your bathroom is so crisp and pretty-and I love the open window, too.
I don't think I've ever had cod cakes--but I love most fish, and need to eat it more, I know.
What is it you're giving away, Hon? What did I miss. I'm always up for a give away.

I hope you did have a good weekend, and I'm glad you feel you're more on top of things--it sure sound like the way to go!! I need a planner, I think!
Love you!

Jen Kershner said...

I added both of those books to my to read list but in particular Stillmeadow Seasons sounds like my kind of book! The wind was crazy here as well last weekend but it sounds like yours was crazier! I want you to know that I just got done sorting through some of my decorating books because everything must be sorted and organized in this house ;) and I discovered I also had two books that had different covers but were the same. It is so annoying that they do that! And the funny thing is I probably never would have figured it out had I not flipped through one and then immediately the other. My big girl was more than happy to take it off my hands for me though!!

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