Thursday, February 24, 2022

And This Is How Our Days Go

The good thing about February is that we see signs that winter won't be forever here in Michigan. Yes, we will still get snow -- maybe even a lot of it. But then you have melting days where the temps are warmer and the snow begins to reveal the grass beneath. And, as we celebrated Christmas late, we did Valentine's Day late, too -- so only about a month till "official" spring. Time flies!

I just came in from picking some thyme and sage. I'm amazed they hold up through the winter outside. There's nothing like fresh thyme -- possibly my favorite herb (or at least a tie with fresh basil!). Somehow, it is surviving well under the snow.


I made Julia's wonderful French onion soup the other night for dinner. That and a salad and it was all divine. But it paled in comparison to the wonderful dish Rick made for our belated Valentine dinner. It's called Mediterranean barley risotto with mushrooms and carrots and you can find the recipe right here. It was so flavorful! He substituted one cup of the liquid with one cup of white wine. It would be a wonderful main vegetarian dish or was great as a side.


It was lovely to be treated to a lovely dinner by my favorite chef! In addition to the risotto, we had steaks on the grill and I made my favorite chocolate mousse from The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoultier. This is a terrific cookbook and I heartily recommend it.


It's very easy -- melting nine ounces of chocolate, folding it into a meringue of six extra large egg whites, 1/4 t. of cream of tartar, a pinch of salt and about 1/3 c. sugar. Let it sent in ramekins and done! (You can also pop this into the freezer for sorbet or bake in ramekins for a lava cake but I've never tried those!)


Mary Berry says the true sign of well-whipped meringue is holding the bowl upside down over your head, which she has Paul Hollywood do in some of her Baking Show masterclass episodes. I was very nervous but I tried it --it works!


Every year I do a poetry book for him with poems about things that happened to us.


This year's version included Covid hair, vaccines, time at the lake, taking care of mom and toddler sitting! 

Rick gave me a beautiful sweetheart rose plant which will go in the garden this spring. He knows my history with plants and I only have to keep this going in the house till it's warm enough to plant. I think I can do that -- my poinsettia from Christmas is still hanging in there! 


Have join joined the wordle crowd? So far, I've won 97% of the 35 games I've played. I like this because it's free (so far; the NYTimes bought it and who knows if they'll add it to their pay-to-puzzle page in time), and it's once a day -- so you can't fall into it for hours at a time!


And there has been a little zooming with some of my old work friends. We used to gather for lunch or dinner back "in the day" (of eating in restaurants before Covid). Perhaps that will resume in spring but for now, we're connecting online. We share a lot of history.


My puzzle is coming along well. This is a fun one -- I just love the picture and go in spurts doing it. 


And then there's this. For those who asked, Lizzie has been checked out by the vet and there's nothing wrong that would lead her to her bad out-of-the-box behavior. She just likes this spot. And, if I get her down to her box when she needs to go, she's fine. 


I can work with this. I'd rather not. But I can.

Sharing with:   Pink Saturday   /   Love Your Creativity   /  Share Your Style 

49 comments:

Rustic Pumpkin said...

what a cheerful Valentine's you had. Wordle fan here, found one version that you play over and over, not just once a day! Also found Worldle, extra letter l in that, which is a very testing map based one. It's all about keeping those little grey cells motivated!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

We play Wordle daily but I think that like many we have disappointed that the New York Times acquired it, since we are now forced into thinking in American English, and we don't always stop to think that vowels may have been eliminated - colour rather than color etc. The rest of the English speaking world is at a disadvantage!

Iris Flavia said...

Ohhhh, you are romantic gourmets! Love the pic of you looking up ;-)
And ohhh, the poetry book!
Great to stay in contact with colleagues.
Glad Lizzie is doing well.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

Your Valentine's celebration looks fun, the food and mousse sound yummy.
I have a favorite mushroom risotto I like to make. I have not tried to play wordle yet. Cute shot of Lizzie, I hope she is well. Take care, enjoy your day and the weekend ahead.

Sandi said...

I can't believe you did that with your meringue!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am a lover of Wordle, too. I am not sure how many days I have played. I've only missed one word and wow did that bother me! It is a really fun and clever game. I hope it doesn't go behind the paywall. It annoys me that I have a NYT subscription but still need to pay for some of their games! I know they need to make money but come on! At least I'm a paying subscriber!

Your Vday meal sounds so wonderful! Love the Mary Berry reference and that you trusted your meringue to not fall on your head! I'm slowly reading "The Story of the Great British Bake Off." I think you'd like it. It is interesting that initially all the reviews said it would be a flop. They were so wrong and I'm glad they were because that show is just so delightful.

Winter feels really endless here. We have had very very little mild weather. It was below 0 yesterday w/ the windchill and isn't much better today. But next week we should have temps in the 30s which will feel so nice!

I hope Lizzie stops thinking outside the box!!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

The poetry book is a heart melting idea.

Mae Travels said...

Fabulous dinner for the Valentine's Day of your own liking and convenience! That sounds close to the traditional French mousse recipe that I gave up making when the warnings about eating raw eggs became dire. But I still remember the first time I tasted it ... WOW!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It sounds like the two of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! The meal really sounds yummy!

Bill said...

So funny with that meringue hanging over your head, you are brave. :) Glad Lizzie is fine, just a habit she likes to do. Glad you had a lovely Valentine's Day. Have a great weekend.

Lowcarb team member said...

Your Valentines celebrations were lovely, great photographs.

I still haven't tried Wordle but it seems to be very popular.

All the best Jan

William Kendall said...

Quite a meal.

Breathtaking said...

Hello, :=) I'm glad you enjoyed your valentine Day. Very romantic! Your combined effort at making a lovely meal, and the thoughtful gifts, made me smile. I lost my husband less than a year ago, and we used to celebrate it in much the same way. Make the most of your time together,...All the best.

Martha said...

Beautiful post Jeanie and so glad you had a nice Valentines day and a good February. You sure were brave holding that bowl upside down over your head lol. I am totally addicted to Wordle, it's the first thing I do when I'm having my morning coffee. Glad to know there are no physical reasons for Lizzie's issues. I can't remember but have you tried keeping the litter box in a different area? It just might do the trick.

Carola Bartz said...

I just ordered the cookbook!!! Thank you for the recommendation. Unfortunately, it's still only me who does the cooking in this house. My husband says I'm such a good cook that he can't compete. Let's say, he's just too lazy...
Great Valentine's gifts - I like the little cat on the cover of the book you made for Rick.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Awww, I hope Lizzie will soon be back to her old self...Your Valentine's celebration was wonderful! How sweet to give Rick poems about your year together and his great meal with your wonderful dessert. My poinsetta is in the trashcan, so good on you for still having your's!

Prims By The Water said...

Rick is a keeper! Lovely dinner and flowers....yep a keeper. Thanks for sharing the recipe for that risotto. Janice

My name is Erika. said...

You've had a nice February Jeanie. And those spring days have been such a tease. Have you had many of them? We've had several. And I need to check out that French Market cookbook. It sounds like you are eating well and having some fun and getting through the snow and cold when you need to. Have a super rest of this week. Hugs-Erika

Linda Stoll said...

sweet kitty just LOVES that crocheted blanket, doesn't she?!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, we love risotto and I make it often. I must try this recipe. Valentine’s looks wonderful and having a meal prepared for you is the best. I laughed at the meringue over the head photo. I haven’t tried Wordle, but everyone one is sharing on Facebook! Have a lovely weekend!

anno said...

Oh my -- your Valentine's Day collaboration (coLOVEration?) looks delicious... and lovely. And thanks for the proof that your meringue was good to go. Not sure if I would have been willing to try that myself.

Isn't Wordle the best? Unfortunately, I've added it to a long string of puzzles that I insist on solving every day. The latest NYT crossword puzzle is published at 10pm, and if I haven't solved both it and the mini before I go to bed, I am mighty disappointed. Doesn't do much for my insomnia, gotta say. (Says something, I suppose, that I am willing to pay the annual subscription fee for the puzzles, and I only occasionally debate cancelling my monthly news subscription, but I am irritated to tarnation that they want me to also pay for access to the recipes. Haven't taken them up on it yet...)

Good luck with Lizzie. She sure looks adorable curled up on that blanket.

Hope you well-provisioned for this cold and snowy weekend -- stay cozy!

Marilyn Miller said...

What a lovely tradition of a poetry book each year for Rick on Valentine's Day. I love that he gave you a sweetheart rose too. All the food sounds yummy.
Oh, that Lizzie. Joey sometimes likes to pees next to his box, but since it is in the basement it is easy to sanitize.
Love that you can keep contact with friends on zoom. It would be so lonely if we could do that. I have a women's group that use to have dinner or lunch once a month and now we are on zoom twice a month.
I love being able to get herbs from the garden in winter and surprised yours survive there too. For some reason I don't have thyme right now, but that must be rectified as I love thyme.
Now onto Wordle, I have been tempted to explore as I love words; but so far I haven't. I guess I haven't explored enough to get the concept.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
Thanks so much for always stopping by! I am late with responding as I have been so busy,,,I honestly do not know how I worked and did everything I did...It still seems that I have no time...WOW, you guys go all out for Valentine's Day...We stopped celebrating it a long time ago when we made it more about the boys and family...This year, we did nothing...Everyone had different work schedules and shifts....No biggie...
Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
Hugs,
Debbie

Pam said...

HAHA....you are a lot braver than me, I know what would happen if I held that pot over my head like that. I would start a new style and be wearing it!! Looks like a great Valentine time.

gigi-hawaii said...

That Valentine's Day dinner was a feast! Yum. I like that photo of you holding the bowl of meringue upside down over your head. You do love to live dangerously, don't you? LOL Beautiful rose plant!

La Table De Nana said...

I love the little booklets you do for Rick.I was once like you;)
We don't even exchange cards.
I think it has a lot to do on how you are brought up.
I was showered with love and cards by my mom..my husband was pretty much not.
So sweet.
One of my daughters loves Wordle:)

Rita said...

Yummy food, beautiful flowers, good friends, and an out of the box solution...wonderful post! Have a serene weekend. :)

Joanne Huffman said...

Valentine's Day works whenever you can fit it into your life - the meal sounds delicious and I knoe Rick loved your poems.

Divers and Sundry said...

Cats. Whatcha gonna do *sigh* Maybe it'll be a passing fancy...

The rose plant is lovely! I don't do wordle but see them on my FB page. People seem so excited. I just scroll past lol

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Very sweet Valentine celebration. Thanks for the cookbook recommendation. chocolate mousse is a favorite. You are brave Jeanie, holding the pot of meringue over your head. happy weekend.

Ricki Treleaven said...

Your poetry book is such a darling idea! Thanks for sharing the cookbook with us. I might need to find a copy! :D

Linda P said...

Your Valentine's Day meal must have been tasty and a little rose bush was a lovely gift from your Dear One. In turn how sweet of you to make a book of your poems for him. Thank you for visiting my blog and I wish you a relaxing weekend.

Polly said...

What a delicious Valentines meal you had Jeanie, well done with the mousse. You and Rick have a great relationship.

Red Rose Alley said...

That is the sweetest picture of Lizzie. I'm glad she's Ok, and she looks so comfy in her spot. Looks like you had a nice Valentine's Day. Oh, those red roses are going to look so nice planted this Spring. I want to plant a BIG pink rose bush when it gets a little warmer. It's still so cold here, and someone at the grocery store said it was 11 degrees this morning. Your little poetry book sounds like a thoughtful gift. And the Mediterranean risotto sounds delicious. Your chocolate mousse just tops it off for a perfect meal, Jeanie.

~Sheri

Sandra Cox said...

Your meal sounds divine.
Wordle looks fun. I imagine you've already heard about the older woman who was held hostage and discovered because she didn't send her daily Wordle score to her daughter who got worried and called the police.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I love how you life full throttle. Always busy, always making joy for yourself and others.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I can tell you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and a great meal. Enjoyed seeing the cover of your book of poems you make for Rick every year. You have certainly been busy this month. That's a beautiful rose plant. Nice gift for sure.

Cats are funny. I had to litter train Bleubeard. It took about four weeks for me to get him trained, but now he never misses. When I first got Squiggles, he sat in his sandbox all day. I think he had been abused at the place the Humane Society had him staying before he was old enough to be adopted. I finally got him to trust me, but NO ONE else. I still am not sure how a cat's mind works. Good luck with Lizzie, dear Jeanie.

Pamela said...

What a sweet valentine celebration.

R's Rue said...

So sweet.
💙💛

Betty said...

How nice you have a valentines tradition. Lovely pictures :)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your belated Hearts Day celebration looks to have been a wonderful celebration, Jeanie. I am not so sure I would have been brave enough to hold that pot above my head, so glad it worked out well for you! I am among the few? who do not play Wordle and have no future plans to join in what so many others seem to enjoy. Winter continues here in NH with a fresh 8-inch snowfall yesterday (Friday).

Since we were away for 3 weeks, blog reading and commenting has fallen behind and hopefully I will catch up in the coming week or so.

Arti said...

Glad you’re a Wordle player too. I just lost my streak of 41 wins a couple days ago with the word VIVID. 😑 But I’ll start again. Your February looks colorful!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I love chocolate mousse! That recipe looks great.

GretchenJoanna said...

I'm surprised at how hardy that thyme is. Good to know!

And I'm drooling over your chocolate mousse.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

You are very brave to test your meringue over your head, Jeanie! That is a confident cook (and exactly the reason I couldn't do it, lol!). I love the idea of your poetry book. I haven't gotten into the Wordle craze - I must be the only one! Sounds like you and Rick had a delicious Valentine's Day!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, your Valentine's dinner sounds wonderful. Isn't it grand to have a man who cooks? Mike enjoys cooking and it is such a treat for me when he does. I have not made Julia's onion soup and I don't know why. I must correct my ways. Thanks for the tip on the cookbook. I will check it out.
Have a great week and I hope you will be enjoying some nicer weather.

thepaintedapron.com said...

I'm so glad you were able to celebrate a belated Valentine's Day Jeanie and the food sounds amazing. The annual book you make Rick is so sweet, such a treasure 💕
Jenna

Olka said...

Here in Poland we also don't have snowy days anymore. Finally! Spring is coming and days are brighter :)
I think I'm not a "valentines day person". I don't like this holiday. It bacame commercial; too commercial for me. I think we should love each other everyday. We should show the love we feel in every moment of our lives. I don't need any special day to say that someone is important to me. Important, loved, cherished etc.
And also I think it might be very difficult for some people to bear this super sweet and "pink" day full of hearts everywhere. There are people who lost someone, who are rejected, cheated and even more. And it's really difficult time for them all. I just don't like the idea of this day :/
I also love thyme! One of my fav food are potatoes baked with thyme. I was thinking about naming my cat "Tymianek" which meand thyme, but my close friend's cat (which passed some time ago) was called like this (so I resigned). And now he's Kminek (which means cumin :D )
About Lizzie - have you tried to contact behaviorist? This might help, there are many reasons why cat prefers to pee on everything except the litter box. In the past I got help while having this problem with Amaya.

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like a wonderful Valentines celebration. Hope the plants are still hanging in there. I managed to keep my roses alive for a little over two weeks. But they were cut roses, so I'm proud I managed that long. LOL!

I have yet to see if the game is accessible to me. I'm so tempted but trying to resist. I have joined the puzzle of the day crowd on Alexa though, which is great fun if you have anything you can use an Alexa app on (or an actual Alexa device) and enjoy crossword puzzles, since they give crossword type clues for you to guess five words, and then you have to guess the theme that ties them together. Again, you can only do it once a day, so there's no getting hooked and playing for hours at a time.

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