"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mop Philosophy Monday

Lilacs and Lily of the Valley from my garden.
 Lily of the Valley is one of my favourite spring flowers and I didn't even know that it is poisonous, did you?  Handle with care and definitely don't eat it.
 I have a new dish soap that works well and looks fetching perched at the edge of the sink:  Mrs. Meyer's Basil Dish Soap.  It's so weird because the lavender version of this soap gives me a massive headache, but this one causes no ill effects.  It smells wonderful, though I don't think it smells like basil at all.

You're going to think I'm CRAZY but I had a Chef to my house for dinner last night.
 Bravery or madness, let's go with the latter.  Anyway it was fine, I kept it simple and I did not cry.
 I served roasted asparagus with Nigella's Ricotta Tart.  You can see her recipe HERE.
Nigella serves hers with radicchio but I think we can all agree that it would be delicious with almost any grilled or roasted vegetable.
The finished tart with fresh thyme.
 Our main course was this simple yet effective chicken recipe, also Nigella's.  You can see her recipe for this divine dish right HERE.
I served it with roasted rosemary potatoes and a very light pinot grigio.
 We had a great time, the Chef and his partner have a lovely family of three children who were so cute and interesting.  There's almost nothing better than a conversation with a four year old.

I hope your week is off to a fresh start.
xoxDani

31 comments:

  1. You are very brave to invite a chef:)
    There is a TV show here that is called the Perfect Dinner(people cook for each other and rate it) and i have contemplated trying it,but i am too scared:)

    My daughter just turned five and you are right,they are so fun to talk to at this age!

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    1. Ina it's the best age hands down. They are so funny.
      I would be nervous about that tv show too, it scares like a reality show which might stir the drama of the participants criticizing each other etc. Easier to cook for a chef!

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  2. One of my best friends is a chef and ironically they are the easiest people to please! They just love not having to cook whereas people who don't like to cook or just plain don't cook are the fussiest about the seasoning or some other culinary aspect tested at cordon blue! Did not know that about lily of the valley - who knew someting so pretty could be full of venom?

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    1. Naomi apparently it is VERY poisonous. I had no idea, I've always loved it since I was a kid. I probably DID eat it as a kid.
      Our chef friend was easy to please and he was thrilled we invited him, he has a beautiful French restaurant and is so talented, I was nervous but he was very gracious.

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    2. Happy birthday Dani! Hope you have a lovely day and look forward to what you chose to wore on your birthday! :)

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  3. At first I thought you meant you had a chef come to your house to cook for you! I kept thinking, why is she saying she served these things when the chef made all of the food? Ah! Then the light dawned. Wow, you are brave! And the food looks delicious, so your courage was well-placed.

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    1. greatbleu oh no that's funny! I definitely did all the cooking but thanks to Nigella it went well. And like I said I didn't even cry so that's something.

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  4. So lovely! Everything in this post. I have the orla keily for method dish soap, which also looks pretty enough to leave out. It really brightens my day! It's the little things, as we all know so well. Lily of the valley is my favorite, I planted some bulbs this year but only 1/3 came up and only one had flowers! Well, they spread like mad so I hope next year they'll do better!

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  5. JCrewJD mine were slow to start but then every year they spread and spread, within 5 years I'll bet you'll have a large patch of Lily of the Valley.
    It is definitely the little things, it annoys me no end having to put away dish soap yet I like a pretty and clean countertop, I'm always looking for nice dish soaps. I'll keep my eyes peeled for your Orla Keily bottle!

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  6. Your diner looks really good and I am glad to read it went all great for you. I think I have already heard about Lily of the Valley but it was not in my head... I only planted my flowers this weekend as the sun seems to have decided to stop over here for some day, but it is still very cool, so not much is growing in the gardens...

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  7. what a fantastic looking meal! i will have to try your tart recipe. lily of the valley are one of my favourite flowers but i had no idea they were poisonous! you learn something new every day!

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  8. Your dinner menu looks fabulous!
    I think it is rather nerve wracking cooking for a professional but having done it once and by all accounts with great results it will be easier next time.

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  9. Love your lilies of the valley - my patch is only two years old and is slowly spreading, which I love! I like the look of that tart! We had a lamb chop recipe from Nigella's new cookery book and it was quite nice. Then made my first rhubarb crisp of summer. Everytime I consider giving up sugar, I think of crips and brown sugar and cannot make myself do it!

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  10. Thanks for adding anonymous option Dani! I thank Jamie and Nigella for inspiring me to cook for myself. It is a great blessing to be able to make a meal. I understand about the little things- I just bought some Ivory dish soap to clean my delicate tees and shirt collars and I was so excited to buy and use it. What a complete square right? I am thankful to be such a simpleton though- don't tell anyone ok? I love your photos and maybe I'll try Mrs. Meyers for the tees next time. All the best, CC.

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  11. Ha, I just purchased the Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray in Basil yesterday and thought the same thing - it smells divine, but not at all like basil!

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  12. Hi Dani - I have the Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray in Lemon Verbena; that gives me a headache too. I was so disappointed as I used to love Lemon Verbena soaps and bath cubes as a child.

    Your menu sounds delightful - what a treat for your chef friend!

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  13. Sounds like a well-cooked simple meal! I'm going to try the ricotta tart.

    Funny how someone's rose is another's skunk. I love the lemon verbena spray and the basil, the lavender is cloying although the Dr Bonner's lavender is my fave. Had no idea about lily of the valley.

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  14. Dani, I am with Lane on trying that tart. Sweet bird jug - Emma B? Going to look for the basil Mrs. M this week. I was turned off as thought it would smell like pesto (in not good way), given lemon verbena is very strong, smells not much like plant IMO and makes both of us sneeze. Have been meaning to take a look for geranium scent for WMM, anyway.

    I remember a wedding planner at resort freaking out because she though one of the tiny flower girls had put lilly of valley from a bridal party basket in her mouth. All ended well and aisle march proceeded, but will never forget how found that factoid out.

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    1. Bad news re: geranium scent-- appears to be gone from US; my girls loved the laundry detergent.

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    2. Hey Lane, that's odd, appears to still be showing up on MM site and drugstore.com (we can't purchase from those here tho'.) Must hunt & sniff if we cross border soon into upstate NY soon.

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    3. Hadn't checked drugstore ( what is MM?). I got mine at Whole Foods.

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    4. Mrs. Meyers own website, you can order online if in US.

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  15. Oh the tart looks gorgeous! Will have to try your recipe. Lily of the valley is one of my very favorites, and I'm happy to have found some in my new backyard. Will have to make sure my son is careful, as he's always picking me flowers. :)

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  16. Lilies of the valley are also one of my favourite flowers. They line one side of our driveway and I always look forward to their coming every year. I am a big fan of Nigella - I have all of her books except the most recent - and immediately recognized the recipes, but I have yet to try the ricotta tart. It looks delicious, and it sounds like you had a lovely dinner.

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  17. Oh I love Lily of the Valley - they are my mother's favourite flower. I had no idea that they were poisonous!
    Your tart looks utterly delicious!
    I have friends who are chefs and they are lovely to cook for - very un-critical!

    That dish-washing liquid looks so elegant. I'm going to try to hunt some down here.

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  18. Bravo for inviting a chef! That tart looks divine! I'm really rubbish at pies, pastries, tarts- so: RESPECT!

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  19. I've been using Mrs. Meyer's concentrated all purpose cleaner that I mix into a spray bottle for most of my house cleaning needs for years. It is really cost effective and I like the safe ingredients. I'll have to try the Basil scented Mrs. Meyers next. It sounds like an odd scent for dish soap but so does the radish scent and I like that one-peppery and fresh. The rosemary leaves an odd after scent in my kitchen. Congrats on another delicious sounding meal. I always enjoy your food posts!

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  20. I'm really fond of Nigella's easy recipes (her guinness cake is one of my favorites), and I make that tart every once in a while. How did you get yours browned on the top? Did you pop it under the broiler? Mine never turns out with that sort of golden brown. Tips, please?! Bravo on your bravery!

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    1. LTee I didn't do anything special though I should mention I have a very hot true-convection oven, I think that affects the way things brown up.
      I think Nigella's recipes are terrific, so easy and they always seem to work.

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  21. I also love Lily of the Valley, when i was in Poland they were sold on every corner and you could smell their fragrance everywhere. Your dinner looks delicious!

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