Friday, October 29, 2010

Shopping Around

I've been a bit lax with my blogging this week. Busy shooting days have left my eyes falling out of my head. I hope to make up for it, next week!

I had a shoot in Gastown today, so afterwards I did a little shop around. Orling and Wu opened earlier this year, and I actually shot them for House and Home magazine this past summer. Thought I'd share some of those images with you, plus some new items they're carrying.

They carry several items from Fog Linen (3 images above). Love this line. 

New from Jonathan Adler: Needlepoint paper weights, and cushions. 

Love these stools and light fixtures.

My obsession with paper continues. Anytime I see a note book made out of "rescued" paper, I buy it. 
I love making my own as well. Click here for a little how-to I posted at Poppytalk.

That's all for now! Have a great weekend, and happy halloween!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Baked on Monday - Cheese & Chili Cornbread

I don't know why this is called cornbread when it really is more like corncake. Either way, it's delicious and moist. I find some cornbreads are kind of on the dry side, but this one is not at all dry. I love the kick of the chili too.

Cheese & Chili Cornbread - makes on 9" round cake

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 jalapeno chilies, chopped
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375f.
Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl, then stir in salt, cornmeal, sugar, chilies, and cheese.

In another bowl, beat together buttermilk, melted butter and egg. Pour into the dry ingredients fold in until no flour pockets remain. Spoon batter into greased 9" round pan (or 8" square pan). Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack until completely cool. I can't wait that long, and I start to eat pretty much immediately.

Perfect with coffee and post production.  I can't stop eating it. So much for sharing.

Have a lovely day! Back soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Abandoned and Beautiful

I've been going through my pics of our trip to Australia last year. We're trying to put together an iBook, finally. I have to say, I love iBooks. Easy, fast and inexpensive. "My Publisher" is another good one.  How do you put your travel and family photos together?

I came across some images of an abandoned old hospital in Kyneton, Victoria. We found a door that had been kicked open (I promise, we had nothing to do with that), and ventured on in. I have a crazy curiosity for boarded up old buildings. Love them.  Kind of Scooby Doo, no?

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Back on Monday with a little something savory.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easy-going work week

I’ve had quite a variety of shoots this week. A lovely butcher named Armando, a tiny apartment, Nicole Jane Home (on line store) and the ladies of Gallant and Jones and their beautiful garden and beach chairs. 

I have two of these and they are usable pretty much all year round in a place like Vancouver. It was so nice to be shooting outdoors (before autumn rain kicks in) and taking a break while lounging and watching the geese.

Just a small sample of some of the items you’ll find at Nicole Jane Home.

I’ve been taking a lot of night shots of residential streets lately so, since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I’d leave you with a very clean, empty, and kind of creepy, street. It’s like a movie set. Streets like this one, give me the chills. I’m expecting someone with a hockey mask and an axe to come jumping out from behind a perfectly manicured shrub. See you in my nightmare, street.

Have a lovely day everyone. Back soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baked on Monday - Cheese and Garlic Pretzels

Just got back from NYC, and wish I could have stayed another day or two! Such a fantastic city and so much to see.

It's October, the hockey season has just started, and I have NY pretzels on my brain, so I thought I'd share a fantastic cheese and garlic pretzel recipe with you. Perfect with beer.

Cheese and Garlic Pretzels - makes 8
(recipe by Brandon Boone)

1 3/4 cups 'best for bread' flour (I used "Robin Hood" brand)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 packet (8g) quick rising yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup hot water
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Place the flour, yeast and salt in a food processor and blend. Dissolve honey in hot water and slowly add to flour mixture, while processor is running. Mix well. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes, or until dough doubles in size.

Punch down dough and knead, on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each one into a long rope, about 18" long. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let stand for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375f. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 pretzels and parboil until puffed and shape is set - about 3 minutes. Transfer back to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining pretzels.

Combine cheese and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well. Brush each pretzel with egg and sprinkle generously with cheese mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

If you're in the Vancouver area, try these pretzels with a Main Street Pilsner . It's the new "beer on the block" and it's deeelicious.

I leave you with a picture of the view from our hotel room in NYC. Wasn't a great hotel, but the view was pretty beautiful. See you Wednesday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baked On Monday - Apple Butterscotch Pudding Cake

It's Thanksgiving today, so it's a long day of cooking leading up to the big feast. This cake will be part of the array of desserts. It's delicious....especially the butterscotch part. 

Apple Butterscotch Pudding Cake (jotted down from a Donna Hay magazine)
Makes one 8"x8" cake.

3 small gala apples, thinly sliced
5oz/150g softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds)
1/3 cup milk

butterscotch sauce:
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup cream 
1 1/2 oz/40g unsalted butter

To make the sauce, place the sugar and cream in a saucepan, over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat to high and boil for 3 minutes. Add the butter and stir to combine. Remove from heat and pour half the sauce into a greased 8"x8" cake tin. Set aside to cool. When cooled,  top with apple slices. Keep the remaining sauce warm. 

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and fold through with the almond meal and milk. Spoon the batter over the apples and smooth the top. Place the cake tin in another baking dish and fill with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Bake for 40 minutes. All to stand for 5 minutes then turn cake out onto a serving plate. Serve with the warm butterscotch sauce. Start eating - you will not be disappointed.

Have a lovely Monday! I'm heading to New York tomorrow, with a couple of my sisters and my mom, so I'll be back this weekend. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday and Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Where did Friday go? All of a sudden it's after 5pm and I've just eaten a mini pumpkin pie. Just trying to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I guess.

I'm just working out a little table top decor for the big feast of starch, on Monday. I'm leaning towards all things natural. I may do something like this. Yes? No way? Maybe?

Until then, I'll stick to my store bought mini pumpkin pie.

This is the time of year to maybe think about a food donation to your local food bank, or helping out a local family in need. There are, sadly, plenty in need these days.

Last but not least, I did a guest post for Natalie of The SoHo . She had asked if I could share what I love about Vancouver. I was happy to do it. She's a pretty fabulous girl!

Have a great weekend! Back on Monday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bedroom Make-over. Well, it's a start.

Slowly but surely, a "make-over" is beginning. I won't say how long ago I got the mirrors and glass top cut, but it was awhile ago. I got tired of stepping around all the glass leaning up against our bedroom wall, so I finally busted out the drill and did something about it.

Before - A very plain little inset with built-in drawers. 

Tools of the trade. I only drilled 4 holes that were of no use. ;)

After - a much perkier little nook. I changed up the drawer pulls, and slipped some wallpaper underneath the glass. I like the glass top, as now the look can be changed up just by changing what's underneath.

Now, we have to work on ripping out the bunk carpet and replacing it with hardwood, new light fixtures and blinds. Slow and steady. I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Have a lovely Wednesday! Back on Friday.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baked on Monday - Sage-Pepper Butter Crisps

Happy Monday! Thanksgiving (in Canada) is just one week away, so I thought these sagey crisps would be perfect to take to dinner. I found this recipe in Edible Vancouver - a free magazine full of local goodness. I copied the recipe down, and here it is!

Sage-Pepper Butter Crisps - makes about 15-18, depending on how much dough you eat while making them ;)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
1 tablespoon butter (to cook sage)
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325f. In a shallow baking tin, toast almonds for 10 minutes, just to bring out the flavour. Once toasted, grind the almonds in a food processor.

In a small bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter until creamy. In another bowl, mix together flour, salt and ground almonds. Gradually add this mixture to the butter, mixing on a low setting until it starts to form a ball.

Melt the additional tablespoon of butter in a skillet until it starts to bubble. Add the sage a cook for a few minutes, or until leaves start to turn brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel. When cool, chop into small pieces.

Add pepper and sage to dough and mix together with your hands. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass in a bit of flour and flatten dough balls into discs, about 2 inches across. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until sides start to turn gold in colour. Place crisps on a wire rack to cool. Best served warm. Enjoy.

Back on Wednesday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'd like a new kitchen, please.

I really would, and I'm sure my husband would too, he just doesn't obsess like I do (it's kind of maddening, actually). The topic of kitchens has been on my mind since chatting about kitchens and  renos, with a friend of mine (Jan, a.k.a. Poppytalk!) yesterday.

As a home and garden photographer, I see many different types of kitchens, and there is always at least one or two things in these kitchens that I'd like to transport to mine (ours). Sometimes I'm just completely impressed by the fact that the homeowners renovated their kitchen all on their own. How? How do you do that? Please tell me.

Thought I'd share three very different kitchens with you. Take a look at the before and after of this kitchen. Completely transformed by the homeowners, Adele and Iain. This was originally shot for House and Home magazine.

The Before. Wow.

Well done, Adele and Iain!

Some happy details.

The new home office and weekend cocktail bar. They now have heaps of storage.

The kitchen below was built by Viewpoint Construction, not sure who designed it though. It features an induction oven, lots of storage, state of the art everything, really. 

The kitchen, below, was shot for Chatelaine magazine, earlier this year.

I love the little inset, and stools. Lots of fabulous natural light in this room. Love that.

As for our kitchen (snippet of it in top pic), it really needs to lighten up (too dark), get a fantastic backsplash (I'm thinking wallpaper covered by glass), a bit more storage and some green chalkboard paint...somewhere.  I've got to get on this. It's a 10 years old now. Anyone else out there in need of a new kitchen? 

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend. Back on Monday with something for Thanksgiving.