Monday, November 28, 2011


Hope your week is off to a good start!

I'm a huge fan of the humble cracker, and I make them a lot this time of year. They have so many uses. Dips, soups, and just snacking. Love them. I baked a batch of gluten free crackers with middle eastern spices. So flipping tasty. You can use any spice/herb combo you like, really. I'm loving experimenting with gluten free recipes too. Not that I have to steer clear, but it is a bit healthier especially if you're constantly baking, and eating what you bake. ;)

Snack Crackers - makes about 4 dozen
(a re-worked version of Bob's Red Mill crackers)

3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons water
coarse salt to sprinkle on tops of crackers

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl (except coarse salt) and whisk until well combined. Add olive oil and water and stir until it forms a ball ( I use my hands for this bit). If the dough is too crumbly (see pic at left, below), add a teaspoon of water to form a ball of dough. 

Divide the dough in half, and roll out to about 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch. Best to sprinkle a little flour on your rolling pin before rolling out. Use whatever kind of cookie/biscuit cutter you like, to cut out shapes. I used a 2" circle for this batch. Poke a few holes, with a fork, on the tops of each cracker. Transfer, using a thin spatula, to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle tops with a little coarse salt. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and place crackers on a wire cooling rack. Place rack back on baking sheet, and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack. 

I created a small card and packaged some up to give as a little thank you gift, along with some cheese and chutney. They are so good. It's hard to stop eating them! If you make some, let me know what you think.

One more thing...I did up a holiday gift guide over at Poppytalk. If you've got shopping on your mind, check it out!

Back soon,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Observations

I could use one more Sunday, before Monday. Oh well! Hope you all had a great weekend!

This is a bit of what I got up to today....

What did you do today? If you're in Canada, are you watching the Grey Cup? I'm not ;)
Have a lovely night!

Back soon,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the weekend begin

I'm wrapping up the week with a cute deer that I ran into, while on a shoot on Mayne Island. He was just about to bolt....he really didn't want to pose for me.

Have a great weekend!

Back soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season for a little more Christmas. Happy Hump day, all!

I shot this story with my friend Heather Cameron and sister-in-law/sometime assistant, Kate Keeler. It's the 110 year old home of Colleen, owner of a shop called Roses and Rutabagas.  The full story is in the "100+ Favourite Holiday Ideas" - a special issue of Style At Home.

One of the things I like best about my job, is seeing all kinds of different Christmas decor. I love seeing everyone's take on the season. What's your holiday style?

Have a great day! Back soon.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I've baked various versions of this cake a few times now. I found the recipe in Chatelaine magazine, but I did make some changes to make it a little less "gluten free" in taste and texture. You should definitely give this one a shot if you need to bake something chocolatey, delicious, and gluten free!

Chocolate Cake - makes one 9" cake

1 cup milk, at room temp
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon guar gum (can find in specialty food stores and it's cheap!)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup 33% cream (whipping cream)
110 g unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey

To make cake:
Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Lightly spray a 9 inch round cake pan with oil. You can also use a 10" bundt  pan, but I don't have one of those ;)
Whisk together milk and coffee in a large bowl, until coffee has completely dissolved. Whisk in eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and guar gum, then add to milk mixture. Whisk well. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake in centre of oven until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean, about 25- 30 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan, completely, on a wire rack before inverting onto a cake plate.

To make glaze:
Heat cream in a small saucepan until almost comes to a boil. Add chocolate and stir until just melted. Stir in honey. Drizzle over top of cake. Enjoy!

If you make this cake, I'd love to know what you think.  I love it. Another good thing is that it's pretty high in protein and fibre, due to the flour mix. ;)

That's it for now. Hope your week is off to a good start!
Back soon,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Observations

Hope you've all had a nice, lazy, Sunday. I was planning on being completely lazy, but it hasn't quite worked out that way today. Such is the life of a freelancer!

Here is a bit of my day....

Home Made Home by Mark and Sally Bailey.

Heather Ross In House is located in Vancouver. 

Ami Mckay is an interior designer, based in Vancouver.

I was asked to be part of the "So Canadian, Eh" series over at HodgePodge. I can honestly say, I'm not used to being interviewed, but Barbara made it pretty easy. 

That was my Sunday. What did you get up to? Now, I must go and get lazy. 

Back soon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Banquet for Friday

Well, that week was a blur! I'm really looking forward to catching up on some serious blog reading. I'm a week behind on posts! How's your week been?

Thought I'd wrap up a busy week, with the talented ladies, Sarah and Tammy, of Banquet. I had the pleasure of shooting them for the Storewatch page in this month's House and Home. Their screen printed cards, note books, and large prints are fantastic.

Have to say, my faves are the ship, burrowing animals and the gold heart (not pictured). Not only Sarah and Tammy talented, they fed us warm croissants. How can I not love them? 

Have a great weekend! 

Back soon,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A little Christmas for hump day

Happy hump day! How's your week going so far?

I shot this Christmas story last Christmas, for Style at Home, and it's on news stands now. It was such a dark and gloomy day, so my assistant, Karen, and I had to be on our toes. Long exposures and lots of reflecting! Thought I'd share some of the day with you....

Angela Robinson is a Vancouver interior designer, and she produced this story along with Jamie Deck. They created most of the props - love that. The bird's nest advent calendar was a clever idea!

Angela busy at work, attaching the birds nests while the little ladies of the house observe.

A little Italian treat, baked by the homeowner, to keep us going on this long shoot. 

Erin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief of Style At Home, vacuums up bits of nest before we start shooting. 

The kitchen smelled great. Cookies everywhere. Naturally, I was all over it. Angela kept the decoration simple, with a loose garland of cedar and glass ornaments for the window. 

A glimpse at some of the other handmade goodness that was going on for this story. Love the family's name spelled out in a variety of sizes and types of letters, for the front door. 

After a long day, the cookies/props could finally, be eaten. 

Check out the December issue of Style At Home - full of Christmas inspiration. 

Back soon!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Hope your Monday has been a good one! Did you have a nice weekend?

I baked Tamale Pie over the weekend - a tried and true recipe that several members of my family have been making forever. It's super easy, delicious, and good for you (which is different for me, I know).

Tamale Pie - makes one large (about a 7x10x3 inch casserole) or 4 small

1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
2 cups pinto beans*
2 cups red kidney beans*
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable juice
* this works out to about 3 small cans of beans. I like to soak, and cook my own beans, then freeze them.

Cornbread topping:
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red chilli peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup cheddar or parmesan cheese, finely grated

To make the bean filling: Preheat oven to 350f/180c. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and pepper with a little olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, cilantro, cumin, chilli powder, and vegetable juice. Cook for another 10 minutes. Pour bean mixture into one large casserole dish, or your small oven proof dishes (this is how I like to do it).

To make cornbread topping: In one medium bowl, combine all ingredients, and mix well. Like I said, it's super easy! Spoon mixture on top of each casserole dish. Pop into oven and bake for about 30 minutes for small casseroles, or about 40 minutes for the large, or until tops are golden brown.

That's it! Easy. If you try it out, I'd love to know!

Back soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Observations

Actually, it's more of a weekend observations kind of thing. I've been working but did manage to fit in a fun letterpress work shop, and a quick bit of shopping. What did you get up to this weekend?

I took part in a letterpress workshop with Kristin Lui of National Press, along with 6 others including my pal Jan, of Poppytalk. Heaps of fun. I hope they offer up another workshop soon (there is so much to learn!).

We had to choose between 3 typefaces, then decide if we wanted to print in gold or black. Luckily, everyone went with gold (or no colour at all) to keep the cleaning to a minimum. 

It took awhile for everyone to work out what they wanted to do, for their cards, and the set up took a bit longer. Once the type was all set up and locked in, it took no time at all to print 20 cards. So much fun.

Voila. I had a card at the end of it all. Thanks Kristin!

I picked up this cute sheep here. The proceeds go to back to Tibetan refugees. I love that. 

That was my weekend, along with some work. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Back soon. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rainy Fridays are Fine

It's a windy, rainy Remembrance Day, here in Vancouver, and I'm looking forward to the long weekend. If it's Remembrance Day where you are (or something similar), did you remember to remember?

What have you got planned for your weekend?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There's a new shop in town

I checked out a new shop near my home, called Much and Little. Sarah, the owner, has put together a fantastic collection of handmade items, household goods, and fashion, sourced locally and beyond. Here's a peek...

If you're in the Vancouver area, you should pop in and say hi. You won't be disappointed. 

Back soon!