Friday, July 30, 2010

I Heart Long Weekends

After shooting back to back shoots all this week, I will keep this post short because I feel kinda drunk with fatigue. To take a break from looking at interiors (lovely ones though!) in photoshop, I took a few portraits of some of my Kokeshi. They were lovely and didn't talk back at all, or blink. Sweet wooden creatures.

Have a fabulous weekend! It's a civic holiday here in Canada, so we have a long weekend. What about you?  I'll be back on Monday with a special B.C. Day Baked on Monday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baked on Monday - Coffee Cake

Good Morning everyone! Hope you all had great weekends.

I'm in a rush this morning, as I have a shoot to go to. Today I offer up Coffee Cake, as it was pretty easy and fast.  For this particular morning, I also call it "breakfast".

Coffee Cake

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 melted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon melted butter
1/4 chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350f/180c.  Grease and flour a 20cm round cake tin.
To make batter, beat eggs until light in colour. Add sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time, and beat well. Stir in melted butter.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3 to the batter mix. Continue adding dry ingredients and milk alternately until all ingredients are combined.

For filling, combine brown sugar, sifted flour, cinnamon, melted butter and chopped walnuts.
Pour half the batter in cake tin, then sprinkle half the filling over the top. Pour remaining half of batter on top, followed by the remaining filling. Bake for about 40 minutes. Serve warm!

 It went quite nicely with an iced coffee this morning.

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Ending

When I first starting blogging, I thought it'd be a snap to work, live and fit in blogging at least 3 times a week. No such luck. As a freelance photographer, I take the projects as they come in, and it's been busy. I did manage to add a few new prints to my shop, but that was about it. I really admire all of you that can blog daily, work, be a do you do it?  Do tell!

This week has wrapped up with a whole bunch of happy.....

 The purple potatoes I planted with my niece, Annika, actually produced heaps of purple potatoes!

My Washi paper adhesive tape arrived from Little Happy Things. I love this tape. It's perfect for taping kids art work, notes, pictures, to the wall and peels off easily. Plus, it comes in fabulous colours. Check out Erika's etsy shop - it's so cute.

 Finishing off the week was a shoot with Gwyn, one half of the dynamic girl power duo of Gallant & Jones. They design and make these beautiful beach and garden deck chairs. I have one, and it's so well made and comfortable. Love it.

Have a lovely weekend! Back on Monday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baked on Monday - Lemon Pistachio cookies

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Thanks for a the great comments on my last post. Seems you're all pretty passionate about preserving old homes, though it can be tough!

Today I bring you lemon pistachio cookies (Donna Hay or Martha Stewart, I think). Melt. In. Mouth. I think I've eaten the equivalent to 4 cookies in raw cookie dough alone. I should put the brakes on that. 

Lemon Pistachio Cookies - makes about 30

10 1/2 oz (300g) butter, softened
3 tblsp berry/caster sugar (ultra fine)
5 1/4 oz (150g) roughly chopped pistachios
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tblsp lemon rind
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Place butter and sugar in bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add pistachios and beat for 2 more minutes. Fold in flour and lemon rind until well combined (try not to eat dough at this point!). Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls, place on baking sheet lined with baking paper, and flatten slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack then dust with icing sugar. Eat up!

 Because I can't be trusted with these, I will give a jar to my sister.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 16, 2010

To preserve or not to preserve

I came across this sign pinned to a power pole near our house.  Our neighbourhood is pretty good for keeping old homes intact but not always, apparently. I can understand, but sometimes you just don't have a choice. Some old homes are rotting, the electrical is dangerous, and then there is asbestos to mull over. I'm definitely all for salvaging an old home versus tearing down, if you can. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

This couple is all for preserving, reusing and recycling. I shot this home, and the homeowner's many animals, a couple of years ago. I don't think they ever bought anything new, and their home was lovely. Todd built the garden table and chairs with reclaimed wood, and created the "chandelier" in their dining room. Pretty clever guy.

I'm a big believer in reusing and recycling as well, so when I spotted these old wood boxes at Stepback, I picked them up for all my back up dvds. They hold hundreds! Apparently these boxes were used to house fire extinguishers. I'm trying to sort out my office, so these will help as well as look kinda happy.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Back on Monday with a cookie.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baked on Monday - Rustic Scones

Congrats Spain! World Cup is over for another 4 years. Why is it only every 4 years? Anyway, on to baking.

I bring you the rustic scone. I call it that because it looks a little more casual and "textured" than your regular scone (which I've yet to master, hence the "rustic" version). Having said that, it's pretty tasty and perfect to take on a camping trip, or to sit at the park and watch an impromptu game of cricket or football.

Rustic Scones - makes 18-20

 2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 oz/90g cold butter
1/4 cup berry sugar (or caster sugar)
1/2 cup chopped dried peaches
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 lightly beaten egg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, peaches, almonds and dates and combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then add the egg and
milk mixture and stir until well combined.  Place tablespoons of the mixture on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden. Try them warm with a little butter!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday in the country

I headed out to the country today to hang out with my friend Heather, of Missing Goat. It was her official opening! After months of hard work, she opened the door to her "shack" filled with fabulous, jams, chutneys and garlic. Yum. Naturally, Lily, Heather's daughter, was in her blueberry glory. Speaking of blueberries, they won't be ready for another couple of weeks. If you're in the Metro Vancouver area, I highly recommend a trip to Missing Goat!

By the way, congratulations to all the winners of the big giveaway at Flourish Design + Style! The winner of one of my prints is Shannon of - she chose "Pink" (below).

I think I need to have a g + t and give myself a bit of a pedicure. My feet are definitely not summer ready.

Enjoy your weekend! See you Monday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do you have a craft room?

If you do, I'm not sure that we can be friends. I'd be too envious that you had that much space that you could devote an entire room to crafts and gift wrapping.

I'm in the middle of ripping apart my our office so I can actually work in it, and I have nowhere to put anything let alone a little row of porcelain holders for my pencil crayons and scissors. Mise, do you have this? Heather, what about you? I think "our" office is mine, but my husband keeps adding stuff to it. Nerve. Oh'll get sorted out, and I will share the before and after with you.

In the meantime, this happy yellow room (that is not my office, unfortunately) is just simply for creating magical little crafts and wrapping the perfect present. What the what? I just use the dining table, as that's the only space available. I shot this house for House and Home with Kate Keeler and Kelly Deck , who designed this room. It is quite cute, I'll give it that. Kelly, can you come and help me?

Ok. There are way worse troubles at sea , but it's hot and my office is a disaster. ;)

I hope you all have a lovely, organized, clutter free day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baked on Monday - Plum Cakes

Hi all! To my American  blog friends, I hope you had a perfect and fireworks filled 4th of July!

I can smell the plum cakes baking....mmm. These are so easy to make. You just dump all the ingredients together in a bowl, mix, pour into cupcake tin, and top with the plums. Done. I guess I should give you the actual recipe now...

Plum Cakes - makes 12

3/4 cup all-purpose/plain flour
2 cups icing sugar
150g (5 1/4 oz) almond meal (finely ground almonds)
180g (6 1/3  oz) melted butter
6 egg whites
6 plums, halved

Preheat oven to 320f/160c. Place flour, sugar, almond meal, butter and egg whites in a bowl and mix until well combined. Spoon the batter into a well greased 12 hole, 1/2 cup, muffin tin. Top with halved plums, cut side up, and bake for 30-40 minutes or test with a skewer.  Cool on a wire rack.

These go well with a little real iced tea! Enjoy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Is the World Cup Almost Over?

Are you watching the games? I've been really enjoying it, and getting up ultra early to watch games with cheering fans, but I think it needs to wrap up soon. I'm sleepy. This is going to be a (almost) silent Saturday for me. The sun popped out for an hour, so I took a few pics.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!