Monday, May 30, 2011

Baked


Hi everyone! For those of you enjoying a long weekend, I hope you've had a good one. To everyone else, just a big, old fashioned, happy Monday!

I made some really crispy, and pretty tasty, crackers. They are actually good for you too. Super easy to make but, the rolling out, I must admit, is pretty labourious. It's hard work rolling out to 1/8 inch! Keep in mind, it's good for the arms ;)

Walnut, Fig and Flax Crackers - makes about 48 2"x2" crackers

1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed (either grind your own, or buy flaxseed meal from a grocery shop)
1/4 cup whole flaxseed
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 chopped dried mission figs (any fig would work)
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325F/160c. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, flaxseed, salt and sugar. Add the butter and mix at medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs (you could also use a food processor).
Fold in the walnuts, figs, and milk and mix until you have a smooth dough. I use my hands for this part.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Spilt dough in two, and roll out to 1/8 inch on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a pastry cutter, or knife, into squares. You can use cookie cutters to create any shape you like, really. Transfer shapes, using a thin spatula, to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake crackers until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.



I hope you try these crackers out. Again, they're super easy and, if I can make them anyone can!
Have a good day. Back soon!
janis

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Observations


Just a few observations from my very quick trip to Victoria. It's such a pretty city. We squeaked out some beautiful weather for the shoot, so I'm relieved. Whew.





That's what I observed in the 18 hours I was in Victoria. What did you get up to today?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rained out Photo Shoots

Where are you spring? Apparently you are the worst you've been for 50 years, here in Vancouver. I don't mind a little rain and cold (I keep telling myself that), but you're making it really difficult for me to get several garden shoots wrapped up. The flowers look like they're sobbing. Here's proof....


Off to Victoria for a shoot, this weekend. Always nice to hang out there. What will you be doing? For those of you in the U.S., have a lovely long weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Back soon.
janis

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vancouver Neighbourhoods


How's your week going? If you're in Vancouver, do you have a voice left after the game last night? 4 more to go!

I shot a story, for Sunset Magazine, about one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Vancouver - Gastown. It's actually in the June issue, which is out now. It does have a touristy side, but it also has some of the best shops and restaurants in the city. Here are a few of the places I shot for the story.

Meat And Bread is a very popular lunch spot. Arrive at door opening, as the line-ups are long!

The Diamond is a fantastic "cocktail parlour". Josh made a real cocktail and I drank it after I shot it. Lesson learned. Don't drink on an empty stomach while shooting a story. ;)

L'Abbitoir is a great little restaurant that was Vancouver's first jail in the 19th century. Love that. It's a busy place, so reservations are recommended. 

That's my mini tour of Gastown! Definitely check it out next time you find yourself in Vancouver.

Have a great day! Back soon.
janis

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baked


Hello Monday! Still lounging around for the long weekend. Love it.

I made some olive biscuits, as a snack to go with cocktails,  and they're both salty and sweet. I found this recipe via the internet a few years ago (I believe it was created by Jean-Pierre Autrand). Must admit, they are a bit different so I think it may be either a love or hate thing for most people. I happen to love them. If you try them out, let me know what you think!

Sweet & Salty Olive Biscuits - makes about 36 tiny biscuits/cookies

9 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar (I used only 1/2 cup to make them a little more salty than sweet!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cured olives pitted and coarsely chopped (I used Kalamata olives, though the original recipe called for olives from Nyons. Didn't have those.)

With an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar until blended, then drizzle in the olive oil and mix until combined. Add the flour and stir through until the dough is smooth. Add the olives and stir in until completely incorporated into the dough.


Place the dough on a piece of waxed or parchment paper, in the centre. Cover with another piece and then roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  The dough is very sticky, so using paper will make it possible to roll out. Refrigerate dough for at least 3o minutes up to over night.


You can use what ever biscuit/cookie cutter you like, but I used a tiny, round, crimped cutter. Cut out shapes and place on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle a little course sea salt on tops. If you have dough left, roll flat again and place in refrigerator until ready to bake.


Bake in a 350F/180c oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.


These mini, paper thin, wood boats make a perfect size serving dish for these biscuits.  I picked up mine at Vancouver Special.



Again, if you make these let me know what you thought of them. I'd love to know!

Have a great day. Back soon.
janis

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Observations

How are you all doing? Hope you're enjoying your weekend, where ever you are. I just watched the Canucks win game 4 in the Western Conference final. 5 more wins to go!

Besides watching hockey, I got up to a few other things today....


That was my Sunday. What did you do? Anyone out there watching hockey these days? ;)

Back soon!
janis

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hello Long Weekend


Have a good weekend! Back soon.
janis

Thursday, May 19, 2011

HGTV.ca Original Home Tour


Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great week. If you're in Vancouver, are you thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and the Canucks? I am. ;)

I wanted to share a few images of a pretty home with you, that I shot for HGTV.ca for their "Original Home Tour" series.





For the whole story, and many more images, please check out HGTV.ca!

Have a great day! Back soon.
janis

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baked


Oh Monday, you always arrive so fast. Hope you all had a good weekend!

I picked up some fresh, local rhubarb on the weekend, so I could make this recipe. It's from a 2006 Donna Hay magazine. I did make a couple of changes...just needed to tone down the sweet factor. ;)

Rhubarb & Dumplings - makes about 6 (or 3 large ones, in my case!)

500g* (about 1 lb) rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
*(I used about 800g, as I found it to be too watery with just 500g)
2* cups berry/caster sugar
*(2 cups of sugar is too much for my taste, so I used just one cup.) ;)
2 cups water
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
150g unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup berry/caster sugar, extra
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
icing sugar for dusting


Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and set aside.


Preheat oven to 355f/180c. Place the flour, extra sugar, baking powder and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Gradually add the milk and vanilla and continue mixing until a smooth dough forms.


Turn dough out onto work surface and break up into 6 equal portions. Divide the rhubarb mixture into 6 1 1/2 cup ovenproof dishes.


Carefully place the dumplings on top and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into centre of dumpling, comes out clean. Allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar to serve.


I didn't have 6 "ovenproof dishes" or ramekins, I just had 3 little cake pans, which worked out just fine.
Very quick to make, and easy too. Give it a whirl!

Have a great day. Back on Wednesday.
janis

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Observations

Hello everyone! Here are a few things I've taken notice of today....



I hope I haven't jinxed this series now. Gulp. Go Canucks! Click here, for the pretzel recipe. Bags were just printed on my home printer. Easy.
I also checked out Marisa Seguin's Print Shop on Etsy. This girl is good. I love her city posters.
Click here, to check out her beautiful shop. 

Those are a few of the things I observed today. Oh, and Blogger still hasn't restored my missing comments. ;) What did you get up to? Let me know!

Back soon!
janis

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hello Friday!


Have a lovely, and trouble-free, weekend! Back soon!
janis

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Legendary Architect's Garden


I had the honour of shooting Arthur Erickson's garden, last year, for Canadian Gardening (May 2011 issue). He has designed incredible buildings all over North America. Two of those are the Museum of Anthropology, here in Vancouver, and was co-designer of Simon Fraser University. Personally, I would love to live in one of his homes. They are simply stunning. Arthur was still designing, right up to his death, in 2009 at 84.


Karen York, who wrote the story, was told about some legendary parties that Arthur would throw. My favourite is the one where he brought in black swans for the pond and the famous ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, danced over the moss mound. Oh how I would love to have been there. Can you imagine?




If you're in the Vancouver area and want to check out the garden for yourself, they do offer tours.
Click here for details.

Have a lovely day! Back soon.
janis