Monday, October 31, 2011

Baked



Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you're having a good Monday. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by all things Mexican on our recent little trip to California, so I've baked some Mexican brownies. They have a hit of cayenne, and are moist and delicious. 

Mexican Brownies - makes one 8" square pan (about 9 slices)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
2 large eggs, each egg beaten separately
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Butter and flour an 8 inch square pan, knocking out excess flour. 
In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. 


Once cooled, pour melted chocolate into a medium size bowl, add sugar and almond meal and combine. Add beaten eggs, one at a time, and beat well with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in flour, cayenne, cinnamon and salt until just combined. Do not over mix. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 23-25 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out with crumbs attached. Cool brownies completely in pan before cutting.  



Chocolate glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons milk


To make glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until smooth and glossy. Spoon onto brownies, and enjoy!


Bye for now! Have a spooky night. 
Janis





Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Observatons

Hi all! Hope you've had a good weekend. What did you get up to? I worked a little, cleaned a little, and crafted a little....

Inspired by all the lovely Mexican decoration and celebrations going on while in California and at Disnelyland. Day of the Dead takes place on November 1st and 2nd. Learn about it here


Check out Gallant & Jones here
Well, that's been my Sunday. Now to watch a couple of horror flicks and get mentally prepared for Halloween. Have a good night!

Back soon.
Janis


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cushions for Friday

Happy Friday! Hope you've had  a great week.

I had the pleasure of shooting these beautiful cushions designed David Keeler and Robert Quinell of Provide, a fantastic shop here in Vancouver. They've recently added a collection of their own products, called Provide Made. They're made by highly skilled artisans in India, from hand-woven silk dyed in stunning colours from fuschia to eggplant. Love these cushions.



Aren't they beautiful? If you're in the Vancouver area, check out Provide and say hi to Robert and David!

Have a great weekend. Back soon!
Janis

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baked


That's exactly how I feel today after 4 days at Disneyland! It was heaps of fun, but wow I can't believe how exhausting it was at the same time ;) How's everything going for all of you? Hope your week's off to a good start.

With Reese's peanut butter cups on my mind (I pinch them from my nephew's Halloween candy bags), I baked some chocolatey, peanut buttery cookies.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies - makes about 30 cookies (15 sandwiches)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour for this batch)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
8oz/250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I used unsweetened)
4 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350f/180c.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder, add chopped chocolate then set aside. In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Mix the yogurt and egg yolk together, then add to the butter mixture along with the vanilla. Beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.



Roll into balls, and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, and flatten a little. Bake for about 17-20 minutes, or until a golden colour around edges. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


To make filling: In a small bowl, beat together all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread icing on the bottom half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Voila!



Enjoy!

Have a great day. Back soon.
Janis

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Varied Week

Hi Everyone! How's your week been? Hope it's been a stress-free one. I can't believe it's Thursday....and I'm leaving for Disneyland with my husband, sister, and our nephew Jake. He's so excited (and the adults are too, we just don't admit it ;) )

Thought I'd share some images of my week with you. I've had a real variety of shoots over the last few days. Here's a snippet of them.

I shot some pretty products for Principessa Beauty...


a fun story for Anthology magazine....


and a bunch of different locations for a travel story for Sunset magazine....




Also, if you feel like being creeped out, check out a Halloween post I did for Poppytalk. Spooky dolls, anyone? While you're at Poppytalk, you should take a look at all the submissions for her Autumn Colours Week. So many pretty pics from so many camera happy people!


That's it until next Tuesday. What are your plans for the weekend? Where ever you are, and whatever you do, have fun!

Take care,
janis

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baked


Hello to a brand new week. Hope your Monday has been a good one!

Pomegranates are plentiful these days, so I thought I'm make one of my favourite snacks - Pomegranate Apple & Pistachio Bread. The recipe is a pretty big one, so I made one large loaf, and 4 mini loaves. Love a mini bread ;)


3 cups spelt flour (definitely feel free to swap the spelt for all purpose flour!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup apples, finely chopped
1 cup pomegranate arils
3/4 cup chopped pistachios


Preheat oven to 350f/180c.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, sugar, and brown sugar. Set aside. Melt butter, then mix in a small bowl, with the applesauce. Beat eggs and milk together, add to the applesauce/butter mixture and mix together then add to the dry ingredients. Add the chopped apples, pomegranate arils and pistachios then stir together until just blended. Don't over mix the batter, or your bread could end up on the tough side ;)



Pour mixture into two 8 inch by 4 inch loaf tins, that have been lightly greased (I made one large loaf, and 4 mini loaves instead). Bake for about 45-50 minutes (large loaf pan) and about 25 minutes for the mini loaves, or until a skewer inserted in centre, comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before removing from tins. Enjoy!


Have a great day!
Back soon,
Janis

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Observatons

I hope you all had a great weekend! I've been indoors most the day, working on an upcoming post for one of my fave blogs, Poppytalk, and cleaning our house. Took a quick break to enjoy the sunshine, so I just have a couple of observations to share. Thought I'd spare you shots of scrubbing bathrooms ;)



Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello Sunshiny Friday


A sunshiny Autumn day picture to start the weekend. Thanks for stopping by this week!

Have a fun weekend!

Back soon,
Janis

PS
For those of you that requested the recipe for the rosemary spiced nuts, (from last Sunday) here it is:

1 lb of unsalted mixed nuts, toasted (I used cashews, almonds and pecans)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375f. Spread out the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until they are a light golden colour, about 10 minutes. Watch that you don't burn them (easy to do ;))
In a large saucepan, mix together the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, pepper and melted butter, and cook and stir over medium heat for a minute. Add the nuts and continue to stir and cook for another couple of minutes to coat the nuts. Serve warm(ish) and enjoy! they are addictive.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A little wood, concrete and metal

Happy hump day! Wednesdays are turning out to be my fun days. I had another great morning with Stephanie and Joanna, from The Cross, shooting a bunch of their projects. I just wanted to share a snippet of Joanna's apartment with you....

Joanna, shot at the Cross.




Love her mix of concrete, wood, and metal. Her condo is pretty tiny (600 sf ft), but she manages to make it feel roomy. A great space to hang out in. She's working on a few bits, so I'm looking forward to sharing more with you soon. If you need design services, you can check out some of Joanna's work here.

That's it for today. Back soon!
Janis

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baked


Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Hope you've all had a great weekend.

We're in the middle setting up for our huge family dinner (19 people), and these tasty crackers are part of the cocktail snacks. Dead simple to make...perfect for a large dinner party. This was one quick recipe today! Love that.

Thyme Parmesan Crackers - makes about 4 dozen


2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375f. Place the flour, thyme, salt, parmesan cheese and sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor running, add milk and mix until a dough form. Knead dough a few times, on a lightly floured surface, then break into 4 pieces, flatten and wrap separately. Chill for about 30 minutes, or until firm.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough into a very thin rectangle, then transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Lightly score into strips or diamond shapes, then brush with egg white. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack then snap off individual crackers. Enjoy with with a cocktail!



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Observations

Having a nice Sunday? What did you get up to today? If you're in Canada, you just may be eating turkey and stuffing ;)


I just got back from a meeting of fellow business owners on Union Street, in Chinatown/Strathcona. If you haven't been to the area in awhile, you have to visit soon. We're so excited to be part of this strip of Union Street (located on the same strip as the Jimi Hendrix shrine! Did you know he had a "shrine" here?) 

Click here, to check out their online shop!

For more, click here.

Website is up and at 'em. More info to come!



My giant family Thanksgiving dinner is tomorrow, but we are heading to a friend's for their Thanksgiving tonight so I made this....

(if you'd like the recipe, just ask me!)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Back soon.
Janis