Thursday, May 31, 2012


Regular, gluten-full wheat bread, I've missed you. Life has been pretty crazy lately, and I needed to "knead", so I made a good old fashioned loaf of whole wheat bread and added apricots and pistachios. Gluten-free bread can be tasty, but I miss the kneading. ;)

Whole Wheat Bread with Apricots and Pistachios - makes one large loaf

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey this time)
1 packet yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup pistachios, chopped

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 3/4 cups warm water (about 115f), honey and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes, or until mixture becomes foamy. In a separate bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, apricots and pistachios. Add yeast mixture, then oil. Stir to combine, then turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Now here comes my favourite part: knead for about 8 minutes, or until dough is elastic and smooth. Whoohoo!

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand, in a warm spot, for about 90 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
Punch down dough, and knead a few times, on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a round loaf, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375f.  Make a couple of slashes, with a sharp knife, on top of dough and bake for about 45 minutes or until bread sounds "hollow" when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. This bread is perfect, toasted, for breakfast, and also makes great sandwiches. Love it.

Have a good day! Back soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Observations

I hope you had a great weekend! What did you get up to?  My weekend included a little live painting, a new "girl crush" and a touch of wild nature.....

We went for a bit of a hike at Lynn Headwaters, in North Vancouver. It's about a 25 minute drive from our home in Vancouver. Pretty stunning place. Dense, mossy, loveliness. 

I was familiar with Zoe's work, but I hadn't met her in person. She was painting all weekend at the Fours Seasons in Vancouver, so we popped down to watch. I love her. She's mom to two kids, and a full-time artist. Her paintings are beautiful. If you're in the Vancouver area, she opens her new show on May 31st. Click here for more info. Hope to see you there!

Bye for now! Back soon...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hello Weekend

After noticing that gas, here in Vancouver, bolted up to $1.50 per litre, I thought I'd end the week with this image of a ghost gas station. All the more reason to park my car more often ;)

Back soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


How's your week going? I've had a couple of crack-of-dawn photo shoots rescheduled, as the weather just didn't cooperate....but not until we were already at the shoot location.  I made these muffins since I had suddenly had some spare time ;)  I've had rosemary and orange in a salad dressing, and it turns out this combo works really well in a basic cornmeal muffin. Love it.

Orange & Rosemary Cornmeal Muffins - makes 10-12 
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour (I used 1 cup gluten free flour*)
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* mix together 6 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups potato starch, 1 cup tapioca flour. Store in the fridge in a jar.

Preheat oven to 375f. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, and eggs. Pour into flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the orange zest and rosemary. 

Pour batter into baking cups and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in centre, comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little before eating. 

If you try them out, let me know what you think. 

Have a nice day! Back soon.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Mode

It's Victoria Day in Canada, so the weekend is still on. Love holiday Mondays. Happy Birthday Queen Victoria!

My niece is currently sitting beside me, working on her writing project, asking me about Terry Fox and how to spell "institute". I hope I've spelled it correctly ;)

This is a bit of what's gone on this weekend....

By the way, I don't believe in ironing pillow cases.  Way too much work.



Frames found at Stepback. My husband painted the woman enjoying a mai tai. Not sure if it was a mai tai, but I like to think it was.

What did you get up to this weekend? Still enjoying the weekend?

Have a good day! Back soon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello, Long Weekend

Back next week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Perfect Edible Garden

Wow, this week has been busy. How has yours been?

I wanted to share some images of one of the best little urban gardens I've shot. So many clever ideas. The homeowners, Caitlin and Owen, are the talented landscape designers of Aloe Designs. I can't believe how much food they grow in a small urban garden. It can be done!

As the message states, it is friggin' adorable in there. Love the shed. 

They grow edibles in anything and everything. Large tin cans, vintage buckets, and an inset in their dining table. 

 The talented duo designed the beautiful dining table and the bench seating lifts up for storage. 

Just a small sample of some of the organic food they grow. 

Aloe Designs are putting on some great workshops, so if you're in the Vancouver area, check them out. I took the seed bomb workshop awhile back. Click here for workshop info. 

Back soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012


I hope you had a great weekend. Were you mothers out there, treated like queens? We had a quiet one around here, filled with a little work and a short baking session. Made a cake for my mom. Super simple and delicious.

Lemon Almond Cake with Coconut - makes one 8 inch cake

1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs + one egg white
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one large lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Unsweetened coconut for top of cake

Lemon Glaze:

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
To make the glaze: in a small bowl, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice. 

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Grease and line the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, rice flour, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs in another large bowl, until foamy. Add the buttermilk and butter, and beat until combined. 
Beat in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and beat for about 2 minutes. 

Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, carefully invert cake onto a cake plate or stand. Top with a thin coat of lemon glaze and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut.  

Have a great day! Back on Wednesday.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello Friday!

To all you moms out there, Happy Mother's Day! I hope you all get spoiled rotten. 

Back soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I haven't done much baking these days. Life has been a touch hectic, and I've been working on on The Butter cookbook, with Rosie Daykin, so I really haven't needed to bake!  Thank you Rosie for all the cupcakes, cookies, and bars ;) I did need a little something, the other day, when I was trying to sort out my office (after the tax year end fiasco). These fixed my orange cookie craving for the day. The recipe has been adapted from Alice Medrich's recipe in Pure Dessert.

Buckwheat Orange Cookies - makes about 60 (if using a 1.5 inch cookie cutter)

1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix (or regular all purpose flour)
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon guar gum (only if using gluten free flour)
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
rind of two medium oranges (make sure to use organic oranges)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift the flours together into a medium size bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, until smooth and creamy. Stir in the orange rind and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Split the dough in half and flatten out each piece, then wrap in plastic wrap. Chill over night. 

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350f/180c. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes and place about 1 inch apart, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until just slightly browned on the edges. 

Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and allow to cool completely. You can eat them as is (delicious), but I had some white chocolate, so I melted it, along with a splash of cream, in a saucepan over low heat. I drizzled the chocolate over the cooled cookies. Extra delicious. 

Have you baked with buckwheat before? Though it's name sounds wheaty, it isn't, so it's perfect if you're aiming for a gluten free diet. It also tastes so flipping good, and is better for you too (I'm trying!). 

Have a good day! Back soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Happy Home for Monday

Did you have a good weekend? Hope so. We started Sunday morning off with an early morning call from my sister. She told us a couple of very silly people tossed a brick through the window of our restaurant, and helped themselves to a few bottles of liquor. We have cameras, and these guys provided some fun images! If they weren't ballsy enough, a passerby, noticing the window had been smashed out, waltzed in and helped himself to a few treats. Guess he thought, "why not"? Not the end of the world, only a little irritating. ;)

To kickstart the week, I'm sharing the home of Shereen, Wilf and Silas. I shot their pretty home last summer, for Style At Home, and it's featured in the June issue. Designed with the help of Shereen's good friend, Nancy Riesco. Between the two of them, they've created a home full of personality. I've mentioned Shereen before, and her beautiful line of jewelry - click here for a refresher.

Silas hanging out with Leo, on the settee that Shereen found on Craigslist. Nancy had it reupholstered. Love that orange mirror. 

Red and blue is a great combo. 

Knowing this family, their home suits them perfectly. I love coming across that, as it doesn't happen all the time. If you'd like to see Shereen's home office, I posted pics a few weeks ago. Click here for a look.