Tuesday, November 30, 2010

fully blooming

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You can just barely see a photo of my grandparents old house in the background.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

the perks

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...Of working a really fun job and having really nice bosses is that they give me a free pull-back Trabant car just because. I guess the Trabant is supposed to be one of the worst cars to have ever been on the road, but aren't they pretty?

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spacious



and just in case you wondered how it compared in size to an apple mouse:

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We are easily entertained.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

pancakes again?



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Yes. Pancakes again. Why not?



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These are crunchy and hearty and totally great on a Sunday morning. Sorry it's already so late for many of you -- how about next Sunday then?

Quinoa Pancakes {adapted from Martha Stewart}

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
chocolate chips, to taste (I put 6 chips per cake)
chopped hazelnuts, to taste

In a medium bowl mix together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together eggs, butter, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with butter and heat to a medium-low temperature. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into skillet. Top each pancake with a few chocolate chips and a small sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, approximately 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes.

Makes 9-12 pancakes.


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Friday, November 26, 2010

sharpening my pencils

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I signed up for a botanical illustration class in January! I'm really excited (and terrified since I don't think I have done more than doodle since high school!) A friend showed me the class so it will be lots of fun with both of us in it together. Wish me luck! (I really hate being bad at anything)



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Have I showed you this book before? It was a Christmas gift from Joseph's parents a few years ago and it is one of my most beautiful possessions. Published in New York in 1940 it is full of colour photographs and designs that seem very advanced. I can never believe it when I flip through the pages -- such a thoughtful gift that I will always treasure.




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Thursday, November 25, 2010

last week's art


Here are some of the many plantings I did up at work last week.
{all designs belong to Kermodi Living Art}



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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

stew

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Since it is so cold on the prairies and not exactly warm here on the coast either, I figured I better post a heart and body warming meal I had made last month. I know it probably doesn't look that appetizing to many of you, but if you enjoy north African or middle eastern flavours, than you would probably enjoy this too. I'm calling it a Moroccan stew.... or curry.... I don't really know what to call it. I basically made my soup recipe, but reduced the recipe's liquids and added red kidney beans and some copped Swiss chard that I needed to use up.



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Serve with whole wheat couscous, lots of fresh cilantro, slices of cucumber and chutney

Monday, November 22, 2010

getting back to....



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...digging in the dirt and basking in the sun. There is nothing like the silence of plants.



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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

pistachio rose water meringues


A dear friend of mine has a go-to rose water, pistachio cake recipe that she pulls out for special occasions. Not only is it a delicious combo, but it puts a nostalgic smile on the faces of what is often a largely middle eastern crowd. (and me!) I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe for hazelnut meringues to try to bring the flavours of that cake into cookie form and it was (almost) just as good!




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Pistachio rose water meringues:

ingredients:

1 heaping cup pistachios
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
pinch cream of tartar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon rose water

Preheat oven to 350°F and and place racks in upper and lower thirds. In a food processor pulse pistachios until finely ground (I chose to leave them a little coarse). In a medium, heat-proof bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Set bowl over (not in) a pot with two inches simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from heat, add rose water, and using an electric mixer, beat mixture on high until thick and glossy, 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in pistachios, reserving some to sprinkle on tops. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls, two inches apart, onto two parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with reserved ground pistachios. Bake until cracked on top, about 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let meringues cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container up to three days. 

Makes 24

They melt in your mouth, with just a hint of rose and lots of delicious chewy pistachio.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

reliving

Just looking back at the Gorillaz concert in Vancouver a couple weeks ago. Clearly I don't go to big concerts very often.... but truly this show was fantastic.
In case any of you were thinking that you weren't interested in watching these videos (Mike, I'm looking at you) let me point out that the bass player is Paul Simonon and the guitar player is Mick Jones. {Yes I got to see half the Clash perform live} Oh and Bobby Womack sings a bit.

The finale:



Oh and they had a huge band. You should listen to this too:



Update: I took out the last video to replace with this one:
(The other one had horrible sound, but started with a 2-minute 7-piece string intro. {7-piece string plus 6-piece middle eastern band, plus 7-piece horns......amazing})

zucchini muffins


These zucchini muffins have been one of my favorites for years. When we would make them at my mom's house we would look up the recipe in one of my sister's elementary school cookbooks, (where each student submits a recipe) complete with an orange paper cover and bound by a plastic coil. This particular recipe sat next to a very cute picture of my sister with short hair and a drawing of a lion that was robbed for first place for the school mascot of the time.

Zucchini Muffins {adapted from Hillview Elementary cookbook}

ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable/canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 light coloured honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped nuts {I used mixed walnuts and hazelnuts}

Cream eggs, oil, and sugar with a whisk. Add vanilla and mix in zucchini. Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir in chocolate chips and nuts {reserve some chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle on the tops of each muffin} and add to zucchini mixture. Fold together mixtures until just barely mixed and fill greased muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a few chopped hazelnuts. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. 
Makes 24 modest muffins. 


Making muffins is the easiest, most rewarding thing. I started making these at 10:30 and was still in bed by 11:30. 
I highly recommend eating these warm.




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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

breakfast





I made my mom's zucchini muffins yesterday (with a few tweaks). They are one of my favorites and I love them for breakfast -- I show you more soon.

...plus I'll have photos soon of a super delectable treat I made that was inspired by a friend (so delicious!) 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

candlelight

night time



Funny things happen when the lights go down.

ravioli night

Last night I got Joseph's help making fresh ravioli pasta. Yet another adventure in the kitchen, our first batch of dough just wasn't working and after far too long toiling, we finally started the dough over and it worked great! I didn't do a terribly good job removing all the air from inside each ravioli, but other than that it was a huge success. It really was a fantastic dinner for a very grey and windy night in Vancouver.


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The filling was a basic ricotta cheese mixed with whatever else I had within reach and the sauce was a basic tomato with cream. We'll make it more exotic next time. I'll need to get a pasta maker of my own once we move out of our current place (psst... to whom it may concern: they have some decent looking ones at Gourmet Warehouse right now. Just in time for Christmas.)





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