Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1957 mint green corvette

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I just got a mint green 1957 corvette in perfect condition!!

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Made you look.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

sandwich break: chicken and brie

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It's Monday. I'm sorry if you are reading this at work, while eating your cold, dry, bagged lunch. Next time might I suggest preparing this ahead? Toast you bread at home and make sure to pack the veggies separate, then assemble for lunch. Bonus if you can heat it up a little.

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{Multigrain sourdough, roast chicken, brie, cilantro, fig chutney, cucumber, tomato, baby greens}

If you aren't in love with sandwiches, perhaps you simply aren't doing it right? Just saying.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

lily of the valley botanical diagram

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A documentation of spring's fleeting mistress. She's the one that hides under the tree bows and in the shadows of our buildings. She creeps along and hugs the leaves of all the other ground-dwellers.

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I guess you might think she's shy — but don't be fooled

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She works hard to smell like heaven. It takes a lot out of her too; she can only keep it going for so long... and then poof. Back to the shadows, back to the corners, back to sleep for another year.

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So best to document her before she disappears. What if she never came back?
Certainties... best not to question them.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

lily of the valley and a poached egg dinner (and asparagus)

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These here are a sneak peak of some lily of the valley I plucked from a secret spot yesterday, I plan on sharing 726 more photos of them with you soon.

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This was take number two for my poached egg and asparagus dinner. I made the same thing two nights ago and the eggs turned out fine, the problem was I tried to go a little too fancy making a tahini dressing for the asparagus and it didn't work out at all. This time around I stuck to some toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and cashews (and garlic and ginger) and it was delicious.

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Oh hi, have we met? I like my eggs runny.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

ricotta filled banana walnut muffins

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Good morning! I cannot tell you why on earth I am doing so much baking when I don't have someone here to eat the lion's share for me. It's dangerous business... I think most of these will have to go into the freezer for a couple weeks.

These muffins were inspired by some you can find at Little Nest Cafe, as well as other bakeries around town. I had a lot of ricotta sitting in my fridge that I needed to use up, so I figured I would give the filled muffins a try and it worked out great!

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Ricotta filled Banana, Walnut Muffins


5 over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted butter or canola oil (I used half oil, half butter because that was exactly all I had left in my house)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 & 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping
6 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped
3-6 tablespoons ricotta cheese

In a small bowl mix the rolled oats and yogurt together. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease or line 16 muffin tin cups. In a medium sized bowl mix together all your remaining dry ingredients. Mash your bananas, or beat in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Add your butter, eggs, and sugar and beat well. Beat in you vanilla. Add your yogurt and oats, and your dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. With a spoon fold in your chocolate and walnuts.

Fill your muffin tins half full with your batter. Spoon half a rounded teaspoon of ricotta (up to a full teaspoon, depending on your tastes, but be careful to not touch the edges of the tin with the ricotta) onto the middle of each muffin. Fill the muffin tins all the way full with your remaining batter and top with the rest of your chopped walnuts. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

The surprise ricotta in the middle would probably be really good with a spice stirred into it as well — if you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

creamy eggplant pasta with asparagus

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The nice thing about cooking for one? Leftovers! Seriously every meal lasts me days for lunches and dinners. (Not to say I won't be happy to be cooking for two again very soon.)

Back to the point: asparagus is in season and is not to be wasted. For this meal I made a light cream sauce, flavoured with asiago cheese and I mixed it up with sauteed eggplant, shallots, garlic (lots), tomatoes, asparagus, peas, and basil. Top with ground pepper, more grated asiago, basil, and chopped walnuts. 20 minutes: done.

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Enjoy your week! Until soon.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

balcony gardening: first seedlings

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Today is going to be HOT! (At least for Vancouver spring standards). I have lots to get done before I get to play in the sun, so I better get to it (too much time spent cuddling with the cats in bed).

This year I approached my balcony garden much different than in the past couple years. I wanted to focus on herbs I use all the time, or that I could dry at the end of the season. I wanted to plant a few select flowers to give pops of dramatic colour, that are relatively easy to care for. For the flowers I chose begonias (there were so many beautiful begonias at the garden centre, I went a little begonia crazy) some pansies that were on sale, and nasturtiums and poppies that I planted from seed. I also have a couple four foot tall cypress trees, two hosta varieties, and one cascading coniferous bonsai that I will really be nurturing this year. For a bit of height, I have a ruby coloured clematis growing off of some make shift bamboo stakes.

It's been such a pleasure the last couple days to sit out in the setting sun when I get home from work and admire all the green sprouting up. Are you gardening this summer? I'd love to know what plants work for you, or maybe you are trying something for the first time this year?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

things that make me happy today

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Just a few things that are keeping me calm and happy during the busy spring.

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A new amazing book that I am really excited to work my way through (just started). It delves into the complicated history of plants and our relationship with them. I'm very excited.

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A 7-inch to remind me of someone who is away.
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Honey nougat chocolate — I don't even like milk chocolate, but this is delicious.

Sometimes you just need to savour the little things.