Wednesday, June 29, 2011

rainy day kitty

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Good morning to a grey and rainy day! I'm pretty ready for a nap now. If he can do it, why can't I?

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Monday, June 27, 2011

tomato, basil crostini and strawberry salad

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It has begun. Summer is barely here, but the temptations at the farmer's market are just too much for me, all I want to eat is salad, salad, salad (oh and maybe a little bread and cheese).

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Crostini with delicious, teeny cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, and pine nuts, served with a shaving of parmesean.

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British Columbia strawberries have arrived! I've been eating these slowly all week, one serving with the morning yogurt and one with the evening salad. I'll be buying more at the next farmers market — lots more. (Did I mention that the baguette, tomatoes, radishes, and arugula are all from the farmers market too?)

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Friday, June 24, 2011

summer solstice in vancouver

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You know nights like these? They are so fantastic, I wish they happened year round, but it just isn't possible (not even in Vancouver). This is a summer night and it is just the beginning. After work Joseph and I grabbed a quick piece of pizza then headed downtown to meet friends at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Surrealist exhibit. Tuesday nights the gallery is open late and it is pay by donation: perfect. Totally overwhelming and so much fun to meet up with lots of people, it almost felt like being in school again (but in a good way).

After our fill on Dali and Man Ray, we walked to Gastown to check out the music festival that was happening on the streets there. We kept wandering past and made our way to the Alibi Room for some beers and post sensory overload discussion.

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Calling it an early night, we all parted ways and Joseph and I stopped for an ice cream bar at a gas station parking lot, taking in the last turquoise light above the mountains on the longest day of the year. It was a simple pleasure moment, reminding us of days when sitting in a parking lot after sundown was pretty much as good as it gets. I can't wait for more summer nights — if only it would stop raining!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

farmers market radishes with tomato and arugula pasta

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Hello! Is it just me or do the days seem to pass by so much quicker in the summer, despite being longer? There is never enough time to get everything done, but that being said, there is always time to make delicious food. Last week we picked up some radishes (grown on a farm right in the city of Vancouver), arugula and some (pre-season) tomatoes at the Main street farmers market.

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farmers market radishes opinel knife

(my fancy new knife was a gift from Joseph's trip to Europe)

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I made us whole grain pasta with a light parmesean sauce on a bed of arugula, topped with roasted tomatoes and pine nuts. (Very similar idea to the potato dinner from the other day).

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The radishes were so tasty in a salad with avocado, strawberry, and cashews. Once summer hits it will be all salad, all the time (who has time or desire for anything else when it's hot 24/7?) so I better stock up on my pasta carbs while I can! (right?)

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

calm the fire

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Fires blazing in downtown Vancouver after losing the Stanley Cup hockey game. Setting raging fires (out of sports related rage) is not a good thing to do.

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Two more photos before the sun went down:

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The fires only increased for another hour after this. I have lots of words, but I'll keep them to myself for now.

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botanical colour palettes

I've been working the last week or two (hey I'm a busy gal!) on a new botanical illustration and I finally got to map out the colour palette last night! The painting is part of a much bigger project that I can't wait to share with you!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

poppies poppies poppies

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Good morning! I hope this fine spring week is treating you well. The poppies and bearded iris flowers are all in full bloom here and I gasp every time I walk by one. They are all as big as my outstretched hand; I could stare at their details for hours. It makes me so upset when I can see that people have clearly ripped the blooms from people's yards. Please don't steal flowers, it isn't nice — take a photo instead.

Friday, June 10, 2011

a welcome home lunch: arugula soup & mint salad

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Joseph arrived home from Europe around lunch time the other day and since food is always on my mind, I figured I better be ready for a hungry belly.

I used up more of my arugula and made an arugula, potato, and leek soup; a cucumber, strawberry, almond and mint salad, with a drizzle of honey; and some tomato and brie toasts.

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I think I must have finished eating three times faster than him (for once) because he was too busy filling me in on all his traveling stories. Technically it's not strawberry season here quite yet, but these strawberries were so good regardless of being from California. I can't wait for our strawberry season to arrive!

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

sunny lily of the valley

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Good morning! These are the last of 10532 photos that I took of my foraged lily of the valley from the other week. A nice sparkly start to the morning, don't you think?

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Joseph is back in town after a five week tour in Europe (I mean who goes to Europe for five weeks without bringing their significant other?! {kidding}) and we are going to spend our morning admiring blooming poppies in the neighbourhood and drinking cappuccinos. Hope you have a nice Thursday!

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

the beginning of beach season

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Spent a couple hours sitting on a log drinking some brew with a gal pal the other day. We were 'working', honest. I nearly fell into the ocean trying to get back after the tide came in, but that's all part of the west coast life, right?

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Monday, June 06, 2011

smashed potato arugula salad with italian sausage

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Joseph's aunt was thinning out her baby arugula leaves a couple days ago and I volunteered to take the little shoots off her hands. Next thing I know I'm traveling home with a canvas bag full of arugula and mint. (Better than going to the farmer's market!)

So what does one person do with this much arugula? Well to start I made herb and garlic smashed potatoes and edamame with a lemon, mustard dressing and Italian sausage on a great big bed of the peppery greens. Delicious. Perhaps I'll make some soup next? 

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Saturday, June 04, 2011

a bushel of fresh mint

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Help! I was gifted this large lovely bunch of fresh mint (which I love love love) and I need to use every last bit of it up. Suggestions? Got any favorite dishes or drinks that use lots of fresh mint?

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