Saturday, July 30, 2011

basil ice cream: a new obsession

basil ice cream

Sometimes I like to meet Joseph on his bike ride home from work, but it's really just so I can stop at La Casa Gelato for ice cream. Okay that's not entirely true because I look forward to the walk together, sometimes one of our only chances to catch up on each others day.
I won't say this place makes the best ice cream (there are some much creamier options around) but the fun lies in choosing your flavour. With over 218 options, this can take a while. I went with basil which was so delicious — minty and refreshing, with a subtle licorice flavour — I wish I had an ice cream maker so I could try it at home. Joseph went with licorice (which must have had squid ink in it or something, it was so black) and also pistachio. Maybe I'll get wasabi next time?..... yeah right.

I hope you all have a great weekend. It's the first night of the celebration of light here in Vancouver, so maybe I'll see you there?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

quiet meetings at prado cafe

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I got together with Janeé yesterday to try and tweak a few things on our new blog, Mainland. It's an ongoing process getting the design the way we want it and navigating a computer world that we are by no means experts in. Still, we are really enjoying creating each post and if you haven't yet had the chance to check it out, please do.

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We sat for a calming, sunny cappuccino at Prado Café before running around Chinatown to take a few photos for upcoming posts. (Then headed back to Commercial Drive for a patio cocktail of course!)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

totems: museum of anthropology

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The Museum of Anthropology is stunning. I went there for the second time on the weekend, this time showing it off to my visiting mother and stepfather. I love taking in the calm of the reflection pool out back, which you can see through the windows of these photos. I've talked about this museum before, but it truly is one of my favorite spots to visit in Vancouver.
(sorry for the fingerprint in the middle of every shot — doh!)

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Go if you ever get the chance, the great hall alone is worth seeing in person.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

upside down rhubarb crumb cake

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I had my sister over for a short visit these last few days. She has been here for many visits before and this time we had awful (for July) weather the entire time she was here, so we mostly stuck close to the apartment. It was actually a lot of fun just having time off to do nothing but watch movies, make friendship bracelets and cook. On Wednesday after having some family over for lunch, we made this cake and watched movies on my laptop.

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My mother is also in town and had brought some rhubarb with her from Edmonton which we used in this makeshift cake. Both my sister and I were throwing ingredients in as we mixed, using every last bit of flour in my house, but somehow it all came together.

I think I basically followed the cake recipe (just the 'cake' part) from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. For the rhubarb we threw it into a pan where we had started to caramelize some sugar. If we were to do it again, we would only have cooked the rhubarb for a minute, before it started to lose its shape so much. Into the cake pan went the rhubarb first, then the cake batter, then some crumbs we had made with flour, sugar, melted butter and fresh grated ginger. Delicious served with vanilla cream and blueberries!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

welcome to mainland!

mainland announcement

It's here, it's finally here! My new plant-related project that I have been working on with a friend finally 'launches' today. Please be patient with the few minor details left to work out, we just couldn't wait any longer!

A little about Mainland:

"Mainland is a place to examine, study, and learn from the plant world. We hope to inspire you with thoughts of urban gardening, back-alley flower arranging, botanical painting, and horticultural history.
As trained florists, we question the very industry that turned us onto all things botanical. We believe in sustainability, respect for nature, and simple, organic beauty, without all the bows and frills. Two prairie gals who relocated to lush Vancouver, we are in awe everyday when we stumble upon a new plant to identify."

Mainland is a project where we intend to learn as we go and we really hope you enjoy reading it.


(oh and there's a twitter too.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

announcing a new project!

Mainland project intro

I have some very exciting news to announce on Monday! For the past few weeks a friend and I have been working on the creation of a new blog documenting our shared interests in all things related to plants. We'll be delving deep into the history of individual species, making bouquets from weeds and back-alley blooms, and utilizing seasonal herbs in cocktails and other recipes. This project is a way for us to learn more about a world that captivates us and we hope you'll enjoy checking it out.

Check back on Monday for the official 'launch'!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

summer sun

second beach vancouver sunset

What have I been up to? Sunsets mostly, a bit of ice cream, releasing ladybugs onto my aphid infested balcony, some strawberry eating, and not wearing pants (just skirts and shorts).
What have you been up to?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

english peas! -more simple summer pasta

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What a perfect sight.

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Strawberries on the side? Sure, why not?

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Monday, July 04, 2011

two orchids blooming side by side

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This is a pretty green orchid I bought for myself last year from the shop I worked at. She's decided it is time to bloom again and is just as pretty as I remembered. The white orchid in the background has been in bloom since the beginning of April (after having over two years of rest) and both orchids have other stems with buds getting ready to open as well. Plus a third orchid with sunset coloured blooms is only a week or two away from blooming again.

I take good care of my orchids in the sense that I never let them get too wet or two dry (or cold, or drafty) but I really don't have to give them any extra thought. I just sit back and admire their beauty. Patience is key.

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

fireworks, july first, vancouver

I especially like the man behind me sneezing.

canada day fireworks from crab park

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A perfect view, not too crowded, followed by a nice walk home. Look at the reflections! Could it be any better? The glass skyscrapers behind us were reflecting beautifully as well. Gotta love it, every single time, I always enjoy fireworks. There was a pretty hilarious and rowdy crowd a little way away from us, I'll put up a video for you soon.

I'm off to the farmer's market bright and early tomorrow, I hope you all have a fantastic summer weekend!

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