Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a night at the pne fair

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With a little help from our house guest who is working at a coffee stand within the PNE exhibition, we decided to go and check out all the buzz last night. We ate hot dogs, elephant ears (aka 'whale tails', 'beaver tails', or a flat piece of fried dough with cinnamon and sugar on top) and just walked around and enjoyed the sights.

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There was a barn full of some interesting breeds of farm animals and also lots and lots of babies. The Clydesdale horses (above) were really fascinating. The large one, second from the right, was eating the hay of both of his neighbours as well as his own — big bully. 

The calf, below was apparently born only an hour before. (Just want to point out that even though the cow is looking at me, I am zoomed in quite a bit here, I am not right in the face of the poor tired lady.)

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Joseph made friends with this tall mistress.

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All of these people are in line for mini donuts.

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And then we were done. Maybe we'll go back someday and actually go on the rides... maybe.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

stanley park's many hidden treasures

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I don't think I had ever seen this water lily pond before in the heart of Stanley Park. It was a very peaceful moment of discovery.

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And then back out to the wide open world.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

chocolate and blackberry pavlova (for breakfast!)

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Hello! I hope you are all enjoying the last days of August. I had my brother for a brief visit last week and spent the whole time walking, walking walking. It's so nice having new visitors to the city because I can re-visit all the parts of town that I don't make it out to very often. 

After visiting the farmer's market on Wednesday evening, I stocked up on one of my favorites: plump, local blackberries. I've been dreaming of making a dark and delicious blackberry double chocolate pavlova after seeing this raspberry version on What Katie Ate. Click here for her recipe, which turned out perfectly.

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This dessert is quite literally like biting into heaven and I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I dug into it for breakfast. (Better for breakfast than right before bedtime, right?) Pavlova is pretty much my new favorite dessert; I plan on making it at every possible occasion in every possible variation. Have you ever made it? What's your favorite pavlova pairing?

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Monday, August 22, 2011

the vancouver summer nights are not over yet!

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Day of the 12 km walk around town, with a brief stop at Second Beach.

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Fresh pesto after the Main Street farmer's market.

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The Merchant of Venice at Bard on the Beach, a gift from my bosses. The backdrop is the city of Vancouver, at sunset.

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Speaking of sunsets, this was a nice one.

Friday, August 19, 2011

purple scabiosa: a very special gift indeed

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I was so happy to receive a special gift from a dear florist friend last week when I had her over for a couple gin cocktails (gin, sparkling water, ginger simple syrup, cucumber, lime, ice). The sweet lady friend works at a beautiful flower shop in Vancouver's downtown and brought me a stunning bouquet of one of my favourite flowers (and one of her least favourite, coincidentally): scabiosa. (Thanks C!)

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Scabiosa was the main flower I used when I did my sister's wedding flowers a few years ago — the sweet peas just weren't ready in time, but scabiosa made a noble replacement.

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It's true the blooms don't last very long, but when they are nice, they are really nice. Plus the flower pods (below) aren't too bad either.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

string bean and tuna pasta salad

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String bean is a horrid name, don't you think? But I do love them, as I love almost every summer vegetable, and almost everything to do with summer for that matter.

I'm pretty sure we've had pasta every night for the last two weeks, but this one here was one of my favourites. Lemony, cool, and refreshing, I will definitely be making this again.

String Bean and Tuna Pasta Salad

300g. whole grain pasta
washed and sliced string beans, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup fresh English peas

1 can responsibly caught albacore tuna, drained and separated into large chunks with a fork
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

For dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dijon style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil (add more if needed)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Bring 2 1/2 litres of salted water to boil
Add your pasta and stir. On top of your pot of boiling pasta, place a bamboo steamer with the sliced string beans. After a couple of minutes, add your English peas to the steamer.
When the beans are tender to your liking, remove the bamboo steamer and pour the beans and peas into cold, icy water to blanch.

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, zest, mustard, honey, olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper to make the dressing.

Once your pasta is al dente, remove from heat and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

In a large bowl mix pasta and dressing and stir until well coated. Add the reserved pasta water if needed. Add your tuna and chives and gently stir.

Serve warm or cold, topped with more grated parmesan and lemon zest. (And like most pasta, best served alongside salad)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

summer nights and flower picnics

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Joseph and I went for a nice evening picnic the other day to watch the sunset and enjoy one of the few plants thriving on my balcony: nasturtiums! Check out my full post over on Mainland.

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Joseph likes just eating the flowers straight. Like a man.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

on the x-files and vancouver's bloedel conservatory

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Hello! The following paragraphs have nothing to do with these photos.

When my sister came to visit a couple weeks ago she turned me onto the idea of re-watching the X-files from the beginning. I used to be so scared watching this show (oh god, this post is going to reveal my age) and I would only watch it during sleep-overs at my best friend's house in elementary school. I don't think my mom would have let me watch it at home and I would have been too frightened on my own anyway.

I like watching it now, (it turns out that it isn't very scary) knowing that it was filmed in Vancouver, I can try to guess their specific location in every episode. I wish it was 15 years ago so I could run around town stalking a young David Duchovny.

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