Monday, October 31, 2011

so i went to a football game...

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I suppose I would call this an unusual way for Joseph and I to spend a Saturday night — but we wanted to do something a little different. Joseph used to play baseball (yes baseball) with one of the new starting players on the Eskimos when they were kids, so we thought it would be fun to go and cheer on the visiting team at BC Place. It was worth the scalped tickets for sure, we had a lot of fun, plus we finished the night off with some wine and tiramisu, so you can't go wrong there. Oh, and it marks the sixth year in a row that we have gone on a Halloween (although non-Halloweeny) date.... a.k.a. our anniversary.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

fiery ginger chip cookies

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So these cookies from 101 cookbooks are amazing. I won't say I like them more than my mother's molasses cookies, because I don't. I am however encouraged to add as much ginger as I damn well please to a ginger cookie from now on as I know they will only taste more delicious.

These cookies have a lot of ginger — 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger and 4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger. These cookies are fiery — they are also delicious, just sweet enough and full of whole wheat goodness.

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I indulged in a little rainy-weather comfort and paired these cookie gems with a fresh cup of cinnamon spiced hot chocolate. My mouth was on fire with autumn flavours.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

wild orchid

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This my friends is a wild orchid. Well okay, it's not wild in the traditional sense, it is in fact another hand-me-down from a flower shop, but it's wild right now because I have decided to let it grow unharnessed. All of my past orchids I have followed the traditional way of staking them as they go, leading their stem up in a nice straight line and into a gentle curve. Not this time! This orchid is wild and can't be controlled!!

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Well truly though, I really like the way the orchid has figured out its own path and found a way to balance. The stem is extra strong too, it's really rather impressive what the orchids can do if left to fend for themselves. Plus look at its natural curve — isn't it pretty?

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Monday, October 17, 2011

berry cornmeal crumble bars

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A few weeks ago Little Nest Cafe, one of my favourite neighborhood spots in Vancouver, had these delicious little blackberry cornmeal bars on special and they were like nothing I had ever tasted before. I wanted to try making them at home and I found a similar recipe on Martha Stewart, which turned out to be a major fail. But determined as I was, I tried again, fiddling with the ratios, adding different elements, but again they weren't exactly right. Finally, for my third batch I realized the real problem: the cooking vessel. Little Nest's bars held together well with a nice crunch on the bottoms and this simply could not be achieved if cooked in a parchment lined 8x8" dish as recommended by Martha.

So without any further explanation, these are delicious, I highly suggest you use up some frozen berries from your summer bounty and make these!

Berry Cornmeal Crumble Bars

1 1/4 cups coarse cornmeal (not the super fine variety. I found the coarse stuff at an Italian grocer)
1 1/4 cups flour (I used a 50/50 blend of whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached all-purpose)
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
10 oz frozen berries (I used primarily blackberries and raspberries, with some blueberries. Rhubarb would also be great)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional!)

In a medium bowl stir together your cornmeal, flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir to combine (If it seems like you need more butter, by all means add more. The original recipe called for a cup, but I got away with 3/4).

Press 2/3 of mixture onto a cookie sheet starting from one corner and working your way out. The dough should be pressed to a thickness of about a centimeter to a centimeter and a half, therefore unless you have a small cookie sheet, you will not be covering the whole sheet — but don't worry because it works out fine anyway! (If you are worried, you could make a little frame with aluminum foil)

Sprinkle your frozen berries over the whole surface of the pressed dough, creating a nice thin layer. Take your remaining dough and using you hands, crumble it over the top of the berries. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and a little bit of sugar. Throw her into the oven at 350°F for 35-45 minutes (it should be starting to brown a little on the edges). Cut into squares and enjoy! I like them all on their own with breakfast or my lunch, but they would also make a nice dessert with yogurt or ice cream!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a very happy canadian thanksgiving

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Have all you fellow Canadians recovered from course after heavenly course this past Thanksgiving weekend? Joseph got home on Sunday night from a month-long European tour, so I certainly had that to be thankful for. I made a feast for two on Monday night and last night we enjoyed some very decadent chicken sandwiches. Autumn produce may not be as exciting as the early days of summer, but boy is it ever delicious.

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

vancouver crow migration

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If you have never seen this in person, it is truly something to behold. Every evening at dusk, but more notably during certain periods of the year, all the crows in Vancouver migrate out to the southeast. To call them a murder of crows would be an understatement as it is quite literally every crow that can be found in the city: it is the crows. It takes maybe 15 minutes for them to all pass overhead, sometimes swooping to the level of my sixth story apartment, cawing dramatically as they pass. I've never known why they go (or exactly where they go) nor when and how do they get back, but by the first light the next morning they are already covering the sidewalks, cleaning up the garbage left behind the night before.

The crows have been giving us a really great show the last few nights; I'd forgotten how I missed seeing them all summer long.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

spicy and sweet toasted pumpkin seeds

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I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed the pumpkin soup I made the other day, the part I was most excited for was the crunchy gems hidden within the pumpkin. Toasted pumpkin seeds are such a delicious, addictive treat. You have to go through the work of buying and slicing (or carving!) a pumpkin in order to enjoy this seasonal snack and the extra effort makes them so special.

I used the sweet & spicy recipe on 101 cookbooks by Heidi Swanson, a woman who has come to pretty much control my diet.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

hudson elliott tumblr

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You may of noticed around these parts that I mostly only share original content (i.e. photos and words entirely created by me, Mary) on this blog. I love having a place to share my photos of food and plants and all things in my life, but I also come across so many amazing images and inspiration from other people that I have decided to start a Tumblr as a venue to share these things and also other random tidbits from my life. I'm calling it a companion to the Hudson Elliott blog. Please check out my new tumblr Hudson Elliott and let me know what you think! (And if you happen to be a tumblr-er yourself, let me know, I'd love to see what creative things you are all up to!)

stormy blue dinnerware

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I have weaknesses. I can't resist a 70% off sale, even if it's something I don't really need...

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Monday, October 03, 2011

autumn pumpkin soup

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Okay, it's official, I'm involved in a full-on cuddly, squishy embrace with autumn.I made my first pumpkin soup of the season and it was delicious. Pumpkin, roasted yam, red pepper and carrot, sage, orange juice, spice, etc., etc.

This soup was the main event of my weekend — oh and going to watch the Lion King in the theatre with my cousin, which was fun. It was my first 3D theatre experience if you can imagine. Wearing 3D glasses over regular glasses is extremely irritating. Good, clean fun kind of weekend.

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