Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Observations

How was your weekend? I hope you had a good one!

A little of my rain soaked weekend...

That was a little of my weekend. What did you do? Any of you getting anxious for spring, like I am? 

Back soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Weekend is here...

Nina may have serious face on, but I think she knows how to have a good time. Nina is a new friend we met at this great shop in Palm Desert. Have a great weekend everyone!

By the way, I did a post for Poppytalk all about Palm Springs. If you'd like to check it out, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Happy hump day! It is Wednesday, isn't it? I'm a bit thrown off this week. Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post about Palm Springs - it was quite the adventure.

If you've been reading my blog for a bit, you may have noticed that I do like a good cracker. Any kind, really. Today I offer up rice crackers with wasabi and nori. The wasabi just gives them an extra kick, and who doesn't like that?

Rice Crackers with Wasabi & Nori - makes about 24-30

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup brown rice, cooked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon wasabi - either from a tube or powder (I used the powder-follow instructions.)
1/4 cup chopped/crushed nori (sheets of dried seaweed)
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place rice flour, rice, wasabi, and oil in a food processor and process until finely ground. Slowly add the water while processor is running. Mix until a ball of dough forms. Transfer to your work surface and knead in the nori until well combined.

Roll into small balls, the size of a marble, and place between two pieces of wax paper. I used a small baking pan to flatten ball. You want to make sure you flatten the dough very thinly. 

Place on baking sheet and bake for about 5-6 minutes, then flip over with a thin spatula. Bake for another 6-8 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown around edges. Remove from oven and turn oven off. Mix tamari and honey together, then brush onto each cracker. Place in turned off oven for another 4 minutes, allowing them to dry. Allow to cool on a wire rack. These are pretty addictive - enjoy!

Have a great day. Back soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Observations

Hello All! How was your weekend? I just got back from 5 days in Palm Springs, and despite the massive wind storm it was great. Here's some of the weekend...

After the chaos of the Saturday wind storm (to my knowledge, there were no injuries), Sunday was a lovely day of calm...

•The Backyard Oasis exhibit, at the Palm Springs Art Museum, was fantastic. Click here for more info.
•Salton Sea is a pretty crazy place to visit. Loved it. Click here for info.
•The Hideaway is mid-century hotel, with large rooms and a lovely pool. So quiet and peaceful! Check it out here.
•Would loved to have used the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, but that wind. Click here for more info.

That kind of wraps up the weekend anyway. What did you get up to? Let me know!

Much more Palm Springs fun to share with you - will be posting on Poppytalk soon!

Back soon,

Friday, January 20, 2012

A very warm Friday

Still in Palm Springs, and the shoot is going really well.  I have to say, it is kind of nice to experience some warmth for a few days too. ;) Such a pretty place. To all of you that have given me tips on what to do here, merci beaucoup! I really appreciate it.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Back soon,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It's hump day! How's your week going so far? I got a bit snowed in today (anyone who has experienced real snow would laugh at us here in Vancouver), which worked out well as it was a huge post production kind of day for me.

Here's a treat that's not too hideous for you, and it's perfect for a day like today. Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cherry bars can be made with regular flour or they can be gluten free, which is the way I went. Pretty tasty.

Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cherry Bars - makes one 8"x12" pan

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)*
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups whole oats (not quick oats)
1 cup dried sour cherries, chopped
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
* you can use 1 1/2 cups regular all purpose flour then omit the almond meal and guar gum

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Lightly spray an 8"x12" pan with oil and line bottom with parchment paper. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.

Gradually add dry mix to butter mixture and stir in until just combined. Fold in oats, chocolate and cherries. Place dough in prepared pan, and press down. Bake for about 25 minutes until a light golden brown. Enjoy!

By the way, I'm off to Palm Springs tomorrow for a shoot, and I'd love to get a list of shops and restaurants to check out. If any of you have some helpful hints, please pass it on. Thanks!

Back soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Observations

Are you ready for the week? Did your weekend go by as fast as mine? Yikes. Here's a bit of my weekend....

I had to create a card for my mom, to let her know that we are taking her to Las Vegas for her birthday. I've only been once, ages ago, but did find these pics that I took of old motels. I was obsessed with them. Las Vegas looked so cute and innocent, way back then. ;)

Worked on images of Lily Ellis' (Birch and Bird) home that we shot for Here's a sneak peek for now...

Did a some grocery shopping down at Granville Island. The aqua ferry is the handiest mode of transportation.....

That was my weekend. What did you get up to? Please share!

Back soon,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hello Weekend

Another busy week wraps up. Thanks for popping by!

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Back soon,

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Well, I completely missed Wednesday! How's your week going so far?

It was my husband's birthday yesterday so I hung with him and baked him chocolate pavlova. He's Australian, so he grew up having summertime birthdays, hence the summery pavlova ;)

Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries - makes 4 small, or one large

4 egg whites
3/4 cup berry/caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

To top:
fresh raspberries
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
shaved chocolate

Preheat oven to 275f/140c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add sugar mixture, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in cocoa, balsamic vinegar, and chopped chocolate.

Spoon mixture onto baking sheet and form into mini round(ish) pavlovas. With the back of a spoon, make a little well on top of each pavlova.

Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Turn oven off, open door a little, and allow to cool completely in oven. Should be crunchy on the outside and kind of like marshmallow inside. So good.

Top with a little whipped cream, raspberries and shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Observations

I hope you all had a nice weekend! It was rainy here, but we did take a little drive to this pretty spot, Deep Cove, just 20 minutes out of Vancouver. A tiny neighbourhood plunked right by the water and mountains...

Did a little shopping here...

You can check out Room 6 here. You can shop online too ;)

and I completely jumped off my healthier eating wagon for this.....

This little drive was a nice break from working on my taxes. Sob. What did you get up to this weekend?

Have a lovely day! Back soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ahh, it's Friday

I just may do a little of this as it will be raining sideways all weekend, apparently.

Thanks for all your kind words and support for The Union - it's so appreciated! I hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend, where ever you are.

Back soon.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy hump day! Hope your week (and year!) is off to a good start.

Speaking of good starts, I'm trying to be just a touch healthier for at least the first month of 2012 ;) Cutting out gluten and a little sugar, when I can, is a start, and it needn't be dry, dusty, and boring. I found a recipe awhile back while in a waiting room. I couldn't tell you where it's from as there were too many people around to rip out the entire page, so I wrote it down. Heh, heh. These are so flipping good - I hope you give them a try!

Mini Chai Tea Muffins - makes 48 mini muffins

1/4 cup cane sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup apple butter or applesauce, unsweetened
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
1/2 cup wheat free oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chai tea mixture - steep 4 chai tea teabags in 1/2 cup hot milk. Allow to cool.
1/2 cup diced apple

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Heat milk and steep 4 chai tea teabags, and set aside to cool.

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in apple butter and honey until well combined. Stir in the flour, almond meal, flax seed, cocoa, oats, baking powder and baking soda, while slowly pouring in the chai tea mix. Stir batter until smooth. Fold in the diced apples.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Restaurant

Hello 2012! I hope you all had a great weekend. What did you get up to for New Year's Eve? Due to my incessant coughing, we had a semi-quiet night with friends. Nice way to wrap up the year.

As you may know, I'm part of a family that insists on opening restaurants. Number 4 is due to open January 4th, so I thought I'd share some pics of all of them. They were all designed by Evoke (husband and brother).

Habit is kind of like a 70's rumpus room. Paintings are by Robert Edmonds (a.k.a. my permanent date)

Latitude is a mix of marble, wood and concrete. Food and cocktail style is Latin American.

The Cascade Room is located right beside Habit. It's a modern British style "pub". I love the Queen Victoria lamp shades. 

Introducing the newest member of the group, The Union. These pics were taken yesterday, while frantic set up was taking place. South East Asian street food in a reclaimed wood, concrete and tile setting. I was asked to get some shots of the neighbourhood, focusing on textures and colour, for the backlit bar cabinets (pictured above). I want to do this in our kitchen!

You'll find The Union, right next to the Jimi Hendrix shrine (go figure) on Union Street in Chinatown/Strathcona neighbourhood. Purple Haze. Love it.

If you pop by, be sure to check out these great shops all on the same block:
Hogan's Alley Cafe

Have a great day everyone! Back soon.