Monday, May 31, 2010

eating ourselves to death

I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.
~Jamie Oliver~

Last week I read about this and this. Mercifully there are no plans to bring either of those products to Canada but still... what is going on?!  I thought on reading these that the defenders of the fast food industry are starting to sound a lot like the defenders of big tobacco. The analogy is apt.  More people die from diet-related illness than from disease brought on by smoking. 

For the past number of years Chef Jamie Oliver has used his celebrity to fuel his crusade to change how our kids our eating in home and in schools. 

His speech at TED was powerful and terrifying but we can change it and we start by teaching our kids about food, taking time to cook together and demanding better in our homes, schools and Main Streets.   Take 20 minutes to watch this. 

A big thanks goes to Buy Local NB who brought this to my attention and who are doing their part to educate New Brunswickers about eating better.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

a saturday garden party

great view
great host

good friends

evening sun over the Nashwaak

winding down

favourite summer salad

I found this recipe for a shrimp and corn salad in a magazine a few years ago and it's quickly become a go-to for summer parties.  It's the best of summer food: bright colours, bright flavours, a blend of sweet and savoury, fresh ingredients and, most importantly, easy prep.

The salad In a large bowl combine:
  • 10 oz corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered if large
  • ½ cup shelled roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 6 scallions (white and light green parts) sliced
The dressing (and a chance for me to show of my new favourite kitchen gadget - a $10 die-cast juicer!)

hint: when measuring honey, spray the measuring spoon or cup with a light coating of cooking spray.  All the honey slips right out!

Whisk together:
  • ¼ fresh orange juice (try a Mandora, a mandarine-orange hybrid from Cyprus for a slightly sweeter taste)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Add 1 lb large cooked shrimp. I like the meatiness of tail-on shrimp but for events where there will be balancing of plates on knees, they can be unwieldy.


I'd love to hear your favourite summer recipe in the comments!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


You can keep Abu Dhabi and couture.  We've got wild Friday nights here in our little town: a beautiful walk along the river and then a rousing round of miniature golf.  I felt like a girl of 15 again! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

i adore anyone who adores anyone who adores emerson.

I'm watching my mailbox for my first gold box from emersonmade.

Ever since I saw her New Hampshire home profiled on design*sponge, I have just been bananas for Emerson & her delightful blog.   Like some sort of storybook heroine for grown-up girls, Emerson, her handsome Prince Charming, assorted friends and a menagerie of chickens, ducks and one stuffed mouse get up to all sorts of adventures (tea-party in the snow, anyone?).  All the while they show off a flawless sense of style, a wacky sense of humour and highlight her gorgeous handmade goods (aren't those flower necklaces a dream?)

Behold the world of emersonmade:
(more pretty after the jump)

all photos: emersonmade

Friday, May 21, 2010


photo credit: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper's Bazaar

As so often happens in Hollywood, as in life, there's nothing like a little outspokeness to move a girl from  Darling to Diva in the public eye; a lesson Katherine Heigl learned all too well over the past few years.  A few overly candid interviews, a couple of questionable movie choices and America's newsest sweetheart found herself America's newest punching bag.  Not a fan of negative stories, I kind of tuned it all out. To be honest, until I read the cover story in June's Harper Bazaar I had forgotten how much I liked her.  The interview coincides with her latest film, of course, but it mostly focuses on her adoption last year of her daugter Naleigh, her decision to leave Grey's Anatomy for good and the kind of shifting priorities that many women in their 30s (even those of us without an Emmy or 6 dogs) can relate to.

And to top it off, she models some really pretty vintage-inspired clothes.  

photos: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper's Bazaar

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

old school stationers

Amy Azzarito over at design*sponge is trend-spotting at the National Stationery Show (seriously, how lucky is she?).  Not surprisingly home-steading and food are a huge trend this year.  Amy has a whole range of amazing products featured in her post but as a fan of vintage illustration, letter-press and old-school homesteading, I have to say Old School Stationers are my fave. 

Brian Reed runs this small letterpress studio in Portland, Oregon where he lives with his wife Amy, their daughter Matilda and cat Twig.  (oh, the cuteness!)   Each design is hand-drawn by Brian and printed on a 1917 model press. 

Love the "in the kitchen" series but the studio has a number of cute lines to choose from!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

breaking cake.

I associate angel food cake with family celebrations after my grandmother had a heart attack in '94. Because it's surprisingly low in fat, it became the family dessert of choice.

In an effort to eat lighter, I've been re-acquainting myself with angel food cake of late. It's light and simple and the perfect match with fresh berries and a drizzle of acacia honey.  Simple foods are best for summer.

So it was serendipitous today when Merril over at posted about this nifty gadget

This cake-breaker allows you to cut pieces of angel food (or any) cake without compromising it's trademark airiness,  So now I'm going to be trolling eBay for my own vintage cake-breaker.

Merrill also included a recipe for angel food cake and I am trying desperately to ignore the chocolate bar-heavy whipped topping she included as well! 

Hmmm... it's lunch time and the angel food cake and berries in my kitchen are calling now!

(And if you're wondering, Mam recovered nicely from her heart attack, beat cancer 10 years later and has probably accomplished more this morning than I will accomplish all week!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the art of doing stuff

If you're a Canadian (like me) of a certain age (say, your late early 30s) you might remember Karen Bertelsen as a sunny screwball TV host, first of much more music's The Loop and then approximately 47 HGTV Superstar Challenges (Design Superstar Challenge... Handyman Superstar Challenge...Pipefitter Superstar Chall-- you get the point).  Anyway, it turns out she's started a blog called the art of doing stuff which is both very, very funny and very, very useful.  

How can you not love someone with the post category "I Heart Dollarama?"  Check out what she did with some cheapo ceramic birds...

And anyone whose motto is if I don't know, I'll figure it out is a girl after my own heart!


A tip of the hat to the folks at design*sponge who brought the art of doing stuff to my attention by posting Karen's do-it-yourself pet dish made from random bowls, crazy glue and magnets.  Mr. Henry, is so getting one of these.


Monday, May 10, 2010

countdown is on!

In forty days I will be arriving in Australia.  I suppose for a girl who's never left North America, this is as good a place as any to start! 

My main reason in going is to visit my dear friend Lori who is living in Geelong with her Aussie husband Leon and I am so excited for all the adventures I know we will have!  And even more excited that we will have them together!!


Monday, May 3, 2010

après le déluge

So I've been a little bit absent from the blog of late.  I've been working on a big project at work that has been front and centre for the past couple of weeks.  We've been filming employee profiles of some of the men and women who work behind the scenes in the public service.  We've met the guy who welcomes new businesses to the province and the guy who welcomes you to the local Service NB office.  We've learned about people who protect our forests, our water and, most importantly, our kids.  Having spent the better part of the decade working with politicians who live on the front pages of the papers, it's been great to meet some unsung heroes.  I've loved hearing their stories.

We're wrapping up the shoots this week so now the fun starts as the rough cuts come in.  Can't wait to see them!

And can't wait to have a little more time to devote to you, dear friends.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

sunday in the park

Most days I feel pretty fortunate to live in my little town.  But then there are some days when I really can't believe how lucky I am! Yesterday was one of them.  Walking across my neighbourhood park in the sunshine and along the trail to my friend's place where she was whipping up eggs Benedict?  does it get any better?  I doubt it.

a last minute bouquet of violets and forget-me-nots for the hostess from my backyard