The Teal Pumpkin Project

10/29/14



ok, this is something that i recently just heard about, so you'll have to forgive me if you already have. it's the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative to support those tricker treaters who may have food allergies or food related sensitivities. it's very easy each year to get wrapped up in all the excitement around planning costumes and the idea of free candy, but i personally never stopped to think before about how this festive night affects those 

with food concerns. 


the idea with this project is that you place a teal painted pumpkin on your door step to let trick or treaters and parents know that this house is an allergy friendly house handing out non-food goodies. i mean seriously, how great is that! it can be anything like crayons, or stickers, or bubbles, etc. why not help make it easier for all kids, especially those with food issues, have a safe and happy halloween!

for more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project visit
 http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project

Kitchen Basics Series - What Does That Mean?

10/24/14



illustration via here.

sometimes we can get tripped up or intimidated to try new recipes by all the lingo we see before us. here are some common terms to familiarize yourself with to help make any recipe you come across that much easier to understand.
chopped vs. diced vs. minced
  • chopped: cutting your vegetables into large pieces. typically you will see this for larger vegetables  like squash or potatoes.
  • diced: similar to chopping, dicing means cutting into smaller sized pieces. You likely will see this term used with ingredients like onions or celery.
  • minced: this means cutting the item into the smallest pieces you can. in the case of garlic, a garlic press minces perfectly.

blanching: cooking a vegetable very slightly and then immediately stopping the cooking process by rinsing under cold water. blanching is great if you are planning a big dinner party and you want to precook a vegetable dish to get a jump on your preparation. you can then quickly finish cooking just before serving to ensure the dish is nice and warm.

bouquet garni: this is a tied bunch of fresh herbs that is added to stews, or pots of simmering food for a little while and then taken out before serving.

dash: who has ever really measured a dash? well it turns out someone has and it is equivalent to about 1/16th of a teaspoon. this is a very small amount that is a little more than a pinch.

dust: this term appears often in baking recipes and it refers to lightly spreading a small about of a spice or sugar over the baked dish. most often this is part of a finishing step before serving.

julienne: this means to cut your vegetable or item into very thin slices, kinda like a very skinny french fry.

puree: to mash up or mix together your food until it's completely smooth, ideally in a food processor is easiest.

thin: if you see this term is means adding more liquid to thin out what you are cooking.

sauté: cooking your food in a frying pan with a little oil.

steep: you might often see this term if you are making a tea, or a simple syrup. it means to soak something (like tea leaves) in a liquid almost until boiling for a set amount of time until the flavours come out.

zest: pulling off small sections of the skin of a citrus fruit, in many cases a lemon, lime or orange. This is most often done with a fine grater called a zester so the pieces remain small.


Mullein & Sparrow

10/21/14

Images via, here, here & here

as you know I love beauty products, specially anything natural and easy on the environment. recently I came across this beautiful brand of all natural products called Mullein & Sparrow. founder and designer, Anit was a creative mind working in the business of fashion, when she decided to make the switch into beauty products after learing about plant based healing rememdies during her travels. this shop believes that the best rememdies come from nature, and I strongly agree. this beautiful apothecary line, makes everything in small batches as needed, so slight differences can appear from order to order, but it confirms the freshness and authenticity. they I don't know what I love more, these luxurious products or the vintage style containers they are housed in. everything about this is old world and old beauty for the modern buyer.
these products have not only prettied up my face, but also my bath counter.

DIY - Industrial Accents

10/15/14

this post topic may not be a newbie, but it's a goodie for sure.
after being in our house for over a year, we decided it was high time best to start hanging up some permanent fixtures, like ... curtains. 


we both love the fancy restoration hardware look, but definitely can't afford the prices at this stage in our life. so, we figured we would diy something we felt was just as good. welcome, our industrial pipe curtain rod! simple, fast and affordable. beat that fancy stores!

if you want to try this yourself, here is what you'll need and the how too:

1. buy a piece galvanized pipe (be SURE to clean it or you'll get back oil on your hands and curtains - i learned that the hard way) in your desired length and two toggle bolts to help support the weight of the piping curtain rod
2.  you'll also need to buy the flat piece which affixes to the wall, called an iron floor flange, and the macaroni looking piece, formally called the galvanized elbow, to connect your pipe to the flange 
3. once you have washed and cleaned (and if desired, spray painted), you are now ready to start the assembly
4. start by putting your curtains on your galvanized pipe facing the correct way 
5. next holding screw all the pieces of your pipe curtain rod together
6. now hold up the assembled curtain rod (you may need an assistant) and mark your drill holes on the wall 
6. put everything down and insert your toggle bolts 
7. pick-up your piping with curtains already on, line it all up and drill, baby drill (just make sure your curtain is already arranged facing the correct direction ... we also learned that one the hard way)

creating your own curtain rod out of galvanized piping allows you the flexibility to customize your rod for any sizing you need, and allows you the ability to turn corners for a corner windows. if the industrial look isn't your thing, you can easily spray paint the whole thing before assembling it in any desired colour.

helpful hints: 

  • at your local hardware store, ask if they can cut and thread the end of the galvanized pipe in the exact length that you need. This will be safer and you'll ensure it's the extract length required. 
  • also, unless your using shower curtain hooks, once this puppy goes up, those curtains ain't easily coming down - at all. so if you like to do more than steam clean your curtains  it's something to think about before screwing it all in and having an "oh-crap" moment.


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

10/13/14

image via here

happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!
or as i call it,  "put on your fat pants, it's Turkey Day!!!"

there is just so dang much to be thankful for,
but most of all, i'm thankful for all of you who take some time to read this little blog.
it may not be the biggest, or the best out there in the big sea of blogs,
but it is my little hobby, my own little creative space to share with the
interwebs in the hopes that some of you find something to get excited about and 

it's grown a lot over this last year.
so thank you, thank you and yes, thank you.

The Markham Fair

10/9/14


a few days ago we spent the whole day at the Markham Fair! i haven't been to this particular local fair, or any fair for that matter, in years, so i made sure to enjoy a full day of animal meeting, fair food eating, live magic shows and concerts, games, rides, cooking lessons, craft shopping and fireworks watching. i love everything about going to the fair and I've decided it will now be a fall season ritual i make sure i practice every year. we happily all pigged out on Tom's donuts, lobster mac & cheese (from one of the best gourmet food trucks), and even a whole bbq turkey leg – because sometimes you just gotta, even if it looks totally barbaric. nothing beats the lights and kid like excitement you feel at a fair.
i even made a little video to share ...

itunes music  //  Circle - Fashion me a drum

just a few more pictures from our day at the fair.
Ain't he just beauttttiful.

nothing will beat fresh lemonade from a lemon shaped stand.
fall windy weather with sunshine and braids.


only the best  lobster mac & cheese for her, and bbq pulled pork for him!



i wasn't kidding about that caveman dinner time turkey leg. 

my favourite ride will always be the ferris wheel. 
you just can't beat the coloured lights and a good view.
the best ending to a perfect fall day.

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