cherry clafoutis

Sunday, July 31, 2011

it's cherry season & I love eggy, crepey, custardy desserts so it's a cherry clafoutis for me

I used Marie's recipe, from the 66 square feet the food edition and because I'm following a low/no carb food plan (yes it's true*) I substituted Splenda for the sugar and almond meal/flour for the flour in the recipe. Topped with real whipped cream (allowed sparingly) sweetened again with Splenda + a dash of pure vanilla extract.

*I'm someone who has had issues with food addiction my whole life. Emotional eating, binging at times always on the nutrition free kind of carbs. Oohy, gooey sweet stuff & salty snacks like potato chips and cheetos cheesies :-( have been my drug of choice for as long as I can remember. I don't drink anymore, I don't smoke anymore, no recreational drugs anymore. It feels like it's time to address the food stuff, finally once & for all. So, I'm finding this new plan just short of a miracle, the low carb/no carb eating plan (a lower fat version of Atkins - see the Dukan Diet) is shockingly easy to follow, I'm never hungry, have lost 8lbs easily and if you enjoy cooking like I do it's fun to try adapting recipes like this one or this favourite lemon dessert. Funny thing - if you stop eating carbs - you stop craving them - shut ! up!! who knew? It's true. These days here's how I get my vicarious carb kicks ... thinking about & imagining how some of these babies might taste & also remembering the sluggish, doped up feeling they often gave me.

I'm so lovin' the twangy, slide guitar country sound of this Kings of Leon song

quiet + grey

Saturday, July 30, 2011

quiet and grey along the harbour this early morning

A quiet mind cureth all

Robert Burton

Amen brother Robert ! My oh my, it has been what I would categorically call a humdinger of a week - intense emotion & drama stuck to me like a shadow in the noon day sun. Happy, excited, interested emotions along with plenty of the exact opposite - fear, loathing, more fear & general daily upset. Headaches & pains in my stomach the physical effects of a brain churning so fast with too much thinking, analyzing, brooding & occasional self punishing - ya know just in case.

Today is quiet & grey, a little chilly for mid summer and I'm happily ensconced in my studio space sitting here at the TTD*, Miss D snoring in her bed at my feet, Oliver watching birds from his wide windowsill, pillow topped office and I'm working on a collection of baby/children's giftware for a company that hopefully will love it, produce it, market it & sell it ... summer 2012.

Happy weekend to all ...

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in the atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare to live

Bertrand Russell

*TTD - teak topped desk

fish truck friday 3

Friday, July 29, 2011

a 2-3lb arctic char cooked on the charcoal barbeque

I simply added a sliced lemon and salt & pepper to the cavity. Plopped it on our pizza pan avec small holes (or use a proper fish basket). It probably took nearly 30 mins turning often. We ate big slabs of this smoky perfectly cooked (by the Prince) fish with one of our heaps of veggies salad. Missy D, Bleet & Sam all connoisseurs of les fine seafood enjoyed bits & pieces as well. Yum!

This week's catch just in - fresh tuna for sushi, smoked haddock for noshing and another beautiful arctic char for the barbeque.

a little obsessed with

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A little obsessed with ... an amazing cat - Oliver, petite bouquets & this tiny corner of our home

and oh my xoxoxo k.d singin' Neil Young

mistakes ... I've made a few

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 photos from the hundreds taken over the last few days including a few favourite mistakes

mistakes ... uh huh, I've made a few
or subtitled no more brooding please

Hey lessons in life ! I feel your like your picking on me ...
not really, I do ultimately thank you, merci !

Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures
as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret & depression.
Do not repeat them in the future.

Swami Sivananda

Thinking you know when in fact you don't is a fatal mistake,
to which we all are prone.

Bertrand Russel

When you know better
You do better

Maya Angelou

I'm off now to get myself a little doodied up 'cause today's my first official day of new postal clerk in training. Ah Yes ! Oui ! she got the job ... Bonjour philatelics !!!

ande cook

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

three paintings from the Ande Cooke studio - Raindeer, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, BlackBird

Ande Cook - aka (our friend) Chickory is doing a fantastic series all week long on her blog about painting & the creative process. I am thrilled beyond words to watch daily as she works through a start to finish 40" x 40" inch painting she's submitting to a national juried show. She'll take us through her process (& materials) from her original concept (the whys, hows, whos & whats), through the drawing, her colour palette choices, the process of painting, the layering and what I'm most looking forward to is how on earth she achieves such an amazingly rich, textured, multi-layered painting brimming with so much hidden (almost) imagery + iconography, to finally how she knows it's the end ... & her painting is finally finished. Her upcoming ASAP deadline may help with that ;-) Wow !! thank you Ande ... what a thrill this week's gonna be.

just heard on Q - Canada's indie rock sensation - the new pornographers - catchy, catchy, catchy

sharks & bugs

Monday, July 25, 2011

magnificent coral pink poppies from a butterfly seed mix, edging our wee vegetable garden

and poppies too

Two fantastic new library books currently bedside Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart - you have no idea how many times in my life I have said I could have, I should have, been an entomologist* - sigh there's barely a bug I don't enjoy. When the book Jaws came out in 1974 I was a young teen and although the book terrified me completely I became instantly obsessed with sharks & seriously contemplated becoming a shark scientist. Sadly math & sciences were never my strong suit so I had to settle with amateur enthusiast and remain keenly both to this day. Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Juliet Eilperin is both heartbreaking, fascinating - a humdinger of a book for any shark lover.

Now I just need some scuba lessons ;-)

* bonjour !! amateur entomologist club

short chapters

Sunday, July 24, 2011

sweet peas with poppy painting

I've always loved a book with short chapters, maybe 10-12 pages, because I almost only ever read at bedtime, I'm a goal setter & reading puts me to sleep. So to read a short chapter in a great book is a sweet, little manageable accomplishment to end my day with. I've repeated yesterday's Pema Chodron again today (from a recent post from our Australian friend Pam's blog Textilosophy) because it resonated so with me ... all day yesterday I kept thinking about it ... finally arrived at a bit of an ah ha moment - realizing my life is simply a series of short chapters.

When you open yourself to the continually changing,
impermanent, dying nature of your own being and of reality,

you increase your capacity to love and care about other people

and your capacity not to be afraid.

Pema Chodron

I emailed the quote & these two paragraphs (below) to a friend yesterday.

It sort of sums up what I think I was trying to say the other day at our coffee date - that lately I feel like I don't know anything for absolute sure, especially things about myself - which is both very freaky and strangely calming at the same time. My life feels like it's big crisis one minute, a big life is over drama and then moments later out of the same blue some intense joy & happiness follows quickly on drama's heels ???

It's like I'm watching a movie or reading a book, and I don't have any idea what's going to happen next. A big thick novel with a zillion plot twists & turns ... and it's my life. If I can calm the freakin' out (anxious) part of me it's actually quite an interesting, exciting way to view your life and I thought Pema kind of said a version of what I've been feeling lately.

Like any good book you don't know what's going to happen next. Unfortunately anxious people are desperately trying to anticipate the next thing, braced & fearful much of the time. The moment we are currently in does pass, something new, sometimes great, sometimes challenging and sometimes very difficult awaits in that next chapter. But ... the chapter's are short, the story really is terrific and honestly I can't wait to see what happens next.

& dear Amy ... so incredibly talented, such a sad struggle. rest in peace. I couldn't pick just one.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

foggy calm and queen anne's lace this early morning walk along the harbour with Miss D

When you open yourself to the continually changing,
impermanent, dying nature of your own being and of reality,
you increase your capacity to love and care about other people
and your capacity not to be afraid.

Pema Chodron

Our little village is in the midst of another festival of sorts - the smell of deep fryers, the sounds of trucks endlessly backing up ? volleyball action at the water's edge, helicopter rides every 15 mins over our house (sigh) & music in the evenings on the stage in the park a stone's throw away from our open windows. Last night while hanging out at the TTD* with my most excellent assistant I heard a pretty good cover of this fav Blue Rodeo song. I bet Moose is singin' along.

*TTD - les beautiful, huge, gifted by friend Harry, beloved teak topped desk

fish truck friday 2

Friday, July 22, 2011

trout pan fried - dusted with flour salt & pepper topped with thin slices of lemon

served with oven fried new potato wedges (simply tossed with a tiny bit of olive oil) roasted
turning occasionally in a hot (425) oven. Dusted with sea salt. Our favourite heap of veggies salad, a base of wasabi arugula & baby spinach, peas, corn, thinly shaved raw asparagus, sweet onion, zucchini, tomatoes ... tossed with splash of olive oil another of apple cider vinegar, a good big pinch of brown sugar & a tsp sized blop of grainy dijon mustard. Yum, yum, yum.

My sunny photo studio aka the sun porch has recently been transformed into his most excellent sunny workshop. Today's fresh catch - whole arctic char which we will barbeque - stay tuned !!!