Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Speaking of Bees

This bee post brings us slightly below the hairline… to the ears.  I read a little while ago that a study out of India correlated the decline in bees with the increase of cell phone usage.  It’s not to difficult to believe that the radio waves coming from mobile phones are disrupting bees’ navigational abilities. 

If more studies support this theory, I will have to think twice before making a call on my mobile.  I can’t imagine a world without bees (well, I don’t think there would be much of a living world!)

On a positive note, there is a chance that we can change the frequency of the radio waves so that they don’t impede the worker bees’ ability to find the hive. 

Bee_wolfpix 

Via Flickr - Wolfpix

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Style forward, comb back

So on several of my periodic scans of the online NY Times Global edition, the right column kept on bombarding me with the new hairstyle…. the Beehive!  I couldn’t be happier, I have longed for the days when I could create ridiculous volume and still have it back and away from my face!  Besides I really loved the 50s and 60s.  Now if only I could learn how to make one that doesn’t look like Amy Winehouse!

jennifer_lopez_hair_newhairstyles2010_com

Jennifer Lopez rocks it.

Katherine Heigl_

So does Katherine Heigl

nytimes_via_violetboutique

And of course so does the NY Times Model

I seriously think I am going to go home and try this tonight… I’ll let you know how it goes, it will either be Mad Men here I come, or conditioner here I purchase…

Monday, September 20, 2010

Burlap Ready!

Did I mention that I am going to be a bridesmaid?  Well I am!  Now that I am back in the city, I’m really excited for the prep and planning, although it is less than a month away!  Today the bride to be and I went to go pick up the burlap we are going to use for the table centers, 42 yards!  I love the use of burlap in fall weddings, the material is so rustic and natural, and brings in a wonderful texture.  Together they will make the wedding venue a much more comfortable and homey feel!

 burlap-table-runner-diy_Photo by Carrie Patterson

Via Style me Pretty

 ruffleblog_com_Karen Moderchai

Via Ruffle Blog

Sabine Scherer

merrimentevents_com

I have never been to a burlap ‘factory’ before and it smelt very farm like.  I wish I took pictures but it was great!  Burlap fluff everywhere and piles and piles of  wonderful burlap!  You also know that burlap is popular when Apple was considering using it :)

appleduds_com

PS – if you are looking for Burlap in the Vancouver area Burnaby Bag and Burlap was very helpful and friendly!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oldie but Goodie

It seems like I like my original blog template is the best.  Despite spending most of the morning trying to find another one, I have decided to return to my initial set up.  It is slightly different then before but the feeling is still the same.  Hopefully with my template back to normal and my newly downloaded windows live writer, I will actually blog more frequently.  I realized over dinner with my girlfriends on Sunday night, that I didn’t stop blogging because I didn’t have anything to write about, however I didn’t have the time or patience to spend hours editing the posts, and well that is just not a good enough reason to stop blogging!

So I have decided to give blogging one last try.  It’s not going to be a daily blog, but I will try and post weekly.  Post topics will be whatever my heart desires, and unfortunately not only discuss design, there will be more personal content and probably a lot more random thoughts!  I’m excited to have this new found freedom.  I hope that inspiration will flow more freely then it has in the past 6 months!!

So, welcome to the new Free Form. I hope you enjoy.

Sunrise in the Canadian North

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recipes to remember

So I might have spent most of the day watching cooking shows... And there were a lot of great recipes that I don't want to forget!! So here they are:

English Onion Soup - Jamie Oliver

· A good knob of butter
· Olive oil
· A good handful of fresh sage leaves, 8 leaves reserved for serving
· 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
· 5 red onions, peeled and sliced
· 3 large white onions, peeled and sliced
· 3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
· 300g of leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
· Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 2 litres of good-quality hot beef, chicken or vegetable stock
· 8 slices of good-quality stale bread, 2cm thick
· 200g freshly grated cheddar cheese
· Worcestershire sauce
Put the butter, 2 glugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without colouring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes - your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness and an awesome flavour, so don't be tempted to speed this bit up.

When your onions and leeks are lovely and silky, add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can skim any fat off the surface if you like, but I prefer to leave it because it adds good flavour.

Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Toast your bread on both sides. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it's perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking tray. Tear toasted bread over each bowl to fit it like a lid. Feel free to push and dunk the bread into the soup a bit. Sprinkle with some grated Cheddar and drizzle over a little Worcestershire sauce.

Dress your reserved sage leaves with some olive oil and place one on top of each slice of bread. Put the baking tray into the preheated oven or under the grill to melt the cheese until bubbling and golden. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't burn! When the cheese is bubbling, very carefully lift out the tray and carry it to the table. Enjoy.
Balsamic Roasted Potatoes and Onions - Jamie Oliver

1.5kg medium-size waxy potatoes (such as Charlotte), peeled and quartered lengthways
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
200g butter, cubed
a bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, quartered or smashed
5 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
350ml cheap balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for about eight minutes, then drain and return to the pan. Chuff them up a bit by shaking the pan.
Get a roasting tray, into which you can fit the potatoes in one layer, and heat it on the hob. When hot, pour a glug of olive oil into it and add the butter, rosemary and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss them in all the flavours. Add the onions and all the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes on the hob to reduce the balsamic vinegar a little. Place the tray on the top shelf and cook for about 50 minutes, until the potatoes and onions are dark, sticky and crispy - removing the tray to toss the onions and potatoes halfway through. After an hour, the meat should be cooked. Prick it with a sharp knife - if the juices run clear, it's done; if not, pop it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, keeping the potatoes warm.

Salmon Cakes - Giada De Laurentiis
Salmon:
1 pound skinless salmon fillet (see Cook's Note)
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Patties:
large egg, beaten
1/3 cup (1/2-ounce) chopped fresh chives
26 saltine crackers, crushed, divided
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more, as needed
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Sauce:
1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the flesh is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Patties: Using a fork, flake the salmon into 1/2-inch pieces and put into a medium bowl. Add the egg, chives, 1/2 of the crushed crackers, the corn, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix gently until just combined. Form the mixture into 2 1/2-inch diameter patties, about 3/4 inches thick. (If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add extra mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time,) Carefully coat the patties in the remaining crushed crackers and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden and crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels.
Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Arrange the salmon cakes on a platter and serve alongside the sauce.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne - Giada De Laurentiis

· Vegetable oil cooking spray
· 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
· 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
· Olive oil, for drizzling
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 pound penne pasta
· 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
· 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
· 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
· 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions
Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.