photography friday

Friday, October 4, 2013 0 0

Well, I think I am going to make “photography Friday” a thing. A “feature” if I’m to use blog-speak. And you know what I should do to make myself sound even more cool and bloggy is call it “fotography friday.” Or “photography phriday”?

Just a simple photo for today – I took this snap a few years ago. I love love.

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Matt & Tashia

Still working on getting my photography website up and running. Will be sure to link you once it’s live. Happy Friday!

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The Bigger Picture

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 0 0

I am such a fool. Let’s think back to yesterday when I was posting about how grumpy I was and how much I hated the weather and how I just felt yucky and like nothing was going my way – well. I was so caught up in my head, that I didn’t realise what day it was – October 1. Let me explain –

I walked in the door after work {still grumpy} and was greeted with the most delicious smells coming from the oven. Music was playing softly, the lights were dim, and I noticed a bouquet of sunflowers on the kitchen table. I took off my rain boots, hung up my coat, walked to the kitchen table and saw more – a bottle of open red wine {our favourite} on the table, poured into two wine glasses, the table was set, and a card was propped up against the flowers. J emerged and gave me a hug, to which I started crying {of course}.

We sipped some wine and he gestured to the card, wanting me to open it. The card was lovely and about how today, October 1, marked 1 year of living together. Of course I cried some more – I was so touched and felt like such a fool for being a grump and not seeing the bigger picture – not remembering what a special day it was.

And so, I learned an important lesson – it’s just not worth it to be grumpy over the little things. It causes our eyes to close to the bigger things and to forget all the lovely things in life. I am so thankful and so lucky to have J in my life.

 

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Strawberry Peach Hand Pies

Monday, September 30, 2013 1 0

I had a surplus of quickly-going-bad strawberries hanging around in my fridge, as well as one past-its-prime peach. I’d been trying to think of what I could bake them up into and knew I didn’t want to go the easy route and bake a crisp, because I am crisp-ed out! I have probably made about 10 crisps over this summer, and while they are delicious and easy, I just need to lay off the crisps for a while.

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And so, a quick google around the ol’ winternet brought me upon this recipe for Hand Pies. It was a rainy Saturday, I didn’t have to go anywhere, so all the better for fiddly pastry recipe. {And I say fiddly in the best sense of the word – only meaning that this recipe is a wee bit more time-consuming than the tried-and-true-crisp.}

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Strawberry Peach Hand Pies

{ adapted from this recipe }

{ disclaimer: I know it sounds like there are a lot of steps to this recipe BUT if you have an hour or two to kill on a rainy day, it is perfect. And pie that can be eaten with your hands? Takes snacking to a whole new level. }

Pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold sour cream

Filling

2 cups fruit (I used strawberries and peaches)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Gelatin
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Glaze topping

1 large egg, beaten
coarse white sugar, for garnish

Directions

1) To make the dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter, working it in to make a coarse/crumbly mixture. Leave most of the butter in large, pea-sized pieces. {Or just throw everything into your food processor, like I did, and voila!}

2) Stir in the sour cream; the dough won’t be cohesive. Turn it out onto a floured work surface, and bring it together with a few quick kneads.

3) Pat the dough into a rough log, and roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Dust both sides of the dough with flour, and starting with a shorter end, fold it in three like a business letter.

4) Flip the dough over, give it a 90° turn on your work surface, and roll it again into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Fold it in three again.

5) Wrap the dough, and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

6) To make the filling: Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked berries to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

7) Preheat the oven to 425°F; place a rack on the middle shelf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8) To assemble the pies: Roll the dough into a 14″ x 14″ square. With a straight edge and pastry wheel, or a 3 1/2″ square cutter, cut out sixteen 3 1/2″ squares.

9) Divide the filling among eight of the squares, using about a heaping tablespoon for each. Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges of each filled square.

10) Cut a vent into the each of the remaining eight squares, using a decorative cutter of your choice.

11) Top each filled square with a vented square, and press along the edges with the tines of a fork or a pie crust crimper to seal.

12) Brush the top of each pie with the remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet.

13) Bake the pies for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 hand pies. {I got 10 and a few messy weirdly-shaped ones to use up the rest of the dough.}

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photography friday

Friday, September 27, 2013 1 0

It’s Friday, which means I’m only thinking about the weekend, and what a dreary rainy weekend it is going to be – but perfect for projects and getting things done {and lots of tea and red wine – not at the same time}.

And my project for the weekend is this: I’ve decided to bring my photography website back to life. Which means I’ve been updating content and sifting through my portfolio of portraits in the process. I recently watched the documentary on Annie Leibovitz, “Life Through a Lens“, which was amazing and inspiring. Having a creative outlet is important, and something I need to work more to foster.

So I leave you with this – in going through all of the portraits I’ve snapped, I came across these two of my favourites, who just so happen to be of some of my favourite people.

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Happy Friday, my friends.

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Autumn Picnic Inspiration

Thursday, September 19, 2013 2 0

{ image via thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk }

It’s decided. I must host an autumn picnic dinner party.

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{ image via style me pretty }

Be still my heart. An outdoor picnic in autumn encompasses so many of my loves – eating outside, cozy weather, string lights, red wine, yummy warm food, rustic tablesettings, and candlelight.

I was telling J last night about my grand plans of hoisting our dinner table up to our roof and how I was going to decorate the table and cook so much food, and he just stared at me, amused at all my exuberance, and said, “Sure, we can do that. But won’t it be cold?” To which I launched into more detail about all the blankets and cozy candlelight and wine, and he just laughed and told me to organize it and he would carve the chickens {because I want to bake whole chickens stuffed with lots of garden herbs}. One thing J is good at is indulging my imagination ;)

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Rustic Peach Galette

Friday, September 13, 2013 2 0

Last night I followed this recipe by Lark&Linen to bake a Rustic Peach Galette. Probably the most overwhelmingly exciting thing about the entire process was how fast my new food processor whipped up the dough! My pie crusts in the past have always been a flaky dry mess, so I was super excited to find out how fast and easy and perfect the dough for the crust came out in the food processor. That thing is going to get a lot of mileage, you guys.

The peach galette itself could have been more amazing if I’d used more ripe peaches – unfortunately I used slightly underripe peaches – but it was still a treat and a feast for the eyes in all its rustic beauty. All I needed were a few string lights to eat this thing under, and life would have been complete.

 

Rustic Peach Galette

{recipe via Lark&Linen}

For the crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter
¼ cup cold water, as needed

For the filling:
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large peaches, pealed, pitted, and sliced
Maple syrup, for brushing
Vanilla sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

For the crust:
1. In a food processor, add flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse until ingredients are combined.
2. Add butter and pulse until mixture has a crumbly consistency.
3. Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough just holds together. Make sure you don’t overprocess!
4. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
5. Once refrigerated, roll out dough to 1/8″ thick. Using a sharp knife and a 9″ round cake pan as a template, cut the dough into a circle.
6. Refrigerate for 10 more minutes.

For the filling:
7. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add vanilla and peaches and toss until coated.

To assemble:
8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
9. Lay the dough in the centre of your pan (I used a cast iron pan).
10. Starting in the centre, lay the peaches in a concentric circle, each one overlapping the last. Be sure to leave a 1 ½” border  of pie crust so that you can fold it over the peaches.
11. Brush with maple syrup and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
12. Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

YUM!

 

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