February 2012

plant-o-rama

February 27, 2012

purple spring tulips

One of the perks of moving to a new place is that people immediately want to come visit. But, oh no, don’t bother tidying up; after all, “you just moved in!” This is basically the one time you can get away with a general state of unkemptness and no one will pass judgment. It’s like a get-out-of-decorating free card.

Even perkier is that these kind folks generally visit with a bit of greenery in hand, which makes your new, dishevelled place feel remarkably more homey. Pops of pretty amongst the chaos always make a place more liveable.

Lucky for us, last week we had visitors a few days in a row, which means it’s basically plant-o-rama around here.

My lovely friend Michelle showed up on my doorstep with her wee one and a bunch of spring that seemed to take forever to open. When they finally did this weekend, the inside was an amazing shade of indigo blue. Pretty pretty.

purple spring tulips inside

Later in the week, my mom-in-law showed up with this ballet pink mini potted rose. I am in LOVE with that chartreuse edge around the bloom. Apparently these will grow outside too; here’s hoping I can keep it alive until it’s warm enough to be planted. For now they’re warming up just fine to our entryway.

pink mini double roses

When our friends Josh and Melissa showed up with this bit of hanging housewarming goodness I was so excited. Little did they know I’d written about similar teeny terraiums a few weeks ago, and have been thinking about these since checking out CB2 last month. This air plant has no roots, doesn’t require soil and only needs a spritz of water every few weeks.

air plant hanging terrarium

It’s super low maintenance, which means we can concentrate on dealing with things like that stack of high maintenance, still-unpacked stuff in the sun porch. Ahem.

Grow |

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breakfast for dinner: pancakes

February 21, 2012

Around here, we are big time breakfast-for-dinner people. Like, once-a-week breakfast-for-dinner people. For us, breakfast is our har-dee-har answer to “what’s for dinner?”, a cure all for rainy days, rotten days and “I need a reward” days.

The usual suspect? Pancakes.

Growing up, pancakes were an every Sunday morning occurrence. We made them from scratch (there’s no excuse for the boxed variety when the ingredients are pantry basics. No excuse.), using a recipe from my Mom’s seemingly ancient Five Roses cookbook (which, by the way, has been around since 1915, and is still in print. It’s worth buying and not just for the pancake recipe – even big time cooks think so. It also has the best macaroni and cheese Macaroni Au Gratin recipe, and a cool “Canadiana” section with fascinating vintage menu plans for Victoria Day Afternoon Tea and a Québec Apres-Ski Party, among others).

We used the recipe so often that the page eventually, inevitably came loose from its coil binding. Even though the ingredients and measurements were long ago memorized, a few years ago Mom bought each of my sisters and I our own newer edition of the cookbook (the 26th, in case you were wondering). But we couldn’t bear to part with the original recipe page.

five roses cookbook 26th edition pancake recipe

The 26th Edition. Equally splattered, tattered and gross.

For years the page lived tucked inside the book between “Waffles” and “Doughnuts”, until I finally rescued and framed it. In anticipation of the one night of the year when breakfast for dinner is non-negotiable, Pancake Tuesday, I hung the frame in our new-to-us kitchen last week, and with it the memories of all those Sunday mornings – dancing around the kitchen to the oldies, making stacks of thick pancakes that lived up their name (they are cakes, after all) – and all the Sunday mornings since.

This recipe is highly adaptable: if you like a skinny flapjack (as husband does), add more milk. Add mushy black bananas and nix the sugar – you’ll never bake banana bread again. Try blueberries and lemon rind for a springy version. And despite what the directions say, leftovers are served just as well the next morning, or for a bedtime snack.

Pancakes
From The Five Roses Cookbook (26th edition)

  • 1-1/3 cups Five Roses All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine beaten egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour liquid all at once. Stir quickly until it comes freely from side of bowl. Drop in small amount (3 tbsp.) on hot pancake griddle or cook 4 at a time in electric frying pan. Grease frying pan at the beginning only. Cook pancakes until they are filled with bubbles and the undersurface is golden brown. Turn and brown other side. Serve immediately with syrup, honey, jam or jelly.

Yield: 10 4″ pancakes.

PS, if you’re feeling particularly lazy come Sunday morning (or this evening), try this. It seems to work for me.

pancakes recipe darling poster
Via Pinterest

Cook + Eat |

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weekend pursuits { 02.17.12 }

February 17, 2012

weekend activities shoes oh happy day confetti

A few years ago, Canadians in select provinces received a lovely gift from their governments: Family Day. An annual holiday on the third Monday in February, which basically equates to a day off to stay cozy and enjoy family time. It’s almost like an extra Sunday in the middle of the month. For me, the family day long weekend almost always coordinates with my birthday, which means a day off to stay cozy, enjoy family time and eat a lot of cake.

On the day, I’m planning to spend some time getting reacquainted with my new old city – a birthday farmer’s market trip, a skate on a new rink, a warm-up-from-skating cupcake – followed by dinner with friends. And, as birthdays tend to make you do, I’ll squeeze in some time thinking about the year gone by and the year ahead. It’s going to be a big one.

If you feel like celebrating with me, here are a few birthday-like pursuits to keep in mind.

Weekend Wear | Let’s face it, heels are a pretty birthday thought, but the majority of my weekend will be spent shuffling around home in my slippers, curled up on the couch watching movies. I am digging these navy pompom shoe clips though (they’d look equally lovely on a pair of spring flats). Anyone else smell a DIY?

Weekend Make | Birthdays call for confetti, no matter what your age is. This colourful painted tablecloth project from Oh Happy Day would brighten up miserable un-birthdays too.

Weekend Sip | Also of the confetti variety: a chocolate + sprinkles mini milkshake rimmer (via Hey Gorgeous). Oh-to-the-yeah.

Here’s what I was blabbing about over at At Home with Kim Vallée this week:

Happy (birthday) weekend!

End Result

Photo: Kim Bost

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