Saturday, April 5, 2014

bits of this winter, spent indoors.

Gage Park Greenhouse with Amanda and Erick in January.

Knitting myself a Strokkur sweater.

A collaborative quilt for a new tiny babe.

Friday, October 11, 2013

bavarian apple torte.

I was at my parents' house in Thornhill the other week for my dad's 60th birthday. I was given the job of making dessert, and I opted for one of my all time faves: a Bavarian apple torte. I'd never made it myself before, but my mum would often make it on request for my birthday. It's so delicious, and turns out it's also totally easy to make!

Erick and I went apple picking on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day and I pet some adorable ponies and a goat. It was great. With an abundance of apples now in the house I decided to make the torte again.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups of sliced apples (3-4 apples)

You can use a 9-10'' tart pan, or a 9-10'' spring form pan.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Make the crust. Mix together all the required ingredients in a stand mixer until you have an even crumbly mixture. Dump it in your tart pan, and press into place along the bottom and about 1'' up the side of the tin. Make sure the crust is relatively even in thickness.

Dust out your mixing bowl, then throw in the ingredients for the filling. Blend together until relatively smooth. Pour into the crust and spread it out so it's an even layer.

In another bowl, mix together the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Now one slice at a time, lay the apples in a pleasing manner on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Pop in the oven and bake at 450F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400F and bake an additional 25 minutes. Allow the torte to cool, then remove it from the pan and serve cold or at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

beaches, and food, and red woods, oh my.

It's been a little more than a month since we got back from our trip. We had a totally wonderful time. We rented a Prius in Seattle, and managed to only dole out $70 on gas during our trip to San Fran. That was nice.

I was a little lazy with photo taking, and mainly used my camera on our treks down the coast, not much in the cities. I also neglected to take pictures of what we ate, which was a big component of what we did. In case you're looking for some tasty places to eat on the west coast, here's a list of the DELICIOUS places where we dined.

Il Corvo - delicious handmade pasta, with a small menu of daily specials. It was clearly a popular place for locals.
Sitka and Spruce - amazing local seasonal food
The Walrus and the Carpenter - hello oyster bar and cocktails! Erick's favourite place I think
The Harbour Public House on Bainbridge Island - just had drinks here, but super cute and lovely spot

(we were only here for a day)
¿Por Que No? Taqueria - TACOS! delicious tacos.
Broder - I love this restaurant. Swedish food! Went for brunch and it was amazing. Last time we were in Portland we came here for dinner, and it was also the best. 

Places between Portland and San Francisco, as we drove down the coast:
Pizza Research Institute in Eugene, OR - tasty creative pizzas!
Sweet Life Patisserie in Eugene - delicious baked goods + coffee etc. Owned by the air bnb people we stayed with, who were super nice.
Scopa - an amazing little Italian restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, which is in Sonoma County

San Francisco
The Grove - around the corner from where we were staying, we had breakfast here every day in SF
The Heirloom Cafe - in the Mission District, this was one of the best dinners we had
Blue Bottle Coffee - BEST LATTES EVER
California Academy of Science - went for their Night Life event, and the food was AMAZING, all local, organic, and sustainable. Hey Canadian galleries/museums: take note of this. 
Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery - popped in for a quick lunch and were duly impressed! Delish.
Mission Beach Cafe - grabbed brunch here on our last day in San Fran. Super busy, and yum.

This might seem like we went out of the way to eat at good restaurants, and that is indeed the case. I like planning where to eat in advance for the most part when I'm on vacation. I hate accidentally eating at a subpar restaurant when I know great ones are out there, and I really dislike hunting for a good place to eat when I'm hungry. Plus I find that good restaurants tend to be in interesting neighbourhoods, so it sort of guides what sections of a city we'll explore. Which is nice. 

Driving down highway one was amazing. Non-stop gorgeous views, gorgeous beaches. We went through the Red Woods, where we saw trees that were 12 feet wide, 300 feet tall, and over 2000 years old. COOOOL. Loved Seattle and San Fran. I've been asked which I liked better, and I can't even say. I really do adore the West coast. If I lived in the states, I'd probably move to either Portland, or somewhere in California. Did you know that in San Fran it rarely goes below 8°C or above 23°C? That's my kind of weather. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

pacific coast road trip plans

photo from The Walrus and The Carpenter
Erick and are going on vacation for 12 days as of Tuesday! What?! Yes. This was a sort of last minute planned vacay. We knew we were going to go somewhere in the world, but didn't decide where exactly until a few weeks ago. We considered Italy for a couple of weeks, then changed out mind. Engage Operation Pacific Coast Road Trip! We're flying to Seattle and then gradually road tripping down to San Francisco. This is our rough itinerary:

We're staying in air bnbs the whole way down, which is excellent. So yes, we have flights booked, accommodations booked (for the most part), but other than that we have not much else planned. I've mostly been figuring out where we should eat, because really, that's what's important. Foodie road trip? Sort of. Everything else will fall into place I hope. Today's my last mostly free day before we leave, so I'll be doing laundry, packing, and figuring out what we should be doing/seeing on our trip.

I'M EXCITED! I'm going to pick up a new book to read today. And bring either some socks to knit or some hand paper piecing. Flying and driving and adventures, oh my.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hi! In theory it's officially spring, but in practice it is not. Below zero today, with a super cold wind and flurries. After an hour of braving the elements for the sake of Peg, I spent a large chunk of my day off watching episodes of The Hour and knitting another pair of socks. I'm really enjoying this show so far! I'm super into anything that's British, drama filled, with some crime/mystery. This one's set in the 50s, and that is most excellent. It's on Netflix, you should watch it.

Here are some more photos of my pysanka eggs that I made last week. Well, the ones that survived that is.

This one's actually Erick's. He went for a more abstract approach. He doesn't like it, but I do!

The back of Erick's egg.

On Wednesday I made another egg during Craft Night at NW. Unfortunately I dropped it on the table. Fortunately only the back cracked.

The hole in the back allows me to hang it on the wall! So all was not lost.

After my marathon of The Hour, I finally started some of my vegetable seeds. Just kale and some lettuce. Others I plan to direct seed once it's warm enough, and some plants I'll buy as starts later in the season (tomatoes from Tree and Twig for sure!). 

My mum got me this big 10-year gardener's journal for Christmas this year. It helps keep track of what plants you bought, when you planted them, how they faired, etc. Fun!

 Hopefully the weather will warm up soon!
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