New Years Fun!


fake-new-years-sparklers fake-new-years-mini-donutsfake-new-years-group-shot-1 I have been thinking about what to write on this post for a while now, how to talk about my excitement from the last year, how much has changed, how new and shiny everything has seemed, and I keep coming up short. It has been one of the most hectic and crazy and rewarding years I can think of. I have had quit my job, started a business, moved apartments and got a kitten. And as of a week ago, I am also engaged.



It has been one of the most exciting years I can remember, and to mark it’s occasion a month or so ago I invited some of my girlfriends over to wear sparkly dresses, eat pastries and dance around pretending it was New Years Eve. So here are the pictures, to flip through as you’re putting on your own sparkly dresses and hoping for a spectacular new year. I so hope you’re year has been as wonderful and challenging as mine!






Xo Claire


Chanterelle Mushrooms with Fried Eggs on Toast


Here’s a secret- I’m really not so into Fall. I know, I know, everybody loves fall. But I live in a city that rains 8 months of the year and when the weather gets colder I start to feel the panic of not seeing the sun for months on end and I get cranky.

The only upside to fall for me, is apples and mushrooms. Which as I write it this seems like a very strange pairing. But thems the facts; Apples and mushrooms.

mushroom-toast-5 LQ

And when talking about mushrooms, I mean the foraged versions that are in all the shops in my part of town right now. Mostly, pine mushrooms and chanterelles.

The combination of which I am currently putting on everything. I’m sautéing them and tossing them into pasta, putting them on pizzas, but mostly, I’m putting them o buttered toast and topping them with a fried egg.

It’s a glorious way to start a day, but also a glorious way to eat lunch or dinner. Mushrooms, eggs, and buttered toast. It’s a beautiful thing.

mushroom-toast-10 LQ

Fried Eggs with Chanterelle Mushrooms on Toast


4 pieces of Sourdough Bread

200g Chanterelles and Pine Mushrooms

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

¼ cup Butter

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 Eggs

2 tbsp Flat Leaf Parlsey, chopped

Clean the mushrooms- using a pairing knife scrape off the edges of stems of the mushrooms. Then scrape any dirt off the tops of the mushrooms- a knife works, and so does a pastry brush. Once they are clean break them apart with your hands into ½ inch pieces.

In a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, warm up the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Add in the mushrooms and saute until just starting to brown. Season liberally with salt.

Add the garlic, saute until just fragrant. Toss in the parsley, and then put the whole thing into a bowl.

Rinse out of the pan, put it back over medium heat and warm up another 1tbsp of the butter. Crack the eggs into the pan and let cook until the whites are fully cooked and the yolks are still runny.

Meanwhile toast and butter the bread.

Put the toast on the plates, divide the mushrooms on top of the toast, and put an egg on top of those.

Eat!mushroom-toast-8 LQ

Seven Minute Eggs with Roasted Corn Butter Lettuce Salad


It has been a glutinous couple of weeks. It’s been full of stagettes and weddings and far more champagne then any one person should consume. There have been an excess of sparkly dresses, gold shoes, and red lipsticks. There have been charcuterie plates, and cheese plates, and seemingly endless amounts of pizza and I am in need of vegetables in a major way. Which is why, after returning from a wedding this weekend I made this for breakfast the next day. It’s richly satisfying, full of flavour, but also full of the nutrients that only found their way into my diet in the form of Ceasars and Bloody Mary’s over the last few days.


Boiled Eggs with Roasted Corn, Avacado, and Butter Lettuce

For 4 People

2 Cobbs of Corn

1 Avacado, peeled, cored and sliced.

1 Small Head of Butter Lettuce, torn into pieces, and cleaned.

Half a Lime

¼ cup Olive Oil

3 tbsp Grapeseed Oil

1 tsp Sambal Olek

250g Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

A small handful of cilantro, thinly sliced.

4 Eggs


Grill corn- Preheat you’re grill, or grill pan. Husk the corn and grill it until it begins to char. Turn it over as chars until it’s cooked throughout.  Let it cook and cut the kernels off.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Dip the eggs in with a slotted spoon, twice. Then carefully lower them into the pot. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Remove the eggs after the 7 minutes and pour cold water on them until they are a bit chilled.

In a large bowl mix together the sambal, lime juice and a healthy pinch of salt.

Whisk in oil slowly until it’s all combined. Add in all the other ingredients except the eggs.

Peel the eggs and cut them in half.

Portion the salad between 4 plates and put the eggs artfully on the side.


Big Changes.


Do you ever have one of those months where you blink and suddenly it’s gone. Or you feel like you turn around and out of nowhere everything has changed? That’s been this whole summer for me.

I moved, after 7 years in my old apartment, to one that is a whole lot bigger, and lovelier. I quit my job, so now I am officially self-employed, which is so exciting and terrifying and amazing. My business is starting to get going, and I’m getting more clients and doing more markets.

It’s been a crazy time, and one that has ensured that I haven’t had time for this lovely little space here.

So I just thought I’d let you know that I’m going to becoming back with regular posts, and lots of new recipes.  I promise.

So what about you? Any big changes happening in your life this summer?


Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes


I have not been healthy lately. Like, not even a little bit. It’s been parties, and stagettes, and friends visiting from out of town, and dinners out with said friends, and far too much wine and too many gin and tonics with the same friends. It’s been a great summer so far, but it’s not so good for my health. So I had one of those days when I was thinking that I would be super healthy, and work out, and eat vegetables , and all those other things you’re supposed to do when you’ve been eating too much cake. But then instead I thought about blueberry pancakes and healthiness went out the window. Tomorrow guys. Tomorrow I’ll be better. Today, there are pancakes, and that is good enough my friends. And their gluten free, so it’s like healthfood right? Yep. Totally.


Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup Buckwheat Flour

1 ¼ cup Buttermilk

1tsp Baking Soda

1tsp Baking Powder

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

½ tsp Salt

1 Egg

1 cup Blueberries

Neutral oil to fry them (like canola, or avacado oil)

Maple Syrup


Mix the buttermilk and egg together in the bottom of a large bowl.

Add together all the dry ingredients and pour them into the bowl. Mix them together until they are just combined. Add the blueberries.

Heat up a frying pan over medium heat, if you have a cast iron pan that works best.

Add in the oil and spoon the batter into the pan in small circles.

When bubbles appear on the surface flip the pancakes.

Wait another minute or two and then take the pancakes out of the pan and onto a plate. Keep this up until all the batter has been used.

Slather with syrup and enjoy.

Radish and Watercress Tartines with Goats Cheese


  And… it’s wedding season.

Officially. Two weeks ago I went to the first of 4 weddings that I’m attending this year. Last year there were only 2, but the year before that there were six.  Being in your late twenties guys, you go to a lot of weddings.

The difference this year is that all of the weddings are for people who I am super close to. I’m in two bridal parties, I’m making the cakes for all of them, because they are some of my best friends. And when that happens it’s not really just the wedding, but the showers, and the engagement parties, and the stagettes.

I’m throwing a shower for my bestie next month, and she’s vegetarian, so I’ve been trying to think of cute simple tea sandwiches that will look gorgeous, be a bit different and are meat free. My local market had these beautiful little French radishes, and some lovely watercress, and with a bit of goats cheese it seemed like just the ticket.

1 Baguette

250g Aged Soft Goats Cheese

4 French Radishes, very thinly sliced lengthwise

1 bunch Watercress

Olive Oil for Drizzling

Good Flakey Salt (Like fleur de sel, or maldon)

½ Lemon


Preheat your oven to 425

Cut the baguette in half lengthwise, put the pieces into the ovens and toast lightly.

Spread the goat cheese onto both pieces of toast.

Pick the sprigs of watercress and layer them on the goats cheese.  Place the radish slices on top, drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the lemon on top, and sprinkle with salt.

Cut the baguettes in quarters, and serve.



Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Smoked Mackerel and Arugula


Lately I’ve been doing that totally pathetic thing that nearly all women do in Spring, The terrible season that forces us to realize that everything we’ve eaten from Thanksgiving turkey to Valentines soufflé has taken it’s toll. And now that we’re expected to go to beaches and lie around half naked, we’re getting a little panicky.So I’m being super boring, and eating salads and working out and pretending it’s all to make myself feel better, and that it’s for my health, instead of just being honest with myself, and admitting that it’s totally just for my ego. Don’t get me wrong, I like being active, and I love vegetables, it’s just that this whole bikini season is getting a bit on my nerves this year. I mean, I have a nice body, and it does remarkable things, like let me stand up for 16 hours a day without complaining too heavily, and let’s me go for long bike rides, and play tennis and hike up mountains. Maybe I’ve got it all right. And as I was thinking this, I also thought about that fabulous line from Sofia Loren. The one she said after she, one of the most beautiful women to ever live, was trashed apart in magazines for having cellulite. And her response, which she was shocked to have to give, was “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” So today, let’s eat spaghetti, and not feel guilty. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is. This one is especially good I think, it’s filled with roasted tomatoes and smoked mackeral and loads of fresh basil. It’s the sort of thing that feels like the perfect Spring dinner, it’s hearty but also fresh and so packed with flavour I didn’t find myself eating quite as much as normal. Small miracles, curtesy of Sofia Loren.


Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Mackerel

1lb Cherry Tomatoes 150g of Smoked Mackerel, flaked ¼ cup Olive Oil 3 Sprigs of Thyme 3 cloves of Garlic, minced. ½ Onion, sliced 1 bunch of Basil, thinly sliced 2 cups Baby Arugula 1 lb Spaghetti Parm for on top. Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss them with them with half of the olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Lay them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake until they get slightly browned and the juices run. In a large saucepan over medium heat warm up the rest of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook it slowly until they’re soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until just fragrant. Add the tomatoes and the mackerel and bring up to a high heat. Cook for 1 minute then remove from heat. Bring a large pot full of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to the package instructions. Toss with the tomato sauce and shredded basil. Top with parm and serve!

Roibbos Tea Iced Latte with Almond Milk and Cinnamon


Do you ever just fall so in love with a company? You know, when you go into a shop and just love everything in it so much you wish you owned the place? And then you meet the owner and they are so lovely and you just are so thrilled to have found them?There are only a handful of places like this for me. This great little shop on Main St., the izakaya down the street from me, the sadly closed Little Nest. The kind of places that immediately just feel perfect. Well, I’ve got a new one for the list, and I have to talk about it because I’m so royally obsessed. A friend of mine posted something about this nut milk company on facebook, and on a whim I ordered some. And then something amazing happened, this lovely woman who makes almond milk, and hazelnut milk, and hazelnut-cocoa milk, delivered it, in a mason jar, to my door on her bicycle. Seriously. Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard of? And, like you would imagine a bicycle riding nut milk making woman to be, she is this bubbly, bright sunshine-y person. Not only is she lovely, but her milks are amazing. They are made from organic nuts (from California except the hazelnuts which she picks herself about an hour outside of Vancouver), and are just wildly more flavourful than the chemical laden stuff at the grocery store. As, despite my greatest attempts to ignore it, my body doesn’t really like dairy, this is pretty wonderful for me. You can probably tell I’m excited. So I’ve been trying out new ways to play around with her products, and what I keep finding is just how brilliant almond milk is with roibos tea. It’s the perfect match for me, hot or cold. This is just a simple recipe, so simple I almost didn’t post it, but it’s too good I had too. Also, I had to talk about how great Nuez milks are, because I’m a little obsessed. Roibos Almost Milk Latte with Cinnamon and Honey Per Drink 1 tsp Roibos Tea 1 tsp Honey ½ cup Almond Milk 1 Cinnamon Stick (or a pinch of ground cinnamon)* Ice *if you are doubling (or tripling!) the recipe you do not need to add more cinnamon. Boil cup of water. Put the tea into a tea strainer and put into a teapot. Add the cinnamon stick and pour the water on top. Let this steep for at least 5 minutes if not longer. Pour the tea into a large cup. Add the honey and stir until it is combined. Add in a few ice cubes and stir until the tea is cooled completely. Add the almond milk. Drink!


Hot Cross Biscuits


Apparently my Grammy made much more than just biscuits and pies and “Frenched” green beans. She also only served broccoli with hollandaise, always made her own bread and tended a beautiful garden that yielded an enormous bounty of fresh veggies. In the words of my mom, her adoring daughter “  My Mom grew up in poverty - emotional and financial - and her childhood home was chaotic.  No-one cooked or cleaned and there was never enough food.  So her home had to be perfect.  She was remarkable.”

Hot Cross Biscuits

She was remarkable. And while she may have made a slew of other delicious foods, I will always think of her biscuits (“cloud biscuits” because they are heavenly and light). They were magnificent.

These are just a slight variation, I use butter instead of shortening, because I suspect she might have too, if it wasn’t for budgeting. And here of course, I’ve added some spices and currants to the mix, and topped them with an icing cross to be festive. But they are none the less my Grammy’s cloud biscuits, and they are remarkable, much like their creator.

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Hot Cross Biscuit

  • 2 cups AP Flour
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Butter, cut into small cubes.
  • ½ cup Currants
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Yolk
  • 1 cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

In a large mixing bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients.

Toss in the butter and using your hands (or a pastry cutter) and break the butter up into pea-sized pieces.

Add the egg to the buttermilk and whisk it until combined.

Add the liquids into the flour mixture and stir until it just starts to come together.

Add in the currants and press the dough out, and then fold it in half. Repeat this 5-10 more times until the dough has lots of layers and has formed a cohesive dough, but remains very soft- as soon as you start to feel the dough resisting stop.

On a lightly floured surface press the dough down so that it is ¾ inch thick. Cut the dough into circles- do not twist when you do this! Go straight up and down!

Put the circles on a parchment lined tray and put them in your freezer for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix the yolks with 1 tbsp of water. Brush the egg wash on all of the biscuits and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outsides are nicely browned. Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile mix together the icing sugar and vanilla extract with 1 tsp of water. Put in a piping bag (or a Ziploc with a hole cut in it) and pipe on the crosses.

Eat immediately!

Curry Squash Soup and Some Real Talk

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. It should have been a happy day, because he should have been turning 61, but he didn’t and it’s not.

My tradition on his birthday, and on the anniversary of his death is to drink a good beer in his honor and paint my toenails. He hated nail polish, and I like to imagine him rolling his eyes at me wherever he is. It makes me smile.

Often Jordan and I go to this great Cambodian restaurant and eat huge plates of these amazing fried prawns and big bowls of noodles. It’s the sort of place he would have loved.

Often I go for a bike ride, because that was his favourite.

Yesterday I forced Jordan to go to a Superbowl party, but I stayed in. It was nice to just have the place to myself for a while, and watch bad TV while my nails dried. Double eye roll.

Today I woke up with what I think of as an emotional hangover. You know when it’s not so much that your sad, it’s just that sort of exhausted from being sad the day before? That’s today.

So I worked for a few hours this morning, and I got some baking done at home, cleaned up a bit. When I finish writing this I’ll go drag my butt out of the apartment and do the laundry.

It felt like the sort of day that needed some comfort food. Rich and thick but also good for me. Nothing that was going to keep me feeling sluggish.

So I found some squash and made this, a lightly spiced squah puree that lies somewhere between a soup and a curry. At the recommendation of 101Cookbooks I served it with brown rice, but to this I added some cumin and a can of chickpeas, to give it a bit more oomph. It’s deeply filling without being heavy. It’s warm and comforting, and it’s just what I needed on a day like today.


Cumin Brown Rice with Chickpeas

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Ground Corriander

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup Brown Rice

2 cups Water

Ginger Squash Soup

1 large Onion, sliced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into cubes

1 inch Ginger, grated finely

2 tbsp Olive Oil

In a large pot over medium heat warm up the olive oil.

Sautee the onion until they’re soft and slightly browned. Add in the garlic and the ginger and sautee it for another minute or two.

Add the squash and cover with water.

Season liberally with salt and bring to a boil. Turn it down a simmer and let simmer for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, make the rice: In a small pot over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add in the spices and toast them until they are fragrant but not burning! Add in the rice and the water with a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and stir them in. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is totally cooked.

Serve the two together!

A Love Letter to Little Nest

There are, of course, lots of people who you meet and who change you. People who inspire you and people who push you and people who show you sides of the world and yourself you never would known without their help.

But when you really look at your life and the people and events that change you fundamentally, for me at least, the list is pretty compact. But today I want to talk to you about one of these people, someone who took an enormous risk and hired me at the alarmingly young age of 20 to be the chef at their restaurant, and not only showed me an entirely new way of cooking, but also allowed me to watch as she owned a restaurant that used beautiful ingredients, paid everyone over minimum wage and truly contributed to the community that I live in.

For anyone who knows me well they know that I could only ever be talking about Mary McIntyre.

When I moved into my apartment over 6 years ago, while I waited to meet the landlord I ran into a friend at the café in the building. It was a beautiful space, filled with light, vintage furniture and small children. There was great coffee, and smiling servers hustling plates of gorgeous food around strollers and little ones to tables filled with stylish people, about equal parts parents and single people. I ate a salami sandwich, a crisp baguette, filled with bocconcini, parm, salami, roasted tomatoes and olive mayo. As soon as I moved into the apartment upstairs I became a devoted customer.

About a year later that devotion turned into a job, a chef job. It was my first job running a restaurant and it was a steep learning curve, and lord or lord I made some mistakes. But it was Mary who encouraged me and pushed me and made me a much better cook. It was Mary who showed me how to use middle eastern spices, taught me the importance of using the best produce, and made me appreciate that an egg can, and should, go soft poached on every meal.

But it wasn’t just her kitchen finness or passion for food, it was that she was passionate about using great ingredients, even if that meant taking a bit less in profit. She paid every person on staff more than minimum wage to be an example of a small business who looks after their employees. And she didn’t call us employees, she called us family.

For years I’ve always used her an example of what I want to do with my life, how I want to run a business, how I want to contribute to my neighborhood.

Today is Little Nest’s last day. Our terrible landlord has forced her rent up more than double in the last 4 years, and she has been forced to shut her doors.  I have worked in many restaurants in my life, but never have I been anywhere with more love. There is so much care and thought in every little part of the restaurant, and I am absolutely heart broken to see it go.

It has been a landmark for my adult life, as has Mary, for showing me time and time again that it is possible to own a business that feels ethical, that you can run a café that uses great produce, and hires great people. You can and you should run a business that way, and I will forever hold myself to the standard left to me by Little Nest. 

Spring Edible Vancouver!

Once again a new Edible Vancouver has come out, and once again I am so proud to be part of the team that produces it. In this issue I have an article about a croissant-a-thon that a friend and I went on, where a friend and I biked around the city eating croissants, and generally just loving life. And I wrote a small piece and recipe for asparagus and leek baked eggs. Please check it out!  

200 Blog Post and Giveaway!!


Oh hello there.

Guess what?

I love you. I do. If you are looking at this little bit of the internet right now, I love you.

This little bit of internet is my blog, and it’s one of my favourite places in the whole world. It’s taken a huge amount of time and energy and love to put the last 199 posts up, and I feel so very grateful that you are reading it. So grateful in fact, that I want to give you a present.

Yup. That’s how much I love you.

I don’t talk much about the shops and restaurants in Vancouver, because I know that a lot of you don’t live here. BUT I have fallen so head over heels with Much and Little that I needed to share it with you. And I need you to have some of the things that I have from there. It’s my favourite shop to find things for my kitchen, it’s my favourite place to look at trinkets for my walls, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite clothing stores.

But mostly, it’s my kitchen shop, because kitchens are mostly my favourite things.

So here are a couple of goodies,

  • an incredible ceramic pie dish that is so pretty you certainly don’t have to limit it’s use to pies, it is a gorgeous casserole dish, and it’s so much nicer to put on the table than a basic glass Pyrex (no offence Pyrex, I have several of yours at home too)

  • the sweetest baking tea towel, full of words like “whisk” and “sift” to motivate you through your next undertaking.

  • And my favourite- the enamelware perforated ladle, which I have now bought 4 of. (One for my mom for Christmas, than one as a Christmas present for myself because it was too cute, and then one for my bestie because she liked it too much!) This is the perfect utensil for pulling small pasta out of a pot, poaching eggs and a slew of other things, on top of being the cutest kitchen accessory you will ever need.

All you need to do, is comment down below with your favourite recipe! And “like” me on facebook or follow me on twitter. Then a randomizer will decide who get’s this awesome hand picked gift! (sorry, only available to those living in North America!)


Chalkboard DIY


One of the hardest things I’ve found about working from home, by myself most of the time, is staying motivated. Keeping doing things at the highest level you can, when you’re the only one looking over your shoulder making sure that you’re doing things perfectly every time.

You know you should of course, you know that you ought to, it’s just that sometimes, you don’t quite feel like it.

Sometimes I’m just lazy.

Sometimes I’m tired.

Sometimes I’m bored and feel like no one will notice if I cut a corner here.

The other day I came across this quote by Mother Therese, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I don’t save lives, I’m not likely to change to world, or even the lives of many people. But I can do what I do with great love, and great care. And I owe it to myself to do what I do with every bit of energy and pride as I can. I owe it to myself to do what I do with great love.

At the height of the chalkboard crazy about a year ago I painted a little bit of my wall with chalkboard paint and put a cheap frame around it. And it’s been sitting there ever since without much in it. So this morning I thought I would put write this line in there so every morning it will be one of the first things I see.

A quick google search showed me the cheaters way of emulating all those gorgeous chalkboard artists in Brooklyn. It’s a simple trick, with a homemade stencil, and certainly my abilities are far from perfect, but I think it’s just so sweet.


You Need:

A Chalkboard

Paper to cover the Chalkboard

A Pencil


Ballpoint Pen

Scotch Tape

There are two ways to do this, namely the easy way, and the easier way. Do note, while your picking out your lettering that the more detailed the lettering the harder it will be to trace with chalk, so if it’s your first go at this don’t push yourself, and try something easy.

If you have a printer this project is so simple. Just pick the fonts you want, type out what you want it to say and print it.

If, like me, you are printer-less it’s not so hard either, but you’ll have to draw out the typography you want, on a big sheet of paper that fills your whole chalkboard.


When your happy with your lettering and it’s arranged on a piece of paper that covers your whole board, flip your piece of paper over and cover it with chalk. Just get it everywhere, use as much as you need and make sure the whole thing is covered.

Now flip it back over and give it a little tap to knock off the excess.

Carefully tape the top, bottom and sides to the chalkboard, making it very tight but without running your hands over the paper, you don’t want to smudge the board.

With your ballpoint pen trace the lettering. Push hard and steadily and go through all of it.

Remove the paper.

Now with your chalk go through and trace the lines to make them thicker and add in the details. A paring knife works well for keeping the edges of your chalk sharp, which will help you draw more accurately.

And your done! If you want to keep this forever you can spray it with hairspray and it will never smudge, but if you think you might get bored, like me, just leave it up for as long as you’d like!

Tuesday Tutorials (sort of)- Wild Wreath

I lied in this title. Friends, it’s not Tuesday. In fact it’s Thursday. It’s two days past Tuesday, and yet, here is this post. To say I’m busy is a giant under statement, but I’m not going to complain here, I know you all have your stresses, especially this time of year.

Instead I’m going to just show you how to make a wreath.

If you talk to me for about 5 minutes, you probably know that I’m borderline obsessed with Design*Sponge. The wonderful online design magazine that inspires me daily with it’s ideas. One of the editors there is the incredible Amy Merrick, and someone recently pointed out to me the unbelievably gorgeous wreaths that she makes.

I tend not to like things that look too perfect, especially when it comes to things that are made out of nature. I like flower arrangements that look a bit wild, I like furniture that uses the natural shape of the wood, and, apparently, I like wreaths that look like they’re still growing a bit. Like they still have a bit of life left in them.

So here is my super easy DIY for just such a wreath. This requires no fancy equipment, just thin wild branches, some string, some scissors and some holly if you so please. I’m fond of a bit of greenery in a wreath, but I think after Christmas I’ll take that out and let it dry just as the branches. Then maybe in the spring I’ll add in something bright and green, and in the fall maybe some of the gorgeous deep red japanese maple branches that grow all over my neighbourhood.

You Will Need:

5 thin branches

2 meters of light brown string


3 branches of holly

Prep yourself by taking lots of little

Take your branches and wrap it in a large circle, and tie it to keep it there. This is much easier if someone holds them together for you, but with some McGivering you can do it without. I sat on the floor and held it together with my knees, but do what works for you. If you had clamps that would be great, but I, alas, am rarely in posession of such practical things.

Hold the wreath so that the base of the stem as at 12 o clock.

At 6 o clock tie a second branch. Then wrap that around and tie it to the previous branch. Keep doing this, attaching branches and tying them with string. Play around with where you put each piece to make it as circular as possible, but don’t get to hung up about it being perfect. This is supposed to look rustic and wild, so embrace that!

Once the branches are on and you like it, put the pieces of holly on top and arrange them as you like them, and then tie them in. It sounds like I’m rushing through these instructions but it really was that simple. Just take your time to make sure all the knots are very tight.  

Edible Vancouver, with some excited news!

About two years ago I started this blog, after much nagging from my sister, because I was unemployed and terribly bored. About a month into it I knew that this was something I was going to want to do for a long time. Six months later I submitted a story to Edible Vancouver and, without having any experience, and to my great amazement, they published it.

A few months later I started looking at the bios of contributing writers at magazines and publications that I admired, trying to figure out what they did to get where they did, I noticed that there was one publication that came up over and over again; they had written for Edible. Edible Brooklyn, Edible San Fransisco, Edible Chicago, but Edible somewhere.

So I decided I needed to start doing some more writing for them, and along with pitching a few story ideas, I also decided that I would start blogging for them for free. I have done a lot of free work in my life, Jordan jokes that my passion in life if volunteering for corporations, and he might be right, but sometimes it pays off.

I am now feeling very lucky, quite humbled and, admittedly, a little bit pleased with myself, as the new issue has just come out and my name is on the masthead under associate editor.

So here is the new magazine, you can read it online or you can grab a copy if you live in Vancouver, I have two articles, one on onions, the other on a restaurant called Heirloom, and a few recipes as well. This magazine is truly a labour of love from everybody involved, and I hope that shines through to you.

New York, Birthdays, and Inspiration.

My mom is a pretty extraordinary lady. She is kind beyond words, and strong beyond measure, and I am undeniably a total Mama’s girl. So it wasn’t much of a debate when I learnt she was flying to New York to visit my sister for her 60th, that Jordan and I were going to hop on a plane too.

Oh New York.

I hadn’t been since junior high. Junior high! It was time.

Lately I seem to have many many jobs. I do the pastries at a couple restaurants, I make wedding cakes, I’m an assistant editor at a local magazine, I write this little blog that I love so very much, and to piece it all together I serve a couple nights a week at a restaurant. I love almost everything about this, I love that I never get bored because I’m always doing something different and I love that I mostly work from home. I like working from home, I do. I watched a great tedtalk recently on why introverts are important, and I agreed with it, all of the values that come with working by/for yourself. It’s just that sometimes you need to have people around to bounce ideas off of. Sometimes you need to be submerged in something, that you can’t be if your on your own.

Being in New York is like being inside a bouncy castle, there are so many ideas and inspirations flying around all the time. It is a city that supports an astonishing amount of restaurants, and not just restaurants, but farmers markets, (in the middle of downtown, almost every day there are farmers stands), it supports bakeries, and pickle makers, and bean to bar chocolatiers. There is a reason so many artists live in New York.

We ate the most unbelievable soft serve ice cream, a swirl of ritz crackers and peanut butter, with a dollop of concord grape jelly at the bottom at Momofuko.

I decided I wanted to live in Brooklyn for many reasons, but mostly so I can be closer to Mast Brothers Chocolates, the most wonderful place I perhaps have ever been. 

A close second would be eataly where we picked up the most gorgeous salamis and cheeses and we ate it in the park and felt very please with ourselves. 

Which is all a way of saying I’m feeling pretty inspired right now. I’m still floating on a Mast Brothers Chocolates high, I’m still savouring the burrata I had at Arthurs on Smith, I’m still imagining my life in a room full of Bemelman’s drawings. I can still feel the electricity of that city in me, and it’s making me feel wonderful.  

Acorn Garland DIY

 have this friend, her name is Tash, and she is all kinds of wonderful.

We met about 5 years ago when we were both going through devastating breakups, and she ended up moving into my building. There was this 10 month window of time when we did nearly everything together. A window of being single, working in restaurants, going out dancing, and gossiping about it all the next morning. It was a time that, even though I’m not sure either of us have cried more in that short a period of time, I’m not sure we’ve ever laughed that much either. It was a wonderful moment in my life that I will always smile when I think of.

After that 10 months we were both in relationships again (within about a week of each other I think), and we got real jobs, and Tash ended up moving to Kingston for 2 years to get her masters. People would sometimes ask me if we were still close, if we talked reguarly and I would have to stop myself from laughing, with the benefits of a My5 plan, we literally talked at least once a day, and often more. When she moved back a couple years ago she moved in with her man in Port Moody, a small distance away, and we still talk every day. We still hang out all the time. Although our boyfriends have banned the term, we used to call each other our “hetro-sexual lifemates” and that’s still pretty accurate. If you had to make me decide between Jordan and Tash, I would be hard pressed to choose.

What I’m saying here, is that Tash is an incredible friend who I just love.

So when she asked if for her birthday we could have a brunch party at our apartment, the answer was obviously yes.

It was a simple breakfast, roasted root veggies, frittatas, cheddar bisquits.

I also made a little garland for the wall, I kept looking online for cute fall set ups, and all I could find was things covered with orange and pumpkins, I wanted something a little less fussy, so instead I went with acorns. I went with wood, I went a little hipster and I threw in some chalkboards.

And it was super cute.

Silver Acorn Garland DIY

20 Acorns

Bakers Twine, or equivalent

Cheap Sparkly Silver Nail Polish

Glue Gun

I just went down the street and found acorns. Almost all of the tops were seperated from the bottoms so it made painting them super easy. BUT if yours are holding together you will just need to be a bit more careful making sure the paint doesn’t get on the body of the nut.

Lay a sheet of plastic wrap down on your work surface.

Paint the tops of the acorns with the sparkly polish, getting as thick or thin a coat as you like. Place them on the plastic wrap when your done so they don’t stick to anything.

When they are dry use your glue gun to place the bottoms to the tops. Be liberal with the glue, the acorns are a bit heavy.

Tie your bakers twine to each of the twig tops and hang them where ever you like. I am totally saving mine and going to wrap them around my Christmas tree!