Archive for April, 2011

April 7, 2011 is Launched!

Today is a very big day in Nest land! We are moving this address to our very own URL. Please update your bookmarks and continue to look for new posts daily at our new home

April 6, 2011

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

This is such a non-recipe that I am almost embarrassed to share it with you. I was desperate for something chocolate a few nights ago and after raiding my cupboards, this is what I came up with. Simple? Yes. Easy? Certainly. Delicious? Yes oh yes! My neighbor who I shared these with ever so nicely described them; “They look like the mushrooms in Super Mario Bros and taste FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS”.


Marshmallows (as many as you can eat)

Some chocolate chips or a few squares of bakers chocolate (I used both as thats what I had)

1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional)

Any topping that sounds appealing to you – crushed nuts, candy, sprinkles, coconut, cookie crumbs mmmm



Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together in a double boiler (pot with water with a bowl on top with the chocolate in it)

Once melted, dip your marshmallows so they are half covered.

Dunk the the chocolate side into your topping.

Put them in the fridge until the chocolate hardens and then store them in an air tight container out of the fridge.


Mmmmm I’m thinking white chocolate and pistachio would be delish, or chocolate with graham cracker crumbs – like a smore. Or use butterscotch chips instead of chocolate? The possibilities are endless!



April 5, 2011

Daily Spark.April 5 11

Warm amber light against a backdrop of chocolately brown wood and airy white linens sets the stage for the perfect retreat. Sure, this space may be a bungalow on a beach half way across the world, but who’s to say you can’t call something like this home? Details like a sisal rug bring make the room feel more natural and ambience is created with back lighting and giant candles flickering to the side of the bed.

April 5, 2011

Maple Nut Apple Chips

Mmmmm apple chips. Sweet and crunchy and chewy! And in this case, maple flavoured and covered with nuts. These are one of my favourite snacks and I don’t make them nearly enough. They are very easy to throw together and will fill your kitchen with the sweetest of smells. I would say they are the perfect (somewhat healthy) way to battle that sweet tooth.
3 Tbsp. icing sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
1 Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup walnuts (or any other nut), finely chopped
dash ground cinnamon
Mix together 1.5 Tbsp. icing sugar and 1.5 Tbsp. maple syrup in a small bowl. Set aside.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with remaining 1.5 Tbsp. icing sugar.
Slice the apple crosswise as thinly as possible. Do not core or peel the apple. Just remove the seeds as you slice.
Place apple slices on the prepared baking sheet, making sure not to overlap. Brush with maple syrup/icing sugar mixture.
Bake in a 225ºF (105ºC) oven for 2 hours or until pale golden and starting to curl (it may be much faster in your oven so check on them every little while), making sure to rotate pan after the first 30 min.
Brush apple slices with remaining 1.5 Tbsp. maple syrup and sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon.
Bake for an additional 20 min. Remove from parchment immediately after cooking and allow to cool.

* Make these healthier by decreasing the amount of sugar and/or maple syrup

*A mandolin would make this process very easy peasy. I used a knife and tried to make the slices as thin as possible without faling apart. Dont worry if some of your slices come out thicker, they will just be a little chewier.

*Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Keep them out of the fridge or they will go soft.


April 4, 2011

Ropes Lights by Christian Haas

Christian Haas’ career began in Germany shortly after he finished a degree in industrial design. His portfolio is extensive and includes everything from interior design, lighting design, chinaware, glassware and furniture design. In addition to personal design projects under his own label, Haas also works with renowned companies such as Villeroy & Boch and Volkswagen.

One of his latest 2011 collections, ROPES, is my personal favourite and I can pick a few spots in my apartment where I think these would look great. On his website, Haas describes the concept of ROPES as “a soft look and textile touch, energy-efficient technology, are combined to create an innovative light source and distinctive design object. Unlit, the lamps provide a graphic statement to their environment. Lit, they diffuse a gentle ambient light. Each unique and numbered piece varies in size and technique.”

Take a look at Haas’ website for a look at the complete ROPES collection as well as his other works.

April 4, 2011

Daily Spark.April 4 11

This show stopper dining room table made of reclaimed wood is the perfect anchor for seating of different shapes, sizes, and eras. Place it all on top of a classic parkay floor with a fluffy rug and you’re ready for dinner!

April 1, 2011

Daily Spark.April 1 11

Update your space with big and bold accessories. Woven and knit pouffs are all the rage these days as is wallpaper. Don’t want to do your whole wall? That’s ok, just pick part of it and you’ll get the illusion of an oversized piece of artwork. A huge and shiny pendant lamp not only adds direct light to the room but the metal also reflects light from other sources to brighten the whole place up!

April 1, 2011

Pistachio Macarons

Macarons are a meringue based sandwich cookie that are native to France. Bakeries all around the world have followed suit with this sweet confection and offer flavours from the traditional (chocolate, raspberry) to the new (green tea, lavender, basil). They are traditionally filled with buttercream frosting, ganache or jam. These delightful treats are the perfect combination of chewy and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The best ones are said to be made at Laduree in France, but until I can get there, this recipe certainly does the trick!

I must be honest with you about this one. This recipe, while it is the easiest macaron recipe I have ever seen, can still be somewhat temperamental. Working with meringue is always an interesting experience as humidity and weather plays a big factor. If your first batch isn’t perfect, just try again! Macarons are something that even experienced home cooks need practice on.


1 cup icing sugar

1/2 ground almonds

2 egg whites

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp meringue powder (can be found at gourmet stores, like The Gourmet Warehouse)

Green paste food colouring (again, at gourmet stores, do not use liquid food colouring from the grocery store, it will ruin the recipe because of the moisture content, if you can’t find paste food colouring, just leave them natural).



In a food processor, pulse icing sugar with the ground almonds until fine. Sift through fine sieve into bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, beat in granulated sugar and meringue powder until soft peaks form. Tint green. Fold in almond mixture, one-third at a time. (Be extremely gentle and do not over handle, we want there to be as many air pockets and bubbles in there as possible. If you aren’t sure how to properly fold, ask me and I will gladly explain)

Using a piping bag fitted with 1/4 inch plain tip (or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off), pipe meringue into 1-inch rounds, 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. (I find this tricky to eye-ball. I usually take a shot glass or coin or anything round about an inch in size and trace it onto the back side of the paper to use as a guide.)

Bake in 325 degree oven until puffed, smooth on tops and cracked around bottoms, 12- 14 minutes. Let cool on pans on racks.


Pistachio Filling Ingredients:

2/3 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

Pinch of ground cardamom

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Green paste food colouring


Pistachio Filling Method:

In food processor, pulse sugar, pistachios and cardamom until fine; add butter. Pulse to form paste.

Spread about 1/2 tsp filling onto bottoms of the macarons. Sandwich with the remaining macarons, bottom side down.