March 30, 2011

Daily Spark.March 30 11

Whether the sun is shining through your window or all you can hear is raindrops on the glass,  you can’t go wrong with these Mongolian lamb pillows. A self-proclaimed sucker for comfort, I just want to lay my head down on velvety wool, close my eyes and disappear into nap-land.

March 30, 2011

DIY Feather Skirt

A few months ago, one of my very good friends bought herself an amazing ostrich feather skirt. I wish you could see it because it is absolutely gorgeous. I just discovered a blog that I am utterly in love with called PS – I Made This. Author Erica Domesic’s motto is “I see it. I like it. I make it” and she is inspired by fashion trends and runway looks. Lucky for me, Erica breaks down how to make a feather skirt and look how easy it is! Why didn’t I think of this?

Photo credit and tutorial courtesy of PS – I Made This

 

 

 

 

March 29, 2011

Homemade Raincoast Crisps

There are some things out there that we all seem to be willing to pay quite the premium for. Is it the esthetics? The quality? The name? All of these may be true for that Porsche that you’ve been admiring or that Fendi bag that you are saving your pennies for. But what about crackers? I never thought I’d be willing to pay close to $10 for a box, but Raincoast Crisps are just that tasty. Ryan’s Gramsy (cook and baker extraordinaire) passed on this recipe for a homemade version of this healthy treat. You can play with the ingredients to suit your fave flavours and I promise they will come out just as crispy, just as chewy, just as salty and just as sweet as the boxed variety.

Mix together:

2 cups flour

2 tsp. Baking soda

2 tsp.  Salt

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup honey

2 cups buttermilk

Add to above mixture:

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 cup chopped almonds or pecans

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

Pour into 3 – 5 mini loaf pans. (I buy disposable aluminum ones for this because I find that they are the perfect size)

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Freeze.

When ready, slice thinly and bake at 275 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes.

Turn off oven and leave them in there until they are completely cool.

Feel free to try other flavour combos – Rosemary Pecan, Fig and Olive, Cinnamon Raisin, the possibilities are endless!

March 29, 2011

Daily Spark.March 29 11

Surrounded by rich golds, champagnes and pinks this chaise lounge is the perfect place for a lux sprawl. Soft fabrics and reflective finishes give the room girl appeal and paneled walls, a plaster ceiling and overhead chandelier take us back to years gone by. Take a closer look and you discover my favourite part of this boudoir, a small canvas equine painting that adds just the right amount of personality.

March 28, 2011

Daily Spark.March 28 11

Open-concept loft living at it’s best. Throwing a little modern into the mix, this Soho loft is divided by a sleek white kitchen. Brick walls and heavy beams help to separate the space into zones. Take a seat at that island, let the light come in from huge windows on either side of you and admire the details, both old and new… I wonder what this space was in its previous life?

March 28, 2011

Lisbeth Jewelry by Sophie Alden

I love the way I feel when I wear something that I know is made with love. It puts a little spring in my step to know that I have something special on that was made by somebody who actually puts care into their craft. A great example are the gorgeous creations handmade by Vancouver’s Lisbeth Jewelry. Designer Sophie Alden comes from a family of fashionistas and she is no exception. Alden’s endeavors began when she worked in retail and made jewelry as a hobby. Soon everyone was taking notice of her unique style and Lisbeth got off the ground. My experience with Lisbeth has been nothing less than perfect. Last summer, one of my necklaces had an unfortunate accident (I broke it to pieces and lost a part of it). I thought it was gone forever but Sophie to the rescue… She was more than happy to repair it. Another great reason to support our local designers. Please visit Lisbeth’s website to take a look at the whole line.

March 24, 2011

Daily Spark.March 24 11

I hope I’m not jinxing it, but spring has definitely sprung here in Vancouver. There is nothing sunnier in my world than a room full of colour. Balanced by shiny, ebony floors and a milky white wooden ceiling, everything in this room pops. I cant help but smile when looking at the bright pink, green and blue furniture! Accessories like the birdhouse shaped clock and sunny yellow candlestick give this living space a handmade feel.

 

 

 

March 24, 2011

Banana and Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Vanilla and Bailey’s Sauces

My sincerest apologies that you may have noticed a somewhat empty Nest this week. I am wrapping up my semester and things have been a little busy. Who knew that procrastination didn’t pay off? However, I had a little bake date with a friend of mine who had been craving bread pudding and this is what we came up with! We couldn’t decide on a sauce so we made two – equally delish. This recipe is very forgiving so it a good one to play around with and make modifications to. Make sure you keep any leftovers as they are a great quick breakfast.

Bread Pudding Ingredients

4 cups of cinnamon raisin bread (I used more, maybe 5 cups)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
1;2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
salt
1 cup sliced firm bananas (I think I used about 3 cups)

Method:

Place bread cubes in 2 qt casserole, greased.
pour butter over and toss.

In medium bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla cinnamon, nutmeg and salt

Stir in bananas then pour over bread

Stir to coat.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

While it is baking, make the sauces:

Vanilla Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Method:

Combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla in 1-quart saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes).

Stir in vanilla.

Bailey’s Sauce Ingredients:

4 egg yolks
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s (again, I used more)
2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Method:

In a saucepan heat the whipping cream till scalding ( do not bring to a boil ) and be sure to continually stir so mot to burn the bottom. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl whisk the yolks, bailey’s and sugar together. Add a little of the scalded milk to the bowl to bring up the temperature of the egg yolks.

Now, add the yolk mixture to the whipping cream and whisk so the yolks won’t scramble.

Place the saucepan back onto the heat and continue to simmer for a few minutes; continue to stir.

Add in the cornstarch mixture and cook for a few more minutes till the sauce thickens.

Plate the bread pudding, pour a generous amount of sauce overtop and revel in warm, gooey comfort food.

March 23, 2011

DIY Fractal Mirror

The price tag attached to fractal mirrors can be quite steep (too steep for me). How about making one of your own. Home DZine shows us how with a step-by-step. Just keep in mind that the site is South African therefore some of the products may have slightly different brand names here.

March 21, 2011

Daily Spark.March 21 11

Dark and rich, just like your favourite scotch. As you swirl your glass and the amber liquid dances with slowly melting ice cubes, you ponder which book your going to pick up this afternoon. Whether you decide to stretch out on your supple, button tucked, camel ottoman or you choose a sleek chair by the window, you can be sure that you won’t have any interruptions in this private, manly haven.