First of the season: Pink Jam!

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Okay, so clearly  this week is all about the food.  Bear with me…

My  rhubarb plant sacrificed itself to the canning gods this weekend, supplying me with the raw materials for this Rhubarb-Rosemary Jam.  It’s a recipe that has been on my roster ever since I got the preserving bug a few years back, and a hallmark to the start of summer !

Today, I got my kicks dressing these guys up to give as gifts.  It’s almost as much fun as making the jam , and definitely less messy!

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A nutty kind of love

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Now that the garden is finally getting some sun,  I am looking forward to having a robust, home-grown supply of fresh rosemary.  Its herbal, sharp character is a welcome addition to version 2.0 of a recipe that has been in heavy rotation at Casa Hobo lately.  A combination of my favourite elements of the Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts recipe and  Dorie Greenspan’s Sweet and Spicy Cocktail nuts, I hope you’ll like them as much as I do.   These are best accompanied by a lazy afternoon on a sunlit porch, a couple of friends, and some vino.

Rosemary and Brown Sugar Spiced Nuts

2 1/4 cups mixed nuts ( such as raw almonds, walnuts and pecans)

1 egg white

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary

1 1/2 -2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt

1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and set oven rack so that it sits in the middle.

Lightly beat egg white in a medium bowl.  Stir in nuts until evenly coated.

Combine brown sugar, rosemary, salt and cayenne.  Add to nuts and stir to combine.

Lay nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a silpat.

Bake 25-30 mins.   Allow to cool – nudging and breaking them apart before serving or storing.

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Daily Euphoria : Canal House Cooks Lunch

Whenever I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I visit the Canal House ladies and my apathy evaporates.   I want to crash every one of their (seemingly) impromptu lunches.   I found this post particularly endearing – not only can these two cook, but they have a great sense of humour!

(Image originally published on Canal House Cooks Lunch)
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Busy plotting…

Phil Francis’ Morning Commute Banana Map originally posted on Pret a Voyager

…how to make a map, that is!  In the midst of a jam-packed work week, I decided to throw caution to the wind and  sign up for Anne Ditmeyer’s Skillshare class Map Making: Learn to communicate places beautifully .   I came across Anne’s fantastic travel blog while researching last year’s trip to Paris and marvelled at what an incredible life she has created for herself.  Swoon worthy!  Recently, I discovered Anne was sharing her many talents in the form of an online class and I jumped at the chance to participate.

I sure wish I’d had the foresight to keep some of the impromptu maps I’ve drawn for visiting friends over the years.   I would love to see what landmarks were deemed important back then, some of which I believe would include:  best place to get roti, well-loved bookstores, anarchist coffee shops and least gross laundromats.

Anne’s Pinterest board, Make a Map,  has served as great inspiration .  This map in particular, stood out for me for being so personal and  because it didn’t require computer skills. Low-tech love!

Source: itsnicethat.com via Anne on Pinterest

This one is by Toronto’s own map-making maestro, Marlena Zuber.

Source: maps.marlenazuber.com via Anne on Pinterest

And here is a quickie first sketch of a project I’m working on.  More details to come!

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Daily Euphoria: This is Water

This visual reinterpretation of David Foster Wallace’s 2005  speech to the graduating class of Kenyon College has been all over the internet recently. And for good reason.  Have a watch if it’s new to you.

While we’re talking awesome commencement speeches, here is Amy Poehler ( hilarious shenanigans and all) addressing Harvard’s graduating class of 2011.

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Daily Euphoria: Blossoming branches


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Hayfever be damned!  Tis the season and these beauties are too good to be denied.

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Summer reading list: Tales of adventure

At the St. Lawrence Antiques market

At the St. Lawrence Antiques market

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Last summer was all about creating my own adventures abroad – from wandering the streets of Paris to hiking old growth forests along the Sunshine Coast.  In contrast, this year will be marked by exploring hidden gems closer to home and embracing my inner hermit.   This season, when the yen to pack my bags arises, I figure I will sate myself with a killer summer reading list to live vicariously through.

I just finished Bonnie Jo Campbell‘s unflinching and fierce coming of age novel,  Once Upon a River.  It got me thinking about other books I’ve enjoyed that tapped into my enthusiasm for tales of extreme adventure, survival and the relationship we have with nature.

If you have similar tastes, I’d love some suggestions to add to my list of must-reads.  Off the top of my head, here are some enduring favourites (click on the images for links to the authors):

“Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I’d lost or what had  been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I’d done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me.  Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.  

-excerpted from Wild by Cheryl Strayed
 
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Divine Detail: Leah’s hand-drawn signs

IMG_2889When visiting The Paper Place,  a Toronto-based mecca for paper and craft lovers, brace yourself to be wooed by the quality and selection of goods at your fingertips.   Having had the good fortune of working there many years ago, in it’s former incarnation as the Japanese Paper Place, I can attest to the thrill of seeing a “first-timer” walk in and pause, pupils visibly dilating with joy .    Nowadays, as a seasoned customer, I would love to draw your attention to one of my favourite details about the store:  Leah’s hand drawn signs.

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Her sense of humour shines and her style will forever be recognizable to me, even on such a tiny scale.  Leah remains one of my favourite co-workers of all time, and I fondly remember my lame attempts to crack her up, each and every shift we shared.  In truth, she’s the really funny one.  I wish I’d kept better track of the silly notes we used to exchange or better yet, all the signs she’s ever made in the past two decades. Now that would be a show I would love to curate!  Here are the gems in my “personal collection”.

"Michelle. This is NOT real food...  "  Cerise

FYI post-it, left on  a pile of fruit-print origami I wanted to buy: “Michelle. This is NOT real food… ” Cerise

The two-inch “Kalmic Book” , our take on Spy Vs Spy: IMG_2928

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Does anyone else get this location-centric joke?

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Leah is no one trick pony, check out this project she did for the Paper Place using handmade Kozo cards.

I miss you, Poopy.  Love, Snarky.

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Daily Euphoria: Inadvertently dressing like inanimate objects

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It’s not everyday that you wake up, brush your teeth and look up to realize that you are dressed like a bottle of mouthwash.  My black cap is showing a little grey, truth be told.

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Illustration Amazingness: Tim Hunt

Look out Below by Tim Hunt via Ape on the Moon.

Tim Hunt’s work tickles my fancy with its innocent-yet-outrageous style.  It reminds me of a less dark version of David Shrigley’s work.  According to his bio, ” If none of this madness is to your tastes then we recommend a career in science, where literally no one poops rainbows.”

I like you even more now, Tim.

You can see more of Tim’s work on his website and his blog.

And for animation enthusiasts, some gems:

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