Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Long

You know what is even better than a three day weekend? A four day weekend! I had Friday off, so Violet and I spent four whole days together. Jeff was busy studying so we had some serious mummy-daughter bonding time. We tried to take it easy for the most part. We just hit up the playground, ate our first Dee Dee's cones of the season, ate homemade burritos with friends, ran a race/cheered for a mama and celebrated with much deserved TIBS treats. Oh, we also celebrated a certain man's birthday. Jeff turned 29 on Sunday and we ate hot dogs and drank beer to acknowledge the occasion (that is actually what he wanted to do). I was only okay about snapping photographic evidence of our shenanigans this weekend, but here is what I have.



{some of the first bare legs of the year}
{I couldn't possibly pose for another photo}
{first outdoor cone of 2014}
{Vi and I documenting the momentous occasion}
{market imp}
{scooty mc scooterson}
{my cutest cheerleaders}
{love that face}
{I really hate every picture of myself while I am pregnant, but I really want to document this pregnancy -- I deleted every picture of myself from when I was pregnant with Violet and I don't want to do that again!}
{running with a baby in my belly!}

{yes, yes I do}
{hey, who ran the race?}

Thursday, May 15, 2014

baby pond's nook - round 1


We have a pretty tiny house, with a very tiny room we plan to use as a nursery. Jeff is, however, currently using said tiny room as a tiny office. Until his exam is over in a few weeks I can't really get my hands on our little baby nook/nursery. (I hesitate to use the word nursery because it really is a very tiny space...except for if you want to buy our house, in that case it is totally a third bedroom...)

I have a few ideas and I bought the cozy rope rug I showed you in my collage. I also ordered that crib and I plan on making my way to ikea in a few weeks while we are in Ontario to celebrate my sister-in-law's wedding. There is no better place to buy simple white furniture! A dresser can act as a change table, right? I initially had my heart set on wallpaper but the ones I like are bananas in terms of price ($300 for one tiny wall - that seems like a lot, no?). I thought maybe a large print (like the long-horn steer photo above) would look good above the crib, but I'm still not sure. The room is so tiny there really isn't room for more furniture so I thought I'd use some floating shelves to add a little more storage. I also keep buying woven jute baskets when I go to Target. I figure they'll be good for storing blankets, diapers and small toys.

I am afraid of colour (other than grey) on walls, so I am thinking I'll stick with a neutral theme, but what do you think? Is this looking a little drab? I guess I have to consider curtains and lighting too, right? Anything else I am missing? What colour could I add as an accent? Red? I love tiny hearts, but are those too girly? Does that matter?




Monday, May 12, 2014

Santiago Cake

Yesterday was Mother's Day and despite the fact that Violet treated me to an early gift (gastro bug for her) we had a lovely day. We kept a low profile, given the aforementioned tummy trouble, but we did head to Bauer St. for a BBQ yesterday afternoon. I volunteered to make dessert and I decided on Santiago cake. Have you tried it? Well, let me tell you a little story about Santiago cake and how it almost became the cake that never was.

A couple of years ago Jeff bought Ferran Adria's cookbook entitled "The Family Meal". Sounds approachable, right? Wrong. I should have known that the granddaddy of molecular gastronomy wouldn't define family meal the same way I do. Pork belly? Polenta? Sardines? All yummy, and things I would love to try to cook at home, but on a weeknight? For a family meal? Forget about it. I make weeknight meals like fajitas or turkey burgers, and those are my fanciest offerings if I am being honest. Then again, I don't own the world's most highly regarded restaurant, so there you have it. Mr. Adria and I operate on different wavelengths. Anyway, Jeff loves this cookbook and frequently mentions how we should integrate poached salmon with two weird sauces (sofrito? picada?) into our weekly rotation. Any time you want to start making supper, my love, any old time. Anyway, I've sort of built up a secret disdain for this cookbook and I have been really hesitant to try any of the recipes.

Jeff has mentioned Santiago cake at least a dozen times over the last two years. My mum can't tolerate gluten and Santiago cake is gluten free. Better still, it is gluten free in a yummy way (almond flour) not in a weird, complicated way (xanthan gum). Despite this, I shrugged off the idea of making it every single time he brought it up. On Sunday I finally agreed to try Jeff's long anticipated cake and I admit it is delicious. Yes, Jeffrey, you read that right. It was so good! I should have made it years ago. Honestly. Equally importantly, the cake is so easy (okay, maybe The Family Meal is a decent title), it is basically almond flour, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. It doesn't get much easier than that.

I imagine Europeans eat cake like this for breakfast (I stand to be corrected since I can count my experience with European breakfasts on two hands, but indulge me here). It is simple and understated, but somehow kind of classy. This cake doesn't have to try too hard. You know what I mean? Like, if you put it next to a big ol' donut or a cupcake with sky high icing it would be like those other desserts are trying too hard or something. I served the cake with fat, ripe raspberries and it was perfect. We had it with coffee after our first outdoor meal of the season. Really, it would have been hard to beat.

You should make this cake. Don't wait two years. Don't make the same mistake I did!

You can find the recipe for Santiago cake here. (Just fyi, the recipe says to grease the pan with butter and flour it, but all it did was grease the pan with coconut oil and line the pan with parchment paper and it worked).