One of the first recipes that I published on Linden & Lavender was Lemon Spelt Madeleines with Seasonal Poached Pears and Rose Crème Anglaise. I thought it was a masterpiece, that it would go viral and supportive family members would run out to purchase the obscure madeleine molds. Needless to say, I was shocked when no one commented and there was very little response to the recipe. How little I knew about blogging, marketing and food photography in 2016! I’m pleased to say that I have come a long way since that time (but there is a long way to go). I am still learning and challenging myself weekly. Admittedly, I do get distracted by new things which probably slows down my progress but I know it is not a race in which there is any winner. I’m working against myself but more importantly, for myself. Did I mention I’m that I picked up weaving and that I’m obsessed with gardening?! This is what keeps me working late into the night. The lack of sleep feels worth it if I get the opportunity to create. Is there anything that you’ve been wanting try try or explore outside of your full-time job? I’ve just started diving into these curiosities instead of thinking to myself “one day, when I have more time...” because life is for living now.Read More
Today’s recipe is from the Feeding a Family cookbook by Sarah Waldman and photographed by Elizabeth Cecil. I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Sarah at a photography and styling workshop this past winter. Sarah, not surprisingly, was the chef at the workshop and if you’ve been following me along on blog, you’ll have seen her work.
I received her cookbook for my birthday and have spent the last month and half devouring her wisdom. Her food follows the seasons and encourages a family approach to meal prep. Meals are nutritious and inventive (i.e. not smothered in cheese or ketchup). The idea is to support families in creating a positive food environment instead of the stress (no time!) and guilt (take-out again) that sometime accompanies it. She also addresses picky eaters and provides options for feeding a baby from the same meal.
My favourite part about the book (note, this is not an ad even though I’m sure it is starting to sound like one) is that it was photographed and written over the course of a year. This means you get to see Sarah’s two darling boys as they grow, help with the meals and explore Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a beautiful documentation of a year of family life and I am inspired to document my own family in this way.
I chose to make out the “Clean Out the Garden Dinner” in which I made the following:
- Zucchini, Beef, and Halloumi Cheese Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce
- Tomato, Peach, and Red Onion Panzanella
- Lemon-Blackberry Custard
Our family loves barbecuing in the summer and this dishes were perfect for a sunny August evening. Admittedly, my children did not like the zucchini or tomatoes but I haven't given up (I will continue to put them on the kid's plates because I love them). I’ve included the recipe for the custard below which, you'll love.Read More
Lately I have been posting about buying a home. I hope you’re not tired hearing about this! This will be my last #ohmygoodnessweboughtahomepost but I guarantee there will be many #werenovated or #beforeandafterphotos or #howdoidecoratethisroom posts?
Admittedly, we’re late comers to the home buying world. It didn’t bother us that many of our friends purchased homes shortly after completing university or getting married. For many years, we didn’t have a clue where we would end up so it didn’t make sense to invest in a house or property. Travel, school and exploration were our focus for many years. We thrived in this lifestyle until things changed, we changed.
Once we decided on the city we wanted to live in (based on our education and my husband’s contract) we signed a lease for a historic rental in the heart of downtown. Our lovely friends chose it for us when we were living in New York and I am completely grateful for their foresight. It turned out that we loved the neighbourhood and decided that this was the place we wanted to stay, this is where we wanted to buy. The tricky and somewhat discouraging part was to find a home that included the “must-haves” and was also within our budget. I surprised myself when I declared that the three most important things to me were a backyard, lots of natural light and a historic home (before children I wouldn’t have cared to have a backyard).Read More
As a teenager, I always pictured myself living in some remote place, far away from my hometown. The place was definitely not in Canada as that would be far too boring, predictable and lack imagination. As a university student, I was certain that my dream job would land me in Europe, likely Switzerland or Germany. After completing my first contract job, I pictured myself living with my husband, raising my future children and working somewhere within the forests of tropical Africa. This is where my heart had fallen. I seemed to have little choice in the matter at the time.
Except that life happens. Priorities change, compromises are made. I am not living any of the places that I thought I once would. Life has turned out to be far more beautiful than I could have imagined yet, so very different than my imagination let me believe it would turn out.
While we live in Canada, the drive to my hometown (we usually head home on holidays) feels daunting with two young children. It is indeed tiring and as a third trimester pregnant lady, it is a little overwhelming with packing and being on the highway for a good portion of the day. It is such that I find myself wanting to stay at my house. Not to bother with all the organization, lack of sleep and excitement. Also, to remain comfortable within my home and routine. But then, we decide to go and make the drive. House tidied, bags packed, meals and entertainment for the kids packed, and we are off driving along the least exciting expressway for over 450 kilometres. After arriving, I’m always so pleased and happy to have made the trip.
The place that I thought of running away from is lovelier and more life-filled to me now than it was as a young adult. Going “home, home” as some would say, is even better now because I see it through my children’s eyes, through the joy that it brings grandparents when they are reunited with their grandchildren and because I have been away long enough to truly appreciate it.