Wednesday, April 27, 2011

little nest in east van

little nest is a lovely cafe just off commercial drive on charles street. in the lovely east vancouver neighbourhood. its beautiful, full of light from a huge wall of pure window facing north. full of mismatched furniture and an abundance of childrens' toys and highchairs. its very child friendly, which is awesome for moms and dads who want to go out for coffee or brunch with their friends but worry about whether there will be room or entertainment for their little ones. there is at little nest. lots of it. not to mention excellent coffee and delicious meals.

great place to meet friends for brunch. i did just that a couple weekends ago. i wanted to try the egg & soldiers (soft-boiled egg with toasted baguette) but felt a bit more hungry than that.

so i got french toast. it was served with fresh pineapple, whipped lime curd, crushed pistachios, and maple syrup. it was heavenly. it sounded so unusual i had to try it. it felt a little pricey at $12 when i initially ordered it, but it was worth it. oh yes.

my friend had some kind of fritatta and mushroom special. it looked awesome.

rice pudding. i didn't have it, but tried my friend's. tasty.

my one complaint about little nest (from my 2 experiences) was that the sandwich i had was a little bit dry. the beets were tasty, and made for a gorgeous mess on the plate. i took my leftover half home and re-toasted it with some mayo and more cheese and it was a lot better.

they serve ethical bean coffee. i've had the coffee at little nest twice now and i can't complain.

(i love it when coffee is served in a glass glass. for some really bizarre reason it actually makes me really happy. i'm crazy. i know.)

little nest
1716 charles st
9am to 4pm
every day
(kitchen closes at 3pm)
Little Nest on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 18, 2011

THIS IS EAST VAN at make it! vancouver

this past weekend i had the pleasure of attending the spring 'make it! vancouver' show down at the croatian cultural centre on commercial & 16th. it's a great way for consumers to buy directly from artists, crafters and designers.

i have to admit, i felt a tad bit guilty walking into the show, knowing i probably wasn't going to buy much. i really love to support local artists, and i do it when i can, but the truth is, i can't always. sometimes food in my mouth & paying rent take top priority. weird, right?

but i didn't just go to the make it! show to feel guilty or to feel jealousy of other artists' great work. i had a purpose. i was there to buy a book with one of my photographs in it, and to meet the great people behind that book.

the book? THIS IS EAST VAN. a community photography project about life in east vancouver. i live in east vancouver, so i felt it appropriate to submit a couple photos last summer to this project. to my great joy, one of them got in! i was super excited.

the people? erin & jason. they've put so much time, blood, sweat and tears into the making of this book. the book is gorgeous, i hope they are proud.

another cool thing about the book? part of the proceeds will be going to a local east van arts organization, voted on by the contributors. our pick? reel youth.

my obvious bias aside, TIEV's booth had the best looking set up. it was nice to finally meet the people behind this project, they were so friendly and down to earth.

a few gimpses into THIS IS EAST VAN:

my page! my page! (page 157.) coffee is such a big part of east van, and my life in east van, so that's why i chose to submit this photo. this particular cup is from the Roundel cafe in my neighbourhood. after every meal you get a fortune. that day's fortune: "you are prompted to set new goals and discover new desires"

if you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can find them online at cargoh. if you are local, they will be in a few local retailers soon. head to the TIEV website for updates.

(oh, and i did end up buying some beautiful prints from calgary-based photographer amy victoria wakefield)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

thursday thrift: a temporary absence

i am taking a temporary absence from my thursday thrift weekly posts. i'm catching up with life right now, and find myself struggling to put something together wednesday night and that's not worth it for any of us. i also find that having to post something specific weekly makes me not post other things that i'd like to post about, because i feel i 'need' to do the thursday thrift post before i do anything else.

so today i'm going to give you some snapshots of a few random things i've been up to lately (lately being the last month or two). you'll notice a trend of food and/or friends.

this is a pie. a beautiful, lemon meringue pie that i helped my friend and fellow photographer sharon make one day. doesn't it look lovely? it tasted so.

sometimes i make sandwiches. and then i eat them. occasionally i take some time in between to photograph them. (usually i'm too hungry)

got together with some friends to celebrate jobs & school. homemade spinach spanakopitas and chocolate chip cookies.

met some old friends for brunch. it was wonderful, but too short. they're having a baby soon, which is super exciting.

speaking of babies... this is a cute baby some of my other friends made. i got to take some photos of him. his name is reid.

this is reid's big brother, jude. i took photos of him a month earlier.

along with his family.

and reid too! (he's just hiding in his momma's tummy)

trying to enjoy spring when i can. when the weather lets me, and when i'm not too lazy.

last weekend i got to shoot engagement photos for a lovely friend of mine. we had a lot of fun! i did, anyway. :)

(i think i use the word 'lovely' far too often. really need to work on expanding my vocabulary)

enjoy your thursday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

thursday thrift: chocolate hazelnut spread (soo much better than nutella)

i have to admit, homemade chocolate hazelnut spread may not be the best topic for a thursday thrift. it may end up being a tiny bit more expensive than buying nutella, but i swear it will be worth it.

i also have to apologize for my absence from the interwebs, or specifically this blog, for the last couple weeks. i got really sick a week and a half ago, and became mentally drained as well as physically incapable of much. the flu really knocks you out. i'm still not feeling 100%. i also just started a new job today, so much has been happening, and i'm exhausted, so i'll keep this short. i'm making myself post this blog, even though i want to sleep so very badly.

right, so back to this nutella knock-off. the recipes i've found call for whole hazelnuts, but i cheated a bit and bought a jar of hazelnut butter (which is just from hazelnuts). incidentally, i bought this jar a loooong time ago for the intent and purpose of making chocolate-hazelnut-spreadable-goodness, but i got lazy and forgot. one day, however, i remembered i had it and got to work. and it was super easy. super. easy. you can also do the whole hazelnut thing - probably cheaper than the hazelnut butter, but a bit of extra work too. extra work doesn't hurt you though. that's what they say....

here's what i did:
  • 1 250 gram jar of hazelnut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • up to 1/4 cup nut oil (i used walnut, i'm sure hazelnut oil would be divine, but canola may work if you're in a pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
and i just mixed it all together with a hand-mixer until it was smooth enough for me, and i poured it into pretty jars and refrigerated.

if you want to use whole hazelnuts, you will need a food processor, or a good blender (or be okay with chunkiness). use this recipe here. it looks really well thought out.

do try this at home. its not as sweet as nutella, but it tastes richer, and realer. it is realer, really.