Just back from two days of shooting at a friend’s lakeside house. We shot a beautiful Christmas story, which will come out in our December issue, an a story about bold colourful decorating for next summer. It’s a very schyzophrenic experience to spend one day with glowing fires, hot chocolate and cozy blankets, and the next surrounded by tropical leaves, orange flip flops and floral fabrics. It was a two day affair, plus a couple of days of driving, packing, unpacking etc…. Very exhausting when you’re 5 1/2 months pregnant and 20 lbs heavier than usual! My feet were aching and throbbing yesterday, but all for a good cause. I can’t wait to see the layouts on these two stories- I just know you will love them.
While I was there, I absolutely fell in love with one of the greatest summer products available on the market. And get this, it’s from, are you ready for it, Canadian Tire! Yes, good ‘ol CT has outdone themselves on this one. It’s an outdoor recliner from LazBoy that comes in a very fabulous blue and grey/brown. It is supremely comfortable, and let me tell you that once you sit in it, you may not get up again (as in my case with my swollen throbbing legs!). At $350, it’s not cheap cheap, but I think it’s worth every penny. Run to get one of two before they sell out!
And an image:
Went to the Ikea Catalogue launch party last night (in Carmen Miranda heels and all)- you should be getting your catalogue today, or by the week-end at the latest. All sorts of opinions on that coming up after the week-end!
Have a great August long-weekend! My dad and his girfriend are arriving from France today. Can’t wait to see them- it’s been about a year…..
Just had 2 days of food shoots! Feels like the old Toronto Jenn…..cooking and styling her heart out. One was for EAT magazine. It’s a West Coast food mag – all about Vancouver and Van Island – where to eat, who’s growing what, chef news and of course, my column…..Local Kitchen! Recipes for seasonal and local cuisine. We just shot fall – and funny enough – the weather here right now is pretty perfect for the hearty braised pork I did (can’t give it away, but there was bourbon, apple cider and lots of caraway involved) plus a wicked soup and a fantastic apple dessert. You can check out this month’s issue on line though. Go to http://www.eatmagazine.ca/ and look under Local Kitchen. We shoot at my house, which makes it super comfortable, and almost like I’m having a dinner party every time we shoot.
Then just this morning I had a studio shoot. The client was organic pizza dough. This was my first food styling gig that was for a product vs. an editorial spread. To tell you the truth, I was nervous as hell….but Michael Tourigny, the photographer, was a dream to work with (check out his stuff at http://www.michaeltourigny.com). And it went well! I feel very excited and hope more of that comes my way.
And now, am off with my mom and sis to do the famous Dallas Road walk. It’s a path that winds its way along the ocean. You walk along the edge of bluffs and look down on the waves – and at certain points you can hop down to the beach. We’ll sit on big washed up logs and watch the huge freighters roll in. I’m addicted to ship watching.
Am thinking of either pork chops or steak tonight……I still have some of my homemade garlic scape pesto to use up – so maybe I’ll grill up the meat and let some pesto/butter coins melt into it and dish up with garden greens and lots of avocado. Dessert…….my brandied cherries with ice cream.
There’s an interesting new development related to a reader question we answered in March about whether the fluoride that’s added to our drinking water and found in our toothpastes is harmful to our health. The expert we consulted — Dr. Harry Limeback, the head of preventative dentistry at the University of Toronto — said, in part:
“An adult who lives in an area where the water is fluoridated consumes two to four milligrams of fluoride per day, two-thirds of which comes from drinking tap water. New studies have linked overexposure to fluoride with thyroid problems, hip fractures and dental fluorosis, a condition where the teeth are mottled, or covered in white or brown stains…Health Canada requires warning labels on fluoridated toothpastes that caution against swallowing toothpaste. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association also caution against using fluoridated water for making infant formula.”
Yesterday’s Globe and Mail reported on the recommendations of an expert panel commissioned by Health Canada to study the health risks of fluoride exposure. Although the panel didn’t find serious enough evidence linking fluoride to a rare type of bone cancer in boys (the type that Terry Fox had) or IQ deficits, it did express concern over how much fluoride children ingest. The panel’s counsel: “cut the recommended amount in drinking water, encourage the use of low-fluoride toothpaste by children and have makers of infant formula reduce levels in their products.”
Health Canada has said now that it will go ahead and reduce fluoride levels in drinking water nationwide, and one expert also recommended that children under 4 brush their teeth with low-fluoride toothpaste.
I Picked up these colourful Patty Pan squashes (see below) at Toronto’s Dufferin Grove market –a fabulous little farmer’s market in the middle of the city. They’re about the size of a small cantaloupe, the largest I’ve ever seen; The little yellow zucchini comes from my mom’s garden.
I chopped all of them up, then tossed them with a little oil and some fresh thyme, salt and pepper. While I was doing this I stuck the baking sheet in the oven while it was preheating. Then I tumbled the squash onto the hot sheet, which will give them some nice browning. I added some cherry tomatoes on the vine too – they always look pretty on the plate.
This kind of side dish is great because it’s done in 20 minutes and tastes great warm or at room temperature, in case your timing is a little off (I sometimes get stressed about getting everything on the table at the same time).
Just a sprinkling of fresh thyme and chopped basil and I was set (for the side dish at least). Both squashes kept their sweet, super-fresh flavour. Thanks local farmers, and Mom, of course. And In-season squash, I’m going to miss you, you’re never quite the same come winter.
Five days a week, 55 minutes a day — that’s how much exercise overweight women need to get in order to lose the excess pounds and keep them off, according to a recent study. “This shouldn’t be discouraging. It can be done,” says the doctor who led the research for the University of Pittsburgh. He added that anyone’s lifestyle and commitments can allow for this much of a workout regimen. Tell that to my eight-week-old son!