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cookie makin’ afternoon…

28 Jan

cookie afternoon the urbanpocketknife

My neighbourhood friend invited me over one afternoon so I could watch her make her amazingly perfect macarons. Those dudes are finicky as hell (post about my macaron adventures later), and of course not only does she make wonderful macarons but also a myriad of baked goods.  Oh did I mention she used to bake professionally?  Riiight, I just learned that that afternoon.  Duh.

cookie afternoon the urbanpocketknife

A plate of her other cookies, ginger bread melt in your mouth goodness, a stacked prune cookie (umm enough layers?) and her infamous salted chocolate caramel cookie, dear god I could eat a whole pan of these in one sitting.  I got the baking bug soon after this visit so any excuse to make baked goods is good enough for me.  We all know that it’s a little sad to make a whole batch of something just for myself…..I’m totes a fat kid.

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brussel sprout stalk….

17 Oct

brussel sprouts stalk urbanpocketknife

I know it’s silly, but sometimes I REALLY  like buying vegetables that have it’s original parts attached.  If there’s an apple with a leaf attached, it’s sure to find it’s way in my bag.  I saw a lady carrying a stalk of brussel sprouts at the West End Farmer’s Market one weekend and  I quickly accosted her and asked where she got it from.  Bolting down the stands with an 8 year old child on my arm who didn’t understand what all the hubbub was all about it, I found the stand that had only one left.

Hoping I didn’t look to desperate, I wait patiently behind 4 other people while being riddled by many questions by this 8 year old why I loved brussel sprouts so much.  I tried to explain that it was cool that it was on the stalk still…she didn’t get it.

In any case, I scored the last one for $5….dood, such a bargain.

Ok so you can’t eat the stalk because it’s woody as hell but it  looked  like a little trophy on my kitchen counter for a couple of days and made me smile.  Plus it made the best dish of brussel sprouts ever, charred, with some fried prosciutto, grated sheep cheese and drizzle of truffle oil.

brussel sprouts stalk urbanpocketknife

hello kitty goes grunge…

25 Oct

Oh yes…the Seattle Doc Marten store has a whole display dedicated to the limited edition Hello Kitty boots.

This classic eight hole has bright pink laces, eyelets and sole and let’s not forget the classic hair bow adornment.

ornamental black pearl pepper plant….

31 Aug

Oh how I wish I had discovered you earlier in the season!  This uber unique black pearl pepper plant sports some very true black leaves and adorable globe mini peppers with just the slightest hint of purple.  In the bright sunshine this plant was glistening black and if I had room in my fire escape garden, this baby would’ve come home with me.

Growing up, my mom always planted amazing gardens and I often went with her to nurseries to pick out plants for the season.  Southlands Nursery in Vancouver is nothing like I’ve ever seen!  Most of the nursery is outdoors and the plant varieties is absolutely amazing!  From a huge variety of vegetable plants to shrubbery and flowers, this place has it all.  Although a little steep in price on some plants, you can’t argue the plant quality as there is never a limp and sad looking plant to be found.

It still amazes me what you can grow in BC, the varieties seem to be endless here!  The benefits of having such mild weather I suppose!

yummy hippie beach food….

23 Jul

One lazy afternoon on Jericho Beach, we were approached by a couple with two trays of very delectable looking veggie pasteries.  These little pocket bowls were filled with different vegetables and it was hard to resist!  $5.00 for 2 and they had 4 different flavours.  The pick above was filled with grated beets, goat cheese and cilantro.  The red beet juice dribbled out some of the seams and made for a very pretty looking stain.

I had a sweet potato one that was a little bit sweet and creamy and the one pictured above was a potato and herb pocket.  What could be better than having two super nice people selling you their fresh baked goods right on the beach and using a frisbee to hold them?  Nothing.

the strange world of taxidermy….

11 Mar

Practically a dying art, taxidermy was widely popular back in the day and when an exhibit came up at the Vancouver Museum I couldn’t refuse going to check it out.  Creepy, realistic and some would say an art form, there’s something awesome about being able to approach an animal so close…unless you’re looking at a botch job and see glue seeping out of the seams or unnatural poses.  Why do you people have heads mounted on their walls and bodies under their feet?  Who knows…but mounted dear heads and bear skin rugs still go for an arm and leg these days.

If anyone knows my art background, you would know that I like all things creepy and slightly disturbing so it’s no wonder that taxidermy is such a fascination with me….

On to the show!

It’s a rabbit, it’s an antelope, it’s a jackalope!  Also known as Rogue taxidermy, people used to combine animal parts to make fantastical animals such as this one or unicorns, mermaids and the like.  People are weird.

snake, iguana, baby alligators...remind you of grade 10 science?

Technically these guys are just sittin’ in a jar of formaldehyde but they’re preserved and creepy nonetheless.  Something about the yellow liquid makes me think they just peed in the water.

this little weasel dude could fit in the palm of my hand

This is when you start getting the heebie jeebies.  It’s one thing to display them looking “alive” but when they’re lying like this in a cardboard box that looks like a coffin…consider yourself creeped out.

more deadish looking birds

The infamous platypus…apparently when this dude was stuffed, people believed it was part of a Rogue taxidermy between a beaver and a duck…the bill is slightly peeled off the fur because they tried to see if it was stitched on.

this beaver is just plain cute

There is a famous roadside attraction called the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta.  This diorama is on loan from that museum and it features a bunch of these gopher scenes.  They are incredible adorable until you remember that they’re real…dead animals.

And lastly, this is when science meets art….a borderline topic for some people apparently.  Back in the day, animals were killed and then studied which is how taxidermy came about.  But there are some artists that like using animals as their materials and it’s iffy on how the general public reacts to this.  Some artists only use roadkill but it comes with complicated animal protection laws that differ from place to place.

The End.

smart mouth cafe – our first friendship date…

3 Mar

Way back in the fall, I met Vlad in Gastown at Smart Mouth Cafe and people watched (more like criticized) over jasmine tea and a latte.  After he inhaled lung fulls of my motorcycle exhaust and proclaimed that he was in love with the smell, I left thinking “Man, that kid is such a weirdo” and “Damn!  That was the BEST latte I’ve every had!”.

Ever since, I make a bee line for this cafe whenever I’m anywhere close to Gastown.  The interior is spacious, two levels with the first having a lot more floor space than actual tables.  The counters are full of baked treats and it always seems a tad too warm inside, thus the patio sets outside are a perfect vantage point for homeless to approach you and to mock the passing tourists.

the register says it all...latte for $3.50

I usually don’t like coffee drinks with foam…kind of like the annoyance of fizzy pop…but the foam on these lattes must be made with love.  The consistency is creamy and thick, almost not like foam at all.  It stays with the entire drink and you get a small mouthful every time you take a sip.  It’s scoopable and retains its’ shape without dying on you.

My roomie who used to work at the much inferior Starbucks says that it is called Velvet Foam.  Say it with me…”Velvet”.  Apparently this occurs when you put the frothing nozzle deeper into the milk and foam from there.  It creates more delicate bubbles and takes longer which is why a lot of places don’t do it.  Either way, it makes a mean latte!  Plus…who doesn’t like a little heart shape floating in their perfect cup of coffee?