i fell in love with a frying pan

i've been fed up with non-stick pans for years. after replacing them for the n-th time, and not wanting my family and I to continually 'eat' the non-stick coating, i decided to seek out an alternative. by golly i have found it! ladies and gentleman let me introduce you to carbon steel (or black steel, or raw steel). not a common household skillet, but very common as a wok. i remember my mom cooking with a raw steel wok when i was a kid.
i bought my first carbon steel pan over a year ago, and i absolutely love it. it's lighter than cast iron, and in my experience, more non-stick. it heats up quick, can be heated up to high temperatures without ruining the finish, and you can use metal utensils on it. i can stick the whole thing in the oven, or use it on the BBQ. it makes a mean sear on a steak, and eggs slide right off. you treat it like a cast iron pan, rubbing it with a little oil after each use, and the non-stick-ability gets better and better over time. i went for the cheaper brand (the one that's famous for making cast iron), but there are a couple of French made brands that i've heard very good things about. it's a one time investment, and you have it for life.

best day ever cake

after i finished this cake i changed my tune for avoiding fresh flowers.
it turned out so pretty!
it's all cake - vanilla cake, raspberry preserves and lemon buttercream filling, and covered with vanilla buttercream.
i also designed and made the cake topper. i don't have a cutting machine, and wasn't going to buy one just for one project, so i patiently cut through 3 layers of cardboard with an x-acto knife. well let me tell you, if there is a next time, i'm going to buy a machine!


once again i left my heart in the redwood forest.
this was my second visit, the first for the boys, and definitely not our last.
i stepped into the forest and started tearing up on our first hike. the feeling of being surrounded by giant trees is absolutely incredible. i don't think there's another place on earth that can have the same impact on your senses. the light filtering through, the massive scale, the colours, the smell, even the wind sounds different.
i am eternally grateful to the people who worked so hard to protect these giants way back when logging them was the norm. only about 5% of old growth forest remains. some of these trees are over 2000 years old. imagine, they were living when Jesus was born!
it's one thing to see an old building, but it's another to see a living thing that's thousands of years old.
we made stops in humboldt redwoods state park and redwood national and state parks. we also drove through a tree in a town aptly named Leggett.
not a fan of these attractions and certainly do not want any more holes to be cut into trees (don't think you are allowed to do this anymore), but since it was in Leggett we figured it was something to see. an oxymoron right here, actually, if you think about it … a car in a tree.

dirty apron chalk wall

i know.
i know.
it's been 5 months. nothing is wrong. everything is good.  i simply have no explanation. life gets … … to be, life. and blogging has not been a priority.

we are still here. :) as you can probably see from instagram (on left).

i'm just going to jump right in...
here's a few photos from a chalk wall i did at the dirty apron cooking school and delicatessen. i love this place so much. their cooking classes are out of this world. and the deli is a great spot for breakfast and lunch. i was so beyond thrilled for the privilege to work on this in their entry way.

 becoming an expert at drawing behind stuff...
 my favourite part is the artichokes.
great to draw, not so great to cook, in my opinion. maybe i shouldn't have typed that out loud seeing as this is at a cooking school! i love eating them, out of a jar, especially the grilled ones. it's so much work to prep and cook them, for so little to eat at the end! i've heard that it's not about the artichoke at all but the butter or aioli that you dip them in. it's a vehicle to drink melted butter. Someday i'll embrace them in their fresh state.

first day of the year

january 1st, 2015, we packed up the family last minute to go tobogganing. so up a mountain we went to find some white stuff.
only that when we got up there, the tobogganing hills were way too scary for our boys. so we decided to build a snowman.

 here's the funny thing, the boys did not intend to build a snowman resembling olaf. considering none of them have seen frozen. yep, we somehow managed to avoid it. but the snow didn't stick. and that's the best we could do to make a round snowball.
happy new year!

gold foil

gold gold and more gold! i remember a time when gold was so not cool. not today! it's everywhere. new gold foil prints are up in the shop!

chalkboard magazine cover

completely forgot to share this, this is my latest chalk commission:
a life-sized chalkboard magazine cover at ella shoes in metrotown.

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