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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Save the Date // Fibrations

You may recall my recap of the first annual Fibrations last year. It was a fun and relaxed event and I loved the setting, the vendors were set up in the orchard at St Ann's Academy, downtown Victoria. 

It's almost that time of year again and I am so pleased to announce that I will be a vendor at this years event! I will have all of my samples on display to view and try on as well as printed copies of all of my patterns. 

Hope to see you there!

. . .

August 19th 
The Orchard at St Ann's Academy 
635 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC
Sunday from 10am - 4pm

Stay up to date by liking them on Facebook. For more information on Fibrations as well as a complete list of vendors visit their website

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Finalists

The race to be the first ripe tomato is finally over. Today I picked these beauties off of their vines, they are the first ripe tomatoes of the season and boy was it a close finish. Gold Nugget is our official winner, these three little guys were properly ripe when I picked them and practically fell off the vine. Tied for second place, Rocket and Glacier weren't quite as ripe but tasty nonetheless. 

Here are the results of the taste test: 

Rocket was sweet and very mild, this tomato packed the least punch, we'll see if it's a better contender when it's good and ripe. I give it third place.

Glacier was our flavor winner, a little sweet with just enough acidity to give it zip, this one packed the most punch, even slightly under ripe! Yum.

Gold Nugget had a bit of zip too but was milder than the Glacier, I haven't been as impressed with the yellow tomatoes in previous years, they've seemed a bit bland against their red counterparts. This one was quite nice in the flavor department.

Are you growing tomatoes? Who were the winners in your garden this year?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greek {Quinoa} Salad

I love salad. The trouble is it takes a huge amount to sustain me (anyone who knows me is always amazed at how much food I put away). For this reason I have a major love of salads that are packed full of hearty ingredients, salads that are meant to be meals rather than sides. One such salad is one my Mum threw together and I've sort of tweaked it and made it my own. It's a play on traditional Greek Salad with the addition of Quinoa as it's base. Quinoa is high in protein which makes this salad a very satisfying meal and energy booster. To me it's the perfect lunch and I live off it in the summer months.

...and because it's gluten free I've been meaning to share it with my good friend Shannon, so why not share it with you too!

You will need...
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • handful of cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 baby zucchini (sliced) or handful of cucumber (quartered)
  • 1/3 of a large red pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 of an avocado (cubed)
  • small handful of roasted pinenuts
  • 1 tbsp sliced kalamata olives (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp juice from sliced kalamata olives
  • handful of feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (2 tbsp)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano (chopped) or small handful of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste 

To Prepare...

Cook the Quinoa as directed. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Quinoa cools quite quickly on it's own but when I'm in a hurry I spread the hot Quinoa onto a dinner plate and it cools in a flash.

Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. This salad is best served at room temperature but does keep for a few days if refrigerated. I recommend zucchinis over cucumbers if you know you will be eating this over a number of days, the cucumbers have a tendency to get soggy by day 2.

(Serves: 1 Jane or 4 people with average appetites) 

...the garlic is from the Duncan Farmers Market, there is nothing like fresh garlic! 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Storms

 For whatever reason, we don't seem to get thunder and lightening here in Victoria, not ever. I've heard explanations involving the mountain ranges and our location but couldn't find any information when I Googled it. When I lived in Pittsburgh we would get the most incredibly intense summer storms and I loved them. These heat storms would roar with thunder and the sky would suddenly open up all at once, and rain would fall so hard that just a second outside of cover would drench you to your underclothes. And then, just as quickly as they would start, it would all be over, and we would ride our bikes around the neighborhood assessing the damage. It was common to find trees or large branches on top of cars or blocking roadways. One year a tree fell on our neighbors newly laid roof.

On Friday morning I woke up to the sound of thunder, it was so uncharacteristic of  this area that I dismissed it at first. That night Elsie and I watched a storm move across the sky from my office window. There was such a distinction between the clear sky and the area that had clouded over from the storm. It moved quite quickly and was really neat to watch. 

Do you love summer storms? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

In the Garden...

The heat of summer has finally arrived and my garden is basking in the endless summer days. One happy little thing that I've noticed is the succulents that are sending up flowers. 

This doesn't seem to happen every year and I attribute the display to the plants level of happiness :) They are very happy this year.

My rasberries are turning red which is exciting. 

And I've moved my strawberries to hang in a tree because the first handful of ripe ones were eaten by slugs. So disappointing. 

I have to say the level of destruction has completely diminished and now we can finally enjoy these tasty little guys. 

Also, one upside to the un-summer like weather we've had to endure is that my lettuce has yet to bolt! I've had an endless supply of yummy greens this year and I've been extremely happy with the varieties I'm growing, I'm taking lots of notes and there are many keepers in this bunch! 

Clockwise from top left: Red Oak Leaf, Roxy, Cimmaron, and Little Gem.

 a handful of Kale rainbow lacinato


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Canada Day 2012...

Happy belated Canada Day! 

A group of us chose to spend the long weekend on a girls camping trip up the Island, exploring Strathcona Park. It's an area none of us had ever been and is known for it's hiking trails and untouched land. 

I apologize ahead of time if some of the pictures are blurry, we all had to pack very lightly and for this reason I did not bring my camera with me. All of the pictures were taken with my phone. 

After a 4.5 hour drive, this was the first sign we encountered when we arrived at our campground  
June 30th, it made me a little uneasy... I think if Elsie had been with me I would have turned around and gone home!

Everyday we hiked a new trail, and during our day hike up Phillips Ridge 
we went high enough to reach snow!

 It started to pour rain in the middle of the night on our last day so packing up was a challenge. Ourselves and all of our gear was soaking wet, and now my backyard looks like a small campground because I've set everything up to air dry. 

In the end it was very well worth it. 

 I can't wait until my next trip!

Did you do anything fun this long weekend? 
I know many went camping, did anyone else get rained out?