Aug 31, 2012

How to Make Cedar Plank Lobster Tails

45 years is a long time. That's how long my parents have been married. This August, we took a drive up to Kelowna to make them a special anniversary dinner. I chose cedar plank lobster tails with roasted radishes because my Dad loves lobster, and my Mom loves radishes.

Cedar Plank Lobster Tails

What you need:

• 1 jalapeno pepper
• ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp unseasoned rice wine vinegar
• 1 tsp granulated sugar
• ⅓ cup good quality olive oil, plus more for grilling
• 6 uncooked lobster tails (7 to 8 oz each), halved lengthwise *
• 2 untreated cedar planks (7" x 14" or similar), soaked in water for 2 hours**

What you do:

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the pepper on the hot grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then remove the charred skin from the jalapeno and cut the pepper in half, discarding the seeds. Finely dice the jalapeno.

2. Place the diced pepper in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar; cover and shake well to blend. Add the oil and replace the lid. Shake the mixture again until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Brush the cut side of the lobster tails lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the cedar planks on the grill, close the lid and heat for 4 minutes. Arrange the lobster tails, cut side down, on top of the planks. Close the grill lid and cook until meat is opaque, not transparent, and firm to the touch, about 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Serve the lobster tails with a drizzle of the lemon jalapeno vinaigrette on top and more on the side for dipping.

** I picked up the cedar planks at Rona. A pack of two was $5.80. You can also get them at William Sonoma - for twice the price

Roasted Radishes

What you need:

• 1-¼ lbs medium-sized radishes, trimmed and quartered
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 cups fresh watercress, washed and drained, thick stems removed
• 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, cut into a chiffonade

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, toss the radishes wth the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Transfer to an oven-safe skillet and roast until golden and tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the oven, add the watercress and stir until the watercress is slightly wilted. Stir in the mint and serve immediately.

Tip: Roasting radishes sweetens and mellows their flavour. For best results, choose golf ball-sized radishes and quarter them.

recipe adapted from Style at Home

Aug 30, 2012

So how old fashioned am I?

This is what I had in my bag on Monday.
Yes, that's chewable ginger Gravol. Hey, you never know when you're going to feel sick to your stomach.
The bag is by Vancouver designer Erin Templeton.

Aug 29, 2012

My Lamp Dilema is Solved


Found a shade - at my local Sally Ann. 
Lamp shade $4. Total investment $29.


Aug 27, 2012

From the Archives - How to Find a Pair of Boots

It's that time of year again and I'm starting to think about boots for Fall.
I'm going to head out to my favourite shop in New West for some inspiration and then I'm jumping onto Etsy to pad my favourites. I already have an idea of what I want, it's just a matter of finding them!

Originally published September 20, 2010

Well, after trying those Fiorentini and Baker boots on two weekends ago I had to go revisit the inspiration for them - just to make sure. Last weekend we headed to our favourite surplus store in New West to see what was in stock. I found both pairs I was looking for - the parade boot and the combat boot (photos 5 and 6) plus a few cool ones for him. Is it just me or is the boot in photo 3 a near spitting image to the Barry Distressed Buttero boots - now sold out - or how about any of these for inspiration? Of course neither of us walked out with boots but I picked up a Canadian cadet overcoat - currently at the dry cleaner so no photo.

Aug 24, 2012

Quote of the Week - Rachel Carson - Life

West Vancouver, Canada
image stacy reynaud

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.

image stacy reynaud

Aug 23, 2012

An Inspired Knock Off

Perry Ellis 1985
My orange high school locker was my inspiration board. It was 1985 and the orange background only enhanced the already kaleidoscopic menagerie of 80s fashion, Calvin Klein underwear ads and my bobbed hair crush Marcus Abel. Fast forward twenty years to a Black Crowes after party and I'm debating the difference between knocking off and being inspired by fashion with one of the designers whose ads I'd always had hanging in my locker (no, not CK).

Three months earlier the assistant of the aforementioned designer purchased my collection of vintage leather jackets at a New York event I was showing at. I wouldn't have known otherwise but being a nosy Canadian I asked her if she was really going to wear all those jackets. She replied that they weren't for her, they were for Designer X who would be knocking them off. Trust me, I know what you're thinking.

I do not regularly attend parties to accuse designers of knocking off vintage clothing. You see, as a result of early 90s, extremely loud, industrial dance sessions at Luv Affair, I have a terrible case of tinnitus. Therefore, when the designer introduced themselves at the noisy party I thought they said they worked for Designer X, not that they were, in fact, Designer X. Here I was thinking I was having a nice conversation with one of Designer X's assistants about the New York vintage show and how designers knock off vintage clothing. I didn't clue in that I was actually talking with Designer X until a groupie approached them. It would have been even more embarrassing to back track on my words and apologize for accusing them of knocking stuff off as the conversation had already evolved past that and they were real enough not to deny that they do in fact buy vintage clothing to get 'inspiration'. Needless to say,  I continued chatting along in my merry way pretending I knew who they were from the get go and of course not really hearing what I was saying because all I could think about was how friggin' embarrassed I was.

In 1985 I won the Langley School District fashion design competition. I don't remember how I actually got into the competition but I do remember being instructed to design something for Home Economics Sewing class and it was my creation - a skirt - that won. The designers had to walk the internationally famous and notoriously challenging catwalk at Langley Senior Secondary (or was it Brookswood) sporting their creation. I do remember doing that. I also remember not paying attention when the winners were announced and having someone come and find me to let me know I was being summoned. I won a Mary Kay make over!

Last night I pulled out the January 1985 edition of Vogue looking for some blog inspiration. The first page I opened to slapped me with a fistful of memories. It was a Perry Ellis ad - an ad containing the winning skirt. I now remember. I took that ad to a local sewing shop, searched out a pattern for a similar skirt and had it altered a bit.

I didn't knock it off, I was inspired by it.

The striped skirt and winning ensemble. Note the nautical theme topped off by the hat.

PS Kids - if you're going to dance beside the speakers take this old hipsters advice and be the geek that wears ear plugs. Your parents were somewhat right, you will go deaf but first you will be plagued by a torturing constant ringing in your ears - even when you have ear plugs in.

Aug 22, 2012

The Hibernation Home - House and Garden 1967


While on a little road trip last weekend I came to the conclusion that bears have SADS - hence hibernation. Humans need to take heed from our animal friends. Really, would you not rather sleep, chill out, snuggle, and stay out of the gross weather from November until March instead of forcing yourself up out of bed to go to work in the dark and come home in the dark only to be surrounded with nothing but artificial light? I know I most definitely would.

I have asked my GP for a doctor's note/green card/prescription to move south from November - March (I figure the final three months of Vancouver rain from March to June will be ok) and although she didn't say no, she did give me a prescription for a Happy Light and told me to take up indoor activities like the climbing gym (how 1994), lunching with friends ($$$), and movies (sorry, bed bug paranoia).

The days are getting shorter. If you have SADS, like me, that looming darkness is slowly rising on the horizon of your mind and The Cask of Amontillado will soon start to take on its own personal meaning. But alas, I have a new idea! I am going to approach my GP with an alternative to the green card - the Pacific Northwest Hibernation House. A prescription for a home! I don't think my insurance plan will have a problem purchasing a snippet of land and building this hinged panel glass house for me, after all, it's five times smaller than the average home here in West Van. I've already researched where I can source most of the materials so that what I use will be mostly recycled. The flip up hinged panels, that surround the entire structure, are paramount to human hibernation. Upon the light of the new season, myself, and my home, will gradually unfold and welcome back the Technicolor Springtime of the moody land I love.

Deep Cove

For more reading on moody Cascadia (the Pacific Northwest) I recommend; Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia.

home image: House and Garden Building Guide, Spring-Summer 1967

Aug 11, 2012

I'm away

Starting today I'm on vacation for four weeks! I'm headed to the spa in Whistler for the weekend - that's my only plan. What happens next will be spur of the moment as plans give me anxiety. I've started up a Tumblr page to chronicle my vacation.

Nothing is up yet but book mark it if you want as I'll be sporadically posting vacation pics - and pics only  ->

I'll still be posting on BL and on the BL fb page so please let me know you exist.

ps I deleted my Twitter account. 

Aug 10, 2012

A fashion theory I like to live by

You can't do head-to-toe Chanel; you've got to mix it up with combat boots

Aug 4, 2012

Aug 3, 2012

Quote of the Week - Ralph Waldo Emerson on Amateurs

Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aug 2, 2012

A Lamp Dilemma

I couldn't resist this big handmade vintage lamp at our local thrift shop. Unfortunate thing is, it doesn't have a shade. One would think it would be easy to find one - not so. Any suggestions?

The Satanic Majesty's Request