Nov 1, 2013

Super Easy Apple Chutney Recipe

I don't know guys, I'm getting a little Martha Stewarty with all my mixology-ing, melting, freezing, and smashing. Must be middle age. Send me a poncho, I already have the clogs.

This recipe is so easy - well, chopping the apples is a little tedious for someone with ADHD - but other than that, all you do is throw it in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer. I like to serve this chutney up in the autumn with pan fried halibut and mashed ginger yams.

1 1/2 lbs tart apples (I use green ones)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves or allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
medium size saucepan

Coarsely chop the apples (peeling is optional)
Place apples in a medium sized saucepan
Add the remaining ingredients
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer
Simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until everything is soft

As a side dish, with the halibut and ginger yams, it serves four people.

Have a ginger snap cocktail, or five, while it's simmering.

Oct 30, 2013

Housewares Designers I'm Watching

One in Osaka, the other in Portland, both having a similar aesthetic - 1970s au naturel.
I've curated some 70s earthy decor boards on Etsy and Pinterest. Pop by for a look - oh, and don't forget my Tumblr blog.
Tokuhiko Kise of TRUCK Furniture Japan

Sally England Fibers Artist
top images © TRUCK Japan
bottom images © Sally England

Oct 18, 2013

How to Make a Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour

 stacy reynaud
This is a damn fine cocktail.

3 ounces good bourbon
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounce maple syrup
1 large sprig of rosemary (grow it on your deck or a sunny window all year)

Combine bourbon, lemon juice and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker
Crush the rosemary in your hand and add it to the shaker
Add ice to just above the liquid, cap and shake vigorously for twenty or so seconds
Pour over ice in a rock glass
Add rosemary and lemon for garnish

Recipe adapted from the mason shaker


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Oct 17, 2013

How to Hang a Chandelier

Chandeliers should hang 60" to 66" above the floor.

Oct 12, 2013

Heritage Status for Canada's Oldest Skate Park?

A lot of my friends skated this park in the 1980s. Now, we middle-aged Gen Xers are rallying behind it. Seylynn Skate Park was built in 1978 and is Canada's oldest concrete park. 

The concern is that the rapid condo development in the area will level Seylynn to a plaque in the ground. However, seeing as we degenerate, skateboarders are all grown up, many of us successful entrepreneurs, PhDs, or working in influential industries. 

The opportunity has arisen for us to assist in the preservation of the park—possibly even as a heritage site. So phooey to all those name-callers in the 80s who thought we were good for nothing—we're still here, strategically sneaking up behind you.

If you want to get involved in the planning workshops for Seylynn, head out to the North Vancouver District Operations Centre @ 1370 Crown St on October 23 at 5:30. More info in the above pdf and at the District website.

Thanks for sharing the image, Dr. Chapman

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Oct 10, 2013

My Top Picks from Interior Design Show West

I'll tell you first off what wasn't my favourite - the Mah Jong sofa by Roche Bobois. I've idolized this sofa on pages of magazines for years. I've even posted about it here way back in 2008, (and how I sold all my furniture when I was in a mood). This is the most uncomfortable thing I've ever sat on, (even more than my peacock chair).

Please pardon my crappy phone photos.

There was a table setting competition and this woodland theme was by far the most popular.

The feature wall of the woodland room.

Do you ever feel like sometimes skulls are the equivalent of birds, as in, 'Put a bird on it.'?

This was cute. A table with a terrarium built in - sans bird.

Gorgeous ceramics by Haejin Lee

I liked this textured fake brick for a wall in our apartment, (the wall that is concrete and we can't hang anything on).

This was the Scandinavian table in the table setting competition.

These were the best truffles I've ever had in my life. Bowen Island Chocolatier Cocoa West. They have an online shop and a B&B.

Oct 9, 2013

OPA! How to Make Stuffed Greek Sweet Potatoes

It's root vegetable season! Since you're probably already enjoying apple, beet and carrot juice, (or hot apple cider), you might as well go full on Autumn and whip up a stuffed baked sweet potato. We OPA'ed it and went for a Greek style one. The sweet and salty flavours were perfect together!

What you need:
  • small sweet potatoes
  • sliced olives
  • tzatziki (recipe below)
  • crumbled feta
  • chopped fresh mint

What you do:
  • wash and dry the sweet potatoes
  • prick several times with a fork
  • place on a baking pan
  • bake at 325 Fahrenheit for 60 to 70 minutes until quite tender
  • slice the potatoes down the center.
  • layer on as much of the stuffing as you possibly can
Tzatziki Recipe

What you need:
  • 1.5 cups plain yogurt
  • juice of half a large lemon
  • 1 small clove crushed garlic
  • half a very finely grated cucumber
  • handful chopped cucumber
  • approx. seven leaves of fresh chopped mint
  • salt and pepper if desired

What you do:
  • Add first four ingredients to a bowl
  • Stir
  • fold in  cucumber and mint
  • add salt and pepper to your taste
  • chill for about an hour
  • serve

We placed the olives, mint, tzatzki, and feta in small side bowls and topped our own potatoes at the table. The tzatziki soaks into the potato, (like those delicious Greek roasted potatoes), so have extra on hand. Serve with a salad as a meal and a rosemary maple bourbon sour as a side kick, (recipe coming soon).

An added feature to this meal? Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C. Say goodbye to wrinkles and colds, (I write with hyperbole of course).

If you enjoyed the post please spread the love!

Oct 4, 2013

How to Make a Ginger Snap Cocktail

 stacy reynaud

We actually tried this two summers ago and loved it but I never got around to posting about it. Of course, this summer was all about basil gimlets and basil boozicles so it was forgotten once again, until I started thinking about pumpkin pie. The two are not related whatsoever.

What you need:
  • 1 part Snap Organic Liquor (neutral spirit with blackstrap molasses, ginger, and spices)
  • 1 part vodka
  • 4 parts ginger beer
  • lime wedge

What you do:
  • In a rock glass, add Snap and vodka over ice. 
  • Pour in four parts ginger beer. 
  • Stir
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Oct 2, 2013

Tip of the Week - Tea, Tannins and Toothpaste

I bought this gorgeous tea pot a couple weekends ago that was stained to the rafters with about 60 years worth of tannins. 'How can I clean this?', I thought to myself. Then I went to the dentist.

My dentist, upon further inquiry into the status of my sensitive teeth, revealed to me that the teeth whitening products I was using are mainly marketing propaganda, (which I already knew but ignored).  They do clean surface stains but not the down, deep and dirty stuff. To make your teeth white you need it done by a dentist. Well, when I got home, I took an old toothbrush, (which I keep around the house for cleaning grout), put some whitening toothpaste on it and cleaned 60s years worth of tannins off a ceramic tea pot. Just like that, the stains were gone.

So, rest assured, if you find teeth whitening products are making your teeth sensitive, know that you won't need to throw them away! You can use them to clean stains - such as coffee, tea, or red wine -  off your beautiful ceramic tableware. Now I think I'll try soaking my silver plated ice bucket in my whitening mouth wash.

How to clean a stained teapot.

Oct 1, 2013

The Perfect Autumn Drink - How to Make Hot Apple Cider

Last weekend we apparently had 100 kmh (62 mph) winds here in West Van*. I used to love storms - that is until December 2006 when Tilley (our cat) and I watched, from our apartment on the edge of Stanley Park, as windows were blown out across the street and 10,000 trees were snapped like match sticks.

Usually, autumn is crisp and sunny in Vancouver and Septembers are the best time to visit. My birthday falls in the beginning of October and we can usually count on a nice, bright, crisp celebration in Whistler. Well, this September we had three times the average rainfall for September and it seems Fall just turned its back on us. 

To welcome in the dank which will be ours for the next nine months, I decided to make our own spiked hot apple cider. Super easy.
What you need:
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 1 orange
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • spiced rum (optional)

What you do:
  • slice orange 
  • add all ingredients - except the rum - to a pot
  • bring to a light boil
  • simmer for 15 minutes
  • add one or two ounces of spiced rum to a cup
  • pour hot cider through a sieve into the cup
  • serve hot with a cinnamon stick
recipe serves four 8 ounce cups or two mugs

*In case you were wondering about our bud Humphrey, (the hummingbird). He and his hummingbird chums survived the storm. They were right up at the feeder first thing the next morning.

Sep 26, 2013

A discount in my shop

stacy reynaud

While I'm working on designing the Shop Bijou Living website I've added a few items to my little Bijou Living Etsy store. To show you my gratitude for hanging out with Bijou Living, I'm offering a 20% rebate for my chums. The rebate will be issued by me via Paypal after the purchase and is valid on the product, not the shipping. It cannot be applied to my current Facebook promotion.

Here's what you do:
  1. Go to my shop
  2. Add the item to your cart
  3. Add the note - bijoulivingblog - in the note to seller box 
  4. Select payment method
  5. Submit order

Thanks again for your support!

Sep 17, 2013

Hemingway Tree House Residence | Piece of West Van Significant Architecture For Sale

Noted as a secondary building in the Survey of Significant West Vancouver Architecture, the Hemingway Tree House is now on the market SOLD for 1.6 million. Three storeys of 1977 architectural bliss! The home is a hop, skip and a jump away from the iconic 1966 Staples Residence. The home is hard to see from the road but take a drive by anyway - watch out for all the demolition going on though.

all images © Robert Crowe

Sep 16, 2013

Tip of the Week - How to Naturally Scent a Room

stacy reynaud
Harvest your lavender before it goes brown and woody. 
Hang it upside down to dry for about a week.
Remove dried bits by running your hand in the opposite direction of the growth (top to bottom).
Place the lavender a jar and save for sprinkling on your carpets before you vacuum.
Keep the opened jar in your laundry closet to keep it smelling good.

You can also burn lavender in your fire but put it in the middle of the sandwich of wood you're burning so it doesn't spark out of the fireplace.

stacy reynaud

Sep 11, 2013

Another West Vancouver Home Demolition

I'll be the first to admit I've been lagging on these architecture posts - two reasons:

1. I'm just so p*ssed I don't even want to snap photos.
2. There are so many in West Vancouver I can't keep up! Seriously. Go down Marine Drive past 25th and it's like a bloomin' construction zone.

I have been saving cuttings from the newspapers about the needless rezoning of property and demolition of our West Coast heritage - the North Shore News and the Outlook have been doing a fabulous job writing stories and publishing letters. A few folks have spoken out in council meetings but apparently demolition permits are more important and garner more value than heritage.

stacy reynaud

Douglas Coupland - remember our chat at the Harmony Arts Festival? Come on - take a stand - and I mean something more than an interview in a local documentary, (that wasn't really about Vancouver anyway).

A couple weeks ago I went to a yard sale in which the house had a for sale sign out front with a big sold slapped on it. You know what that means in West Vancouver, bye bye house. I befriended the owners - a lovely elderly couple who weren't even thinking of selling their home until a realtor knocked on their door saying she had sold the neighbour's house and the buyers wanted theirs too. That's right - they bought the two houses - and both houses are going to be torn down. Sick, eh. Now we have realtors intimidating elderly folks into selling their homes!

It was hard to snap photos of the front of the house as there were so many large trees - which will also be torn down.

Here are a few from the inside. It was built in the 50s, is two storeys and pretty much all original - as you'll see by the washroom. A very clean, sturdy and sound house. What a loss.

 stacy reynaud

I bought this wicker lounge from them. They brought it back from the Philippines, where they had lived for 19 years. The gentleman of the house was a senior manager for a heavy metal mining company there.

Top photo is of Gordon Smith's note card before his speech at the Harmony Arts Festival in 2011. Take a read of it.

Earth 88