August: a Berry Delicious month


 

Thought I’d tell you about two local Foodie events taking place this month in the Fraser Valley

From Field to Table:

Celebrate our local, fresh and juicy strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in the best way possible: straight from the field!

It’s no surprise that BC berries right from the farm just taste so much better, therefore Well-Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has partnered up with traditional berry producer in the Fraser Valley, Driediger Farms, for a legendary and “berry” delicious Farm to Plate Dinner. This four-course, family style dinner will be prepared by Executive Chef Carl Sawatsky and Angie Quaale in the farm fields. Besides the food, guests will enjoy local drinks and live music. It’s going to be an evening to remember!

Details:

Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 6 PM (dinner served at 6:45 PM).

Enjoy a welcome drink, local cheese & charcuterie and one glass of beer or wine along with a delicious four-course menu prepared by Well-Seasoned Gourmet Food Store.  Cost: $150 per person + GST.  More BC Wine, craft beer and cider will be offered at a cash bar for guests 19+.

Buy tickets at wellseasoned.ca – HURRY, there are only 50 seats available!

Angie Quaale at the original Well Seasoned Gourmet teaching kitchen

Well-Seasoned Open House

From its humble beginnings on the Langley Bypass in 2004, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has not only established itself as the go-to for foodies in the Fraser Valley, but it has also gained recognition across the country for its vision, trendy food creations, and championing the support of eating local.
 
From the start, owner Angie Quaale’s goal was to make Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store a launch pad for small scale food producers and locally grown items. Over the last 15 years, Well Seasoned has supported hundreds of brands and even created many of its own. Now it’s time to celebrate all they have accomplished.
 
Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store is celebrating its 15th birthday! Join the party during the Hot August Nights Open House tasting event on Tuesday, August 13 from 6-8 PM , at the Well Seasoned store (#117-20353 64 Ave, Langley BC).
 
This free, giant open house is where you will sample and shop tons of delicious local products, meet with the makers, and wish Well Seasoned a happy 15th birthday. The more the merrier!
Angie Quaale is the 15-year owner of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store
 
Check out the event on Facebook or visit http://www.wellseasoned.ca/happybirthday
 
Barbeque season is in full swing. I’ll be sharing some of Angie’s excellent recipes here on the blog in the upcoming days.  Stay tuned.  
 
Will you be participating in any local Foodie events in your area?  Care to share?
 
 

 

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beauty review: you glo girl

In the summer especially we should all be applying sunscreen.

Included in the summer box of style was a full-size bottle of glo skin beauty’s lightweight, hydrating SPF 40 face lotion. What I really like about it is exactly what it boasts…light, moisturizing and broad-spectrum protection.  What more do you need? You can wear it alone as a moisturizer, not necessarily over your moisturizer, which means one less step. 

Each season the box includes one skin-care and one makeup product that’s outstanding. You get to try something different with products that actually work.  I love that.

Here’s what I also found out taken from their website:

Glo Skin Beauty vows never to test products on animals, allow others to test on animals on their behalf, use raw ingredients tested on animals or enter into business markets like China that require animal testing by joining *PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program and becoming a PETA approved brand.

China requires international brands that sell cosmetics in their market to test products on animals, regardless of where the cosmetics were manufactured. Cosmetics manufactured in China sold in the United States are not subject to the same requirements. In the United States, these types of tests are not required by law.

http://gloskinbeauty.com

*as opposed to “People for Eating Tasty Animals” – Mary Steenburgen’s line in the movie comedy “Did You Hear About the Morgans?”  Sorry but I couldn’t resist. 

 

the weekend

Summer Vibes

Jericho beach during Vancouver Folk Festival –  d. king

Taken at Jericho beach – d. king

Folk Fest Fare – d. king

Girls Night Out at the Victor restaurant located at Parq Vancouver Hotel & Casino

SHEnanignas with Anik, Tamara + Jolie. SATC remake: singles & the city.

I made a beeline for the wallpaper but I’m no wallflower. Photo: Tamara Gauthier

Love this city – d. king

with Charlie. Photo: Tamara Gauthier

Summer box of style

What’s INside the Summer box?

Effortless Essentials to go with Everything. For starters Danielle Nicole’s macrame handbag and Machete’s lucite hoop earrings (you can choose either plain or tortoise).  The earrings are understated and timeless.  They can be worn with everything from a bathing suit to a business suit.

A macrame handbag is not something I would have considered until I saw this one.   Macrame usually reminds me of  1970’s bohemian plant holders and wall hangings.  Now, macramé is back, making waves again as creative crafters come up with contemporary patterns that have revitalized the historic knotting techniques. This modern version can be worn across the body or hand held.  I’m wearing it a lot.

And I’m very picky about beach towels.  So when I found out that Missoni Home (the famous Italian fashion house) was including a colorful striped terry towel as part of the package I was excited. Missoni goes with everything.  I will definitely be using this chic towel even if I only drape it over a chaise lounge à la Rachel Zoe.

Rachel Zoe.  Style Inspiration

Included in this box are two special beauty products which I’ll blog about separately because they deserve their own post.

To Order:  https://www.boxofstyle.com/

and don’t forget to say where you heard about it

XO

Solicitous Sunday

Just wanted to share this life lesson on letting go:

Jay Shetty lived as a monk for 3 years and built philanthropic ventures.

It’s been a mission of mine to spread knowledge at the pace we want entertainment, something I like to call making wisdom go viral. Since launching my channel in 2016, I’ve garnered over 4 billion views and 24+ million followers. If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to turn a message into an inspiring story that’ll impact the masses. I work with authors, entrepreneurs and influencers to help them bring their stories to life – Jay Shetty

Jay offers a live weekly meditation and coaching, a huge vault of coaching sessions and there’s in-person, member-only Meetups in over 60 cities around the world. 

Summer Whites

Pairs with Everything

Image from Francesca’s catalogue

I think of all the summer whites, linen is my favorite. Linen is not a year-round fabric like silk or cotton.  Linen is the definitive summer staple.  It breathes well and you can even blame the creases (which will inevitably show up) on the material instead of not wanting to iron it.  Of course it doesn’t travel well unless you pack your trusty steam iron. However it just looks crisp.

Derived from the flax plant, linen is a highly sustainable material that doesn’t need any pesticides or fertilizers to grow plus very little water compared to thirsty cottons. One of the oldest fabrics in the world, the ancient Egyptians used it to wrap mummies, whilst in the 1930s, wedding gowns combined linen with lace.

Look of Linen Today

Theory’s Good Linen collection CREDIT: THEORY

Goodbye purported frumpy fabric of long ago…

More men are starting to wear linen suits.  Image: D’Marge

 

 

Do you have a summer favorite fabric?

 

Slow roasted oven tomatoes

So easy to make,  roasting tomatoes enhances their natural sweetness, making them even more delicious.

roasted with feta & garlic

Use them to make a satisfyingly simple tomato sauce or add to sandwiches, salads, omelettes or bruschetta.  

Set oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on sheet.  Sprinkle with a little olive oil. I like to add fresh rosemary and rock salt to half and garlic salt & lavender pepper to the rest.  However you can experiment with other herbs like thyme, basil or parsley.  Leave for a couple hours until they’re soft and bursting with flavor.

 Use whatever tomatoes you like except maybe the big beefsteak kind.  For this one I used roma tomatoes.  Romas are drier so won’t produce as much liquid as say the cocktail variety. The more ripe the tomato, the more liquid it will give off as it cooks. Under ripe tomatoes won’t yield much, if any, liquid.

Store oven roasted tomatoes in the fridge, in an air-tight container or mason jar with their juice, for 5-7 days.

Elevated tomato/basil pasta sauce:

Instead of rosemary, add torn basil leaves and peeled garlic cloves to baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Once they’re cool pour into a blender in batches. Pulse 2-3 times then blend until desired chunkiness. Pour into quart jars or pour into freezer bags to freeze flat.  Add whatever extras you want but you might find you don’t need to.  It’s a very fresh tasting sauce.

Will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or 4 months in the freezer.

Enjoy!

 

Monday Mood: Wake up

Satisfaction and fulfillment are essential to living your best life. You can be satisfied when you meet your own expectations. You cannot please everyone and there will always be someone who is happy with a lot less than what you have.

Words from a wise woman

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.

One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don’t feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.

We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.

– Pema Chodron        

 

Decked out for Summer

June 21st – the official first day of SUMMER

Formal date aside, this year summer started more than a month earlier than expected. It’s been mostly warm and sunny since I got back to Vancouver in early May.  June is usually an iffy month for unreliable weather.  Now you never know what to expect as normal patterns everywhere are changing.  Some drastically. Most people are starting to get used to diverse changes in climate but I’m not here to talk about climate change.  It’s real and it’s happening and we all have to weather the storm (pun intended) and hope we’re not too late to save this stressed-out planet.  

Personally, if I could control the weather by a push of a button I’d have it on perpetual early Spring mode with a rain shower here and there just to break up the monotony and to make sure everything stays green.  Then I’d have it snow in the city for 3 days a year max – December 24th to the 26th.  Also, the setting for sun would never feel too hot with “0” humidity and not enough wind to throw too many dried leaves everywhere which is a pain to sweep up…again.  But sweep up I must.  And every time I do, I admire the brand new flooring on my two outdoor spaces.  I did some Spring cleaning to be Summer ready.  Starting with…

I had a vision. It came from a magazine entitled “Home and Garden.’  I prefer the clean, elegant yet simple and straight wider floor boards.

Upstairs:

Noticing that some of the wood boards were starting to rot on the upstairs deck,

My deck AFTER.  The large planter used to be right smack in the middle.  A large barbeque and outdoor fridge sit in two corners (not shown).
BEFORE the wood was narrower, lighter and on an angle.

I enlisted the services (after careful consideration) of  Khatsalano Builders who specialize in outdoor decks and patios. I like that they’re local. They were professional, managed everything on schedule as planned (contractors are notorious for not sticking to schedule) and cleaned everything up as promised.  They also helped with added extras like moving two very heavy large items for me.  Thank you Jason, Jeff, Antoine, Davin and Mike.  Great guys.

 They totally re-constructed a large 500 sq. ft. deck pulling up all the wood and replacing it with timber-tech composite flooring. It looks great now, very clean, modern and best of all…bye bye maintenance!  No staining needed from now on.  I’m super happy about that.

Why composite over wood? For sustainability purposes Timber Tech decking is made from a combination of 100% recyclable wood fibers and 73% polymers.  Even their packing materials meet the sustainable forestry Initiative requirements. They’re working to achieve the highest level of recycling in the decking industry with a goal to make 95% of all TimberTech decking from recycled materials by 2020.  Almost there.

Talk about saving trees? Over the past six years, more than one million trees have been saved because people have chosen this type of decking over natural wood. And they’ve specifically designed products to look just like exotic hardwoods like Ipe which is cut from rainforests.

Narrowing down choices to closely match wood grain of door.

Downstairs

Wood in the process of being oiled. You can really see the difference in color and grain once it’s sealed.

For the downstairs courtyard which has French doors opening up to the outside from the main living area, I considered a clean-up only.  A sanding and staining.  That was until one of the contractors stepped onto the middle of the courtyard and his shoe went right through the wood.  He didn’t intend to make a hole but let’s just say it didn’t look good after that.

 So… decided to replace the previous wood with new wood.  I really wanted wood for downstairs with the realization that every 3-5 years it will most likely have to be re-oiled.  So…sorry trees. At a little over 300 sq. ft. it’s not a large area but wow…does it ever look amazing. They did some leveling, sealed up some areas which were bare and added two lights to light the way towards  a step-up dining area.

Finished product

After narrowing down from a few samples I chose an exotic hardwood called Red Balau from tropical hardwood forests in Indonesia which are essentially public lands, managed and protected by the Government of Indonesia.

The rich reddish-brown hue is a durable hardwood that is often compared to teak but less expensive. My concern is that it be resistant to shrinkage, splintering, extreme weather conditions, decay, mold and insect attacks (you know; should that ever happen).  Better to be safe than sorry. It is. I’m very happy with the whole aesthetic of both the upper and lower spaces.

BEFORE with a wood sample from Brazil I ended up not choosing.
It is Jia Jia approved

Khatsalano Builders Website:  http://khatsahlanobuilders.com/ 

Other considerations:

I also highly recommend VanCity Washing for eco-friendly exterior power washing and cleaning.  They made my awnings look like new again.  Of course they couldn’t do anything about the fading but I had totally forgotten that my awnings had stripes until they were finished cleaning them.  Fast, friendly, efficient and cost-effective.  Justin also power washed my outdoor furniture. They use all bio-degradable supplies when pressure washing everything from walkways to windows and everything in between.

Van City Washing Website:   https://vancitywashing.ca/

Hedge Trimming and leaf blowing was from a company called Higher Ground Gardens. I had to book them a year in advance but now that I’m aware of how it works I’m booked for next year.

Hedges + Gardening:   https://highergroundgardens.com/

Lazy Layla…just because I wanted to share a recent photo.

Well that’s my Spring cleaning story.  I’m ready for Summer.  How about you?