Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Here's a sweet song for your weekend, by Andrew Bird (I love the fiddle in it)... have a listen:



Make Your Own Gyoza!

Making homemade gyoza is actually a lot of fun (in my opinion), and they taste amazing when made fresh.
I made vegetarian gyoza with a sweet potato, cilantro & onion filling, but you can use almost anything.
Read on for the how to...


My Insatiable Cookbook Addiction

Hello. My name is Vanessa, and I'm addicted to buying cookbooks.

It's true.
They're one of my favourite things to buy.

It's kind of ridiculous because I live in the far north and there aren't even any stores here! 
But we do have, and they deliver to the north. 

Add to that my intense love of receiving packages in the mail and we have a definite recipe for a serious addiction!

Here are a few of my latest indulgences....

I'm always looking for good vegetarian cookbooks, and this one is loaded with new & exciting vegetarian recipes. I've already dog-eared more than half of them to try asap!

It just arrived in the mail and I'm very excited!
I have to say, her recipes aren't the healthiest, but every single one of them is pure gold. I have her first cookbook and many of my favourite go-to recipes for dinner parties come from there. 

And lastly, another Ottolenghi cookbook.

After this cookbook of his literally changed my life (I know, that's a pretty dramatic statement), I simply had to buy his other cookbook. Honestly, this man has truly changed the way I cook.


I'd love to know, what's your favourite cookbook?


Weekend Moments: Living the Lazy Life

 We decided to be pretty lazy for the last weekend of our vacation in Montreal. 
I think I slept through most of it!

We went for a delicious brunch at our friends house on Sunday morning. We drank freshly squeezed juice and ate countless amounts of the fluffiest blueberry pancakes ever.

 And then we all went into a food coma, and lazed on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.
I must say, it was pretty blissful!

I broke free of my cloud of laziness (temporarily) and decided to try making homemade gyoza for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised... they turned out amazingly. 
More on that later this week : )

We're headed back up north this morning, and I'm feeling pretty excited to be going back (even though the weather report says it's minus 20 degrees there).

I wish you a great start to your week.


Love Letter to a Contemporary Dancer

This week my incredibly talented cousin (and best friend in the entire world), Eleesha Drennan, won first prize at the International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuggart, Germany. 
The competition was pretty fierce and intimidating, but she danced her little heart out and won first place for dance. Isn't that amazing?! I couldn't be more excited for her!

It's so hard to make it in the contemporary dance world, but she's doing it anyway!

(photo via NDC Wales)

In one month my husband and I are heading out to the UK to watch her perform with the National Dance Company of Wales, and watch the company perform her own choreography too. 
This will be the first time I'll get to see her performing live professionally. I can't wait!


Spring Fever in Montreal....

Montreal is in a total heat wave these days. Officially spring just started, but it feels more like the dog days of summer.
It's kind of weird, but I'll take it.

I went to the farmer's market yesterday and bought all sorts of delicious fresh produce, pretty tulips, bakery breads and other goodies.... like these macarons : )

A few girlfriends of mine came over last night and we ate our first meal of the year outside on the balcony.
It was fabulous!

All this sunshine & warmth is making it pretty difficult to imagine going back up north on Monday!


Lovely Lime Squares (with a pistachio-lime-graham cracker crust!)

Since it feels like summer out in Montreal, I thought I'd post the recipe for these incredible lime squares that I made last weekend. Honestly, I liked these way better than any lemon square I've ever had (and I have an amazing recipe for lemon squares!). I think it's the lime zest and pistachio nuts in the graham cracker crust that make them so special... trust me, they're delicious!

Read on for the recipe....


Sweet New Frocks for a Sweet New Spring!

 I'm completely smitten with these adorable outfits 
from Montreal-based company Birds of North America.
Everything is produced and manufactured here in Montreal. 
It's so rare to find that these days.

ps: Happy Spring, everyone!


Weekend Moments: Spring in the Country

 This weekend was such a treat.
The husband is on a snowboarding trip to Whistler with his buddies, so I spent the weekend with my parents at their peaceful home out in the country.

Saturday morning was misty and magical, and then the sun came out and brought 20 degree weather with it. What a change from up north!
Spring greens and flowers were popping up all over the place.

There was new life everywhere, including this little guy, only 6 weeks old!

We enjoyed our first al fresco dining of the year.
My mom came up with these incredible little lemon-raspberry and creme-fraiche desserts. 
It almost felt like summer.

Each morning, I watched the sun rise over our beloved mountain.
There's nothing more peaceful than being in the country.

I hope you had a beautiful weekend.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 So I'm celebrating St. Patty's day out in the country with my family. 
It's not quite as rowdy as it would have been in downtown Montreal, but there are still plenty of green hats and green beer!

And it's nearly 20 degrees out, the sun is shining, and spring is springing up all around us.
There's no place in the world I'd rather be right now.

Hope you're having a lovely Saturday.


Visiting The Tiny Coastal Villages Up North

Yesterday we boarded a tiny propeller plane and flew out to a small coastal village to help out at the local nursing station, because they hadn't had a doctor there in months.

I really do love exploring the north. The landscape excites me. 
It's so barren, and deserted, and foreign.

This tiny green building is the grocery store... good luck trying to find fresh vegetables here!

And tomorrow we are back in Montreal for a week.
I wish you a glorious weekend, and lots of warm spring weather!


Lately up north... there's life after work

Lately up north the sun sets at 8pm, 
and suddenly there is light and life even after the workday ends.

 Lately up north, the weather has gotten milder and we can all play outside, even at dusk.

Lately up north, there's been low level auroras almost every night.

I've been doing a little online shopping lately, after some beautiful spring catalogues arrived in the mail.

Lately up north, we've been watching some gorgeous sunsets, moonrises and sunrises.

Up until springing forward, I was missing this every day while at work.
It's all just so magically beautiful.

Lately up north life is starting to feel hopeful again...
... that spring may actually come to the north as well some day soon.


Crazy Little Luxuries: Hey, a girl can dream....

Here's what I've realized on this random Tuesday night....  
Reading fashion magazines is terrible for you!
At least for me. 

The problem with these magazines is that they always leave me wanting things that I had no clue I even wanted (never mind existed). 
And I want them bad too!

 So anyway, here's my wish list of crazy little luxuries....
First up, this gorgeous pendant:
Tiffany & Co's 175th anniversary interlocking circles pendant, made with luxurious Rubedo rose gold. 
Isn't it just the prettiest thing?!

And next, what could be more glamourous than wine from Channel?!

That's right, the Château Rauzan Ségla winery is in fact owned by Channel, 

and the label for their Grand Cru Classé 

was designed by Karl Lagerfield himself.

And last of all, the perfect pair of strappy heels for a summer's night out.
Because they're pure fabulousness!
(Crosspiga patent leather Louboutin heels)
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