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2014/09/15 / Shanan

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE MAD MAPLE INN

Chris and I haven’t been out on a date in, oh, sixty years or so? I mean, give or take.  It was clearly time to bust out of that rut with some ye olde romantic country brunch action.

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting lovely Miriam, who runs the Mad Maple Inn with her husband (he’s in the photo above!) near the town of Creemore.  It’s the most gorgeous little bed + breakfast spot and I was dying to try their food – which was both delicious and charming and exceeded all expectations.

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We feasted on farm-fresh egg frittata, homemade sausage patties, yogurt with plum crumble parfait, just-pressed apple cider, mini scones with strawberry jam, potatoes sautéed in more butter than might be actually legal… I could go on.  Clearly we tucked in quicker than I could whip out my camera.

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Everything was served on beautiful vintage dishware and wooden boards, with herbs and edible flowers and the whole nine yards.  We had the most perfect, relaxing meal.

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Afterwards we took a little walk around the property to see their chickens and vegetable garden and wildflowers. Note that at this stage in the pregnancy I can only be shot from a distance of 100 yards (much like a wild game animal).

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Mutual admiration society: I coveted the chicken’s hairdo’s while they checked out my vintage boots.  Caramel brown for fall, folks.

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No really — how’s my hair?

Thank you, Miriam and Neil, for such a fantastic morning.  Marriage.  Saved.  Visit the Mad Maple Country Inn at their website and on Instagram.

xx Shanan

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2014/09/05 / Shanan

IN ABUNDANCE

Praise be to the late-summer harvest and behold the bounty that we have reaped.

Tomatoes!

homemade jarred pickles

More homemade pickles than any one household really needs! (In the interest of full disclosure, our cucumbers didn’t do too well this year so Chris bought a bushel from our favourite farm market up the road, Currie’s, to use as raw material)

garden large zucchini

Zucchinis attack!

Have a fantastic weekend, everybody.

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2014/06/30 / Shanan

THIS IS THE LIFE

Recently Theo and I were invited, along with a bunch of other mums and kids, to our friend Jess’ family’s country property to celebrate the end of the school year.  Apparently they call it “The Farm” but, um, it turned out to be more like “The Resort.”  Such a special treat.

Here are some photos from our day, which was crammed full of tasty food, swimming, beautiful gardens, hula-hoop-ing, and general tromping about.  Tomorrow is our Canada Day holiday so here’s hoping you get the chance to relax in style, too.  Be back in a few.

xx Shanan

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(more…)

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2014/06/26 / Shanan

SUGARED FLOWERS

Since it’s now (officially!) summer and the days of pretending that I’m this cool, unencumbered babe who spends her days swanning around parks armed with nothing more than a pretentious novel and a tall iced coffee are long gone, I’m kind of embracing the twee.

As in: patterned paper straws, cute miniature food, and gleeful hand-holding of a twirling three year old wherever I go.  Because that’s what parenthood on the internet is all about these days, no?  It was with this in mind that Theo and I decided, a few weeks back, to spend our afternoon making sugared flowers.  You know, for a lark.

The lilacs were in full bloom and I was informed that they were in fact edible.  Off to the Martha Stewart site we skipped, and a ton of adorable little flowers did we sugar.

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Have you ever done this?  The process is about as ridiculous as it sounds — you use a teeny tiny brush to paint egg whites onto the individual blooms and then dip them in superfine sugar and let them dry.  It was quite messy and labour-intensive but the results were VERY cute and quite tasty (a subtle crunch and a sweet floral flavour). And sometimes cute is just what you’re looking for.

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Here’s the sugared flower recipe we used, courtesy of Martha (natch).  Be sure that the flowers you are using are edible (!!!) and either grown in your own garden or harvested wild where they won’t be covered in pesticides or car exhaust.

We decorated a Victoria sponge cake, the recipe for which I dug up from Nigella Lawson’s near-classic How To Be a Domestic Goddess.  I think this was the first baking book I ever bought?  We filled it with lemon cream (the recipe is here) and store-bought raspberry jam.

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Can I say cute just one more time?  Let’s hear it.  Bye bye, “street cred.”  All photos by The Symmetric / Shanan Kurtz.

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2014/06/18 / Shanan

BONFIRE!

Or, “Daddy, are marshmallows considered a food group?”

We’re full-on here in the simple pleasures department.  Eating popsicles and watermelon, running through the sprinkler, swinging in the hammock.  And, dum da da da-a-a-a — gathering around the family bonfire.  Chris built an amazing new fire-pit on our property and we had Gillian and her brood over for some mallow roasting action (you didn’t think I’d be rid of her that easily, did you?).

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And… the puffy vest makes another (semi)public appearance, this time on Gillian.  I’m hereby predicting the puffy vest will soon usurp the wedge sneaker as ugly-yet-strangely-compelling wardrobe item of the season.  You heard it here first.

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The pit!

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Don’t ask.

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Frida with marshmallow moustache, Steve with floral headpiece.

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Sweet Yarrow made wildflower bouquets and crowns for everyone.  I’m just dying over the light in these photos.

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It’s called ‘technique.’

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Gillian’s rad sneakers, now with wings for extra protection (or something like that).

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Encounters with the local wildlife.

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Okay fine, so it was pretty chilly that evening and Theo insisted on wearing her flannel bunny costume from Halloween.  And you know what? It did the trick.

Long may you burn.  xx Shanan