Archive for April, 2013

Arranging spring

spring flower vase

This sweet brown vase was a gift earlier this month: it’s the latest addition to a collection of tiny vases that are perfect for my small garden.

Once again these vessels are filled with spring flowers. I’ve been enjoying the zen-like art of flower arranging once or twice a week lately and it’s a reminder that few things make me happier than walking outside to my own garden and cutting flowers for a bouquet.

I love photographing them, too, and the small arrangements are the perfect size for my teeny studio.

vase with periwinkles 2

tiny vases

daffodil and hyacinth

white narcissus

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April 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

Pumpkin scones

pumpkin scones 5

This is an adaptation on a the cranberry and lavender scone recipe I posted a few weeks ago. I’ve made these scones with regular flour rather than gluten-free since pumpkin is not a popular flavour with anyone except me in our house. Substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour for a GF version.

pumpkin scone 2

The cream cheese frosting was an after-thought, but I had some in the freezer leftover from another recipe. A rich, sweet indulgence, but we all deserve a treat once in a while on weekend mornings.

Pumpkin scones
Makes 8 scones

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin (or freshly cooked pumpkin if you have it)
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon demerara sugar (coarse sugar) for sprinkling on top
1 tablespoon of flax seeds for sprinkling over finished scones
Zest of 1 orange for sprinkling over finished scones

Cream cheese frosting
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon milk

Combine flours, flax, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, yogurt and egg and then pour into flour mixture. Gently fold until the ingredients are just combined. Tip the dough into a greased glass pie plate, score the dough with a knife into eight pieces and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a 375F oven for 20-30 minutes or until scones are baked through (be careful not to overbake).

Mix together frosting ingredients in a mixmaster or with a spoon until smooth and drizzle over top of the scones once they’re cut and removed from the pan. Sprinkle with flax seeds and orange zest and serve with orange slices.

The frosting freezes and refreezes well, so pour the remainder into a jar put it away for the next time you need it.

pumpkin scones 4

April 7, 2013 at 11:18 am 1 comment

Island time

sooke sign

17, 18, 19 degrees Celsius, with glorious sunshine: this is how long weekends should be. We spent three days on Vancouver Island in Sooke and Nanoose Bay, all of them peaceful, restful, and slow. I spent time in the garden, on the deck, the dock, the beach and I started an inspiring new book. We went to the My-Chosen Cafe on Happy Valley Road in Metchosin and then did a quick walk through the trails at Witty’s Lagoon. During our time in Nanoose we went cycling around Parksville and enjoyed Rathtrevor Beach at low tide, which is one of my favourite places to be, beach-wise. And, of course, we ate like kings and queens during family meals.

All in all a wonderful sojourn and a reminder of how refreshing a few days of Island time can be.

plum and heathers

sooke primula

signs at wittys lagoon

wittys lagoon

blackberry flower

sooke camelias

englishman river

rathtrevor beach

rathtrevor seashells

sooke fog

April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am Leave a comment


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