Monday, 30 March 2015

ムースケーキ作った。バンクーバーへ。I made a mousse cake. Went to Vancouver


We went to Vancouver downtown on Saturday. I needed to deliver commissions to my clients and also we had my sinter-in-law's birthday dinner at my parents place in the evening. 
The picture was Coal harbour where I used to live. I love living Fort Langley but since I was grew up in Tokyo and My parents house has been in Vancouver downtown for over 20 years, -I lived in downtown for 8 years- I still missed that atmosphere. I was, well, still is, an urban girl. 

We had a lunch at Cardero's. 

His prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese pizza, and my oyster burger. 


In the evening, we got together at my patents' for the potluck party. Members were parents, brother's family, brother's wife's brother's family and us, 8 adults and 5 children. Despite living out of Japan, I appreciate my fortunate to have my family around. We enjoyed hand cone sushi, Tonkatus, which is deep fried pork and Oden, Japanese traditional stew for dinner. 


I was responsible for a birthday cake. I made a matcha and aduki bean mousse cake form Friday. It' was more complicated than I thought actually. At first, I made a concoction by food processor for a sponge cake since I didn't have a hand mixer, and that made a sponge cake harder. Then for mousse mixture I added more milk to increase amount, and that made it too runny. Since my cake mold bottom was removable, I worried that if the mixture leaks. So I put a piece of saran wrap as a liner and that made a mousse surface wrinkled and ugly. A sponge cake was supposed to be a bottom of a cake but it floated in the middle. Top surface turned out that creamed down instead of being clear smooth green. Sign. Anyway, I decorated it with fresh raspberries and that made the cake looked better -it was a bit like a Christmas cake though- . And taste was't bad at all so people enjoyed having it. Phew! I should give myself revenge very soon. May be with a different flavour then.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

キッチン改装ちょっと進み。絵を描く。Small progress of kitchen renovation. Painting.


It's very warm, around 18 degrees here yesterday and today. Our Cotoneaster which usually bloom in April has been already in full bloom now. It's smell so nice.


The under sink cabinet was done. And the gaps both side of sink was filled! Now it looks clean and nice! 


We exchanged light fixtures too. An old office like fluorescent light was around there before. We moved outlet to over the island and attached this retro-ish light fixture. Actually we attached the same one with only-one-light version to above the sink but a glass shade was broken. We are waiting for the new one arrives. Nothing goes very smooth. Sigh.


Well, I have been working on some commissions gratefully, and finally ready to paint too. I will be keep on painting for a while from now. I'm a painter!  Of course I'm going to make some jewelry which are also commissions. It's good balance to have different works and good for a change. 


I have done with a small paint for a memory of the dog. I hope the owner loves it.

Please take a look at the link below. A lot of pieces we made are there.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

ランチの後に。豆腐クリーム。手編みのスリッパ。After the lunch. Tofu cream. Crochet slippers.


The weather is getting better. After we, my friend and her little daughter and I, had lunch together at a cafe, we went down to the river for a short time. The reflection of clouds were beautiful. 


I made a burdock salad last night. Instead of using mayonnaise, I tossed tofu cream in. When you whip a tofu by a hand mixer till it become creamy, distinctive soy bean flavour is going to fade. I added a little amount of olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. My husband, who is not big fan of tofu, also enjoyed it. I think it's useful!  


The slippers I posted yesterday were done. I wish the person who order them like them. Thank you so much! 
If you are interested in what my husband and I are making, please visit the link above. There are a bunch of stuff there. And feel free to drop a PM on the page or even here :)

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Monday, 23 March 2015

夫の才能。食べたもの。今日の庭。How skillful my husband is. What we eat. Our yard today.


It's a bit chilly today, however, the spring is going on. Since we moved into here, we haven't taken care of our plants so much. Despite of that, look at the flowers! I think that that is Willow Leaf Cotoneaster which usually bloom in April. 


And that one is Peony. When my husband gave it to me 3 years agao, it was a tiny plant. Surprisingly, they have gotten 4 buds now. White single layered flowers will bloom soon! 
I would like to re-plant them into the right location in our yard hopefully soon.


Well, the photo is our Saturday brunch at Lamplighter where is called a hidden gem in the village. Their food tasted natural and genuine and of course yummy!


On our way back home from brunch, we stopped by a super market and what we found was fresh English peas in the pods, the first things for this spring for me. So I decided to cook them for dinner as  spanish potato salad, with fresh sage and rosemary from our yard. Another thing was a avocado shrimp salad with other left over veggies and seeds. It was easy dinner for a weekend night. 


The highlight of the weekend was that water finally ran to the kitchen since we moved into this house 3 months ago! Well, we had a old kitchen with useable sink originally but it was old and dim where even had no stove and no proper cabinets. So we removed everything and my husband installed all new -appliances rare used- by himself. However, it took longer than we thought due to the products availability. When it came to the countertop, it took 5 weeks to install after we ordered. And once it was installed -as I wrote here the other day- but it turned out that the cut of radius along with the corners of sink was wrong. It was removed and re-installed on last Friday. 
So it was finally time for plumbing and my husband again successfully managed! And also a lazy suzan was installed in the conner cabinet which is extremely useful, and the doors too. Only under sink cabinet doors are left behind form things to do for under kitchen counter. 
I'm so ecstatic that I don't have to be back and forth between the kitchen and the bathroom anymore for cooking! 


Since our kitchen is small, we are thinking of a good system to store things efficiently. This is one of them. I requested my husband for a paper towel holder which doesn't take any counter space out. Here it is! He used iron water pipes and welded them together and attached it on the side of the island. Also the side of island was by him where was cover by bead-board because original surface of side was cheap looking of plywood . Now it's match to our style of country cottage kitchen. Without his skills our house renovation couldn't have done at all. Impressive! 


And again how his is dexterous! Since I just said that we needed a new cutting board, he brought one thick board out of a shad, which he bought for a dollar form a flee market last summer, and insisted that he was going to make it. Then at no time he made 2 different size of cutting boards out of it. Small one even has a handle! How lucky I am!


A bigger picture of kitchen so far. We are going to move on to "above countertop" things from now. White subway tiles backsplash is coming form counter to ceiling and following by wooden open shelving on top. A range hood will be covered by white wood with country style design. Before that we have to finish covering old ceiling by bead-boards.


What was I doing then? Well, I have been a bit busy as an artist with some commissions instead of having jobs as a graphic designer lately. One pair of slippers are almost done and about moving on to a dog's painting following by another dog's painting, 2 necklaces and a big cityscape painting. I'm so lucky again and grateful! Life is beautiful! 

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

お仕事とお友達のお誕生日でバンクーバーへ。Business meeting and Friend's birthday dinner in Vancouver.


This weekend is a bit rough weather. It's still drizzling now. I found my friend out of my window but he was a middle of his important business. lol


I went to Vancouver by public transportation on Friday. Our former house was in Surrey and the distance to Vancouver was shorter than from our present house, however, the commuting time is shorter now. I thank to the express bus that drive through on #1 highway form Langley to a Skytrain station in Coquitlam.  It could be 30 minutes shorter than before.


I went to Vancouver public library for having a business meeting then. This unique architectural feature was racked in the best library in the world and also used for many of hollywood movies and TV dramas. It's personally memorable place for me that I commuted a lot when I was a student. 

 Big Rock Urban eatery and breweryへ行きました。お友達の40回目のお誕生をお祝いするために。バンクーバーは今、マイクロブリューイングやクラフトビール(小さい規模の地ビール屋)と呼ばれるビジネスがはやっています。メインストリートやオリンピックヴィレッジあたりに、次々とかっこいい、かつ美味しい個性的なビールを作って売るバーやショップが誕生しています。本当はもっと個人的な感じの、古い建物を改造した様なビールバーへ行こうと思ったのですが、殆どの所が予約を取らないか、取ってもすでに一杯か、またはあまり食べ物を置いていないなどで断念。しかし、我が夫がお気に入りの彼の地元のアルバーター州のクラフトビールー屋が初めてBC州に進出して来た事を知って、喜んで予約を入れました。

After that, we were joined by another friend and my husband and then went to Big Rock Urban eatery and brewery to celebrate my friend 40th birthday.
Micro brewing and craft beer business is now very hot in Vancouver area. Micro brewers open their cool shops and bars one after another on and around Main street or Fales creek area especially. I wanted to make a reservation on one of such places but many of them don't take any reservations or already packed or no food providing. But luckily I could made a reservation with a new opened pub where was actually my husband favourite brewer from Calgary. 

A part of restaurant was like this, huge glasses form floor to the ceiling to show inside of the beer factory. I tasted small amount of 3 kind of unique beer and I liked them all.


I couldn't get any food information beforehand because it just opened 3 days ago, so I didn't expect so much from it. Actually the food there was very good!


From left, IPA brazed keilbasa (kind of sausage) pizza, Meat charcuterie from OYAMA meat (Granville island), and See food charcuterie.


Beer and food both are satisfyingly good, and moreover, good conversation with fun friends were priceless.  

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

セントパトリックスデーの夜、パブにて。Night on St. Patrick's day at a pub.

I'm Japanese though. lol

昨日はセントパトリックスデーでした。日本では馴染みのなかったアイルランドのお祭り(祝日)で、St. Patrickの命日です。この日はクローバーのデザインや緑色の物を身につける習慣があります。バンクーバーのダウンタウンではパレードも行われます。夕方まではすっかり忘れていたのですが、それを口実にパブへ夕食に行く事にしました。緑の物を持っていない私たちはそのままの出で立ちで。言い出しっぺは私ですが、夫はなにげに嬉しそうです。

It was St. Patrick's day yesterday. I had forgotten till the evening though. I made is as an excuse to go to a pub for dinner and convinced my husband, however, he looked more excited than me for the idea. We didn't have anything in green so we went there as is. 

昨日駅舎の花の写真を載せましたが、Fort Pubで私たちが座った席の壁に、同じ場所を1920年に取った写真が飾られていました。歴史を感じますね〜。今この駅には電車は来ませんが、そのすぐ脇に大陸を行き来する貨物列車の通る線路があります。

I posted my photo of the old station yesterday, and I found a photo that was taken at the same location in 1920, on the wall of the pub. It's well preserved! This station is no longer used but freight trains of Canadian Pacific Railway is running right beside of it now.


It was also Canucks' game night so the pub was packed. Bunch of people were wearing something green and some drunk green beer. (I personally think that green beer is yucky! lol) I wondered how Canucks green men were busy last night. Servers' costumes were also fun to look at. 


I chose a Celtic club house sandwich from the special menu of the day. Shrimp salad, bacon and avocado were is in. Very tasteful! My hubby ordered a regular club house sandwich. Beer was ruby ale instead of Guinness. 


Next round was with Bailey's coffee. My husband's one was Kahlua coffee liqueur and Sambuca besides. And our dessert was a very yummy cookie ice-cream sandwich. It was difficult to split so we simply bit it and share. Very satisfying dinner.  

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

一歩進んで2歩下がる的な...。Progress, regress.


Today's Fraser river. It was a bit cloudy but sun peeked out sometimes and warm as well.  I sweat slightly as walking outside. 


Blossoms beside the old station was pretty amazing. 


Dinner last night was cabbage rolls. It was nothing special but I just wanted to take a picture of that "first time using my new and pretty plate, yay!" moment.


I'm feeling like him in the picture now. lol. 
This was taken on the bottom of a kitchen under-sink cabinet without doors attached yet, where the light cast through a drain, which has no plumbing yet, like a spot light! Ha! lol. It looks a bit sad to me. Anyways the kitchen countertop, that was installed once before and made me ecstatic, was gone in this morning because the radius of opening for the sink was wrong.

This was it. It was such a small thing but my hubby, especially, couldn't tolerate it. He insisted that the guy, who came to measure for a countertop,  guaranteed accuracy.


I realized it when installation was done and I thought it was too late. And I was kind of a bit pushover so I gave up on it at that time. However, my hubby calmed it and they agreed to fix it. That's good but still feel sad to see that it have to start from square one once again. 
It's better than being regretted later though. Renovation is such a thing.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

花、パブフード、お家改装。FLowers, pub food, renovation.


It's Monday. The weather is not too bad. It's getting brighter toward late afternoon. I found the beauty of contrast of green and blue on my way to a super market. 


The weekend weather was a bit unstable but it was warm as well so many flowers were getting bloom. A big tree of pink magnolia was in the yard of 2 doors away. 

A small tree of white magnolia was in front of next door. 



It was on Saturday evening we found the big cherry blossoms on a street where 7 minutes drive away from us.


The density of cherry flowers were amazing.

そして向かった先はホームデポ。お家改装は続きます。そしてついでの夕食はラングレー市内のパブ、Original Joe'sで。決めては私たちお気に入りのビール、Drift wood brewing のFat tug IPAが置いてある事。そして食べ物も悪くないんです。その夜の私たちのオーダーは典型的なパブフード。よく働いた後は、多少のジャックフードは良しとします。

And we went to Home depot for our house renovation again, then went to Original Joe's in Langley  for dinner. The reason we choose the pub was that because they had Fat tug IPA from Drift wood brewing on tap, which was our favourite beer. And food was also good there. That night our choices were typical pub food. We allowed ourself to eat such things because we worked hard all day :)



They were irresistible anyways. That was a Mac & cheese with bacon. Yummy!


And of course we got a poutine too. In case you don't know what's that, that is Canada's signature food which is french flies, cheese curds and gravy on top. What a sinful food! So yummy!
Why the photo was so closed up, was because we started to eat before I took a picture as well. Haha.


The last one was a steak salad. As a tiny, helpless resistance, we picked balsamic vinaigrette instead of blue cheese dressing. Pub food was guilty pleasure. 


We spent most of time on weekend for house renovation as well as every weekend. We were fixing around many small details of all over the house. My office was very close to the end. The duct for the range hood come form the other side of the wall through to my office. And we covered it like this so we finally were able to attache crown mouldings then. After that, only shelving is remain to completion. I'll post some pictures later when it's done.

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