Monday, July 23, 2012

Tuna? Something's not fishy!

This makes us happy!  Raincoast Tuna, is paving the way for a brighter and more responsible future for our oceans!  They have received approval by both the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program and Greenpeace Canada, which recently awarded the company top marks for it's sustainability.  How?  By not using purse seine nets or floating lines that trail with thousands of baited hooks, the way most tuna companies do it.  Every fish the company cans is caught from healthy stocks in the Pacific Northwest by surface trolling or pole and line, which means a single barb-less hook on a single line attached to the back of a boat.  And then the tuna is cooked in its BPA free cans to retain its nutrients and naturally occurring oils.  Yum!

Now if only we could convince other canned fish companies to get on board with these healthier and environmentally friendly ways, we would be sure to make a very positive impact.  Perhaps in time, and in the meantime I will be only purchasing Raincoast Trading products to show my support.  Well done Raincoast!

A bit more about the company:
The founder of Raincoast Trading comes by his concern for the future of fish and their habitat legitimately. Mike Wick's family has been in the fishing business for four generations and he learned very young to embrace environmental stewardship and responsibility.

Raincoast Trading has been selling premium wild seafood products since 1978. Based in Vancouver on the west coast of Canada, the company is proud to offer consumers sustainably-harvested, gourmet canned seafood.

Raincoast Trading adheres to the highest sustainability standards when catching, processing and packaging its seafood. The company's seafood is single-cooked and packed in natural fish oils, which results in a rich, dense flavour and loads of extra nutrition typically not found in most canned seafood products.

Raincoast Trading is the first Canadian packaged retail seafood company endorsed by the respected Ocean Wise™ conservation program as an environmentally-friendly seafood choice for retail grocers and consumers around the world.

Find out more at Raincoast Trading and browse through a great selection of recipes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anna Magazine - Our Fave!

Have you all heard of Anna? 

Anna is amazing!  Let us show you...


Now that we have your attention, let us tell you about this Winnipeg based magazine:

Founder and Creative Director, Mari Loewen, after much soul searching, found herself at the age of 40, realizing the lifetime of sketches and ideas could be something more. The idea of a magazine seemed daunting and exciting all at the same time, and after much brainstorming, a concept presented itself. A unique marriage of food and inspiration, with simple beautiful recipes, exceptional design, beautiful photography and luxurious paper.

As much of the magazine’s inspiration came from Mari’s own family traditions, it was named ANNA, after her Mother. As a frugal homemaker, she used only fresh local ingredients and took the time to make things special. Long before organic became fashionable, Mari was privileged to enjoy this way of life. Although named after her Mother, her father's entrepreneurial spirit that taught her anything is possible. Today, ANNA Magazine sells throughout North America.

And from the pages of Anna, here's one of our favorite summer recipes:

Lemon-curd tart with blackberries

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups lemon curd (see index)
2 cups fresh blackberries, washed

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a medium ovenproof glass bowl, add butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt. Place in oven and cook until mixture is boiling and butter starts to brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add flour, bit by bit, until dough pulls away from edges of bowl. Form into a ball and press dough into an 8-inch pie dish. Chill for 30 minutes.
Pierce bottom of crust with fork, line with foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool completely before filling.  Spread lemon curd into prepared crust. Chill 2 hours. Slice and serve with blackberries.  Makes 8 slices.

Lemon curd
6 egg yolks, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Pour into a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring with wooden spoon until thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in butter, piece by piece. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Makes 11⁄2 cups lemon curd.


Visit Anna | Make Everyday Special to subscribe today. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creating a perfect outdoor space.

Outdoor spaces should be just as functional and desirable as your indoor space. 

Like the inside of your home, your outdoor living space can reflect that same personal style that you have created and grown to love.  Don't be afraid to add some fun and inviting elements outdoors to make it truly livable and welcoming, it really can be an extension of your home by creating a useful space to lounge, entertain or play. 

Here are some easy rules to follow when creating your perfect outdoor space:

Comfortable Seating - whatever your design style is, don't be afraid to still reflect your personality.  There are many options now-a-days for every budget and style.   

Some shaded areas - this is a must for every backyard space.  Keep guests, pets and little ones comfortable with a designated shaded area.  An easy and beautiful way to do this is by creating a simple wood structure and letting a variety of vines and flowering plants grow their way up and over.  This takes a bit more time and patience by the rewards are well worth it.

Cooking area - nothing goes better than a great plate of food with a comfortable place to sit.  A large budget is certainly not needed to have your own outdoor kitchen.  Create your own beautiful outdoor grilling space with second hand furniture, and your basic barbecuing essentials. 

Finishing touches - and now for the fun part!  Fill in all those empty corners and frame walkways with an eclectic mix of planters, pots and buckets.  Give it some personality, whether its modern or country, be creative and keep it neat and tidy for a lovely polished look. 

And lastly, lighting - use candles, strung lights, pathway lanterns, mason jars or a chandelier.  Nothing sets the mood better than the right use of lighting. 

Have fun creating your perfect outdoor space!  Hope we were able to help inspire you.