Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cutting Board Craft and Brunch Birthday Party!

I can't seem to do normal things for my birthday party. I always like to make it into a food competition or have a food theme of some kind. This year for my birthday, I went for something slightly different... Lately I've been seeing all these beautiful, rustic wooden cutting boards everywhere. They look so lovely for displaying cheese and fruits, or in food photography. So I decided I wanted to try and make my own wooden cutting board... and since I was going to research it, why not turn it into a craft party or sorts, so others can enjoy the process and make something for themselves too?? Fun, right!? The only not-so-cool part about hosting a brunch on my birthday was spending quite a bit of time and effort in preparing all the food. Next time I will only invite four people over, instead of twenty...! Aiyahh!

For brunch, I made spelt flour Belgian waffles, buckwheat pancakes, a breakfast potato casserole with aged cheddar and sour cream, oven-roasted hashbrown potatoes, pumpkin muffins with a cinnamon sugar topping and milk chocolate chunk cookies (my current favourite). We had a cheese board with rye bread and olive-oil baguette crostini, orange juice and fresh berries, yogurt and maple syrup for waffle toppings.

I found a lovely piece of teak at the local wood store, along with a weird off-cut piece of Madagascar ebony in the "exotic woods" section. I invited guests to bring a piece of wood to sand and oil into a lovely cutting board! Rich sanded down the ebony into the smoothest jumbo wonky piano key - it looks so shiny and black, perfect for a sushi display or a weird ice cream photo shoot! My teak wood piece turned out so nice, I really love it! My favourite cutting board was my friend Shira and Scott's, a great piece of character wood with a few silvery paint splotches on it, sanded down and oiled. They faux-aged some painted handles they found at the hardware store and attached them to the sides - perfect, super-cool looking cutting board!

Some people ate waffles and chit-chatted the afternoon away, others sliced and sanded wood, sanding down to super smooth finishes, and rubbing butcher block oil in to soak up, brighten and enliven.Cutting boards and cutting-board makers!

My teak cheese board!

And my fave cutting board of the day: Shira and Scott's awesome cutting board, aged, sanded and oiled to perfection! Man, that's going to look good with a loaf of bread and some cheese on it! Nice work, buddies!

Til next time, trompe chomp interweb world!

xo Lyndsay

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Loco dingo pie-o'clock-o.

I did go a little bonkers in pie-making this past Sunday but it was all done with love in my heart and relaxation station on my brain. Seriously, I know many people might think that spending the day making 3 different crusts and coring and slicing apples and sautéing sweet onions, leeks and carrots and rolling out dough and chilling dough and poking little fork holes in bottoms of pie crusts, slicing figs, running many a vegetable along my trusty mandolin slicer... etc... might be a drag and a half. But for me, it was a pleasant day of non-cakes where I could have fun trying to develop a new skill in the kitchen, trying out some yummy-sounding recipes and monkeying around in Pie Land.

Veggie pot pie filling, pre-gravy

Pies cooling!

Table set for dinner. New Fog Linen tablecloth and placemats! Love!

Getting ready to slice on in.

Sliced in! Caramelized onion, goat cheese and fig tart with balsamic reduction.
So easy and so yummy!

Cutting in to Mr.Veggie Pot Pie.

Not so great lighting. Oh well!

A fun and casual-times evening with pies and pals!


1. When making the precious pie dough, I find it's best when the ingredients barely come together and still appear crumbly. There are few ingredients that make up a pie dough but if those ingredients interact poorly, they can really affect the consistency of the crust! Barely touch the dough with your hands and watch your ice water. Less is more, only add a little at a time until it barely comes together.

2. Really do all those crazy things recipes call for when making pie dough, ie chilling it for the right amount of time, and chilling the pie in the freezer before it goes into the oven. It's amazing what a little stone-cold-chillin' does for a pie.

3. Don't be scared to try a pie! Like anything, pies get better with practice! I have made some seriously sucky pies and some pretty darn good ones! No biggie! No sweat!


Classic pate brisee pie dough for the apple pie. (except I add a heaping tablespoon of sugar to my dough instead of the little teaspoon because I prefer the dough to taste a little bit sweet)

Veggie pot pie with cashew mushroom gravy. You can really use any vegetables in this. The kicker is the delicious grated parmesan garlic butter crust.

Use the pate brisee recipe for this but omit the sugar. So simple and so delicious goat cheese onion tart with figs and balsamic!

Apple pie! I ditched the nutmeg and cloves.

And my recipe for maple pumpkin pie, found on Poppytalk!

Happy pie making! xo Lyndsay
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