Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza

This is hands down my favourite pizza in the whole world. Seriously. It is  SO g.o.o.d. Really good. And I managed to convince Chef Kev to make it for me on Saturday evening. Yay :)

This pizza is right up there with finding twenty dollars in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn in over a year (yes!). And right up there with hitting every green light on the way to work (score!)  This pizza is even as good as eating more chocolate than the Easter Bunny, yet still loosing two pounds when you step on the scale (SAWEEET!) Like I said,  G.O.O.D.

Okay, let's get to gettin'.

whole garlic bulb
extra virgin olive oil
pizza crust - thin
package of smoked salmon lox
red onion - thinly sliced
goat cheese
fresh dill - chopped

to make:
Before assembling and making your pizza, you will first need to roast a bulb of garlic. Preheat your oven to 400°, then cut the top of the bulb so that the tips of each clove are exposed. Place your bulb on a sheet of tinfoil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap the garlic bulb in the tinfoil and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes. You will know it is ready when the cloves turn a rich caramel colour and pop out of their casings easily (to release them squeeze lightly at the base of each clove and they should come right out). Yum!

With your oven preheated at 425°, begin assembling your pizza by first brushing a layer of olive oil on to your crust. Next, cover your crust with the smoked salmon and add your thinly sliced red onion and capers. Top that with chunks of crumbled goat cheese (mmmmmmm...). Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Finish with the dill and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Zesty, Yummy, GOLD.


Okay, so maybe it is better than eating more chocolate than the Easter Bunny, yet still loosing two pounds when you step on the scale. I stand corrected.

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This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Sonja at And More Food.


Putting the Spring in my front door's step!

Ah yes, Spring is here. Now doesn't this image just scream "Spriiinnnng!"

No? I agree. It screams "mama's been kinda busy", actually if it were screaming it would be more like "MAMMA'S BEEN KINDA BUSY!" but I don't like to yell. What you are looking at here are the remnants of my Christmas planter (I didn't blog about it this year but it looked basically like this). Now, in my defense this is from about a month ago (so late March isn't too bad is it)? Okay, it is.

Chace and I set out to give this planter a Spring overhaul. First we removed all the dead foliage and thinned out the branches drastically. Then Chace worked his magic moving the dirt around. Nothing like putting your (almost) four year old to work. And don't you love the outfit he picked out? Priceless.

Once Chace had filled his time card we turned our attention to the flowers I had purchased. My birthday is mid-March and my sweet coworker bought me a gift card to a garden centre near my office (thanks Sharon)! I picked up these 6 plants on my lunch break a day or two before the big dig.

I'm sorry that I can't recall the names for all of these but basically I picked up some ground cover, some heather (the purple one), decorative grass, a succulent variety, and some violas.

Then we began planting. I let Chace help by telling me which one he wanted to plant next and I helped chose where to put them.

I tried to place the plants in an arrangement that would add interest from each angle you viewed the planter at. For example, I put the succulent near the side of the planter where the door is as it is small so you may not notice it if tucked in back. I also put the heather to the far right as it is large and colourful so adds a nice 'frame'. I put the grass near the succulent as I loved the play of texture. And the ground cover and flowers I tucked throughout to add diversity and interest.

Then my helper cleaned up. If anyone is looking, he charges $10/hr. All calls go through his momager.

This angle makes him look so tall!

Speaking of angle, this one here had a good one. She did nothing but look at me like this and try to get me to throw her ball for her. Get to work Belle. Shameless.

Once we were all done we had a planter that was ready to start growing. Now it feels like Spring!

As mentioned, I did this about a month ago and grow she did! Here is how she was looking last night when I snapped a few quick pics...

The flowers are loving their new homes and I am loving the colour and life.

This succulent is just so succulent. Sorry, had to be said.

Well, that put a little spring in my step - har har. There is something so refreshing about flourishing flowers. Gotta love 'em.

And the planter-o-shame is but a distant memory (albeit one with photographic evidence).

What about you guys? Get up to any spring cleaning inside or out? I love Spring cleaning/organizing.  I get a real itch this time of the year. Nothing is safe. I'm talking to you garage. You've been warned.


Artsy Fartsy

Chef Kev will think it's funny that I used the word 'fart' in a title #guyhumour. My mom won't #sorrymom!

Earlier this week I shared with you the updates we did in our living room. For those who missed it you can read about it here - but basically it is our new curtains and panelled wall. 

We used to have art hanging over the couch and behind the dining table. 

But it was taken down when we put up the awesomesauce panelling. 

As juicy as the panelling is, the spot above the sofa still looked a little bare. The couch is such a similar colour that it almost blends into the wall.

In an ideal world I'd also love to update the throw cushions (bring in something more modern with hits of grey) and that lamp is totally the wrong lamp for the space but Rome wasn't built in day and neither was my living room. I'd actually really love a dark charcoal couch there but I digress... We work with what we have right!? And what I have is a small budget.

Okay, so the painting I did of Chace didn't work in this spot any more so he got moved to the basement. Sorry nugget!

Where he went up, four black frames came down. I'm going to reuse three of them here.

I was originally thinking of framing some black and white prints in them but then I had another idea. 

One of my favourite tricks is framing 'art' from what are known as 'mill swatches'. In my industry (Graphic Design) mill swatches are a designers' best friend. Think of them as the paint swatch deck to a painter, the surgical tools to a surgeon (dramatic yes) or Sriracha sauce to anything Chef Kev eats. Hand in hand my friend.  

Mill swatches are booklets put out by the different paper mills showcasing their paper. The swatches show different weights, colours and what sizes the paper is available in. They also contain a bunch of information about how the paper is produced, recycled content of the stock etc. In addition to this, the mill swatches also show examples of different printing processes to show how the paper stock takes ink. As you can imagine, each paper has different qualities and the imagery plays into that. For example, a shiny slick coated stock may be used in producing a car pamphlet (as it makes the car look new, shiny and fancy) so they may showcase imagery of the sort. An uncoated stock with high recycled content may boast imagery of fabrics or something much more tactile and textured. Mill swatches are awesome reference for Graphic Designers.

Sometimes the paper mills also put out what is known as 'printed samples'. Printed samples are design pieces with amazing imagery showcasing multiple lines of the mill's paper and various techniques. These are my faves. The designs and processes used can be breathtaking. And yes, I am 100% a design nerd and totally okay in admitting it. 

And that pic is actually a self portrait that I took of myself stuck in a traffic jam. I guess my nerdness knows no bounds...

Okay, but back to this! 

Here is what mill swatches and printed samples look like.

I've framed images from other mill swatches and printed samples in the past. In our main floor bathroom for example...

I have a set of three up but they are a bit hard to shoot together so here is the other one...

and a I've used printed sample imagery again in a corner of our entry way.

Back to the pile above though, here are the 'series' that caught my eye as possible options.

Tickets. I loved the colour here but didn't really want to cut the picture up in to three sections. I was worried it would lose the feeling that this single image captures.

Pay-per-view binoculars: these are just three but you can see under the middle one that there are a few more poking out.

Black & white to colour imagery: thought this was interesting, especially since black & white was my first instinct...

And this one here full of different rulers and the like.

I was still a bit torn so I propped up each 'set' against the frames sitting on the back of the couch. I did each one like this...

And then I made my choice. Spoiler alert - it's the pay-per-view binocular series! I loved the colours and mood of these pics. I had to go with them.

Then I set about framing them. The frames are quite old but I think I got them from Real Canadian Superstore (about 10 years ago)! 

I have a few framing tricks for you though to make your framed pieces look like a million bucks. Number one is to have your mats custom cut. The word 'custom' can conjure up images of dollar signs but it's actually not expensive at all. If memory serves, these were $7 each and you end up with beautiful thick mats that really highlight whatever you are framing. I like to make them nice and generous. I find the ones that come in the frames are always a bit skimpy and have very thin margins. Ample white space = great showcasing of your subject. I think they look more like gallery pieces this way. I had the foyer and bathroom ones shown earlier custom cut too.

My second tip is to put a piece of tape on the backside top edge of your photo/picture/art print with the sticky side facing up. This way, when you centre your image in the mat opening all you have to do is lightly press down on the top of the opening and your image will get 'tacked' in to place. Then you can flip the mat over and tape your image securely in place to reinforce it. 

After all three were framed I marked the wall using a level and a pencil. Then I turned to my favourite 3M picture hanging strips. I love these things. Easiest way to hang art without ever damaging your wall. Golden. I  used the strips like this on two of the frames but placed them top and bottom middle for the centre frame (as it is on the moulding versus the flat wall as you will see). 

So here is the 'before' again for you...

And the 'after'!

Here are some close ups of the art prints. 

right hand side:



I love how the soft haze in the photos really helps link the cream in the couch to the grey on the wall. And because I used what I had on hand this whole project probably cost me less than how much one of those pay-per-view binoculars charge! The only supply I had to get was some new picture hanging strips because I was out. 

A few more angles for you...

I think it really finishes off the space and helps identify the 'living room' area in this open concept space (the dining table is just to the right of this area).

What about you? Any picture hanging tips or favourite things to frame? Any secret nerd confessions that you are just dying to get out? Please share ;)

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