29 October 2009

Fabric Eye Candy Report

effiloche fabric

Yesterday I went fabric shopping with lainevierge. It turned what was a "to do" item into a lot of fun. I had promised to buy my Mom some more of a fabric she had purchased while she was here. And I decided that going fabric shopping for her, was an excellent excuse to have an outing with a friend and buy fabric for ME too! I bought 6 fat quarters.

effiloche fabric

While I tend to be drawn to blues and greens, I made an effort to focus on some other colourways so that my fabric stash has a good spectrum to choose from for whatever projects I dream up.

effiloche fabric

And while I was taking photos of this fabric I decided to take some of a few remnants I picked up awhile ago. My local fabric store has big bins of remnants that are fun to dig through and everything is pretty inexpensive.


I don't have any specific projects in mind at the moment, but small pieces of fabric are low in calories, and guilt-free!

Photographs by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.

19 October 2009

Amsterdam bicycles

I couldn't skip posting about bicycles when talking about Amsterdam. They are everywhere. IN HUGE QUANTITIES. And it's brilliant, awesome, and so much fun. We rented bicycles for two of our days there and it was so easy to zip around. I had a wonderful postcard holiday montage moment when we were riding through a park, side by side, along a tree-lined avenue. I just felt like I was in the romanticized movie-version of my life for a moment.

Here's a few of the pictures I took featuring bicycles.

green bicycle

bicycles by the canal

lots of bicycles

cyclist controlled lights

bicycle path

study of a bicycle

If you ever visit Amsterdam, I recommend renting from the somewhat incognito black-bikes.com.

Photographs by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.

17 October 2009

Amsterdam architecture

A little selection of some of the architecture we saw in Amsterdam...

canal houses

buildings along a canal

rooftop in the sun

canal view with houseboats

down the canal

neat drawbridge

Amsterdam rooftops

Have you noticed what glorious weather we had during our holiday? Amsterdam is usually a very rainy city (so I hear), but it was sunny almost the entire time we were there. The web of canals through the old part of the city created many beautiful views. We spent a lot of time walking along them, looking at the infinite variety in the canal house roof shapes. And quite a bit of time sitting in little sidewalk cafes looking out at them (and all the people and bikes passing by).

Photographs by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.

06 October 2009

Amsterdam markets

A little selection of some things I saw while perusing the street markets in Amsterdam...

stunning hydrangeas
Originally uploaded by allisongryski

sea urchins
Originally uploaded by allisongryski

fancy notions
Originally uploaded by allisongryski

colourful textiles
Originally uploaded by allisongryski

03 October 2009

My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

D reaching for a cookie
Originally uploaded by allisongryski

After much experimentation, I have developed the following recipe. These make the sort of chocolate chip cookies that my sweetie and I favour: slightly chewy, not too thin, lots of chocolate chips. Oh are these addictive! The recipe can be doubled and these cookies freeze well.

Allison's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1-2 tsp tia maria (or vanilla extract)
Mix in:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Stir in:
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

Put tablespoon sized blobs on the baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. They're better once they've cooled a bit.

You don't need to smush them flat since they'll melt down in the oven. I love the sort of uneven lumpiness that results. I always cook mine for the full 10 minutes because if the middle is still too undercooked, the cookies will sink as they cool. I can't say as it was exactly "hard" for us to taste all the variations on this recipe when I was experimenting. The main thing I discovered is that if you add too much butter (the recipe I started with had 1/2 cup), then they'll go all flat. If that's what you prefer, by all means, add more butter. I always use tia maria (a coffee flavoured liqueur), but there's honestly probably not much difference if you use vanilla or whatever booze you have on hand for flavouring baking. Happy baking (and eating)!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Originally uploaded by allisongryski