good stuff #3

bra grejer

i love canada, i really do. our kick-ass landscape, free health care and enviable collection of wildlife species are pretty great. last week i ate a butter tart. i also ate one the week before that. what a country!

this week, as we slowly transition into spring, i’m sharing the warm minimalism of scandivavian and nordic style, looking to the distinct cold-climate aesthetic of sweden, denmark, finland, and norway for inspiration. theirs is a perfect blending of the historical and the deeply modern, an appreciation of craftmanship, natural materials, and simple, functional, but beautiful design.

and what about hygge? in denmark, this sort of vague word, loosely translated, describes the feeling of well-being we get from a warm, candlelit room filled with books and good food, and people to share it with, while the snow falls heavily outside. that feeling can happen in warmer weather, too, when a picnic blanket on soft grass is laid with beautiful food on a well-designed dish, and you know you have the afternoon off. it’s kind of blissful, no? a perfect concept for a cold-climate country like canada, too.

let’s not forget, sweden is the birthplace of that most beautiful of hygge-inducing stoves, my still-coveted AGA.

while i’ll never be a true minimalist, i love how nordic and scandinavian style seems to mix it up just right. i hope you find some inspiration too.

happy sunday xx

p.s…that phrase above? swedish, for “good stuff”.

  1. this cookbook, the new nordic, by:

  2. photographer and chef simon bajada is on my list of new books to buy. beetroot carpaccio with goat’s cheese and minted pea relish will be one of the first recipes i try. (photos: simon bajada)

  3. this roros tweed blanket, made from the wool of norwegian sheep. i’m inspired by those blocks of colour to knit a colourblock throw in homage to this lovely design. available at MJOLK, in the junction, toronto. (photo:

  4. this glass and brass vase, made in sweden by eva schildt. perfect to hold simple branches or dried seed heads in celebration of the stark beauty of winter. at MJOLK, above. (photo:

  5. these marttiini knives from finland. i would love to unsheath this and use it daily. available at the finnish place. (photo: the fnnish place)

  6. lotta from stockholm clogs chefs wear closed-toe clogs in the kitchen because they are durable and comfortable. now you can get the ultimate in man-repelling footwear to go with just about everything. i discovered lotta from stockholm on instagram and love everything they post. these black t-bars are begging to be worn with a cute dress and tights, or flared denim. (photo: lotta from stockholm)

  7. this funky mug by iconic designer maija isola in the unikko pattern, in production since 1964. love that yellow. (photo: the finnish place)

  8. this gorgeous bowl. if i can’t afford an AGA, i cant afford this bowl but wow, is it beautiful to look at! from a selection available in the online shop of the kitchen designer, susan serra. (

  9. era 66 furniture located right here in guelph, makers of drool-worthy new furniture inspired by danish modern and mid-century design. (photo: instagram, @era66furniture)

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good stuff no. 2

good morning lovely people, and a very happy sunday to you.

this week’s good stuff roundup is inspired by simplicity. i’m loving the slightly minimalist theme going on.

check my instagram feed for today’s post, and to follow our listmakers and see even more of what they do.

with love,

as if i don’t love crocheting enough, it would be even better if i had one of these hand-carved crochet hooks with sweet crown tops from bqueen collection. available in singles or in sets, each one is ergonomic and made from domestic and exotic woods. that tulipwood one though! (photo: BQueen Collection)

i came across the good drink on instagram, and am now officially in awe of Colleen Jeffers recipes and photography. i need a Salted Melon Lassi with blonde rum, like, immediately. (photo: Colleen Jeffers)

what i’m loving about blooms and flora florist in guelph is their selection of slightly 70’s style potted plants. you can have a peace lily in a funky white textured ceramic pot delivered to your door for $35, or go all out and snag this stunning split-leaf philodendron. they also carry the cutest little succulent pots that make me crave some macrame hangers. now to not kill them…. (photo: Blooms and Flora)

Sue Bradbury is the woman behind EllainaBoutique, her etsy shop and home to simply designed tops, dresses, and scarves all designed and sewn by Sue. my favourite is this simple white top, but her colourful dresses with pin-tuck bodices are gorg. (photo: Sue Bradbury)

so, coffee. it’s pretty much my favourite thing in the world, so how happy am i to see filtr company joining a pretty enviable array of coffee places in town. although they are much more than a coffee shop. they deliver simple, fresh food, cold-pressed raw juices from galt juice company, and their espresso and slow-bar features small-batch beans from Monigram Roasters in Cambridge. even if you don’t live here, visit the website and peruse the deliciousness. (photo: Filtr Co.)

oh, and by the way, was it a fabulous dream, or did AGA Living really post a photo of this luscious pink number for valentine’s day? yes, yes they did. sigh. (photo:

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brown butter cornmeal lime cake

brown butter cornmeal lime cake. it sounds like i took a bunch of whatever i had in the kitchen and made a cake out of it, doesn’t it? oh, wait…

i rounded up the ingredients, cornmeal…yogurt…limes…i thought, how can i bring these all together into a cohesive whole? the brown butter was the key, adding a lovely toasty, caramely note that complements the cornmeal, and balancing out the acid in the limes and the yogurt.

luckily this worked on the first try despite not having one of these.   i would suggest eating in within a day or so, when it’s supremely fresh. you could easily make this in a loaf pan, but i wanted to use the lovely violet cake plate from dis-a-ray that my special brit friend gave me for my birthday. he’s very thoughtful that way, and was very excited it said “made in england”.  or maybe he knew i would immediately make a cake to go on it. either way, we ate it up with a pot of earl grey and it was delicious.

keep a close eye when browning the butter. it doesn’t take long to go from brown butter to burnt butter.

brown butter cornmeal lime cake

brown butter cornmeal lime cake

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp lime zest
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4  cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup brown sugar

for the glaze:

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup brown sugar

for the drizzle:

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp lime zest

preheat oven to 350f. grease a 9″ cake pan and line with parchment. grease the parchment and set pan aside.

in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. cook slowly, swirling the pan and watching for the butter to change colour from pale straw to a light butterscotch colour.  when it’s just aproaching a deep amber colour, and smells like toasted nuts, remove from heat and swirl a few times. set aside to cool slightly.

in a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of the brown sugar. whisking does a great job of breaking up the lumps in the sugar.

when the butter is cooled, whisk in the yogurt, eggs, and zest. pour all at once into dry ingredients and mix well, but do not beat.

pour into prepared pan and bake for 75 minutes, or until dry when tested with a toothpick.

meanwhile, make the glaze. heat the 1/3 cup lime juice with 1/3 cup brown sugar until sugar is melted. pour over warm cake, then cool cake completely.

when cool, mix the icing sugar with the 2 tbsp. lime juice and blend well. drizzle over cake, and sprinkle on the remaining zest. allow glaze to set before serving.


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