Saturday Snippets: 14.January.2017

Today marks my first full year of doing Saturday Snippets! It’s been the one consistent posting day I’ve kept up every week, which feels pretty good. And with that said, I think I’m going to try a new style for the next year, and see how I do with it.

I’m going to include the snippets we’ve found interesting throughout the week still (because I like reading through that style of posts on other blogs), but I’m also going to try and include more pictures (because I’m 99% sure most people just like to look at pictures!). The pictures could be from our weekly walks or activities, and will often include our progress update on Moby, the Sprinter Conversion – so I hope you like the new style, any feedback is welcome!

And with that said, here’s a few things that caught our eye online. Our Saturday Snippets for 14.January.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):

  • Unfortunately, no pictures to post this week. Jonty has been designing the wall panels and, like most things, the design takes time. He’s planning on starting to CNC the prototypes next week (the weather should be warmer – wahoo!).
  • A replacement PCB is on the way (finally!) for a faulty battery management unit.
  • Often, his design process for the van looks like this:
    1. Prototype a design in FreeCAD.
    2. Figure out how to lay out the design on the material we’re cutting, in order to minimize wasted material for the cut.
    3. CNC the part he’s designed (using a cheaper or waste material).
    4. Bring it into the van and see how well it fits.
    5. Make any tweaks to the design, if necessary, then CNC again.
    6. Repeat this until we’re happy with the design, then CNC the final product using the proper (i.e. more expensive) material.
  • This may not be everyone’s process, but it works for us!

Pictures during the week of 14.January.2017:

Our week started out a bit grey and on the plus-side of zero. We headed out for our weekly Monday walk, and decided to visit the Iona Beach Regional Park. It’s right by the airport and people often head out here to watch the planes take off and land. We have never been, and there was a super-long peninsula that looked walkable (on google maps), so off we went!

When we started walking, we had no idea how long the peninsula was  (turns out, about 4 km), nor did we know what we would find at the end (this was it!). It’s amazing how far out into the ocean it stretches! At the end, you’re almost inline with the furthest point of UBC.

Our second walk of the week took us to Coal Harbour, to catch the sunrise. We had our weekly 6 am gym session downtown, followed by our long-standing post-workout breakfast date at 7 am. The parking meter didn’t start until 9 am, so we decided to walk down to the water to catch the sunrise. The morning was cold and clear, and we thought the views were pretty grand.

Happy Weekend!

Multi-Seeded Bread

I try to bake bread once a week, often on a Monday when I’m not in the office. There’s something really great about easing into the start of the week with a home smelling of freshly baked bread, I urge you to try it sometime, perhaps as a New Years goal? It doesn’t even have to be on a Monday! 🙂

I was all ready to go with the bread baking last week: the mixer was out, the oven was pre-heating and I started to weigh out the ingredients for my go-to marbled rye bread, when alas, I realized we didn’t have anymore yogurt!

We needed bread, and I didn’t want to run down to the store for more yoghurt. So I begrudgingly picked up my bread book, in a pouty attempt to find another loaf inspiration (yes, a somewhat first-world problem I admit). | Multi-seeded bread

The bread gods must have sensed my pain, though, because the book magically opened to a recipe for a multi-seeded bread. And, aside from a few seed swaps, I had everything I needed! Phew! | Multi-seeded bread

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but all of the breads I make can either be made in one sitting, or can be split over a few days. While I often choose to make a loaf in the morning, you can easily mix up the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge (up to 4 days) until you’re ready to bake. It’s a great way to make bread, if you’ve got commitment issues 😉 | Multi-seeded bread

This particular loaf has all the health benefits of whole-grain rye flour, as well as enough seeds to make it taste interesting. I used a combination of pumpkin, sunflower, flax and poppy seeds. I think next time I make this I’ll try adding a few walnuts into the mix too. | Multi-seeded bread

And then as soon as the multi-seed bread was cool enough to slice, I slathered it with homemade peanut butter and raspberry jam, and all was right in my world again! | Multi-seeded bread

Multi-Seeded Bread
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This gives a nice, soft sandwich loaf. It tastes great toasted or as it is! Recipe adapted slightly from Artisan Breads Everyday.
  • 325 g (~2.5 cups) unbleached bread flour
  • 45 g (~1/3 cup) rye flour
  • 15 g (~2 tbsp) pumpkin seeds
  • 15 g (~2 tbsp) sunflower seeds
  • 15 g (~1.5 tbsp) flax seeds
  • 15 g (~2 tbsp) poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 7 g (1¾ tsp) instant quick-rise yeast
  • 30 g (1.5 tbsp) pure maple syrup
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) lukewarm water
  • 85 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) lukewarm milk (any kind, or more water)
  1. Toast the seeds in a dry skillet or under the broiler, until they become fragrant. About 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the ingredients and mix with the dough hook attachment, until just combined (about 2 minutes). Stop mixing and let the dough sit for 5 minutes, to allow the flour to fully hydrate.
  3. On medium-low speed, knead the bread with the dough hook attachment for 3 or 4 minutes, until the dough starts to come together into a smooth ball. Add more flour, 1 tbsp at at time, only if the dough is very sticky. You want the dough to be soft and supple and slightly tacky (so the dough just sticks to your finger when you press into it).
  4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently knead by hand for a few minutes. Add flour, only when necessary. You should have a nice soft, smooth ball of dough at the end.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly-greased, clean bowl. Cover with a cotton kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until the ball has doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Prepare a 8x4-inch loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the bowl and pat it into a rectangle shape. At the short end, tightly roll up the dough into a log shape, pinching the seams together. Gently place the dough, seam-side down, into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Let the dough rise at room temperature, until it just starts to dome over the edge of the pan (about 30 to 45 minutes).
  7. About 15 minutes before you plan on baking the bread, pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the bake time. When cooked, the top should be a deep golden brown, and the bottom of the loaf should sound slightly hollow when tapped.
  8. Leave the bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
This bread freezes very well. Once it has cooled completely, slice up the entire loaf before placing in a tightly-sealed freezer bag.

Enjoy the Multi-Seeded Bread! | Multi-seeded bread

Saturday Snippets: 07.January.2017

Happy New Year! We’re into 2017 officially! How did you ring in your new year? We managed to stay up until the Saskatchewan new year (we’re 2 hours behind), but for our early-to-bed / early-to-rise mantra, that counts as a win 🙂 It started snowing the afternoon of the 31st and continued through the night. We went for a walk in the evening, just to take in this beautifully crazy weather!

Temperatures have been bouncing between 0°C during the day, to -10°C at night. This ensures that the side-streets of Vancouver remain a solid sheet of ice – definitely an unusual month of weather here. But it’s sunny, and anytime Vancouverites can get a healthy dose of Vitamin D in the winter is a bonus!

On New Year’s Day, we got up early and headed out for our annual beach walk to take some pictures, drink coffee, and withstand the bracing wind.

Here’s a few snippets that caught our eye online during the week of 07.January.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Tommy Caldwell’s gear shed. We’re swooning.
  • At 105, you can still ride a bike!
  • With the cold weather, we’re loving our soups and roasted veggies. This Turmeric Carrot Apple Soup will definitely hit the spot.
  • One of our Christmas gifts this year was a 6-month subscription to Raw Spice Bar (yes, we have awesome friends, who know us so well!!). Each month, we get 3 spices in the mail, along with a few recipe ideas on how to use them. The theme of December was Icelandic Spices and one of the packets is called Quatre Epices. I’m liking the look of this spice cake and these roasted carrots!
  • Have you heard of the DASH diet? Apparently it’s been the top diet for the 7th year in a row. We don’t diet, per se, but this is similar to how our eating approach looks – focus on whole, nutritious foods, while limiting the processed foods. I like it!
  • This year is Canada’s 150th birthday. As part of the celebrations, the National Parks are providing free entrance passes to everyone this year, just head to the website and sign up! We received our pass in the mail last week.
  • We don’t have a dog (yet). How to travel with a dog in a Sprinter Conversion.

On the Moby news (aka Sprinter Conversion):

  • It’s been a little bit quiet on the conversion front, but here’s why: We’re still waiting on a replacement part for the battery system, we’ve been away for most of the Christmas vacation, and it’s been cold! This has been the view of Moby for the past few weeks:

  • But fear not! While the work inside the van has been halted for a bit, Jonty is still busy doing design work on the computer. He is starting to design the wall panels for us to cover, and that’s definitely keeping him busy!
  • Also, as an aside, we’ve given Moby his own Instagram account (Moby The Big Grey Van), if you want to follow along on the progress!

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

A winter sunset in Vancouver.

Monthly Word: January 2017

Happy New Year! I think we can all agree that 2016 was quite a tumultuous year, all around, and we’re ready to see what 2017 will have in store for us.

My Month of MERRY has come to and end, and we’re into a new month and a new year. December was full of lights and travel and family and good cheer, I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.

January Month of MINIMAL

Most people start the new year with resolutions and good intentions. More often than not, this includes reducing and paring down and, in general, less. Less indulgent food and more exercise. Clearing out the clutter and cleaning up the home. The word MINIMAL seems to be at the forefront for many people.

I have wanted to use this prompt for quite a while now, and I think that January might be the best and appropriate time to try it out! I love the look of a clean, uncluttered space – it’s something we’re constantly working on achieving. Sometimes it’s a battle, other times it comes quite easily.

Have you ever tried to include less in your photographs, instead of more? Here are some of my ideas for a Month of Minimal:

  • Muted or monotone colours
  • The use of negative space (reducing the background, to control the point of focus)
  • The use of macro (filling up the picture with only one thing)
  • Clean lines
  • Landscapes

Here are some examples of what I’m thinking about:

So, I’m dedicating January to my month of MINIMAL, and I would love to see how you’ll interpret this prompt, as well. If you’d like to join in, please do! I’ll post my findings on various social media places – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter,  tagging #MyMonthOfMinimal and #MyMonthOfJanuary

Here’s to a month of MINIMAL!

Saturday Snippets: 31.December.2016

Holy moly, can anyone else believe that we’re at the end of 2016 already? One year ago, we were wondering as to whether we would be in The Van and on our travels. Jonty gave it a 50% chance, I thought around 75% and Jonty’s brother an optimistic 90% chance. While we’re definitely not on the road with a finished van, we’ve made reasonable progress. We’ve told everyone it WILL be finished in 2017, so now the pressure’s on 😉

We spent the holidays in Saskatchewan, with my side of the family, and had a wonderful time. The week went by quickly, with lots of visiting and eating and drinking, and very little time online. As such, I’m anticipating another Saturday Snippets that is light on the words and heavy on the photos.

So here are a few things that caught our eye online in the word of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 31.December. 2016.

And now for a few holiday pictures.

Checking out the prairie landscape, from above.

Christmas was filled with stocking and Christmas sweaters and backyard ice hockey. A Christmas-day birthday and just-because cinnamon buns. A few tasty local craft breweries and lots and lots of coffee 🙂

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!