holidays

Mother’s Day is exceptionally special for me this year, with a 14-month-old daughter at home. Being a mom myself casts a new light on the holiday, not just with respect to my own daughter, but also to my mother. What was about breakfast in bed and homemade cards when I was a kid now has added depth and sentiment. So I’ve been really looking forward to this new series that’s launching on our site today: Over the next several weeks, leading up to Mother’s Day, we’ll be sharing images from photographer Claudette Carracedo’s The Mother-Daughter Project.

“As photographers, our style and vision create the look and feel of a portrait,” explains Claudette. “The Mother-Daughter Project was a way of exploring how much of our personal history and biases affect a session. The idea was to provide a unified look using a single lighting system and backdrop, as well as a allow the participants to describe their relationship to each other as I photographed them. Ultimately, the goal was to create an authentic image that speaks to the uniqueness of each mother-daughter relationship.”

From Claudette: Two years ago Gaile’s mother, Ebie, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 58. Last year Gaile, a talented designer, and her team built a Laneway home for IDSWest. The Laneway home was auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC.

From Claudette: I had the pleasure of photographing Adria’s wedding in 2010 and meeting her first child, Ayla, has been such a delight.

The subjects in Claudette’s photos include mothers and daughters who are current clients and collaborators; friends and family (among them, her own mother); and even classmates she hasn’t seen in over 20 years. I hope you’ll check back every Thursday between now and Mother’s Day for new installments highlighting The Mother-Daughter Project.

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Indigo Bunting for Paperless Post

by Joanna on February 4, 2014

The tradition of sending valentines to friends is something we sorely miss about elementary school—and it’s one we’re thinking of resurrecting this year. With these quirky food-themed cards, it’s an easy task to tackle.

Recently, one of our favorite graphic designers—Erin Jang of The Indigo Bunting—collaborated with Paperless Post, the online paper store where you can customize and send really spectacularly designed cards online or in print. Erin’s quirky, playful, and bright style is the perfect way to express your love this Valentine’s Day. The only struggle is picking a favorite!

{ Images via Indigo Bunting }

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Food contributor Stephanie Shih is at it again with this decadent dessert, just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for an unexpected and delicious way to make the occasion, this is it. Thanks, Stephanie! —Alexis

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for desserts, and the typical fare is usually sugar, sugar, chocolate, and more sugar. My personal philosophy when it comes to V-day desserts, however, is that they shouldn’t—like the Hallmark holiday—be so saccharine. If what we’re celebrating is love, then we should celebrate this emotion in all of its wondrous complexities. After all, how can one fully appreciate the sweet parts without having experienced the darker counterpoints? There’s a reason that being head-over-heels in love is equal parts intoxicating and dangerous!

This flourless chocolate cake is deep, rich, and incredibly smooth; its counterpoint is the juicy, bright, and tart grapefruit on top. The coconut oil in the cake brings out an almost floral hint both in the taste of the chocolate as well as in the grapefruit. Finally, the finishing touch is fresh raspberries, offering that traditional note of loving sweetness to the whole dessert.

Grapefruit Raspberry Flourless Chocolate Cake
Cake adapted from David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Orbit Cake from Ready for Dessert
Makes one 9-inch round cake

  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate (68-72%), chopped
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 medium grapefruit
  • 1 oro blanco
  • 1 punnet raspberries, about 1 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a parchment paper round.
  2. Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over simmering water. Stir just until melted and combined. Remove from heat, stir in salt and ¾ cup sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is very frothy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the eggs, stirring constantly. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Cover the top of the pan tightly with foil. Place the cake pan into a hot water bath, with the water reaching about half-way up the sides.
  5. Bake the cake for 75 to 80 minutes, until the cake appears set and your finger comes away clean when you lightly touch the top. Remove the cake from the oven and from the water bath. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (The cake will shrink away from the edges as it cools.)
  6. Right before serving, segment the grapefruits and oro blanco and arrange the segments on top of the cake. Add raspberries.

{ Photos by Stephanie Shih for Anthology Magazine }

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Banana Hazelnut Pancakes

by Alexis on December 27, 2013

I’m excited to share a recipe from food contributor Stephanie Shih this morning. As part of her own holiday breakfast tradition, Stephanie’s put together a recipe for absolutely divine Banana Hazelnut Pancakes. A batch of these would pretty much guarantee a great start to the new year. Thanks, Stephanie! —Alexis

One of my favorite ways to celebrate holidays is by making special pancakes in the mornings. New Year’s Day, especially, always deserves a proper pancake breakfast to kick off the year on the right foot.

This year, I thought I’d play off of a standing favorite: banana pancakes. Instead of having the bananas in the pancakes, these bananas—baked until caramelized—take center stage alongside hazelnut pancakes. The whole combo is brightened by a hit of sweet Meyer lemon juice, both in the bananas and in a dollop of Greek yogurt served atop the pancakes. Garnish with more hazelnuts and roasted cacao nibs (for a small chocolate surprise—it’s a holiday, after all), and this twist on banana pancakes remixes an old classic for the new year. Here’s to a happy and delicious 2014!

Hazelnut Pancakes
Serves 4

  • 1 cup (4 oz.) whole hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turkish coffee powder, optional
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract, optional
  • 1/4 cup roasted cacao beans or nibs, for garnish, optional
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, for garnish, optional
  • 6 baked bananas (see below)
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon yogurt (see below)
  1. To toast the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Place the hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. In a bowl, whisk to combine the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, salt, and Turkish coffee powder (if using). Set aside. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and hazelnut extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Do not overmix.
  3. Place a skillet over medium high heat and butter lightly. Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake (for small pancakes) from a ladle into the skillet. Flip when the underside has turned golden brown, and remove from pan when second side is golden brown. Repeat as necessary for the batter.
  4. Top the pancakes with roasted cacao nibs and toasted hazelnut, if using. Serve with baked bananas and a dollop of Meyer lemon yogurt.

Baked Bananas

  • 6 bananas, or 12 mini bananas
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Split the bananas lengthwise, removing the peel. Place the bananas cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the Meyer lemon juice and then drizzle with the melted coconut oil. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top of the bananas.
  2. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the sugar is bubbling and melted, and the bananas are soft but still retain their structure. Remove from oven and let cool briefly. Serve while still hot. (The bananas can be re-warmed in the oven for a few minutes, if necessary.)

Meyer Lemon Yogurt

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-4 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  1. Stir together the yogurt, milk, and Meyer lemon zest.

{ Photos by Stephanie Shih for Anthology Magazine }

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Miniature Eclairs

by Alexis on December 23, 2013

This is our first holiday season as a family of three, so we’re thinking a lot about traditions in our house. As a kid, breakfast while opening presents on Christmas morning was a big deal. Every year we looked forward to the same breakfast: cornflake sundaes—made with cornflakes, ice cream, and raspberries. While these decadent bowls are still a favorite when we go back home, the tradition we’re establishing in our house is a batch of mini éclairs, which were featured in last year’s Anthology gift guide.

The recipe is deceptively easy and the components can be made in advance for easy assembly in the morning so as not to delay getting to the under-the-tree excitement. You can also simplify it further by using just whipped cream as the filling, and the batch doubles well if you have a bigger crowd. But there’s something about homemade éclairs that just feels special. And if you’re looking for other delicious brunch options, you could try the savory bread pudding, the potato stacks, or the show-stopping fig and goat cheese crepe cake from the same story.

Miniature Éclairs
Makes 18 éclairs

Note: Steps 1-10 can be prepared a day in advance.

For the pastries

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 6 tbsp salted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

For the cream filling

  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the chocolate ganache

  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  1. For pastries: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, butter, salt, and sugar just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add flour while stirring vigorously. Once flour is well incorporated, return saucepan to medium heat and stir continuously until dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium for about 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium to incorporate.
  4. Scoop tbsp-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet a few inches apart. With a wet finger, smooth out any points on the dough.
  5. Bake until the puffs are well browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks before filling.
  6. For filling: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, remove from heat.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ⅓ cup of milk and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.
  8. Temper egg mixture by slowly whisking about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Strain the egg mixture with a fine sieve and slowly whisk it back into the saucepan with remaining milk mixture.
  9. Return the egg and milk mixture to medium heat and continue whisking until it thickens and just comes to a boil, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and quickly transfer to a bowl. Stir in vanilla.
  10. With electric mixer in a large mixing bowl, whip cream on medium high until it holds soft peaks. Fold about one quarter of the whipped cream into the still warm custard until well incorporated. Cool to room temperature then fold in remaining whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
  11. For chocolate ganache: When ready to assemble your éclairs, melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in a microwave on low heat, stirring until smooth.
  12. To assemble: Fit a pastry bag or plastic bag with a medium round tip or bismark pastry tip and fill the bag with cream filling. Push the tip into the side of an éclair and pipe the cream in. Continue until all the éclairs are filled. One at a time, dip the tops of the éclairs into the room temperature ganache. Chill in the refrigerator about 15 minutes to allow ganache to set. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve within a few hours.

{ Photos by Marvin Ilasco for Anthology Magazine }

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