Tuesday's Canadian contribution comes from Vancouver based company Lovely Design. Designer Sharilyn Wright's Beautiful Leaves of Canada poster is the perfect dose of design and ecology. Unfortunately they are currently all sold out - but the inspiration is still free... I think!

Here's to dreaming of the colourful canopies back home...


For Mom...

So Mom, you've been looking for the perfect canvas bag to carry all those groceries home from the market in...
And of course you're an avid market shopper like me and obviously require more than one bag...
So, why not invest in a few of these typographic totes from Alphabetbags...
And pay homage to your favourite daughter (shhhh, don't tell my little sis)!

Happy shopping!

Muffin Mondays!

In honour of English Muffin, and of Fall, and the simple fact that I love to bake muffins, I am hereby making Mondays "Muffin Mondays"!

We picked up some lovely pears at the market on Saturday and managed to make two pear inspired baked treats over the weekend, the first being a pear tart for our friend Jeff, and the second these delicious Pear and Walnut Muffins I'm going to share with you.

I must first say that these muffins would not have been possible without the generous toaster oven donation from our good friends Ben & Nina :) Our little euro-kitchen unfortunately did not come equipped with a luxurious Wolf oven. No worries though, thanks to these silicon muffin molds from Lurch, and my winning "can-do" spirit, the muffins were a yummy success!

Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Pear and Walnut Muffins

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 12 and a bit

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 large pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsly chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour muffin tin and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the yogurt gently. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the pear chunks, ginger and walnut pieces.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



I heart borscht!

Sunday is soup day and one of my favourites is borscht. Big Chuck makes a mean pot of soup and I had the pleasure of documenting some of his process.

Apart from being a really delicious and beautiful veggie, beets are among the elite "Super Vegetables" providing us with lots of nutrients and powerful antioxidant compounds called betalains. The NY Times has done a couple beet profiles, definitely worth a gander...

Our own broscht recipe is slowly being transcribed and will be up on the site sometime in the near future.

Slurp, slurp...


Freestylin fridays with English Muffin guest blogger Big Chuck

Hi Everybody! It's Big Chuck and I'm here to tell you about a brand new dance...

This is English Muffin's guest blogger who will be bringing you a little bit of a different flavour every Friday. Vinyl is not dead!

First, early today when the NY times popped into my inbox I discovered this inspiring installation, which combines two of my favorite things, records and Asian art.

Then, as if the gods were saying, let there be vinyl, I later see a sign for a big record show at the Gasometer here in Vienna. I will no doubt be heading out there tomorrow morning, latté in hand, to check for some goodies.

I'll bring along my portable turntable in case something looks cool but I haven't had the chance to hear it before. I think the Numark is the best on the market from what I have seen.

And if I had money to burn, no doubt I would pick up one of these stylish retro LP carrying cases for my best finds by Crosley, who also make the rolls royce of portable plattenspielers!

How's about a bit of video fun? Maybe I'll find some of Kraftwerks stuff tomorrow, who happen to be my favorite German pop electronic pioneers.

Till next friday, BC



I think I would have been a better math student if I'd had one of these Choculators at my desk! This melt in your mouth math machine is available on the Sunny Style website, an online Japanese store where it doesn't matter that I can't understand anything - the pictures are worth a thousand words.



It's raining it's pouring...

Keep your shoes dry this fall with these super cute "modern galoshes" from Swims! So many great colours and such a simple design. I'll start saving my euro pennies straight away.

Love love love them!

Winter Octopi!

Some more delightful kids toys, this time from Branch Home, a sustainable design for living company with a bounty of great stuff available online through their website.

These octopi were "hand-knit by women who belong to a collective of knitters in rural Kenya".

Adorable and socially responsible, I'm sold!


Tuesdays are for Canadians!

Being far more patriotic now than I was when I actually lived in Canada, I thought I might hereby name Tuesdays as "Canadiana" days. A day of the week to devote to reminiscing about crisp fall leaves, warm cottage fires, maple syrup and all things Canadian!

To kick us off... Canadian home furnishings company, LoooLo, are dedicated to making green choices in all the pieces they produce and have a line of beautiful and biodegradable (!) pillows and blankets. They have recently added some super cute, not to mention mouthwatering, organic kids toys to their line. I can't believe it's not edible!

Bon Appétit...


Butternut Squash

(illustration by Bess)

Guess what I had for lunch.... Butternut Squash soup!

Goodbye Summer... Hello Fall!

It's a rainy day here in Vienna (sigh), but the promise of warm soups, sweaters and slippers is what Fall is all about. Above is a picture from the Naschtmarkt, I think this squash is definitely worthy of first place at the county fair.


W is for...Welcome!

Welcome to the English Muffin Blog! I hope you'll enjoy this bite-sized piece of the web where I can share with you my daily inspirations, ideas, and the ups and downs of launching my design company, English Muffin.