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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
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    Download the Locavore App for iPhone to find out what produce is currently in season in your region. (created by enjoymentland).

Food n Music: Chocolate Buttermilk

Kool and the Gang Chocolate Buttermilk

Ok folks, to play you out for the weekend (or over the weekend if you live in the Southern Hemisphere and are already in Saturday…), a little Chocolate Buttermilk from good ole good ole Kool and the Gang. For their first self titled album the guys must have had food on the brain as it featured such tracks as Raw Hamburgers and Chocolate Buttermilk. I thought that considering the lovely chocolate recipe I posted earlier it only appropriate to leave you with some chocolate inspired funky jazzness. I hope you enjoy!

FYI – Chocolate Buttermilk was later sampled by Chad Jackson in the classic tune ‘Hear the drummer get wicked‘. How about that!

image from original funk music

Kitchen Envy: I heart Ikea

ikea kitchen

Earlier this week I mentioned somewhere on this blog that I love Ikea, in large part because { almost } everyone has something from Ikea in their homes – and as such it makes this world seem a lot smaller, as though we live in one big village.

That being said, I haven’t always been a fan of the Ikea range of kitchens. ‘Sterile’ was the word that often came to mind when I saw them. Granted I can be accused of loving a flea market inspired vibe in the kitchen with an array of colours and objet’s but that’s just my aesthetic. So you would be right to be surprised that I squealed with delight when I came across these pictures of an Ikea kitchen / dining room via emma’s blogg. I absolutely LOVE how they have designed this space.

ikea kitchen

– The wall length picture ledges speak volumes to the photo-artist and art collector in me. I have a ridiculous amount of art and photographs knocking around my space. I believe art should be shown not stored and this idea of a clean cut way (uniformed frames and ledges) to incorporate it into the dining space is spiffy.

– Those huge brown lampshades are stellar – great lighting to show off the goods and wares at a dinner party. In of themselves they are a great features and add texture to the space.

– The wall of tiles creates a nice inclusion of yet another texture to the space. Personally I am a huge, HUGE fan of subway tiles..but the ones in the ikea kitchen and dining room fit the space well and remind me of grid paper (have I mentioned before that I am obsessed with grid paper??), so for that reason alone I ❤ it.

– In the kitchen, everything is exposed. Instead of the more common ‘open shelving’ we see in oh so many kitchens, the rail system holding pots, collanders, knives and the like is a functional feature. I for one hate rooting around in drawers and cupboard for what I need. Having them out is practical and at the same time a decorative element.

– How many colours do you see? The fact that this kitchen and space has so much ‘stuff’ out, keeping to the black, white, chrome and wood pallette prevents the space from looking cluttered.

I could actually go on and on, but that’s enough for now. Do you like this space? What do you like about it most?

images by ikea via emmas blogg

What’s cooking my *blogships?

A round up of some of my favourite food posts from my favourite blogs in the past week.

Crumbs Dinner Baba Ganouh

blogroll category: foodie
blog name/url: crumbs for dinner
blogger: grania
post i loved: baba ganoush

A new blog to the round up. I came across Crumbs for dinner last week when checking out some nifty Brit-Blogs. Grania is a talented London blogger by night and researcher by day. Check out her posts for great inspiriations of what you could be making for dinner – and trust me, its more than mere crumbs!
Her post about Baba Ganoush was a good one..in part because every time I see or hear the words Babaganoush this song comes to mind. I need help. Anyhow, she makes BabaG seem so easy to make – I don’t know why I’ve never tried to do so..but now, this recipe has been added to my ‘must make list’. Read more from Crumbs for dinner here.

hindsvik go to the farmers market

blogroll category: designy
blog name/url: hindsvik
blogger: daniel and valeria
post i loved: Farmers’ Market Goods

I love me some farmer’s market. I have way to many pictures on my phone of goods i’ve procured from them, not to mention pictures of stalls for ‘future reference’, in case I occasion upon them at a different market location. The idea of buying produce that was made or grown locally and have the opportunity to converse with the maker/cultivator I personally find very valuable. It makes me hope this ‘trend’ of Farmer’s markets is a lasting one.
I’ve not ever been to one in Canada, but last week I lived vicariously through hindsvik. Their trip to the farmers market resulted in some drool-worthy pictures like the two above. But there are much much more..check the rest of the pictures out on the hindsvik blog.

Frankie Diary

blogroll category: mags
blog name/url: via daydream lily
blogger: lily, daydreaming..
post i loved: frankie diary

I love Frankie Magazine and always pick up a copy when I travel to Australia. It’s crafty, creative, interesting and inspiring. Their aesthetic is illustrative but cute – like a girl wearing bunny ears and a tattoo of the schmeatics to the bat cave, (what?? I find that kewl!). While reading through Aussie blogger Lily’s site, I came across a post announcing the release of Frankie’s new 2011 diary.
I love a tangible diary – for writing in my dinner dates, cafe rendezvous as well as note what to cook when and what recipes/new cooking product to look up. I always have a diary open on my desk to peruse my week, nay my life ‘at a glance’. This new Frankie diary would be great for my 2011 food exploits. See how to order it via here.

*blogships is a mash up of blog friendships. however, not all of the blogs mentioned are friends of mine. or even remotely know who I am..

all images from the respective blogs mentioned

Food n Music: I don’t eat no ham n eggs..

A tribe called Quest

Before I bid you adieu for the weekend, I recommend you get a taste of some good old skool hip hop by checking out this track by A Tribe called Quest. Man, I remember when we used to listen to these guys ALL the time. The song, Ham n Egg’s oozes good humour and a wicked beat.. ahhh the nineties!

Enjoy your weekend!

image of cd cover by a Tribe called Quest

Kings of Pastry: love and loss when striving for Mastery

Kings of Pastry

Last night I attended the NYC premiere of the documentary Kings of Pastry – an insight into the path of attaining the prestigious title Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, (MOF) or best craftsman in France. What a rollercoaster. We follow three accomplished pastry chef’s as they compete for the coveted title; the kind-faced protagonist, Jacquy Pfeiffer is co-founder of the French school of Pastry in Chicago.

The three day Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition occurs every four years and is Olympian in its requirements of dedication, endurance, skill and creativity. Creating a menu of visually stunning gastronomic masterpieces under the scrutinous eye of the judges, (all previous MOF’s and in some cases, Idols and mentors of the competitors), takes a notable toll on the mental, physical and emotional wherewithal of the competing chefs. “Imagine pulling sugar while being watched by a guy who is a master at it. Who you’ve looked up to for years” states one of the competitors. That sentence alone sums up a modicum of the level of stress that these passionate artisans have to work under. Pulling sugar, molding chocolate, baking cake layers, crafting mousses – this contest is not for the faint of heart as precision in recipe, craftsmanship and humidity are what help these delicate edible works of art come to life.

Filmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, do a great job at honing in on the heart of the story: the competitors and their relationships. Relationships with their family, with their mentors and more importantly with themselves and the desire to be the very best at what they do. Meilleurs Ouvriers de France is more than just a title – and the ever flowing tears on the part of the competitors AND judges make that quite clear.

Our audience laughed, gasped and ooh’ed throughout the screening. One notable gasp of disbelief echo’ed when pastries and cakes that took hours to make were discarded without a second thought. I think a little bit of me died inside..

There is no doubting the French’s strive for excellence in whatever they do. Mastery comes with hard work, talent and persistence – nothing less. And when the time is right it is duly rewarded, in the case of the MOF’s with a tri-color collar that will adorn them for life.

Kings of Pastry is currently playing at the Film Forum in NYC, check the film website to see when it will be in your city.

image via kingsofpastry.com

Mad Men Poker Night

Those of you who follow me on twitter, would know that I am going to a Mad Men themed dinner/poker night tomorrow, and although I haven’t seen an entire episode of the show through and through, the vintage lover in me is super stoked.

For those who don’t know, the show is set in a 1960’s New York Ad agency. A line skirts and little waists flount the set, men with serious expressions, slick hair and great suits abound. Ahhh bliss. I was totally born in the wrong decade. Fashion wise at least.

While we won’t be dressing up (who am I kidding, I know I can rock the skinny tapered jeans 60’s stylee), the menu will be a la 1960’s Americana. Julia Child and Jackie Kennedy were definitely an influence at this time in food and otherwise… So while I haven’t fully decided what I am going to make the following are on my list:

Old FashionedOld Fashioned

Traditionally served in a short, round, 8–12 ounce tumbler-like glass, called an Old-Fashioned glass, named after the drink.


* 2 oz bourbon whiskey
* 2 dashes Angostura® bitters
* 1 splash water
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1 maraschino cherry
* 1 orange wedge


Mix sugar, water and angostura bitters in an old-fashioned glass. Drop in a cherry and an orange wedge. Muddle into a paste using a muddler or the back end of a spoon. Pour in bourbon, fill with ice cubes, and stir. Recipe from here.

whiskey sourWhiskey Sour


* 1 1/2 ounces whiskey (or bourbon, Scotch, Canadian whiskey, or Irish whiskey)
* 4 ounces sour mix, recipe follows
* Crushed ice
* 1 maraschino cherry


Combine the whiskey and sour mix in a large old-fashioned glass with ice. Stir, garnish with cherry, and serve.

Sour Mix:

1-ounce lemon juice

1-ounce sugar

2 ounces water

Combine lemon juice and sugar, then dilute with water and stir to dissolve sugar. Decorate glass with a sugared rim and or citrus as desired. Recipe from Emeril.

mint julepMint Julep


* 2 cups water
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
* 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
* 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish


1. Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
2. Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person’s sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter.
Recipe from All Recipes.

And that’s just the drinks!!! Hmm..I am toying with making some eats too…keep your eyes peeled for another post methinks..

images from awesome drinks, ezra poundcake and the examiner.

What’s cooking my *blogships?

My blogships had a great foodie week last week. Check it out..

Daniel and Valeria from Hindsvik Kitchen redo

blogroll category: vintage housewares
blog name/url: hindsvik
blogger: daniel and valeria
post i loved: kitchen renovation: the series

Daniel and Valeria are taking us through the painstaking process of renovating their small kitchen. This current spate of posts from the lovely duo that is Hindsvik hit so many good points on my happy-meter its not even funny. There is a little bit of kitchen envy, a lot of interior reno envy and of course the anticipation of what a couple with a great eye for vintage and design are going to do.

I encourage you to follow along, because I am certain the end result is going to be smashing! Oh yes, and uhhh practical for cooking food. Lest I forget.

eggs at maialino with dwell

blogroll category: designy
blog name/url: dwell studio
blogger: sherry at dwell
post i loved: What We’re Eating: Maialino Breakfast

Seriously?! I can always rely on my dwell peeps to represent when it comes to getting the taste buds going. Last week was no exception. Sherry wrote a wonderful post with some mouth watering pictures from maialino in the Gramercy Park neighbourhood of NYC. The above shot is what got me…poached eggs on a bed of mixed veg and pecorino. I am going to dine at this restaurant solely based on this dish alone…ohhh I an taste it now.

canelle et vanille biccies

blogroll category: foodie
blog name/url: canelle et vanille
blogger: aran
post i loved: family business

Please welcome a new addition to the blog roll – canelle et vanille! Run by Aran an Basque expat who now calls Florida home. My goodness, the visual feasts on this blog are astounding, but one that especially touched my heart is the post ‘Family Business’. Pictures of Aran’s grandparents pastry shop with tiers upon tiers of perfectly shaped biscuits made my mind run on the local Italian family bakeries of Brooklyn. These bakeries are one thing I absolutely love about Brooklyn. Brimming with the hubub of familial employees, the warm smell of pine nuts and the friendly greeting of a familiar face. I love that.

coquette reminisces

blogroll category: fashiony
blog name/url: coquette and dove
blogger: kate
post i loved: { country mouse } on nights like this…

Over dinner I have fallen in love, had revelations, created lifelong friends, sung songs i’ve never sung again and then some. There is something about eating and chatting to the wee hours that creates a bond that is lifelong. To be honest some of the ‘friends’ i’ve made over dinner I only see every few years, but we have a connection that is like a knowing wink in a crowded room.

This past week dear kate aka Coquette and Dove waxed lyrical about what the above picture did to her on first sight, to quote:

This picture speaks to my soul. In actual words. As I scrolled across it in my reader, I stopped, my heart stopped and I sat silently looking at it, thinking that if I willed myself hard enough I could somehow step into the picture. Be there by that cool river, surrounded by friends & laughter.

I understood this feeling – the people I consider my most trusted, closest, reliable and loved live hundreds if not thousands of miles away. If we all could be transported to this unknown, somewhat unimaginable location for a night of dinner it would be divine. This picture made me dream and it made me salivate. The dinner table. Food, it draws us closer. Such a personal act of ingesting in such a public arena. Inhibitions are loosened and heartfelt truths revealed. Creating firm bonds of forever…such a great picture, such a great write up by coquette. What does this scene do for you?

*blogships is a rip on an email I got that opened with ‘ what’s cooking my friendships?’

all images from the respective blogs mentioned