Browsing Tag

canada day


Happy Canada Day!

upside down scultpure on the piers of vancouver :: happy canada day

A quick note to wish to my Canadian fellows a Happy Canada Day! I took this picture when we visited Vancouver two years ago. But if you go to Vancouver, you would not be able to see that sculpture. It seems that people in Vancouver did not appreciate the upside-down church sculpture. At the end of 2008, the sculpture found a new home in Calgary.

Revisit these posts if you are still looking for menu ideas to celebrate Canada Day:

+ Menu ideas for a family picnic
+ A menu based on the Best of Canadian cuisine
+ Canada Day menu filled with tarts, fish and vegetables
+ Food presentation tips for home cooking


Menu Ideas for Canada Day

French bistro recipes :: fresh with anna olsen

slow roasted black cod by wrightfood

Food that feels Canadian includes trout, cod, salmon, maple syrup and apple.  I gathered a list of dishes that are stylish but that would not keep you all day in front of your stove.

quiche in a jar by eat drink pretty


+ Zucchini and goat cheese tarts by Eat Drink Pretty – I like her suggestion to serve it on a small Mason jar
+ Rustic Summer Squash Tart by Woman’s Day (small image from Tastespotting)
Apple and chevre salad  with honey vinaigrette by Sweet Paul (not shown)

summertime recipes for canada day found on tastespotting

Side dishes

Greek Quinoa Salad by Eclectic Recipes (left image – above montage)
Citrus Haricorts Verts from Fresh with Anna Olsen (see below)

Main courses

+ Slow roasted black cod, glazed baby carrots, lemon/butter/caper sauce by Wrightfood (first image)
+ Summertime chicken by Bernadetta Sherman (right image – above montage)

French bistro recipes :: fresh with anna olsen


+ Plum Clafoutis from Fresh with Anna Olsen


Party Circles for Canada Day and the 4th of July

star cupcake toppers at paper source

star cupcake toppers at paper source

If you are hosting a family BBQ at your home to celebrate the birth of your nation, these printable Party circles would come handy. Sometimes the simpler ideas are the best. Look at this cute ideas by Paper Source. You simply glue a star on either side of a long toothpick to create a cupcake topper or to serve appetizer bites.

You could use the same concept with a Moose Hole punch for a Canada Day party.  I would glue the toothpick on the front leg.

More 4th of July Ideas

If you are looking for a complete set of party decorations, check the 4th of July Printable collection by the Tomkat Studio. It provides several options to decorate your buffet table, your party favors and your home.

4th of july printable collection by the tomkat studio

You get four designs of 2″ Party Circles, one Happy 4th of July banner,  one style of 6″ Party Circles, rectangular Fancy Labels in Red, White & Blue with Stars/Crabs and a Stripe Flags. You can buy the printable kit on Etsy.

More Canada Day ideas

canada day party circles by celebrate today

+ A girlie twist of the Canadian moose was designed by Genevieve of Celebrate Today. She demonstrated that you do not have to stick to a purely red and white color palette to celebrate Canada Day. The template for her printable party circles are free. From her instructions, I understood that the moose circle requires a 2″ circle punch. Therefore, you will need a scallop rim that is bigger than 2″. My guess would be to use something like the 3-inch scallop circle, which apparently makes a shape of 2.5 inches. But since I did not try it, this remains only a guess from my part.

+ photo: Star toothpicks on Paper Source
+ photos: 4th of July Printable collection by the Tomkat Studio $14 USD
+ photos: Canada Day Party Circles by Celebrate Today
+ 2 Inch Scallop Circle Ek Success Large Punch $13.47 USD at – [affiliate link]
+ Ek Success 3-Inch X-Large Scallop Circle Nesting Punch $17.92


Happy Canada Day!

By this sunny morning here in Montreal, I wish all my fellow Canadians a great Canada Day! I was in San Francisco last week which meant I did not have the time to create new mood boards to help you prepare your party. I noticed that many have look at my previous menu suggestions. Click here for last minute Canada Day party ideas and menus.

A quick inspiration

You can go the nautical theme this year. Serve the maple salmon on the BBQ that I did last month paired with a nice white wine. You only need fresh salmon, maple syrup, a clove of garlic, garlic salt and ground pepper. The maple BBQ salmon recipe so simple to prepare that you can decide to host a party within the hour.

For your party decor inspiration, I selected vintage items from the Toronto-based retailer Flik & Company: boat strings and vintage buoys. If you do not have time to make a dessert, go with fruits. Everybody enjoy the refreshing taste of in-season watermelon. Plus, I get the red and white color.

+ String Balls: Flik & Company
+ Vintage Buyos fron Flik & Company:  featured in the Trends column of Canadian House & Home Magazine July 2009
+ Watermelon: Crate & Barrel


Elevating the Home Cooking Approach at Parties

I was interviewed last Friday by a Montreal-based journalist about the art of making menu when you hosting a party at home. My best advice has always been to cook dishes that you are familiar with. This way, you will not stress out. Your meal must taste great. It is not the time to experiment. To make your dinner special, simply be original with the food presentation.

The home cooking approach is invading formal events like weddings. The New York Times published Readers’ Wedding Food to illustrate this trend. You will see that it crossed over a wide range of wedding budgets, from high to low.

Easy Inspiring Food Presentation

It is not complicated to serve french fries in paper cones. But it makes it more special. You can use parchment paper, newspapers like they do in Belgium or gingham waxed paper. Opt for professional grade grease proof waxed paper to keep your food.

french fries in paper cones :: comfort food gets elegant

I gathered from the NY Times article the best pictures that you could use for your parties this summer. My photo collage at the top would be perfect for Canada Day or the Fourth of July. As you can see this home cooking trend mixes with eating seasonal food.

+ Lobster bake on the beach in Massachusetts – photo by Paul McEvoy
+ Decorate a cheese platter or for a grand event, your cheese and charcuterie table with seasonal berries and figs
+ Be creative when preparing skewers of vegetables and fruits. An old-time favorite appetizer is a Caprese salad assembled on skewers. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar or put a small bowl of balsamic vinegar for dipping.

grilled portohouse nicely served on a wodden tray

2009 Trends in Weddings

Going back to the article on the New York Times, it talks about the current trend in weddings, even upscale weddings, to serve home cook style meals. People do not do it for saving money. It costs the same and sometimes more to elevate comfort food. This trend started out of a desire to feel less opulent. It also conveys authenticity to their celebrations. Is it representative to what you have seen in weddings this year?

One thing I would say it that guests should dress up even for a simple country weddings. It is a special occasion for the bride and groom. Tell them you know how special this day is by NOT wearing casual clothes. It is one element of etiquette that I strongly believe in.

+ Waxed Paper Red Gingham $5 USD for 50 sheets
+ Down-Home Celebrations by the New York Times


Happy Canada Day!

canada day 2008 :: storage bags by bookhou and jenna rose :: log bowls :: pinched ceramik bowlsThe weather is bright, warm and sunny in Montreal. This is the perfect day for an holiday.

Like PoppyTalk, I wish to celebrate Canadian talents. Here are a few Canadian artists and designer products that are worth mentioning. Canada Day is the day to remember our roots so it does not matter that I introduced some in the past.

Housewares made by Canadians

The Trees storage box and the die cut felt trivets by bookhou are prettily modern.

Jenna Rose is another Canadian designer who makes wonderful housewares and fashion textile products. I have a thing for round textile storage box. There is an old-fashioned charm to her Rooftops Storage Box.

Available in 5 sizes which nest inside each other, the Pinched Bowls by Coe and Waito are hand pinched. Therefore, each bowl is truly unique. You can find their products at several retailers in the Toronto area, across the United States and three international stores. You can also contact Coe & Waito directly for purchasing.

The Log Bowls were designed for an exhibit organized in New York to celebrate Canadian culture through the myth of the cabin. The Log Bowls were created by Doha Chebib of the creative collective Loyal Loot.

+ Trees storage box by Bookhou – price: $35 CAD
+ Felt Trivet by Bookhou – price; $20 CAD
+ Jenna Rose Storage Bag in Rooftops on Natural fabric – price: $50 CAD
+ Log Bowls by Doha Chebib at Show – price: $50 USD
+ Pinched Bowls by Coe and Waito – price: $14 to $50 CAD
+ Via All Canadian [PoppyTalk]


My Canada Day Party Ideas on The Province by Cheryl Chan | News Flash

canada day party by cheryl chan on the province - featuring kim valleeIf you are still looking for ideas to celebrate Canada Day tomorrow, do not despair. I got an easy solution for you than is sure to impress your friends and family.

Simply read the casual and relaxed guide prepared by Cheryl Chan for The Vancouver Province. The owner of Bright Ideas Event Coordinators, Sharon Bonner and I share party ideas to help you organize a fun Canada Day party.

The story covers every elements of your party from venues, décor, food and drink menus, activities, and settings. I wish to thank again Cheryl Chan for this interview.

Traditional Dessert

Pouding chomeur is a classic, comfort food dessert in Quebec. Adults and kids love the taste. I will prepare and showcase the three most typical recipes. You get to see the difference between the original pouding chomeur recipe up to an upscale version served on individual ramekins.

Read the full story at Don’t stress to impress on the big day by Cheryl Chan [The Province]


Get Inspired by IKEA Summer Collection for Canada Day and the Fourth of July

ikea summer collection :: dyning :: sommar : fourth of july : canada dayLiteral party themes are not my thing. You do not need to fill the room with maple leafs or over saturate the space with the flag patterns like it is suggested by the mass produced dinnerware and party supplies.

You can still show your patriotism at your party by doing it on a more subtle way. Deconstruct the element of the flag, reinvent the color palette by adding a trendy accent color. The idea is to create a unique modern and more sophisticated party scheme.

If you look closely at these styled pictures by IKEA, you can devise around the Summer IKEA collection a beautiful scheme to celebrate either Canada Day or the Fourth of July. At least, you will be able to enjoy the stuff the rest of the summer.

Dining On the Lawn Setting

Do a picnic in your backyard. Lay down several eating areas with DYNING, a beach mat available in red and light blue.Fill the floor with red and white HEMÖN rugs, SOMMAR table runners and GRENÖ round cushions.

Hang multicolor wind-sock on the tree to create an instant festive look. Create your own with a flag using SOMMAR as a template.

Individual Lunch bags

Stock SOMMAR beach bags for everyone. Use it as a welcoming party favor. Or fill each beach bag with an individual lunch. Assign a color to each lunch type: red for the meat sandwich package, yellow for the fish or poultry based package and blue for the vegetarian lunch.

Block Candle Lanterns

Fill small and medium height lanterns with red and blue SOMMAR block candles. If you do not find the lanterns in the right colors, you can paint the lanterns with outdoor metallic paints.

Sharing Your Opinions

I gave you ideas to think outside the box for your Canada Day or Fourth of July party. I want to hear your view about the question. How do you plan to celebrate Canada Day or the Fourth of July this year?

+ DYNING mat beach at IKEA – price: $12.50 CAD
+ HEMÖN rug at IKEA – price: $7.50 CAD
+ SOMMAR table runner at IKEA – price: $3.50 CAD
+ GRENÖ round cushion, assorted colors at IKEA – price: $8.50 CAD
+ SOMMAR Wind-sock at IKEA – price: $1.50 CAD
+ SOMMAR beach bag, available in assorted colors at IKEA – price: $0.75 CAD
+ SOMMAR block candles – price: $1.50 CAD


Canada Day Menu Ideas

canada day party menu :: anita stewart\'s Canada :: whitewater cooks :: picinic dishing :: red gingham themeThis story is born of two needs. I wanted to showcase the best from the Boating Party and Picnic board by Snippet & Ink on {frolic!}. The second need was to help you plan your Canada Day party.

Let’s start with the latest cookbook by Anita Stewart. I bought my copy at Costco a few weeks ago. Anita Stewart’s Canada is a culinary experience that mixes the traditional cooking of our grandmothers with the modern Canadian cuisine. It also celebrates the regional differences from coast to coast.

Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams is another Canadian cookbook. Reading the reviews, convinced me. I just bought online my copy. Everyone says that the recipes are really tasty and simple to make.

Family Celebrations

If you plan a sit down dinner or anything else than a barbecue this Canada Day, you will find tones of great recipes in Anita Stewart’s Canada to compose your menu.

I prefer, like most Canadians, a relaxed outdoor event on Canada Day. After all, it is a family celebration. I am partial to a picnic celebration because it feels more old-fashioned than a BBQ.

Whatever is your choice, make sure to put attention to details. You do not necessary need a lot; a few well-designed details can transform a picnic into an outstanding party.

Vintage Sandwich Wrapping

Wrap your sandwich in waxed or parchment paper tied with a string or red raffia ribbon. Attach an ornament, like a paper made maple leaf or artificial green foliage, before tying the bow.

A red gingham waxed liner fashions the ultimate sandwich wrapper. I want to buy some. I dug a pack of red gingham waxed tissues at Fancy Flours in the United States but none in Canada. If you know a source, I really want to know.

An easiest to find option is to wrap your sandwiches in a red gingham tea towel first. Then, put a plastic wrap sheet to preserve the freshness. Take some clues from the way Domino magazine served their sandwiches for a dressed-up picnic.

Table Sets

Get wood cutlery instead of plastic ones.Pier1 Imports now sells Birchwood utensils in packs of 10 utensils. Get inspired by the lovely presentation of the table set created by Hélène Fromen of exclusive choses. Each set includes a red gingham tablecloth plus 2 forks and 2 spoons.

A green gingham cloth smoothes out the red and white theme. And green is a hot color this year. You will recognize Martha’s style in this composition taken from an old Martha Stewart Weddings issue.

What To Serve For Dessert?

A refreshing dessert works best. Apples, strawberries and blueberries feel Canadian. Or get inspired by maple syrup. A light option is to serve blueberries with yogurt and maple-blueberry syrup.

The vivid colors of the Terrine of Summer Fruits by Delia Smith will finish in style your meal.

+ Anita Stewart’s Canada $22.02 CAD at
+ Whitewater Cooks: Pure, Simple and Real Creations from the Fresh Tracks Café by Shelley Adams $18.87 CAD at
+ Red Gingham Waxed Tissues at Fancy Flours $5 for a pack of 50 sheets
+ Birchwood Utensils at Piers1 Imports $2 USD for a set of 10
+: A Terrine of Summer Fruits recipe by Delia online
+ Set de table at exclusive choses 10 ? for 2 table sets
Photo credit: Dressed-up picnic sandwiches photographed by Marcus Nilsson for Domino – rights reserved
Photo credit: Martha Stewart Weddings, summer 2006 issue
Via: Boating Party and Picnic [{frolic!}]
Via: Goodbye Summer [Lucky Me!]


Canadian birch and birds for a natured-inspired Canada Day Tabletop Theme

Canadian birch bark set at small stump :  Heartbird napkins at LU PrintsNature is something that really defines the Canadian way of life. So why not let nature be the star of your Canada Day Party? Especially that birch tree, old wood stump and faux bois are so hot right now in the design world.

All winter, I was eager to buy the birch candles. The problem is that I did not have anything else to go with that theme. That is until now.

When I saw the genuine Canadian birch bark set at small stump, I could not resist anymore. Look at them; they can be used in so many ways for entertaining. The birch bark tube display kit at small stump. You can see that they nicely pack up their orders.

Besides the obvious cachepot, the birch bark cylinders can dress up a buffet table. Use them to hide Mason jars filled with jams, relishes, pickles or utensils.

Ideas for designing your centerpieces

You can make your centerpieces around this birch bark set. Fill them with flowers and spread them on your table. Herbs look great too. The variations in heights will create interest on your table. Play with that.

Vary the heights of the plants. Do not restrict yourself in putting high plants in higher birch tree cylinder like shown on the picture. Whenever possible, put the highest plants or herbs in the lowest cylinders and put the low flowers on the highest one.

You may have to raise the vase containing the low flowers so it fits in a higher cachepot. Hot glue is your best friend when it comes to glue together the bottom of glass container or terracotta pots.

How to set up your tabletop?

Where there are trees, you see birds. The delightful Heartbird napkins by BC-based LU Prints are just perfect. They share that same authenticity in style and materials. For this theme to work, look for hand crafted items. You want to create a genuine natural feeling. A set of 4 Heartbird napkins costs $25 CAD on LU Prints online store.

If you opt for the Heartbird napkins, I suggest you restrain the flower palette to different shades of greens. In any case, I think a single color flower arrangement looks more sophisticated. A bold or multicolor pattern will just deter too much from the natural feeling we try to achieve.

For the tablecloth, I suggest a 100% linen cloth. Ideally, select a natural cream or beige color table cloth. I am biased to the white or celadon dishes designed by Sophie Conran for this theme. Her dinnerware will look great on a table surrounded by birch tree centerpieces. Do not be afraid to serve it outside, the porcelain tableware of Sophie Conran for Portmeirion is made for casual entertaining with kids.

Put the finishing touch with Faux Bois Tableware

Faux Bois Tableware at Room Service Home

While I was looking for faux bois products, I found this shot on inredningsbloggen, a Swedish blog. Even though, I cannot read anything on this blog I like to visit this wonderful blog for inspirations.

Going back to this photo shot, it has all the elements to bring my nature theme to the next level. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this simplifies my writing job.

If you wish to push more the birch trees and birds theme, take a look at this wonderful Faux-Bois tableware collection. The baby blue color creates a soothing color combination with our greens.

Available at Room Service Home, Faux-bois Tableware is hand-glazed ceramic stoneware. Its charm comes from its limb and tree lookalike design. Just as twigs and branches are never alike, Faux-Bois hand-glazed ceramics are unique. A mix of nest and bird sketches is draw at the center of the plates.

Have fun on Canada Day. This post concludes my series on Canada Day Party. I hope that I inspired you to celebrate Canada Day in style.

About small stump

small stump is the art and craft collaboration of Lia and Jill, two creative friends who share a love for the handmade. They are based in Northern California.

+ genuine birch bark tube display kit at small stump online store
+ Heartbird Print on Grass Napkins (set of 4) at LU Prints online store
+ Sophie’s Conran Dinnerware Collection at Muffet and Louisa
+ Faux Bois Tableware at Room Service Home (RSH)
+ Via Dukning ute i det fria published on inredningsbloggen


Canada Day Party menus: The best of Canadian cuisine

Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwanThis is a follow-up to my story about Canada Day Bash profile but this time I discuss my menu options.

One way to build your Canada Day menu starts by planning your meal around one particular region in Canada.

It does not have to be the region where you live. Your party will stand out from your neighbors and people will praise your originality. Make your décor and play music from artists that we identified with that region.

The editorial team of Food TV Canada Web site created their regional menus: the Canadian East Coast menu, the Canadian West Coast menu and the Quebec menu.

Reading them all inspired me to create my own Canada Day menus. All the recipes I proposed in this story are published on the Web site of Food TV Canada.

A fancy Canada Day Dinner Menu

You can invite your guests for the middle of the afternoon. Serve them some cocktail snacks during the afternoon. Then you follow with a sit down dinner under the stars or a gazebo tent with a chandelier.

The starter dish would be the Award-Winning Blueberry Drizzle Salad by Julie Zwillich. Blueberries are my favorite fruits so I am partial to them.

Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling dessert by Corbin Tomaszeski

I went with style and the trend factor for the main course. Shown here in the top photo, the Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwan intrigued me. You have to admit that it looks amazing. Cooking with tea is a hot trend right now.

Just last month, I received a recipe book called Du thé plein la toque filled with tea based recipes. A wonderful book, but sadly for my readers the book is only available in French. If the book is ever translated, you will be the first to know.

The Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling dessert by Corbin Tomaszeski will wrap up the meal in style. There is maple syrup for more Canadian flavor. This dessert is quick and easy to make.

Serve your dessert with one or two  fine blooming teas to continue to impress your guests. In Montreal, I suggest you go to My Cup of Tea. I used this brand all the time. I am satisfied with the taste and the blooming effect of their teas. Just ignore the astrological aspect of MCOT’s packaging when you make your selection.

BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford

A family-style Canada Day Outdoor Menu

I started with a recipe from Michael Smith. I selected My Favourite Clam Chowder because it is simple to make and it tastes so good. Better yet, you can make this soup a day or two in advance.

For the side dishes, the first recipe is my own creation. I broil on the oven trim asparagus spears for a total of 8 minutes. Nicely align the asparagus side by side on a middle of a cookie pan and add a few drizzles of good olive oil and a pinch of Hibiscus-flavored sea salt. At half time (after 4 minutes), turn over the asparagus. I lay down a handful of pine nuts on the side and put it back on the oven for the remaining 4 minutes.

I use FLOR DE SAL DE’S TRENC Hibiscus, a flavored sea salt made by Gusto Mundial. This salt comes from Spain. Check out your local fine food stores to buy flavored sea salts.

The second vegetable dish is boiled carrots cooked with orange quarters and butter. This is a recipe published in Jamie’s Dinner book – I know he is not Canadian. Both recipes are sublime; they are my signature vegetable side dishes right now.

Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen

But the BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford is definitely a Canadian Summer recipe. Do not forget the topping, like you see on the photo, because it adds a festive vibe to your dish.

The dessert will be Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen. Nothing says family more than apple and ice cream. I like the way this dessert is served. It shows you that simple plating techniques can look fabulous.

I hope you like my menu suggestions. For more menu ideas for a Canada Day event, have a look at the regional menus from the editorial team of

Recipe: Award-Winning Blueberry Drizzle Salad by Julie Zwillich
Recipe: Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwan
Recipe: Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling by Corbin Tomaszeski
Recipe: My Favourite Clam Chowder by Michael Smith
Recipe: BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford
Recipe: Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen
More menu ideas: Canada Day regional menus from the editorial team of – check out the related links on the right
Flavored Sea Salts: Web site for FLOR DE SAL DE’S TRENC by Gusto Mundial
Blooming teas: Web site of My Cup of Tea
Photos credits: The shots were taken from