Enjoy this recipe during the week or on the weekend.
Enjoy this recipe during the week or on the weekend.
This recipe is simple enough to serve as a casual weeknight family dinner, but flavourful enough to offer to guests when you’re entertaining on the weekend.
1 Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
2 Serve with nacho chips, sour cream, grated cheese, lime wedges and fresh cilantro, if desired.
Party Pointer: This is a great dish to serve for Super Bowl Sunday or Hockey Night in Canada, along with cold beer and crisp nacho chips.
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Excerpted from Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food by Jan Scott & Julie Van Rosendaal. Copyright © 2014 Jan Scott & Julie Van Rosendaal. Excerpted by permission of Whitecap Books, Vancouver. All rights reserved.
A predominantly white kitchen with rustic elements.
An eclectic design sensibility tempered by an outdoorsy palette shows that, as always, Mother Nature knows best.
If every house has a story, this one features a happy ending the homeowners wrote themselves. But it wasn't without a few plot twists and turns along the way. It was 12 years ago that Laurie and Randy Phillips noticed a quaint cottage home in Delta, B.C., a beachside community near Vancouver, was for sale. "The property was two streets over from us, and we'd often walk by just to admire it," says Laurie. Within 24 hours of spotting the house for sale, they owned it. The plan? To renovate the cottage and imbue it with an eclectic look of mixed styles (from rustic farmhouse to industrial chic to Mid-Century Modern) that would honour the outdoors. And finish it all before they moved in with their son. However, when Randy, an electrician-turned-firefighter, started the demolition, the news was bad - as in, catastrophic. The cottage lacked a proper foundation, and little else could be brought up to code. Suddenly, the couple was left with no choice: They had to build a new house from the ground up. "The situation pushed us to do something we weren't ready to do," says Laurie. "But we realized we could create the kind of historic-looking home we love but couldn't afford in Vancouver."
The couple tackled the job themselves: Randy, who has experience in framing and construction, did nearly all the building himself; Laurie, who works in cosmetics and skincare and has an affinity for design, oversaw the interior. But before Laurie could get to her bulging inspiration files, the couple had to decide on the bones of the house. They settled on a blueprint for a 2,500-square-foot Craftsman-style home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. And Laurie's vision for the exterior was unwavering - she wanted grey coloured cedar shake shingles with white trim. Her plan also included a stone patio for entertaining and a grassy area with Adirondack chairs for lounging in the backyard, since Vancouver's mild climate means the family can enjoy the outdoors for nine months of the year. Finally, it was time for Laurie to dig into the decor. Inspired by her natural surroundings and the home's exterior, Laurie carried the neutral palette throughout the entire house to create a seamless flow between the indoors and out. "I wanted a look that wouldn't date," she says.
The oval window at the front of the house was a must for Laurie because of its beachy appeal. “It’s something I associate with the ocean,” she says.
A slipcovered armchair anchors a gallery wall of black and white artwork, some by Laurie and some bought online. The monochromatic palette gives the display cohesion, while the various sizes and finishes of the framed artwork keep it from feeling too uniform.
The home office, just off the front entrance, showcases Laurie’s eclectic design sensibility. The cool Mid-century modern-style office chair she found on Craigslist looks even more sleek when paired with a weathered wooden desk.
Honed granite kitchen countertops ground the classic white shaker-style cabinetry in the kitchen. Laurie chose barely-there white linen Roman window blinds for the windows to add a cozy layer to the space without distracting from the view of the beautiful backyard. An antique wooden workbench Laurie found at auction takes centre stage as a kitchen island in the mostly white kitchen. “Because the living space is all open concept, I wanted something leggy and not bulky,” she explains. Plus, it’s a conversation piece. “Everyone talks about it when they first visit.”
In the dining room, Laurie combined iconic black bentwood dining chairs with white moulded plastic ones to achieve a classic, casual and chic mix.
The white plastic chairs in the kitchen compliment the many white and black accents in the home and add brightness to the dining table.
Black accents ground the all-white living room, adding interest and personality. “Because there’s so much white and light, I didn’t want everything to float away,” says Laurie.
Taupe velvet drapes add polish to the expansive living room windows, but they’re rarely pulled closed, allowing the sun to shine in.
Since homeowners Laurie and Randy Phillips designed and built this Craftsman-style house themselves the grey cedar shake shingles, crisp white trim and transom windows are synonymous with its look. The back door leads right into the kitchen, which is super convenient when the couple wants to barbecue meals.
Shapely outdoor lounge chairs create an inviting seating area against a cedar hedge in the backyard. “As soon as the weather gets nice, we’re out here or on the front porch,” says Laurie.
Tumbled stone pavers, which Randy installed himself, lead from the front of the house to the shingled garage in the backyard.
Tour this Vancouver home's modern eclectic look.
This Vancouver home's modern eclectic look is a testament to the power of a sister act.
Now that the dust has settled on their massive whole-house renovation, homeowners Anna Wright and Alistair Sale – both busy professionals and parents of Lewis, 10, Freddie, 8, and George, 6 – each have their favourite features of the new interior. For Alistair, the cook of the family, the open kitchen is the (long-awaited) best part. Anna is most excited about the master ensuite bathroom she doesn’t have to share with the kids. And for the boys, it’s their bigger playroom in the finished basement.
The Vancouver family lived in the 3,700-square-foot 1920s home for five years before embarking on the huge overhaul. “I’m so glad we lived in the house for a while first and figured out what we wanted,” says Anna. “If we’d done the renovation right away, we would have done things very differently, and those decisions probably wouldn’t work for us now.”
The crisp white brick fireplace surround, built-ins and original wood panelling set off the dark grey on the upper walls of the den. Leaded glass cabinetry doors are another original feature. The antique chandelier was picked up at a London flea market.
A contemporary pale orange sofa pops against the white panelling and dark grey walls. The Mid-Century Modern desk was a lucky find at an antiques store a few years back, as was the Tolix chair.
Going vintage is often a more economical decorating idea than buying brand new, says Sophie.
The birdcage pendant light adds another unexpected dose of colour and whimsy.
In the dining area, an antique zinc-topped table from a French flea market pairs well with mismatched colourful Eames dining chairs. “We thought the different hues of the dining chairs would be quirky and fun,” says homeowner Anna Wright.
The designer pendant light was a pricey find from London, England.
Expanding the existing skylight and adding more windows above the sink brought loads of natural light into the white painted kitchen. Homeowner Alistair Sale greatly appreciates the bigger sink, but extra kitchen counter space, double wall ovens and a gas cooktop were at the top of his must-have list.
French doors lead out to a newly enlarged wraparound deck off the open kitchen/dining area, making the backyard much more accessible. The kitchen peninsula is perfect for casual breakfasts and homework time.
The zinc top on the antique dining table can take plenty of wear and tear from everyday family meals; the stark white modern dishware strikes a pleasing contrast against the patinated surface.
A desk area in the kitchen serves as the family workspace and offers plenty of storage space for the kids’ paperwork and school supplies. Inspirational photos and small pieces of art bring personality to the nook.
The new master ensuite bathroom is Anna’s retreat from hectic work and family life.
The matching gold mirrors in the master ensuite are a glitzy big-box score.
Grey and white cement floor tiles provide ornate pattern in the otherwise serene white room.
The bathroom floor tiles themselves weren't very expensive, but shipping the from California was.
A fresh seaside-chic lake house
This cozy lake house in Port Carling, Ont., boasts a fresh seaside-chic vibe while paying homage to old-school Muskoka.
Nestled on the south shore of Lake Rosseau in Port Carlin, Ont., this 6,800-square-foot six-bedroom house is decorated the way one would dress when visiting: in a crisp Polo Ralph Lauren Oxford shirt and comfortable, well-worn chinos paired with Sperry Top-Siders. It's a timeless look that's coastal, casual and effortlessly chic with a neutral palette at its core.
"The homeowners wanted to capture that warm, windswept lake house aesthetic but with a relaxed, cozy Muskoka feel for their young family of four," says Cory DeFrancisco of Mukoka Living Interiors, who designed and built the home from scratch, finishing in 2013.
Like a friendly smile and a firm handshake, the entryway makes a confident and inviting introduction to the home.
"A lot of old cottages have those tunnelling hallways in their guest cottage or service quarters, and this beadboard wall treatment references that," says builder and designer Cory DeFrancisco.
This small boathouse sunroom is literally right on Ontario's Lake Rosseau: On windy days, you can feel waves crashing up through the floorboards.
"We took up 90 percent of the wall with windows," says Cory of the gorgeous great room, where the ceiling's oak beams guide your eye directly to the view. "The overstuffed sofas are insanely comfortable," he adds. "They're slipcovered in high-quality Belgian linen that gets softer with each wash.
Though the spacious kitchen is crisp, white and polished, simple details, such as the grain of the reclaimed-oak floors and the texture of the brush strokes on the hand-painted cabinetry, keep it humble and homey. "It's a new take on a traditional cottage kitchen, with all the modern amenities," says Cory.
A big weathered farmhouse table paired with slipcovered seating and sophisticated lighting that doesn't block the view equals a dining room with easy elegance. But the best feature of this space is that, with the doors open, you really feel like you're eating alfresco.
Even though this home is grand, the family who lives here wanted an overall feeling of togetherness, so Cory kept it largely open concept.
The west-facing Muskoka room, with wall-to-wall windows, is so bright that it can pull off the charcoal walls. "The darkness acts as an anchor, while the light that shines in highlights the furnishings," explains Cory. The modular sectional is meant for the outdoors (so go ahead, get it wet) and can be reconfigured when company comes to create multiple sitting areas.
The whole master bedroom is very generous, but its sleeping area is quite small. In it, you'll find only an upholstered bed, two small side tables and a 180-degree view of the water.
The large window behidn the free-standing bathtub overlooks a garden and granite. "It's hard to make boulders sound nice," says Cory with a laugh, "but it's a beautiful view."
"All of those elements are, I think, what makes it feel authentic to Muskoka. There's nothing ornate in the whole place," says Cory. And just 35 feet away, in the boathouse, the look is much the same. The palette is almost all white and the dress code is bathing suits - after all, the lake's right there. Take one step out the door, and jump right in. The water's perfect.