Dark Chocolate Granola, Coconut Yogurt, and Pomegranate Parfait

October 27, 2016

Dark Chocolate Granola, Coconut Yogurt, and Pomegranate Parfait

Dark Chocolate Granola, Coconut Yogurt, and Pomegranate Parfait

Dark Chocolate Granola, Coconut Yogurt, and Pomegranate Parfait

Cho-co-la-te granola. Yes, you read it right. This is going to be a game changer for your breakfast, trust me.

A couple weeks ago I was down in Costa Rica with some friends and we took a cacao plantation tour and I was in gaga land. We saw the whole process of how chocolate is made from pod to chocolate bar and it was amazing. My love for chocolate has grown to psychotic levels, hence I want to add cacao and chocolate to everything.

This recipe is very easy to make and it can be eaten with any kind of yogurt or fruit, if you ask me, I would just eat is straight up as a snack.

There’s raw cacao nibs, cocoa, dark chocolate bits, maple syrup, nuts, and even a touch of black sesame seeds. Get the full recipe to make this treat over at West Elm’s blog Front & Main.

On Finding The Right Tools For The Job

October 20, 2016

Dark and moody Artful Desperado

artful desperado

(oh hey that’s me!)

Hi all! How are you doing? Sippin’ the last bits of that pumpkin spice latte? Or if you are like me and don’t like them at all, sippin’ on an old fashioned..cuz you know, cozy cocktails in fall and winter are the way go to. Today I wanted to talk to you about choosing the right tools for the job, that is, styling and photography. In my previous posts I chatted about resetting my creative process and exploring other art forms as a way to gather new ideas – heck – I even went to Copenhagen to learn how to cook Nordic food!

In this post I’ll give you a quick glimpse into my go-to’s when it comes to equipment – it’s not a full list or I’ll have to break down in several posts, but it’ll give you an idea of what I use on the daily.

See the Rest of this Post

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

October 6, 2016

apple caramel bread pudding

apple caramel bread pudding

apple caramel bread pudding

apple caramel bread pudding

YO! Yo stop, stop whatever you’re doing. I made a dessert that’s so freaking good you’ll probably ditch that pumpkin spice stuff for a while (ohhhh shit, yah I did go there). Ok so basically I’ve been craving caramel apples for a while and I’ve seen them around but to be honest they are always such a disappointment; the apple is mealy or soft, which drives me nuts, or the caramel has no taste. I’m sure they taste amazing homemade, but do I want to go through the trouble of drizzling apples with caramel? Nah, HOWEVER, I’ll go through the trouble of baking haha.

apple caramel bread pudding

This recipe combines the awesomeness of caramel apples with the coziness of a bread pudding. My oh my; think crunchy top drizzled with caramel, with layers of gooey pudding, apples, and spices (not pumpkin spice!). Hell yah!

You can find the whole recipe with the fellas of West Elm. Cheers to stuffing-your-face-until-it-hurts season!


September 23, 2016

Roasted Squash Conchiglie with Chipotle, Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts

Roasted Squash Conchiglie with Chipotle, Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts

This is oneeee tasty recipe, fellas! It’s smoky, spicy, creamy (without dairy though) and delicious. Also, it uses everyone’s fall favourite: squash! (hence, the creaminess). I made this recipe because I felt a bit over grilling stuff, and well, in fact, it’s over fellas, that’s it, put your bbq and let it grow moss until next year – time to embrace cozy dishes and comforting food, like this one!

I also wanted to add a bit of a Thanksgiving-y vibe to it with some brussels sprouts, but sans the horrible boiling which makes them taste like little farts. For this recipe I shredded them super thin and I charred them for a bit in a pan (part of the whole smokiness of this dish).

I posted the whole recipe along with a wine pairing over at La Crema wines blog. As I mention on their site, you can customize this recipe and add other yummy things like cheese or cream – for us dairy allergic kweens, we’ll just stick to the original :)


In partnership with La Crema Wines. All views my own.

Pear S’Mores Crumble

September 16, 2016

Pear S'Mores Crumble

Pear S'Mores Crumble

Pear S'Mores Crumble

YAS KWEEN YAS! Summer is not over yet! So just hold on to your turtle neck sweater for juuust a bit longer and continue to wear your booty shorts, ok maybe, just maybe, you can wear booty shorts AND a turtle neck, but don’t get crazy on the fall shit, mmkay?

This recipe I made for my folks over at West Elm is giving me life right now. It combines our favourite summer treat: s’mores! With the best of early fall fruit: pear! The result is one amazing ooey gooey chocolatey fruity sassy treat, and no, I am not describing my grindr profile.

For reals though, the layer of marshmallows on the top gets all toasty in the oven, but when it cools down a bit it get a bit crunchy on the outside. It’s a bit sexual to be honestly, so just be careful who you eat it with or it could turn into one of those “first thing I know we are just eating a crumble, next thing BAM! We are making pancakes the morning after”, know what I’m sayin?

Ok go get the full scoop and recipe on Front & Main and make it this weekend for your pals!

Pear S'Mores Crumble

Eat & Snap with us in New York City!

September 7, 2016

Eat & Snap NYC Workshop

Come eat and snap with us in New York Citayyyy. The Atelier Workshop (which is made out of the galactic duo Joann Pai of Slice of Pai, myself, and some cool friends!) are putting together a workshop in New York on October 1st and 2nd where we’ll eat, photograph, and explore the best spots in town workshop while learning some camera, lighting, and composition skills.

What does it take to craft a great photograph? What kind of settings should I use when traveling? What about for indoor photos? (You know for when you find that amazingly cute cafe that’s picture perfect), all of that and more will be taught during class.

Joining us this time is our lovely friend, New Yorker, and Natural Foods Chef Jodi Moreno from What’s Cooking Good Looking – she’ll be sharing with us some fantastic culinary highlights (including her favourite spots in town). We’ll even meet some of her friends at their studios where we can practice some portraits.

So, wanna come eat, have a cocktail or two (or some gourmet juice?), learn about photography, and finally figure out how to document your travels through your camera like a pro? Then SIGN UP HERE! . Spaces are limited and there are a few days left of early bird discount so go for it yo.

Hope to see you all there!!

On Taking Creative Breaks

September 6, 2016

Bourbon and tea

Hello my dearest! It’s papa coco.

Holy smokes it’s been a whiiiiiiile. I honestly feel as if I opened the door to Narnia and just came back to reality, mind you, there was no door to Narnia, it was more like, a pantry full of nutella and I sunk my face in it. Very sexy indeed.

Ok so, I’ll keep it short and sweet; the reason why I was a bit MIA from the blog was because A: I decided to launch my own business and B: my brain burst out in flames from overworking it.

On the launching my own business thing: So I’ve been doing styling and photography full time for over a year now but I was doing it for a company here in Vancouver as their employee (you may have seen them in my posts as Luvo), still working with them, but now as a freelance guy. I decided I wanted to have my own styling + photography studio because I felt it was the next step needed in the natural progression of my career. Not a big deal right? Just do the same thing you’re doing, but with no boss! Easy…. NOT!! Holy shit man (and I’m sure all of you small business owners understand) it is fucking INSANE! All the stuff you gotta do that has nothing to do with the creative side of things like invoicing, contracts, emailing, paying suppliers, bla bla bla, it’s just cray. I think my daily mantra went from oooommmmm to fuck fuck fuck fuck. Saying fuck about 10000 times a day? Yep. Totally doable and so therapeutic.

On top of that I had to create content for this blog and other blogs, and I tried to have a life (which mostly became watching Stranger Things while ordering Dominos). Well yah, let’s just say I was somewhat prepared but not as much as I wanted to and totally got gang banged. But hey, live and learn right!? Super happy tho and wouldn’t go back – and now I’m an ace at gang bangs! The business kind, of course ;)

Grilled pizzas

On taking a creative break: So, since 90% of my brain capacity was being used to growing my business and trying to keep afloat, the other 10% was used for basic needs such as browsing grindr, and eating..and browsing grindr..HA, a boy’s gotta eat! :P All this left me a bit overwhelmed with barely any time to do stuff and didn’t have any energy or even fresh ideas to post on the blog. On one side I felt this stress from my social media not being so up to date as usual, but on the other hand I was like “ok boy, chill, you gotta pay rent, Instagram can wait”. Living under a bridge but with lots of Instagram followers is like being rich with monopoly money, so yah.

I took a little creative break and worked with a few super rad clients and gave all my energy to them. While doing this I totally got hooked with a very rad opportunity to work with a company that was all like “oohh ok cool, wanna take a creative break? We can help” and I’ll be telling you more about that this week (you may have seen my collab on Instagram). Devoting your time to clients and friends (basically making them a priority) and hitting the pause button on social media is totally OK and it actually pays off! Especially if you are building a new portfolio.

Agua Fresca Floats

So why am I telling you all this shiz? Well, first, take it from me: do not let social media pressure you into losing precious moments when those precious moments are sparse due to your hectic schedule. It’s ok, people will understand that you have a life and you gotta take care of yourself, AND your business. And as Ru Paul says, if you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else, can I get an AMEN!?

And here’s my little piece of advice: travel, take a break, go do something that will inspire you again! Get the fuck out of your house, dude!! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut without realizing you’re in one (it’s like being in a really shitty relationship with someone that has an OK penis but you know, it’s a penis afterall so you just roll with it… yah no girl, stop, STAAP!). Just remove yourself from the routine and go do something out of the ordinary, take a little painting class, a mini trip, go meet new people (you may hate them, but hey, it was something new!). You get me!? Go refresh that idea maker of yours.

And on that note I would like to say, I AM BAAAACK!! Oh man this feels good. Just so you know there will be more stuff other than food around here, so just bear with me mmmkay?

Nice to see you all in here again, friends :D

Bourbon and tea popsicles

All photos: these were some tasty recipes I made for the guys at West Elm, check out their blog for the full feature of each of these dishes