Living With Lobsters | lobsters

In honour of the beginning of lobster season in the Northumberland Strait I’ve collected some fun lobster themed items. There are few things as ugly as a lobster. Given that, I wonder how it’s possible to have such a wide variety of items that are really appealing using the lobster motif? Except for the Isabella Blow hat, that’s just creepy.

Lobby Royale lobster wallpaper

The gorgeous soft colours in this wallpaper from Abnormals Anonymous render the lobster  quite abstract and surprisingly pretty.

Tibi lobster dress

Tibi has created a pop version of the silhouette in this striking dress. See it on the Tibi site here.

See the wonderful fashion muse Isabella Blow in an iconic Philip Treacy lobster hat here.

Anthropologie door knocker

Anthropologie has a beautiful lobster door knocker for sale here. I don’t think it would hold up to the salt spray we get on the front of the cottage? If you’re away from the ocean go for it.

Elsa Schiaparelli lobster dress

One of the great fashion designers of early 20th century fashion, Ilsa Schiaparelli created this stunning dress in 1937 in collaboration with Salvador Dali. It is currently in the collections of Philadelphia Museum of Art, unfortunately it isn’t on display but you can see it here.

This concept car from Nissan isn’t strictly a lobster car but it certainly is suggestive of our favourite crustacean. The Nissan V2G (vehicle to grid) electric car was the winner of the LA Design Challenge in 2009. Read about it here on

Nissan V2G car

These Charlotte Olympia lobster heels were available at Neiman Marcus but it looks like you’re out of luck – they’re sold out.

Charlotte Olympia lobster heel


My personal favourite item is the Nike SB Dunk low premium lobster. I think the way they recreated the mottled shell colour, used the checkered tablecloth pattern on the interior and especially the claw elastic is hilarious. They are from 2008 and it seems they are no longer available. Read more about them here.

Nike SB lobster


It’s lobster season somewhere! | Lobster season

lobster season map final


You know the saying; it’s five o’clock somewhere? Well that holds true for lobster season on the east coast. It’s always lobster season somewhere!

According to sources (my parents) in Nova Scotia, the wharves are piled high with lobster traps waiting for the season to open. It’s a very exciting time of the year in our area of the province… boats are put in the water and small fishing communities are busy again. Unfortunately this winter that never stops giving has also wreaked havoc on the lobster season and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has delayed the season because of ice conditions. The season in the Northumberland Strait area where I’m from runs from May 1st to June 30th and DFO has said that it will update the delay status closer to the 30th of April.

DFO carefully controls the opening and closing of lobster season in the Maritimes so, as seen on the map above, the seasons alternate around the year to give the population adequate time for regrowth and regeneration. The female lobster spawns millions of eggs, of which only one tenth of one percent grow to maturity. It’s a hard life for lobsters in the North Atlantic, it takes six to nine years for lobsters to reach a size that can be harvested.  DFO lists their objectives with regard to inshore lobster management as 1. to not damage productivity so the ecosystem stays healthy, 2. to protect the biodiversity of the ecosystem to ensure resilience and 3. to protect against modification of the ecosystem by chemical or physical influences.

The lobster catch has risen steadily in Nova Scotia in the past few years. A decade ago the catch was an average of 3,000 to 4,000 lbs per boat but the recent landing average per boat for the two month season in the Northumberland Strait has risen to 10,000 lbs. The landings along the South Shore in 2012 were an astounding three times the 50 year average. The Bay of Fundy and much of Cape Breton has also seen large increases in landings. Given that lobster exporting is worth $385 million annually in Nova Scotia, a healthy industry is in everyone’s best interest.

God speed and safe travels to all fishers in the Northumberland Strait area. Dinner tables around the world thank you.

You can find more information about the DFO lobster management program here.

Outrageous Brownies | Outrageous Brownies


stack of brownies

I’m not sure if I should thank the Barefoot Contessa or curse her. These outrageous brownies have wrecked my virtuous light day/clean eating/cutting back intentions more often than I’d like to admit. I say I’m making them for my son who has the proverbial hollow leg but … seriously who’s not going to eat these if they’re around? They truly live up to the Outrageous Brownie name she gave them in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Unbelievably rich, moist, dense and really, really chocolaty. This recipe is a massive pan of brownies so be forewarned.

Before you make them let me just say, you’re welcome… and I’m sorry.

Outrageous Brownies (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

  • 1 lb of unsalted butter
  • 1 lb plus 12 ozs semisweet chocolate chips (divided)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet. Melt the butter together with 1 lb of chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together one cup of flour, the baking powder and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the 12 ozs of chocolate chips in a  medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! Allow to cool and cut into squares.

I have four of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and every recipe that I’ve tried is just amazing. A lot of my favourites come from this book and the curried couscous from the same book is a cottage staple.

outrageous brownies


1 2 3 4