Monthly Archives: February 2016

yoga wisdom

I spend most of the day on Tuesday coming up with reasons why I don’t need to go to yoga on Tuesday night. It’s dark, it’s raining, I’m tired…the list goes on. When I finally drag myself to class I am rewarded with the incredible feeling yoga provides.

I was reading a blog I follow today called Lines of Beauty and she had a wonderful quote by Rachel Brathen called The Goal of Yoga. I am copying it word for word!

The yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. The goal is to create space where you once were stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, well…you.

Come to your yoga mat to feel; not to accomplish. Shift your focus and your heart will grow.




friday favourite – oscar party

I lucked out. I have friends who put on great parties. And this Sunday is one of the perennial favourites…the Oscar party. Invitees are each given the name of a best picture nominee and that is the inspiration for the food item we bring to the potluck dinner where we mostly cackle at the outfits. We introduce our dish – which is some of the best entertainment of the evening.

I have Bridge of Spies. Haven’t seen the movie, but that’s never stopped me. I’ll probably make a dish using spy apples and place it on a bridge for display.

Here are the petite pork pies I made for a stuttering monarch in The King’s Speech.

There’s still time to host your own mini Oscar party.



These macaroons are quick to make and hit the spot for something sweet. I started making them for Passover and then quickly realized they were naturally gluten-free. Whenever I am making an assortment of baked goods, I try to include these on the plate so my gluten-free friends can enjoy a little treat.

The recipe is simple:

Beat 3 large egg whites, slowly add 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

Gently stir in 2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut.

Scoop into mounds using a large cookie scoop and place on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes.

Drizzle with melted chocolate chips if you like, or leave them plain.

p.s. they freeze really well ­čÖé



borrowing beauty

I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for a long time…and you learn that there are very few truly new ideas. A different spin. A different angle. Some little thing to make it a new”er” idea. And since imitation is a great form of flattery, we were thinking about the beautiful ideas we borrow to find inspiration – for pottery designs, dinner and for our sketchbooks.

Wine labels are a great source of sketching ideas. Last summer I found an Australian white Summer Shack that had a playful, relaxed label with a line up of beach houses. Kind of the way they want you to feel after a glass or two:-). We turned those houses into sketching subjects, and notecards.

summer shack

Here are some recently spotted labels that we’ll be lining up to draw.

What inspires you?


salmon for dinner

Weeknight dinners need to be simple, reasonably healthy and taste good.

Salmon fits the bill in my house and I have several marinades I use.

I like the combination of sweet and savory on salmon so I mix maple syrup, soy sauce and ginger as a marinade. If I have sesame seeds I like to add a coating of seeds to form a nice crust.

Another great combination is equal parts of dijon mustard and brown sugar brushed on the salmon. I was out of brown sugar so I substituted maple syrup in the salmon below.

Once I have chosen a marinade, I bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes at 400F.

Last night I threw some grapefruit, avocado and pistachios in the salad and roasted some potatoes for a delicious dinner.

Simple, quick and healthy!


a quick hat update

A few weeks ago I wrote about a quick hat I made and offered to make one for any one who was interested. I knit three of them and shipped them off to CA, NYC and Ontario!IMG_3246_2

The only ‘payment’ was a picture of the recipient wearing the hat! Here they are, including a sketch by Leslie in CA. Hats off (or on) to them!


 Nadine in Ontario, Tessa in NYC and Leslie in CA.


back to brown rice

Winter isn’t over yet, but we’ve had hints of the warmer, lighter weather to come.

That’s got me thinking about how the food I make also changes with the season. In winter, I love having homemade soup that I’ve made on the weekend, frozen in little containers for workday lunches.

But I’m ready for a change. And I think brown rice might be the answer. I love the taste and often shy away because it takes 45 minutes to cook. But on a weekend, I can always find the time to make it while the rest of the meal is marinating or baking.

I made brown rice tonight to go with some trout and kale salad. And the leftover will become a great hardy salad that combines the woodsy chew of the rice, grated carrots, green onions, probably some feta and a little dressing. I might add some of the leftover trout in for extra protein, or cooked chicken, hardboiled egg or leftover baked sausage bit.

Stack it all in a wide mouthed jar for lunch that tastes and looks great.

Here’s a greek salad with brown rice,

And some great salad in a jar recipes.

What do you make to mark the coming spring season?


spin songs

I have been teaching spinning (indoor cycling) for about 20 years.

For me, a fun part of designing a class is selecting motivating music that will appeal to a wide range of participants. Over the years I have tried a variety of things to keep it fresh — the Sound of Music spin complete with prizes for the best costume, Reggae spin, More Cowbell spin and countless other themes. Lately, as aging musicians die, I feature their music in the next playlist. I just started working on an all-Canadian spin list. Let me know if you have a favourite song by a Canadian that has a good beat!

I put my road bike on a trainer in the winter and ride indoors. Here is a playlist I made for myself to listen to while I pretend to be outside. Maybe something will hit the spot for you and help motivate you to keep moving. Hope so!

Shake – Head and the Heart

Happy – Pharrell Williams

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Forget You – Cee Lo Green

Safri Duo Sweet Freedom – Move Ya

Got It Wrong – Wild Feathers

Story of My Life – One Direction

What a Wonderful World – Joey Ramone

Mr. Brightside – The Killers

The Way We Get By – Spoon

Tell the World – Eric Hutchinson

River So Wide – Phil Collins

Downtown – Petula Clark

Saving Grace – Tom Petty

Timber – Pitbull

Jai Ho – AR Rahman (from Slumdog Millionaire)

The Ceiling – Wild Feathers

Lisztomania – Phoenix

Dog Days Are Over – Florence + the Machine

Human – The Killers