Monthly Archives: July 2016

friday favourite – changing up the scenery

It doesn’t have to be much, even one night away can feel like such a vacation. The change of pace, different mug for your morning coffee, new scenery — it’s all good for the soul.

This week, we got away for a few days to Martha’s Vineyard, including a visit with this great piece of public art. It’s my favourite change of scenery this week.




cool food for a muggy night

It seems like we have had heat warnings since May and the humidity has all but drained my dinner ideas. So I’ve come up with my go-to dish for when I just want to whine about the weather.

It’s a cold plate of whatever happens to be around.

cold plate smaller

This week, it was a combo of local English cucumber, grape tomatoes, broccoli that I had steamed yesterday, manchego cheese , leftover grilled sausage and some chewy, sourdough bread. You could throw some dressing over it all. But if that’s just too much effort, go plain.

Dessert just might have been some freezer to table refreshing strawberry balsamic sorbetto.


What do you make for dinner when it’s too hot to even open the fridge to cool off?


cool combinations

Some things are clearly made to go together. Gin and tonic (of course), ripple chips and French onion dip, and maple syrup with well, anything.

Other combos might not be quite so obvious. But when you look closer, or try them out, they make for some natural pairings.

Yoga is one we’ve combined with other activities. Several years ago, we did a yoga and knitting workshop at Kripalu. Nothing really tying the activities together, but we did sit cross legged on the floor to knit, and I’m sure our stitches were loose and relaxed because we were.


I did a yoga a kayaking weekend last year with White Squall Paddling Centre. The ability to isolate muscles and breathing in yoga made a huge difference to the buoyancy of the kayaking. And a little sketching thrown in too.

We recently did a little day hike and stopped for some scenic yogic poses.


Hiking and food is an obvious. Tire yourself out and have someone serve up a delicious meal at the end of it all. And a personal favourite – the various Butter Tart Trails across Ontario. You could walk or drive to the next bakery featuring their version of the Canadian classic.


friday favourite – chocolate milk

It used to be a novelty in our house. No name chocolate powder added to a big glass of milk alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. After blowing bubbles in the glass to the almost spilling point, you’d slurp it down…only to find much of the chocolate powder out of suspension in the bottom of the glass.

Reminds me of the final view in my mug of French press coffee – the good strong sludge that settles at the bottom!

2016-07-19 08.51.20

Anyhow, chocolate milk is back on our grocery list and in our fridge. It’s got all the perfect ingredients for a Friday favourite. Refreshing (check). Made with 1% milk (check). Filling appetizer before dinner (check). Great natural source of bone-strengthening calcium (check). Delicious (check).

Cheers to the brown cow!


overnight oats

Overnight oats are a great way to have oatmeal in the summer. Depending on the container you make it in, you can take the oats with you to work, school or on the road! Or make several variations for overnight guests to chose from for breakfast.

Use equal amounts of oats to liquid, (I start with 1/2 cup oatmeal) then add any number of ingredients — bananas, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, nuts, cinnamon, flax seeds, almond or peanut butter, yogurt —put it in a container and leave it in the frig overnight.

Stir it up the next morning and enjoy a hearty cold breakfast.



an hour on the water

Every day on my route to work, I drive over the river and pass by a “canoe and kayak” rental sign. It calls my name, every time I see it. And I’m always wishing I could just stop there for a little paddle, instead of wherever I am headed.

I finally just did it. Last week, I keenly showed up before they even opened. Brought my own life jacket and rented a kayak for an hour. I have done big canoe trips full of adventure. But what I have realized I really love, is to just paddle around for a little while sitting right on top of the water.


I don’t crave white water. I love getting a closer, quieter look at nature from the seat of a kayak or canoe. On my last paddle, I glided past a turtle sunning on a partially submerged park bench, and a female mallard with two little ducklings just hanging out on a sand bar.

I think I’m going to make that my summer plan. Find more places to take a little rented paddle around.