Stew Season ~ Veggie Stew Recipe

October is half way over already!

Although the weather hasn’t been too cool yet, it is on the horizon and we know what we are in for!

I was in the mood for some stew and thought I would give a veggie stew a try.  You may think that it wouldn’t be as hearty as a meat based stew but it was amazing.  Delicious and filling!

What is great about the veggie version is that you can add pretty much whatever veggies you have in the house.  This recipe is also vegan as there is no dairy or egg included.  AND also Gluten Free!

Enjoy with a nice piece of bread for a warm-you-up fall dinner.


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into about 2 cm cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed into about 2 cm cubes
  • 1 green pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, rough chopped into chunky bits
  • 2 heirloom carrots, peeled and sliced.
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 6 cups of veggie broth
  • 2 teaspoons of rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a large pot put the olive oil and put on medium heat.
  2. Rough chop the onion to give a fairly large piece. Put in the hot oil.
  3. Let the onions cook until soft.
  4. Add the rest of the veggies once prepared. Stir and combine them all together.
  5. Add in 5 cups of the broth and stir.
  6. Add in the rosemary and salt.  Stir.
  7. In a separate small bowl, add the rice flour and the other cup of broth.  Mix until you get a smooth mixture and the flour is combined completely.
  8. Pour flour mixture into the pot and stir thoroughly.
  9. Heat to a rolling boil, then turn down and cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  10. Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!



Empowerment through Empathy~Me Too

The ‘Me Too’ campaign is nothing new.  It was started over 10 years ago by Tarana Burke, founder of Just Be Inc. which is a grass roots movement out of Philadelphia that focuses on the health and well being for women of colour.  The ‘Me Too’ campaign began as a way to help survivors of sexual assault .  The ‘Me Too’ campaign was started to allow those who were victimized know that they were not alone and had support from others who had the same experiences.

It was important for me to preface this post by making that clear.  This is not a campaign started by Hollywood.  This is not a campaign started by young, white actresses to bring attention to a long time creep of a producer.  This was started for women of colour to know that they are not alone.  This campaign was started by survivors to help other survivors.

From what I have read over the last few days, Ms. Burke was given kudos for starting it, but I will guarantee most people think it is was started by Hollywood.  She has been asked about the trending hashtag and has responded that  “It made my heart swell to see women using this idea – one that we call ‘empowerment through empathy’”  

The ‘Me Too’ hashtag has taken over social media over the last few days in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.  Women (and some men) from all over the world are including themselves as part of this movement by tagging their social media sites with this hashtag.  In order to bring attention to how wide spread the problem of sexual harassment and abuse is all over the world and in all walks of life, the ‘Me Too’ campaign allows for those who may not have spoken out before, to have a voice.  This collective voice will hopefully reach out to those who may have crossed lines in their own lives and give them a chance to reflect and change their behaviour.

I have read many stories posted by friends and strangers regarding their own experiences.  I have seen responses showing support from men and other women.  I don’t know the numbers, but this hashtag is everywhere you look.

The popularity of this hashtag is sad on many fronts.

Most of us didn’t know anything about this campaign until it was brought to us by Hollywood.  The fact that this campaign was started 10 years ago to bring empathy and support to women of colour and is trending now that Hollywood has taken hold of it, is just a glimpse of a bigger issue.

Why wasn’t this campaign viral when Hollywood wasn’t involved?

Why does it take a popular white actress to make this a movement?

These questions make us (and by us, I mean white women) uncomfortable.  We know why.  We were incapable of showing the support when we thought is wasn’t about us.

Now, I know this campaign is serving a greater good.  I am not dissing on the campaign as it is being used now.  Like I said, the popularity of this hashtag is sad on many fronts.

The fact that we (all women) have been lead to believe that we should put up with, feel guilty about, and ignore verbal or physical harassment or abuse is deplorable.  We have been told that ‘boys will be boys’ for too long.

Men need to be told that there is no tolerance for this type of behaviour.

Boys need to be educated on what is acceptable and what is not.

Girls need to be told that they will be believed.

The campaign began by Tarana Burke over a decade ago is about ‘empowerment through empathy‘ If we truly believe in this model and we are posting ‘Me Too’ to our own social media accounts, let us all really understand that statement and use it everyday.

The ‘Me Too’ hashtag is not meant to be a fading trend.  If you really believe in the intention, then live it.   Empathy means to be able to feel what someone else is going through; to feel what they are feeling.

If we have any chance of the ‘Me Too’ campaign making a long lasting difference, we need to embrace and remember its initial intention.  Then, and only then will we be able to make the changes necessary to make sure there are no more victims.

So instead of posting my own ‘Me Too’ experiences, which I had initially planned on doing, I will say ‘Me Too’ with the intention of empowering through empathy.  I will use this as opportunity to listen and feel.  I will use this opportunity to look beyond my own experiences and reach out to others who are struggling with their own.

To Tarana Burke, you are the backbone of this movement and for everyone who is taking part, and for this we are grateful.



A Geek’s Guide to Running

The world of a runner is strange to some. We have weird and wonderful quirks that we seem to grow proportionally to how many years we run.

I have been a runner for 28 years. So that tells you just how long the list of quirks are for me.

Recently, I was asked to run a ‘Learn to Run’ clinic. The program is to take 8 weeks and end up with the ‘students’ to go from newbie to be able to run/walk 5 kilometres. I decided to use a run/walk combo as to lessen the occurrence of injuries. Although I don’t use this method myself when running, I still adhere to taking the walk breaks when you need them; I just don’t time them.  Bottom line; if you need a walk break, take one.  There is a danger is taking too long of a walk break or too slow of a break so just make sure you get the feet moving again quickly.

I wanted to put together a few things I have come to realize over the years. Call them tips or rules or 12 useless ideas about running, but the reality is that most of us will just be recreational runners. We are not looking for any record setting PB’s here. We are looking for a way to stay healthy and enjoy an activity that can bring thousands of people together or where you can enjoy your solitude.


Here are my 12 guidelines for the running geek in you:

  1. Just run. I know that sounds so simple, but that is all there is to it. If you feel like running 1 kilometre or 10 or 20, you are still a runner.
  2. A 10 minute mile is the same distance as a 5 minute mile. Ok, I stole that one but I believe it. It isn’t the time (ok sometimes it is, but most of the time it isn’t) that is important. The distance. The distance. The distance.
  3. Watch The Barkley Marathons at least once in your life. I am not even going to go into why, just do it and you’ll figure out why when you watch. Then you’ll probably want to watch it again.
  4. Shoes matter. They do. Sorry but you cannot go cheap here. You can cheap out on all the fancy running gear like fancy jackets, pants and fuel belts, but you can’t cheap out on your shoes. Your joints will thank you 10 years from now.
  5. Yes, you can run in the winter. Sure, there are days that are not conducive to speed, and there may be days that it is not a good idea because of icy conditions, but the cold is not a reason to not get out. Layer up and get outside. Your mind and body will thank you immediately following that run.
  6. Trails are amazing. If you can get into the trails, give them a try. The soft cushion of the trails are great for your joints and not to mention the rolling hills are great for conditioning. Just realize that you will definitely be slower when running in the trails if you are timing yourself.
  7. Take pictures. Ok this may sound weird but I have been able to get some great photos (on my phone) during a run. The sunset. The lake. A flower. Seriously stop and not only smell the roses, but take photos of them too.
  8. If you are out for a run and someone is running towards you who is also out for a run, a simple wave, peace sign, or nod is imperative. If they don’t reciprocate, that’s on them.
  9. Sign up for a race. I know this may seem daunting, especially if you are a beginner, but the experience is worth it. Maybe start by just going to watch a race. Check out the diversity of people that are running. You will be amazed just standing at a finish line of a 10km (or marathon) and see people that are Just Like You. Most people are NOT elite athletes. It is amazing to watch them too but you will never be more inspired than when you watch the mid to back of the pack finishers.
  10. You are not a jogger.  Please don’t let anyone tell you that.  If you are running, you’re a runner.  I honestly have no idea what a jogger is so please don’t use that language with me.
  11. Get a running buddy.  Yes, there are times when the solitude of running is exactly what I need, but my running partner (shout out to Rayanne!) and I have been running for probably 12-15 years and I can honestly say she has kept me going all these years.  We have ran, talked, laughed and raced together.  The friendship of a running partner is unique in that you truly see each other at your best and worst. I am very lucky to have one of the best around.  And NO, you can’t have her.
  12. Finally, the most important thing to remember is if you do a race, never, ever wear the race shirt the day of the race. You earn the shirt once you have completed the race. You can wear a shirt from a previous race, if you finished it. But not until the race is done, the race shirt stays in the kit.

After 28 years of running many kilometres, I may find my legs are moving a little slower these days, the joints hurt a little more when I get up, but the mind still wants to get out and run.  As long as the body is willing to join in, I will be logging the miles.

Lime Tarts~Vegan & GF

Time for dessert!!

I wanted to make a fresh tasting, new dessert that I hadn’t tried to make before.  I also wanted to be able to make individual servings so that I was able to give some out for others to try.

Scanning my favourite websites for inspiration, this jumped out at me right away.  From The Minimalist Baker….Key Lime Tarts!

I altered it slightly, just based on my own taste, but the recipe is very easy to follow and the perfect dessert for any day of the week!  They freeze and keep well so left overs don’t go to waste.




  • 1 package of gluten free Graham Crackers.  We used Kinnikinnick brand they were perfect.
  • 5 Tbsp of vegan butter, melted.  We used Earth Balance.
  • 1 & 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight) then drained
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk.  We used light one time and full fat the other and I found no difference in the taste  or consistency.
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3-4 large limes or 6-7 key limes. This works out to about 1/2 cup of juice but you can add more for more tartness.
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (honey can be used if not looking for a vegan option)
  • 1 Tbsp of lime zest and another tablespoon to garnish.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and line a muffin tin with paper or silicon liners.  We used silicon and they worked wonderfully.
  2. The graham crackers go into a food processor and ground up to a meal.  Then add the melted butter.
  3. Distribute evenly among muffin tins and press down with a glass or spoon to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. In a blender, put in the coconut milk, agave and cashews and blend to smooth.  I added the lime juice after that to be able to get a taste for how tart I wanted it to be.
  5. Pour the filling into the muffin cups, put some zest on them and then into the freezer.  I waited to cover them about 1/2 hour as I found the wrap stuck to them if I didn’t.
  6. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, though best when fresh.
  7. We topped them with Coconut whip cream.  I tried a store bought brand for ease and it worked very well!

Key Lime TartKey Lime Tart

Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for Breakfast!!!

Val said it was ok 🙂


This breakfast cookie is gluten free, dairy and nut free!  Not overly sweet but if you need a little boost in your cookie, adding some mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs will definitely be a welcome add on.



Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup Tahini (sesame butter), sunflower seed or pumpkin butter
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla


Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole oats, pulse in a high speed blender 5 x until oats are broken up
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp whole flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup goji berries or raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (add these to the wet ingredients above and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • Preheat oven to 325 F


1. Place all the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Add ground flax and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and blend well.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently blend together until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed.

4. Take about 1/4 cup of batter (I use an ice cream scoop) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.   Flatten the batter with a fork to about 1/2 inch and be sure that all the cookies are uniformly sized for even baking.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a cookie rack and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the fridge for 7 days or freezer for 3 months.



This recipe is so very versatile that you can change up a few things to give a whole new taste.

You can replace the tahini with almond or peanut butter and substitute the dried fruits with dates and orange zest.

The possibilities are endless. I love to substitute the cranberries/raisins with dried apricots, currants and lemon zest.

For you Pumpkin Spice Lovers… replace the banana with pumpkin puree and add pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon.  YUMMY!!!


Monday Product Review!

Bent Outta Shape!  by Lala Soap Company

So I though we could review a few products for you guys.

We are always on the hunt for some new and natural products and when we find some, it is always nice to share with our readers!

The Lala Soap Company is a local (Southern Ontario) company that makes, not only beautiful soaps that are all natural and never tested on animals, but make an awesome product called Bent Outta Shape roll on oil.

I was turned onto this while teaching Yoga one day at Bend Yoga Studios in Dundas, where they carry a number of other products along with this one.  I have a some swelling occasionally with my right knee and usually go the ice, rest, compression route for treating it.  I saw the Bent Outta Shape roll on oil and smelled the tester and it was delicious!  I gave it a try before my class.

The mix of essential oils like Arnica, St. John’s Work, peppermint, rosemary and camphor are combined to not only smell amazing but by the time my class ended, my swelling was gone.  No joke.

The Lala Soap Company has many more products that I know I am going to be trying out. In fact, next week I will review the Flower Power Soap that I picked up this week.

It is always great to support a company that works to make all natural products that work so well.  They do have online purchasing available too if you’re not so local!

So stay tuned for next week and I’ll let you know what I think of the Flower Power Soap…I have a feeling I’m going to love it. 🙂


Gin Infused Lime Tart with Raspberry Sauce

Gin infused?! Lime Tart?! with Raspberry sauce?! 

I don’t know what part of that is the best?

Probably that it is also VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE!!! 

Yeh…you heard me.

Yeh…it is as delicious as you may be imagining right now. 🙂

As far as I am concerned…a little Dillon’s Gin from our excursion last month in your desserts can’t hurt.

Dillon's Gin



  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 12 soft Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • pinch of sea salt

crust for lime tart


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (@ 3-4 limes)
  • 2 tbsp Gin




  1. In a food processor pulse the nuts several times until broken down into small pieces, being careful not to make walnut butter. Place nuts in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Add dates to the food processor and pulse until broken down. Add the dates, coconut, coconut oil, lime zest/juice and salt to the bowl. Mix until evenly blended and forms a dough (I used my hands to do this).
  3. Press into an 8 inch tart pan until evenly distributed and place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
  4. Remove pulp from the avocados and add to a high speed blender along with agave, lime zest, juice and gin. Puree until smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into the tart pan and smooth out with a back of a spoon. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Before serving let the tart sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve it with fresh berries & coconut cream or a raspberry sauce (Recipe provided below)


Lime Tart


Looks amazing…so good!

Now, when Val made this yummy tart, she also made a raspberry lime sauce to cover it.  The recipe is below if you want to add that to your tart by either covering the tart or even using it to spoon onto each piece individually.  Fresh fruit, like raspberries or strawberries or blackberries can also cover this tart and will be just as yummy!

Raspberry Lime Sauce


  • 12 ounces raspberries, blackberries or blueberries
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • zest of small lime
  • 2 tbsp Gin…there’s that Gin again!



  1. Place berries, zest, honey and water into a saucepan, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add gin and simmer another 10 minutes. Cool completely and spoon onto lime tart when serving.
  3. Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream.





Sweet Potato Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl made with Sweet Potato, grilled veggies, and Yves Sweet Potato and Chia bites.

So first, I need to apologize for being so lax in my posting of this recipe.  I posted the Instagram picture last week!  My bad…it won’t happen again..I promise!

We are into Summer 2017 and the BBQ’s are firing up!

Nothing like Grilled Veggies!

I become one with my grill basket during the summer months and throw just about anything into it.

I have made and posted a Rice Bowl recipe before so I made a few changes to this one and also made a dressing to drizzle on it with my new fave condiment…French’s Spicy Mustard…yum.

So fire up that BBQ, get it warmed up and put your Grill Basket on.

We’re making some grilled veggie rice bowls!


  • 1/2 purple onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 4 Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 8-10 Yves Sweet potato and Chia bites
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Herb De Provence/Lavendar spice (but hey, you can use whatever spices you like!)
  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala


  1. Put the oven on 350F for the sweet potato.
  2. Peel and cube the sweet potato.  Place in bowl with some olive oil and garam masala.  Mix up so that the pieces are all covered.  Place on baking sheet for 10 minutes, mix up and then another 10 minutes.  The sweet potato will be soft when done. During the last 5 minutes, I threw in the Yves bites to heat them up but not necessary if you don’t want to.
  3. In the mean time….
  4. Chop the onion, mushroom and peppers. Place in a large bowl and put the olive oil and herb de provence in.  Mix thoroughly to ensure they are all covered.
  5. Heat that BBQ up and put that grill basket on it.
  6. But I don’t have a grill basket…. 😦  It’s ok!  After you have chopped your veggies, you can wrap them in foil and place on BBQ.  You will need to flip it a few times to ensure they are not getting burnt on one side.
  7. Put the veggies in the basket or on the BBQ in foil.  You want to grill them until they are tender. Set them aside when you are done.
  8. Put the water into a large sauce pan and put on high to get to a boil.
  9. Once boiling, put the rice in and cover it…Now don’t look at…Let it cook for about 13 minutes…this may differ depending on the rice you use so check the package but if you can avoid picking up that lid before it is done, the rice will turn out perfectly.
  10. Put a couple of scoops of the rice in a bowl.  Place some grilled veggies, roasted sweet potato and Yves Bites on top.
  11. Drizzle with the Hot Balsamic dressing!

Hot Balsamic Dressing?!

Yes…and it is deelish.

Recipe for Hot Balsamic Dressing:

  • In a jar with a lid, put in 1/3 cup of olive oil.
  • Add in 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of French’s Spicy Mustard.
  • Shake it and use 🙂

    What I love about rice bowls is that you can be so creative.  The recipes are not written in stone so change it up as needed!  Let us know what you have tried!

Home to Hamilton~

Hope you all enjoyed a super long weekend! 

Where ever you may reside and call home, July is now upon us!

Maybe it signals summer…or winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!  

Here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, we are just past our Canada Day long weekend and into the heart of our summer season.

Val and her family are enjoying a well deserved trip to the East Coast to visit friends and family there.

We stayed local this weekend and took in some sights at the Hamilton Harbour.

The Tall Ships were in port!

We went down to take a look and they were some beautiful vessels!  If they dock near your home town some time, it is well worth the trip to take a look.



For those who don’t know where Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is; we are about an hour from Toronto. I have lived here for most of my life, with the exception of a couple of years and shortly after moving back for the final time, I realized how much I cherished this city.

The city has changed and is changing, as I pondered in my post, Local(s) Extinction.  

I wrote this short prose soon after moving back and read it recently.  There is still much that stands true today and although there is seems to be a surge in our population growth here, the bones of our city remain made of steel.

I am happy to share this with you.  Hope you enjoy it.

Home to Hamilton.

The rusting carcasses of the steel mills where the sweat of the iron workers ran like the rushing waterfalls of the city, line the shores.

The north end neighbourhoods emerge out of the wasteland to expose their colourful, vibrant selves alive with the generations that call it home.

In the East, development spreads like wild fire; closer and closer to the vineyards of Niagara. What was once a village has blossomed to encompass all levels of our region.

Escarpment divides and unites at the same time.

The landscape has been altered. Where there were farms, we now have homes.  Where there were fields, we now have stores.  Where there were trees, we now have roads.

We question if the metamorphosis was necessary, yet we are drawn there with no remorse.

To the West, where entrance was once exclusive, now embraces all cultures, ethnicity and ages to its mature tree lined streets.

Trails run through the city’s weakened wilderness.  They are arteries that lead to the heart of the city.

Downtown. Avoided by some, cherished by others.

At the water’s edge, the sailboats’ rigging clangs against the masts.
The breezes blow into the open doors of the galleries guiding the lovers of art.
The smells of the multi cultural cooking fills the air.
The flow of people lead to the park in the core where those who want to be themselves can.

The vast contrast of steel mills and waterfalls, of industry and art, of academia and labour blend to become our home.

Vegan-GF Molasses Cookies

Me Want Cookies!

I had a hankering for a cookie tonight so I thought I would make some.  Scanning the cupboard and then the blog for a recipe, I decided on a tried and true Ginger Molasses cookie.  We have made them before and although the recipe was Gluten free before, we gave suggestions for the veganized version so I went with that…and here it is!

**also I used Brown Rice flour and Xantham gum instead of Quoinoa flour because that is all I had in the cupboard 🙂


  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1  tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • *1/4 cup turbinado sugar for coating cookies
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, cream the Earth Balance and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat the apple sauce and molasses into the margarine/sugar mixture until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the brown rice flour, baking soda, xantham gum, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves;  blend well.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well.
  6. Put in fridge for 1 hour if possible.
  7. Roll enough dough to form 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) balls. You can also use a medium sized melon ball scoop for more precise measuring.
  8. Flatten with a fork and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes.
  10. The cookies should be slightly browned on the bottom when they are done.
  11. Let cookies cool for 2-3 minutes before removing them from the sheet. Allow to cool completely on a cookie rack.
  12. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or frozen for 4-6 weeks.


Strawberry Lemonade! (with Goji Berry Hibiscus Tonic)

Happy Summer!!!

Well…it is official!  Summer 2017 has arrived!

So important to stay hydrated in the summer sun and heat.  We posted a super simple way to jazz up your water with lemon and lavender!   We added a little mint in there too but you can add whatever herbs and fruits you enjoy to make getting that water in a little more flavourful!

Val was experimenting with some other ways to get the hydration you need with some great flavours and fruits and flowers to give you some extra boost!

Who doesn’t like a good lemonade in the summer?!

How about….

Strawberry Lemonade with Goji Berry-Hibiscus Tonic


For the Tonic:

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 tsp rose water (optional)
  • Raw honey


  • 4 cups frozen strawberries
  • Juice and rind of two lemons



  1. Bring the water to a boil. Place goji berries and hibiscus flowers in a 4 cup glass bowl, add 4 cups of boiling water to cover and set aside to steep for an hour.
  2. Strain the mixture and reserve the solids for a second batch. You can reserve the plump goji berries and add them to smoothies or yogurt.
  3. Stir in the raw honey to taste @ 1 tbsp and the rose water if using.
  4. Add the tonic to a high speed blender along with the strawberries, lemon rind and juice. Puree on high until smooth, @ 60 seconds.
  5. Enjoy immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.





Refreshing Summer Slaw!

Well Summer showed up! 

Came in with a bang here!  The temps are high and so cooking is not so fun when it is hot.

We love a good slaw here and find them so refreshing, especially in the heat of the summer.  They go along so well with just about anything or eat them on their own!

Here is a super delicious carrot slaw that we hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Raw Carrot Slaw with a Lemon-Dijon Herb Vinaigrette


  • 2 cups multi-coloured carrots, julienned (I used purple, orange, red & yellow carrots)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, julienned
  • handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds to garnish



  1. Pour lemon juice into a small glass bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add garlic, Dijon, and honey and mix until evenly combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium glass or ceramic bowl combine the carrots, onions, peppers, chives, parsley and tarragon, toss lightly.
  3. Add the olive/lemon vinaigrette to the vegetable slaw, toss until well coated. Add pumpkin seeds to garnish.
  4. You may substitute 1 cup of the julienned carrots for 1 cup of shredded Napa cabbage and replace the pumpkin seeds with sesame seeds for an alternate taste experience.



Hope you enjoy this slaw.  If you’re looking for another fresh summer salad with a little extra added to it, try the Roasted Sweet Potato, Pomegranate and Quinoa Salad!  This one is so good as well but a little added protein to it!

What is living “Intentionally”?

To live ‘Intentionally’.  What does that mean exactly?

There are so many buzz words in our culture these days.

Intentional living.



Conscious living.

We have all heard them and maybe even used them on occasion. But what are we saying.

About this time last year, I was turned onto The Minimalists and their pod casts and documentary, Minimalism.  It came to me a perfect time in our lives as our kids are in various stages and some have left the house and some have come back!  I wrote about this in a blog post, Abundance.  We have come a long way since sorting through things that we had collected along the way and have scaled our ‘things’ back substantially.

To live with Intention isn’t about depriving ourselves of things we enjoy or not buying anything.  I think it is easy to get into an almost manic state if we believe that if still have ‘stuff’ that we are living frivolously or not minimally or not intentionally.  

After all, what do we do with the things we want to keep?

There will be inevitably things we just plain want.  They may not seem important to someone else, but they hold value to us.  They may be things we use on a sporadic basis or just hold some sentimental purpose that we can’t imagine our life being without.  I think that rooting through the sentimental items is by far the hardest test to date for me. I have things that were my parents’ as well as things connected to the kids from over the years.  Minimalism and the Sentimental Mind post outlines my struggle with this exercise and how I made/making peace with letting go of some things.

Intentional Living to me means that I will choose what comes into my life while being fully conscious of what that item means to me or its usefulness.

To live intentionally is NOT about deprivation; it is consciously choosing what you bring into your life. 

The world we live in and have for many decades now has prided itself on a ‘winner takes all’ attitude.  We hold those up on pedestals who can buy whatever they want and have all the latest toys we wish we could have.  We spend our lives paying for things to fill our lives and think this is bringing us ‘happiness’.  This illusion of happiness is short lived when the next ‘thing’ we need is shown to us.  The cycle of buying, paying, and working for these things soon becomes what our life is about.

By purchasing things consciously and with the intention and the thought that we should be giving to them, more often than not we find that there were things we thought we needed but realize we don’t.

I have always been a fan of Yvon Chouinard , founder of Patagonia.  He brings the idea of “The more you know, the less you need” to his own life and to his corporate culture.  He stresses, not only in his personal life, but within his company, that we need not have the newest and latest and greatest of things as our culture leads us to believe.  We think these things bring us joy, but in reality, they demand payment, not only with currency but with our time.  Time is the one thing that equalizes us with everyone else.  No one person has more than 24 hours in a day.  How much is your time worth?  Time that is for friends, family, adventure, living, and yourself.

So as we set off at the beginning of another summer, we do so with purpose of filling our lives with memories and experiences rather than things that will be forgotten.  That to me, is intentional living.

What does Living Intentionally mean to you?



Dillon’s Distillery Tour!

Val and Nicole on adventure!

To the land where the Gin flows like wine….

We are so fortunate to live some where there is so much to do.  Seriously.  We go in one direction for 45 minutes and we are in Toronto, which has so much to do that I can’t possibly list them all.  We go in the other direction 40 minutes and we hit the wine country of the Niagara Region.

Well the wine region just got a new addition!  

Dillon’s Distillery

Dillon’s is a small batch distillery nestled smack dab in the middle of wine country.  Started by Geoff and Peter Dillon, father and son, as well as Gary Huggins, only a short time ago, Dillon’s has quickly gained a name as a Gin artisan.

The choice to build the distillery in Niagara Region was because of the proximity to fresh local fruit available and also the craft culture of the local wineries that have made the Niagara Region home for generations.

Val and I had both ‘sampled’ their Unfiltered 22 and also the Rose Gin before and decided to make a trip out to the distillery, where staff happily takes you on a tour of the facility.  The staff is very knowledgeable about their products and the processes so go ahead and ask the questions!

After the tour, you are able to do a tasting of some of their products, which don’t just include Gin anymore.  This is the really fun part!

Dillon’s makes a nice variety of spirits to sample.



  • Dry Gin 7
  • Unfiltered Gin 22
  • Rose Gin
  • Cherry Gin
  • Strawberry Gin

OMG…the Rose and Cherry Gin was amazing!  We bought a bottle of the Unfiltered Gin22 (named as such for the 22 botanticals that are infused to the gin) and a bottle of the Cherry for a gift.  We tasted the Cherry and it is delightful!


  • Rye Whiskey
  • White Rye

Other spirits:

  • Method 95 (Vodka)
  • Limoncello – also delish and not as sweet as some others
  • Absinthe – Hello! This is insane.  It is 67% alcohol so you actually HAVE to mix a splash of water with it in order to express the oils that give it the delicious licorice flavour.
  • Orangecello – Didn’t get an opportunity to try this one but sounds amazing.

So, if you’re in the area or looking for a little escape to the Niagara Region, don’t forget to stop in to Dillon’s for a tour (although best to call ahead to see about times).  Well worth the trip and a great side trip for the summer of 2017!

Barrel room
Big Carl

Sriracha & Lime Cauliflower Wings!

Vegan & Gluten Free!!!

oh and they are


When you want a wings and beer night but you’re a vegetarian/vegan and you have to make gluten free too?!  So here is a healthier version of the traditional wings.  We baked, well double baked, these babies and they come out soooooo yummy!

We tried a really amazing sauce on them made with Sriracha aka the new Ketchup, and lime.  This recipe would be easy enough to change up your spices.  I think the next time we should try a honey garlic glazed for those who may find these a little spicy!


  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or plain soy milk
  • 6-8 Tbsp
  • 1 head of cauliflower but into ‘wing’ size pieces. This is really up to you how big you like them.
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon agave (or honey if not vegan)
  • juice of half a lime…also add more for your own taste
  • 2 tablespoon water if needed to thin out sauce


  1. Heat the oven to 450F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower into bite size wing pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, spices, almond milk and water.  Whisk it up to mix well.  The batter should be like a pancake type batter.  Not chunky but not too runny that it won’t stick.
  4. One by one, immerse the wings into the batter and cover completely.  Do a little shake…and shake the cauliflower wing to remove excess.  Put onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread them out so they won’t run together.
  5. Once you have dipped all the wings, place into oven for 20-25 minutes.
  6. While the wings are baking for the first go around, get the sauce ready.
  7. In another bowl, mix in Sriracha, lime juice, agave or honey and melted coconut oil.  Mix up and if too thick, use some water to thin it out.
  8. Once the wings are baked, take them out and one by one dip them into the sauce.  You can use a basting brush too but I think they get coated a little better when you dip.
  9. Back to the oven they go!  Put the wings back in once the sauce is covered them and bake for another 20 minutes.
  10. While they are baking, we mixed up some dipping sauce. Here is the recipe for that!
  • One bunch of cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tsp of agave (or honey)
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 garlic cloves

We put all these ingredients into a food processor and blended until smooth.  You may need a little water if not getting smooth enough.


The wings are best right out of the oven.  If you have left overs though, heat them up on a pan in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes.  They will satisfy anyone’s cravings for wings!

And the green dipping sauce is deeeeelish.