Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nelson - a weekend in the forest

this past weekend, a few of my closest girlfriends and i met up in nelson for our 3rd annual women's weekend. each october, we travel from our homes in ontario, alberta and bc to spend a few days catching up, working on our selves, and reconnecting. there is always a flood of emotion and gratitude, long, deep conversations, lots of laughs and a few tears, tarot cards, delicious food, and typically a late night dance party or two. at the end, we each leave feeling refreshed, reenergized, and with a head full of ideas to take home and work on until we meet again.

this year we stayed at a beautiful airbnb a short ways from the heart of nelson - the ivory thistle cottage is an amazing straw-bale structure on the edge of the forest. it was an absolute dream.

last year, i started the tradition of taking a portrait of each of the women over the course of the weekend. this year letting each of them pick a spot that felt beautiful to them. i can't help but smile looking at each of these photos- 4 beautiful women that were somehow blessed into my life- always there to push me further on my path to finding the truest and best version of myself. sigh- words just aren't enough. i'm so grateful we each carve out the time to ensure this weekend is a priority.

(and portraits from our 2015 retreat in dead man's flats, alberta...)


Monday, October 3, 2016

our summer on film

as it always does, summer seemed to be over just a quickly as it begun. we didn't do a lot, but we enjoyed it all- spending time at the beach, visiting family and friends in victoria and calgary, and soaking up as much sunshine as we could before the rain set in.

i shot a few rolls of film over the last few months. film has been a lesson in patience for me. it takes time to thoughtfully use up 36 exposures, and then more time to make it down to the lab to have the roll developed, and then (if you happen to be married to my husband) a really really long time before he is able to bunker down and scan all the negatives in. sometimes the photos have been built up and so highly anticipated that they are a bit of a disappointment when all is said and done. but there is always always a gem or two- a forgotten day that you are surprised to see captured, and that makes all the waiting worth while every single time.

Monday, September 26, 2016

turmeric milk

i have been sick (again. surprise surprise) and managed to do absolutely nothing the entire weekend except for catch up on ALL the new junk recently added to netflix. in my quest for a miracle cure to save me from the hell that is being bedridden, i stumbled upon what might actually be just that. and my goodness does it taste DELICIOUS!

in eastern cultures, turmeric is well regarded as a 'healing spice' and used to help everything from sore throats, colds, flus, and stomachaches to wound healing and treatment of abrasions and skin issues. turmeric milk is high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and is high in manganese and iron. the coconut oil adds healthy fats and inclusion of peppercorns enhance the absorption of curcumin (the main component found in turmeric) allowing the ingredients in this recipe work in a synergistic fashion and help enhance the nutritional value of each other.

all this being said, this drink is just so incredibly comforting. it warms you from the inside out and feels like its coating all your sore parts as it moves its way around. this would be the perfect beverage to calm you before bed or help heal you when you aren't 100%.

give it a try. i promise you wont regret it. 

tumeric milk

:: ingredients::
2 cups of milk (any kind is fine- traditional recipes call for whole milk, but modern renditions use homemade almond or coconut milk with exceptional results)
1 tablespoon good quality local honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground organic turmeric
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 or 4 black peppercorns
6 or 7 thin slices of fresh ginger

:: directions ::
pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. whisk to combine. reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes. strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, or peppercorns. serve hot topped with an additional dash of cinnamon. soak in allllll it's goodness!

 enjoy xo

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

a few of my favourite things - cookbooks (and recipes)

i have a bit of a cookbook hoarding problem. where i strive for minimalism in most other areas of my life, cookbooks are my one guilty pleasure that i never feel bad allowing to expand. i have a few that are always on heavy rotation- full of delicious flavours, favourite recipes, and beautiful photographs, so i figured i should share some of them with you, along with a favourite recipe so you can get a taste (ha!) of what they are all about.

oh she glows cookbook: vegan recipes to glow from the inside out
by angela liddon

i know the words 'vegan' are enough to deter a lot of people from giving this cookbook the fair shot is deserves, but i promise you, it is well worth checking out. (this book was a best seller at chapters/indigo in 2014, and is currently listed as a best seller on amazon if that gives you any indication.) a beautiful book full of plant-based recipes, you can feel good knowing you are eating nutrient dense, delicious food that just happens to be healthy. i continually come back to this book to cook regular favourites or to try something new when i need a little inspiration.

angela has an amazing blog where she shares tons of delicious recipes, and she also just released a new book - oh she glows every day that i just picked up and am excited to dig in to. i have also shared two of my most favourite oh she glows recipes in the past - these yummy granola bars, and her maple baked beans.

one of my absolute favourite recipes in this book is the life affirming warm nacho dip. i am a die hard nacho cheese lover, but obviously, the toxic orange stuff (that i still completely obsess about) is not totally awesome for us. this recipe uses cashews and nutritional yeast to recreate a rich, cheesy flavour, and is one of the most crowd pleasing dishes i have ever brought along to a group gathering. i i promise that no one will believe you that it's vegan AND good for you!

life affirming warm nacho dip
from the oh she glows cookbook


1 cup cashews
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic
1 1⁄4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
3⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
pepper, to taste (optional)

1 cup chunky marinara sauce
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 to 3 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped
1⁄3 cup crushed corn chips or bread crumbs
1 to 2 green onions, finely sliced, for serving (optional)
Tortilla chips, for serving

Make the Cheese Sauce: Place the cashews in a medium bowl and add water to cover. Set aside to soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you have the time. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 2-quart (2-L) cast-iron pan or casserole dish.

Place the carrots in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook the carrots for 5 minutes, or until just fork-tender. Drain. You can also steam the carrots, if desired.

In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, cooked carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne (if using), and 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) water and blend until silky smooth, adding a splash of extra water if needed. Pour the sauce into a large bowl.

Make the Dip: Stir the marinara sauce, onion, and spinach into the Cheese Sauce until fully combined. Spoon the sauce into the prepared dish and smooth out, and sprinkle the top evenly with the crushed corn chips.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered, watching closely toward the end of the cooking time to make sure the corn chip topping doesn’t burn. Garnish with sliced green onion, if desired. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or Spiced Toasted Pita Chips.

Reheat any leftovers (ha- yeah right!) in the oven at 400°F for 10 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Store the dip in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

by gwyneth paltrow

i feel like i have talked about this cookbook A LOT and funnily enough, i don't even actually own it. instead i have borrowed it from the library no less than 15 times, and borrowed it from my friend carie another bunch of times. there are several recipes in this book i cook so often that i know them by heart, and a whole bunch of others i have written out and keep on hand to rotate through when i need something fresh and delicious. i really cant say enough about how GOOD this book really is. all of it. 

my favourite recipe from this book is roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with mustard and parsley. it might not sound like much, but i promise you, its a knock out! its simple and hearty, quick to pull together with ingredients you probably mostly have on hand and delicious served warm or cool. you really cant mess this one up.

roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with mustard and parsley
from it's all good 

1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon seeded mustard (i.e., grainy mustard)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set the rack in the middle. Toss chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

last but not least...

by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

less of a recipe book and more of a cooking book, i was gifted the flavor bible a few years back by some dear, sweet friends of ours and absolutely LOVE it. it takes ingredients and makes note of amazing and different flavour pairings that work well together, allowing you to learn, experiment, and create complex and layered flavors- i use book often when i want to give some of my favourite recipes a little kick or want to move a basic recipe to a richer level.

amazon says: 'readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal.' i couldn't agree more!

what are some of your absolute favourite cookbooks?