I keep coming back to this theme in my life. I love to cook. I love to write. I love to share what I write and cook about. Therefore, I am here, blogging about something that makes me happy, hoping I connect with someone with the same interests, be it cooking, writing or both.
Many years ago, I thought about writing a cookbook, not a full fledge, Julia Child-style cookbook. A simple five-recipe cookbook offering easy plant-based meals during the work week. People are looking to eat healthier, but honestly, some recipes take longer and that discourages people from trying out new recipes.
The cookbook was an idea that came from my first self-published memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers. I shared a brief conversation with an ex-boyfriend who was a cook about writing a cookbook, but it never came to fruition. That little seed has been growing for over twenty years now. The idea keeps popping back up when I share food pictures of a recipe that I try or of our favorite dinners. I receive requests for the recipes and sometimes, a comment or two; ‘waiting for your cookbook’.
I started working on a simple format cookbook and go back to it once or twice a year to see if the recipes I have chosen still resonate with me, and they do. So, as I send my second memoir off to an editor, I will work on this little cookbook that could.
I may ask for your help. I will share the recipes with you through my newsletter where you can read about the recipe, maybe test the recipe and share your comments and feedback.
To connect with my newsletter, please click HERE – thank you. This has been a short blog this week. I am learning how to keep things simple. Here’s to trying new things.
For over five years, I have entered the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. A month-long blogging challenge of blogging your way through the alphabet. It is a great way to get into a blogging routine and maintain your writing commitments. Mine was to write every day and to write about one topic for the month.
This year I am taking a break. I have been procrastinating for far too long. My second hospitality memoir has been waiting for me to finish the final chapters to get it ready to send to an editor. I distracted myself and over the past few years; I jumped into the A-to-Z blogging challenge to work out a few things for my second memoir. Last year I took more of a deep dive into a few stories that I wanted to put in my memoir but was holding back. I wasn’t ready to write about some things, or share the full experience. Last year I was ready to share through blogging. I found it easier to share the blogs. I was working out details and needing to let go of the Ego telling me I would never finish this book. I have been away from the memoir. The only excuse I have is me. I am in the way.
The other morning I was thinking about the blogging challenge and witnessed a sense of dreg. I didn’t have the energy to think of a theme and the creative being was more gentle.
It’s okay not to enter the challenge this year. Give yourself the time to work on your book.
These are the words I continued to hear during the day. I felt good about this decision and I still do. I am taking time to focus on finishing this second memoir. I am ready to let it go, and move on to the next project(s). I am so ready.
Why am I sharing this? Because this is what I do, I share the journey of this creative life, all of it. The fun, the joys, the heartaches, the tears, and everything in between. For this, I am grateful for this wonderful talent that I have been given and even more grateful that creativity has chosen to work through me. I am ready!
Thank you for stopping by today. Will you write in the A-to-Z blogging challenge? Let me know and I will follow along your journey. I love to connect with other writers.
March started with a good old snowstorm here in Atlantic Canada. I should be used to this, but I am not. I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and have experienced snow storms more than my share. I have lived in the Canadian Rockies and once couldn’t find the car because the snow covered every inch of the car. Waste-deep snow was an understatement. Then when I moved to Vancouver Island, I didn’t see snow for over five years. It was heaven. I did, however, live in a rainforest and saw my share of rain for more than a lifetime. One winter we got over 175mm of rain in two months, usually that amount falls over the year. But you know what? I didn’t mind it. It was a warm rain and jumping in rain puddles proved to trigger my inner child and creative life. Then we moved to Victoria, BC, and I was spoiled with warm Januarys and Cherry Blossoms in February. I really enjoyed living without snow.
Now, after three years back on the East Coast, I am pretty much over the nostalgia of snow. The snow is absolutely beautiful as it falls onto the branches of our fir trees on the farm, but to shovel and move piles of snow after each 10 to 15 cm of snow storms makes for a heavy heart.
I’m not here today to complain about the weather. There is no point. There are a few things out of our control, the weather is one of them. So all I can do is dress for the occasion and move forward and dream of summer, where my flip-flops are patiently waiting to be worn again.
Today I am here to share a writing goal for March. I have been on a pleasant path of writing with new writing friends, who have inspired me to keep writing, to not give up on the dream. My dream of living a creative life. Yet, lately, I’ve been in a slump and can only have myself accountable for my lack of enthusiasm. So when I see the Ego slip in and start with the Self-Talk, I quickly enter my mediation practice and ask, ‘who is aware?’ and the only answer is, ‘I am’. I know I am witnessing the Ego try to blame everything and everyone else for my lack of desire when all I desperately want is to write. This is who I am. I am a writer. I am here to tell stories, to share, to learn, to grow, and to be. I have to remind myself of this and, funnily enough, the snow quickly slaps me back into the now. Try suiting up in your snow gear at 8pm to tackle the 10 cm of snow that has fallen and continues to fall as you shovel pathways to the microgreen sheds, greenhouses, and garage, then the plow goes by and the driveway now needs to be done so you can get out in the morning. The Ego loves this and dives deeper into the self-talk and all I can do is keep shoveling because, like writing my book, no one else is going to do it but me. My first A-ha moment of March, thank you, universe.
Now I am here writing, and I am grateful for this. This blog helps me stay centered, keep writing, share, learn, grow, and to be. What do you do to stay present?
Thank you again for stopping by, your time is appreciated.
I am working through a few writing prompts to maintain my blog post commitments. This is one way that helps me stay on the page, keep writing, and hit my word count goals. The more you practice something, the better you become. Writing does not differ from learning a new skill, everything you want to learn requires attention. Writing prompts help me invest in my craft.
I opened another one of the Hello Writer, appetizer writing prompts, these prompts are to get your creative juices flowing. I write a bit more and that is okay. I am going with the flow.
The prompt is about birthdays, and how people celebrate them. The two prompts provided:
“My favourite birthday was the one when…”
“I hope one day I’ll have a birthday that…”
The prompt says: Choose whichever direction feels more alive to you and go.
So here were go
My Favorite birthday was the one when my hubby surprised me and flew us to Las Vegas for my birthday. I should share that my birthday is on January 1st. We flew into Vegas on New Year’s Eve. Talk about the start of a great birthday.
I was turning 39. We were living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in a place called Oyster River. It was one of the most beautiful places we have lived. I saw that about every place we have lived because it’s true. We have been blessed and I don’t take that for granted. I say thank you, universe, and open my arms to the possibilities.
I was managing a small boutique meditation retreat resort; I know it sounds different, and it was something special. More on that later. The resort was closed for the winter and my husband and I lived on the property as the caretakers for the winter. It was a splendid arrangement. I could write while monitoring the thirty rooms that would need dusting every week so it wouldn’t be a chore when we reopened in the Spring.
My husband talked to my boss to discuss the possibility of flying me to Vegas for my birthday and without question my boss was excited for us to go, get some sunshine, have fun, and celebrate life. So, my hubby said I needed to pack a bag and have my passport ready for December 31st. I told him I would have to ask my boss, and he said it was already taken care of. My husband amazed me and still does. He didn’t tell me where we were going. He told me I needed shorts and a dress during the day, and something warmer for the evenings. I packed under the vague instructions but didn’t question anymore. I knew he wouldn’t give up the surprise. We drove to the Comox Airport, which was a twenty-minute drive and when we had to check in, that was when I found out we were headed to Vegas.
Happy Birthday, baby.
I was so excited. He wouldn’t tell me where we were staying, that was the next surprise. We were to fly into Vegas by 7:00pm and the hotel was only minutes away from the airport. What we didn’t know was the Vegas Strip would be closed down so the New Year’s Eve celebration could take to the street. It took an hour to get to the hotel via the side streets and thousands of people wandering around trying to get to the same place. I was in heaven. We shared a private bus with other couples going to the same hotel, and I overheard stories and excited tones of what the other couples would be doing during their time in Vegas.
We arrived at the Venetian Hotel and I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of people checking in. We got to our room, and I was gobsmacked, a beautiful suite overlooking the Vegas Strip. I could see Treasure Island’s ship light show. This place really was the entertainment capital of the world.
As soon as we freshen up and changed, we went down to the lobby to find champagne and joined the thousands of people on the strip to ring in the New Year. I was surrounded by hundreds of people celebrating in unison. The energy was electrifying. It was amazing. This birthday was something special. Thank you, universe!
Do you use writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing? I would love to hear about your favourite prompts.
Thank you for stopping by, I appreciated your time.
Whoa, what are you talking about you may be thinking.
I am sharing some writing prompts I receive in my Hello Writer, creative package each month.
The prompt is: Who is Your Twin?
The prompt: Philosopher Thomas Hobbes lived in 1600s England, a period of great bullshittery. Persecution, civil war, poverty…It all brought him to the conclusion that without rigorous political leadership, life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Hobbes’ world view came from his opinions, rooted in pain. Recalling his childhood, he wrote that “fear and I were twins.”
What might it have meant for us if someone with his platform had a different kind of twin? That’s where you come in.
List at least 6 o the forces that have happened to you (friendship, art, consumerism, competition, addition, the great lakes, disability…) then fill them into this list in a way that feels true or funny. Then simply choose a line, use it as a starting point, and keep writing.
_____ is my twin
_____ and I are co-parents
_____was my grandmother
_____has been my best lover
_____ and I are rivals
_____ is my childhood friend
I had fun with this prompt. I chose, Addiction was my grandmother. My grandmother was devoted to pleasing people and somewhere I took this trait on at an early age. In the past ten years, I have learned how to let this addition go with a lot of meditation and saying no for the good of my health and wellbeing.
I am seven years old in my paternal grandparents’ farmhouse. The kitchen is a wide open concept before it was the ‘in-thing’ on HGTV. When you walk through the front door to your right is the bathroom with a bathtub, no shower, and the washing machine I helped roll out into the kitchen to be plugged in. My grandmother would start laundry along with setting up a pie marathon baking session. She loved to bake or, what seemed like, she enjoyed making pies. I adored watching her roll out the homemade pie crusts on the wide counter tops that overlooked a large window, a view of their small personal garden where my grandfather once killed a large black snake. He used a shovel because the skin was thick, it was a snake that ate his chicken eggs. He said it was part of farming to kill what may harm the farm. The chickens were in a contained building so foxes couldn’t get at them, but a snake could slither its way into almost anything.
My grandmother, however, killed it in the kitchen, in a good way. That is where she pleased everyone. Her cooking was amazing, I thought so because it was something different from my mother’s cooking and what did I know, I was seven. My world was about Kraft dinner most nights because I didn’t know better. When my family went to my grandparents’ for the major holidays, my grandmother would start cooking at the crack of dawn. There was always a turkey or two in the oven. They. They cooked a ham the night before to be reheated. Dozens of large pots filled with salty water for potatoes and boiled veggies smothered in butter, salt and pepper. My grandmother didn’t overcomplicate food. She did what she knew. She cooked and tasted her food. If it needed salt, she added it. She didn’t care about anyone’s health. Salt and butter made everything taste good. I follow her instructions to this very day and I didn’t need the Food network to tell me that.
My grandmother was inclined to have more food on the table than needed. She didn’t want anyone to go hungry, and probably not to hear her husband, my eccentric grandfather, mumble. You should have made more carrots. If there weren’t leftovers, then there wasn’t enough food served. That’s the mentality of my grandfather. He was a son-of-a-bitch but so talented and I also take after him. He was a farmer and carpenter and how he weaved wood into bed frames, lamps, tables, and pretty much anything he set his mind to was on another creative level. The man was serious about his work. He didn’t give away his creations to anyone, well, except for one telephone table he gave me when I was in my early teens. He liked me and my independent personality. I am creative and can be a bit of a handful full and I’m okay with that. That telephone table in our farmhouse showcases family pictures and an ivy plant.
My grandmother was addicted to holding onto everything. They both were. If the TV show Hoarders was on in the late 1980s, it would have been a great story. I would go into the attic and find hundreds of vintage books in mint condition and some not in great shape, but my grandparents held onto everything. They lived through the depression; they felt they needed to make sure they had whatever it was if another depression hit.
I love my grandparents. I love my grandmother for showing me her addiction to love, love of family, and love to make people feel at home. She. She loved being around people and loved taking care of people. Being of service was something she loved. It all comes down to knowing what your purpose may be, and she may have found it through serving us, her family, and friends. And that knowing is special.
Thank you for taking the time to read my work today. It means a lot to me. If you have any feedback or want to say hi, I would love to hear from you.
To maintain and improve my writing craft skills, I gave myself a wonderful writer’s gift. I subscribed to a monthly writing package, called, Hello Writer! from the Firefly Creative Writing community. This beautiful package of inspiration is a monthly subscription program for people who are craving encouragement, structure, and community to give their writing fuel.
I have been manifesting a similar writing mentor program, like the Firefly community, bringing people together to write. My vision was to host writers at a remote destination to remove distractions and to work on their writing. I did host a few writing retreats while living on Vancouver Island, and my intention when we moved to our farm in New Brunswick was to start seasonal writing retreats, starting off with one-day retreats, eventually moving into a weekend retreat to celebrate the season and write. All I can say is, COVID, and then post Covid life. I know this is no excuse. Millions of people were getting together over Zoom and writing retreats were no different. Remember that funk I talked about in my last blog? That was part of living in limbo. Again, no excuse.
The Hello Writer package comes every month. It has 5 items inside the beautifully decorated envelope.
1. A letter from the creator of Firefly Creative Writing, Christine – she shares what is happening in her world and what she is working on.
2. A 2 x 2 card stock with ‘writer’s self-care homework’ on the front and on the back is a suggestion about self-care.
3. A cue card envelope with the theme: appetizer for a short writing project to whet your appetite.
4. Another cue card envelope with the theme: main course, a longer writing project to feed your hungers.
This package is everything I need to get myself to the desk and start writing. I just opened January’s envelope and opened the appetizer right away, and the prompt title is: There’s No Such Thing As A Junk Drawer. Catchy, right? Immediately I think about the drawer of the kitchen cart, which I tend to open slowly to find the dry-erase pen to create our weekly menu.
The prompt asks to go to a junk drawer and open it. Make a list of what’s in there. Pay attention to what gets your brain sparking. Where did these things come from? Who was the last person to touch them?
Then I am asked to write a poem or short memory using what I find. Bonus points if you write from the perspective of the object. If you like, start with the line, “I’m glad you found me…”
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I bet you are mentally thinking about one of your junk drawers right now.
So, I went to the kitchen cart drawer and opened it. I am in it every day for the random pen that we share in the kitchen area, even though I have pens everywhere in the house. I chose to go into the drawer. It’s part of many of my daily routines.
I’m so glad you found me. I’ve been in here for a long time, or what feels like a long time. You needed me to put together the Swedish bedframe when you first moved here, and then you haven’t needed me since. Someone else was looking for me but used the other contraption that would help them tighten up that loose screw. I don’t have that ability. I can only fit into one size. I don’t have the luxury of changing my sizes to the different screws I hear about. I heard drywall screws once when your in-laws were helping to build walls in the house’s basement. Then that time when I overheard someone ran out of sheet metal screws and someone drove to the hardware store to get more. I laid in the drawer listening to the stories you told while making your home, your home, putting your touches in places that you both liked. I came with the new bedframe from the big furniture company that everyone seems to love. The bed frame was easy enough, but when you had to screw the wheels of the drawer, you cursed me, saying I didn’t fit and that hurt. They did not make me universal, it’s a ploy for the company. You have to use certain pieces of equipment to put together the relatively cheap but durable home décor items. Now you need me to tighten up one of the screws of the small table from the same company years ago. I guess I am universal, after all.
Can you guess what I found? This was fun. There were so many items in the kitchen cart and the funny thing, I didn’t move a thing. Everything is still in its place because there will be a time when I need that piece of string or lonely button and I will know exactly where to find it when I need them.
I am grateful for stumbling across the Firefly Creative Writing company and giving myself the gift of inspiration. I am feeding the writing fuel.
What about you? Did you go to that random junk drawer? I would love to hear what you found.
I’m in a funk. I think I’ve been in the same funk since the pandemic started. I think we all share the same funky feeling of being in limbo, waiting for some kind of sign of when the pandemic will be lifted and enter the endemic stage. Maybe it’s happened and I’m late for the party. Not unusual for me, as an only introverted child I am content with my own company and when someone invites me out, I shy away because I don’t know how to have a conversation beyond what I write about and my hospitality life.
I am a writer who has been in the hospitality business for over twenty-five years. Hospitality provides me with exactly what I needed to maintain this amazing, creative life. Thank you, universe. You will see I am grateful to the universe daily. I am grateful for everything in my life, all of it, the good, the not-so-good, and what is to come. I don’t dream about the future but I manifest what I would like my life to look like and so far, so great. I am currently sitting in my writing room of a farmhouse on a five-acre property where I once said I would live because being sustainable is important to me and my husband. We are not married, but what do you call your other half of twenty years? Boyfriend or partner are not the right words. We are beyond that. We are in it to win it.
That look is me in the zone of writing a letter to someone
So, this funk I’m in. Maybe I know I am not where I am supposed to be, and that is not making me happy. I know I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember. My mother tells me I’ve always had a pencil or pen in my hand and nothing else would make me stop fussing, but a pen and a piece of paper would shut me up and put me in the zone, the creative zone where I felt and feel the most grounded to my true self. Telling stories has been my gift from the universe and lately, I haven’t been playing my part. This is why I feel like I’m in limbo, floating around waiting for the perfect to write. There is no such thing. I have written many blogs about how there is no right time to write. Now I’m stuck in this thought process of “thinking” I need the right time to sit down and write that story that has been lingering around for weeks wanting to be written. I tell myself, Phooey! You know better, just go write. So here I am writing and you know what? I feel 100% better. I’m motivated to work on the new story idea that was provided to me by creativity. I also believe that creativity picks us to work with. That’s a cool idea. Elizabeth Gilbert, wrote about this concept in her creative book, BIG MAGIC, and Julia Cameron touches on the same concept in THE ARTISTS WAY. Two great books on how to get out of your funk and get back on the page. Maybe I need to reread these two books again. Maybe I needed to sit down and start writing this post for this revelation. Pick up the books that got me jazzed about my creative life. Okay, universe, I get it. See how that all works? Everything happens for a reason. I had to sit down and start writing to realize what is needed to get me out of this funk.
Sometimes we make a change for the greater good, sometimes we make a change for health reasons, morals, or ethics. When my husband and I made the change from being full-time meat eaters to 90% plant-based, it was a change for our health, morals and for a healthier planet.
I was introduced to vegetarianism in my early twenties. I met a friend in one of my University English classes and through conversations; I learned she was a vegetarian. I didn’t think anything of it until we went out for dinners or the time, we had Thanksgiving dinner at her house and she made a Tofuturkey. I remember our friends making a fuss over her choices and she didn’t care. She didn’t want to eat meat; she didn’t want to know she was part of the problem and wanted to be part of the solution. I didn’t know what that meant at the time and honestly, I wasn’t in the right place in my life to want to learn about being a vegetarian. I respected her choices, and when she took me to an all-vegetarian restaurant; I embraced it and loved the roasted vegetable casserole offered.
In 1994, I had a summer job at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta. I started as a dining room busser, then became a server quickly based on my customer service experience. My first food and beverage job was at McDonald’s, if you have time to lean you have time to clean motto was imprinted within me. If I knew what I know now about McDonald’s, I may not be where I am today. McDonald’s has a good training program. I learned more about conflict resolution and food waste at the age of sixteen that I didn’t put into perspective until later on in life.
As a server in the main dining room of the prestige mountain resort, I witnessed more food waste than I ever had. I served tour guests their four course set menu and was appalled at the size of the prime rib steak, oversized stuffed potato, and a pile of sautéed veggies on the plate. When I cleared the plates many of the people took a bite of the steak and some veggies and tried the potato. It was heartbreaking to through that food out, but then I learned the food waste was going to a pig farmer so it wasn’t being totally wasted, we were just feeding beef to pigs that one day would be slaughtered for their bacon and pork chops. That’s the kind of image that confirms my reasoning for not eating meat.
In 2009, I was a resort manager of a beautiful boutique 30-room resort focusing on meditation and health, and well-being; we had raw food chef classes, green smoothie retreats, Eckhart Tolle, focused retreats and everything was around the menus provided by the organizers. Everyone wanted a vegetarian-based meal, and one organizer shared, meat can have the trapped stress of an animal when it was killed. Animals have feelings and memories, the last thing they felt was when heading to the slaughterhouse. Another image of why I can’t even look at the meat aisle in a grocery store.
My husband and I watched several documentaries, Food, INC. GMO OMG, Food Matters, Vegucated, King Corn, and that’s to name a few. We were left with big questions about where our food was coming from. I didn’t know if the bag of lettuce I bought at the grocery store was from another country and how many pesticides we were ingesting to keep that lettuce looking fresh during the journey from one country to our grocery store. We were diving down the rabbit hole of ethics and environmental concerns.
It has been over five years since my husband and I decided to go with a majority plant base/vegetarian diet and the change in our lifestyle is significant. I believe everything happens for a reason.
Once we started to learn more about what plants and vegetables provided the best nutrition and different ways to cook and then I stumbled upon a few plant-based websites offering hundreds of recipes. This was when I fell in love with cooking. It was like writing. Being in the zone of creativity and feeling grounded and energized. When I cook, I feel connected to the food I am cooking.
It wasn’t overnight that we became plant base, but it didn’t take us long to incorporate more vegetation meals into our week. We started with
Meatless Mondays: a movement that encourages people to reduce their meat consumption for their personal health and the health of our planet. Starting each week with practicing Meatless Monday, the founders of Meatless Monday’s claim that it will lead to people eating more plant-based throughout their week.
At the beginning of our vegetarian journey, we continued to eat fish and cheese, and my husband would eat eggs, I haven’t had an egg since I was sixteen, and the image of a dead chick in an undeveloped egg stopped me from cracking another egg.
We created a weekly menu and I would make sure I had all the ingredients for each recipe, and menu planning makes my life easier and more organized.
If you are thinking about taking the steps of cutting out meat in your diet that is a choice you have to make and commit to it. Meatless Monday’s is an easy step, and it doesn’t have to be drastic. I am always up for a good mac and cheese on a Monday.
Honestly, it is not hard to become a vegetarian. There are thousands of recipes online. I have a collection of 50 go-to recipes that I have found over the years. When we are invited to friends for dinner, they ask about our dietary restrictions/allergies. We share we are vegetarian and I’m allergic to peanuts. It’s never an issue and if friends are having a pig roast-themed dinner, we bring a vegetarian option. It’s about planning and being committed to your health and well-being.
If you are going to continue to eat meat, try to eat organic or local meats, smaller farms treat their animals more ethically, so that’s a win. The more you know about the food systems, the better-educated choices you are able to make.
One website we have started to follow is waterbear – there is a great documentary, Milked–you may think twice about drinking commercial milk, it’s a good introduction to the food system.
Becoming vegetarian or fully vegan is a personal choice. We have made the change to cut out meats and can confidently say we are more flexitarian, meaning we are centered on a plant-based diet with the inclusion of meat (in our case, fish) once in a while. Everyone has their reasons to change and I am not here to change your mind, but I am trying to provide you with different ways of thinking about your food. Hopefully, together we can help our planet heal.
Thank you for stopping by today – I appreciate your time.
This has been my personal mantra or brand for years. When my husband and I stopped eating meat, we dived into plant-based meals. Then we said we were more vegetarian than plant-based because when the recipe for lasagna called for vegan cheese, we continued using regular mozzarella cheese. We like cheese. Well, maybe it’s more like love and it’s hard to break up with cheese. We have tried different brands of vegan cheeses and haven’t found the one that will help us kick the real deal. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way. Feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
I will share all the recipe links at the end of the blog.
My top three favourite vegan/vegetarian recipes:
1. Vegan Seitan Steaks. This one is fully vegan. Have you tried vegan steaks? It took a few different recipes to find the right consistency and flavours. I have two go-to recipes and we have tweaked it to our preferences. The recipes come from Sam Turnbull, Sam Turnbull, a vegan and food blogger from Toronto, ON, I found her website, Itdoesnttastelikechicken.com when I was researching plant-based dinners when Adam and I started our plant-based journey. I have tried many of her recipes and they are user-friendly and delicious. The second recipe comes from Ian and Henry from BOSHTV, they are committed to eating only plants and sharing great recipes to help the world eat more plants. I love that!
Both recipes are in the links to their websites. Both recipes are similar, both use lentils as the protein and similar ingredients. Sam uses liquid smoke and BOSHTV uses smoked salt. I use a little extra liquid smoke and added smoked paprika because we like the flavour and smokiness of the steak. I also use BOSHTV’s Cafe De Paris Secret Sauce from time to time. Believe me, it’s all good.
2. KOREAN FRIED TOFU. If you think you don’t like Tofu, this is a great recipe to change your tofu fears. This recipe comes from Maya Leinenbach, a 17-year-old vegan, and food blogger. She has so much passion for cooking and sharing easy vegan recipes full of flavour and nutrition. She doesn’t have a website; she uses Instagram and YouTube. I copied the recipe from Instagram (It’s one of my top saved posts)
Perfect to serve with rice and steamed veggies!
RECIPE (2 servings each 360cal/28P/18C/21F): Tofu: -2 blocks(400g) firm tofu -2 Tbsp corn starch -a pinch of salt and pepper Coating: -3 Tbsp ketchup -2 Tbsp sriracha or gochujang (use less if you don’t like it spicy) -2 Tsp sweetener of your choice -1 Tbsp soy sauce -1 Tbsp sesame oil -2 Tbsp water -2 cloves garlic -1/2 Tbsp chili flakes COAT the tofu in the corn starch, salt and pepper at 175Celsius/350 Fahrenheit for 25-30min/MIX UP the sauce and toss the tofu in it.
3. Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas. I have shared this recipe before. It is our go-to recipe any time of the year. This recipe comes from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon. Angela is fully plant-based and as I have shared, when a recipe has a cashew cheese, we will use regular mozzarella or other cheeses. Angela uses a cilantro-lime-garlic-cream for the topping. I use all the ingredients except the cashews. It still turns out creamy and delicious.
My relationship with food has been a journey. As a young girl living part-time on our family farm, where my grandfather raised chickens for the family meals was normal. But I preferred spending time in the gardens, pulling carrots from the earth, and shucking peas on the porch steps with my grandmother. I ate meat because it was what they provided. As I got older and witnessed more than enough food waste and watched documentaries about food security, I realized I preferred roasted veggies over a beefsteak.
Now we have our own farm. We grow microgreens, leafy greens, and root vegetables. I pick up bags of dried beans to have on hand to add to recipes and experiment with our own recipes. It’s our way of life. We want to know where our food is coming from and knowing the spinach on my plate came from my greenhouse is one step closer to local food security.
I hope you can try these recipes. Please let me know if you have, and how you found them. I love hearing from you.
I have a cold. My husband got the cold first, which is unusual. I catch a cold and either days or a week later; he is sniffling and feeling ill. This role reversal surprised me and hoping I could bypass the whole winter cold. I have the sniffles throughout the year because of allergies, but when I felt that wall of tiredness hit me while driving home on Thursday, I knew it was my time.
I would say stay under the covers and sleep away the cold if possible, but if you are a part-time writer trying to break through to being a full-time writer and have goals to finish that book no matter the way, then write on. Just make sure you are away. You need to maintain the quality of the material you have set for yourself and the readers.
How to keep writing when you’re sick:
· Write in bed: maybe your dedicated writing office is closed for a few days and working from bed is a better option. You can stay under the covers while writing and taking a nap between quality writing isn’t a bad thing.
· Keep everything close: I currently have a box of Kleenex, a cup of tea, a bottle of water, my phone, and the laptop charger on the nightstand. It’s all at arm’s length, so I don’t have to get up and break the writing session. I know if I need to get up to eat that the walk to the kitchen will be a welcomed break.
· Take your time: When I am feeling good, I can sit at my writing desk for up to four hours uninterrupted. My brain is moving slower when I am not feeling 100%. Today I am setting myself for sprint sessions. 30 to 40 minutes at a time. My goal is to finish this blog then, move on o editing my work in progress, my second memoir about working for luxury hotels in the Canadian Rockies. Just thinking about it gives me a burst of energy, so I know the creative self is telling the cold to give me some time to write. This is what I believe. I believe creativity has chosen me to work through, and when creativity is ready to work, it will help me write. At this moment, my body is feeling tired and achy because of the winter cold, but creativity is ready to play and so I am.
Do you have any other suggestions to help keep writing when feeling under the weather? I love to hear from you. When we share, we all grow and learn a little more.