Time for dessert…


I’m not a vegetarian! I’m a dessertarian!

Calvin and Hobbes

Over the last few months I’ve gotten away from indoor photography since the weather has been so ideal for outdoor shooting.

And as we’ve travelled to a few new places like West Virginia and the Northwest Territories, I’ve found myself focusing more on landscapes and nature and even a bit of wildlife.

But now as November rolls in and the view outside becomes a bit more desolate in this part of the world, my mind turns more toward food, and so does my lens.

My favourite things to prepare are vegetables and desserts. I mostly leave fish and meat to others…

Sometimes I even try try to find desserts with healthy ingredients (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek). This tart has heart-healthy walnuts and high-fibre raspberries, along with the other bad stuff like sugar.

And if not low calorie, this tart is delicious, festive looking, and very easy to make. All in all a great combo for this time of year. The crust is a shortbread-cookie type crust so it’s quite foolproof and simple to throw together.

The walnuts are layered on the shortbread cookie crust first and then the frozen raspberries. Then the egg mixture is poured over the top, which gives it a pecan pie-ish look.

If you’d like to try it, you can find the recipe here.


To balance things out, here is a bonus recipe — for healthy salmon. It’s called horseradish grill-roasted salmon, and can be done on the BBQ, although we used the oven.

We were introduced to this recipe by my sister and brother-in-law and they learned of it from their chef friends Anna and Michael Olson, who have some gorgeous cookbooks out. It tickled our taste buds and left us feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed. (And quite happy to be getting our Omega 3s!) This is a great dish for company and the guests we served it to the other night were hugely enthusiastic.

The topping — we used panko — has flavour and crunch and keeps the salmon underneath very moist. It can be prepared very quickly and takes only about 10 to 15 minutes in the oven. If you don’t like horseradish you can scale it back or omit it completely.

Here’s the fish chef in our household just before taking the meal to table. You can find the salmon recipe here. I also made four veggie dishes to accompany the salmon (beet and apple slaw, butternut squash soufflé, smashed roasted baby potatoes and green beans with garlic and ginger), which were all tasty and colourful, but I was too busy coordinating them all to take pics. Another time…

What are you cooking these days?

bob and salmonsq


The only time…

touch down contest

Remember then: there is only one time that is important— Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.

Leo Tolstoy

Your simple act…


In someone’s darkest hour your simple act of kindness may imitate the sunrise, and to sad eyes you become their only source of light.

Richelle Goodrich

Fall in love with the earth…

wake up and fall

We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth.

Thich Nhat Hanh

We act like we have all the time in the world. But climate change is already showing its deadly effects. And it will only get worse.

Have a look at some of what we have done to the world so far.

“Without collective awakening the catastrophe will come,” warns Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize winner Thich Nhat Hanh. “Civilisations have been destroyed many times and this civilisation is no different. It can be destroyed.”

But he is hopeful. “If we can produce a collective awakening we can solve the problem of global warming. Together we have to provoke that type of awakening.”

With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris meeting coming up (COP21), it’s  time to wake up, to fall in love with the earth and commit to doing everything we can to turn things around. We will have to make sacrifices — yes — and we need to make a leap.

Small steps will no longer get us to where we need to go. So we need to leap.

I, for one, have signed the Leap Manifesto. This is a vision for how Canada can tackle climate change in a way that changes our country for the better.

The Leap Manifesto is a non-partisan social and political initiative. Those who have signed include supporters of all parties, and some who support none. All share the belief that now is the moment for a transformative agenda to come from outside electoral politics. History tells us that this kind of outside pressure is the best gift any new government can receive.

Will you join us? Make your support your gift to your children, grandchildren and all future generations.


The two best prayers…



Here are the two best prayers I know: “Help me help me, help me,” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Anne Lamott


Sign up to my Facebook page to receive regular “sparks of grace.”


Sharing food…

bread ovenlr2

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be engaged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher


Available for licensing on Getty Images

You can read about Backhouse, the wonderful restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where this image was taken, here — and about how my talented brother-in-law made the tables.

The essence of Thanksgiving…


Gratitude is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.

Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is privilege, that we are part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.

To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.

Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege.

Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.

David Whyte, 2013



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