Vegan meringues

Father’s Day 2015.

A brief moment in conversation has the Sis-in-law erupting into a raving review of chickpea whipped cream.

Seriously raving. lunatic even…sorry JKL, I think your eyes were glowing slightly…

But today, I am making a slow cooker casserole and using a can of mixed beans – see photos – and decided to give it a try.

The first place I checked out was via Pinterest and as a starting point.

Again a bit of raving there too… but ya know…foodies… :-)

She had made a reference to people baking the mixture into meringues, so I thought, “Hey, that sounds good.”…hmm…talking to myself…yeah…

I had to check on baking time and temperature, so I checked out  as it seemed like a good way of maintaining continuity.  

And yes, lovely vegan meringues pictured there are super inspiring.  I don’t have silpat mats for my cookie sheets and I cannot be bothered to set up the piping bag and decorative tubes I do have, so spooning it onto paper bag cookies sheet liners works for me.

So… the concept:

Drain the liquid from your can of beans into your mixing bowl and start mixing on high and whip/ beat until you get stiff peaks like you would with egg whites.

This stiffness comes after about 10 minutes.

Add sweetener to taste. I started with about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and added another tablespoon of honey for the white ones. 

I then added 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 1/2 tsp vanilla for the brown ones.  They are still baking, I am afraid to look – but I will and will add that photo later.

At this point, you can stop and just use this whipped frothy wackiness as a topping for whatever you want.  Strawberries, cake, your spoon, your fave person – whatever…

Or you can dollop them out and bake them to make crunchy little bits of yum.

Yeah… the insanity is pervasive.

Freakin’ canned chick pea juice has a use! 

UPDATE: don’t try baking the mixture once you add cocoa. It totally lost it’s shape and was not salvageable. So just use it as whipped topping if you add flavourings. No pics – too horrible for you to witness…

Summer so far…

… has been BUSY!

First – super belated thanks to everyone who participated in the June 9th #OCCP35.  We had a blast as always and I appreciate you all.

I received some lovely personal notes afterwards that reminded me of why I spend the hours and days preparing a safe place for our community to show off what they have learned, and I continue to be amazed at the phenomenal artistic adventures we are taken on by all of the teachers at every OCCP.

Housekeeping notes: there were some lost items that will have photos posted soon on both the flick group and the Facebook page – Cat/Suhani as well as Mia have these items.. If you lost something that evening, drop me a line and I’ll connect you with the ladies.

Also unclaimed door prizes:

If you had the ticket number listed, You have a prize awaiting you!
#132 – EcoTav Haversack
#219 – Duniya Studio Free Drop in
#100 50% off Duniya Studio Registration

If you have your ticket still, message me to claim your prize! Or if you tell me you had that number….

and the links:

Facebook – where you can find RSVPhotography photos < scroll through the comments>:

Flickrgroup: Remember to use any of these photos you should be asking permission of the photographer first and giving credit to them.

Ok. that’s what I got for ya re the OCCP.

Next day, I was back at Luxe working on wedding gowns and then rushing home to work on prom dresses for my TAV clients.  so life has not really stopped.

IMG_8277I’ve also been having fun with Bollywood For Fun – and even today we will be out at Community Cup – hoping the rain takes a break for a while this afternoon!

We did manage a weekend with our families on Father’s Day weekend – with a lot of driving and some lovely socializing, it was very nice to shift focus away from work for a couple of days.

and every morning that I have time, I try to get in a walk so that I can see sights like this:


and otherwise I’m seeing this:


What? You are gone all day and now you come home expecting me to cuddle?

So, I will be continuing to dance and sew and look forward to when this will be my view – hope you are having a great summer so far as well!

Scene from Pog lake

The view from the Hammock at Pog Lake

Getting into the greenery…only a little tho


So I don’t know much about plants. I grew up in a house where eventually we lost the use of the dining room because of the amount of house plants mom had.
My dad had a garden and compost bin out back as well, growing lots of stuff but Swiss chard was the notable plant- he loved it.

So here I am, in my middling years, with enough knowledge to have kept a spider plant alive for a decade or do and a few other indoorsy plants ish.

Bring on the new abode… and the shifting of the universe that emptied out 3 out of 6 units, including the folks who sort of took care of the common areas.

I had already been shovelling the front walk all winter as the “superintendent” never seemed to arise before noon and certainly never picked up the shovel even to do a second round during the day.

We also had brought our own mower from the old place as we did take care of the common areas there.

So here we are again. We’ve taken on the care of the common areas and I’m feeling like progress can happen.

This time, the front already had established flowery beds and the back yard had some basic work done by the previous tenants ( I think I have Kitty to thank for that).

My caveats: I know nothin about plants, except :

  • perennials mean plant once and if they live, you are all set.
  • ….uh, yeah. That’s all I know. Well, and water them if the rain is not doing it’s job.

Today I was able to get the 2nd gift of greenery donated to my cause of maintaining my sanity as well as creating a nice space.
Gailene got me started a couple of weeks ago- those pics are somewhere and the plants seem to be still alive!
Thanks muchly to everyone who has offered and to Gailene and Andrea who have been able to provide the experimental flora for me to explore this ancient art.

Now I have to go clean my nails!

Sweet soya beans- cooking again!

Sweet Soya Beans baking




Today takes me to our monthly gathering of crafty ladies- and sometimes non crafty but simply socializing ladies…and sometimes “lady” is more ironic than accurate for this group…I digress.

soya beans. I have a small amount raining of dried soya beans from a bulk purchase a few years ago- and yes- dried beans are great.

I soaked and cooked up a small batch last week and decided today they would be my contribution to our potluck.

The recipe:

1 cup dry soya beans, soak them and cook them- I used my slow cooker overnight.

1/3 cup molasses

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamom

1/4 tsp coriander ( I ran out- add more if you like)

Melt/mix this in a skillet and add the drained beans.

Chop a small apple and toss it in.

Cook over medium heat and stir until the apple melts into the sauce.


Jarred beans ready to go

When conforming to a dress code is the polite thing to do….



The last time I was “encouraged” to opt into a dress code, it was for a Charity Ping Pong tournament where they asked us to wear “tennis whites”. So I wore this:IMG_1186

Surprisingly, I did not win the costume contest, but since I lost to a couple dressed as Cleopatra and Ceasar who had a lot more skin showing than me, it was ok. And yes, I played Pingpong in this outfit and won almost every game, until I got tired of playing and switched to my left hand for the final game and lost by one point.


And today, I’ll be attending a friend’s baby shower and the dress code is once again white. Now, white is lovely. I design, make and alter wedding dresses. So yeah, I know white.

But I am messy, I have a dog, and I know I get white clothing dirty very quickly, so I don’t invest in it.

But what I did invest in last year was a pile of men’s XXL white t-shirts for a summer sewing course I taught to young girls and I had some left over.  SO this  morning, I made this.

IMG_7750They have also suggested that we accessorize with turquoise, purple and brown.  I’ll pull out some purple sneakers, and a turquoise necklace, and hope that I don’t spill anything chocolate on my dress.

Have an awesome day!

Join me for a 6 week exploration of the spiritual side of bellydance

UPDATE: Sadly, due to low enrolment, these classes will not be running this April.  I may try to offer a summer 1-day workshop, so keep an eye out!


My Awaken your inner Goddess classes are set to being on April 23rd  and running for 6 weeks.

In these classes, I will be venturing away from technique and into the ethereal – playtime- guided movement mediations, relaxation and still exploring how to connect with your body through gentle dance moves.

If you are interested in taking your own personal journey into dance, come play with us!

Here’s my article from last year’s Tone Magazine:

Awaken Your Inner Goddess through Dance

Accurate dance moves matter, the physical form is important, and finding those perfect combinations of dance elements to make a beautiful performance are always extremely relevant to the growth of any dancer.

But what fuels that fire? What drives us, as dancers, to perfect those movements? What helps push us to dance even when we could easily be distracted by 100 other important day-to-day things?

Dancing has been part of human celebration for a very long time. It’s been part of our worship, part of our joy, a way to express our feelings and stories without words, and it’s universal appeal helps bring us together.

The dancer who performs for an audience has a big role in society, whether society realizes it or not.  She {or he} is a bridge connecting the etherial realm to the physical, connecting with powerful energy, transforming it into a physical representation.  Her movements can express the deepest of emotions with a single gesture, a pause, an extension, while allowing those witnessing this journey to travel with her.

The dancer who dances for herself also has a big role in society.  She is journeying to a place where she can explore all of those extremes of emotion we are asked to suppress in our daily lives and interactions.  Through dance, she can release the built up excesses, shaking it all off, being in that moment and then letting it go, come back to her daily life with a renewed sense of self.

Embracing that power and seeing the moments of connecting with something deep inside, that’s fundamental to taking dance to a deeper, stronger level.

To what do we need to be open, so that our dance touches ourselves and others from more than just a technical perspective?

Once upon a time, gods and goddesses personified our passions in a way external to our daily lives, so that we could get on with taking care of our basic needs.  These deities took care of the etherial for us, and were worshipped for it. Each had his or her own realm of responsibility, be it the  creative, hands-on arts, the harvest, the dark places, birth, death, war, tranquility, pretty much everything.

For many people, this still applies today.  And the elements these deities personify are reflections of what can find within ourselves in a sense of divine connection.

And touching that, through dance, to benefit ourselves and our dance, exploring the light and dark, the fear and the joy, what possibilities can emerge from this? There no limit!

Do you have to believe in goddesses to dance?
No, you do need to believe in you, or be willing to start.

Tracey “Halyma” Vibert will explore this with dancers of all levels – beginners through pros. By looking at the many archetypes of female aspects personified in various goddesses worshipped around the world in the 6 week course, Halyma will be helping others bring their joy, their power, fear, anger, sensuality, creativity, all of it, into their dance.

With over the 16 years teaching belly dance, through weekly classes, private classes at women’s events, demos and lessons at cultural events as well as having co-facilitated a “movement mediation” workshop called Dancing With The Elements, Halyma has always been blessed by the participants as much as she hopes to have gifted them. You can find her classes and more online at and

Spring classes starting/ started/ getting rolling!

Yes. teaching is part of my world in a big way.

And I love the class time. I hate the promo time.,, well hate is a strong word. I am happy to tell people my classes exist, but it’s always a roller coaster ride the weeks leading up to a new session when I await the results of enrolment!

But here’s the info – and if it suits your life to join in the fun, I look forward to playing with you this spring!

Halyma’s Belly dance and Bellywood classes

Spring 2015 Class schedule

Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill Community Centre. 250 Somerset East
Register online at or call 613-564-1062

April 1 to June 3, 2015 – 10 weeks $65 per course

Belly Dancing Level 1 
6-7 p.m. – Bar code: 954624

Belly Dancing Level 2/3
7–8 pm -Bar code: 954643

Tuesday Advanced Private group classes with Halyma

Tuesdays at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues

April 14 to June 2, 2015 [ 8 Weeks]

$80 plus HST for 1 hour/ week

$140 plus HST for 2 hours/week

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Advanced  Belly Dance – see below

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Adventures in Bellywood- see below

Previous dance experience expected.

Email to register.

Advanced Belly dance

These classes will be designed to work with dancers who have experience, and will be open to being pushed to help generate their own class content, explore their own strengths and creativity. Things will get crazy and fun.

Note:Less experienced students will be fine if they already have a good basic technique.

One guideline would be Halyma’s Lessons on DVD to understand the minimum expectations for the Creative Intermediate Bellydance class. They are available online and will be available in person the first night for registered students at a discounted rate.

Adventures in Bellywood 

Bollywood and Bellydance come together with fun and funky moves. While lower impact than a full on Bollywood class, don’t let that fool you. Your brain and body will learn to work together to create beautiful patterns and shapes in dance. We’ll explore a variety of dance moves from both schools, and put them together to both classic Bollywood movie music as well as modern fusion music. Some dance experience is good so that you have some body awareness.

” I heard a rumour that you teach sewing too…” Yes, details for those classes are here.

Spring 2015 classes – please note: the timing will be from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. 

Register by calling 613-244-4470 to get the barcode or online at in the Spring courses information.Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street, Ottawa, ON

Sewing Level 1 and 2 – $50
May 2-May 9
Sewing Level 3 – $50
May 23-May 30