Improv dancing with some lovely ladies!

So first – here’s the video – in case you don’t feel like reading my rambling thoughts!

Thanks to Sarah Leigh Anne and Yvonne for being willing to suddenly, unexpectedly, and totally spontaneously joining me on the stage!

Now the rambling…

As I get older – and maybe wiser, but I don’t want that kind of pressure, I am embracing those moments when my life is a full on spiral. Finding myself coming back to revisit experiences from my youth, but with new perspective and some joyful abandon, it’s very freeing, and enlightening.

People who have had actual children, please do not be offended by the following – it’s an analogy, a metaphor, a perspective…

I realized today that I have been having the wonderful experiences of my kids growing up, moving out, finding new relationships and moving on.  Without the loss, without the empty-nest feelings, without rancorous feelings about whoever they are choosing to hang out with/ get involved with/ move in with… it’s fine.  It’s great in fact!

Years back, I retired from hosting the Dancers’ Bazaar, and it went off into a polyamorous relationship with two lovely organizers, tried being monogamous with one of them and has moved on to another poly situation. It’s awesome.

Last December, I hosted my last Big End of Season Student party. I had already kicked that kid out in the spring  of 2016 and it also immediately sought out a couple of lovely young ladies with which to spend it’s time.  It had to come home for the holidays, though, and I announced that night that I was done – fly, be free, leave the nest!  And it has gone one to party with a new tribe  < see what I did there?>, but with many or it’s usual friends still coming out to play.

And it’s also awesome.

So, back to the point of the video and my spiralling back upon things I did in my “youth”. While I still get to engage audience members when we perform with Bollywood For Fun and have an interactive finale, I had stopped doing that spontaneous, “I want to get others up with me”, stuff years ago as I was trying to be a better technical dancers, challenge myself with new costumes, props, artistic approaches.

So, this past week, I went back. Did I know my music – yeah…sort of… I had listened to it a couple of times when I took it from my students’ potential songs, Thanks Veronique!. And I listened to it maybe 2-3 times on Wednesday before performing. Yeah, I’m busy, I’ve done a lot with pushing myself over the years, but I always had the most fun when I could just dance.

No pressure, no choreography, no stress – yeah – I don’t get nervous if I am improvising. I get nervous if I am doing a routine with other dancers where it will show when my brain leaves the stage.

Anyway.

That’s the rambling.

Super awesome time with SLA and Y – you ladies were so gracious to get up and join me! 

 

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Naughty Baking day… yeah, that’s weird…

So, I care a lot about what foods I offer to my friends and family.  And I care what I offer to my husband too.

And so, I send a lot of time researching and trying out/ creating/ experimenting with a variety of recipes that are:

  • Nut free
  • Dairy free
  • Sugar free
  • Gluten free
  • Egg free
  • general vegan

 

And then sometimes I just need to pull out my old cookbook from before I met all of these amazing people who have food restrictions and bake.

I won’t bother with posting recipes because you can just do a search on standard recipes from Betty Crocker, Joy of Cooking, or one of those women’s Community group cook books that are full of crazy classic recipes!

Today I used BUTTER! EGGS!  WHITE FLOUR! PEANUT BUTTER! BROWN SUGAR! ICING SUGAR! GROUND ALMONDS!!

And as soon as I’m done putting everything away, I’ll be doing a full cleaning of all surfaces and tools and utensils to make sure they are all cleaned up before I start my batches of Conscientious Baking for our annual gathering this coming weekend.

I’ll still label things as I cannot limit everything, but I can make things clear and safe!

Peanut butter cookies

Peanut butter cookies

 

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Shortbread crescents

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Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

 

Cabbage roll casserole…rolls right off the tongue!

Party-time!

”Tis the season for potlucks and I’m trying to find simple and healthy ideas and this one is a variation on one of my go-to slow cooker recipes.

Cabbage “roll” casserole

In the bottom of a slow cooker, layer:

¾ cup quinoa

¾ cup dry lentils ( rinsed-I used red)

1.5 bags of pre-grated coleslaw mix or about 4 cups

1 large can stewed tomatoes

In a fry pan, sauté

one chopped onion and

4-5 mushrooms in

butter/oil of your choice.

Flavour with oregano and basil -to taste-I used 1 tsp each, dry.

Add that to the slow cooker, mixing with the tomatoes a bit but don’t fuss.

Add enough water to full halfway and turn on low.

Cook for 6 ish hours.

Scoop out and enjoy/ transfer to a serving tray that can be reheated or take your slow cooker to the party!

What? More kitchen time?!?

Heading out tonight for a rum tasting party and wanted to contribute something subtle to counter the amount of rum I’ll be ingesting 🤗

Off I went to the grocery store…

So a bag of chicago mix popcorn will start, but I then found some pumpernickel, yum! But I’m not in the mood for the standard spinach dipping sauce tonight.

Veggie pate experiment time!

IT is chilling now in the fridge, but I think it’s gentle flavour will work tonight!

I divided it into two blocks, so I’ll have more for other gatherings in the near future!

 

 

 

Lentil vegetable spread/pate

1 cup lentils, rinse and sort. Let drain.

Into a sauce pan:

1 onion chopped finely

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

Sauté on medium low heat until onions are translucent. Add lentils and enough water to cover by 2cm or so. Simmer on medium -low heat until lentils are pretty much cooked-about 20 minutes.

Add:

2 carrots grated

½ cup grated cabbage

Continue to cook until everything is tender. Another 10-15 minutes.

Purée. You can use an immersion blender or food processor-it’s hot so be careful!

Add:

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste-any other spices that inspire you!

Pour into a tray/pan lined with wax paper and chill.

And that’s that!

Crazy vegan baking experiments Day 2

yesterday’s marshmallow fluff was intended to be more like fudge. I think I would need to either use more maple syrup or cook it to a higher temp to achieve that – future experimentation !

I had dropped out about 24 blobs of the fluffy onto wax paper hoping it would possibly harder if I put it into the freezer…

 Looks great but is still sticky to touch.

Today, I melted some organic bittersweet chocolate chips in hopes of maybe creating a chocolate – but the fluff is too soft.

So now I have decided to try to create a cookie base to maybe slide the blobs onto and maybe get a bit more chocolate on them, or just enjoy a great tasting but sticky mess!

Chick pea orange spice cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¾ cup chick pea flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger powder

mix dry ingredients then add:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 tablespoons orange juice

Mix and roll into a log about 3 cm in diameter  and chill for at least 15 minutes.

Slice into 24 discs and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

bake 6-8 minutes at 325 degrees F.

 

Let cool on rack and flip over to place the fluffy blobs onto the bottom of each cookie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final look is super cute, but they will stay frozen until I serve them and they will be slightly messy.

So whoever is coming to my place in the next few weeks will get a chance to try these!

 

 

Vegan Dessert time

Why vegan? No reason.

I’m an omnivore with vegetarian tendencies but with many friends who have more limited diets.

So I like to play.

And after I finished up with bridal clients ( days jobs), I was able to have some fun in the kitchen today!

Here are today’s adventures without further ado!

1st-avocado chocolate mousse:

4 ripe avocado-peeled and pitted

¼-½ cup cocoa

¼-⅓ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla

Put it all into a big mixing bowl and puree it until it’s all mixed. Start with the minimum for the cocoa and syrup.

Give it a taste and add more cocoa or maple syrup if you like!

2-Maple Marshmallow Fluff

Chickpea juice from 1 can of precooked chickpeas ( approx 1 cup)

Approx 3/4-1 cup maple syrup

Heat the maple syrup without stirring, in a heavy saucepan (with room for it to bubble up ) until it hits 260degrees on a candy thermometer or forms a soft ball when a tiny bit is dropped in cold water.

While this is reaching its happy place, beat the chick pea juice on high speed into a stiff-peaked meringue.

Continue beating and pour the maple syrup in a slow stream, into the meringue. Continue to beat it until it’s either turned into fudge ( which was the original plan) or becomes and amazing marshmallow fluff!

Part 3- peel clementines, or chop bananas, berries, or any other fruit and have ready to add in!

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Assembly- use 4 awesome bowls/wine glasses/anything that will show the layers!

Option 1- mousse then fluff, add fruit on top.

Option 2-fluff, then mousse the fruit.

Option 3- fluff, mousse, then marble the two; top with fruit.

Pics of that laters!

Capturing moments

ON this morning’s walkabout, I was thinking, as I often do, about how beautiful the trees, the clouds, the sky, etc. can be when we have the time to appreciate it.

And I took some photos on my phone as I often do.

Then I started to think about how photographers, videographers, and anyone who takes the time to document those real moments in their lives, either for they own future appreciation or to share with others, are blessed in our present world.

We can easily capture gorgeous images, momentous images, subtle and delicate images that represent the moment of their taking, our mood at that time and help us hold on to those precious moments for future revisiting.

My mind then wandered to two other shots I shared this week of my 15/16 year old self as a blonde.  and I wondered at that young person, who was also a creative soul, doing crazy fun things and having great friends to support her on that journey.

Thanks and gratitude were strong today.

Here are some of those shots I was mentioning – I took them for me, but if you enjoy them as well, cool.

Plus, I know you want to see this one…

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