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!




weight training and mindful eating

It’s a constant journey – this whole concept of living and not doing things to excess, finding balance…etc etc.


Accountability, having someone guide you, finding experts who remind you of all the things you probably have already read/heard/seen but let slide,  are all factors in trying to be healthier.

Tendonitis hit me last fall and I’ve been seeking out different ways to inexpensively deal with it. Physiotherapy is not inexpensive, but sometimes you have to get that little bit of extra advice and manipulation to get you on track. Also, hearing how it’s going to take a long time to heal – it took a long time of doing things badly to cause it – means that I know I will have to keep working at it/ resting it when I can.

As I approach bridal season – it actually really kick started this past week – I know I’ll really have to pay attention and take the time to do the strength training for my back < here’s the concept – using the arm muscles more than the back to do things seems to have contributed to the problem, so increasing my back strength and “putting my back into it”  will help take the pressure off my arm and elbow>.

This morning I had my once/month training session at Free Form Fitness and we went full body workout. Everything was put through its paces.

My hamstrings are already talking to me as I have begun cycling 2Xweek, about 50 minutes out and 50 minutes home at the end of the day.  On the alternate days, I’m trying to leave early enough to get off the bus at Billing Bridge and walk the 30 minutes to the studio. And at least 15 minutes of walking past the end of the day before I hop onto the bus.

Mindful eating is the real challenge for me. I don’t mind eating stuff that’s notoriously bad for me, I don’t mind at all.  Alas < yes, alas>, it makes a difference in how I feel, the numbers I’m tracking < a bit of scale and a bit of measuring tape, but not being too tough on myself about it>.

While I have lost about 5 pounds since January, it’s very slow. I had a back injury, the elbow thing, still on my journey with anxiety and lots of factors are making ti seem like I’m not making any progress at all. And it can be easy to slip into that space of “what’s the point”, when it seems like the efforts are wasted.

<sigh> ….

Apparently, the possibility of age being a factor is coming into play as I approach “middle age” as well – whatever! Actually, if my grandmother lived to 96… oh, yeah, ok it’s looming. But what thought process – if you think about how the first “half” of your life involved learning to talk/walk/think/develop skills etc. and you potentially have that same amount of time to continue to learn and grow…oh.. too much thinking for a Monday.

Well.. this was more a ramble than a journey into deep insight, but that’s ok too. I’ll continue to dance with amazing friends, explore finding balance in food and activity, and take my #zeropeopledays very seriously as I am much better with others when I take some time to recharge and do other stuff…

here – have a Sprocket pic! and a great week on your own adventures!

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.26.07 AM




The “butterbeer” recipe…

So…yeah…it’s pink, not caramel coloured…


I walk through the LCBO and see Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Butterscotch and have to find some way to get  creative with it.  And with searching, “butterbeer” comes through for the original link I used to get a concept of how butterbeer is meant to taste….

Then I did what I always do, and got creative with it.

Canadian ButterBrr < yes brr> Concept Drink:

In a pitcher, mix:

1 litre cream soda < yes – that’s why it’s pink>

1 litre club soda

15 ml vanilla

about 125 ml each – or to taste:

  • Dr. MCGillicuddy’s Intense Butterscotch < see link above>
  • Vodka – your choice
  • Sortilege – Maple flavoured whiskey – Thus the Canadian touch!

Give it all a stir and pour some out into glasses.

At this point, it’s good to taste it to make sure it’s on track, and you can adjust your quantities now if you want it sweeter or less sweet…

Whip up a small amount of 35% whipping cream < about 60 ml worked for us>, adding just a little bit more butterscotch < 10-15 ml> into it.

Gently glob it < yes, glob it>, onto the liquid in each glass and some will float down and the rest will create the beer like head.

Now. Enjoy.

Feeling the energy return with the spring!

Went out last night to the Aziza & Aida Hafla organized by Jehane of Duniya Studios and had a lovely time.  It was great to reconnect with the community and get that little boost of #SparkleEnergy that comes from seeing wonderful dancers expressing themselves!

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.19.32 AM.png

Thanks to Eurika, for the little boost of, of course I’ll drive, as not having a car also adds a factor to what events I participate in.  Still ok with not having a car, Ottawa’s bus system is reasonable, but there are moments when it tilts me into the, I’m going to stay in tonight, mode. And while that has been something I have needed to do for myself, it’s time to peak my head out of my burrow as it were.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.15.50 AM

WARNING !! PROMO-MOMENT:  I get a free session if you sign up for their into sessions – $86 plus HST for 8 sessions – click the photo for the website. And tell them my name if you give it a try!!!

This winter I’ve been taking time to take care of myself, including adding strength  training to my system of life. The personal training is not inexpensive, but I’ve found the level that I can afford and while it means really trying to maintain some serious accountability at home, I’m getting there.  I’m trying to adjust my eating habits too and have received some interesting advice from my trainer and the Free Form Fitness website.

Obviously, anything that gets us moving, in a way that we continue to do it, is great. I like the complementary aspect of the weight training to the dancing I am still doing, now to start working on cardio a bit more – the bane of my existence… But last week I also started walking a bit more after work, rather than catching the bus right away, so I hope to do that when I can…

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.25.23 AM.png

Along the Riverside bridge overlooking the tracks.


So, I’m looking forward to the many upcoming events with both Bollywood For Fun and Ottawa’s belly dance community! 2016 started out a bit tough, and I’m taking it one day at a time, but I’m so very blessed!

Getting Artsy…

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 5.18.59 PM

Part of my new adventures involve taking time to revisit things I used to do/ always wanted to do/ felt I could do, but never got around to doing… like painting.

So… Acrylic painting under the guidance of a lovely artist seemed like a great way to go about this.

2 paint events later, under the tutelage of Laura Daub, my fellow student of couture at Richard Robinson’s Academie des Couturiers Canadiens, who has gone on to flourish in her own artistic style, and here are my pieces!

If you are thinking of trying one of these trending art events, but want to create in an atmosphere of encouragement to be unconventional if you wish, check her Friday Paint Nights  out, and give it a try.

And go do something fun for yourself!