sand: west coast to east coat

My friend has renamed unemployment "funemployment". I like her thinking.

That said, it is July. The weather is hot. The sun has made itself back at home in Canada. And I have a lot of free time. I have decided to take advantage of this said sun and free time. The next couple of weeks I will adopt the west and east coasts of Canada as my summer playgrounds. Expect many tales to come of lobsters, sand, and sharing an R.V. with four other Goras.

Happy summer.


cooking with coconut oil

Cookies are not necessarily the first food that comes to mind to bring to a barbecue. But when the grill got hot this April I was ready to try out this recipe. Barbecue, or no barbecue, these cookies are dangerously moist and delicious. So beware. Make these cookies for friends and company, or else it would be very easy to curl up with the comfort of carrot and oatmeal and eat a dozen or so while cleaning up the kitchen, or reading the paper.

This was the first time I cooked with coconut oil. A healthy substitute for butter, coconut oil sets a subtle and delicious background from which the other ingredients can pop.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup unrefined (fragrant) coconut oil, warmed until just melts
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the nuts and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoon at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top of 1/3 of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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the fashion of knots

From sailor shirts to boat shoes, the nautical life has made its mark on fashion. What I find most inspiring from life at sea are the ropes involved and the knots they hold.

About a dozen tall ships visited Toronto's harbour front over the Canada Day weekend. Visitors piled on, enthusiastic to walk the plank between pier and ship, and were occupied by crawling through cabins and admiring sails. I, however, was busiest admiring the ropes. Thick, thin, stained, and crystal white, all boats had gorgeously choreographed movement of ropes that inspired me to think about the fashion of knots.
Apparently, I am not the only one. Jewelery designers, such as Sabrina Dehoff and Kathryn Blackmore, are two designers inspired by sailors and the way they tie their knots.

A few months ago I picked up a nautical bracelet from Toronto boutique 'Model Citizen' in Kensington Market. The bracelet is made by Savannah Allmin, a Toronto-based designer. I can't think of a more fashionable way of wearing knots.

Silver bracelet by Liz Kingstone and sailor bracelet by Savannah Allmin.


big bambú

Mike + Doug Starn's 'Big Bambú' on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This sculpture gives the Met's view over Central Park and the skyline of the city a run for its money. Composed of bambu wrapped and joined together with string, the artists have created a labyrinth that grows over the span of the exhibition. Unfortunately when I visited the winds of New York made it dangerous for us to walk through the sculpture (there are intricate, suspended paths that have been created amongst the bambu), but to walk below the sculpture was an adventure nonetheless.


lemon-rosemary halloumi skewers

What is a cottage without a delicious barbecue?
Saturday day we spent worshiping the sun. Saturday evening we spent recovering from the sun by barbecuing, drinking cider, and setting off fireworks. These lemon-rosemary halloumi skewers were stars of the barbecue. A friend made them for the first Montreal barbecue of the season back in April as a vegetarian option. I have made them several times since as a side to barbecued meats and corn.

Thank you Georgian Bay for the good times. Thank you lemon-rosemary halloumi skewers for the good eats.

Lemon-Rosemary Halloumi Skewers


1-2 packages of halloumi depending on how many skewers you are making
1 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
skewer sticks
olive oil
fresh, seasonal veggies (delicious options include red onion, yellow and green zucchini, button mushrooms, peppers)

Marinate halloumi in lemon juice, olive oil, and rosemary. The cheese is already salty so no salt is needed. However, a little black pepper goes nicely. Halloumi can be marinated for several hours, or even over night if you like. Soak skewers for at least half an hour. Cube veggies, halloumi, and create a colourful feast by arranging them on the skewers. Barbecue until cheese is crispy on the outside and the veggies are grilled. Once grilled, pour the rest of marinade over skewers.



canadian cottage

When Toronto hits 30 degrees C., one must pack a bathing suit, fresh mint leaves and a towel or two and hitch a ride up north.

Georgian Bay is the perfect escape from the city's heat.

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