It is the season for giving back and if you’re wondering how to do that in the city of Vancouver, these are some great ways to give back to the community. I was on CTV to talk about all the ways you can still get involved. Check out the clip and some handy links to help you make it happen:
I love being able to delight my family with holiday treats that include a twist. Traditionally, my family would serve sinfully delicious ice cream in special dishes reserved for entertaining. The kids would sit at a special table, fully decorated for the festivities. I get giddy just thinking about melding tradition with new recipes and décor that are more on trend and appropriate for my family at this time. We all grow, change and develop, and this year I will be cooking and entertaining without using dairy. The beauty of this type of change is that you don’t have to alter much in order to change a lot. Using the right products, traditional dishes can be morphed and elevated to something exquisitely better than the original. That’s what growth is about.
Stroganoff is one of those dishes passed along for generations. A comforting, hearty winter meal, I envision my grandparents dining in front of a roaring fire while watching the snow fall. The only issue for me is that traditionally, it is meats (and leftovers) that are turned into stroganoff. My husband despises turkey, and I want to entertain over the holidays with elevated dishes that give a nod to the past without using the double creams favoured by generations past. In order to satisfy all of my goals, I decided to alter the original recipe to include a variety of mouth-watering mushrooms, replace the dairy with Silk Almond Beverage and present everything inside a delectable puff pastry cup that uses no dairy.
Communication is key for us all. It enables growth, self-confidence and drives our ability to live an enriched life. As teens transition from childhood to adulthood it can sometimes be difficult to maintain open lines of communication. But when a teen is living with a chronic disease, such as type 1 diabetes, it becomes critical to keeping them healthy.
Many teens with type 1 diabetes are often in denial. They don’t always manage their condition optimally because they just want to be normal teenagers. I interviewed Deirdre Brough, National Director, Corporate Partnerships at JDRF. Brough is a parent of a young adult who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teen. In speaking to Brough about what life is like for parents of teens with diabetes, it became abundantly clear that friend-to-friend and parent-to-teen communication and respect can be very helpful for all involved.
I love taking photos of my family and of all the exciting things we do throughout the year. I love sharing them with my friends and family on social media, but for really special photos, I love the idea of sending the best holiday photo gifts to share our memories in a lasting way. Some moments are just too good not share and having something tangible to hang onto is special. These are some great ways to “think outside the screens” this holiday season and turn your digital images into the best holiday photo gifts.
My kids are big and active, but it seems like not so long ago they were just babies. I listen to their excited voices talking about the holiday season and I remember before they could speak, when I would delight in holding them close and rocking them in my arms to help them off to sleep. Bedtime can still be challenging some days, but I remember how they felt in my arms, how their skin smelled, what it felt like to feel their chests expand and contract as they breathed deep in slumber. I recall looking at their perfect little faces and thinking, “I want to remember this.”
I never met my husband’s mom, and it makes me sad every day. I wish I could thank her, cherish her and appreciate her in person, but the family lost her to cancer before we met. I have seen photos and heard stories, but that’s not always enough. There is, thankfully, one holiday tradition she began that I can continue. Every Christmas morning, we make her special German Omelette recipe. Through the flavours of this delicious strata, I connect with her on special occasions every year, and am able to share in some small part of the blessings she bestowed on her family.
Toys!!!! My problem in choosing toys is that I want them all! It takes me forever to select gifts like this when I just want to keep playing. Here are some of my favourite hot holiday toy picks:
Try as we might to slow down and enjoy a quiet holiday, the festive season can be chaotic as we try to squeeze every ounce of fun and joy into the month of December. We book and double-book ourselves, running from one outing to the next in a flurry of Instagrammable artisanal hot chocolate and snowflake selfies.
Wondering what to with all the ripe and delicious tomatoes you harvested from your garden this year? Tired of canning your tomatoes whole or making the same old boring pasta sauce? Making the same thing all the time with tomatoes can get boring, but when you live on an island like me, you need to be able to maximize the produce from your gardens.