Freestyle Pasta

Not sure if this is a thing, but it is a thing in my world – Freestyle Pasta.

I was inspired by Lidia Bastianich. She is an incredible Italian chef. I enjoy watching her make every dish look so effortless and delicious. And so it should be.

Creating nourishing meals does not need to be complicated. Some of the simplest dishes, are the most delicious. As long as the ingredients are fresh and compliment each other.

For this recipe, it is important to start with a base, which is very easy. This part I learned from watching Lidia. I’m sure my technique is not as culinary as hers, but it works for me. As I mentioned previously, it must not be fussy, and must come from the heart. My meals are always cooked from my heart!

The base consists of: EVOO, sliced garlic, hot pepper flakes, lemon juice, and cooking water from the cooked pasta, and of course pasta. Spaghetti or spaghettini are my 2 favourite pastas for this dish.

After the base is made, anything goes!

I recently tried adding white kidney beans and sardines, and I finished the dish off with freshly sliced basil, drizzle of EVOO, and a grating of parmesan cheese.

I originally served the sardines on the side, seasoned with a sprinkle of smoked Maldon salt. This way, my husband and I had the option of adding the sardines to our salad, or to our pasta dish. It was delicious with the pasta!

Nutritional Notes:
With the addition of EVOO, beans, and sardines, this dish is an excellent source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), as well as an excellent source of calcium and fibre. Sardines are a super food for calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids. EFAs are important for our entire body in many ways. These fats take care of our brain, eyes, skin, heart, joints, and hormones. That’s just the tip of the ice berg. Soon I will make a post all about EFAs.

Freestyle Pasta

Serves 4 people

Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Stop the cooking time 1 minute before the directions. The pasta must still have a bite. Don’t worry, the pasta finishes cooking in the sauce.

Have all your ingredients ready. When there is 5 minutes left to cook the pasta, turn on your frying pan.

Ingredients for Sauce

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch or two of hot pepper flakes (this amount is optional)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs

Sauté the garlic and hot pepper flakes with the EVOO for a few of minutes, until the garlic smells bright. Do not let the garlic brown or it will have a bitter taste.

Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a ladle of the pasta cooking water. This is the base of your sauce.

Taste your sauce and see if you like it. You can add more lemon juice if you prefer. I do not add additional salt because the pasta water is already seasoned with sea salt.

At this point, I add halved cherry tomatoes and the beans to get them combined with the sauce. The beans make the sauce creamy. This is a great alternative from cream if you are avoiding dairy.

Drain your pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water. You will not need the whole cup.

Using tongs, toss the pasta with the sauce in the frying pan. Continue tossing around for a minute or two. adding a small ladle full of the pasta water.

Divide up into 4 pasta bowls, top with fresh herbs such as basil or parsley, and a grating of parmesan cheese.


Please feel free to comment. I would love to know your input.

Favourite Cookbooks

Just thought I’d share with you some of my favourite cookbooks.  I have really enjoyed cooking from all of these books.  Recipes turn out delicious!

I love collecting cookbooks.  I actually read them like a book, appreciating the wit and wisdom of these experts.

It’s so easy to get caught up in cooking the usual meals day after day. I try my best to cook something new each week.  My husband and I spend our Saturday evenings cooking a new meal together.  I love this time spent with him.

One of my favourite things to do is look over the new grocery flyers, see what’s on sale and find a recipe in one of my well loved books.  Being a frugal shopper does not mean you have to eat boring meals.  I’m proudly a frugal shopper, and I love turning a deal into a scrumptiously delicious meals.  All thanks to my cookbooks and my passion for cooking.  And of course a gorgeous apron!

What are your favourite cookbooks?  I would love to know.  I’m always open to expanding my library.




Happy Spring!

Happy Spring


Spring is finally here!  Soon, very soon, Mother Nature will be unveiling her beauty.

This is a wonderful time of year to really get inspired.  Life all of a sudden feels lighter.  Do you feel like you have more spring in your step?  I do, especially with these longer days.  It feels so amazing to see the sun shining so brightly all day long.

Get ready for a season of inspiration.  Enjoy every moment.  When every new leaf uncurls, every new flower bud grows, and every new sweet chirping of a bird.

Happy Spring!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love #Valentine‘s Day because I get to eat cake. Simple as that. I get love and cuddles everyday from my husband, but cake – I don’t get that everyday.

We have never been into celebrating today. There just seems to be too much pressure on everyone. And restaurants are way too busy.

BUT…I am definitely taking advantage of the day by eating a lot of #chocolate and #cake.



Another way to celebrate this day of love, is showing yourself some self-love.

Here are 5 ways to treat yourself on #Valentine‘s Day. Remember this – when you love yourself, others will love you back.

  1. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love YOU! Tell yourself how proud you are of all that you’ve accomplished, whether it be great or small. I love this so much and it works! I learned this from Louise Hay. She’s a remarkable lady and author who has helped many people.
  2. Enjoy a delicious heart healthy meal. Not only will your heart benefit, but you will be feeling so good! Dark chocolate is a fun choice for today, but also a dark green leafy salad sprinkled with hemp hearts. Even a good glass of red wine is beneficial for the heart because of the flavonoid antioxidant – resveratrol.
  3. Buy yourself flowers. In my previous post, I wrote about flowers for Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing like fresh flowers. And it’s a nod to Spring that says “I can’t wait to see you!”.
  4. Take a relaxing bath. Pamper yourself. Use your favourite smelly potions – soaps, body oils, or lotions. I just had my bath and I feel so relaxed. I soaked in a salt bath scented with peppermint and lavender. It was delightful!
  5. Go for a walk in nature. Listen to the birds and notice how mother nature has spoiled us with her beauty. Take a deep breath in, enjoy the fresh air. Tilt your face to the sun and just soak up the warm rays. Your whole body and cells will be beaming with love and joy.

If you do all of these 5 things, or even just a couple, I guarantee you will be glowing with love. xo


Flowers for your Valentine

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers given to them on Valentine’s Day?  I love fresh flowers all the time of course.

Roses are typically the traditional flower given on this lovey day.  But how about something a little different?

I came across this florist designers website, Studio Choo. There is some amazing inspiration for different flowers to consider aside from Roses.

How about Sweet Peas for your Sweet Pea?

Did you know that Sweet Peas symbolize pleasures, and Peonies symbolize happy life and happy marriage.  Now I understand why my Grandfather planted several peonies in the garden for my Grandmother – the love of his life.

(Studio Choo)

Ranunculus are so pretty too!  They are a reminder that Spring is coming.
Absolutely gorgeous combination of colours.

(Studio Choo)

If your heart is set on Roses, how about mixing them up with Spring seasonal favourites such as Tulips?

(Studio Choo)

Here is an excellent link for the Farmer’s Almanac reference of the history and meaning of flowers – Farmer’s Almanac.

Did you know that certain colours of Roses have meanings?

Red Roses – Unconscious beauty, love, desire
White Roses – Purity, innocence, heavenly
Pink Roses – Grace, happiness, gentleness
Yellow Roses – joy, friendship, promise of a new beginning
Orange Roses – desire and enthusiasm
Lavender Roses – love at first sight
Coral Pink Roses – friendship, modesty, sympathy

And a red Tulip symbolizes a declaration of love.  Yellow Tulips symbolize a sunshine in your smile.
(source: Farmer’s Almanac)

I could go on and on.  But one things for sure, I would like a bunch of Peonies in assorted colours from my husband.

What are your favourites flowers?  Are you purely a Rose girl, or do you like a mix of different flowers and colours?

The Milly Apron

To honour my Grandma Milly, I designed this apron.  Like many Grandmother’s, she always had her apron on.  She was a sweet lady.  She always loved playing cards, riding roller coasters, and go swimming at the cottage with my sisters and I.  And she always had a chocolate cake for us.  Very fond memories.  I thought that this sweet Milly apron is a perfect reflection of her sweet character.

This is me modelling the first sample I created of the Milly.


And here is the latest in my Apron Collection.