september I love you

Every September I say it. It’s the most beautiful month of the year where I live. Summer is still here and yet the evenings are beginning to cool. Soft breezes visit often. Wild flowers fall about lazy and flourishing in their rich colours. Spectacular cloud formations make the skies endlessly entertaining. And the light – the light of September is its greatest gift: soft, translucent, dreamy, gentle.

Lakeside brunch. Gorgeous September long weekend. #lifeisgood

September, I am in love with you. #lifeisgood #toronto #keatingchannel
If I could pick one month to keep around all the time, September, you would win.

a moment on the esplanade

So I’m sitting on a patio on our old and pretty street and a September breeze is feeling luscious on my arms and I’m having one of those “I love my life” moments, when a guy on a skateboard holding a bouquet of flowers sails across my line of vision, and nicely hammers home the life is beautiful thought.

best thing I ate this week: late summer’s bounty

The simplest recipes are so often my favourites. Maybe it’s because there is added delight in throwing just a few things together to produce pure, uncomplicated deliciousness. Like this simple salad we made this week thanks to Chef’s Plate.

This one’s definitely a keeper!

The recipe made two large dinner-sized salads for us. Modify for your needs. Add a cob of corn on the side and make it vegetarian.

Field Tomato and Sirloin Steak Salad with Croutons

Preheat the oven to 400°


  • A small steak
  • 3-4 slices of nice bread, cubed
  • 1 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large, ripe field tomato, cut in bite size pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • The leaves picked off a couple of sprigs of fresh parsley
  • The leaves picked off a couple of sprigs of summer savory
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil

Make some croutons: toss the cubed bread with the summer savoury, salt and pepper and a tbsp. of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In the same bowl, add a tbsp. of red wine vinegar, the parsley and a tbsp. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Grill or pan fry the steak 4-5 minutes a side for medium rare, or how you like it, and set aside.

In the bowl with the dressing, add both tomatoes and red onion and toss well. Add the croutons, toss again. Plate with a portion of the steak.

Every bite tastes like a specially delicious toasted tomato sandwich.


We started using Chef’s Plate service a few months ago, and we love it. We choose three meals a week, and the portioned ingredients and a recipe card are delivered to our door every Monday. We’re always happy with the quality of the food, and the ease recipes. For people like us, who often work long hours and get home late, this is a much cheaper and healthier option than simply going out. If you live in Ontario, enjoy trying new recipes, give them a try. It’s completely risk free, and there’s no commitment. And they’ll even give you two free meals for trying! Click here to read more.

This is not a sponsored post.

it just never gets old

best thing I ate this week: hearty salad

After a week of travelling and eating in restaurants, a simple salad at home is exactly what I needed. I just love these power bowls. They’re so nutritious and filling, and easy to make. This one with mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, cucumber, hemp seeds, pepita seeds green onion, hummus and yogurt dressing with dill, honey and lemon juice. It’s a good way to clean out the fridge, no?

Only good thing about vacation ending is home "cooked" dinner. #simplepleasures #cleanfood #chefsplate

best trip planner ever

It’s our last dinner in Alberta on a lovely patio on a lovely tree-lined street, and I’m feeling grateful for this man. The best trip planner ever. He planned every leg of the trip, made all the arrangements and did all of the driving so I could sit back and really see the Rockies and the Plains and the Badlands and all the other parts of this amazing province I’d never visited before. What a good time we had – every minute of it. This goes down in the books as one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, and I didn’t even have to leave Canada.

Best trip planner ever! Last dinner in Alberta. #edmonton #doesvacationhavetoend?

even at lake louise they can surprise you

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” `Henri Matisse

Poppies at Lake Louise

little afternoon pilgrimage in jasper

It wasn’t the first time I’d done a musical pilgrimage. Years ago, during a road trip to visit our friend Sheryl in New York, my sister, her kids and I travelled back up through Woodstock, and then tried our damnedest to find Big Pink, but there was some missing link in the road signs (we suspected perhaps the current home-owner might have caused this) and we just couldn’t find it. Many do it. Music, like all art, is a spiritual experience. And if music affects you as deeply as, say, Music from Big Pink or The Basement Tapes did Cathy and I, then you’d seize any opportunity to be in that place where it was created or inspired. It adds a whole other layer to the musical story and your experience of it.

So here I am in the beautiful town of Jasper and I realise Pyramid Lake is just a short jaunt out of town, and I have to go because it is at the centre of one of my long-time favourite Blue Rodeo songs, the trippy and joyful Cynthia. While here I learn that Jasper National Park is the world’s second largest dark sky preserve, and so how could star gazing in a place like this not inspire a beautiful song like that?

Pyramid Lake in Jasper

Blue moon in Edmonton 083

Blue moon in Edmonton 085

traffic jam in jasper


One of Ceri’s pet peeves is the way people use superlatives to describe ordinary things.

“Can I borrow your pen?”

“How was your first try at making meatloaf?”

As we were driving in Jasper National Park and I’m snapping shots and gaping in wonder at the astounding beauty of it all, Ceri said, “yeah, this is awesome.”

I’d never visited the Rockies before. I’ve flown over them, and that in itself was incredible, seeing the sheer mass of mountains below and the odd peaks poking up through the clouds. And so as we arrive in Jasper I’m feeling happy and grateful to be here in this part of the world. With every bend or dip in the road everything changes and there’s a whole new kind of beauty in front of you. I sit back in my seat and just enjoy.

Not ten minutes into the park we’re in a traffic jam. Cars are all backed up as far in front of us as we can see. I mean, it’s not as bad as all that – there’s plenty all around to keep us entertained, it’s not exactly like being stuck on the Gardiner Expressway at five o’clock on a Tuesday. We inch along for well more than an hour, and then up ahead, we see the cause of the traffic jam – the Jasper Park Welcome Wagon.

Blue moon in Edmonton 066

Traffic Jam Culprits in Jasper


Jasper National Park 4

Jasper National Park 5

me photo

Jasper National Park 7

a gentle reminder