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I’ve had this blog 6 years. Starting out as a web journal I kept to myself playing with from time to time, it became my favourite hobby for a while, then it became part of the reason I decided to open my business. I’ve met so many generous, gorgeous souls thanks to this platform and had so many opportunities presented to me thanks to it. I’ll always look back at Simply Fresh Ottawa as a life changing venture.

However all good things come to an end and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s best not to drag out an ending – I’m afraid I’m already in danger of venturing into the fate of The Drew Carrey show (that went on for soooo many seasons after it should have stopped) when I want to go out like Breaking Bad.

If you miss me, don’t worry, I still plan on blogging – but it will be for Cardamom & Cloves! And you can always pop into the shop on 440 Preston and talk spices and food with me!

Thank you so much for reading and for making the last 6 years amazing! Love you Ottawa.


If you are feeling a little down – this is for you.


Better? Thought so.




It’s finally time. This Tuesday, yes, less than a week, Holland’s Cake and Shake will open its doors to the world and waiting Ottawa tummies at 8 am. 228 Armstrong Street (Hintonburg right by the Parkdale Market). How do I know it’s going to be so awesome? Well, I’ve tasted and raved about Pastry Chef Michael Holland’s creations before.



The most recent incident? I was lurking Facebook, as I often am, and came across a friend’s shot of all these amazing looking mini cakes that his wife was bringing to her class for an end of school celebration.** I then immediately started begging for one of the tasty creations. The begging was amplified when I found out the gorgeous vanilla cakes were topped with Fruit loop streusel.
The begging led to pouting and a teeny bit of foot stomping. Somehow, being a brat paid off and Chef Holland performed a random act of kindness with a drive by caking – delivering two of these babies.
I swear the only reason there is a picture is because I was devouring the other one while taking this
When I first opened the box and saw that there were two – my first reaction was “Who will I share this with?”. Then I took a bite.
Suddenly I was Smeagol and there was no way I was parting with my precious. I stopped short of shoving the whole thing in my mouth at once – but I did polish them off shamefully fast.
I know where I’ll be on Tuesday – see you at the Cake and Shake?
** What kind of friend get’s their class goodies from the hippest bake shop in town BEFORE it opens? The ever awesome Jenn of FoodiePrints! Thanks for letting me Facebook stalk your food guys!

Happy Food Revolution Day! If that sounds familiar you probably are a fan of Jamie Oliver, or like the people in my life you know someone who wont shut up about him and the awesome work he does. The basic idea is to celebrate cooking and food. Good food. Cooked from scratch food and to learn how to prepare it and how it impacts your health and life. For some more information check out their website here.


It’s hard to tell in this picture, but they have the same eyes.

How am I embracing Food Revolution Day?? Through spices of course – and by spreading the word about this really great documentary I watched last night called A Place At The Table. It’s about the massive amounts of children and families who go hungry every day in the United States. True – it doesn’t show any information on similar problems in Canada, but it is not a problem that many Canadians face every day. Just take a look at the good folks at the Parkdale Food Centre, Ottawa Food Bank, Hijinx and School Breakfast Program.

But don’t take my word that this is a compelling and tragic problem – ask Jeff Bridges!



For more information on the doc – here is their website.

When is a sample more than a sample?? When it’s a cooking lesson too!

Starting after the Easter weekend – Saturday samples at Cardamom & Cloves will change. Just come on down to the store at 440 Preston, Saturdays at 11 am to see what all the fuss is about. There will be a recipe demonstration and the first 4 people to arrive will be guaranteed a sample of what was made. Depending on the recipe – there might be more to sample – but the first 4 will always get something tasty!


Aren’t you excited to see what recipes I will come up with  fueled by a chocolate mini egg bender?

Each week a new, seasonal, easy to replicate at home recipe. If there is anything you have learned about me from reading this blog, it is the following: I hate dishes and have a hard time following instructions. What does that translate to? Meals and recipe ideas that are no fail (even if you move step 4 to step 8) and are easy to clean up. What more could you ask for?

What about this Saturday?? This Saturday we will be sampling Lavender Lemonade in the warm Spring sunshine*

And Easter weekend?? Cardamom & Cloves will be closed Friday and will not re-open until Tuesday! Who am I to resist chocolate eggs and taking way too many pictures of my dogs and friend’s kids wearing bunny ears?? Watch out Instagram.

Until then – happy chocolate egg hunting!



*As long as mother nature co-operates… I’m only providing the lemonade – the sun thing is all her.


I’ve decided to just ignore winter until it gives up and goes away. The internet, a very strong imagination and the stubbornness of a mule are helping me to succeed. This afternoon my attention started wandering to gardening and herbs. Before my thoughts danced over to BBQ, I spent some time looking for ways to label the plants in my garden. I found these great examples of cute DIY markers.

brickGot bricks? Got paint?? You have herb markers.


Dollar Store wooden spoons and one of those craft wood burning kits – mine would not be this nice.


Reuse frozen juice lids

paint sticks

Paint sticks!

marker 3

This one is super cute – and for people like me who would mess it up some how, you can find it on etsy!

garden marker

I may have a few dozen laying around…




For creepy gardens


Just an excuse to go buy clothes pins and paint!


Or if you are less artistic like me, you can use black board paint and just write the name!

And one extra – this will be the one I use:

marker 2

This has been a particularly weird winter. Say what you will… it was cold. Pretty damn cold at times. And while that hasn’t presented me with any additional challenges, it has for Barbara Schaefer and her farm full of the rare breed of pigs known as “Large Black Pig” – ok. Not the most creative name, but they are an endangered breed that Barbara is helping to bring back from the brink by farming them. As the demand for this fantastic pork – and it is fantastic – increases, she hopes more farms will want to raise the pigs and their numbers will return.

This winter has been particularly tough – with the pigs eating twice their normal amount to gain weight to deal with the cold, and the extra bedding to combat this dickish polar vortex. I’ll let Barbara tell you more about it in her own words:

Any amount you can donate will help these cute, smart and delicious animals.

Here is the link right to Barbara’s Indiegogo campaign – a very worthy foodie cause that only takes a couple dollars and a two minutes to make a big difference. Cheers!

Winning the heart of your favourite foodie is now easier than ever with these great food valentines – most available on etsy!

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pizza il_570xN_209690935


There was a time when I first started this blog that I had dreamed about being on food Television – rubbing elbows with Michael Smith, trading tips and recipes with Jamie Oliver. Oooohhhh… that would be sweet.

Unfortunately, reality settled in the way it tends to do. I remembered that I’m very uncomfortable in front of large groups and slightly terrified on camera and didn’t think that would be a pleasant feeling day after day. So away went that dream along with my goal to become a veterinarian (poor sick animals and ewww blood that and I’m garbage at science).

But that shouldn’t stop you!! Did you know that there is a new food and lifestyle specialty channel right here in Ottawa called GustoTV? It’s true!  Bell TV (Channel #619), Bell Fibe (Channel #1619) and Eastlink (Channel #743) – check it out… or take a look now at

What’s more  – they have just put out a casting call and it might be you they are looking for! Take a read below and if you give it a shot let me know, I want to cheer you on!!


Gusto TV, Canada’s new food and lifestyle channel is now casting!


Gusto TV is thrilled to announce a National Casting Call for two new original television series the multiplatform network will produce in-house. Whether you make a mean stuffed quail, pad thai, or layer cake; whether you are a professional, a guru of cultural cuisine or the master of family recipes – if you think that you have what it takes to spread the love or know someone that does, here’s your chance to be a star of the kitchen.

“The first show will celebrate global cuisine – whether your specialty is curry, kung pao, kebabs, crepes or cannelloni, you might be our perfect fit,” says Chris Knight, Gusto TV President & Chief Executive Officer. “We’re keeping the theme of the second show up our sleeves for now but trust us, you’ll love it.”

Gusto TV wants to hear from you if:

·         You’re a foodie

·         You know how to cook. Really, really cook

·         You have a BIG, fun personality

You don’t have to be a professional to be Gusto’s new foodie face (although pros are certainly welcome). Maybe you make the magic happen in your own home. Maybe you work behind the scenes in a sweaty restaurant kitchen. The new network is inviting culinary hopefuls to submit a three minute video – don’t worry about the production, lighting or editing – to the online Gusto TV Casting Call site.

Where to apply:

Christmas is almost here!!! Can you believe only 6 more sleeps!?! Need some recipe ideas or DIY foodie gift ideas?? C’est Bon Cooking and Constantly Cooking have you covered. What can I offer??? Well…


I  have a picture of Jamie Oliver in a Christmas Sweater! That’s pretty good too.

I also have a pretty interesting tick I picked up while doing some reading and research on salt. I’d like to make a sarcastic remark here about it being super interesting… but it actually was. Hate when a joke is ruined by the truth. Dang.

Anyway, here goes. If you want to chill wine fast, add ice to a bucket and pout 1/4 cup of salt on the ice. It will lower the melting point of the ice creating more of an ice bath that will surround your wine bottle. Just put in your bottle of wine that needs chilling and it will be ready in about 6 minutes time!

Salt, what can’t you do??

Here is hoping you all have a relaxing and joyous holiday and that you get to spend it with the ones you love the most in the world. Cheers!

I loved X-files growing up. I had a huge poster of David Duchovny next to my bed and may or may not have had a huge crush on him. (Smart money is on ‘may’). And I know from my very scientific research of discussing X-files and all things geeky at the bar, that most of the men I talk to who are fans of the show felt the same way for Gillian Anderson.

In a new campaign against deep-sea trawling – Anderson posed with a conger eel draped around her neck and nothing else.



Personally, I would have posed with a fish or some kind of seahorse. Eels are too snake like for me and remind me of the Little Mermaid.

But that is exactly the point – we feel less emotional about the near-extinction of a species if it isn’t cute and fluffy. Also feel better about eating it and being generally crappy towards them too.

According to campaigners,  deep-sea trawling is wiping out ecosystems the size of Paris every day and a half. For more info and more pictures click here.

I Say Random Things On Twitter…

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Past Foodie Adventures…