Life, Inspired ❦ The Weekend Review

Welcome to Life, Inspired — The Weekend Review. This is the weekly column where I take a step back from the recipes so you can have a wider look at what’s been inspiring me, moving me, or just catching my fancy out there in the life beyond my kitchen.

My Morning Walks

Another week of no walks, other than on the treadmill, and the view at the gym isn’t inspiring. So, acting in my capacity as editor-in-chief of this space, I’ve decided to share photos of past walks that I wish I were taking again, right now. Like this one, along the shores of Lake Huron this summer. The warmth of the early morning sun on my shoulders, the quiet murmur of the barely moving water, the smell of the beach, and solitude save for the gulls … for a moment, I’m there again.

Morning Walk, Lake Huron, September 2014 | © Life Through the Kitchen


Comment of the Week

I don’t really have a ‘comment of the week’ feature, but this week I received one that just made me laugh with delight. K of the blog Pure & Complex had this to say about my elfin brownie bites:

“I will admit, right now, that I didn’t read a word of this post… I truly apologize. I just couldn’t because I was staring at these brownie bites for at least 5 minutes LOL. I have to make these.”

Way to make my day –thanks, K!

I love to receive comments from my readers and engage in dialogue with you. Don’t be shy!

Elfin Brownie Bites | © Life Through the Kitchen


Publicity & Writing

I was pleased totally chuffed to see my simple vanilla panna cotta with blackberry coulis included in this weekend’s “Top of the Classics” mission in the National Post’s Gastropost. It’s always a thrill to see my work in print, and this time they included my ever-so-fetching Gastrosketch (do I really look like that?!) Check it out, here (left side, bottom half; look for the bright yellow plate).

I’ve started to do freelance writing again. As I shared on the blog earlier this year, my mother’s illness and death, followed by the  disposition of her belongings, took a heavy toll on me as is to be expected. I’m so grateful to be experiencing a reawakening of my creative energies; it feels like springtime returning. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my freelance writing assignments with you, as they are published. For now though, mum’s the word!

Around the Web

The most delectable butter tarts popped up in my Instagram feed this week, from the Alberta blog Art and the Kitchen. Oh. My. I had assumed they were universal, but apparently butter tarts are a Canadian thing. One look at this post and you’ll want to make them your thing.

In case you’re beginning to despair that I’m stuck in a Canadian-centric view of the food world, let me assure you that I do follow blogs from around the globe. Let’s jump over to England and check out Happiness Stan Lives Here, an unabashedly carnivorous take on cooking, served up with a side of humour as only the British can do it. If you’re interested in having a steak of mastodon proportions, this is the post for you!

Since we’re already on the other side of the pond, allow me to also introduce you to Frugal Feeding, the blog run by another fellow with a wicked sense of humour and some damn fine and — unsurprisingly — frugal recipes. This pear and fig mincemeat looks like it needs to be on my holiday table this year.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, one of my favourite bloggers, the inestimable Movita of Movita Beaucoup is running her annual gingerbread contest again. Or, as she puts it, ‘competitive gingering at its best/worst.’ Check out the rules (they’ll have you in stitches) and even if you don’t enter, be sure to look at all the entries and vote! Movita is a baker/ballerina with beautiful recipes and a bit of a potty mouth. Love, love, love her writing and her beautiful recipes. I’m sure we’re soul sisters, despite the fact that the ballerina thing probably means she’s much daintier and more graceful than me.

Parties & Party Planning

There’s been a lot of fun stuff happening around here lately. Like the third birthday festivities for Littler Miss. They included making chocolate chip cookies for her after school on Tuesday with her big sister. And then, these cupcakes for her party. Chocolate and strawberry, for one of my favourite little people. The recipe is coming soon to the blog.

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake with Strawberry Buttercream | © Life Through the Kitchen

Birthday party over, I’ve turned my thoughts to a baby shower at my home next weekend. Lots of things are on the go for that, recipe and decor-wise, but I can’t say anything yet because a certain mother-to-be might be reading!

When that’s all done, it will be time to plan the Christmas dinner I’ll be making for my family on the 23rd. But, I’m getting ahead of myself; one party at a time!

Weekly Recap

Last week there was a lot of cooking and photography going on, but not so much writing. In case you missed it, I did post an essay of sorts, talking about how perhaps we make too much fuss over what should simply be just dinner. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this; leave a comment on the post and let’s dialogue. That post was accompanied by a simple basic spaghetti sauce that makes an easy dinner for family or company. I also put together a recipe round-up and tips for a game day party for today’s Grey Cup game, but really, you could use it for any casual gathering.



  1. A great round-up Marlene and so glad to hear your creative juices are returning after a difficult personal time and you are writing again. I went through a horrible time with my writing, just couldn’t get it together.I look forward to hearing more news…and I can totally understand your friend K’s comment, those brownie bites do indeed look divine 🙂

    • When I was going through the worst period, I found I couldn’t write my normal posts about recipes and the stories behind them. But I was able to express the feelings I had about emptying out my parents’ house, and it was very helpful to me. In that case, at least, I just needed to write about the right thing. Others times, nothing seems to come, but then there are those glorious times when the words just flow with almost no editing needed. I find these creative processes so interesting, and it’s very helpful for me to learn how others, such as yourself, approach their work.

      • A fellow blogger once told me when I felt this exact same way that I needed to listen to the writing voice that called the loudest, even if it wasn’t what I planned to write at the time. I realised that this is just what I had always done and I have never regretted it. You needed to write out your feelings and it helped you to keep writing no matter what, so that now, your flow of creativity is flowing back to your freelancing. It is a constant ebb and flow and I found that once I began to embrace it, instead of kicking against it (as I have done many times) I learnt the most valuable writing lesson to date: simply, the more we write, the more we write, and that writing something is better than writing nothing at all. And then, what comes from that writing, well, that, so often is the best and biggest surprise of all 🙂 Hugs Marlene…and happy writing <3

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