Roasted potato + salmon omelet

About 8 years ago, I decided on a whim to enroll in a digital media program at NSCAD University. After 2 degrees and 2 babies, you’d think I would have had enough of other people running my schedule, but I suppose the zest for learning never really dies.  

My final project in digital publication was a 30 page cooking magazine complete with our family favorites, short biographies of the members in our clan and of course, really beautiful food photography. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my brother who, although had his own pile of work in medical school, helped me cook and style my way to a perfectly wonderful grade in a class I really loved. Every weekend, we flipped through our mother’s and grandmother’s recipes, deciphered 50 year old handwritten Greek instructions and narrowed down our family favorites to thirty recipes. He thought Stuffed Peppers needed to be included and I preferred Fish Stew.  He insisted on Okra Baked in Tomato and I had my heart set on Arugula Salad with Parmesan and Capers. As you can see, we had our work cut out for us. Trying to get through hundreds of family recipes and choosing only thirty, proved to be a mighty task indeed.

We set aside a little time each week to recreate old family favorites but also made time for ones that were so typically “Panais.” One of the recipes, Peter’s Beefy Pasta, was a barely legible, photocopied recipe my youngest brother Peter brought home one year from his grade 7 Home Economics Class. A family recipe magazine wouldn't have been complete without it.

It had been months since I'd seen that magazine which nestled its way into a permanent home on our communal chalkboard wall. I was afraid it had become entangled into a pile of old books and clothes I gave away but thankfully, I found it in between papers of old recipe ideas. It dawned on me that although I had good intentions to breath life into those recipes, my time had become consumed with other things.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been trying to navigate my way through juggling a job I completely adore and still finding time to make room for everything I’ve always loved and needed. As with any new thing, it takes a bit of time to get used to a new rythym and I think I’m finding my way slowly.

The point is, I've missed it here.

Mealtime lately has been simple and quite honestly, as fuss-free as you can get. I find myself using leftovers to create new versions of old favorites. An omelet made with leftover roasted potatoes, smoked salmon, feta, dill (that's about to go bad,) and buttered toast suits us just fine. I feel a sense of relief now that summer is here since grilling chicken, fish and homemade burgers has been my saving grace.

I’ve ben travelling a bit for work and have the opportunity to visit some pretty fantastic places. If you’re ever in London, afternoon tea at this hot spot is a must!

Attended my first ever Wanderlust festival at the lovely Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Holy Moly. Glorious.

This book is everything. I’m also seriously crushing on everything Emilia Clarke touches lately and knowing she’s playing Louisa in the movie made me read the entire book in a British accent. Every last page.

These were the inspiration for a set of stairs we had built by a local craftsman. Completely in love with the simplicity and rustic charm and they are the perfect lead onto the beach.

My new summer beverage. So refreshing.

Contemplating trading in my Canon for this lightweight but feeling a bit scared to make the move. Should I??

I've missed you friends. So glad to be home.




Asian salad with toasted sesame and Lime

Things I've Learned to Love

  1. Really HOT hot sauce
  2. Going to bed early
  3. Cloudy beach days
  4. Drinking water
  5. My slow cooker
  6. Daily walks
  7. Black coffee
  8. Biting my tongue
  9. Taking my vitamins
  10. Ugly dogs
  11. Reading for pleasure
  12. Cilantro
  13. Taking care of my skin
  14. Not washing my hair every day
  15. Crossword puzzles
  16. Soup as a main
  17. Sandy toes
  18. Gin
  19. Wearing my glasses
  20. Knock-knock jokes
  21. Flying
  22. Messy buns
  23. Oatmeal
  24. Country music
  25. Myself


Crockpot meatballs with black beans + rice

My Dearest Nikolas,

You were due to arrive on the 25th of January, but made your entrance 10 days early. That was my first taste of your fierce preference to be early for absolutely everything. Returning books to the library, soccer practice, getting your math homework done. What can I say? You didn’t get that from me.

I fell in love with all 9 pounds of you the moment I saw your wrinkly little face and dark brown hair and teeny tiny fingers. I had never laid eyes on a more perfect boy in all my life and I couldn’t believe you were all mine. One of my biggest fears during my pregnancy was wondering if I could love another child the way I loved Raphaelia. That love was so profound and immense and passionate, I was frightened I wouldn’t have enough room to share. But you completed a really intimate part of my heart. The part reserved for a beautiful baby boy. I often wonder what would have happened to that heart if you hadn’t come along. If I had not known the way your little arms felt around my neck, or the way your long eyelashes felt when they brushed against my cheek during good night kisses, or the way you tell a riveting story, making sure to heighten your voice at just the right parts. How could I have ever lived without those puddled dimples, and big brown eyes and witty jokes that make me belly laugh until I can't breath? I just can’t imagine a day over the last 9 years without you by my side.

I don’t think there is a word in the English language that can accurately describe the bond between a mother and child. It’s love and fear and pain and sorrow and laughter and chaos and pride and heartbreak and worry and joy- all jumbled into one. A word for all of that hasn’t been conceived until now and I’m positive it never will. I know there will come a day when I won’t be the most important woman in your life so for now, I want to breath it all in. I want to spend hours at the beach and watch you ride your bike and come to every single hockey and soccer game. I want to build lego and watch Star Wars and sit still as you explain the rules of all the new games you’re in love with. I want family game nights and pizza parties and you. Just you.

Happy birthday baby Nikolas.

I’m so happy you were born.

Interview with Nikolas (age 9)

I’m going to make a special birthday dinner for you. What would you like?

Salmon with caeser salad and potatoes. I prefer normal potatoes now. 

What is your favorite sport?

Hockey and soccer. Can’t pick mom. 

Favorite book?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 

Favorite song?

The song on the radio where the guy is talking about Bling? What's the name of that one?

Favorite movie?

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Favourite hockey team? Soccer? Football?

Montreal Canadians, Manchester United, Washington Redskins 

 Favorite ice cream?


What do love most about your sister?

That she’s funny. She can really make me laugh! 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A famous hockey player in the winter and a famous soccer player in the summer

 If you were stranded on a dessert island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?

  1. Radio
  2. Water
  3. Food

Number one bedtime snack?

Rice Krispies

Do you want to get married someday? Do you want children?

Sure. I really want kids someday.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself?


Why do you like being a kid?

Kids don’t have to work as hard as grown ups

What country do you want to visit the most?

Italy because I love pizza and spaghetti with meatballs and Italian desserts!

What are you most afraid of?



How tall do you think you are?

Probably 8 feet or so? Let’s measure after we’re done to be sure!

What is your most favorite place on earth?

Home because that’s where my toys are!

Where do you want to live when you grow up?

California because of the nice weather and the beaches.

If you could invent something that would make life easier for people, what would it be?

A robot that would do all the chores for you…so people had more time to do things they liked. Also because I hate cleaning my room.

 Who are your 3 best role models?  

  1. Daddy
  2. P.K Subban
  3. Ronaldo

Name two people who love you the most in this world?

  1. Mommy
  2. Daddy

 (Perfect answer. Because it’s true) 


Vasilopita- A Traditional New Year Cake 

I used to be religious about New Year Resolutions in my younger days. One year, I convinced my entire family to make a list of their personal goals and toss them into a communal box. The plan was to open the box the following New Years Day to see if we stayed  true to our pledge for change.

Talk about depressing.

I stopped believing in the power of resolutions a long time ago when I realized they served no other purpose than to make me feel like a complete failure. I couldn’t go to the gym everyday or refrain from my salty french fry fix or stop biting my nails. And I definitely couldn’t stop fighting with my younger siblings whose sole purpose in life was to take my clothes without asking, listen in on my private telephone conversations and argue with me incessantly until I snapped.

Over the years, I’ve looked at the beginning of a new year as an opportunity rather than a test. And maybe that’s why resolutions don’t have a place in my life anymore. I grew tired of focusing on the things I didn’t like about myself and stared focusing on all the things I really, really loved. In time, that focus turned into an examination of my personal journey.

Who do I want to be?

What kind of life do I want to live?

With every passing year, a new chapter unveils itself. I make mistakes. I pick up the pieces. I experience real joy and by extension, real sorrow. New opportunities present themselves. Obstacles force certain decisions. I learn that I am strong and capable but also fragile and insecure at times. I am a traveler along an unfamiliar road, unsure and yet eager for the opportunities and experiences and memories.

Happy New Year dear friends. I hope you discover new things and meet new people and travel to beautiful places. Embrace everything 2016 has to offer.

No resolutions.

Just dreams.



two thousand fifteen

Up until now, the weather has been unbelievably mild. On Christmas Day, it was balmy and green and it felt exactly like spring. I snapped a photo of the children by a small spring in the woods without jackets, which has never happened in December before. That was two days ago.

The forecast today called for a pile of snow. I've been watching the fine dusting accumulate for the last few hours. Wrapped in a fluffy cream blanket, sipping herbal tea and watching Netflix by the fire, I’ve spent the day so far in my tethered old Pj’s skimming cookbooks and earmarking all the drool-worthy recipes. Flipping through design magazines and dreaming of all the little projects I want to get tangled in. I’m eating Mr. Noodles out of a small domed box. It’s brothy and peppery and filled with those gummy rehydrated vegetables that remind me of University. Directly to my right is our Christmas tree. I always miss its soft, perfect light when it’s time to bid farewell for another year. Under the tree is a small pile of presents I’ve yet to put away. One of them is a cream lace dress my mother gave me. It came disguised in an old Young Canada box that is flimsy and bendy and torn on one edge. She's kept that box for more than thirty years. Sentimental I guess. There were a lot of Friday nights spent at that store looking at clothes that were much too cool for my ten year old self. Off the shoulder neon sweatshirts and gnarled acid wash jeans and strappy, jeweled tops. My mother would mouth an unmistakable NO while paying for their sensible counterparts and I walked away huffing and puffing.

It’s hard to imagine that in less than a week, a brand new year will begin. And like I do every year around this time, I wait and wonder- not wishing time away, but eager for what lies ahead. My children looked at me the other day when I mentioned all of this…

“You should take more pictures and write more stories.

And more spaghetti!

Oh, and more honey in your tea. It’s not sweet enough.

More sweetness mom!” 

Giggles. Drawings. A mouthful of shortbread cookies. These little faces with hot chocolate moustaches and buttery fingers know what they're talking about. 

Honestly, I can’t think of a more perfect vision for 2016.

My children.

They always know just what I need.

P.S There's no recipe for this easy appetizer board. Arugula and radicchio scattred and drizzled with a mixrure of olive oil, balsamic and dijon. I added bits of blue cheese - That Dutchman's is my favorite, along with prosciutto, pistachios and fresh figs and voila! A really beautiful and tasty starter that you can whip up in minutes.