Tag Archives: spring

Marmora Mines

Over the Victoria long weekend, we decided to visit my boyfriend’s grandmother out in Marmora. I’ve been to Marmora in the summer, fall and winter, but this was the first time I would see Marmora in the spring.  I was really looking forward to a relaxing weekend out of the city, and was also curious about the Marmora Mines that my boyfriend said we were going to check out.

On the way, we stopped by Pitcher’s Place, a restaurant just north of Cobourg in Gores Landing that had received rave reviews for their brunch.  Pitcher’s Place did not disappoint and we were treated to an incredible, home-style, totally indulgent, utterly comforting breakfast.  I had the poached eggs on homemade toast, with a potato and squash hash (brilliant!), plus some charsiu (new word! It’s pork belly…) and a side of house braut (spiced pork sausage, oh my!) and house made pickled cauliflower, brussel sprouts and beets.  Everything was exceptional and the owner was also super friendly and helpful.  I wish they were in Toronto, I would go here every weekend!  Although…the good thing about brunch in Gores Landing is that you don’t have to wait an hour in line.

Pitcher's Place breakfast

Pitcher’s Place breakfast

The highlight of our day trip to Marmora was a visit to the Marmora Mine, an abandoned open pit iron mine just on the outskirts of town.  From the years 1955 to 1979 the mine supplied iron ore pellets to the steel mills of Buffalo, New York and the size of the mine is truly impressive.  Underground streams have since filled the enormous pit with water, turning it into a peaceful lake more than 656 feet deep and covering 85 acres across.

Marmora Mine

Marmora Mine

Marmora Mine

Marmora Mine

We spent over an hour walking along the edge of the mine and exploring down below.  A really cool site and exceptionally scenic on this gorgeous spring day!

Marmora Mine

Marmora Mine


Ottawa in the Spring

Springtime in Ottawa is a beautiful time of year.  The air is crisp, the canal is thawing out and the chirping birds are announcing their homecoming.  After a long, harsh winter, I jumped at the chance to do some distance running along the canal and ran all the way out to the dam, roaring and full of life.  My parents and I went for a gorgeous hike through a bird saunctuary and even strolling around the downtown core felt new again under a clear blue sky.

Foaming Through

“Foaming Through” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

Where We Collide

“Where We Collide” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

Raging Rainbow

“Raging Rainbow” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

Bleeding Through

“Bleeding Through” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

Between The Layers

“Between The Layers” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

Restricted Access

“Restricted Access” – Hogs Back Falls and Dam

A New Angle

“A New Angle” – Moodies Bay

Gel With Ease

“Gel With Ease” – Moodies Bay

Blue Bird

“Blue Bird” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Always Remember

“Always Remember” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Keeping The Peace

“Keeping The Peace” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Never Forget

“Never Forget” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Dry Run

“Dry Run” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Crooked Aging

“Crooked Aging” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

Sprawling Split

“Sprawling Split” – Fletcher’s Wildlife Nature Reserve and Garden

What's Left Behind

“What’s Left Behind” – Rideau Canal

Testing The Waters

“Testing The Waters” – Rideau Canal

Breaking Blue

“Breaking Blue” – Rideau Canal

Path of the Clear Minded

Path of the Clear Minded

The Shadows Below

The Shadows Below



Cubist Limits

“Cubist Limits” – National Gallery of Canada

Still Abstract

Still Abstract

Patriotic Bite

Patriotic Bite

Lead The Way

Lead The Way

Story in the Square

Story in the Square

Detox 2010 – Quinoa, Leek, Tomato & Avocado salad

For the past three weeks, I have been doing my annual detox. What better time than after Easter to cleanse the body. Spring has sprung!

The basic rules of my regular detox are: no red meat, sugar, gluten, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, corn & corn based products, and dairy. Seems crazy but by the second week I find it gets much easier, and even fun! I love trying out new vegetarian recipes and discovering alternative ways to spice and flavour, plus my body feels sooo amazing, I almost feel that it’s a shame to go back to my old ways!

This year I did something a little different and started off the cleanse with a 10 day detox, where you slowly eliminate and then bring back different elements. Day 5-7 was the most challenging because you are limited to: tofu, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, apples and pears. The hardest part – no rice, no beans.
But I did it! And man, was I bouncing around with energy that weekend, I practically flew through my running route!

Anyway, the one thing I love about detoxing is that I always find some new foods and recipes to add to my regular diet. This year I discovered: lentil chips (with guacamole, awesome), flax seed oil, quinoa salads, tofu mayo (with baked sweet potato fries – more awesomeness), steamed kale (OK vegetarians, I get it now!), apple/pear smoothie and quinoa onion rings (which I didn’t make but I had them at Fresh – best ever).

I’d like to share some of these recipes with you, so enjoy some healthy goodness!

First up:
Quinoa, Tomato & Avocado Salad

Filling with fresh and creamy accents, this is a perfect salad for lunchtime!  I discovered that flax seed oil works beautifully with quinoa – just a hint of salty nutty-ness, healthy and not too oily.

Makes 2 large salads


1 cup organic quinoa

1 leek, white section chopped and rinsed

2 large hot house tomatoes, diced

1 roasted red pepper, diced

1 tablespoon flax seed oil

lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 avocado

Boil two cups of water in a saucepan.  Add the quinoa and allow water to return to a boil.  Stir in the leeks and place a lid over the saucepan and turn the heat to low.  Cook quinoa 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with fork.

Add the tomatoes, peppers, flax seed oil and salt and pepper to taste and a squirt of lemon juice.

Split into two servings and keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

To serve,  slice half the avocado into cubes and sprinkle over top.  Wrap up the other half of the avocado and save for the second serving of salad.