The Perfect Cup of Tea


I have been something of a coffee drinker for a very long time.  Over the years and along with my move to the West Coast (where coffee seems to be stronger) I’ve become very particular about my coffee.  It’s got to be STRONG.  oh and shade grown, fair trade and organic to boot!!  All of that aside, lately I’ve been finding anything more than one cup of coffee a day has been too much for me to handle!!  I think the stress and business of work and family life has reved me up more than usual.  Yep I am down to one cup of coffee a day.

And then I met Market Spice Tea…and I am completely hooked.   My sister-in-law Jules made me a cup at Christmas and I know we’ve crossed paths in the past…my love of cinnamon would explain the attraction!  So I now frequent local tea shops in search of the perfect loose leaf blend.  And I’ve learned a little bit in the process.  Well first, the tea shop up the street carries a wonderful Rooibos Market Spice blend.  I know there are many health benefits from Rooibos including anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.  It’s reddish in colour but I do find that it is so fine it comes through my tea ball.

Rooibos blend

I’ve also learned that Market Spice tea originated  from a spice shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1911…the shop still stands and ofcourse I’ve learned this tid bit only weeks after having been in Seattle!! Oh well.  So the original Market Spice tea consists of  black tea with spices (I’ve been told cloves) and cinnamon-orange flavourings.    I think I prefer the black tea blend and it seems to be more affordable compared to the rooibos blend.  Black tea is a powerful anti-oxidant and detoxifier so it has significant anti-cancer benefits. 

Black tea blend

And I am so happy to have found tea filters so that I don’t have to fuss with tea balls and strainers and tea pots.  Two teaspoons of the tea blend steeped for 8-10 minutes seems to make a delightful cup.  I tend to leave the teabag in as I drink my tea so the cinnamon flavour gets stronger and stronger.  Yum!!

 I took this picture of a lone poppy from my garden this morning while the sun was actually peaking through the clouds.   It has just finished hailing out…it is the beginning of May…I cannot believe the weather we’ve been having this spring!!  I think I’ll go finish my cup of tea and read a good book…


Sweet Ginger Quinoa…

This has to be one of the yummiest recipes that I’ve made in a really long time…and it tastes even better the next day…all the flavours seem to blend well so it makes for great take-to-work left overs!!  I recently came across Charmaine Broughton-Dunn’s “Recipes of the Month” section of The Running Room Magazine (which is a free Canadian publication)…and then I found Charmaine’s “” page on facebook which I thoroughly enjoy……what an inspiring woman indeed!!  Charmaine’s recipe goes as follow (and what I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is…both in terms of portion size and type of protein added):

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp (15 mL) EACH finely grated lime zest and minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cracked fresh pepper
  • 1 lb /500 g large shrimp, deveined and tail left intact (about 30 shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fish stock or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh dill

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion, stirring for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly brown.  Add ginger, lime zest, garlic and pepper.  Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring until ginger and garlic are fragrant.  Add shrimp, stock, lime juice and honey.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once (scraping any bits from bottom of pan), until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Toss prepared quinoa with shimp mixture, dill and peppers.  Make 4 sersvings.

**how I’ve adapted Charmaine’s recipe due to household food allergies:  well first of all I double the amount of quinoa so there’s guarenteed leftovers!!  I substitute the shrimp with about 2/3 cups of cubed firm tofu and I use vegetable stock instead of fish stock…and unfortunately yesterday I couldn’t find fresh dill!!

Nutritional information provided  by Amy Snider, PHEC

  • Per serving:
  • calories 188
  • fat 5 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrates 23 g
  • fibre 2 g
  • sodium 122 mg



“Be humble for you are made of earth.  Be nobble for you are made of stars.”  ~ Serbian Proverb

The Lone Runner…

Yep that’s me.  I found myself out today for a run in the afternoon as it was my day off.  It was very windy outside and for me that’s been excuse enough not to run lately.  So I continued on only to find myself gravitating to my favourite place to run in my neighbourhood….a beautiful wooded green space protected by the NALT…I’ll refer to it as LV.   At least in the park I would be sheltered from the wind…that’s what I was thinking.  This park is definitely one of the more elusive parks in town…sometimes you can go in and not see a soul. 

 Today I counted….7 men, 1 woman, 2 babies carried on  2 of the aforementioned men and 6 dogs (offleash ofcourse).  One man had a long walking stick.  Yes I will admit my senses definitely heighten when I’m in park and I make these sorts of observations…I didn’t see any of these people until I was ready to leave park.  So this happens to me every time I go in…I feel confident and brave initially but by the time I am really in the heart of the forest surrounded by the beautiful trees and ferns and moss…I hit the panic button…I start to wonder if that male cougar (Linley is know for him)  is watching me from  the thick of the forest…or will the man I encounter on the trail be friendly?  As crazy as it sounds, this is the fear I typically have when I am alone in this  isolated albeit beautiful  area. 

 So why do I do this to myself?  Why do I put myself in this situation??  Well I guess why wouldn’t I…I love to be in the woods and run on the hilly trails…should I live in fear this way??  It’s up for debate.  Until then I will think of better ways to protect myself…someone suggested I get dog spray and carry it in my hand…that sounds like a good idea.  We shall see…maybe the next time I go for a run in the woods I’ll have found myself the perfect running partner …