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Spice Health Heroes by Natasha MacAller.  Photography © Manja Wachsmuth Photography 2016. Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group

Whether we are inhaling the aromas of curry with spices like cardamom, cumin and coriander, or tasting a pasta sauce rich with rosemary, basil and oregano,  generally we simply enjoy the taste and smell food sensations. But although the word spice evokes the concept of piquant flavors and aromas of foods or drinks,  most of us don’t think of the ways in which these different herbs and spices may be altering our metabolism or have a medicinal effect. 

creamy lobster bisque

A rich lobster bisque and a creamy mushroom soup are my two favorite soups so my natural first choice on the BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurant week lunch menu was the lobster bisque. I had arranged to meet a friend  at BRIO for a leisurely relaxed lunch. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the bread basket of lavoush and crisp bread while waiting for our food.


Western omelette at Original Pancake House

Breakfast at the Original Pancake House was the choice of the youngest member of the family as the best way to celebrate his recent achievement. When we arrived at the restaurant around 9:30 on a Sunday morning it was packed, and patiently-waiting patrons were spilling out onto the pavement to soak up the welcome sunshine. Although we were initially told there would be a lengthy wait, it was actually only a few minutes before a table was cleared and we were seated.

Vegetables on the teppanyaki grill

The Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood House on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver, with its knife-twirling chefs and teppanyaki grills, has been an iconic Vancouver restaurant  since 1968. I have wonderful memories of watching my kids sitting transfixed by the juggling antics of the grill chefs and then practically inhaling  each morsel of the perfectly grilled vegetables.

My mature adult brain seems to have re-entered a period of accelerated learning as I try simultaneously to master the intricacies and nuances of several important social media platforms as fast as I can. As I figure out how to link and post efficiently to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube - just for a start - I can almost feel the impulses whizzing along neuronal pathways and embedding new concepts in my already crowded memory filing system. It's exhausting!

With two more months of intensive study ahead both I and my brain are looking forward to leaping off...

This is an odd confession to make for a theatre and restaurant reviewer who has lived in North America for 40 years. But the first time ever I visited Las Vegas (A.K.A. Entertainment Capital of the World) was a year ago, when I went there for a dance competition. It's a trifle surprising that I had not made it there before since entertainment is what I write about in ReviewFromTheSeat

On that first visit, after being shown around some of the major hotels, observing the plethora of top name restaurants  and enjoying the few awesome meals that I could...

Reversing aging - and bath-time luxury. How could these two concepts fail to capture my attention.

First the bath-time luxury. The Essence Naturals Cupcake Bath Bomb is a brilliant way of packaging bath and body products. Comprised of natural fragrances, essential oils and  flower essences, the Bath Bombs are designed to provide a moisturising bath and body spa experience.

But it was the product design that captured my attention immediately. Here's why...

yellowtailWhile dining out in Honolulu (Fine Food in Honolulu : a Sampler) I found myself confused on menu items such as hamachi, kampachi, and kanpachi which all seemed to be terms for yellowtail. Always wanting to improve my vocabulary I turned to the web to clarify these terms. I found the clearest explanation in a blog post Yellowtales in The Edible Ocean blog written by  fishmonger, MJ Gimbar.  

So as I understand it Hamachi, Kona Kampachi, Kanpachi and also Buri  and Hiramasa,...

sunset view from our table

The highly recommended choice for our second night of gourmet dining in Lima was Cala, also located on the water. We had a table on the terrace overlooking the sea and enjoyed a spectacular sunset view.

La Rosa Nautica restaurant

La Rosa Náutica
Lima, Peru

sunset view from our tableDriving in to the city if Lima from the airport, my attention was caught by a striking structure jutting our into the sea. Our driver informed us that this was a restaurant, La Rosa Nautica. With two evenings free for dining out before we left for the Amazon, I knew that for one dinner I wanted to eat at that magnificent location.  It was...


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Spice Health Heroes by Natasha MacAller.  Photography © Manja Wachsmuth Photography 2016. Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group

Whether we are inhaling the aromas of curry with spices like cardamom, cumin and coriander, ...


I specially love the dancing when cruising on the Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen ...