Sober October 2015

Yes, my friends, I am going Sober October again this year. The reason is simple – too many people I know personally are being affected by this terrible sickness. Too many.

My hope is that I reach and maybe surpass my little goal of $500. Every little bit helps.

So I am asking for your support. You can join too, go Sober October and help raise funds with me.

Or, if you enjoy your wine and beer better, don’t fret, you can donate instead and I’ll do all the work being sober.

I’ll appreciate all the support I can get! Together we can make a difference!

Please visit my page here.

Thank you for your support

Joh =)

Want to help send a student to learn in Spain and France?

While at the The Delicious Food Show we came across a very special booth being manned by some very food minded students.  These students were from Thistletown Collegiate Institute located in Etobicoke.  Their booth was stocked with bottles of salsas and dips and baked goods all made by students enrolled in the school’s food and hospitality classes.

We spoke with Keith Hoare, a culinary arts teacher at Thistletown and he explained the uniqueness of this school. The students in this program are very hands on. The school has a fully equipped kitchen and offers a joint program with Humber College.  The students grow their own fresh vegetables on the grounds and in turn use these as ingredients in the dishes they make.

They are also putting their talents to good use – making food that they sell with proceeds going to help fund culinary inspired trips.   Last year they were able to travel to Italy and in 2015, they hope to travel to Spain and France.  The goal is to broaden these student’s horizons and introduce them to the world of international travel.  It is economic pressures and financial difficulties that prevent many of these students from being able to participate.

These enterprising culinary chefs have been busy setting up shop at various food events like the Toronto Underground Market and Delicious Food Show as well as participating in local events like garage sales, bakes sales, car washes and even catering to help raise money for their 2015 trip.

The costs of the Spain/France culinary adventure are currently set at approximately $4200 per student.  They are looking to raise 75% of the trip costs thus reducing the cost to the student’s family to $1050.

The girls listening to their teacher as he explained the goal and purpose of their booth.


Offering up some samples of various homemade salsas.

After sampling, I came home with the Garlic Lovers Salsa made with tomatoes, jalapeño & bell peppers, onions, garlic, garlic scales, cilantro, tomato paste, sale, lime zest & juice, spices and oil.

The other was the mango pineapple salsa – sweet and spicy – made with similar ingredients but with tasty chunks of mango and pineapple.

I could taste the freshness and their bottling is very simple and classic.


If you would like to help a student experience a great educational opportunity, change outlooks and inspire new ideas, please take a moment to visit their website:

You can make a tax-deductible donation (amounts of $25 or more) by sending a cheque to ‘Thistletown Collegiate” c/o Alanna May-Gardiner.  Reference TCI European Culinary Trip on the cheque.

Mail to: 20 Fordich Cr. Toronto, Ontario, M9W 2T4


Cookie Grams for Charity – Daily Bread Food Bank

If you remember last year, I participated in my work charity drive by baking cookie grams. Well, it’s charity season again, and I lent my baking skills to help raise funds for this year’s charity Daily Bread Food Bank.

Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. Daily Bread serves these people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 170 member agencies. A worthwhile charity and one I am not a stranger to. In high school, I spent some volunteer hours there helping to pack food. The charity has come a long way from their old space but could definitely use all the help they can get. If you would like to donate, please go here.

For this year, I agreed to dress up as a chicken, if at least 75 cookies could be sold. My workmates stepped up the plate and bought 193 cookies. Insane!

Cookies being baked and cooled. White chocolate macadamia and s’mores cookies. Containers getting filled up.



Everyone’s cookie gram messages organized and waiting to be attached to a cookie.



I had some help bagging and tagging. Thank you!!!
Cookie mountain.


No more cookies for awhile I think…=)