My home and heart are tucked away here in the Kootenay valley, surrounded by mountains,close to water and away from the noise and stress of the city. I love to hike & take my dogs out for walks. I go out in the 10 person voyageur canoe our Paddling Club acquired this year maybe once or twice a week, with as few as 4 and a maximum of 10 paddlers. We have yet to do a big organized trip, maybe next year when the club's better established. Love to workout at our gym, and instruct cardio step classes as of this year (2008). Life's organized around one hubby, 2 dogs, & 2 cats. Just lost my 13 year old cat who I have as an icon on one of my cookbooks to old age, which has been a sad experience. That's my dog Neige you see as my icon. My culinary influences include Molly Katzen (Moosewood cookbooks), Taste of Home, flipping through magazines, Simmering Suppers (one-pot meals from Harrowsmith Kitchens)and Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Pasta, which was a fundraising project for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Hunting out recipes is my favourite part of food prep. whether it's being on the zaar or having nose in cookbook. I'm not the only recipe lover in the world but I know lots of people cook and bake without directions and create their own beautiful dishes. Some can look at a recipe and decide how to modify it to their own liking. Some never make the same thing twice, some make the same things over and over. I love when I finally have a recipe down pat, down by "heart", and I think I'm a pretty good cook; I have a style that infuses my cooking even though I can't back off far enough to get a real sense of that style, and I think love and wisdom and calmness and other good qualities permeate my dishes. Maybe a love for adventure, the unknown, flavours the food I prepare, since that's reflected in my choice to try new recipes all the time. A love for people may come through reflecting my interest in who the author is of the recipe I'm using. I like knowing something about them, even if it's just where they're from which is usually pretty accessible information either from the cookbook or the Zaar or magazines. My love for home, homelife, my devotion to the ones I love, the ones I cook and bake for, surely that's an essential ingredient in my dishes.