With the new school year going on in full swing, it’s hard to miss the growing stack of candy bars that is beginning to pile up on my kitchen counter. All of them were either  bought in support for the kids in our neighbourhood, or from parents at Hubby Dear’s workplace,  as part of their fundraising for their respective schools. I dread the day Baby Dear comes home with a box of his own, and we buy at least half of it! A few weeks ago I came across a wonderful initiative by Fresh from the Farm, a program that raises funds for schools by selling bundles of local produce (onions, apples, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes) to families. Anything that promotes and helps introduce kids to healthy eating gets my complete support!


Fresh from the Farm is designed to provide healthy fundraising alternatives to schools by selling Ontario fruit and vegetables. This innovative approach encourages students to learn healthy eating habits. Since September 2013, 152 Ontario schools have successfully piloted Fresh from the Farm. In total, schools collectively distributed almost 130,000 kilograms of fresh, Ontario fruit and vegetables to Ontario families, raising more than $112,000 for school
initiatives. An additional $150,000 was returned to Ontario farmers.

Who can Participate?
The entire list of Ontario elementary and secondary school boards that are eligible to participate can be found here.

What is being sold?

  • Bundle A, for $10: 5 lb. potatoes, 3 lb. carrots, 3 lb. onions,  3 lb. sweet potatoes
  • Bundle B, for $15: 8 lb. box of apples

How much profit does the school make?

  • Schools make 40 per cent of total revenue collected (less a $60 delivery fee)
  • Farmers are returned 50 per cent
  • Fresh from the Farm receives 10 per cent for program sustainability

How does it work?

  • School enrolls at www.FreshfromFarm.ca
  • Students fundraise starting Sept 8th
  • School orders ‘Bundles’ on-line
  • Volunteers receive, sort and pack vegetables on the delivery  day—ready for pick-up!

Find out more:

Disclosure: I received compensation from Fresh from the Farm in collaboration with Food Bloggers of Canada in return for promoting this initiative. All opinions are my own.

Ever since I started this blog on a whim one morning over 9 years ago, I’ve been amazed at the support and encouragement that I’ve received from all you wonderful readers of mine. You were right there holding my hand as I nervously worked on my first cookbook. When news of the second one came around, you were there again cheering me on. Over the years, you’ve come to see me in my many avatars as a writer, cooking instructor, home-cooking advocate and above all, a food blogger.

As I sit here today marveling at how wonderfully enriching this journey has been so far, I can’t help curb the excitement for what’s yet to come. And it is with that same excitement that I invite you all to step into my kitchen and cook along with me. Many of you have requested time and again, that I include videos to my recipes. It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here!

Today, I finally bit the bullet and let the camera run. As you can tell, I am a novice at this – but I do believe that I can only get better with time. Could I request you all to please like, subscribe and share my YouTube cooking channel? So don’t forget to watch my videos and join me on my Facebook page for many more recipes, tips and generally keeping in touch. And yeah, a new recipe video will up each week starting next Wednesday!

YouTube Channel
Facebook Page

For someone who loves to throw parties at the drop of a hat, getting my hands on this book was like finding that cookie jar meticulously hidden away by Mom! Friends and family will swear to you that when I decide to throw a party, food is all, if not the ONLY thing that sits on my mind for most days prior to the event in question. Hubby Dear can attest to the fact that I call him during office hours simply to discuss menus with him. Not that he has much say in it, except for what he would like to eat himself at the party.For a girl like me who loves to excite and impress her guests with tiny tid-bits of food that not only buffer ongoing conversation, but become topics to discuss in length themselves, Julie gives me eactly what I’m looking for. From dips you can sink your heart into, daintily filled phyllo packages, lip-smacking favourites, to sweet litlle bundles of sugar, she takes you on a wonderful ride through the fabulous world of miniature food.

The first time I sat down with Grazing, I couldn’t help but run to get my sticky markers (the mini post-it stickies that I can’t live without!) to mark the recipes I just knew I had to try. No matter how much I try and contain my excitement everytime I flip through a page of the book, it always seems to drive me to my kitchen. Now, I’m not a fan of cookbooks that do not have a story to tell. There have been ample times when I picked up a great looking cover, only to place it down again because it lacked what I’d like to call, a soul. True, great photographs do make you swoon, but I’d rather know a little something about the essence of the dish than what it could look like. I’m a firm believer that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and I’ll gladly try out a recipe that might not look too appetizing, but has a strong conviction to back it up.

And here’s exactly where Julie’s book breaks all my ground rules. With very few (but highly delectable) photographs to allure your taste buds, and no inside tales to gossip over, Julie hits the nail right where it’s meant to be. The 100 or so recipes truly stand out for themselves leaving very less to imagination. The simplicity of it all tells you than you can expect yourself to be blown away by it’s smartness and mingling flavours. As a crazy woman who’s sole resolution for the year was to throw at least ONE party each month, I couldn’t be happier to get my hands on this treasure trove. And if you’re one of those who love to munch through a meal without the guilt of eating a 10-lb steak, then I’d suggest you jump in on the bandwagon. You see, the book is only filled with munchies, food in its miniest (if that’s even a word!) size, and perfect for those who like me, believe that as long as it’s tiny, it hardly matters how many you ate. After all, how weight can one gain over such a small bite of food, right?