Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recipes to Riches - My Journey So Far

For my updated Recipe to Riches saga and the now infamous "Stacked Bowls" video, please click here: Open Invitation to the Stacked Bowls

"Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more."

~Brother David Steindl-Rast

How many of us take the time to make a conscious effort to feel grateful?

I'd like to tell you I do.

That I spend my mornings quietly meditating and chanting Ohm Shanti Shanti Ohm while contemplating all the good in my life.

But if I told you that, I'd be lying.

Because in reality, gratitude is hard.

It's much easier to take notice of the things that need fixing, or changing, or re-arranging, than it is to be grateful for what I have.

And I know I'm not alone.

The whole thing became more clear this past weekend.

Remember a few weeks ago, in my blog, "I Need to Get Off This Road" when I said "When I want to turn left, I must remember to turn right. when I begin to feel stress, I must turn it around and find the joy..."

Well friends, I have turned right.

Big time.

About two days after writing that fateful post, a commercial came on TV for a brand new show on Food Network Canada called Recipes to Riches and for some reason, it caught my attention.

The premise is to give amateur cooks from all across Canada an opportunity to come up with a dish that could potentially become a product on the shelves of The Real Canadian Superstore. It also offers the largest cash prize in Canadian TV history: $25,000.00 to seven category winners, and a $250,000.00 grand prize to the winner who will be voted on by a Canadian audience.

And how will that occur?

By having the finalists appear on a reality style TV show.

People, talk amongst yourselves...

I am obviously verklempt.


Friends who have been with me throughout the years know that:

A, I am a reality TV Super Fan.

and B, I was born for the spotlight...

With a pie in hand.

In other words, the universe, in it's infinite wisdom, is providing me with a chance to get back to living life on some kind of edge.

And so I began - first by creating a video - where I had the unfortunate misstep of describing "Big Bowls" of chili lining my kitchen counter while simultaneously, and fabulously hand gesturing toward my chest.

"When I want to turn left, I must remember to turn right. when I begin to feel stress, I must turn it around and find the joy..."


On Thursday evening, the day before I was set to take the ferry to Vancouver for the open calls, I arrived home with my bag full of groceries ready to prepare my dish - only to find the Man I Married sitting on the kitchen floor with our oven door on the floor with him.

People, who's oven door falls off the day before the most important cooking competition of their lives?

Don't answer that.

I ended up driving over to my mom's with my ingredients packed into a Superstore "Bin Shoppin" rough tote (apropos, I know) and baked the whole thing there.

But none of that is what this blog is really about.

I decided to write about the experience because it has, this far, been so incredibly rich for me.

Although my oven door falling off could have been disastrous, I chose not to see it that way and instead opted to go with the flow with the way things were panning out.

In the end, I got to spend the most memorable, funny, and love filled afternoon with my mother that I can honestly tell you was worth more to me than the prize package - people, life is short, and I will treasure my memories of that day with both my mom and my dad for the rest of my life.

Ditto for the day of the open call.

The ferry ride over with my husband and sister in law was so much fun.

Although I was nervous, their love and support got me up the elevator and through the doors, where, once I was actually there, I decided to be in the moment, and have gratitude for the experience - and that, as Robert Frost once put it, made all the difference.

Truth be told, in my deepest heart of hearts, I believed (and still do) that I had something to bring to the table that was pretty special and I am most proud of myself for staying out of my own rut and giving myself the opportunity to never have to say "If only."

We live our lives in a sea of "If Only's"

"If only I hadn't said that."

"If only I had finished school."

"If only my life had taken a different turn."

Talk about an exercise in futility.

Because "if only's" are nothing more than sand on a beach.

Ever present and seemingly solid but easily crumbled under the test of time and tide.

I received a gold ticket on Saturday to be considered to carry on in the competition and I want to tell every single person reading this that the risks you take in life are completely worth it.

You may not always succeed in the ways that you hoped for - but when you finally do, the moment is like nothing you could ever imagine, and worth all it's weight in GOLD!


It's the vehicle that drives us onward toward wellness, happiness, esteem, and creation.

And it is my wish on this beautiful Tuesday that you will take the time to look around, notice, and to acknowledge all that you have to be grateful for.

And maybe in the process, commit to taking some risks too!


Whether I make it any further, I truly feel like a winner already!

Love, hugs, and SMOOCHES to ALL of you!!!!

Here's to taking chances!


  1. Love this Blog, Love this video, Love you.... Could we possibly make some "Team Lyndsay" T'Shirts, I could wear it around town to show the Aussie support. Let them know you have International appreal. I am loving this.

  2. I LOVE IT!!! And I love you too Kerrie - you will never know how much it means to me to have you on my "team" after all these years!


  3. OMG. Food, reality television and Lyndsay. All three of my favorite things rolled into one!

    Did you know you glow? You do. Now, go kick some booty! <3

  4. Pam, I will do it on behalf of the Sisterhood ;)

    Especially because my final dish was inspired by the great state of Louisiana!

    Love you HUGE!


  5. What a neat story you've told. Once or twice a year my dad's brother comes down from Michigan with all the imported italian cheeses, and with them, wine, and a lot of pork we make homemade Italian sausage. It's just a guy think--no women in the kitchen! And I treasure those times with my dad, as you must realize.

  6. Such a beautiful blog! How did you know this was just the message I needed to hear this morning? Congrats on your success thus far. And, yes--I am most definitely coming along with you!

  7. I am SOOO very proud of you!! I read, and as always, I'm touched to my core. My trip to work everyday through the park is my "thankful" time. But I realize that I need some "Nike" time too....JUST DO IT! Yesterday, I told my mom I needed a good, swift kick-start. And my dear....I think I just got it!! Much love and good wishes as you travel this path. Love and hugs!!

  8. Oh, that video is priceless!
    "...bowls..." and hand gesture
    "...stacked..." and hand gesture
    "...feel..." and hand gesture

    But on a serious note, I am so proud of you!! I bet there are great things coming your way because you took the leap. And yes, my friend, I will be right there with you all the way. Mega-hugs to you!
    ~That Weather Girl

  9. Well, you KNEW you were right up their alley. Knock 'em dead.

  10. oh how I love thee my darling Kitchen Witch!! As you know I have followed your blogs since myspace (RIP) and was so excited to see you branch out into cooking. Your food blogs are fun to read and delicious to make!

    I wanna see you on my TV!!


  11. Oh my darling Lynds. I loved the blog, loved the video, love you (duh!). Pam is right, you do glow and all of this is just icing on your cake and for all of us who know and love you. God bless you for making our lives richer. You deserve every good thing. I want my Team Lyndsay T shirt. I'll wear it loud and proud!

  12. The oven door falling off was simply fate telling you that when you win that big prize, you need to treat yourself to a new oven!!

    You never cease to amaze me.
    Here's hoping we get to follow down the entire road!!!!

    Too bad we Yanks don't get a vote in the competition!

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  14. Taking the other road sometimes takes great courage at first and then we get the wind behind our back and its full charge ahead. I am very excited for you, what a great opportunity for you to pursue something you really love doing. Congratulations Lyndsay and you take your gold chip and go girl you go!!!
    We are all pulling for you!

  15. Big Congrats! on your journey so far. I love it when good and fun things happen for good people.

  16. Can you imagine the lot of us watching you on a reality TV show? We could have our own Reality TV Watcher's reality TV show. You're a joy to read; the recipes take meaning when you attach a story to them. Great job and I hope to see you on TV, even if we have to move to Canada to watch!

    XO Maggie

  17. I am SO excited for you! You are going to just wow them so much becasue you DESERVE this! ((Plus, the food you cook is just so dang good.....))
    There have been many a blog of yours thart has made me laugh and cry and few snort Dr Pepper out my nose....((including the video and the gesters - CLASSIC Maven!!!!!))
    You win this and I will ante up and get cable again - just to watch you wipe the floor with Miss Rachel Ray!!! LOL

  18. I'm so proud of you. If anyone should be chosen it is you! We love you and know that you will be seriously awesome :-)

  19. I have a tear in my eye as I type GOOD LUCK and CONGRATS (to me you already won.. how can we Amrican's see this TV show when it airs?)

    love you,

  20. OMG! How absolutely THRILLING! You have my vote whatever you make. Your video is great! I can see you with your own show -- you can be the Canadian Ina! What a perk this morning. You are a doll. This blog post, of course, is hysterical. Why your blog isn't my home page I'll never know, it always makes me smile.

  21. I'm so proud of you Lyndsay! I loved your video. I could watch you all day long, what a lovely voice and presence you have. You are so comfortable in front of the camera. And you are very lucky to have such a proud and supportive husband~loved that picture. I bet you go all the way! I can't wait for updates. You go cook up a storm and I'll be wearing my "Team Lyndsay" t-shirt. HUGS!!! Your posts are always so inspiring and heartfelt. It's not only about food, but about life and love. You're just so lovely and I'm so happy for you!

  22. I love your blog, your food, and you!!!

  23. I love your blog, your food, and you!!!

  24. Your blog inspires me. I read this post and had tears (happy ones) well up in my eyes, as I too have contemplated lover some big decisions over the last few days.

    Your words uplifted me!

    Thank you so very much for being YOU!

    Hugs and smile bunches!


  25. Hello everyone!! Let me just say, I am OVERWHELMED by your support. Please know I am sending each and every one of you huge bunches of love. I will keep everyone posted - and in keeping with the power of positive thinking - will let you know when I get the nod to move ahead in the competition ;)

  26. Well the family has a GOLD star in their midst!!! Congrats!!!

  27. This post was wonderful. What a great reminder to reach for the stars but remember to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground! I love love love Food Network! This opportunity is sooooo cool! Congrats to you!

  28. Awww! Crap! I missed the video. :-/
    I'm sure you were absolutely fabulous as always. Food reality TV? now THAT doesn't have Maven written all over it...unless they throw in the latest fashion while they're at it.
    I'm looking forward to your new fame! Towanda, baby!

  29. No new fame yet Claudia, but keep on keeping your fingers crossed for me!!

  30. This is one of the most inspirational and well written post I have come across in quite a while. You've said it all :) Congratulations on advancing and best of luck & continued success.

    Your blog is great!

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  32. Lyndsay... I am so happy and excited for you! You have been sharing wonderful recipes, be it for the palate or one's soul, for as long as we've known each other. You are truly inspiring as you shine living out you passion! You are going to rock them!!!

  33. Its a long story but Food Network saved my life (dramatic but real) 10 years ago. Seeing your joy leading up to the audition and the sheer fabulousity (is that a word) over receiving the Gold Ticket is sweet. As much as I wish I had been there to witness everything Saturday, knowing your husband and SIL were there was icing on your cake. The cherished afternoon with your mom and dad -- just another delicious gift and I know my mom is looking forward to hearing about your journey (she needs this right now).

    So on to the next level and cheers from your biggest Vancouver fan.

  34. Honey, you are DESTINED to be a super star!!!!!!!!!!!!!!