Food fun stuff


wild mushrooms, chanterelles, chaterelle mushrooms sauteed in butter



That is the question I repeatedly asked everyone and myself all weekend.  Chanterelles are the Rolls Royce of mushrooms and found on the menus of the fanciest restaurants in town. They caught my eye mid-week at Fiesta Farms for 2 reasons.  Cha-ching! They’re super pricey and second, they have a really strange cap (rippled and uneven- not circular) and a unique colour – sort of similar to egg yolks.    chanterelles, wild mushrooms


Fast forward to the weekend and I stumbled on what I suspected were those very coveted mushrooms! But this time the strange shaped fungi were in the ground all around me.  This summer has been so rainy and damp that my parents’ cottage property is carpeted with all kinds of fungi.  And lots of them have that signature gold colour.  Are these edible chanterelles? Or are they deadly? Had I uncovered treasures amongst the pine needles and decomposing leaves? 

chanterelles, cottage muskoka

My dad Marty Kosoy working on his beautiful Lily garden at the cottage

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Design Video


spring planter, design, garden pots, gardening, planters, how-to, spring


spring planter, design, garden pots, gardening, planters, how-to, springAfer a long cold grey winter, it’s so tempting to get carried away with all the pretty spring flowers. Trouble is, tulips and daffodils don’t last very long.  I adore the look of blue hydrangeas, but temperature fluctuations at this time of year mean they often die.   I’m a gal who needs bang for her buck.  So, if I’m going to spend anything, I want to enjoy my plant containers for months instead of weeks. That’s how I justify splurging on winter and summer pots like the ones I’ve shared with you on this blog.    So, the only time I ever go to the effort of making spring planters is if they can be cheap and/or easy (prefereably both). If you want more fab photos and info on the elements I used, click ‘continue reading’ (below).  Or, if  you just want to see the video demo of how simple these babies are to make, here’s the link to michelleswalnutkitchen easy spring planter demo.  Continue Reading

Fitness Wellness


exercise, half marathon, goodlife, running, race, first half marathon



exercise, half marathon, goodlife, running, race, exercise community

Along the route of my first half marathon May 2016


As I see it, life’s activities fall into 3 categories:  

1) Things you love to do

2) Things you do because you have to

 3) Things you do because they’re good for you 

Things you love to do

For me, that would be the combo of binging on something salty, red wine, and Netflix (in my PJs).

Things you do because you have to

Anything involving food on the table and a roof over your head.  That would be:  working, paying the bills and cleaning the perpetual trail of dishes, towels, and socks that is my teenager’s trademark.  You should see his biohazard site bedroom!

Things you do because they’re good for you 

Now here’s where it gets a little more complicated for me.  Sometimes I find it hard to discern between the stuff I force myself to do for the right reasons – because it’s good for me – and things I legitimately shouldn’t do because I simply don’t like doing them!  I practically break out in hives before doing new, unfamiliar and seemingly unpleasant things.  Continue Reading

Michelle's Favourite Recipes Video


delicious leek and potato soup, easy soup, potato and leek soup, vegan soup, soup recipe


It’s Official, It’s Spring

But, even though we’re getting teased with a day here and there, don’t kid yourself… it’s still going to be chilly for the foreseeable future.    I don’t know about you, but I’m still wearing my woollies and craving wintery comfort food.  So, what could be better to take the edge off a damp, cold, rainy day? A bowl of delicious leek and potato soup.  Mmmm…YUM!

Over the last few months, I’ve been producing video demos so you can see for yourself how easy it is to whip up some of the recipes I’ve written about on the Walnut Kitchen blog.   I first posted the recipe for this hearty soup in the early days of my blog.  (Here’s the link to the full leek and potato soup recipe)  Now, if you click below, you can watch the video demo to see how to make it.  Let me know if you try it.  Or if you have any other soup recipes you love that are perfect for the winter to spring transition, I’d love to hear from you. Happy Cooking!


If you like what you see and you want to be notified when the next video is posted, please subscribe to my YouTube channel called Michelleswalnutkitchen. 

fun stuff Video


edible gift, easy diy project, diy mason jars, mason jars, pretty mason jars, mason jar gift, craft project


Years ago, when I was still working at HGTV, we had to come up with a title for a new craft show. This show was going to blow all others out of the water. It would be unlike any craft show because it had edge. (I know, that sounds a little ridiculous).  We all wanted to call it “Craft Addict”  but alas, the ‘higher ups’ said no because it was too close, they thought, to crack addict. At least now I can put the term “craft addict” to good use!  🙂  But, seriously, I never considered myself to be a ‘crafty’ type of gal.  Far from it! But, as you can see, I got a little carried away with these DIY mason jar gifts.  I’m thinking they are going to make great treats for Valentine’s Day!

diy mason jars, mason jars, pretty mason jars, mason jar gift, craft project, edible gift, easy diy project A while back, when I shared my granola recipe, I included a picture of my go-to breakfast cereal in a mason jar.  It was all ‘dolled up’ with some fancy paper and bows.  To my surprise, some lovely people actually reached out to say they would pay me to make some pretty mason jars to give away as gifts.  How unexpected! How strange… because I think it brought out this dormant crafting bug I think I caught!   Oh! Oh! Does this mean I will be scrapbooking soon? Help!

diy mason jars, mason jars, pretty mason jars, mason jar gift, craft project, edible gift, easy diy projectSo, off I went to Michael’s to stock up on supplies.  I entered another world.  I went to town on labels, craft paper, jute twine and ribbon.  Made a couple batches of cereal, put them all together and was pretty pleased with the end result.  What fun!  I thought, “Hey, if I can do this, anyone can”. 


diy mason jars, mason jars, pretty mason jars, mason jar gift, craft project, edible gift, easy diy projectSo, in case you want to see how easy it is to jazz up a jar to make anything more enticing, check out my DIY mason jar demo (below)!  Here’s what you’ll need for each mason jar: craft paper cut into an 8”x 8” square, 30” of ribbon and 1 label.  

Here’s the links to the  print recipe and video demo posts of my breakfast granola.  And if you like what you see, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.  Enjoy!  Happy Crafting!


Food Video


breakfast granola, granola, easy granola, delicious cereal, cereal


If you read my homemade granola post a little while back, you know that this recipe is one of my favourites. It’s delicious and healthy -a perfect combo since we are all trying to get off to a good fresh start this month. Watch the video demo (below) and see for yourself that this breakfast granola recipe is also quick and easy.  Now, there’s nothing stopping you from making it!

The printable recipe can be found at the bottom of my earlier granola post here.  And,  if you want to doll up your mason jar full of granola so you can give it as a gift, here’s a link to a video demo post which shows you step by step.  The end result is so pretty and it dead easy. Enjoy!  And subscribe to my YouTube channel if you like what you see. 🙂

I’d love to hear from you.  Let me know if you get a chance to make it or if you have a great granola recipe you would like to share.  🙂  

  1. • 4 cups rolled oats (I use gluten free)
  2. • 1 cup whole psyllium husks (or oat bran or a combo)
  3. • 1 cup chopped almonds
  4. • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  5. • 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
  6. • ½ cup sesame seeds
  7. • 1 cup coconut flakes
  8. • ½ cup maple syrup
  9. • ¼ cup coconut oil melted
  10. • 1 & 1/3 cup any combo of dried fruit (I love goji berries, cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots)
  1. 1) Preheat oven to 300F
  2. 2) Mix dry ingredients in large bowl (except dried fruit)
  3. 3) Combine maple syrup and melted coconut oil
  4. 4) Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine well
  5. 5) Transfer to 2 parchment lined cookie sheets
  6. 6) Bake for 25 minutes stirring halfway through
  7. 7) Add dried fruit, combine and cool before storing. Enjoy!
Walnut Kitchen

Inspiration Wellness


Nurture Yourself, Know Yourself & Love Yourself


love yourself, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing careerLet me guess.  Lose a few pounds….abstain from drinking (for a while)…exercise more….yadda yadda yadda. This is a time for all of us to take our New Year’s resolutions to the next level. 

If, like me, (by choice or not) you find your job situation has left you asking yourself, now what? This is a golden opportunity to dig deep and look inside. 

Last year at this time, there were many questions I asked myself to help me find new direction.  Questions like: What is the ‘one thing’ that everyone says I’m good at?   What makes my heart sing? What do I read about most often?  What are my passions and interests?  Will I still be interested in this particular area six months or a year from now? 

love yourself, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing careerWhen you are asking yourself, “what is my purpose”, go easy on yourself.     One of the most inspiring pieces of advice I found is from New York Times best-selling author, wellness advocate and cancer survivor, Kris Carr.  She says:

“When our purpose is external, we may never find it.  If we tie our purpose or meaning to our vocation, goal or an activity, we’re likely setting ourselves up for discomfort and even failure down the line…Your purpose is actually quite simple, it’s to awaken.  To discover and nurture who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level…Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling and everything to do with how you treat yourself and others.”


love yourself, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career


Well friends, I think I’ve said all I can say about “reinventing yourself” for a while!  I’ll check back in when I’ve made some more progress and my new career path is a little more complete.  For now, I will get back to posting recipes and other fun things on Walnut Kitchen.  But, I would also love to feature people who have successfully reinvented themselves. So, I need your help.  If you have anyone to suggest please e mail me at or contact me through any of my social media platforms on my contact page. 



Until then, my final words and two best pieces of advice on what I’ve learned on my journey so far, is:  First, start somewhere –anywhere.  Second, no matter what, always remember to be kind and to love yourself.  When you can do that, everything is bound to fall into place.  

Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, growth, peace and most of all – to love yourself.

If you wish to read the previous “Reinvent Yourself” posts in this series, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.


Also, if you want to read more from Kris Carr (quoted above), her article “The Myth of Finding Your Purpose”, in my opinion is a MUST READ.  Enjoy!

love yourself, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Best-selling author, wellness advocate, cancer survivor Kris Carr

Inspiration Wellness



filming videos, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Shooting videos for my YouTube channel- ‘Michelles Walnut Kitchen’

I come from decades of working in a visual medium. So, while I enjoy blogging and how it has helped me become fluent digitally, I don’t just want to write, I want to SHOW and tell.  I think that’s part of my ‘ESSENCE’.  Another BIG part of my true essence is that I’ve always loved WATCHING people cook.  So, why not add a video component to my blog to make the recipes I share come to life?  Plus, today the reality is that people are WATCHING more than they are READING. (If you are still reading this, THANK YOU).   Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes


If EVER there was a time to make potato latkes…

THIS is the year to go to the effort.  WHY?  Because the first night of Hanukkah AND Christmas Eve fall on the SAME night which hasn’t happened in almost 40 years!  AND, potato latkes don’t JUST make a decadent side dish, they are PERFECT as the base of a showstopping hors d’oeuvre that I can’t wait to share! potato latkes, side dish, hors doeuvres, potato, latke, smoked salmon

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. Besides lighting candles for 8 nights, it’s traditional to eat food that has been cooked in oil.  Some people eat donuts, and others, like me, go for a more savoury indulgence like potato latkes!  Whether you’re an ‘MOT’ (member of the tribe) or not, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t LOVE these babies.  They are typically eaten with apple sauce.  But I just like them with a sprinkling of salt. Continue Reading

Inspiration Wellness



Shake It Up & Try New Things

Definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Einstein was right.  A year ago, when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my career, I decided to stop the insanity in my life.   If I was going to move forward and reinvent myself, I had to say goodbye to my old ways and shake EVERYTHING up, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis,change everything, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Move your Body, Feed Your Soul & PLAY


I decided to try something I had physically never attempted before.  I set a goal to run a half marathon and joined a running group (read more on the merits of that here).  I signed up for mindfulness workshops and started meditating regularly (see my post “Meditating on a Smartphone”).   For kicks, I started playing Mah Jongg.  I rekindled an old interest in knitting and ignited a new one in blogging.  I discovered that trying new things is the oxygen that makes me feel ALIVE and excited about the next chapter.    Continue Reading