Mother Nature in an Urban Jungle

We love to hike, but living in Florida the concept of real hiking is a distant dream. Not to say there aren’t trails here because there are hundreds but they are more the ‘nature walk’ variety than an actual hiking trail. This does not stop us, though, the outdoors calls us every weekend and we try to find somewhere new to explore and let Copper our dog run (he is a natural born trail dog). This past weekend we ventured further than what we normally do and to a whole new part of the coast in search of a trail, we read about online. This adventure led us to a nature trail in Tarpon Springs, FL smack, bang in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, with the whir of a highway nearby and the deep hum of massive power lines overhead. Anclote River Nature Park.

  • You can usually tell the quality of a trail by how well it is maintained

My instant reaction was ‘where in the world are we??’, the restrooms were out of service due to vandalism, there were no other cars in the parking lot and the picnic benches were chained and bolted to nearby trees. This truly was mother nature in an urban jungle.

We set off on what we thought was the trail, as it was signposted “Trail” however this only lead us in a small loop past a dead end and to the parking lot again. We re-grouped and followed the second path this led us along a crushed shell walkway towards the water. Along the way, we met two women with two dogs asking us where the beach on the trail was. Beach??? Yes, Tarpon Spring is on the coast, but this trail was not. In their hands was a plastic bag with moldy bread which I am guessing was to feed seagulls? Where in the world are we?

The trail was advertised as being 2 miles long, and we really maximized those 2 miles, weaving in and out of each new trail head that took us to another dead end or small viewing platform on the water.  Was this the best trail we’ve been on in Florida? No, will we come back again? Probably not. Did we have fun? Of course! It’s always good to be outdoors and moving around plus the dog always has a good time, which means we have a good time and it was definitely an adventure.

We ended the journey by venturing into nearby downtown Tarpon Springs, a predominately greek neighborhood with great food and a roaring sea sponge trade (if that’s even a thing). We found a restaurant with outdoor seating, unlimited greek bread and 2 for 1 Stellas. Happy days!

  • Feeling the breeze

I have a bunch more hiking trail stories and recommendations for Florida (not all are crazy like this), where do you like to hike? Please comment and make me jealous about all the wonderfully scenic places you live and hike.

Today I am grateful for Tea – I woke up feeling a little under the weather but after a pot of pomegranate tea with fresh ginger and honey. I feel amazing!

What’s your favorite tea and how do you like to drink it? I like to put mine in a stainless steel french press and let it steep. The insulated french press keeps it warm for at least an hour so I can keep refilling my cup and sipping. Tea therapy at it’s best!


Best Aussie Bacon, Egg & BBQ Sandwich

The first time I mention to anyone I know in America that BBQ sauce belongs with bacon and eggs they look at me like I’ve lost my mind! Then I make it for them and they are instantly converted. This combination was a ‘go-to’ for me when I lived in Australia but not the healthiest option for breakfast, more of a hangover remedy. I decided that I wanted to recreate those flavors but make a healthier version.

Enter – the Best Aussie Bacon, Egg & BBQ Sandwich.

You will need

  • Individual Ciabatta rolls or any bread roll of your choosing. I just like the texture of ciabatta.
  • Turkey Bacon – laid out on foil on a baking tray and broiled on both sides until crispy. You could substitute for a vegan bacon like this one by
  • Fried organic free range eggs. I buy mine from our local farmers market. Or if you eat a plant base diet you could try vegan scrambled eggs, this recipe from is great!
  • 1 slice of aged swiss cheese (or vegan cheese). I like to place the cheese on the bottom half of my sliced roll and place under broiler to melt.
  • 2 teaspoons of BBQ sauce either bought or homemade (I am working on a recipe which I will share when I have nailed it)
  • Fresh organic arugula or as my friends Down Under call it ‘rocket’

I like to layer 1 piece of bacon on the cheese side of the bread, add a teaspoon of sauce, then my egg (or 2 if you’re really hungry), then more sauce, then the last piece of bacon followed by arugula. Squash it all together in the roll and devour!

  • Eggs fried over easy

Coconut Flour Crust Pizza

We love pizza in our house, but don’t love the heavy feeling you get after you eat it. I’ve been on the hunt for some while for a lighter pizza base to make. I tried the ever popular cauliflower pizza base but didn’t love the flavor or the texture, then I turned to Pinterest because it has EVERYTHING! Alas, I found a recipe for a base and a way to use up all the coconut flour I have in my pantry that I bought for a failed muffin recipe.

Introducing the best Coconut Flour Pizza Crust by

  • Olive oil spray for pans
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 6 tablespoons (1 oz) grated parmesan cheese

I spread my base on parchment paper on baking tray in a  rectangular shape and bake until golden brown before I top it. Then….well let your imagination run wild! My go to topping is a marinara sauce, buffalo mozzarella, roast garlic mushrooms, prosciutto and arugula (added after baking).

This particular day I had roast eggplant left over from the night before, so I smashed it with some garlic and olive oil and used that as the sauce, I then topped it with goat cheese, prosciutto, and arugula.

What are your favorite pizza toppings???

  • Just before it went in the oven

Turkey Sausage Bagel

Turkey Sausage Bagel

You will need

Turkey Sausage – you can buy pre-made sausages but…you never really know what is in them. I prefer to make my own that way I know what I’m getting. 10 sausage patties approx.

  • 2lbs Lean ground turkey (preferably free-range and organic)
  •  2tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2tbsp Onion powder
  • 2tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (or thyme, or basil..or all 3)

Mix well in a large bowl then form patties the size of the palm of your hand and spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree (f) oven for about 15-25minutes. I like to just cook these through in the oven,then finish them in a frying pan right before serving to get a nice crust. You can also cook them entirely in a frying pan if you like.

I made mine in advance and then froze them in zip lock bags until I was ready to eat. To defrost in a  hurry just wrap them in tin foil and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes while you prep all the other bagel ingredients.


Other Ingredients

Other Ingredients

  • Bagel of your choice sliced and toasted
  • Cream cheese of your choice (or a slice of provolone cheese, melted on top of the sausage)
  • 1 organic free-range egg fried
  • Baby Spinach

Assemble everything and devour!

Salmon Pattie and Egg Breakfast Delight


Salmon Pattie and Egg Breakfast Delight

You will need

Salmon Pattie – Makes approximately 10 Patties

  • 1/2 Pound Fresh salmon filets pan seared till just cooked through
  • 2 med russet potatoes boiled and mashed
  • 1 large organic free-range egg
  • 2Tbsp tapioca Starch
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • Scallions – finely sliced
  • Shredded baby spinach
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Mix ingredients well in a bowl and either pan fry in a couple of tablespoons of Grape Seed oil (rich in vitamin A and light in flavor) or lay out on parchment paper lined baking trays and bake in a 400 degree (f) oven for 25mins. These can be made a day ahead. I had made them for dinner the previous night and was using the leftovers for breakfast.

Other Ingredients

  • Bagel of your choice sliced and toasted
  • Cream cheese of your choice
  • 1 organic free-range egg fried

Assemble all ingredients and enjoy!

Bagel BLAT

Bagel BLAT

You will need…

  • Bagel of your choice split and toasted (my favs are asiago and pumpernickel everything)
  • Side of cream cheese (or you can make your own flavored cream cheese)
  • Ripe avocado
  • Turkey Bacon, regular bacon or vegan bacon broiled until crisp
  • Ripe beefsteak tomato sliced (I always salt and pepper my tomatoes)

Assemble and enjoy….

Breakfast Sandwiches Are My Jam

For the love of food…

Recently I have discovered the beauty and diversity of the breakfast sandwich. Every Saturday we go to the local farmers market to stock up on the weeks worth of veggies so out of necessity I want something quick, filling and delicious in my stomach before I face the crowds. The breakfast sandwich is the perfect solution to this problem and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. These are a few of my go-to’s. Bagel BLAT, Salmon Pattie & Egg Breakfast Delight, Turkey Sausage Bagel and the lightened up Aussie Style Bacon Egg & BBQ Sandwich.