Video filmed at the Eiffel Tower

3 Sep

The blog has been moved to its new home here >

I have the best job

1 Sep

I really do have the best job.  And if you’re ever thinking of starting your own business, I hope you have fabulous clients, like I do.

One of the exercises I have students in my business class do, is to  make a list of the characteristics of their perfect clients.

For example, here’s a sample from my list of Perfect Client Attributes.   My perfect client: Sends lots of emails, gives me feedback/suggestions, lets me know when their credit card is about to expire, lets me know when they’re going to be in Paris so we can go for WINE.

(This is my list; your list may be different!)

So tonight, I want to tell you about a few of MY perfect clients. Just for inspiration. May you have some just like these🙂

She emails often. She asks for new classes, she tells me WHY she needs to learn things. She tells me specifically WHAT she’s learned. She responds to emails and she wins prizes🙂 I just mailed, this morning, a 35 euro package of food treats to Nancy that she won by participating in my One Pound at a Time class. And remember, she’s the one who asked very honestly about how to hard boil the perfect egg several years ago, and then my "Back to Basics Cooking Class" was born. Nancy rocks.

He’s been a fan for a long time. He sends glowing emails, and he always likes my photos. He admits that he’s deleted his inbox messages and could I PLEASE resend ASAP the recipe for lemonade concentrate because he’s having a "Lemonade Crisis."  Thanks, Jim. You’re a perfect client.

Ron has literally been around since ‘before’ One Roast Vegetable even started. He asks for more ‘male-centered’ ideas (like how to BBQ or use his smoker). He’s also the FIRST person to ask for more vegetable-heavy recipes, and thus we have One Roast Vegetable.

She is a rock star. She cheers loudly from the sidelines and is never hesitant to say something gushingly positive. And I mean really positive. She’s a real cheerleader. Thanks!

Now I’m sorry, I didn’t want this email to turn into a competition for who is my ‘favourite’ client … because I haven’t yet listed Brenda, Ann, Lori, Vina, Leslie, Elmira, Eva, and Joy.  And then there’s Helen and Peggy and Sandra and Katharine.  I can’t stop. Should I go on? There are lots more of you🙂

If you’re on my Everything List, then you’re automatically included🙂

Anyway, that’s it. No photos, nothing to sell. Just a nice end-of-day email to say Thanks. (OK I know it’s 5:45 pm Eastern, but it’s 11:45 pm in Paris, and it’s end-of-day for ME!)


Spiced Plum Compote

1 Sep

After my great success with peach and apricot compote, I thought I’d try again with ripe fruit from the Sunday farmers’ market. The joyous thing about compote is that you can make very small batches, no canning required, no pectin, no big production.

I bought some red and green plums (9 red, 5 green). The green ones are called Reine Claude in France and are apparently also known as Greengage according to Wikipedia. The green ones are pretty, but don’t taste very different from regular plums, so you could use all red if you can’t find any green. For the red ones, I used ‘prune plums’, because they are easier to de-pit (is that a word?).


My mother (by phone) warned me against making the compote using a mixture of the two colours, as she said it would result in jam the colour of ‘baby poo’ (greeny-grey?).

I decided to ignore her.  She’d say that’s nothing new.




Washing the plums in the sink.





Cut in half, and can then easily remove the pits. If you have pits that hang on for dear life, you’ll have to scrape them out.





No need to peel! Hooray!  Chop the fruit into chunks, not too small.




Put in a medium non-stick pot, and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey. Don’t add water.



Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Then reduce heat and simmer over low heat for an additional 8-12 minutes, until the mixture is thick and you can drag a spatula through it like this:


Hmm, the colour of this looks great.  Hey Mom. I was right. Again. (How tiring it is to be my parent.)



Pour into a clean jar. Store in the fridge. Eat it within 2-3 weeks, or pop some in the freezer for a mid-winter treat.




I eat my compote on whole grain toast, and on my breakfast couscous with golden raisins.

~ All best, Shelley

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The Prestige Pass

30 Aug

Let me introduce you to the new "Prestige Annual Pass."

Congratulations to Laurel Clark, winner of the naming contest. Cookies have been baked and will be shipped out tomorrow!

I’ve been busy today working on a logo and a registration page. First sneak-peek below:


Coming Soon …

Prestige annual pass members. An email arrives describing a new class. You don’t read it, you don’t need to. You are automatically registered. Other presents arrive — a monthly CD, a new cookbook. You never see an invoice and you never have to place an order or fill out a registration form. You’re a Prestige annual pass holder, and you move to the front of the line. You’re never concerned about sold-out classes, like the Fabulous French Desserts class or the Best-Ever Christmas Baking Class. You’re already registered. The Business Class? Limited numbers? You’re in.

After a year of learning and expanding and growing, of making meals and making money and making space, you deserve a vacation. After a glorious flight and a good night’s sleep in your hotel, you arrive in the Paris test kitchen of One Roast Vegetable, and you meet Shelley and other Prestige members. You head out to Shelley and André’s favourite café for a typical French lunch with paté, cornichons, salad with warm poached egg, French bread, and a glass of light rosé wine. It’s sunny with a light breeze, so you sit on the patio and watch the world go by.


~ all best, Shelley

Narrowing down the choices

28 Aug

OK, you have been amazing! Thanks for sending me lots of ideas for the new one-year, all-inclusive One Roast Vegetable VIP pass. This pass will entitle members to everything I offer this year – Veggie Club, cooking classes, cookbooks, video classes, audio CDs, and the very successful and popular Business Breakthrough class (valued at $675, offered twice a year).

But I really do need to name this pass by tomorrow, so that I can begin to sell the limited quantities next week (I’m only selling 10 passes in September).

So without further delay, here are the runners-up for the final. 

  1. Gold Key Access
  2. All Access Pass
  3. Full Access Pass
  4. 100% Access Pass
  5. The Prestige Pass
  6. Perfect Paris Pass
  7. The Champagne Pass
  8. Shelley On Demand
  9. All Shelley All The Time

I need to make my final decision by tomorrow night, so if you don’t mind voting now, that’d be great : )

~ All best, Shelley

Contest to win Gingersnaps

27 Aug

When the box comes in the mail, you’ll make a pot of tea, and then sit down for a moment. You’ll unwrap the package, and you’ll marvel at how the cookies smell so fresh and so deliciously orangey. One dozen homemade Spicy Orange Gingersnaps. Handmade by Shelley’s little fingers, all the way from the Paris test kitchen. How do these cookies, that have arrived in today’s mail, taste so good? You sip your tea, and tenderly bite into another one. There may be a dozen, but you’re hesitant to share.


Would you like to win this delicious prize of a dozen homemade Spicy Orange Gingersnaps? You’ll need to put your thinking cap on tight. And you’ll need to vote now as I’ll pick a winner on Sunday evening.

I need a name for my new Annual VIP pass.

VIP members will pay a flat annual rate and will have access to ALL of my classes and products. Everything I offer for 12 months … all of my classes, audio CDs, the new Volume 2 cookbook.

Front of the line, guaranteed access to everything. No shipping costs. No need to register individually for new classes. They’re all yours.

And as a special bonus, all annual VIP pass holders will be invited to have dinner with me in Paris — I’ll be your tour guide AND I’ll even cook the meal.

I will be selling 10 VIP passes the first week of September.  But this all-access pass needs a name.

Some ideas so far:

  • From Shelley to You – Full Access Pass
  • The one-on-one pass
  • Paris Shelley Pass
  • The “Vegging In Paris” pass

What are your ideas?

To help improve your chances of winning, I’ll let you know that I have previously relied heavily on alliteration (Back to Basics, Kill Kitchen Klutter) but I’m not married to continuing this trend. My most recent naming was Your Business Breakthrough (thanks to Peggy Hall). The VIP pass name should be about YOU, not about ME, so I probably won’t put my name in it. The VIP pass’s name should represent the exclusivity and specialness of its members.

How’s that for a tall order!

I’m ready to put your cookies in the mail early next week. I have molasses and ginger and cinnamon and North American flour on hand. I even have an orange so I can grate the peel and toss with sugar, to coat the cookies one-by-one before they bake.

Please share your genius ideas. Deadline for entries: Sunday evening (Aug 29th).

~ all best, Shelley

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Your vote counts (Results!)

25 Aug

Yesterday I asked you to vote on some of the NEW classes I’m designing for this Fall. These classes will be in addition to the relaunch of my other popular classes, such as the 14-week Back to Basics cooking class, Stop Dinner Party Disasters, and the 4-part Fabulous French Desserts.

OK, so here are the results of your votes to date:

** click on image to see large view **


** click on image to see large view **


So I guess we’re going to have a busy and fun year, I can’t wait! 


FULL-ACCESS to ALL CLASSES and ALL PRODUCTS for one whole year!

I’m also busy working on my new Annual VIP pass (which clearly needs a better name!). 

VIP members will pay a flat annual rate and will have access to ALL of my classes. Everything I offer for 12 months … all of my classes, audio CDs, the new Volume 2 cookbook.

Yes, VIP members will get automatic access to everything I offer for an entire year. 

And the bonus? You’re invited to have dinner with me in Paris … I’ll even cook! I will be selling 10 VIP passes in September, so stay tuned.

Yes, let’s have a contest to name the VIP pass … you can start posting your suggestions🙂 I’ll mail the winner a dozen homemade Spicy Orange Gingersnaps, handmade by me in the Paris test kitchen.

~ all best, Shelley