a cozy + colourful meal

(above photo: Nienke Izurieta)

Not too long ago, I mentioned some reasons why I love having this blog. Driving connections was one of the 7 reasons why I love doing this, and this cozy gathering at mae + marrow over incredible¬†Moroccan chicken stew from nela’s kitchen, proves just that.

When Brandi, a neighbour from down the street and the owner of mae + marrow, approached me and offered her space for a collaborative shoot using all of the treasures in her store, I could not wait to set a date! I immediately began dreaming of meal ideas to photograph among the antiques and Moroccan rugs at the store. While perusing the internet for recipes, I noticed nela’s kitchen had shared a photo of their meal of the day . . . Moroccan chicken stew! My love for fine food and appreciation of Nela’s absolutely outstanding meals led me to message her right away. She kindly replied and kept me in the loop of when to expect the next batch of stew! With her kitchen so close to mae + marrow, and my passion for bringing people together, I invited Nela to join us for the dinner shoot, and she accepted!

The food certainly blew us away, as is always the case with Nela’s creations. It was bursting with flavour and packed with heathy whole-food ingredients. I must send a huge thank you to Nela for contributing the food for our shoot and creating these healthy meal options for our community! Nela’s meals are a go-to for both my husband and me when we are in need of a quick meal. If you haven’t been in to nela’s kitchen, be sure check it out! You will be greeted by amazing aromas as you enter and can be sure you will leave with quality products!

Brandi (and Jill, who runs the mae + marrow store with her) graciously opened the store to Nienke and me on a beautiful Friday afternoon, giving us free reign to arrange her exquisite collection of furniture, rugs, tables, candles, etc. The new space is stunning and Brandi has a keen eye for sourcing stylish pieces. Her products will eventually be available for purchase online, but for now the shop will be open in a market style – a couple of Saturdays per month (the first being Saturday, September 9th from 10 – 6). I encourage you to head in to mae + marrow if you are in need of some beautiful pieces for your home, and to keep an eye here for photos and updates from them!

Looking through these photos makes me really happy! I had also invited my sister Sarah, my inspiration for whole-food cooking, who also has a passion for photography, to join us for this collaboration. We had a great crew and we had a lot of laughs! We left with full bellies and new friendships. Stay connected with your community and support those around you who are doing amazing things. There is a lot of local talent all around us! If you were in a rush on this lovely Monday morning (and perhaps didn’t have time to pack a lunch), Nela has your back! ¬†Have a great week! xx

(above photo: Nienke Izurieta) (above photo: Nienke Izurieta) (above photo: Nienke Izurieta)(above photo: Nienke Izurieta)
(Nienke and I worked together photographing this beautiful meal. There are notes below the photos by Nienke, to give her proper credit, the others I captured myself!)