Kathryn's Potato Salad

Warm, summer days and evenings are the perfect time to make nutritious, make-ahead dishes for family and friend get-togethers. Everyone who tries my potato salad wants this recipe. I have 3 secret ingredients and those are: Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar –  the vinegar gets absorbed into the potatoes, leaving behind the wonderful apple taste. Smoked Paprika (I use President’s Choice brand) -this gives the potato salad a distinctive smoky taste without using bacon and is a wonderful compliment in taste to the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, and lastly:  Pumpkin Seed Oil, which is thick and black  with an earthy scent and flavor.


10 med yellow or redskin potatoes, scrubbed and cut up with the skins left on

4 med carrots cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large red onion

6 eggs -I use farm eggs only for their superior taste and nutrition

Steam or boil potatoes with 1/4 of red onion, chopped up. When half cooked, add the carrots and remove from heat when potatoes are cooked, but still firm.

Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs and cut up and fry the remaining 3/4 red onion.

In large bowl, combine:

3/4 Cup real mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp salt (that’s REAL salt as in Maras; Himalayan; etc. – NOT table salt which is just sodium)

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Pumpkin Seed Oil

10 roughly chopped Gherkin pickles

Fried onions

Add to this mixture the chopped eggs and cooked potatoes/carrots/onion

Toss well and serve warm or cold.

*added tip:  A lot of the nutrients in root vegetables are stored right under the skin, so I seldom peel these. Instead, scrub them in tepid water with a large splash of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar added to the water to kill any bacteria that might be present! 



Key #2: Dream BIG

keys to successThere is a line from a song in ‘South Pacific’ that goes:  “You got to have a dream.  If you don’t have a dream; how you gonna’ have a dream come true?”

But how BIG is your dream?

Dreams and Goals are much the same thing.  The goal is what you are working towards and the dream is the vision of that accomplishment.  This is the area where the majority of people make what to me is their biggest mistake:  their dreams are too small. They only dream about what they feel is achievable, and you never get more than you believe you can have. From the time I was six years old, I knew that I was going to be an artist. I didn’t just ‘hope’ it; I knew it! So it came as no surprise to me when I started to make my living as an artist that I would be successful. It seemed like the natural progression to me.

How many people are working towards a goal, but don’t know WHY they want it? For me, becoming a well-known artist encompassed my entire lifestyle: I wanted to work from home, have a lot of free time to spend with my dog, do something that I loved and live my dream. How many people have a dream of making a million dollars, but don’t really know why they want it? What is that million dollars for? What would you do with it? First decide what you really want and then add up how much money you would need to accomplish your goal. You might need more or less. Sadly, few people dream of their perfect house and the place that they want to live and the exact car that they want to have?  Most people have a much smaller amount in mind because they can’t see how they would get a million dollars and therefore, the house and car that they envision are very ordinary. And that means that the million dollars is just a dream; not a goal.

When you set your dreams in your mind, you don’t necessarily need to know how this will happen, but you do need to decide exactly what you want.  Just saying, ‘a lot of money’ or a ‘beautiful home’ is vague. Our minds do not work in vagueness.  Our minds work in intricate detail, so decide what you really want.  Exactly how much money do you want to make this year?  What does your new home look like, how is it furnished and where is it? Everything must make sense.  Don’t say that you expect to make a million dollars and then have a dream house that costs five million. Know your new net worth. As Tony Robbins puts it, “know your ‘why’. Know why you want that exact amount or the sport car.” Is it about how you will feel when you achieve it? Or is it something more?

Once you have your dream fully detailed in your mind, you have to commit it to paper, so that the visual image of your dream will keep your mind focused.  Make a ‘Vision Board’.  Your vision board can be a framed cork board or just a piece of cardboard with pictures pasted onto it.  Make it large enough to see the details of the life of your dreams, but keep it simple and uncluttered.  And there is nothing wrong with having more than one vision board.  You can devote one to just the wealth aspect of your life and another to a relationship or your health. These are specific to you.  In novelty stores you can buy fake million dollar bills and you can find thousands of images of all most anything on the Internet. Magazines are still a good source for pictures to cut out and pin onto your vision board.

Now start living your dream life in your mind. Be congruent. Don’t schlep around like a slob, while picturing yourself a millionaire. Get up, clean up and dress up. Live the part and imagine that you are already there. What does your body language say about you? Everyone can describe a depressed person; they bend forward slightly, walk slowly with their eyes cast down. So, don’t be that person! Stand up straight, walk with purpose as if you are going somewhere (both literally and figuratively). Greet people with your eyes and smile. When you wake up; get up. Stretch. Do some breathing exercises and get moving. Amazingly you will start to turn both your body and your mind around for the better.

Carpe diem,


Key #1: Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

keys to successYou may think you know yourself; but do you really?

You are a lot more than your name and your heritage and your body. You are a spiritual being, living in a body that is unlike anyone else’s on earth.  You are a unique one-of-a-kind person and you have a valuable place here on earth.  But before you can decide what you want to do or become or have, you have to get in touch with yourself and know who you are.

If you are going to stretch out and become the best that you can be and give the most of yourself that you have to offer the world, then decide what that is.  What do you like to do?  What are you good at? What are your strengths? If you are unsure, try asking those close to you.  They will probably start suggesting character traits and capabilities that you didn’t even know that you had.   Now, write them all down and see which ones stand out and which ones complement each other or can be grouped together.  I think the one universal quality is that everyone wants to be of help to someone or something else, so don’t be vague and just list ‘helping people’.  Be specific in the area that you would like to help.  Now align this with something that you are good at.  Be creative here.  List more than just one or two ideas.  I found that by using my artistic talents and love of old architecture, along with some common sense marketing strengths, I was able to start a print collection of the history of the city that I live in.  I discovered that my memories were everyone else’s memories.  I was doing something that I loved; something that made a lot of people happy; and that I made a good living at, while being able to work from home, have a lot of leisure time and spend most of my days with my dog.  All of these things were very important to me and on my list.  So don’t think it sounds stupid writing down “spending a lot of time with my dog”.  If it is important to you, jot it down.  And don’t let anyone else write or edit your list. It is yours alone.

So, like I said, when you have written everything down that you love and are good at, start grouping them together; sort of like a puzzle, and see what fits.  After you have grouped some of your strengths and favourite activities, start listing some ways that you would be able to make money at them.  For example:  maybe you have a good vocabulary and can therefore write.  Is there something that would make an interesting book or guide?  Do you just love being a stay-at-home mom?  Add that to some skills, like organizing or a special approach and see what comes out of it.  Many women have started successful businesses out of a need for a special item that didn’t really exist until they made one for themselves.  Did you write ‘watching TV’ as one of the things that you love doing?  That’s OK too.  Start watching some shows like “Shark Tank” or “Dragon’s Den” and see what others are doing.  You just might get a spark of inspiration.

Sometimes you may find that there are things that you love, but don’t really go together.  That’s OK.  Sometimes there will be something that  you can’t see how it will ever fit into a career path or how you could ever make money at it, only to find that out of nowhere and no-how that you suddenly got a brilliant spark of an idea.  Many men and women have become multi-millionaires this way.  Remember, Andrew Carnegie was just a worker in a steel mill and went on to become one of the wealthiest men in America.  He often admitted that he did not know nearly as much about the steel industry as the men who worked for him.

Don’t let any old ideas stand in you way, such as:

  • you are too old to start over.  Colonel Saunders was 65 and living on old age security when he started going door to door, trying to sell his recipe for fried chicken.
  • you don’t have the education.  Diana Spencer was not a Kindergarten teacher when she met Prince Charles.  That was just a story that sounded better than the truth.  She was actually a high school drop-out whose marks were never that good.  She was in fact, an assistant to a Kindergarten teacher.  Initiative, creativity, endurance, and an unwavering belief in yourself are so much more important than years spent memorizing mostly useless data in our school system.  Just look at the accomplishments of academic drop-outs such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison.
  • you don’t have the money.  Well, neither did I, so I talked my printer into trusting me and giving me 30 days to pay back the thousands of dollars for my first print.  Many people downsize their dreams to fit their bank account.  Instead, you should trust that you will find a way and that opportunities will open up to you.  What small step can you take right now that will start you in the right direction?
  • you don’t have the time.  Life can be full of pressure, but if you have a dream, you have to create a space for yourself.  We may not all have the same house, car or money, but we all get exactly the same amount of time.  We all get 24 hours in a day.  So, make sure you are not just getting caught up in the daily trivia of life.  What can you delegate or pay someone else to do that would create a space of time for yourself?

So, now that you are out of excuses, who are you and why are you here?


The Keys to Success and Happiness – Introduction

keys to success

While the writings in this blog are my own, I can’t take credit for the substance behind them.  That credit goes to many men and women, some long passed and others who are still living and helping others along their paths.  Some of these inspired thinkers and great minds are:  Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Bob Proctor, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Les Brown, Mary Morrissey, Earl Nightingale and Jack Canfield to name but a few.

I often get told how lucky I am to be living my dream.; and I am lucky.  I have made my living as an artist for 25 years and known some form of happiness every day.  But where did that luck come from and what is it?  To me, luck is a word that we use to describe an unseen force that creates a result that we have no explanation for.   So before you start to live your dream, you need to have in your mind a definition of what the words ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ mean to you.

To most people the word success means a lot of money.  But money is man-made; simply pieces of paper.  It is what those pieces of paper represent that is more important.  Start thinking of those pieces of paper as ‘freedom units’ or ‘lifestyle credits’.  On their own, they mean nothing.  It is the power they have to create a life of freedom to do whatever you want that gives them their power.  Now think again of what the word success means to you.  That is what you want to go after.  Make that your goal.

To achieve your goal, you have to keep it in your mind.  Bob Proctor suggests writing it on a card and carrying it with you at all times.  Take it out and look at it several times a day.  Paint that picture in your mind, down to the smallest details and keep it there.  This is your first lesson in shifting your mind towards achieving what you want in your life.

Now lets determine what happiness is and where it comes from.  Happiness is a feeling and that feeling is a choice that you get to make.  Every day when you wake up you get to choose if you want to be happy or sad.  If you are feeling sad, tell yourself that it is just temporary and work on a mind shift towards feeling more happy.  You could start this with feeling grateful for even the smallest thing in your life.  Feel grateful and happy that you woke up and that you can see.  Be grateful for your coffee-maker or your warm home.  Be grateful for your comfortable shoes.  Put on some happy music.  Hug your pet.  Go for a walk.  Do anything.  It is your choice, remember?



cranberry sauce

Remember when I said that all artists were good cooks?  This recipe is my own invention and since I view cranberry sauce as one of the main dishes, I make a lot of it.   Also, most cooks don’t measure therefore you might have to adjust the sugar to your own taste; okay… maybe the vodka too.

Cranberry Sauce recipe:

2 pounds of fresh cranberries

2 1/2 Cups of sugar

1/2 Cup Vodka

3/4 of a jar of St. Dalfour Kumquat marmalade

(if you are ambitious and you can get fresh kumquats you can make your own by chopping up a pound of kumquats and boiling them with grape juice and some sugar) if you can’t find either, substitute with orange/ginger marmalade.

In a pot, boil the vodka with the sugar until dissolved.  Add the cranberries and cook until they pop open (about 10 min).  Stir in the kumquat preserves and heat to boiling.  Remove from heat.  Let cool and store in the refrigerator.  YUM!  And remember:  the alcohol burns off so that you are just left with the flavour so the kids can eat it too.  …You were hoping that they would knock themselves out and you’d finally get some peace and quiet, weren’t you? 

Merry Christmas,



Santa Claus Parade

Today was the annual Santa Claus Parade in Toronto.  It was a perfect day for it – a bit nippy with just a few snowflakes.

Here is a bit of nostalgia and facts from the history of the parade.

  • It was sponsored by Eaton’s  and by 1950 the parade had grown to be the largest parade in North America.
  • In 1976 over 30 million people across North America watched the Santa Claus parade on TV.
  • In 1989 even the Soviet Union started airing the parade to viewers all across Russia!
  • This year (2014) marked the 110th anniversary of the parade and was the largest ever!

Speaking of Eaton’s, here is one of my Christmas prints, titled “Eaton’s Windows” by Kathryn Smith and available at my studio:  905-528-4197 or on my website at

Eaton's Windows C


The most Delicious & Moist Turkey

As American Thanksgiving is approaching I want to introduce many of you to the best way of getting your turkey to turn out perfect.Brined Roast Turkey

For the most delicious and moist turkey that you have ever eaten, nothing comes close to brining your turkey.  I got this idea out of a magazine and now always brine my turkey before cooking.  This is nothing more than soaking it in salt water for 24 hours and throwing in some herbs, fruit, garlic and fresh ginger root.  Start early on Christmas Eve morning as the turkey has to sit in the brine for 24 hours.

To make the brine, pour 2 litres of water into a large stock pot.  Turn heat on high.  Cut up 3 oranges and 2 lemons.  Cut up a piece of ginger root about the size of your thumb and an entire head of garlic, cut horizontally in half.  Measure 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of Kosher salt (this is a coarse grind that does not contain any additives such as iodine and is less ’salty’ tasting), 4 bay leaves, 1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of cracked, mixed peppercorns.  Add all ingredients to the pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Add about 5 more litres of cold water to mixture.

Find something large enough to hold the turkey so that it will be completely submerged in the brine (a picnic cooler is perfect, but remember to disinfect it with bleach afterwards).  Remove the neck and giblets.  Submerge the turkey completely and add some ice or freezer packs to make sure the turkey stays cold.  If you don’t have a cooler, a giant pot that will fit in the fridge will work.  Keep checking on the temperature if you are using a cooler and add ice packs as necessary to keep the turkey at 40F (4C) or below.

After 24 hours remove turkey from brine and rinse under cold running water and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.  You are now ready to stuff your bird as usual, but you will NOT need to salt the inside cavity as the salt water will have been infused into the flesh.  Roast at 325F for about 20 minutes per pound.  I buy an organically raised turkey and roast mine uncovered, basting every 1/2 hour.  The taste and moistness of the meat is incredible.  And don’t forget to make those little, frilly, paper things to put on the drumsticks!

And speaking of Thanksgiving, take a look at “Macy’s Windows” @   My new Christmas print.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!



LENNIE & I – THE STORY OF US – Chapter 5

The sun had just risen and was streaming in across the bed.  The fragrant orange and white lei that Lennie had placed around my neck at the airport was hanging on the lampshade and I could feel the cool ocean breeze filtering through the jalousie windows with the promise of a warm day ahead.  Outside I could hear someone in the yard.  It was a strange monotone voice, as if it was someone in an institution that could not comprehend the world around them.  Over and over the voice said flatly, “Richard?… Richard?”  I got up from the bed and opened the window fully, but saw no one in the yard.  The slightly insane sounding voice had immediately stopped when I went to the window.  I gave it no more thought as I put on a robe and went looking for Lennie.

The smell of freshly brewing coffee led me to the kitchen, where Lennie was puttering around the freshly cleaned room.  He too was wearing a robe that hung open across his chest and was tied loosely at his waist.  He saw me staring and I was greeted with a huge grin.  “You look nice in the morning.”, he said.  “Some women have to have all their makeup on before they even step out the door.  I like the way you look when you wake up.  I think you’re beautiful Kathryn.”  He quickly went on, “Wait ’till you taste the coffee, baby.  Kona coffee – it’s the best in the world.”  He poured us each a mug of the dark, rich coffee and then added some stevia to his own.  “Come on outside and meet Nathan”, he said and I followed along.

Nathan was Lennie’s handyman and I liked him immediately.   He was tall and slim and moved quickly.  He had the depth of the ocean in his eyes and you could see the intelligence behind them.  Nathan was one of those guys who could do anything.  Lennie told me that he could build things, fix anything and that Lennie loved to just sit and have intellectual conversations with him.  So, I offered him coffee and the 3 of us just sat there in the garage, conversing and watching the morning sky greet the day.

Besides painting, there was one other thing that I excelled at:  cooking.  I have the ability to make something delicious and nutritious out of almost anything.  When Lennie sat down at the table he stared at the food and said, “I don’t want to eat it; it looks too beautiful.”  But his stomach won out and he picked up his spoon.  “Oh, baby, how did you make it taste so good?”  It was just cut up papaya and mango, but I had grated some fresh ginger and mixed it in.  Spices – they were the secret to all dishes, not matter how simple.  The omelette had been filled with whatever vegetables that I had found in the fridge and now we were full and I was ready to go wherever Lennie wanted to take me.

We got into the Blazer and headed for Lennie’s favorite store.  He said that he needed a couple of shirts as his were getting kind of worn looking.  He had told me that his favorite store was ‘Salvay’ and we pulled into the parking lot of the Kailua Salvation Army.

“Want to see how I pick out a shirt?”  I watched as he went to the extra large rack, closed his eyes and ran his fingers along the tops of the shirts.  “When I find one that feels like silk”, he said, “I stop.”

“Can I pick out your shirts for you?”, I asked him.

“Kathryn, I would love it if you picked out all my clothes.  A friend of mine told me to always buy black pants and shorts and never get horizontal stripes.  That’s all I know.  You should see the way I used to dress.  Green pants with a blue checkered shirt.  I didn’t know any better and no one helped me.”

“I would love to pick out your clothes for you and I can lay them out each morning, so you don’t have to try matching things, okay?”

“Deal.”, he said.  We wandered around the store and I found 2 bright canary yellow mugs for one dollar each that would match the dishes in the house as all of the mugs that went with the set were either missing or broken except one.  We left the Salvation Army with our treasures – 2 mugs and 2 new shirts for Lennie and got back into the Blazer.  Our next stop was Don Quixote, the local supermarket that, besides food, sold souvenirs, liquor, bedding and household goods and just ‘stuff’ in general.  It was an old store, full of everything that was Hawai’ian.  Instead of the deli counter being filled with cold cuts of meat, it was filled with ‘poke’ – raw tuna, cut into little cubes, done in every imaginable kind of sauce and marinade that you could think of.  Lennie asked the guy behind the counter to give me a piece of the ‘spicy ahi’, which was the Hawai’ian word for tuna.  I wasn’t sure about the raw fish, but as soon as I put it in my mouth, I loved it.  I don’t think that we ever tried many of the different types as we both loved this one.  We had both found out that each of us tried to be as health conscious as possible.  We loved many of the same foods – like our Fuji apples.  I was a vegetarian and he didn’t eat very much meat and being raised Jewish, had never even tasted pork.  This I was happy about.  I loved to cook and he loved everything that I made for him.

We packed our groceries into the Blazer and drove back through Kailua town to the house.  By now the sun was high so I decided to spend the afternoon unpacking.  Lennie had cleared out a dresser for me and given me half the closet.  Originally he had told me that I didn’t need to bring hardly anything with me, as I could get everything here.  And his one request was not to bring any jeans.  My favorite store back in Canada was also a thrift store and I had been able to find sarongs, shorts and sandals that people had obviously brought back from vacation and then abandoned.  I managed to fill my allotted space.

“Hey, baby?  Do you know how to get two days out of one?”

“No, how?”

“By taking a nap.  That way when you wake up, you feel more energized and can do more.”  He went on to explain how one of his good friends was a  well know health expert and had taught him that.  So he went to have a nap.  I had never done this before, so instead I went into the kitchen to see what I could make for lunch while Lennie napped.

When he awoke, lunch was on the table and as we ate Lennie said that it was Friday night and he couldn’t wait to go dancing with me.  I couldn’t wait either.  We both loved to dance.  I had taken ballroom and latin dance lessons and Lennie was just a natural.  He had about 25 different moves that had always made him a popular dance partner.  So popular in fact that several years earlier, after leaving a very unhappy marriage, he had signed up as a dance partner on a cruise ship that went from Japan to Russia to Europe.  He was considered one of the entertainment employees and therefore had the free roam of the ship when he was not dancing.  The dancing on the ship only amounted to 45 minutes before and after lunch and 45 minutes before dinner.  He had explained to me that there were far more women who went on cruises than men and they wanted someone to dance with.

When he came out of the shower Lennie found his clothes laid neatly on the bed for him to change into.  I had put my hair up into a knot and was wearing a halter top with attached palazzo pants.  I had sat out in the yard for a little while, so there was now a healthy glow to my skin.  Lennie just stood there staring at me.  “Oh my goodness.  I never thought that I could be with someone that was so little and cute, cause I’m so big.”

“I’m not cute.”, I said flatly.

“You’re cute to me, especially when you’re standing next to me.  I want you to start seeing yourself the way I see you Kathryn.  I think that you have been hiding yourself for far too long.”

Driving to Honolulu was a beautiful twenty minute drive through the mountains and along winding stretches of road with forests on one side and cliffs overlooking towns and the distant ocean on the other.   We passed through the area known as Nu’uanu where the different Embassies lined each side of the road, each one resplendent architecture, reflecting their own culture, but with distinct Hawai’ian and Asian touches.  One of the things that Lennie had pointed out to me was that there were no signs along the highways and roads, other than the government markers for speed and routes, etc.  There was no advertising, no billboards; nothing to mar the beauty of the natural landscape.

We were now driving down Kapiolani, one of the main streets through Honolulu on our way to the Ala Moana Hotel where the famous Rumors Nightclub is located.  This had been Lennie’s Friday night haunt for the past seven years, where he had danced and sweated off the pounds, getting himself down from 325 pounds to a little over 250 now.  He knew most of the regulars there and they knew him.  The bouncer at the door let us straight in and I saw a nightclub that looked as if it was out of the 1980’s with its sunken dance floor, sleek, curving bars and neon lights.

“I had one of the best nights of my life tonight Len.”

” Every night form now on is going to be the best night of your life Ku’uipo.  The drought is over.”  Holding hands, we drove home through the darkness along the winding mountain roads, as Cecillio and Kapono sang ‘About You’  on the radio.


SI Exif


Trying to stay positive is sometimes hard work.

Today was Lennie’s birthday.  He would have been 64.  It was one of those melancholy days when I kept thinking back to when he had turned 61.  I had only known him for several months and had decided to throw him a party.  It was an evening full of  fun and friends and singing and laughter.  Later that night he had told me that it was the very first birthday party that he had ever had.  For some reason that thought made me think about how quickly our lives pass by, one birthday at a time.

Life is too short to hold grudges.  I have long ago forgiven Malia.  I cannot hate her, partly because I still love her.

If someone has done something to hurt you, here are some points to consider:

  1. What purpose does hate serve?  Hating someone does nothing to harm them.  Instead, it festers inside you, creating illness.
  2. Look at the bigger picture:  in an awful time of heartache or crisis, was there something good that happened to you?  Were there people that showed you that they truly cared?
  3. Be gentle with yourself.  You need time to heal.  Do as much as you need to.  Eat well.  Rest.  Try to surround yourself with the all the beauty that the world has to offer.
  4. Don’t involve others.  As Iyanla Vanzant says, “Change your story.”  Your story is not about the bad that was done to you; those are just the facts and the facts are not your authentic story.  So don’t let someone else’s malice take away from what was true and good and wonderful in your life.
  5. Did you know that the Aramaic word (the language that Jesus spoke) for ‘forgive’ is literally ‘to untie’.  Sometimes it is necessary to ‘untie’ yourself from people or situations that have harmed you.  You need to remove the negativity and become more positive about the future of your life.
  6. Feel sorry for those that have harmed you.  They will have their own Karma to deal with.  Instead of hating them, feel pity for them, if for no other reason than they are not evolved or enlightened enough to be any different than they are.
  7. Don’t let others have the power to change who you are.  Only by allowing them to change you, your ethics or your personality can they still have power over you.
  8. Finally, ‘forgiving’ does not mean ‘giving in’.  Do what you believe is right.  You may need to see something through before you can truly move on.  Just make sure that you do it with grace and dignity and stick to only the facts as you know them to be.Lennie's birthday party 009Kathryn