Friday, May 10, 2013

Meeting Sandi Richard in Strathroy, Ontario

Sandi Richard and Ana Tirolese in Strathroy, Ontario
In 1999 I came across the most amazing cookbook: Life's On Fire: Cooking for the Rushed by Sandi Richard. At the time I was the mother of a precocious 8 year-old, running a full-time business, and living the life of a stressed super-mom/woman. We were eating out, going through the drive through, and ordering in more days than not. It was not healthy, but I did not know how else to handle the dinner time stress. This book was a Godsend.

I had to write to Sandi and let her know how much I loved her book. I emailed her, not expecting to get a response. When Sandi, herself, responded to my email, I was thrilled. She and I started corresponding and have been doing so since then.  I even wrote a testimonial for her second printing of this book. See the testimonial that appears on the back of the book here (6th from the bottom on this page).

Sandi's open and honest style was refreshing to read. I enjoy how her book is laid out and how you start at the top of the page and when you get to the bottom you have a well balanced, full course, meal to feed your family. Sandi, being Canadian, wrote the ultimate Canadian cookbook. (We shop in metric and cook in imperial and the book is written like that). I like weekly shopping list, and I especially relish that every recipe can be put together quickly and are as delicious as they are nutritious. The meals are colour coded such:
RED: 15 minutes to prep
Dinner is ready in 30 minutes or less
YELLOW: 20 minutes to prep
Dinner is ready in 30 minutes or less
GREEN: 15 minutes to prep
Dinner is ready in 60 minutes or less
BLUE: 20 minutes to prep
Dinner is ready in 60 minutes or less
                                       What Make's Our Books Different - Sandi Richard
Cooking is something I enjoy but I dreaded the "what's for dinner?" question it's sister "what do you want?" usually followed by "I don't know, what do you want?" I found it difficult to plan and shop around my busy schedule, and sure as heck, the drive-through was far faster than anything I could pull together on a hectic week night. Sandi's book took all the stress out of the planning and the making of the shopping lists. It was done for me. My family loves the recipes, and suddenly I was cooking again and it was not taking any longer (or any more effort) than going through the drive-through or ordering in. And, as a bonus, we were saving money because we were purchasing what we needed for each week without any waste or excess. the years I have been making up my own menus and using other cookbooks because, let's face, there are only so many times you can use the same cookbook over and over again before you want try something new. Yet, my family would ask for specific meals from Cooking for the Rushed, every so often, so my copy is quite well used.

One of the amazing things about Sandi Richard's cookbooks is that nearly every recipe is well loved by the family and you will find yourself cooking nearly  every recipe in the book, over and over again, rather than just one or two, like in traditional cookbooks.

Sandi Richard has been my hero since I discovered her cookbook in 1999 so imagine my delight when I found out she was going to be talking in a city near me! Sandi is doing the There's a Meal to My Madness Event where she is promoting a healthy lifestyle, encouraging us to get the family back to the dinner table, and showing us how easy it is to plan your meals, make your shopping lists, and cook every night. Her books and recipes allow me to be on automatic pilot throughout the week.

Several friends and I went to see Sandi Richard in Strathroy, Ontario. We were not disappointed. Sandi is a dynamic, motivational, and inspirational speaker. She regaled us with stories from her life, talked about Eating Forward (TM), explained how her method of meal planning makes it easy to always have a nutritious meal on the table, and even had a cook-off!

It was wonderful to finally meet Sandi in person after so many years of communicating electronically. She was happy to meet me too and even told the audience about our years of corresponding. I picked up the few cookbooks I did not have (Sandi has 7 books now). Sandi even wrote a lovely inscription in my original cookbook. We had a short but pleasant visit.

If you have a chance to see Sandi Richard live, go for it! You will enjoy it. And, go pick up at least one of her books. You will be hooked.

Here are some Sample Recipes.

I have all 7 of Sandi's books, now, so it is going to be a very long time before my family gets bored. I have been cooking from her new cookbook for the last two weeks and my family is thrilled. We are eating better, the meals are fabulous, the stress level is down, and bonus side-effects: we are losing weight and have more energy!

If you are just getting started with Evernote, Ana Tirolese recommends that you purchase Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, Second Edition. It is worth setting aside a couple hours to work through this brief, 95-page book. It will save you DAYS of learning Evernote on your own.


  1. I must agree, Sandi's books have something for everyone. I've been doing dinners for a long time, but now that I've learned her methods, I'm sure I'll be saving precious time & money. I'm already loaning my copies out to other frazzled meal-makers!

    1. Thanks, Kim.

      I, too, have been loaning out my books for years now. There is something special about Sandi's books, perhaps because there is something special about Sandi. Her books are so easy to read, make perfect sense, and are fun. The meals are a hit with my family (and most families). I really enjoy not having to stress over meal-planning. She has done it all, except shop and cook, for me. And, she even makes shopping and cooking easy. I really like how she gives you the tools to create your own meal plans if you choose not to follow hers. Also, if you go to her site ( can sign up for the tool that allows you to create custom menus and shopping lists from any of her cookbooks (you still need the book for the actual recipes). I signed up and have already created three customized menus and shopping lists.

      Sandi Richard is serious about trying to help families get back around the dinner table, save time, and money, and eat healthy and nutritious meals.