About Me



Hi there, Mary here…welcoming you to my tiny spec of the blogging world.

What am I doing here you ask?

Well, I came to the realization that at my workplace, where I tend to spend a great deal of my time, all we talk about is: what we are cooking and eating & where are we travelling to next, or have just returned from!

It got me thinking that a blog would be a great way to keep track of it all…the recipes, the living life tips, the travel do’s and don’ts, all of it! That’s how it all began anyways…



A little bit about me

I was born in Italy and came to live in Canada when I was ten years old.

At 50+ I’ve lived in Canada most of my life. But my Italian roots run deep, and have had a lot of influence in shaping the person I am today.

In my humble opinion would say that I’m fairly knowledgeable in the kitchen.

I enjoy trying new recipes, but mostly use them as a guideline, always putting my own twist to everything.

A European / Mediterranean style of cooking using fresh and flavourful ingredients is what I know best.

Olive oil, ripe tomatoes, lemons, olives, parmesan cheese, wine and basil are my go-to, favourite ingredients.

They make everything taste better!

Secret ingredient? Anchovies….sssshhh, don’t tell the family, they hate them. LOL

My travels have often left me craving dishes that I have absolutely no idea how to prepare.

Needless to say I often find myself challenged to cook outside my comfort zone. 

Truth is, creating and eating delicious food, travelling and discovering new places with my family and friends…these are the things I love and live for.

And that’s what you’ll find here.

Also, I’m crazy about my Instant Pot.

It’s responsible for all of this.

Tis’ true.

My mission here is simple…

Number One

I want to convince you to actually use that Instant Pot sitting on your counter (or worse yet, still in the box).

It’s an amazing appliance, and I just know that if you give it a try you will love it.

By sharing recipes and tips that I have personally tried and have had success with, I hope to provide you with the inspiration you need to get cooking.

Number Two

Wanderlust is a real thing friends.

I hope my travel posts, the useful information and beautiful photography will have you yearning to step out of your comfy, cozy home and start exploring…fearlessly!

Perhaps just in your neighborhood at first, then hopefully much further.

One day maybe you’ll even be wanting to venture out of your own comfort zone, to discover new and exciting places, people and yes, of course, more delicious food.

Somewhere I once read “Art can change your heart”.

True that, but I dare say that “Travel can change your heart, your mind and your soul”.   

I caught the travel bug early thanks to my parents, they loved taking us on road trips.

Thankfully I have yet to be cured! LOL!

But honestly speaking I really believe the more we travel, the better we become at being decent human beings, to each other and also to ourselves.

Travel opens up doors and possibilities that can otherwise seem unimaginable. It allows you the opportunity to experience amazing moments and feelings, and it gives us a chance to escape the routines and chaos that is often our everyday life, even if for just a little while.

The world is amazing and I, for one have so much more of it to discover. Seeing it all with your own eyes truly makes you appreciate how precious this home we call earth is, and how important it is to take care of it.   

So get out there and travel.

Just do it!

As often as you can, with no regrets.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. It’s still new and growing, but I hope you will subscribe to the emails so you don’t miss any new posts. Come back often to see what’s we’ve been up to. Leave a comment or suggestion, especially if you’ve tried a recipe or have something to add to my travel posts. I look forward to and value your feedback, it’s so useful to both the other readers and myself. Thank you. 

Happy cooking and safe travels.

Ciao, Mary

Favenine 2018

Regarding the recipes…

The recipes you find here are my own, created by me or inspired by ones found on the internet or in a cookbook or magazine (those have been tweaked to reflect my own tastes and results, and are never copied word for word). Others have been graciously shared by family, friends and colleagues…credit is given where credit is due. Please do not copy and paste a recipe and call it your own. If you wish to use it on a public website you must ask for permission first.

Regarding the travel…

All Travel notes, tips and tales come from my own personal visits and experiences. 


All photos are taken by me, using my iPhone, iPad or Eos Camera and are solely my property. Please do not use them anywhere without my permission. If I have used your photo, that you have sent me with a shared recipe, I will give credit where due.

Reviews + Sponsored Posts 

Reviews and any sponsored posts are written in direct response to my own experiences and opinions, and good or bad, it will be the truth.

If I have been given samples or monetary compensation in exchange for trying something and posting about it, I will disclose that.

Would you like for me to review one of your products, an event, experience or even a particular place? Fantastic!

Please know that you must be open to an honest perspective and response, because that is how I will treat the assignment.

Contact me by email at maryspotsandplanes@gmail.com with the details.


I have collaborated with:

IAT Verona Tourist Office


My Blog has been featured at:

Suburban Tourist-top up-and-coming Canadian Lifestyle Blogs to follow in 2020


My posts have been featured at:







DOMESTICALLY CREATIVE (15 Instant Pot Dinners)



MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAYS @ Make ahead meals for Busy Moms

MMM BLOCK PARTY @ Keeping it Simple Crafts

BUSY MONDAY @ A Pinch Of Joy

A MORNING CUP OF JOE @ The Cottage Market



SUNDAY LINKUP @ The Lazy Gastronome

Lori's Culinary Creations
Embracing Change