• TaraShannon

The Nancy Duffy Show

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

Show No. 61: Culinary Therapy – A Different Kind of ‘Savory’ with Tara Shannon

Picking Yourself Up After a Soul-Crushing Loss

(Photo Above) Group photo from Tara Shannon’s culinary experience at The Dublin Cookery School in Ireland.


On this week’s show, I’m changing things up – because life is short. So we begin the episode with an update on things to come between now and the end of the year.

And later in the show, Tara Shannon joins me for a special chat about life after thyroid cancer. Only, we’re not hanging on cancer – but moving past it. We will be talking about wellness in spite of misfortune – how losing someone can make you think of your own mortality and help you change course toward finding your personal vocation; and how sometimes adversity can make us become even more alive.

Also, on a Side Note: Ever since seeing and hearing this BBC post on Twitter (below), I can’t get this song out of my head…  From the Reading Festival in Reading, England, BBC writes – “ABBA: Bringing audiences together since 1972” – so true. This is collective effervescence at its finest! Why am I highlighting this on the show? – it’s simple. There is so much static on the internet and in social media that illustrates just how divisive we, as people, are – that I saw this as an opportunity to further highlight the opposite:

This Week’s Guest: Tara Shannon

TODAY’S guest describes herself as a foodie, wine lover, professionally trained cook, social media maven, and writer. She’s a young thyroid cancer survivor – who works every day to improve herself – physically through exercise, but also by creating new and healthy food choices and recipes. I asked her on the show because she is someone that I’ve known, who I’ve watched over the years grow into a thriver – she’s like that everyday friend you know who gets hit with adversity – and yet somehow manages to show a quiet, steadfast strength to keep moving forward.

Tune in as Tara Shannon joins us to talk about moving from grief to developing a new kind of normal – it’s a kind of comeback – from changing the way you eat to how you start to pick yourself up after a soul-crushing loss.

The photos – one at the very top of this show notes post and the one below are from Tara’s culinary adventure in Ireland at The Dublin Cookery School. You can also see more images on Tara’s Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/bear.essentially/

Parmesan Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Serves 2


2 salmon filets, about 6-8 oz. Each and with the skin on Salt for seasoning the fish 4 tbsp unsalted pecans 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp grated parmesan 4 Fresh Basil leaves (or an equivalent of dill), rough chopped A squeeze of fresh lemon if desired


Place fresh salmon onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt. Preheat oven to 425F.

Place Pecans, parmesan, and olive oil into food processor and blitz a couple of times so it forms a slightly moist, yet crumbly mixture. Remove from food processor, divide in half and pat down on top of salmon.

Roast the salmon for 10-12 minutes, or until it feels barely firm to the touch when it’s pressed with your finger. (Don’t overcook; the fish will continue to cook for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven.) Serve hot, garnished with Basil, dill and a squeeze of lemon if desired and a salad like the Mixed Green Salad with Spiced Pecans, Citrus, Goat Cheese & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette or the Arugula, Avocado & Tomato Salad.


Haldimand, ON: Cancer Survivor Launches 

Kickstarter Campaign 

-- and she needs your help!


This already warmly received series of lovely sketches and thoughtful text about a 

curious rabbit who asks simple questions and receives meaningful answers has launched on Kickstarter! 


"There is something so captivating and raw in the simplicity of your drawings, a dream-like quality. The words you choose to 

accompany said drawings are perfect! I see this as a book I’d love to read my children." - A. Purdham, Canada Writes


"This is not a children’s book. This is an Everyone Book. Put that line into your pitches. I will buy several. Looking forward..." 

- Sharon McMullan-Baron, Canada Writes 


Tara plans to raise enough funds to publish a children's book, that's really not just for kids, it's for everyone. The idea for the book came to 

Tara one day, born from her experiences with cancer, the loss of her parents, miscarriage and her ongoing battle with mental illness. Her 

drawings and writing quickly built a following through Canada Writes, a writing group on Facebook (sponsored by CBC Books). She never 

would have thought or dreamed of herself as an illustrator - or that she would launch a campaign on Kickstarter, but here she is, eager to see where life will lead her next! 


Tara Shannon is a freelance writer and an aspiring author with a degree in English and History from Brescia College at Western University. She was born and raised in Burlington, Ontario but now splits her time between her home in Haldimand County and her cottage on 

Manitoulin Island(and Ireland, as much as she can!!) 


The Book of Rabbit is dedicated to all of those that Tara has loved and lost, including Rhylan, the inspiration for Rabbit.


Helping Tara on her journey is professional illustrator, P.A. LewisMacDougal. Pat Ann has, for over a decade, applied her skills in the 

Story Arts as a Freelancer. From illustrating in the children's publishing industry to story boarding for children's animated television and 

everything in between. Pat Ann will assist Tara in making Rabbit come to life on the page, creating a book that will surely become a classic and must have addition toanyone's bookshelf. https://www.pat-ann.com


For more information on Tara Shannon or to donate to her Kickstarter Campaign please visit:


Instagram & Facebook: @tarashannonwrites 


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