Press - Cabbagetown Newsletter November 2007

Think Jamie Oliver -- in Cabbagetown
Gabrielle at the Farmers’ Market - Riverdale Farm

We live in an age where all the advantages of the electronic age are supposed to simplify our lives. What they do is make us available 24/7 and turn us into multi-tasking octopi with time being the last thing on their tentacles – er… hands. Enter Gabrielle Osborne of urbanmaven who caters to time-starved professionals who value responsible assistance, good food and a casual elegance.
Two years ago Gabrielle and her husband Peter, packed their children Sam & Isobel off to university. The massive presence and exaggerated energy generated by teenagers had emptied their Beaches home, so they decided to move to the more centrally located Cabbagetown. As Gabrielle explains, “the architecture and community feel of the neighbourhood were a big drawing card for us.”

As a stay-at-home mother and garden designer, Gabrielle was actively involved in shopping, cooking and organizing –catering to the voracious appetites of teenagers and their friends and juggling schedules. Often her friends would call upon her to help them out as well. These friends and family members encouraged Gabrielle to start her own business assisting people, who were too busy with their own lives or unable for reasons of age or infirmity to perform the tasks that Gabrielle did with such ease and flair. And so urbanmaven was born.

“I love to cook with an emphasis on fresh and often organic ingredients,” Gabrielle explains, “I call myself a good bistro cook with an emphasis on lots of fresh herbs. Think Jamie Oliver.”

Gabrielle is a wonderful resource and respite for today’s over-extended families. Her services include personal errands such as shopping for groceries and collecting dry cleaning, or selecting the perfect gift for any occasion. Within the home she can organize that maddeningly cluttered closet, or sort out the dreaded basement. On the lighter side, her love of garden design makes her a perfect choice to design a spectacular garden arrangement for that special visual lift.

A thoughtful and resourceful husband recently surprised his full-time working wife with a gift of Gabrielle’s services. This included a 4-week meal plan for their busy family of five. One of Gabrielle’s favourite autumn meals is a bowl of homemade soup made from seasonal vegetables, a big chuck of artisan bread with a piece of cheese and an arugula salad with fresh vinaigrette, accompanied with a glass of wine.

Gabrielle explains, “I really believe in shopping locally wherever possible, whether it be for produce, a dress, or a piece of furniture. I believe there is a need for this service as time is an ever-decreasing commodity and we all strive to keep our lives in balance.” This is where urbanmaven can help you. Gabrielle can be reached via email: gosborne@urbanmaven.ca or t: 416 554-6943

urbanmaven loves to shop

How can one be good at shopping? It all comes down to having an 'eye' and efficiency of time.

just because I love this 'graffiti'? Notting Hill October 2006

urbanmaven hours

make a great gift :) purchase 2-3-4 hours of urbanmaven's time for a client gift or that special person in your life who is time starved and can use a hand.


Press-Gabrielle is urbanmaven, September 2007

"Gabrielle Osborne is urbanmaven. urbanmaven evolved quite naturally; Gabrielle often called an organic designer by friends and family has been cooking, designing, organizing and shopping as a daily routine since the birth of her fist child 22 years ago. Everyone always says 'you're such a great cook', 'such a great baker' 'your home is so lovely'-'you should market your skills'. Thus urbanmaven was born. Gabrielle can help individuals find more pleasure in being at home by taking care of the daily tasks that must get done, or the not so daily tasks. Offering concierge services to the time-starved individual. Essentially, helping individuals reclaim some freedom and time!Gabrielle is passionate about all aspects of home and garden keeping and believes homes need to be our refuges from the busyness of our working lives. Services range from designing the outdoor garden urn, shopping for groceries or that perfect gift, organizing the home office or linen closet."----North Toronto SNAP newspaper September 2007

pumpkin carving and pumpkin seeds

when carving the pumpkin this year-don't forget to save the seeds to roast and eat as a delicious and nutritious snack. Pumpkin seeds = good source of zinc which is beneficial to the skin and bones.

To roast:

Place the seeds into large bowl, toss with olive oil, and sea or kosher salt.
Spread the seeds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into preheated 400 degree oven.
Roast until golden brown * at this high temperature about 5-8 minutes, keep your eye on them. (turn the seeds half way through roasting)


Borough Market, London UK on a Saturday morning October 2006

Fines Herbes Butter (something I like to make when I have a good combination of the herbs on hand

220 g (7oz) unsalted butter, room temp
2 Tbsp fines herbes, all herbs organic ( 1/2 Tbsp each of parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, finely chopped)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice, organic

Mix the butter, herbs and lemon juice thoroughly. Form into a large roll and keep in the fridge to use as needed. Use instead of a sauce to garnish fish and meat and/or toss with peas, new potatoes or any other veg.
Variation: add watercress, garlic, or spring onions, all finely chopped.


my favourite way to roast a chicken

1 small whole organic chicken, washed and dried - inside and out
combo of any of these herbs - thyme, rosemary, tarragon, parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon, organic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
splash of olive oil
ziploc bag
parchment paper

'Butterfly' the chicken by cutting right down the backbone-so that it will lay flat on the baking sheet
Throw the chicken, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper and splash of olive oil into the ziploc bag. Seal and shake gently to dispurse seasonings
Let marinate in the fridge overnight or the afternoon-either is fine
Lay the chicken--bones facing downward--onto the parchment lined baking sheet
Set in pre-heated oven 425 for one hour or so (the high temperature roasts, browns and crisps the chicken quickly)
Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into quarters or fifths depending

*I must give credit to Nigella Lawson, I saw her do this some time back on one of her shows

For all the Gordon Ramsay fans..booksigning Waterstone's Bookshop, Trafalgar Square

Cookbook Shop, Portobello Road has great cafe in the back



urbanmaven planted this balcony garden.....the client loved rosy tones and blues. It turned out to be her little oasis for morning coffee or a glass of wine at the end of the day. Resident cat loved the addition of plants and foliage and would sit happily sunbathing and watch the plants sway in the breeze.