Cold Brew Coffee

cold brew coffee

There are two types of coffee drinkers in the summer - those who still want a hot cup of coffee in the morning, and those who think it’s hot enough outside and just want an iced coffee to keep cool. And sure, you can brew a cup (or pot) of coffee and just throw it over some ice, but that tends to leave you with a watered down cup of coffee. So why not grab a cold brew instead? Like the name suggests, cold brew coffee is steeped with cold water over a period of hours, which leaves you with a less acidic and less bitter tasting cup of coffee. Plus, it’s super easy to make at home, with the added bonus of not costing upwards of $4 a cup like you would pay at your local coffee shop!

iced coffee with milk

Get your beans coarsely ground, or ask for them to be ground for a French Press. For cold brew you’ll want to use a four to one ratio of water to coffee, so two cups of water to half a cup of coffee grounds.

If you have a French Press, simply add your coffee grounds and water into the French Press, and pop it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Then just press the plunger down, and you’re ready to enjoy a deliciously cool cup of cold brew coffee.

No French Press? No problem!

Add the coffee grinds and water into a mason jar or some other container with a lid, and give it a stir. Put the lid on and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Then use a paper coffee filter, or cheese cloth to strain the coffee into another container.

You can then add cream, or milk if you want. You can also add sugar but since it doesn’t dissolve as easily in cold liquids you might want to make a simple syrup to add instead. Just add one part sugar, and one part water to a sauce pan and slowly heat until the sugar dissolves. Plus it will keep in the fridge, so you can make a bigger batch so you have some on hand for your next cold brew coffee.

Summer Sangria

sangria

It’s finally summer, and while drink trends come and go, a solid summer staple is sangria (say that 3 times fast!). Sangria is the perfect party drink, just mix up a big batch in advance and it’s ready to go when your guests arrive. Plus sangria is so versatile! It’s basically just wine, fruit, and juice. There are so many different combinations you can make to go with your party theme, or pair with whatever food you are serving.

We’ve gathered up three of our favourite sangria recipes for you - a white, rosé and a more traditional red option.

Paloma Sangria

A Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail with tequila and grapefruit juice that we’re giving a sangria spin! It pairs perfectly with a Mexican Fiesta, or even if you’re just snacking on some chips and salsa.

  • 1 - 750 ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc (or another dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)

  • ½ cup tequila

  • 1 medium grapefruit, thinly sliced and quartered

  • 2 medium limes, sliced

  • 3 cups red grapefruit juice

  • Lime wedges, for garnish

  • Soda Water (optional)

Pour the wine and tequila into a large container or pitcher, and add the fruit. Refrigerate and let sit for at least two hours. Add grapefruit juice and stir well. When ready to use, pour over ice-filled 8-ounce glasses and garnish with lime wedges. If you want a lighter taste or to make it sparkling, top with an ounce or two of soda water.

strawberry sangria

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

This sangria combines two main summer flavours - strawberries and lemonade! This sweeter sangria would be perfect to serve at a bridal shower, or just enjoy a glass while lounging in the sun!

  • 1 - 750ml Bottle of Rosé

  • 1 cup of white rum

  • 4 cups Strawberry lemonade

  • 2 cups of Strawberries, sliced

  • 1 Lemon, sliced

Pour the rosé and the rum into a large container or pitcher, and add the strawberries and lemon. Refrigerate and let sit for at least two hours. Add strawberry lemonade and stir well. If you’re having trouble finding strawberry lemonade, regular will do in a pinch. Or you could make your own strawberry syrup to add to regular lemonade - take about 4 cups of strawberries, toss them into a blender and puree.

Traditional Sangria

Red wine is usually served just below room temperature, but in the summer adding it to sangria means you can serve it icy cold, and add ice cubes without fear of judgement from your friends!

  • 1 - 750 ml bottle of Grenache or Pinot Noir

  • 1 large orange

  • 1 cup thinly sliced apple or pear (or both!)

  • 1 small lemon, sliced into thin rounds

  • ½ cup brandy

  • Soda Water (optional)


Cut the orange in half. Squeeze the juice from one half of the orange into into a pitcher or large drink container. Thinly slice the remaining orange half and place the slices into the pitcher. Add the rest of the fruit, and the brandy. Pour the wine into the pitcher and stir to combine. Chill for at least 2 hours. If you want a lighter taste or to make it sparkling, top individual glasses with an ounce or two of soda water.

Piñata Parties for Adults!

popped pinata

Piñatas are a great way to liven up any party! It lets your guests feel like a kid again, there are surprise gifts, plus everyone get to take out some life’s daily frustrations by hitting something with a big stick!

Piñatas are available in tons of different shapes and colours, so it’s easy to find one that goes with the theme or your party. Amazon has everything from a rainbow (perfect for Pride!) to a treasure chest.

mexican star pinata
lightening bolt pinata.jpg

Or you can make your own out of either a balloon, or some cardboard using paper mache. Mix 2 cups of flour with 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt until it’s smooth. Cut newspaper into strips about 1 inch wide by 6 to 8 inches long, dip into the paper mache and then place over your base shape. You’ll need to do this a few days in advance to make sure your piñata has a chance to dry completely. WikiHow has all the directions you need here.

Can’t find that perfect piñata, and making your own seems too daunting? Head to Etsy and have a custom piñata made for your party! We love these ones from Get Smashed Piñatas.

Now the best part - filling your piñata! There are lots of different things you can put in your piñata, but obviously you need candy. Make sure the candies you choose are individually wrapped, and will hopefully survive falling from a few feet onto the floor. A great piñata has more than just candy inside, and we’ve got some suggestions based on the type of party you’re throwing.


sunglasses

Bachelor/Bachelorette

Novelty candy - shaped like body parts
Mini bottles of booze - just make sure they’re in plastic! Or put something in the piñata that can be traded in for a drink, like getting tickets at a fair.
Condoms
Sunglasses
Mini packs of pain killers like Tylenol or Advil for the morning after.



nail+poish

Girls Night Out/Spa Day

Wine flavoured gummy bears
Lotion & Makeup samples
Hair ties
Lip balm - bonus if you make your own!
Nail polish/emery boards
Tea bags

godiva+dark+chocolates

Foodie

Gift cards to local restaurants
Upscale chocolate & candies
Booze
Mini bags of coffee beans
Small kitchen items - wooden spoons, mini whisks etc.

animals-assorted-blur-1509432.jpg

Birthday

Go young with all the retro things you loved as a kid!
Candy necklaces
Ring Pops
Glow sticks
Toy Cars
Stickers
Temporary tattoos

 

One last thing - make sure your guests have a way to get all their treats home! Provide loot bags, just like when you were a kid! Or you could hand out mason jars as a slightly more upscale option for everyone to stash their goodies into.






















Throwing a Boho Chic Backyard Barbecue

Backyard barbecue season is finally here, and we're excited to get outside and start grilling! We want to keep the relaxed and easy feel of a barbecue, while upgrading your table, food and drinks to make it a more elegant affair. 

Use a Skid for a Table

Grab a big blanket to spread on the grass, or use a few outdoor carpets and overlap them. Toss some comfy throw pillows around, so everyone can lounge and relax. If you want some extra height you can prop skid up on a few bricks, or stack two on top of each other. Here are some gorgeous examples we found on Pinterest!


Table settings

Use real plates and cutlery with cloth napkins - nothing disposable! Add charger plates as well for a classier look. We got our friends at Sweet Pea Cookies to make us some gorgeous sugar cookies to use as a place card for our table setting, and it also doubles as a take home favour for your guests - if you manage to not eat it before then!

Place setting cookie nametag
Flowers in bud vases
Cookies flowers

Fresh flowers are beautiful and make everything look more elegant! Our friends at Hiway Flowers made us all these stunning bud vases that would look fabulous tucked into a garland of greenery along your table.

Food


It’s not a barbecue until there is food! We've got two quick and easy recipes for you, that look like showstoppers!

First up, kebabs, but with a twist! Instead of putting them on wooden or metal skewers, we're going to use rosemary springs instead! Strip leaves from the bottom few inches of the woody part of the stalk of rosemary, and then soak sprigs in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile cut up whatever vegetables and meat you'd like into pieces about an inch thick. Poke holes in your veggies and meat in advance so they're easy to slide on to your rosemary. Put on the grill until your meat is cooked through. The rosemary adds a lovely flavour to the food, and the presentation is fantastic!

rosemary chicken kabobs
grilled corn with herb butter

Corn on the cob is a barbecue staple, and we’re going to elevate it by cooking it on the grill, and adding an herb butter to it. Just rub olive oil on the corn, and then put it right on a hot grill and close the lid. Turn it a few times, but shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes. Before hand make up a simple herb butter - we used basil, but any herb will do. This is a great way to use the rosemary you’ve stripped from the skewers! Add a loosely packed cup of herbs to a food processor or blender and roughly chop a few times. Add a cup of butter and a tablespoon of sea salt and blend until your herbs are finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint. You might need to scrape down the sides a few times. The butter can be made ahead and extra herb butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it. It's great for cooking or to simply put on toast.


Cocktail

Every outdoor event needs a great signature cocktail. We’re going to make a Campari Flamingo Cocktail. Campari has a great citrus and herb flavour that is great for summer, and it’s bright colour makes cocktails look great.

Campari Flamingo Recipe (adapted from www.seriouseats.com)

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 to 2 limes

  • 1 1/2 ounce aged rum, such as Appleton Estate

  • 1/2 ounce Campari

  • 3 ounces pink grapefruit soda or blood orange soda - for a lighter taste use flavoured soda water

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add lime juice, rum, and Campari. Shake well.

Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Add grapefruit soda, stir gently and serve.

To serve a large party, mix lime juice, rum and Campari in pitcher in advance, and then just add the grapefruit soda individually.

Watch Carolina go over some of these tips on Rogers In Studio.

Stashes vs Lashes - Our Top 3 Gender Reveal Dessert Ideas

What is this ‘Stashes vs Lashes’ Theme

This year, there is a super cute, new, trendy baby reveal theme and it’s being called Lashes vs Stashes. The thought is, that instead of boy vs girl, you theme your event lash vs stash. It allows for so many cute dessert and decor ideas!

We reached out to some amazing dessert vendors in the area and they created these awesome looks for us that we showed on CTV. I’ll link the episode below as well, if you want to see their dessert awesomeness in live action.

Now, I do want to say a HUGE SORRY to my vendors, because I completely missed giving them the amazing shout-out they deserved on the episode! I’m so sorry to both of you. Just a complete oversight when I was taping. I hugely appreciate all your hard work and support.

Check out all their details below and make sure to head over to their social pages and show them some love! Also, if you have any dessert needs, they have you covered!


VENDOR LOVE:

CAKES ON TOP

Fab owner, Hillary will custom create any cake you want! Her flavours are incredible too!

SOCIAL:

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE


JAKE & ELLA’S COOKIES

Go see owner, Shannon. She’ll make

all your cookie dreams come true!

SOCIAL:

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

……..and now, for all their dessert magic!


Gender Reveal Cookies

These beautiful cookies were designed by Shannon at Jake & Ella’s Cookies! She’s a local baker who adds so much detail to every cookie. She even added edible sparkles to the smaller lash and stash cookies, just to give it a little more glam!

Ask her to stuff the gender reveal cookies for you with coloured icing, and then break them open with all your guests to find out if you’re having a baby boy or girl!

Check out the cookies:

Gender Reveal Cake and Cupcakes

Hillary from Cakes on Top is an absolute pro! She custom designed this cake and cupcakes for us and they were such a huge hit! This year, the trend is to fill your gender reveal cake with candy (sprinkles, coloured chocolate pieces…if it’s candy, it’s in)! She did such an amazing job of this cake. You can catch me online cutting it open…there’s even a blooper too! Her cakes also taste amazing and she has tons of flavours to choose from.

She also designed coloured buttercream filled cupcakes for the segment that were delicious too! She even made custom french macarons.

Check out her desserts:

Behind the Scenes

It’s always amazing when vendors come on to help you create a segment and bring the design to life! Thanks again to Cakes on Top and Jake & Ella’s Cookies. I absolutely could not have done this segment without you!

Check out some of the backstage filming photos here:

Also huge thanks to Rosie and CTV Kitchener for having me on air! It’s always a pleasure!

Watch the episode HERE

Our Top 3 Favourite Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes!

Why Boozy Hot Chocolate?

Because boozy hot chocolate is even better than regular hot chocolate! We promise you that these to 3 boozy recipes deliver! Not only are they delicious, but they’ll actually make you LIKE winter. Is there a better way to enjoy a comforting drink with the ones you love than hot chocolate? We don’t think so!

The other great thing about these is that if you have kids, you can make them the non-alcoholic version and you can all enjoy warm drinks together!

Want to make these recipes even better? Set up a fire outside and take these drinks out by the snowy fire. They’ll still be delicious and they’ll also warm up your hands!

Without further ado, here are our top 5 boozy hot chocolate recipes for you to enjoy this winter.

  1. Orange Hot Chocolate

    A perfect flavour combination. There’s nothing quite as delicious as a chocolate, orange pairing!

chocolate orange hot chocolate recipe.jpg

The Orange Hot Chocolate - The Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Optional

  • Cinnamon sugar

  • Mini marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Add the milk, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick to a small saucepan on medium heat. Whisk until the ingredients are combined. Heat it until it starts to gently bubble, stirring it occasionally.

  2. Whisk in the vanilla extract and Grand Marnier. Leave it on the heat for another minute or two to ensure it's heated through.

  3. Top with marshmallows and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.

Recipe by: BBC Good Food


2. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

boozy salted caramel hot chocolate recipe


Boozy Hot Chocolate with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream - The Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup rum

Instructions

  1. Heat the sugar, water and salt over medium heat in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Allow the sugar to continue cooking, keeping a close eye on it, until it starts to turn golden brown.

  3. Once it begins to caramelize, it will begin to darken quickly. Let the sugar get as dark as possible without burning for best results.

  4. Once the caramel is a dark amber color, remove the pan from the heat and pour the heavy cream carefully down the side of the pan. The caramel will splatter before temporarily seizing up, so be very careful to avoid burns.

  5. Move the pan back onto the burner, and use a heatproof spatula to stir the caramel and cream until evenly combined.

  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, stirring periodically.

  7. Pour the caramel into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

  8. Allow to chill until very cold (several hours or overnight).

  9. Once cold, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk the caramel cream until it reaches medium peaks. Set aside.

  10. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. When the milk is steaming hot, but not yet simmering, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the vanilla and rum. If needed, return the hot chocolate to the heat until desired temperature is reached.

  11. Pour into mugs, and top each with a dollop of whipped cream.

Recipe By: The Gourmet Kitchen

Image Credit: HonestlyYUM


3. Boozy S’mores Hot Chocolate

boozy smores hot chocolate.jpg

S’mores Hot Chocolate - The Recipe:

Ingredients

2 ¼ Pinnacle whipped vodka
2 ounces Godiva chocolate liqueur
2 ounces Hiram Walker butterscotch schnapps
6 ounces hot chocolate
Graham cracker garnish
Marshmallow garnish
Chocolate garnish

Directions

1. In a large mason jar, coffee mug, or teacup, mix the Pinnacle whipped vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, Hiram Walker butterscotch schnapps and hot chocolate together.

2. Stir well.

3. Garnish with toasted marshmallows, graham cracker pieces, and shaved chocolate, and serve.

Recipe by: DrinkWire


Love these recipes? Share them, so your friends can have warm hands this winter too!

We love comments, so let us know what you think of these below! Better yet, try them at home and show us your pics of your creations!

Prosecco Trends We Love!

POP, FIZZ, CLINK!

FUN WAYS TO ENJOY PROSECCO!

 

There's something so prestige and exciting about the sound of a bottle of Prosecco, Champagne or Sparkling wine being cracked for the first time. The build up, the release, then the excitement and celebration that follow!  Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, showers are all events that require a proper toast or salute to a life accomplishment. We raise a glass to show honour and commitment and we clink our glasses to complete the experience as one.

Photo Credit: instyle.com

Photo Credit: instyle.com

PROSECCO LOVERS UNITE!

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine. It is served chilled and unlike Champagne, is not sweet. We love it because it is so deliciously common, yet it can be used in so many ways that may be completely foreign to us.  We're going to break down Prosecco for you. We're going to dig deep and compile our top 5 most favourite ways to consume Prosecco. This could be tricky and may require some Prosecco as an inspiration... one second... OK, that's better!

 

1. POPSICLES IN PROSECCO

Photo Credit: The Kitchn

Photo Credit: The Kitchn

Beat the heat with these delectable beauties. Not only are they stunning in colour, but they taste just as delicious as they appear!  So simple to create and a perfect refreshment to offer your guests on a scorching summer day.

Fill a wine glass  with Prosecco of choice and place a popsicle into the glass. As it melts, it gives the Prosecco a nice, surprising fruit flavour and as it sits the  Prosecco becomes more of a Bellini.  A perfect beverage for any occasion.  Who says Popsicles are just for kids?

 

2. PROSECCO POPSICLES

Just make sure these stay on the adult side of the freezer! There are so many amazing recipes for Prosecco Popsicles it was hard to choose just one! We chose fruit favourites such as peaches, watermelon and blackberries that all scream, "Mix me with Prosecco!"

Photo Credit: It's a Sparkly Life

Photo Credit: It's a Sparkly Life

The best part about these is that there is no limit to your creativity. All that is required is a bottle of your desired Prosecco, a Popsicle mold, fruit whole or blended, additional fruit juice, liqueur or water (soda or still).

Photo Credit: POPSUGAR Food

Photo Credit: POPSUGAR Food

Try different combinations with fruit and alcohol. In this next image the creator used fruit and herbs as well as a mix of Prosecco, St. Germain, soda water and lemon. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to make a Prosecco Popsicle. Take your favourite summer time drink and make it in Popsicle form!  For a full recipe of the Popsicle posted below click HERE

Photo Credit: Shannon Claire Interiors

Photo Credit: Shannon Claire Interiors

3. ITALIAN PROSECCO COCKTAILS (SGROPPINO)

Hands down, Italians are known for amazing food and drink. This cocktail creation is a perfect summer dessert. It is light, refreshing and full of seasonal flavour! Whether you make your own or purchase a tub from your local grocery store, sorbet is easy and this will for sure leave a lasting impression with your guests! All you will need are:

*mint- leaves (optional)

*1 scoop raspberry sorbet (any flavour)

*4oz Prosecco

*1tbsp Vodka

*Lemon or fruit of choice as garnish

Photo Credit: How Sweet Eats

Photo Credit: How Sweet Eats

"I'D LIKE A PROSECCO COCKTAIL PLEASE"

Prosecco cocktails are delicious and widely available. More and more restaurants and bars have jumped on this Prosecco trend and are getting crafty with this drink of choice. Traditional cocktails have also been slightly altered to accommodate Prosecco, such as Margaritas, Mojitos and Spritzers. Check out PURE WOW for 10 elegant and easy Prosecco Cocktail recipes below:

CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

I saved the Prosecco Godfather for the end. If you are traditionalist like me, why mess with a good thing. Prosecco can stand alone. It is a drink of stature and class.  I enjoy a glass of Prosecco for a special occasion, when celebrating with family or friends. On a nice quiet Sunday morning I can appreciate a mimosa (or 2). A mimosa is the go to Prosecco drink of choice for daytime events. It is a mix of Prosecco, your choice of juice and a fruit garnish - the garnish is optional. It is simple, delicious and how can you have just one?

Photo Credit: themillenialcook.com

Photo Credit: themillenialcook.com

We absolutely love Prosecco and we hope after reading this blog you will love it as much as us if not more! (doubtful, but possible)

If you find a really cool recipe and want to share visit us at www.theeventfirm.ca or on any of our social media sites.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

GO AHEAD! PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!

THIS ONE'S FOR THE KIDS!

MAKE MEAL TIME FUN AGAIN!

 

Meal time can be tricky, for both kids and parents alike! Meal planning, grocery shopping, food prepping and then ultimately cooking! The worst has to be when your child looks at his/her plate of food in front of them and their brow starts to furrow,  their smile lines turn down and their arms suddenly cross their chest. Having an unhappy child is one thing but then think of all the effort that just went into creating that meal for them.  Not to mention the necessity of having a back up meal plan handy, the clean up including packing up leftovers, the dishes AND THEN  having to regroup to get lunches ready for school the next day. Sigh. This cycle repeats itself 5 days a week and can get quite overwhelming. Which is why having FUN and clever food ideas can be a winning combination for you and them every-time!

Take meal time from this...

Photo Credit: study_kids_eating

Photo Credit: study_kids_eating

to this!

Photo Credit: Best Health Magazine

Photo Credit: Best Health Magazine

 

Making food that will get your kids to enjoy eating can be challenging! We want to help! We want you to be able to enjoy meal prep again, and we want your kids to maybe even want to help you create these fun ideas for their meals! Eating is fun so let's make meal preparation fun as well! The more creative we are, the more we guarantee your children will enjoy what they are eating and maybe even want a second helping!

 

EATING MADE FUN STARTS HERE!

 

PRICKLY HEDGEHOGS!

We want our kids to eat healthy but we also want them to enjoy eating! Fruit and vegetables are so colourful and fun! For these ideas plump up your grocery list and hit the produce aisle! Have your kids help! Meal plan and prep together! Have them pick out the fruits and vegetables  that they enjoy eating and have them sit and be creative with you!

Let's start with this guy! A prickly little hedgehog that looks so friendly it may be hard to consume him!

All that is required to build him is a pear- peel the top part of the pear leaving the skin on the rest for his body. Spear green grapes on toothpicks and use cloves for his eyes ( as they can puncture the pear nicely) or some other stem of choice. Add an olive or a red grape for his nose! Voila! A friendly, healthy treat for lunch time or an afternoon snack!

Photo Credit: goodhomediy.com

Photo Credit: goodhomediy.com

 

CUTE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLARS!

Skewers aren't just for adults! Using a wooden skewer, thread washed grapes until its full, save room at the end for one cherry tomato. Use an herb of some sort (parsley, cilantro) for his antennas. Cut small pieces of white cheese for his eye rounds and affix with peanut butter to the cherry tomato. Use chocolate chips or capers for his little eye balls. Use a food friendly marker to draw in his mouth or cut it out using an edible ingredient. Simple but oh so cute! Pick up the acclaimed children's book, " The Very Hungry Caterpillar" written by Eric Carle and make a story time theme night!

Photo Credit: Little Food Junction

Photo Credit: Little Food Junction

 

CELERY SNAILS AND CATERPILLARS!

These critters are not only adorable but they are something I as an adult would eat as a snack as well!

Take freshly washed celery stalks and fill with peanut butter, hummus or cream cheese. Place fruits and vegetables of your choice on top of the filling such as blueberries, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, grapes (red or green), orange or apple slices or kiwi. use fine herbs or celery slivers for their antennas. Their little eyes can be candy eyes that you can find at a place such as Bulk Barn or be creative and look for items around your home that can be used in replace of.  Affix with peanut butter or cream cheese to their little head and enjoy!!

Photo Credit: WomansDay.com

Photo Credit: WomansDay.com

 

BANANA PARFAIT DOLPHINS!

These friendly ocean creatures are super easy to make and get all the nutrients your child requires to stay active and strong! Take a banana, cut in half. Cut a slit on the stem to create the dolphin's mouth. Place a blueberry in it's mouth and place the banana half in a cup/bowl and fill/ layer with sliced fruits, yogurt and granola! This is not only adorable for a quick snack but it's also super theme appropriate for an ocean themed baby shower or nautical themed party!

Photo Credit: foodgawker.com

Photo Credit: foodgawker.com

 

TEDDY BEAR TOAST!

How adorable is this?! Using toast, pancakes or waffles create your own teddy bear picnic at home! Slather peanut butter or Nutella onto the surface of choice. Use banana slices for ears and mouth and blueberries, raisins or chocolate chips for his eyes and nostrils! Simple, delicious and fun enough to eat!

Photo Credit: PureWow

Photo Credit: PureWow

 

BREAKFAST SUSHI!

If you have a child that loves sushi than you are lucky! If not, that's OK too! We have a fun and simple substitute that they can enjoy for breakfast, for dessert or as a fun snack before bed while watching a movie!

Take a full banana and peel it. Dip it in Greek yogurt. ( you may also choose to dip/cover the banana in Nutella or peanut butter as well). Take a handful of cereal, we suggest Trix, Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops or Apple Jacks. Keep it colourful and exciting! Crush the cereal up and take your covered banana and roll! Place on a serving platter or plate and cut into "sushi rolls", top with additional fruit.  Ready to serve, chopsticks optional!

Photo Credit: Raising Whasians

Photo Credit: Raising Whasians

Writing this blog has made me so hungry! I'm off now to make one of the above! We hope you enjoyed an idea or two!

Here's to making kids enjoying their food and cheers to all you moms and dads out there that spend the time to make sure our little's get the most out of their meals!

Follow us on social media for more fun, crafty and clever DIY ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMER BEVERAGES

SUMMER 2018 BEVERAGES:

SUMMER OF THE FIZZ, SPRITZ & SOUR!

 

Summer 2018 has been a hot one! How are you staying cool?

For as long as I can remember, every year has had a signature drink. From new release coolers, to last years big push on rosé season, to the explosion of craft beers to this years focus on the aperitif.

"An aperitif is an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate ones appetite."

We do this on the regular without even realizing it!  When we have guests in our home, it is a completely natural hosting move at a dinner party or any celebration, to offer a pre-dinner cocktail or spirit. Or as you now know, an aperitif.

If you have offered your guests any one of the following, you are already on trend!

*Martini- gin or vodka

*Dry red wine

*Dry sherry or brandy

*Whiskey

*Vermouth

Photo credit: The Alchemist Magazine BC

Photo credit: The Alchemist Magazine BC

WHICH ARE YOU? FIZZ, SPRITZ OR SOUR?

If you enjoy a great cocktail as much as we do, then you probably find yourself on the hunt for the next best!

We compiled a list of what we think are 2018's winning drink trends!  The good news for you is that KW is constantly growing and expanding! We are home to so many great restaurants with experienced bartenders and mixologists that are able to mix, create and put their own personal spin on an already simple classic. Hopefully you will get a chance to try at least one of these delicious concoctions before summer's end.

1. THE SPRITZ

This new found twist on an old favourite is all the rage!  This cocktail is a traditional take on an Italian soda which came to life in the 1950's. Using white wine and soda, Aperol was added to give the drink a more adult take on an already refreshing afternoon beverage.  If you prefer your drink to be more bitter, try using Campari!

*4 1/4 ounces Brut Prosecco

*2 1/2 ounces Aperol or Campari

*3/4 ounce Club Soda

*serve over ice and garnish with a lime

Photo Credit: 30Seconds

Photo Credit: 30Seconds

2. BOTANICAL FLAVORED SPIRITS

Gin is probably the most well known spirit in this category for this summer. It's light, refreshing and on the hottest of days, that slight hint of lemon or cucumber in a gin based cocktail is sure to satisfy and quench your thirst!

Gin is created and famous for using botanicals. Gin is made with  juniper, a small, round and very bitter berry ( the pine smell and taste).  The next step in the process is to be as creative as he/she wants by experimenting with different herbs and plants. The most common botanicals that are used to enhance gin are: coriander, citrus such as lemon and oranges, cassia bark, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, lavender, cucumber, orris root, angelica and so many more.

So whether you are wanting herbal, spicy, citrus or floral, you can find the gin to satisfy your taste buds. Try one of these botanical gins below this summer, mix with tonic and let us know what you think!

Gin Mare- a gin comprised of olives, thyme, rosemary and citrus.

Bloom London Dry Gin- contains pomelo and honeysuckle

Photo Credit: cafe.thisisinstitution.co.uk

Photo Credit: cafe.thisisinstitution.co.uk

3. THE FIZZ

I remember my first fizz. I remember watching it being made, and I remember how it tasted. Throughout my early twenties, drinking spirits with juice was so typical and easy! It required not much though and was inexpensive! As I grew up, so did my taste buds! Now, enjoying a hand crafted vodka fizz (or gin fizz for most of you), I can fully appreciate the creativity and love that goes into crafting a drink! The fizz is refreshing and a perfect choice for summer. Try it at home!

*2 oz. Gin/Vodka/Whiskey/Bourbon

*a splash of fresh lime or lemon juice

*25 oz. simple syrup or a teaspoon of sugar

*3 oz. club soda

*egg white ( optional)

*lime wedge or cherry for garnish

For a complete gin fizz recipe click HERE.

Photo Credit: thedrinkkings.com

Photo Credit: thedrinkkings.com

4. THE SOUR

What makes a drink sour? A sour is traditionally the spirit of choice and a lime mix built on ice garnished with an orange slice or maraschino cherry. Over time, more and more sours have appeared in different forms. From gin sours to whiskey sours, from amaretto sours to brandy or Midori sours, the sour is becoming more and more popular.  In some cases, egg whites are being included into the mix.  The cocktail is created, then it is shaken and served either straight or over ice. This is one of my favourite summer beverages. I was never a whiskey drinker but these days I can enjoy a properly made bourbon sour.

Want a super simple recipe for a bourbon sour? Carolina got behind the camera and made one to show you guys at home! Check out our exclusive video HERE!

 

Photo Credit: thecocktailproject.com

Photo Credit: thecocktailproject.com

NOT JUST COCKTAILS...

From sour cocktails to sour beers, more and more breweries are taking on this method of brewing. A sour beer is generally quite tart in taste. Allowing yeast or bacteria intentionally into the mix or by adding fruit directly into the fermentation process, the beer begins to achieve that standard of being a sour.

Try one! There are so many outstanding options right here in our city alone. Block 3's Fickle Mistress, Side Launch Brewing Dry Hopped Sour, Bench Brewing Citra Grove Dry Hopped Sour, or Collective Arts "Mash up the Jam" are all favourites and I would recommend each of these products if you were looking to expand your pallet!

Photo Credit: Knoxnews.com

Photo Credit: Knoxnews.com

Have we left you feeling thirsty?

If we have... GOOD! Whether you want to get out and explore a new restaurant or try a new drink this summer, we hope we have left you with some new ideas and new cravings!

Cheers!

Rogers Daytime Kitchener

SUMMER ENTERTAINING WITH ROGERS DAYTIME KITCHENER!

 

On Tuesday June 5th, we packed up the car and headed to Rogers Daytime in Kitchener to film two segments on summer entertaining.

Thank you again Charise at Thatch & Fringe for the most amazing, camera ready blow out! We love that we can count on you and your hair expertise to kick off our day of filming!

summer entertaining/rogers kitchener

We filmed with and were interviewed by Natasha McKenty, the In Studio host. Natasha is always so hospitable, so awesome and made us feel right at home!  

Rogers Daytime Kitchner

 

1st Segment: DECORATE with Fruit!

In the first segment, we show you how to take various vases and fill them with fresh, locally sourced fruit. We demonstrate how to make a simple vase full and eye catching by making it the center of attention by cutting lemons in half or by filling the vase with whole limes or different unique fruits. We also show you how to carve various fruits such as watermelons into vases themselves.

We were so lucky to have Raymond's Flower Shop in Waterloo provide us with some of their gorgeous stems to be shown with the fruit. The bright and bold shades and textures of the fruit made the white floral choices so elegant and stand out beautifully. Alex Di Roberto supplied us with the fruit for the taping. His fruits and vegetables can be found at the Kitchener Market every Saturday morning on the lower level.  Not only did the fruit look so vibrant, but we had fun showing Natasha (and all of you at home watching) how to take an everyday, easy to access, simple item and creating something so beautiful out of it!

Check out some of the fun images we captured of Carolina and Natasha during filming!

2nd Segment: Hungry? Thirsty?

In the second segment, we used ideas from our Blog; Summer Entertaining: Food & Drink and showed off a few of our summer favourites! We had fun eats on set such as delicious summer skewers and pitchers of refreshing infused water.  Carolina showed off her bar-tending skills and created a few easy summer cocktails. She mixed up a delicious traditional margarita and then showed us how to add additional items, such as jalapenos and blackberries, to change up or intensify the flavour of your drink.

We displayed a stunning white place setting provided by ABC Party Time Rentals in our segment also.  We show you how to create an elegant look for a wedding, brunch or dinner party by simply adding a piece of fruit. Any fruit will do as the colours are so rich and can transform any unique vision into a decor dream.

 

ABC Party Time Rentals

We had a blast filming with Rogers Daytime Kitchener- Thank you so much for having us! 

We hope you were able to catch it live! Hopefully we inspired you with an idea or two that you can use at your next summer event!

Thank you to all of our sponsors! Raymond's Flower Shop, Alex Di Roberto Fruits and Vegetables and ABC Party Time Rentals! This wouldn't have been possible without your much appreciated generosity.

Make sure to visit our blogs! We are constantly researching and coming up with fun and creative ways to keep you one step ahead for any event! We can help make it happen!

Cheers!

 

Have any other fun entertaining ideas for us? Share them in the comments below! We would love to hear them!

SUMMER ENTERTAINING: FOOD & BEVERAGE

SUMMER ENTERTAINING 2018

Fun In Every Bite/Sip!

Summer is here and you don't want to miss out! Dig out your outdoor furniture, spruce up the backyard and start planning your next dinner party! I love my outdoor space! Many of us find peace and solitude sitting on the back deck, with a drink in hand, listening to cool vibes from a summer playlist, reading a good book or just enjoying the time with family or a good friend. Summer is ready for you, are you ready for it?

Entertaining can be super satisfying to some, and completely nerve wracking for others. We are going to attempt to take some of the heat off your shoulders and make it so that all you'll want to do this summer is host and entertain!

RELAXING WHEN YOU'RE ENTERTAINING


The simplest way to get into the right head space when you're having people in your space is to realize that:

  1. They are here for you!
  2. They enjoy food and drink as much as you do and
  3. No they are not looking under the couch to see if you have vacuumed this week or not!

Food and drink is the common ground between host and guests, because everyone eats and drinks! If they came, they want to see what you came up with, so that they can plan their next dinner party accordingly! A friendly competition of showcasing cuisine talents is OK and recommended! Bring your appetite and be prepared to eat!
 

Photo Credit: Davin Interiors

Photo Credit: Davin Interiors

FUN SUMMER APPETIZERS

Summer is bright, energetic, colourful and hot! With the summer heat, anyone attending will definitely come with an appetite, but do you really want to serve your guests a big pot of piping hot spaghetti? You'll be slaving away at the stove all day, adding to the humidity- which is not good for anyone's hydro or your hair for that matter! Keep it light and refreshing! Make smaller canapés  that are flavourful and memorable! Hors d'oeuvres are trendy, easy to prepare and easy to replenish. Most of these pint size bites do not require major preparation. Make them that day, a few hours before or as you go, to keep the flavours as fresh as possible!

SKEWER IT!

I've seen a million ways to prepare a skewer. The funny thing is that the skewer originally started as a way to char meat and vegetables over a flame. Since then, it has taken on a whole new level of deliciousness!

Try our suggestions below at your next party. These ideas are fun, cost effective- easy, DELICIOUS and guaranteed to be a dinner party hit!
 

Prosciutto and Melon Skewers: Prosciutto, basil, cantaloupe or honeydew, balsamic vinegar and bocconcini cheese

Italian Antipasto Skewers: olives- salami- cheese or mozzarella balls- artichoke- basil- roasted pepper and chilled or warm tortellini.  Or try it with prosciutto, sun-dried tomato, basil and mozzarella or bocconcini cheese

Cuban Sandwich Bites: ham, cheese cubes, and pickle slices

Smoked salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber: cucumber, cream cheese, salmon and fresh dill

Rosemary, Pineapple and Mozzarella: pineapple lightly charred on the BBQ, cheese cubes and a fresh sprig of rosemary

Feta and Watermelon: (cucumber optional), feta cube, basil, watermelon and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Fig: fresh figs, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto

BLT: keep it bun free! Iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato, drizzle with blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumble or have dressing optional and have it available for the skewer to be dipped into.

* skew them with bamboo skewers, tooth pics, herbs (or get creative) and place gently on a serving platter. Pass them around or lay them out, out direct heat, of course!
 

LET'S DRINK!

In order to maintain a clean palate from all of these delectable bites, you may want to offer an awesome summer drink! Whether its a traditional alcoholic favourite or a non alcoholic with a classy twist, remember, it's all about presentation! One good way to stay hydrated and to make sure that your guests are constantly being served without you having to service them, is to create a station for self service drinks.

INFUSED WATER

By filling a large basin with ice and leaving various pitchers or carafes for guests with fruit/herb infused waters out, you can cut your work in half! These displays are easy to set up, visually appealing, simple to prepare (you can do it the night before, so that the fruit and flavours fuse nicely into the water) and quite refreshing to the taste! Here are some winning combinations:

Orange, lime, lemon, mint and grape

Strawberry, watermelon and mint

Watermelon, cucumber and mint

Lemon, cucumber and mint

Mango, lime and basil

*Remember! There is no right or wrong way to create fruit infused water! Get creative! Try different fruits and flavours and come out with a summer smash

Photo Credit: Wiring Library

Photo Credit: Wiring Library

THE SUMMER COCKTAIL BAR

Mix and Match garden cocktail bars are also really in right now! It gives your guests plenty of option, requires a bit more work on your end in regards to presentation and setup; but the result is fabulous! It encourages your guests to get creative, to be social and interactive with others and they are encouraged to be mixologists, even if just for the evening!

Here's how you do it:

  1. Have a variety of juices available (grapefruit, orange, lemonade)
  2. Brew several simple syrup base and put it in a carafe or pitcher.  Add one herb to each base.  We suggest lavender, sage, mint, or cilantro. Allow this mixture to sit over night.
  3. Put out your spirits of choice! Gin, tequila,rum or vodka are perfect as they are clear, or soda water for a non alcoholic approach. 
  4. Select, pour, create and mix! Voila!

I've attached an image and a DIRECT LINK here to this brilliant, fun and somewhat healthy approach to a summer beverage!

Photo Credit: Sugar & Charm

Photo Credit: Sugar & Charm

MIX IT UP, JUST A LITTLE

A variation on the traditional is always a game changer too! Take the traditional margarita for example: Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, fill with ice, shake, rim with salt. (not in that order) now take the Paloma for instance: tequila, grapefruit juice, sugar, lime juice and topped off with club soda. These classic cocktails are a perfect summer beverage for a hot night out back, but why not mix it up! Take that basic margarita and add a hint of jalapeno to it! You've got yourself an entirely new drink!

Visit The Margarita Mum for innovative recipes on your classic favorites. She will not disappoint!

 

However you decide to entertain this summer, we hope we get an invite!

Cheers to summer 2018!