How to Spritz like an Italian

Friends of mine are in Italy right now, and every so often I get a glimpse of their adventures on my socials- the ancient streets, the vibrant markets…the afternoon spritz

I might have been jealous of their travels if my Italian friend, Margherita, hadn’t invited me and a few friends over to her place for a little aperitivo of our own. We each brought a few appetizers to share, popped open a bottle of prosecco and toasted the beginning of summer with Aperol spritz.

Lo spritz‘, afternoon happy hour in Italy, is designed to be social. It involves sharing plates, small bites and of course, the spritz cocktail. This effortless entertaining over seasonal, simple fare is my strategy for gathering with friends this summer and in a short blog series, I’m going to show you how to spritz like an Italian.

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How to serve up a DIY breakfast taco bar

The Olympics are almost over; is anyone else as addicted as I am?

The performances are so inspiring and the athleticism absolutely jaw-dropping. I was moved to tears by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal ice dance – and like the rest of the internet, I will continue to hope for a real-life romance (they actually train here in Montreal, not that far from where I live).

On a recent Saturday, when there was nothing but grey skies and freezing rain outside, the kids and I prepped the ingredients for breakfast tacos. Getting the little ones involved is part of the fun, and I can always use help grating the cheese or slicing the peppers. We spent a cozy morning watching Olympic snowboarding and munching on soft corn tacos. The kids assembled their own, customizing each to their tastes, and everyone was very, very happy.

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Healthier Holidays and Gail’s Crudité with chili and lime

The following is a true story that I am not in the least bit proud of but have decided to share anyway.

You see, last year’s extravagant holiday eating and drinking caught up with me in a bad way and the ensuing consequences left me with a resolve to do things differently this winter.

How did this happen? Well the parties started early in December and carried on until well after New Year’s, as they do every year. Many of them were mine, including my annual cookie swap, where rum-spiked eggnog and fruitcake truffles abounded. My Board Game Café party for New Year’s Eve included a pre-party, the main party, and an after party in the wee hours of the morning.

I’m the first to admit that I took things too far. For four straight weeks I said yes to all the decadence that the holiday season had to offer – and then some. Another bowl of trifle. An additional cookie or two. A second round of drinks. After all, it’s Christmas, right?

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Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter

Like each of my monthly #EatSeasonal recipes, today’s post was inspired by a couple of ingredients that are coming into their own right about now.

It wasn’t until I had worked out the kinks of the recipe and started photographing the dish, that I realized my Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter would make a delightful addition to a Mother’s Day tea. Perhaps because of the blush pink spread or the sheer decadence of crusty white bread slathered with butter, but this recipe denotes a fancy tea and deserves as much.

(Oh hey, if you are going the afternoon tea route next Sunday, may I suggest these Herbed Avocado Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches and maybe these Triple Berry Scones. And then please invite me over.)

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Apple Almond Bircher Muesli with Winter Fruits

A regular brown package arrived via courier last week. Inside, all three hundred and four first pass pages of an uncorrected manuscript that is my next cookbook.

The words, the photos and the recipes all compiled together into a neat little package that has been my passion project for the last two years. What a thrill to hold the unbound pages in my hand.

I’ll get to introduce the cookbook to you soon, and share the cover as well as a sneak peek of the recipes to come, but for now, I need to pick up a pencil, put my head down and focus on these final corrections before it goes to print. Things may continue to be a little quiet here on the blog in January, but I’ll be back before you know it, along with more stories, ideas and recipes.

But for right now, let’s share breakfast in the form of Apple Almond Bircher Muesli with Winter Fruits.

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