Our Canada Day and a Festive Dessert Round-Up

Today’s post is going to be brief for three reasons: it’s Canada Day, it’s also Danny’s birthday, and we’re going camping!

The car is packed to the hilt with everything we need for three days in the Quebec countryside – and a few items we probably don’t need, but I’ve never learned how to travel light. We’re looking forward to unpluging, sleeping in a tent and cooking over an open fire. The boys have been practicing their loon calls and in general getting revved up for a full-on camping extravaganza.

But first, we’ll make a pit stop at the Canada Day parade in downtown Montreal. This annual tradition involves meeting up with friends, wearing white and red, and usually a round of ice cream. The latter treat in celebration of both Danny and the country’s birthday.

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers!

Even though we’ll be camping, there will still be birthday candles. I’ve got a small cake in the cooler – a Maple Walnut cake, to be precise, that the boys and I baked this morning.  Right after we served the birthday boy breakfast in bed. Whew. You see why I need a few day’s off-grid?

Head over to Kitchen Simplicity for the drop dead simple Maple Walnut Cake recipe (pictured above).

It’s a wonderful long weekend whether you’re in Canada or the US, so I encourage you to step away for the computer, work, or even that riveting novel and spend some time with friends and family.

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What to Eat on Hot Summer Nights (Recipe: Versatile Black Bean Salad)

Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats.

With temperatures hovering just under 100 degrees F since we returned from our vacation I have decided one thing about meal time: It is simply way too hot to cook right now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare dinner for our family. We still have to eat something.

Grilling is a great option during these hot months. It keeps the heat where it should be: outside. I was so inspired by all of the great grilling recipes shared here on Simple Bites over the past week and can’t wait to try some of them.

I have never grilled with a cedar plank before. And after a recent trip to Greece, I’m dying to get my hands on some Haloumi so I can make Danny’s Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad.

But what do you do when it’s too hot to even go outside? Many times I’ve felt to the point of near heat exhaustion as I stood over a grill flipping meat and vegetables.

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Peko Peko: A Cookbook to Support Japan’s Recovery

The Fed-Ex fellow dropped off a highly anticipated package last week – my Peko Peko cookbook, hot off the presses.

Wait, Peko-what?

Peko Peko: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes is a collection of nearly 60 Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes published by Blurb, 100% of the profits of which will be donated to charity relief in Japan. I was fortunate to be one of the food bloggers who contributed a recipe to the cookbook.

I hesitated a minute before opening the box. What if I didn’t like it? What if it was just okay? I continued, and a few seconds later, as the wrappings slid to the floor, I held in my hands the work of three talented curators and fifty bloggers.

It usually takes me about five second to assess if I’m going to like a cookbook or not. I can’t put my finger on exactly how all the right elements have to fall into line, but usually after a quick flip from cover to cover I’m either sold or – meh.

It was love at first sight for Peko Peko and me.
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Weekend Links: The Eat Well, Spend Less Edition

Thank you for joining along in our grilling series last week! I hope you were inspired to change things up a bit – or even start grilling for the first time.

I was so touched when a reader commented on the Simple Bites Facebook page that she had her husband teach her how to start the grill just so she could make my Grilled Caesar Salad and Megan’s Balsamic Glazed Grilled Carrots. Allison, I wanted to ‘like’ your comment about ten times. You definitely embraced this series and got out of your cooking comfort zone!

Rather than a huge round-up of grilling recipes (let’s face it, they’re everywhere), for today’s link love I want to share what the other bloggers in our little Eat Well, Spend Less series have been working on.

Our theme for the month is summer menu planning, at home and while traveling and it is content you need for the summer ahead. Ready?

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Grilling Salmon {Recipe: Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon}

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

It’s been a full week of grilling here on Simple Bites and what a delicious week it has been! There is nothing better than heading outside to cook dinner when the weather turns warm.

Our family loves traditional grilled fare like hamburgers and hotdogs, but what we really enjoy cooking on our grill during the summer is seafood. There is something about the lightly enhanced smokey flavor of grilled seafood that makes it seem like the ideal summer meal.

We love all kinds of seafood on the grill – shrimp, tilapia, tuna steaks – but the one fish that we can’t get enough of is grilled salmon. Salmon has the perfect amount of natural fat to leave it flaky and moist when prepared on the grill.

Salmon is also an extremely versatile fish making it a great addition to your weekly menu. The ingredients can easily be changed to suit the flavors you are craving the most. [Read more…]