Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon | Simple Bites #recipe #pickles

Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to host a backyard wedding. You know, a quaint, yet beautiful gathering, where children run barefoot on the grass, and friends and family mingle over generous slices of homemade layer cake.

A reception at home sets the scene for a simplified wedding, where a couple can do away with much of the frills that can (and often do) overtake a event of this nature. Instead it calls for buckets of wildflowers, blush pink raspberry-rhubarb punch, twinkling string lights for when the sun goes down and heaps and heaps of love.

This summer our homestead with be the setting for the wedding reception of a couple most nearest and dearest to us. (Psst, we threw them an engagement party last year.) Danny and I, along with the bride and groom, are thrilled to host this incredibly special event – in our backyard!

So, the big day is coming up in early August and preparations are well under way. Well, pickle-making, at least.

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Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad || Simple Bites #salad #eatseasonal #recipe

Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad for Canada Day

From coast to coast, Canadians are making plans to celebrate our national holiday on July 1st, be it by watching the Snowbirds fly over Parliament Hill, marching in a parade, or making merry while poolside with friends.

It’s also Danny’s birthday, so we party extra hard, celebrating him and our fair country all at once. We’ve been lucky enough to receive an invitation to a barbecue at Tim and Angela‘s place in Montreal, and I say lucky, because Tim is the master of the Webber.

I’m slotted to bring a salad to this gathering, which is perfect because I’ve been cooking up something very patriotic for Canada Day – a Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad. Inspired by one of our most famous cocktails, it’s light, fresh, and best of all, very simple. Oh, and if you have ice, there’s a cocktail to be enjoyed at the end of the recipe.

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Clara picnic

29 Summer Survival Tips for Families

School’s out! Upon finishing Monday afternoon, my boys’ excitement was so palpable, I was immediately compelled to lay out a survival plan of action.

For the next eleven weeks, we will all sleep in as often as possible (yeah right). There’s no screen time before noon, so don’t even ask, thanks. Lunches are made on your own most days and there’s a mandatory quiet time following lunch so mama can get some work done. Oh, and we’re outside as much as possible, especially for meals.

Amidst this quasi-structure of the day-t0-day, there’s plenty of fun planned as well. Also a great deal of learning, and a handful of daily chores, too. Of course I made a list. And then decided to share it here. It’s a bit of a summer bucket list, but contains plenty of practical sanity savers. It’s just basic survival as we hunker down until September.

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Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Ground Chia Seed Recipe | Simple Bites #camping #breakfast

The Best Camping Foods (a round-up)

So far, the seemingly endless rains of June have kept us from packing the car, heading to a lake and pitching a tent; but we haven’t given up hope.

Weather permitting, we’ll have our summer solstice camp out again, perhaps just in the back yard, with dinner over the open fire. Then later in the summer we’ll camp for real: fish for our dinner and sleep deep in the forest. It’s our favourite family activity in summer for nine years and counting.

The weather generally dictates how much food we consume during a 2-day camping trip. If it is gloriously sunny and we are busy hiking trails or swimming, food takes a backseat until about six in the evening, when we regroup around the campfire and devour a hearty dinner. On the other hand, if we are cold and damp, much time is spent stoking the fire and eating our way through provisions. Either way, it is safe to say that food is an important part of a camping trip.

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Triple Red Pickle

Bite this Book: The Canning Kitchen

My preserves pantry is beginning to look a little sparse as we’ve been finishing up all the pickles, jams and canned tomatoes from last summer.

It’s time for another exciting season of canning, and there’s a brand new cookbook from PRH Canada to motivate us all to get our act together.

The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes is newly released by my friend and fellow food blogger Amy Bronee. She’s a West Coast mother of two who has long been addicted to preserving the harvest and shares over one hundred of her favourite recipes in a beautiful debut cookbook.

Both nostalgic favourites and new creations shine in this warm and helpful guide to canning at home. Through Amy careful tutelage and vibrant photography, novice and experience canners alike will find inspiration for every season in this cookbook.

Read on for a fun interview with Amy and a chance to win one of two copies of The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes!

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