Tasty Tuesday: Simple Lemonade Syrup

Good Morning!

This may sound odd but one of the things my Mom makes that I LOVE is lemonade.  I know what you are thinking…”Did she say lemonade? Like the stuff that you get from a can that take about 5 mins to make?”  Yes, lemonade, but definitely NOT the kind from a can.  Today I’m sharing a recipe for lemonade syrup which, in my opinion, makes much better lemonade than the cans.  It takes a bit longer to make but it yields a lot more lemonade.  And it is no more expensive than the canned kind (trust me, I’ve done the math).

Simple Lemonade Syrup copy

This is what you will need:

  • juice of 6 Lemons + zest of 4 lemons
  • 10 cups of sugar
  • 6 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp tartaric acid
  • 3 tbsp citric acid
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt

Makes 2+ liters of syrup.

For the last 3 ingredients you may have to get those at a health food store or pharmacy, although some grocery stores may carry them.

Also, the amount of sugar MAY alarm you (it did me….) but keep in mind you are just making the syrup (and A LOT of it) which you will then add water to to get the lemonade.  And you will only use about 30-40 mls of the syrup per glass so it’s actually not as much sugar per glass as it sounds.

lemons

Take your lemon and grate the zest off of 4 of them.  If you are lucky you have a master zester like my dad to do this part.

Zesting

You will get this….

rinds

Then juice all six of those lemons.  My mom has a electric juicer which speeds it up,  but with only 6 lemons it won’t take long to do it by hand.

juicing

Then in a LARGE pot or bowl (at least 2.5 L) add the acids, epsom salt and sugar.

Chemical incredients

Sugar

Add in your lemon juice and zest and then pour in 6 cups of BOILING water.

Sitr it Up

Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved and let it sit until cooled.  Then transfer to a container or containers.  I like the zest in it but if don’t you could strain it out.  But if you plan to do that I would let it sit overnight to make sure you get all the flavour before taking it out.

To make the lemonade just add about 30-40 mls of syrup (can vary depending on how sweet you like it) per cup of water (250 mls approx).  Or by using a the same measurement but scaled up you can make a whole jug of it!

Finished Lemonade Syrup

This is a sweet, delicious lemonade.  It does have a few more grams of  sugar in it than a regular lemonade (per glass), but it doesn’t have the high fructose corn syrup that most canned and bottled lemonades have and has fewer weird unpronounceable ingredients, so I would argue that it is more natural than the processed canned kind.

And once you have made it, it lasts for a long time.  You get almost 60 glasses of lemonade per batch where you might only get 5-6 per can.  And it’s almost the exact same cost per glass cost (about 20-25 cents) as the canned kind.  Better tasting, more natural lemonade for the same price as the can?  #nailedit  Totally worth a little extra prep time.

It also could make a great hostess gift for summertime gatherings.  Put some syrup in a mason jar with a pretty bow and a tag, and voila!  Instagift.

So, I obviously think this recipe is the bees knees,  but now it’s time for you to try it!   Let me know how you like it!

Signature- new XO,

Summer Recipe: Grilled Peach Melba Sundae

Good Morning!

This morning I’m sharing a crowd pleasing recipe from the cover of this month’s Canadian Living magazine.  With grilling season in full swing, why not make the absolute most use your grill with this yummy dessert?  Grilled Peach Melba Sundaes with a raspberry sauce are T.A.S.T.Y.  I recently made this recipe for some friends and it was a hit.  And it’s really easy to do.

Raspberry copy

The raspberry sauce was sweet and delicious and the best part is you can easily make it ahead. Also, if you make a little extra you could use it for other things too.  Maybe add it to a vinaigrette to make a sweet raspberry salad dressing?

peaches

Once peaches are in season, this dessert will be extra sweet and delicious.

peaches and sugar

grilling peaches 2 *photo credit Jen Button 🙂

Grilled Peaches

almond

Canadian Living Photo - 2

I really loved this dessert.  As you can tell from the slightly melted ice cream in the photo, I put the peaches on while they were still warm from the grill which made it ever better! My friends were also fans….

Friends with Sundaes copy

Aside from this dessert tasting great, it’s so easy whip up.  The sauce and toasted nuts can be made in advance.  And if you are already grilling your dinner on the barbecue you can then just throw on the peaches after and BAM!  An instant light dessert, perfect for long summer evenings on the patio.  You can find the full recipe here, or in this month’s Canadian Living magazine!

Have a great day!

XO,

Signature- new

*This is sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Fiddlehead Fever

Good Morning!

As I was walking through the grocery store the other day I noticed some of these….

via

…and was reminded that it’s fiddlehead season! Who’s a big fan of fiddleheads? Um, this girl.  Not only are they totally delish but also, they make me nostalgic for home since I used to eat them a lot as a kid. So, of course I bought a few.  When I got home I gathered up some facts about these little curly-cues to share:

  • The fiddlehead fern is an ostrich fern in a very early stage of growth. The young frond is picked about 2 weeks before it uncurls into a willowy forest plant.
  • The season is quite short, limited to just April and May.
  • Fiddleheads are full of vitamins A and C and can be eaten raw in salads, or blanched and steamed like asparagus.
  • They are native to the eastern half of the United States from Virginia up to Canada (which is why I ate so many growing up in New Brunswick).

info via

Since this is a design blog thought I would throw in some “inspired by fiddleheads” shots for good measure….

via 1,2

via 1,2

via 1, 2

via 1, 2

I’m pretty sure I’m going to try making that fiddlehead gnocchi this weekend….it looks yuuuuumy.

Enjoy your Thursday!

XO,

Alt Summit Recap – Round 1

So finally, today, a week after the end of Alt Summit and a few days after I returned from my post-Alt mini vacation in Utah, I’m happy to report that my blogger’s block seems to be gone and I’m ready to write again.  I don’t think I can possibly put all of my takeaways from the summit in one post so today I’m just focusing on the overall experience.

I cannot stress enough what a great experience Alt Summit was for me.  I learned so much, met truly lovely and insanely talented people, and had such a amazing time.  So, in other words,

(images via 1,2,3)

I had a kick-ass roomie, Miss Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, and whether it was mingling at the parties or having deep discussions about blogging, we had a total blast. The added benefit of having Jenn around was that she knows everything. I’m not kidding…she knew who people were, what blogs they were from, which people were on which panels, where we were to eat breakfast…everything.  This fuzzy photobooth picture depicts the essence of Jenn and I at ALT….Jenn doing it right while I have no idea what is going on.

(via photo booth sponsored by Epiphanie Camera Bags)

I attended many sessions sessions including the business of blogging, how to grow a readership, building a personal brand and a roundtable discussion on how to quit your day job.  Some of the best design bloggers out there were sitting on the panels, and let me tell you, these men and women truly know what they are doing.  There were some amazing keynote speakers including Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest and Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project. And to top it all of there were crafty courses on the Saturday – everything from calligraphy to photography.

Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I just before we met Ben from Pinterest (via Jenn’s camera), swag from the party (via me), Ben Silbermann doing his keynote (via b.a.d. photography), Alt shoes (via Justin Hackworth), Panelists Jordan (Oh Happy Day), Kelly (Design Crush), Nicole (Making it Lovely) and Maggie (Mighty Girl) (via me), helpful graphs (via me), Gretchen Rubin closing keynote (via b.a.d. photography), my textile design course (via b.a.d. photography), the crowd during a session (apparently I thought something was hilarious here) (via Justin Hackworth), the lovely Miss Emily Henderson of Secrets of a Stylist speaking during a session (via me).

After the first day I had an overall feeling of, holy sh*t, I am doing everything wrong! And I heard similar sentiments from many other bloggers.  But I came away with so many tools to improve my blog that it was hard to feel anything but inspired the whole time I was there.

Oh, and have I mentioned the amazing parties ….namely the “dinner en blanc” on Friday and the mini parties on the Saturday. Super fun and beautifully decorated…..

Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I in the Method “Smilebooth” with props, Dinner en Blanc (via Justin Hackworth), Jenn and I and some new/old friends Kathleen, Jason, and Cole (via Jenn’s camera), Chinese New Year mini party decor (via b.a.d. photography), the Girls with Glasses Parisian mini-party decor (via moss and issac), Jenn and I at the dinner en blanc (via Jenn’s camera), decor at the Wilson Art mini party (via me).

I was one of about 400 to 500 women (and 10 to 15 men) at the summit so one can imagine that it could get competitive or catty, but it was so welcoming and supportive.  The ideas of collaboration and community came up in one form or another in all the sessions I attended. I have always been amazed about the community and support given by the smaller group of Canadian design bloggers but I’m happy to say it is present even in the broader blogger community.  I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

In subsequent posts I’ll talk about some of the specific things that i took away from the Summit, but for now, I have to go figure out what to wear to the Canadian Design Bloggers Meet-up tonight at Brassai.  Can’t wait to see some of you there!

XO,

Christmasy Weekend….

Good Monday morning everyone!  This weekend I was busy with some holiday get-togethers.  The first one I attended was a lovely drop in party at Heather’s (author of the blog Interior Groupie) house.  I met some great people, had some yummy apps (and wine), but best of all, I got to see the home projects that she features on her blog in real life! Yes, I know my digital friends, it’s hard to believe that the things that are posted on blogs are for realsies, but it turns out that they are!.  Can you believe I didn’t even bring my camera?  Ah, well.  Thanks to Heather and her hubs for being such great hosts!

Yesterday, I went to a Christmas lunch with my friends and their kids.  It was a great time, with delicious food (brisket and lasagna….nom, nom) and an appearance by Santa himself.  The house looked amazing, which is not surprising as my friends Margot and Geoff have an amazing sense of style.  The Christmas decor was simple and elegant as you will see in the photos. All in all a great afternoon…here are some snippets of the day….

pretty arrangement on the credenza

clementines

delicious appetizers

bring on the brisket

Christmas photoshoot…

pretty tree decoration

Christmas crackers

getting the pressies out of the crackers…

Another adorable Christmas decoration….

Tatum’s party shoes!

elegant & festive flowers

Little fashionista, Ella, about to meet Santa!  How cute are those polka-dot Christmas shorts?  This was taken just prior to her asking Santa if he wanted to do a fist bump (pump??) in lieu of a hug.

….and she also knows how to accessorize with this amazing headband.

Just call me the baby whisperer…

The Wicken’s cookies, complete with disclaimer!

Now, these my friends are called chocolate pizza’s made by my friend Monique who runs The Chocolate Pizza Shoppe.  Let me tell you, these things are delicious, and can be made to order with your favorite candy/treats! YUM.

Pretty mantel decor, and guess what?  We each got to take one of the little mini trees (shown in the middle) home with us when we left!  What a great idea!

I told Santa I’d been a good girl this year….he responded with, “That’s debatable…..”

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my “dream” Christmas wish list for home decor items, as well as an update on my Christmas decor.  Have a great day!

XOXO,

Photo Credits: Last photo taken by Geoff Darling, the rest are my own.

Beeftacular!!

Today’s post is a little outside my normal posts about furniture and design. It’s about an event I went to this weekend  hosted by my friends Pete and Sam called Beeftacular. It’s a cooking competition within our group of friends, which started last year with Porktacular.  This years competition was to make a dish having an ingredient that came from a cow (hence Beeftacular).  The way it works is we each enter a dish and then everyone votes on which they like best.  This year you could enter into  the main dish category and/or the appetizer category.  I made beef carpaccio for the appetizer and Vietnamese Beef Pho for the main.

Poster for the event!

All the dishes were very, very good and included beef sliders, two yummy beef curries, spaghetti and meatballs, and tamarind beef.  But it was a competition, so once we all recovered from the meat sweats, it was time for the vote. Competition was fierce, but my beef carpaccio came out on top in the appetizer category, narrowly edging out the tsunami beef appetizer.  For the main, it came down to the spaghetti and meatballs prepared by Amber and Jer and the Tamarind beef prepared by the reigning champions of Porktacular, Margot and Geoff.  In the end the lovely marinated tamarind beef came out on top, giving Margot and Geoff a second championship. My pho came in a respectable third.

I should give a shout out to the Friendly Butcher on the Danforth, where most of the competitors purchased the beef for our dishes and where the all the prizes were purchased. And also to Same and Pete for hosting such a great event.  There are some photos below of the event. Can’t wait till next year where we may foray into the vegetable realm with Tater-tacular.

The prize table…a meat rub packed into the tiny trophies…

Tamarind beef, sliders and asparagus on the BBQ

My prize, yummy BBQ sauce

The dining/judging area

hmm, beer….

The ballots….

Voting area….put the ballots in the paper bag of your fave dish!

the toddler vote….

enjoying the meal…

The beef carpaccio….good spelling Lindsey….

Henry “aka Don Draper” looking skeptical about all this meat….

Awards ceremony: appetizer

Awards ceremony: main dish

My favourite part of the “taculars” is the fridge magnets that we get to take home!

On a totally separate note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom!  Today she is 39….. again. I am very lucky to have her and though I can’t be there to celebrate with her, I hope she has a great day.

Have a great day!