The night before I found out I was pregnant, I was out at happy hour enjoying a nice glass (or two) of sangria. That was about 5 months ago, and I now find myself sometimes missing the good ol’ days when I could indulge in a nice glass of that beautiful red or white fruity-with-a-kick glass of goodness! Can any of you mom-to-be’s relate?
Now at restaurants, instead of ordering wine, I’m asking the waiter if the bartender can whip up a mocktail. It’s actually fun seeing what fun drink they can come up with. Recently, I decided to try out my own mocktails and I’ve been experimenting with different flavors to find fun “fancy” juices that I can drink out of classy glasses. I’m telling you, even drinking water out of a champagne or wine glass really helps you not care that you have to give up the good stuff for the next nine (cough **ten** cough) months.
This past weekend I tried my hand at a white sangria and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I combined a non-alcoholic Moscato, peach juice and ginger beer for a sweet but spicy concoction. The non-alcoholic Moscato can be found in the grocery store in the section where they sell cocktail mixers and it’s called FRE. If your local store doesn’t sell it, white grape juice would be a good substitute.
Ginger Peach White Sangria Mocktail
The recipe as is will provide a sangria on the sweeter side. If you like a really strong ginger taste, just add a bit more ginger beer.
750ml bottle of FRE non-alcoholic Moscato (or about 3 cups of white grape juice)
2 cups peach juice
1 cup ginger beer
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup frozen mangos
1 cup frozen strawberries
Step 1: Add frozen fruit to a pitcher.
Step 2: Add the non-alcoholic Moscato or grape juice, peach juice and ginger beer to the pitcher and mix well.
Step 3: Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Step 4: Pour sangria into a fancy glass and top with a splash of seltzer water and more frozen fruit.
Step 5: Put your feet up and enjoy!
This recipe is so easy and really really good! Enjoy 🙂
Scent is inextricably linked to the acts of cooking and eating. My nose tells me when the onions are getting ready to caramelize and it warns me that if I don’t take that skillet off the heat, right this second, the pecans will be beyond toasted. As a child I would rub vanilla extract behind my ears for “perfume.”
Recently, I decided to experiment with DIY solid perfume. I wanted to capture some of my favorite food scents into wearable form! I asked Julianne what she thought a “signature scent” might be for Girls on Food. She suggested notes of juicy blackberry, warm and spicy Kentucky bourbon with a whisper of freshly-ground coffee…it was spot on.
I’ve created combinations like Madagascar vanilla and bourbon (a classic and delicious pairing) fig, grapefruit and rhubarb. Want to make your own? All you need is some beeswax pastilles or bars, a carrier oil (I used sweet almond oil), essential oils of your choice and some tins. Before I settled on these tins, I recycled mint tins. I’ve also ordered some vintage lockets from eBay and filled them with a few teaspoons of perfume. Instant wearable perfume in a variety of ways. It’s up to you! Get creative. I even ordered some cute sticker labels!
It sounds complicated, but it’s really not. To make the base, you melt the beeswax and almond oil together over a double boiler (I use a glass bowl set over a saucepan), take it off the heat, add drops of essential oils and pour it into the container of your choice.
The Girls on Food blend is sweet and fruity without being overpowering. The Kentucky bourbon and coffee are warm, earthy, and spicy. Read on for the recipe and create your own signature scent.
DIY Solid Perfume
1/2ouncebeeswax (one half of a 1-ounce bar)
2tablespoonssweet almond oil
50-60drops essential oils of your choice
tins of your choice
Melt beeswax and almond oil together in a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
When wax is totally melted, remove the bowl from the heat.
Stir in your essential oils.
Carefully pour into tins.
Put tops on the tins quickly and carefully, without disturbing the mixture.
Let perfume set for 10 minutes or until it is solid.
Arepa Guys is run by two buds, Moises and Jorge, who currently serve up arepas on the weekends. Situated within a local convenience store, Arepa Guys offers authentic Venezuelan arepas with their own twist. Although they have a set menu, they also offer a special every week which is updated on their Instagram account. HINT: go follow them now. The specials give you a different treat each time you visit. You can also mix and match different fillings to create your own custom Venezuelan creation!
I have been trying out this whole no processed carbs thing for awhile now and I actually really love how it makes me feel. However I am only human and the noodle craving has hit me hard. Like really hard. I want all the noodles and I was especially craving pad thai. Obviously pad thai is not on my meal plan. I know what you’re thinking, “But Summer you love zoodles. You are always telling us they are an awesome substitute for noodles. Why don’t you just use those?” You guys are right, I do say that and I mean it. They are an awesome substitute for noodles but I need in this moment something more. I need the firmness of a perfectly cooked al dente noodle.
Prohibition Chicken is the collaboration of Josh Babb and Sean Clavir (formerly of Musume, The Chop Shop and Chop Shop Live) and Chef Roger Kaplan (Restaurant Innovations). In addition to its great location, they chose Lewisville for the restaurant’s site because it lends itself to the old country vibe they were seeking.
It’s a lovely 106 degree day in sunny California. I’m craving something a little sweet and savory, something on the healthier side (obvi) since you know, bikini season.
I glance around the kitchen and see the bowl full of fresh zucchini I just procured, mmmm… zucchini bread would do the trick but there is no FREAKING way I am going to turn the oven on in this heat.
I rummage around the fridge and pull out the following: plain greek yogurt, blueberries and I grab the granola from the cabinet. I guess I’ll just make a dumb old parfait.
I know what you’re thinking, “thats the best you can come up with? Where is your creativity? Where is the inspiration?” Well I’ll tell you where it is, burned up by this scorching heat!
Then it hit me, why don’t I turn this dumb parfait into a frozen treat! Feeling motivated I grab the raspberry infused honey I picked up from my local farmers market (yes it is as delicious as it sounds), some vanilla extract, some walnuts and what the hell some chocolate chunks too. What I concocted next is a slightly sweet, a little savory, and definitely crunchy frozen treat that you can eat and not feel guilty about. So without further ado… here is my Frozen Parfait Bark recipe.
*as always the measurements are pretty much a guess-timate(more…)
I’m just a girl who loves food, making food and getting inspired by food I see on social media—especially when the food is being eaten by my favorite hero, the adorkably charming Chris Pratt. He has been posting his snacks on Instagram in a funny, tortured cause he has to get in shape kind of way, which I of course couldn’t help but watch. If you guys are not familiar with his little #WHATSMYSNACK videos then you need to go watch them like now. I’ll wait.
Now that you are all caught up with what I am talking about, the snacks he is posting actually look pretty tasty. I was drawn to the cucumber egg roll. Now I have no real idea what is in his but I figured I could recreate a version and make my own #WHATSMYSNACK.
Without further ado… Here is my Chris Pratt-inspired cucumber egg roll snack.
Spring is in the air, which means St. Patty’s Day isn’t too far behind. Though I’m not huge on going out and drinking all the whiskey (my liver isn’t Irish, I can’t hang), I am a fan of hosting a little shindig at my place.
I was trying to think of yummy Irish treats to make that didn’t involve corned beef, ham or any other meat-related item. I also didn’t want to mess with any food coloring to turn things green. I wanted something savory and something I could eat with my hands. Oh, and leaning more towards the healthy side. I know, I didn’t make it easy on myself! Then it hit me. Potato pancakes! That’s an Irish tradition I can get behind. How do I make those healthy you ask? Well instead of a traditional potato I used a sweet one. I wanted to incorporate something green so I grabbed a Granny Smith apple. Hmmm… what else could I add to this concoction? I looked at my fruit/veggie basket and saw a sweet onion. That will work! Trust me, I know those things do not sound like they go together and at this point I was just winging it, but surprisingly enough they turned out AMAZING.
Warung Indonesia d’Eglinton roughly translates into Indonesian Small Family Restaurant at Eglinton. You can find this restaurant a couple of blocks north of a relatively busy business area of Yonge and Eglinton. They serve Indonesian style food in a comfortable and homey environment and prepare their food from scratch to order which allows you the time to just relax in the atmosphere. Recently, my boyfriend and I were invited to a media tasting of this restaurant from DKLO Events and had our first try of Indonesian food!
Toronto is a fairly multicultural city. However, it ‘s hard to come by new cuisines if you are not already familiar with it or if not recommended. This Indonesian restaurant specializes in providing their customers with customized meals. What do I mean by that? They offer a “Set Your Own Meal” option where you can choose two veggie appetizers, one veggie appetizer, and one entree served with rice. This tasting provided us with this opportunity to set our own meal!
Well we are officially half way through the holiday season, and I don’t know about you, but I have already eaten my weight in ALL the sweets and treats. (Which is pretty weird for me since most of the time I tend to lean more towards the savory). Anyhow, I have come to realize I have a very serious seasonal sweet tooth. What can I say, Christmas time is my jam! Since I am not going to give up all the yumminess, I decided to make a dish that leans a little more towards the healthier side. Roasted pears. Cranberry goat cheese stuffed roasted pears to be exact. I also realize that I post ALOT of stuffed recipes. I don’t know where my obsession with stuffing things comes from; I just know it tastes real, REAL good. So without further ado here is the recipe.
Roasted Pears with Cranberry Goat Cheese
4 medium sized pears (I used d’anjou)
Cranberry goat cheese (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
Preheat your oven to 375
Halve your pears and slice a little teeny bit off the back, so they lay flat in the pan.
Once you have done that take a spoon, any kind will do, (I used a sugar spoon) and scoop out the core of the pear to make a nice little bowl for the cheese.
Sprinkle the pear with a generous amount of cinnamon. I wanted to also use some nutmeg, but I didn’t have any.
Once you have that done, take that same spoon and pop a hefty amount of the cheese into the middle of your pears.
Sprinkle the chopped walnuts (pecans are also an excellent option) and drizzle the honey. I probably put about a teaspoon of honey on each pear.
Pop those bad boys in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Once they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and serve.
Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant is a new boutique restaurant that has opened in “The Beaches” neighborhood in East Toronto. Isabella’s is such an amazing and cozy restaurant owned and operated by an equivalent amazing and sweet couple. This lovely couple met in Japan, and now they are in Canada to offer us authentic, homey Japanese style dishes. This boutique restaurant is named after their bubbly daughter, Isabella, and you can tell where she gets her charm from! It is only the owners that work here but yet they are so attentive to every guest in making sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be.
Now onto the food! We’ve been here numerous times to try their various dishes from breakfast to lunch/dinner to their sweet treats. Below are (most of) the dishes that they currently have on their menu, but there are other surprises that they always have in store.
These pancakes are so thick, but still fluffy! Plus, Nutella sauce all over these?! Serious, real eats, and treats right here! These Japanese style pancakes are a unique take on your traditional pancakes.
A stuffed Japanese omelet (contains onions, mushrooms, cheese and bacon). If you have never tried one, you gotta try this one! The way they prepare the omelet creates such a fluffy and lush texture that you’re eating a fluffy egg cloud.
The breakfast sandwich may sound like your ordinary thing, but you can taste the freshness of every ingredient. The egg is perfectly cooked and round (c’mon! Round egg!) and that thick cut bacon … C’mon, BACON! They also offer a breakfast combo for $5 (taxes in!) which includes a breakfast sandwich and beverage; perfect for busy mornings.
This was my first time having omurice, and if I could, I would be making this every day. It is another version of a stuffed omelet. This one is stuffed with fried rice, mushrooms and a protein (this one is beef). Traditionally, the omurice is topped with a ketchup type sauce but Isabella’s classes it up by topping it off with a homemade demi glaze. So heavenly!
Can you believe that they make their teriyaki sauce in house?! Fresh, from glorious scratch sauce! Also, if you are not feeling rice, then you can also get this beaut in a sandwich form.
This curry is not your stereotypical spicy curry, but it is still rich with that familiar curry flavor. It is smooth and silky that you just want to lick up the whole plate!
Who doesn’t love them some noodles?! This yaki udon is a fried udon dish, very simple but delicious. It does come with an option for a protein, but we went simple and got the plain yaki udon which is topped off with some savory bonito flakes.
In the picture are their classic sweet treats that will continually be available. These are their macarons and fluffy cotton cupcakes (also available in a full cake form). The macarons pictures are their cherry blossom (the pink), and a Nutella (brown). These macarons are a delight! They are not cloyingly sweet and are the perfect texture; a perfect portion of the shell and the filling.
Now for their fluffy cotton cupcake. These are my personal favorite. Not only are the ones above matcha iced (green) and cherry blossom iced (pink) but the main base is perfection. They are just like their name, fluffy. These cupcakes are not your typical cupcake taste or texture either; more like a cross breed between a light, airy angel food cake and a flavor-packed dense cake. I realize that doesn’t make much sense, but you have to try it! If you were to visit The Beaches, Toronto area just drop by here to grab a free sample (if available) of their fluffy cotton cake, and you’ll see what I mean!
There is always something new to try at Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant, and I have yet to try everything! If you’re looking for somewhere cozy and relaxing to enjoy a meal, this is the place to be.
YASSSSS!! Fall is officially here! The weather is finally not giving me a heat stroke, I can stomp aimlessly through piles of leaves, I can pretty much get pumpkin anything and football season has started. That means a copious amount of Sunday Fundays is about to go down!
Now I love a good football snack spread just as much as the next person. However, most snacks are fried and smothered with cheese. Like my favorite, tater tots. Since I know I am going to be attending a ton of Sunday Fundays, I cannot be eating all the fried food. ( I want to, but I can’t keep buying new jeans). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a healthy version of my fave, broccoli tots.
I used my cauliflower pizza crust recipe as inspiration, and I have to say what I came up with was freaking tasty AF. So if you want to get your snack on basically guilt free continue reading for my Broccoli Tot recipe.
*I give this disclaimer every time but just in case… I do not measure out anything. I just kind of eyeball it with these little bowls and they hold approximately one cup.
1 head of broccoli diced or Trader Joe’s Riced Broccoli
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley, dried flakes or fresh
1 tablespoon paprika
Heaping tablespoon of cayenne (I like things a little spicy, if you prefer more mild use less)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all seasonings in a small bowl
Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Blanche the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse the broccoli with cold water and let it sit while I prepping everything else.
After you’ve chopped your onions and grated the cheese, place the broccoli between a couple of paper towels and gently pressed to remove any excess water. (I didn’t take a pic of this cause, well, it wasn’t pretty)
Once you are done pressing the water out throw everything together in a bowl and mix well.
Now you are ready to form your tots. I am not gonna lie, this was the most time-consuming part and if you don’t like getting stuff all up in your fingernails wear some gloves. Grab a little amount of the mixture on a spoon and squeezed it together in your hand until it forms a tot-esque shape. Place them on parchment lined baking sheet.
Once you form all your tots, throw them in the oven and let them cook for 25 minutes.
Place them on a tray/plate/whatever and serve with your fave condiment. I promise these will be a hit. Even my boyfriend liked them, and I usually have to trick him into eating broccoli.