Limoncello Iced Tea with Lemon Ice Cubes

Hot afternoons out on the patio are within reach, so it’s time to add some bright, happy cocktails back into your roster.  This refreshing cocktail would be great on a warm, Summer day served in a large pitcher to be shared amongst friends!

Limoncello Iced Tea with Lemon Ice Cubes
Serves 4
4 Tea Bags (I used Lemon Green Tea, but Regukar Orange Pekoe would work)
1L Water
2 Lemons (1 sliced, 1 for rinds)
3/4 Cup Limoncello
1/4 Cup Simple Syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup organic cane sugar, boiled and cooled) – Optional for additional sweetness

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For the Iced Tea
In a large pot, bring 1L of water with 1/2 sliced lemon to a boil. In a large shatterproof container, add the tea bags and pour in the hot water. Let steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, (if you’re going for additional sweetness, pour in simple syrup at this point) stir and set aside in fridge to cool.

For the Ice Cubes
Taking the rind from one lemon, add to an ice cube tray and freeze.

To prepare the drink, add the tray of the lemon ice cubes and the remainder of Lemon slices to a large pitcher. Add Limoncello. Pour in the Iced Tea and fill to the top. Stir with a wooden spoon. Serve in a large, tall glass with a lemon slice as garnish (make sure each glass gets plenty of ice). Enjoy!

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45 Minute Vegan Lox

It really is amazing the flavors that you can emulate using only plants. Most of the vegan lox recipes I’ve seen require you to marinate the carrots overnight (Which I am far too impatient for!). I’ve come up with this recipe so that you can have this dish on your table to devour in less than 45 minutes. The texture of the carrots and the flavor from the dulse makes it hard to believe that this meal is vegan. Try it and I can guarantee you that you will amaze your guests!

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45 Minute Vegan Lox

Serves 4
1 Bundle of Carrots
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Soy or Tamari
2 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 tbsp White Rice Vinegar
1 Large Handful of Dulse (or 3 Nori Sheets if you can’t find Dulse)
Bagels
Vegan Cream Cheese
Red Onions, finely sliced
Dill
Capers
Grapeseed oil for roasting

Preheat oven to 375. Place the (unskinned) carrots on a roasting tray, lightly cover carrots with grapeseed oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking. Make sure to keep checking your carrots – you want them cooked, but not mushy or too soft that you can’t slice them. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into thin slices and place in a container for marinating.

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For the marinade, boil the water, white rice vinegar and the dulse. Bring to a rolling boil and remove from heat. Add the soy sauce and liquid smoke. Strain the marinade in order to remove the seaweed. While mixture is still warm, pour over carrots. Place the carrots in the fridge to cool.

Garnish toasted bagels with cream cheese, vegan lox, sliced red onions, dill and capers. Serve and enjoy.

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Do try this one and please leave your comments – this recipe is a winner!

Grayson’s Spring Picks

Because every little boy likes to look dapper, Grayson would like to share his picks for this Spring with his fellow little gentlemen out there.

 

(Clockwise from top left) Converse Allstar, $39.99 CAD| Rain Boots, $24 CAD |Reversible Quilted Vest, $25.00 CAD |Oslo the Otter Long Sleeve, $32 CAD | Pocket Henley, $9 CAD |Jersey-Lined Raincoat, $38 CAD |Cotton Beanie $16.99 CAD |Joggers $19.99 CAD |Cotton Hooded Sweatshirt, $14.99 CAD | Patagonia Reversible Jacket, $89 CAD

 

Quick & Easy Veggie Soup

Easy does it in this household. If I can cook it in one pot, believe me it’s part of my meal roster. Not only is this soup chalkful of amazing veggies that are excellent for you (as evidenced by the bright, green color!), but it is also creamy, SUPER healthy and filling. This recipe is a staple in my house and is also a huge hit with the kid – who is 19 months old and is super picky right now! A must try!

Easy Veggie Soup
Recipe yields 4-6 Servings
2 Leek, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium Butternut squash, diced
1/2 medium bunch of Kale, rinsed and torn
1/2 Large Cauliflower
1 carton Veggie Broth
Grapeseed oil for sauteeing
Herbes de Province (if you don’t have Herbes de Province, you can add in a bit of Italian herb mix which will work just as well)
Salt and Pepper to taste

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Add a dash of grapeseed oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add leek, constantly stirring until translucent (you want to avoid browning, as this will muck up the flavor of the soup). Add in your garlic and continue to simmer. Add in kale and stir until the kale has wilted (you have about 1/4 of the kale than you started with, right!?).  Add in the Hebes de province (or herbs/spices of your choice) to release some of the oils in the dried herbs before adding in the liquids.

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Pour in the veggie broth. Add the cauliflower and butternut squash. Cover and reduce to medium-low. Let the soup boil for about 15-20 minutes or until the butternut squash and cauliflower are fork tender.

Remove from heat and add to a blender (or use an immersion blender directly in your pot).  You’ll probably have to do this in batches, so have a container for the soup ready.  Blend until a smooth, creamy texture. Be careful when you blend hot soup – put the cover on your blender, remove the small cover and use a dishcloth to gently cover the opening.  You’ll want to allow for a bit of steam to escape as hot soups can turn into a very hot (and possibly dangerous!) disaster when blending if you’re not careful! Season with salt and pepper once blended and still hot.

Garnish with a dash of grapeseed oil , your favorite spices and enjoy!

This recipe can be easily frozen for several months and will keep for up to a week in the fridge in an airtight container.