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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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

 

4 Rosés to Try this Summer

I’m a fan of rosé – Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall.  If you haven’t jumped on the wagon yet, it’s time you get on-board – rosé has come back in a big way.  Along with Chardonnay, Rosés have cleared their (undeserving) poor reputations and made a serious comeback over the past few years. I’m no Sommelier…but I know a good rosé when I taste one! Here’s a few you must try – ranging from extremely affordable to a great bottle to celebrate a special occasion (like the arrival of nice weather!)

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Simboli Pinot Grigio Rosé
This Pinot Grigio rosé is never leaving my roster. The price for the quality is unmatched. This wine is ever-so slightly sweet and very light with a fruity nose. For around $13, this one is a must-try.

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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses
The first thing you notice about this wine is how simply beautiful the bottle is. This wine is slightly dry with obvious hints of rose petals but still on the fruity side. This rosé would pair nicely with some BBQ veggies and hummus. About $18.

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Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2016
This is hands down my favorite rosé (fun fact: also Kelly Ripa’s favorite rosé). It is extremely easy to drink, with a floral and fruity scent. It is very, very refreshing and on the more dry side. Pair with anything. Or on it’s own. Whatever, just try this one if you haven’t already (it might be hard to get your hands on these days). About $27

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La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé Monterey 2016
La Crema is known for excellent wines, and like their namesake, they are truly smooth. This rosé is a Pinot Noir so its a bit darker and has a fruity, almost grapefruit aroma. It’s definitely the most vibrant of the bunch, with its undertones of fresh berries. This would pair nicely with an full evening meal as the sun sets on a warm, summer night. About $30

frose-frozen-rosePicture and Frozé recipe from Bon Appetit

Bonus: for those Ultra hot Summer nights, grab your favorite and make a Frosé!  It’s exactly what it sounds like – a Frozen Rosé – almost like a granita…only boozier!

Santé!

 

Fruit Ceviche: Olé!

The weather has been nothing short of crazy this Winter. From bone chilling cold, to mild through to snowmaggeddon, its been a wild ride and we only have a few weeks to go! What better way to forget about the frightful weather and welcome Spring than to have some margaritas paired with a delightful fruit ceviche. Invite a few friends over for a fun afternoon, crank up the heat a few degrees, put on some Summer tunes and enjoy this fun dish!

Fruit Ceviche
Serves 4
2 Ripe Mango
4 green or golden Kiwi
1 medium Honeydew Melon
2 Ripe Avocado
1/2 Red Onion
Juice of 2 Limes
1/2 Bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
Season with Red Pepper Flakes

This recipe is super simple! Simply dice up your fruit and avocado into small cubes. To prevent your avocado from browning, quickly toss in a few squeezes of lime juice.

Finely slice your onions and dice (small enough so you don’t get a huge onion chunk, but large enough so it isn’t minced).

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Add all fruit into a large bowl. Add lime juice, cilantro and red pepper flakes. Mix well so that the lime juice is well-incorporated. Be delicate as you mix – you want the avocado to maintain its shape and not turn the ceviche into a guacamole. Can be kept in the fridge for 2 days but best served room-temperature.

4 Easy Ways to Bring your Home into Spring

This Winter feels like a bad rash that just won’t go away! Get ready to put away your ulta-thick duvet and gear up for Spring. Here’s a few simple ways you can bring your home decor into Spring and Summer without freezing up your bank account (see what I did there?).

Put away those Blankets in Pretty Baskets
You dont have to stash away your blankets in the closet – you can keep them easily accessible for chilly nights by putting them into a cute basket which is not only functional, but can also add some style to an empty corner.

Emlyn Basket, Crate and Barrel, $139 CAD | Metal and Wood Basket, Zone Maison, $49 CAD | Basket with Handles, Ikea, $12.99 CAD (steal!) | Tassel Basket, Anthropologie, $78-$88 CAD

Bring Some Greenery In
It’s no secret that bringing fresh plants into the home helps clean the air and helps to bring the indoors into the home. If you dont have a greenthumb or a nursery nearby, there’s nothing wrong with adding some artificial plants into your home. Big, tropical foliage, Fig Trees and Terrarium Succulents are all beautiful and on trend for this Spring (plus they’ll last even if you decide to take off for a few weeks this Summer – lucky you!). See my post on making your own Artificial Succulent Box!

Homemade Succulent Box | Berlin Planter, Zone Maison, $188 CAD | Fiddle Leaf Tree, Structube, $149 CAD | 3 Piece Succulent Set, Wayfair, $73.99 CAD

New Accent Pillows
If you’re itching to make a change, but don’t want to invest in any pricy items, a great way to bring color into your home or onto your patio is to buy some fun accent pillows.  They’re (usually!) fairly inexpensive so you can change them out with the seasons and play with different color palettes.

Leaves Accent Pillow, Urban Barn, $39.00 CAD |Indigo Cross Cushion, Simons, $35 CAD| Jacob Pillow, LD Shoppe, $40 CAD  Cherita Cotton Throw Pillow, Wayfair, $48.49 CAD

Get some new “Stemware” 
You don’t have to use the same wine glasses or stemware year-round.  If you do though,  look for a nice shatterproof set that will do double duty – that can go from an afternoon on the patio into the house for dinner. Plus, if you have one too many margaritas on that first 20 degree day with your friends, you wont be left cleaning up a terrible mess if one happens to fall off the table! Look to get a fun, colorful set as well as a clear, classy set so you’re prepared for whatever the occasion.

Set of 4 Glacier Acrylic Wine Glasses, Stokes,  $17.99 CAD | Cool Blue Shatterproof White Wine Glass, Bed Bath and Beyond, $5.99 USD | Set of 6 Plastic Highball Glasses, Wayfair, $74.99 | Set of 4 Shatterproof White Wine Glasses, William Sonoma, $39.95 USD

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Bonus: I love the teal color of this set – would look great out on the patio with some of the fun pillows above! Pitcher & Glasses Set, Bed Bath & Beyond, $69.99 CAD

Now…bundle up, get to shopping, and count down the days until patio season – we’re almost there!