As an avid cocktail lover, to say I was excited when Blurb invited me to an evening of cocktail making and food pairing at the Pennyroyal is an understatement. This gorgeous Kimpton establishment is right in downtown Seattle and inspired by old-world European style bars. The dark wood, exposed brick, and moody lighting had me feeling heady and even tuned out my normal shutter-bug impulses that usually crop up with every course. It was the perfect setting to connect with fellow creatives and learn about Blurb’s self-publishing and marketing platform. (more…)
I have had a fantastic summer — I strolled around every corner of Seattle with my parents for 3 weeks, went on a few adventures outside of the city (Wanapum state park & San Juan Islands), I got to fly back to Toronto and Montreal for some good fun with family and friends, and I also spent a long week end visiting San Francisco with a super fun quick pit stop in Lake Tahoe. Can’t complain, totally ready for what fall as in store for me.
Fall? Yes, it’s September… but technically still summer for another few days. White peaches are still in season and it’s a reason to rejoice. No need to rush on the apples & pears too fast… let’s enjoy the last bites of juicy summer fruits. That is exactly what I have done by combining ripe white peaches with some blueberries for a perfect end-of-summer compote.
As more people I met are sensitive to gluten, I’m becoming very aware of how common this inconvenience is nowadays. I now always ask my guest about any allergies when I get ready for dinner parties. Food is sooooo (maybe too) important to me, that I want to make sure everyone’s enjoys their time. Today’s recipe is a simple pound cake served with a juicy white peach compote! Easy to prepare, very light and can even be enjoyed for breakfast.
Aaaaand just like that, we must say “au revoir” to summer. Although there’s still a couple weeks left of summer, everyone’s mind has switched to fall mode (guaranteed there will be PSLs spotted left & right starting today, ugh). Days spent lounging at the pool in our bathing suits must now be traded in for cozy sweaters by the fire, as sandals at the beach make way for comfy boots.
My favorite part about the transition from summer to fall? All of the delicious cocktails! Fragrant berries and ripe watermelon have had their time in the spotlight the past few months, but I’m so ready for fall libations. Aromatic spices, rich, complex liquors instead of subtle, floral notes, and piping hot concoctions rule cocktail menus while helping us keep warm through the increasingly chilly evenings. Many fruits fade away with the long summer nights, but one that holds on tight through the fall are pears! Crispy, tart and sweet, this fruit is perfect for making into syrups, juicing, and infusing into spirits.
Combing the local farmers market, I love to come across fruit or vegetable varieties I’ve never had before. During one of my recent trips, I found what I thought were yellow apples, but were in fact were Asian Pears! This semi-tart fruit has a slight honeydew flavor and remains crisp, which is perfect for salads and cocktails.
I brought my tote full of ripe Asian Pears home and put them through my juicer. I then added the fresh juice to one of my go-to spirits for this time of year: Spiced Pear Liquor. I love the light pear flavor with cinnamon and clove notes that pair so well (pun most definitely intended) with other cool weather ingredients. I decided to go out on a bit of a limb and jazzed up a classic French 75 with these delicious fall flavors. The cinnamon with champagne and the other citrus flavors meld together perfectly for the perfect autumnal sip. I replaced some of the gin with the pear liqueur and added pear juice for a more prominent flavor.
The first drink I tested was leaning too far on the sweet side. On the second go around, I decided to whip up some pink peppercorn syrup to swap out for the sugar called for in the original recipe. It helps balance the sweet flavors while the peppery bite compliments the other spicy notes.
Pink peppercorns aren’t related to black pepper in any way, but are actually dried pink berries that contain powerful peppery flavor for their small size with a subtle fruitiness. I love using them in place of black pepper in recipes, and for topping desserts as well as spicing up a cocktail without the harsh flavor the usual pepper brings to the table.
Unless you live on a deserted island, you’ve probably noticed the buzz over popsicles. I’ve rediscovered them myself lately. I loved popsicles as a kid but totally forgot about them as I grew up… time to catch up! It’s crazy, they are everywhere, in different flavors, shapes, and especially for different occasions. Instead of the boozy variety for unwinding on a sunny afternoon, today’s popsicles can be enjoyed in the morning! Wait… what?!
Yes! Are you one of those people craving an iced coffee in the morning instead of a hot cappuccino? Then you’re going to love what we have here for you. It’s easy, convenient and a perfect ready to go option when you sleep in and need a quick fix.
It’s basically a yogurt parfait turned into a popsicle. You’ll simply need to layer all ingredients in the molds before going to bed and you’ll be waking up to a cool (literally) surprise. This treat is healthy but is inspired from a breakfast classic. Blueberry pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup. Simply delicious!
It’s only Wednesday, but I’m here to give you a hand… in the form of a cocktail! Booze was basically made for days like Wednesday (and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday!)
Meet The Aviation, a classic that has flown under the radar for years, but seems to be emerging from obscurity with the comeback of traditional cocktails (like The Jungle Bird and Bee’s Knees). Thankfully, many liquor stores are starting to stock long-lost spirits that haven’t been prevalent since before the cocktail dark ages of the 70’s – 90’s.
Simple to put together, to make this beautiful, amethyst hued drink, it requires the use of a couple obscure liqueurs.
You should be able to find the Maraschino liqueur at your local liquor store due to it’s popularity with at home bartenders. When most people hear the word Maraschino, those saccharine neon cherries come to mind. This could not be more different! It’s derived from cherries, but the sour Marasca variety it’s made from gives it a mostly tart flavor with a slight sweetness followed by bitter almond notes from the cherry pits. In my opinion, Maraschino is essential to any home bar. It’s a spirit that once you have it, you will wonder how you ever lived without! (more…)
Last month, I shared with you my go-to crumble recipe that makes prepping dessert for a dinner party a breeze. Another of my go-to desserts for summer is the Pavlova! I am amazed by how this simple, yet delicious, dessert can be such a show stopper. When it comes to baking, I definitely live by Leonardo da Vinci’s words: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
The trick is to select good ingredients, let them shine and do the work for you! In this case, the star of these adorable mini pavlovas is Tillamook Cinnamon Horchata ice cream (c/o Tillamook). This extra creamy ice cream has a subtle hint of cinnamon, similar to simple vanilla bean ice cream, but even better! It’s sweetness contrasts the acidity of the roasted pineapples and complements the crunchy meringues perfectly.
Baking the meringue might be the most time consuming step of this recipe because they need to dry slowly in the oven so that they’re crispy and not chewy. But since they can keep in an airtight container for up to a week, you can definitely bake them ahead of time and assemble everything right before serving. In a rush? Feel free to skip the roasting step and top your mini pavlovas with fresh pineapples or any other summer fruits or berries.
Seriously, there’s nothing like going to to Chinatown for some refreshing bubble tea, especially on a hot day. I don’t know if it’s the endless amount of strange flavors or the squish of tapioca pearl boba sucked through an oversized straw, but on a steamy summer day, it’s the best. That’s why I was so excited to combine my passion for popsicles and bubble tea into one delicious summer treat just in time for Popsicle Week!
This Watermelon Boba Pop is utterly refreshing, with juicy bites of sweet frozen watermelon juice and icy boba to chew on and a tart kiwi surprise at the end. Definitely one to try for those sweltering afternoons.