Dishing up fun!

I LOVE dishes! It’s a great way to make a statement at any party, and the right serving platter manages to make your food look even more appealing. Summer is probably one of best times to pull out your colourful statement dishes. Here are some of my favourites.

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Somehow this dish just makes dessert even more appealing

I love a summer fiesta, so dishes that are bright and colourful really help pull the party together.

 

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And nothing quite says summer like these watermelon dishes. They look good enough to eat!

Have fun discovering which dishes work best for you! So many colours, themes, styles, shapes and sizes, which is why shopping for dishes can take on a life of its own!

 

Last but not least… there’s coffee and chocolate. I’ll leave you with two of my favourites. The chocolate dish is an original design that’s quirky and humorous, and perfect for presenting after-dinner treats. And who could resist coffee from these adorable coffee cups?

 

Hope you manage to “dish up” some great times at your summer parties!

Zesty Quinoa Salada

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If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for a new salad, especially in summer. I tried a version of this quinoa salad recently and have tweaked it for my own tastes. I’m sure you can adjust it accordingly too, but it’s a refreshing healthy salad that is sure to be a hit with your guests.

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Ingredients  (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup kernel corn
  • 1 carrot – thinly sliced
  • 1 cup snap peas (cut into halves or thirds) – can also use cucumber
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
  3. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn, carrots, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.

 Enjoy – wishing you a fabulous summer!

Canada’s 150th birthday!

Here in Canada we are getting pretty excited for our country’s 150th birthday party! Red and white seems to be everywhere at the moment… from the iconic Canadian T-shirts, to trendy red and white home decor, there’s plenty to choose from if you want to transform your home, your yard, or your table for this party!DSC_0085

Check out HomeSense or Marshalls for some Canadian home decor ideas. If it’s clothing you need, then check out Roots Canada, as they are featuring some great attire for Canada’s 150th. And if you’re looking for Canadian-themed party decor, the Dollarstore is the best bet for some real bargains.

So call up your friends and plan a gathering for this July 1st – it’s bound to be extra special. And if you happen to be in Victoria B.C., see you at the fireworks show!

Here’s a throwback to a few years back when we really tried to rock the Canada Day theme! Hope you find just the right outfit this year!IMG_5694

Happy Canada Day!

 

Puffed Wheat Squares!

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If there’s a snack that is evocative of my childhood, it’s got to be the iconic Puffed Wheat Square. This easy-to-make treat was always a hit and disappeared almost as fast as my mom could make it. Now, as a high-school teacher, this has become my standard snack when I’m rewarding my class at the end of term or there is a need for any sort of celebration. I’ve even had students email me after graduation asking for the recipe. If you’ve lost the recipe for this somewhere along your journey, here it is once again!

Puffed wheat
Any brand of puffed wheat will do!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine                                           1 cup brown sugar

1/2 corn syrup (I use Bee Hive brand)                     1/2 cup baking cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla                                                                        10 cups puffed wheat

Directions: Melt butter or margarine. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and cocoa power. Stir over medium/high heat until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir in puffed wheat. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Let cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy!