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!

Party favours!

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It’s no surprise that my blog is called “Any Excuse for a Party”! Yes, it’s my mantra and I tend to always be looking for ways to celebrate… every day! But I also like to make the smaller moments feel special too; not every occasion is a party, but you can make it feel like one. I love brightening up a dinner party (or a dinner out) simply by providing goodie bags for guests.  They are easy to assemble and don’t really cost a great deal. I buy the organza bags at the dollar store (they usually are 4 for $1.50). Fill them with treats of your choice: chocolates, tea bags, mints, etc. Your guests will love them… and suddenly, it will feel like a party is going on!DSC_0021

Remember to create any excuse for a party!

Stylin’ Salad

Salad is not a meal, it’s a style. (Fran Lebowitz, author & public speaker)

I have to say that Fran has a point. Salads are all about style and they can make or break a meal. I love “the look” of a salad, especially when there is colour involved… but nothing outranks taste and this salad delivers on all counts.

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Roasted pepper and pecan salad

Ingredients:  

Mixed greens (any type or style you like)

Red, yellow & orange peppers, roasted with salt, pepper & olive oil, until tender. Slice into strips.

1 cup roasted pecans

Goat cheese or feta cheese, depending on your preference

Avocado (optional)

Dressing: Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tsp. ground mustard & 2 Tbsp. maple syrup. Pour over salad and toss.

Serve either as an appetizer or an accompaniment to your meal. Freshly warmed Focaccia bread is a nice side as well. Pour a glass of your favourite wine and enjoy!