Tag Archives: DIY

7 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas To Start Making Now

Cranberry-Banana-Bread

Are you planning to make your own DIY Christmas gifts this year? If so, it’s a great time to start planning and picking up supplies for what you want to make – even though it’s November, I know! So I’m sharing this post from my archives that I wrote last year (and added to it) to get the ideas flowing – enjoy!

Love banana bread? Give it a Christmas twist with a few juicy tart cranberries and share with your family and friends. Wrap up a warm loaf of this Cranberry Banana Bread in some waxed or craft paper and tie with a pretty ribbon or a piece of twine. I love this recipe from Joy the Baker. It’s one of my favourite DIY Christmas gift ideas.

DIY-Vanilla-Sugar

Short on time? Try this DIY Vanilla Sugar recipe and gift it away in a pretty mason jar. All you need is some sugar and a couple vanilla beans that you could pick-up at a gourmet grocery or bulk store. Just slice the bean in half, empty the pod in your sugar and shake. Add the whole bean in there as well. Add a tag and suggest using the sugar in coffee, tea, baking and sprinkling on fruit salad. (more…)

15 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Oatmeal-Mixed-Berries-healthy-breakfast

Looking for a healthy breakfast idea? Here are a few of my favourites to get me fueled up and ready to go in the morning:

1) Oatmeal with Mixed Berries and Brown Sugar – If I’m in a mega rush in the morning, I’ll put on the kettle and make myself a bowl of plain instant steel-cut oatmeal. Just add a handful of your favourite mixed berries and a sprinkle of brown sugar or maple syrup. Add a touch of almond milk if you like.

Throw your oatmeal in an container, pack a spoon and head out the door! For a variation, try adding dried fruit, nuts or pumpkin seeds instead. I like buying plain oatmeal and adding my own flavours and sweetener instead of it coming packed with anything artificial. Fresh is best!

Egg-Tacos

2) Easy Egg Tacos – Grab a package of corn tortillas, a carton of eggs, fresh salsa and an avocado at the start of the week. It’s everything you need to make these easy egg tacos. Just heat up the tortilla for 30 seconds on each side in a non-stick pan, fry an egg sunny-side up. Serve with sliced avocado and salsa on the side. Add hot sauce or sriracha if you like a bit of kick. Or scramble your egg if you’re in a rush! Definitely one of my fave healthy breakfast ideas.

Cinnamon-Raisin-Toast

3) Cinnamon Raisin Toast – Sometimes it’s the Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Trader Joe’s that gets me up every morning. The bread itself is thick and chewy bread and when toasted, it has a nice loud crunch. I spread on a tiny bit of butter and serve with a sliced apple and a hard-boiled egg for a filling and healthy breakfast. Cinnamon + apple together? The BEST. (more…)

Healthy Gourmet Green Beans

Judias-Verdes-Shape-green-beans

I LOVE green beans. But I rarely know what to do with them besides slathering them in butter. So in my quest to eat healthier, I came across this gourmet green beans recipe from Shape magazine that I absolutely can’t get enough of. If spot green beans out at a farmers’ market this week, make sure to pick up a batch for this easy & healthy recipe.

Here is my step-by-step pictorial for easy gourmet green beans. I have made this recipe for friends/family and for special occasions. It’s always a big hit and a fancy way to dress up your vegetables or for Thanksgiving dinner. Thoroughly rinse off 1 lb. of green beans and prepare homemade vinaigrette recipe.

Green-Beans

Trim the ends off of the green beans and bring water to a boil

Pitted-Dates

Lay out your pitted dates (more…)

Make This! Charred Tomato Salsa

Charred-Tomato-SalsaPhoto Credit

I can’t get enough of this Charred Tomato Salsa. I had the pleasure of visiting The Four Seasons Scottsdale during my drive from Toronto to Los Angeles. At around 7 pm everyday, my husband and I would settle into our lounge chairs on the Onyx Bar & Lounge patio to watch the sunset.

I easily downed a few of their mixology-driven cocktails, but I kept coming back to the Charred Tomato Salsa on their lounge menu. Since tomatoes are almost in-season, I asked the Chef to share his recipe so you could get a taste for yourself.  It’s so ridiculously easy to make – (grill tomatoes on your BBQ, blend and serve) you’ll wonder why you were eating that stuff in a jar for so long! This Charred Tomato Salsa makes a great hostess gift too.

FOLLOW the JUMP for the recipe!

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DIY: Meat and Cheese Platter

Meat-and-Cheese-Platter-Board

Hosting a BBQ or picnic? I like to keep things simple and unfussy, which is why a DIY Meat and Cheese Platter or Charcuterie is my go-to for easy entertaining.

All you need:

spreadable-cheese

1) Cheese – I like 2-3 different varieties and textures like a Brie, a cheddar, Havarti and maybe a Swiss. Those are general crowd-pleasers if you’re hosting a big group.

For the more adventurous, try a strong blue cheese, smoked Gouda or Oka. Cut the blocks into pretty triangles and arrange the slices in a line for your one-of-a-kind meat and cheese platter. (more…)

DIY Caesar + Bloody Mary Bar Ideas

Brick-Mortar-Brunch-Bloody-Mary-Bar-Ideas

Easter is coming up next weekend!

Whether you’re hosting a big brunch of family get together, there’s one thing besides chocolate and hot cross buns that make Easter even better. And that’s a DIY Caesar or Bloody Mary Bar. That’s right.

For my Canadian friends back home, we prefer a Caesar which is a Bloody Mary made with clam juice – sounds gross, tastes delicious. Here’s the Caesar mix we are loving right now. For my American friends, you can’t go wrong with a Bloody Mary EVER.

Bloody-Mar-Bar-Brick-Mortar-Santa-Monica-Ideas

Here’s a little inspiration  and ideas (above) from a weekend brunch I went to at Brick + Mortar in Santa Monica. They had the most EPIC Bloody Mary bar with all sorts of crazy things like oreos, pretzels, pepperoni sticks, fried mushrooms, pearl onions, olives, bacon strips, dates, marshmallows, hot sauces – if you could dream it, you CAN put it on or in a Bloody Mary.

So if you’re thinking of something unique to add to your Easter brunch or dinner – definitely do a DIY Bloody Mary or Caesar Bar… I’ll be right over.

Cheers and have a great weekend!