bry’s sangria

Heeeello long weekend!  Well you know what? Although I’m off work for the next two months, summer long weekends are still simply the best!!!  So who’s ready to celebrate Canada 150th anniversary?  Got any plans this weekend?  Well if you do, you should definitely add this recipe to your drink diet on Canada Day.  And if you don’t, well don’t worry, any day of the summer months is a perfect day for my sangria.  Well, I should say Bry’s sangria!  It’s one for the books, apparently!  You will be making this every summer weekend, I swear.

It’s great anywhere, as long as it’s served on ice; but it’s definitely better when drank by the beach, in the pool or sitting on the patio!  For myself, I prefer it with a lots of ice and a side of fresh guacamole.

So it all started two years ago while on a road trip to Toronto and the Niagara region.  Can’t remember the restaurant we stopped at, but we stayed awhile ’cause the sangria was sooo good, according to my sister-in-law and Brian.  The waitress was the best and after many pitchers, she wrote down their sangria recipe for us on our bill (which Brian then modified to his taste, obviously adding more booze to it!)…

On any given summer weekend, you can surely find a double pitcher of this, waiting to be served to our guests.  Brian has been working on the recipe for a while, and he now thinks we have a winner.  So, stock up on the ingredients and make this on the next sunny day… hopefully sooner than later!

Bry’s Sangria

What you need:

1 bottle of white wine (we use Bodacious White for the high level of sugar)

4 oz. of Malibu Rum

3 oz. of Triple Sec or Cointreau

2 oz. of your favorite Rum

1 cup of pineapple juice

3 cups of raspberry lemonade

top with sprite

1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on the amount of sugar in the white wine)

fruits: lemon, lime, orange, raspberry and strawberry

How to:

Slice your fruits and squeeze some of the juice in the pitcher.  Add the sugar with the fruits in the pitcher.  Add all the liqueur and juices.  Stir.  Leave in the fridge for about an hour or two before serving.  Once cooled and ready to be served, add the ice, the sprite and mix well.  Serve over ice with some of the fruits.

Beware, two can EASILY get tipsy with only one pitcher.  So enjoy responsibly and have fun on this special day.  Happy Canada Day all!!!

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strawberry jam forever

It’s official, we’re on vacation.  And what did I do on my first day of vacation?  Wake up super early and went strawberry picking.  Dragged the boys, as I thought they would like it, but within 5 minutes they were already bored.  Turns out they really like jam but not as much working for it and picking up berries.

So I woke one minute before my usual 6:10 am alarm.  Way to go.  Lounged with the boys and then got ready to visit Les Jardins Lamoureux in Hawkesbury.  Jojo, Lulu and my Mom tagged along.  Within one hour we had 7 huge baskets filled to the brim.  It was a gorgeous morning, perfect weather, but boy, picking strawberries is not easy!  I will now have much more appreciation for the berries that I will buy at the store!

Logan had a meltdown.  He picked about 11 berries before he called it quit.  So I decided to fill his basket for him, but as soon as I started putting some in the basket, he started balling.  You can’t touch his food; I should have known better!  Well, nothing like a 4 years old meltdown in the middle of a strawberry field.  He kept on saying ‘I only want 11’.  Oh well, too bad.  I filled the rest of it!

We came back home and took our first summer vacation nap.  Two glorious hours of sleep and then waking up to the smell of strawberries in the entire house.  Heaven.

I think we made 5 batches of jam in a 12 hour period.  The boys didn’t liked the strawberry picking, but making the jam, they loved it… with all the licking and the sticky fingers and the happy faces.

I used a Club House envelop.  The recipe is on the packets but I’m sharing anyway!

No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

What you need:

4 cups of strawberries

1 1/2 cups of sugar

Club House Freezer Jam packet

Glass jars

How to:

Wash jars.  Chop the strawberries and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar and mix.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Even though they say not to, I blended the berries.  I’m not a fan of chunky jam.  So at this point, I used a hand held mixer and blended the berries.  Sprinkle the gelling powder and mix well for 3 minutes.  Let stand for 5.  Stir again before pouring in the jars.  Seal tight.  Store in fridge for up to 6 weeks or in the freezer for a year.

So now I think we have more jam than what we’d probably be able to eat over the next 3 years… so if you’re in a jam, drop by our place and pick up a jar!

I know what’s for lunch today: Strawberry sandwiches.  Our fav!  Now, if only the warm weather would cooperate it would actually feel like a vacation and I could enjoy some freshly picked strawberry outside by the pool.

Have an awesome week mylemondroplife followers!

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float like a cadillac, sting like a beemer

It’s already June, the summer is here, it’s the end of the school year, the days keep on going by so quickly, there’s so much to do at work, but you know what… by the end of the week, no matter what, I’ll be on VACATION for two full months.

It seems like our minds have been on over-drive for Lighting McQueen, Mater and their friends for the last couple of weeks.  We’ve known about Cars 3, the new Disney/Pixar movie, coming out for almost a year now and the boys have been counting the days for at least the last 30 of them.

We had planned on seeing the movie on Saturday night at the drive-in, cause watching Cars in a car is a must!  We actually saw Cars 2 in Lake George 6 years ago at the drive-in with 6 month old Liam sitting/sleeping on my lap, and we loved it!  But on Thursday night, after a long day at work I decided to surprise the boys with a last minute trip to the theater to watch the movie premiere.  They were ecstatic.  And we all fell in love with the movie, all over again.

Two weeks ago, at 1 am, while not sleeping and scrolling on Facebook, I found a meet-Lightning-McQueen-event at the Kanata Canadian Tire.  The next morning, we had breakfast, packed our toy cars, drove to Kanata and got in line.  We arrived early, so by 10:05 we had already had our picture taken.  We then played with remote controlled Cars for a little while before driving back home.  So happy we had decided to go early… we did NOT end up waiting an hour and a half like some of the other moms did.

After meeting McQueen, the boys started to watch the two Cars movies and play with their little cars non-stop.  So let’s just say that my summer Camp Woods tradition is back and last week was Cars week!  The boys bought cars from the new movie with their chore money, we played games, they wore matching pj’s (of course my fav!) and then it was drive-in time!

We spent Saturday morning buying treats and fun drinks, baking a cake and making McQueen eyes for our car (a must for watching Cars at the drive-in, right?).  Brian was really not impressed with my suggestion (more like me begging to do it!!!) to install the McQueen eyes right before entering the drive-in lot.  Well, I think he may have considered doing it for a second, but then said no!  That did not stopped me… cause that’s the first thing I did right after he had stopped the car!

It was really hot and humid, but thankfully the rain and storm held off.  So while I was installing my McQueen eyes, Brian was installing something almost as essential as popcorn at the Gatineau drive-in: nets on our windows!  At our local drive-in there are two large movie screens, hundreds of cars and a lot of mosquitos… or billions of mosquitos as Brian kept complaining about before, during and after the movie.  So we ate tons of crap and sweets with the saltiest popcorn ever!  It was just great.  The boys and myself seated in the front while Brian and Jojo watched the movie on the back seat with their own wine mini-bar!  We had to crank up the air conditioner once in a while, but beside that, it was pretty quiet other than the casual KA-CHOW the boys made every time they saw McQueen doing something funny!

I didn’t expect crying during Cars 3, but boy I did.  I was so nostalgic… and, you know what, it was not only because of how much I love McQueen… but more because things are changing so much, the boys are growing up so fast, and the world seems so messed up sometimes, all around us, while all we’re actually trying to do is to find our place and be healthy and keep on enjoying small things that make us happy.

Well, there are no better things in life than spending a Saturday night, all snuggling in our car, making memories and laughing all together.  I hope the boys will remember these summer nights for as long as I will.  ‘Forever could never be long enough for me; together could never be close enough for me’ as long as I have them both sitting on my lap for an entire movie at the drive-in! (BTW, lyrics from the group Train).

So, for all Cars Movie lovers, this new movie is a must. We will probably end up seeing it again in the theater in the next few weeks.  And so should you!  But until then, we will continue to have fun, to enjoy life and summer, while keep on racing to the finish line… KA-CHOW!!!

 

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hello pesto

Oh pasta!  How I love you.

Yeah, it’s clearly one of my weaknesses!

Not sure why I hadn’t done this before, but for the first time last summer I made homemade pesto.  Basil, oil and cheese.  What’s not to love!

So easy, everybody can, and should, make this recipe instead of buying premade from the store.  The boys call this recipe ‘spaghetti vert’, and we all can’t get enough!

Summer is here and I’m planning on planting so much basil plants that my yard will smell Italian!

Meanwhile, buy your basil at your grocery shop and pesto away!

What you need:

1 cup of packed basil

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 pine nuts

2 gloves of garlic

salt and pepper

How to:

You need a food processor or a magic bullet type of thing.  Roast the pine nuts, watch them, they burn quickly and at that price, you don’t want to waste them!  Place everything the food processor and pulse.  It’s that easy!

I serve with pasta and steak on the side, but you can serve it over chicken, or with bread and charcuterie.  I would say it stores well in an air tight container for a month or so in the fridge.  It taste just like ‘summer in a jar’, so go buy some basil and try this next weekend.

Enjoy!

 

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goat cheese pizza

And the sun is out!  Finally!!!  So, patio time now?  Oh well, I wish, but not for us… we still haven’t started painting our deck, so our time being outside and enjoying the sun will be quite short for now, or until that task is done; because at the moment our backyard is a mess… and we just don’t know where to start!

Anyway, I’ve made up this awesome, quick and delicious pizza/naan bread recipe last week and can’t wait to make it again, and again.  It takes a few minutes to make, all the ingredients are easy to find, and everybody loves it.  I didn’t follow any recipe, so you can change the goat cheese for whichever cheese you like most.  For me it’s not an easy task to decide which one to use… as I love all of them!  But goat cheese, on a pizza, it’s just sooo good!!!

Easy Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

What you need:

-garlic naan bread

-fresh tomatoes

-olive oil

-goat cheese

-fresh pepper

-fresh basil

How to:

Heat the oven to 350.  Place the garlic naan bread (if you don’t have garlic naan, use regular naan and add fresh garlic to the olive oil) on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on it.  Slice the tomatoes and place on the naan.  Place chunks of goat cheese on top and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes and then broil for a few minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  You don’t want to forget it in the oven!  Once the cheese starts to golden, take it out.  Dressed the pizza with some fresh basil and voilà!  Cut in pieces and eat it while in the pool or in between sangrias!

Enjoy this pizza this weekend and have fun!  You won’t regret making this.  Cheers!

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a few pictures in the orchard

I love pictures… I think you already know that by now!  So, I’ve been attempting to take some family pictures for a while, but without any success with all the parties, activities, golf, work, etc… it seems like we always end up having a reason to push back our photo session.

So last Wednesday, we finally had 30 minutes without anything to do after work/school and before a diner in Orleans we were all attending, so I’ve gathered all of our clothes, picked up the boys at school and drove back to Orleans for a photo shoot!

At first I wanted to go the Lincoln Park in Ottawa where there’s hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees, but no time for that this year, so we’ve ended up at the Orleans Fruit Farm where we usually go apple picking.  And it was gorgeous.

I had called earlier in the day to see if they would let us take some pictures, and they did!  So we had the orchard to ourselves; hundreds of beautiful apple trees all in delicate white flowers waiting for us!  We only had about 20 minutes to change clothes, find a nice spot and take some pictures… so it was rush rush rush.  I convinced one of my friend to tag along so she could take some pictures of the four of us.  I have to say, I trained the boys incredibly well!  They knew exactly how to pose and what to do… she would just say ‘Hey, Liam’, and he would get close to a tree, strike a pose and look at the camera with a nice, happy and proud smile… they were both so funny!  They always find ways to crack me up and take silly pictures.

Of course I wish we would have had more time for the photoshoot and had more time to prep ourselves, but these will have to do for this year.  Maybe next year I’ll splurge and hire a photographer for an official family photoshoot!  You should definitely think of going to the Orleans Fruit Farm, for pictures, but also for their amazing products.  I can’t wait for their tasty strawberries, but with this weather I guess I’ll eat some in September or something.

Hope you have a great weekend, I know we will, cause it’s Bry’s birthday tomorrow!

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