Fresita Sangria with Sugar Lime Rim – Recipe

Whenever I see sangria on the menu at a new restaurant, I feel compelled to order it to try their variation, especially if fresh fruit is involved! It always reminds me of summer days relaxing on a patio, sunglasses on, chatting and soaking in some sun with friends. Which can be a very welcome respite in the usual rainy months of Vancouver.

It’s like a mini-vacation in a glass. Fresita is a Chilean sparkling wine that’s infused with freshly-picked intensely flavored Patagonian strawberries. I thought this would act as a great base for a sangria, so grabbed a bottle from a nearby BC liquor store and set about creating a recipe. I personally love fruit, so I incorporated a lot of it into this drink, but you can play around and adjust that to your own taste.

Fresita sangriaVancouver food blogVancouver food blogFresita sangria Ingredients: 

-1 cup kiwi, muddled

-1 cup blueberries

-1 cup sliced lemons

-1 cup sliced limes

-1 cup sliced grapefruit

-1 cup triple sec

-1 bottle chilled Fresita 750ml

-2 tbs raw cane sugar (for rim)

Instructions:

1. Zest a lime onto a plate, and add the cane sugar.

2. Pour the triple sec into a pitcher, and add sliced fruit (lemon, lime and grapefruit). Chill in refrigerator for 1.5 hours to develop the flavors.

3. When ready to serve, rub a sliced lime over the rim of the glass, and dip into sugar lime mixture. Add a generous spoonful of muddled kiwi.

4. Take out the pitcher, and add the Fresita. Pour it into each rimmed glass, and top off with blueberries.

Enjoy!

*This post was sponsered by Branding & Buzzing*

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Fresh Watermelon Mint Beer Popsicles – Recipe

Watermelon is one of my all-time favourite fruits. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like biting into cold sweet cubes of juicy watermelon to cool off. I decided to take it one step further, and created some Watermelon Popsicles!

It’s super simple to make, with just pure watermelon being the main ingredient. I threw in some fresh chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon to brighten up the flavours, but be careful not to add too much so that it’s not overpowering.

I also spiked these with some Samuel Adams Boston Lager beer, which you can usually get it at any local liquor store in Canada. I got mine from a BC Liquor Store here in Vancouver.

See below for the recipe!Vancouver food blogVancouver food blogDSC_0139-2watermelon popsiclesVancouver food blogcollage005

Ingredients:

-2 cups watermelon cubed

-1 tablespoon chopped mint

-Squeeze of lemon juice

-1/2 cup beer (I used Samuel Adams Boston Lager)

-1 tablespoon simple syrup (optional depending on how sweet the watermelon is)

Instructions:

1. Blend watermelon with mint and lemon juice until smooth

2. Add beer to mixture

3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze

4. Add popsicle sticks after 20 minutes

5. Freeze an additional hour or until completely set.

Happy popsicle making!

*This post was sponsered by Branding & Buzzing*

Breka Tasting

After my initial post on Breka Cafe, I was contacted by head pastry chef Ann Cao to come in for a private tasting. As a previously impressed patron, I was happy to oblige.

We met, and chatted over a lovely lunch of smoked meat paninis and fresh fruit with granola topped yogurt. The granola is actually made in house, and I’m told it’s frequently asked for by customers who’d like to purchase a whole bag (which sadly, they do not offer at the moment). Vancouver food blogDSC_0086-4

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DD Mau

If I had to commit myself to one sandwich for the rest of my life, it would hands down be the Vietnamese bánh mì. It just has such a perfect blend of flavors and textures- sweet, sour, salty and spicy and all layered into one demi-baguette of deliciousness.

Vancouver Food Blog

DD Mau is a small Yaletown based sandwich shop that’s taken a modern spin on the classic tradition soaked bánh mì. Think Ba Le meets Gastown’s Meat & Bread. I wanted to try out their fusion styled subs to see how they compare to their conventional counterpart.

Vancouver Food Blog

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Breka Bakery & Cafe

One thing I love about Vancouver in comparison to Edmonton is the availability of 24 hours cafes and restaurants. You’d be hard pressed to find a good place for a late night snack or coffee around where I grew up. I myself am a self confessed night owl, so I was delighted to find that Vancouver has quite a few offerings for round-the-clock joints.

One that I recently discovered is the Breka Bakery & Cafe just off Robson and Thurlow.

Vancouver food blog Vancouver food blog

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Cupcake Tip

Flavored Frosting

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If you’ve ever browsed the baking aisle of your neighborhood grocery store, you’ll know that the frosting selection is often quite limited.  It’s rare to see more than the standard offerings of vanilla and chocolate unless you visit a specialty shop.

One way to combat this, is to create your own frosting from scratch. The options are limitless when you can add whatever flavor or use whatever method you choose.

Sadly, not all of us have the time and skill to conceive well-rounded flavors from just raw ingredients.

I wanted to share a really great and simple effective way to work around this: bubble tea powder mix.

I’ve found that adding a few tbs of bubble tea mix powder to your generic vanilla icing will really give it that unique flavor.

And bonus: it adds color as well, so no need for food coloring!

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Avocado Smoothie Recipe

One of my favorite summer treats is a freshly blended avocado smoothie. They’re a great alternative to ice cream on those hot days, and pretty low-cal considering how rich and creamy it is.

It’s super simple and easy to make. See more below for my recipe!

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Ingredients:

-1 ripe avocado (halved and pitted)

-1 1/2 cups ice cubes

-2 cups skim milk

-2 packets Splenda + 2 packets sweet n’ low* (or substitute 3 tbs honey if you don’t want to use artificial sweeteners)

*I like to combine two different types of artificial sweeteners to create a real sugar taste. I find that if I just use one brand, things tend to taste “fake” or somehow off. This way, you get all the taste with a fraction of the calories!*

Blend all ingredients together on high. Serves 2.

Calories per serving: 224

Enjoy!