The grass is green, the trees are blossoming (finally!) and I think that’s cause for celebration! If you’re looking to treat your taste buds to something refreshing after what was quite possibly the longest winter in Canadian history, embrace spring’s bountiful produce with my Spiced Strawberry Watermelon Gazpacho. This pretty, pink (yep, still riding that Spring 2017 Pantone Fashion Color Report wave), chilled soup is the perfect menu addition for your next spring soirée, baby or bridal shower, or anytime you’re hosting your girlfriends and want something fuss free, fresh and festive!
My Spiced Strawberry Watermelon Gazpacho is so simple, I almost can’t call it a recipe — but I’ve been meaning to publish this one since last summer! I popped over to Blushlane (a new organic market that just opened in my neighbourhood) on Friday and was so inspired by the beautiful strawberries, basil (I picked up a gorgeous basil plant… let’s hope I don’t kill it!) and mini watermelon that I knew I had to channel them into this recipe. With just 10 ingredients (seasonings and garnish included!) this fruity spin on traditional gazpacho comes together in just 10 minutes! So grab a delicious glass of rosé (I’m enjoying a Spanish Rioja!) and kick back with me tonight for the details on this modern, seasonal spin on a classic Spanish dish while I catch you up on a few cool things that have been happening the scenes lately — I can’t share a lot right now, but if you followed along with my Insta Stories last week, you may have an idea!
I’ve been testing this recipe since December — and it feels so good to finally publish it! Typically I go through 3 – 5 rounds of recipe testing and for my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco, the fourth time was the charm. If you’ve been following along on my socials, you may know that I had an unfortunate accident with a new kitchen knife on Easter Monday, sliced my index finger and wound up in the ER. Ironically, I was recipe testing. I’ll save you all the gory details because this is a food post after all, but long story short — I ended up with 5 stitches, one very sore finger, minimal nerve damage and a mild reaction to a Tetanus shot that left me with a rash all over my upper body (it’s been a rough couple of weeks!). So if it’s seemed a bit quiet around here, that’s why. It was such a struggle to do pretty much everything during the first week while I was healing up, but my stitches came out Thursday and I’m on the mend. The whole thing was pretty scary and I’m just incredibly grateful it wasn’t any worse! Thank you for all your well wishes and your patience as I attempted to navigate through life at a slower pace these past couple of weeks.
Now, onward and upward! After a week of being terrified to use my kitchen knife and not being able to actually wield it to chop anything, we decided to start the Wild Rose D-Tox on Monday. This is my 6th time doing it over the years and it’s not that much different than my regular, plant based diet — minus anything fermented (yes, that includes alcohol!), tropical fruit and the occasional indulgence. I like to think of it as spring cleaning for my system — and one that was definitely needed after feeling so out of whack last week with my Tetanus shot, taking painkillers (I prefer not to take medication unless absolutely necessary — we didn’t even have any Ibuprofen in the house!) and having to resort to a lot of frozen leftovers (thankfully, my recipe testing process affords a well stocked freezer!). Fast forward to late this week and I finally got my groove back — I was happy to be the kitchen again and feeling inspired! I used this past week as an opportunity to slow down and really focus on what I’m putting in my body to help it heal. I perfected my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco yesterday and I’m happy to report that it’s completely Wild Rose D-Tox friendly — I can’t wait to share it with you!
I spent a few days in the Vancouver area last month — and today I’ve partnered with American Tourister to share my first ever TRAVEL GUIDE here at JustineCelina! I’ve traveled with Samsonite luggage for many years, so when their sister brand American Tourister got in touch last month, I jumped at the opportunity to test drive a piece of luggage from the range. This fun iLite Max 25″ Spinner was the perfect travel companion on this whirlwind trip to the west coast!
Anytime I visit a new destination, I’m asked for my list of must sees and do’s from the area and have always compiled a list of recommendations — ready to send out for anyone who requests one. Since I’m asked for these recommendations often, in 2017 I’ll be sharing this type of content here at JustineCelina, embracing the opportunity to make my TRAVEL GUIDES more comprehensive and easily accessible. See the Vancouver area through my eyes today as I share packing tips and trip highlights — including my favourite neighborhoods, restaurants, coffee shops, wine and spirit recommendations, shopping hotspots, off the beaten path locales, quirky boutiques and a day trip to the island (I’m even taking you along to a cookbook launch!). If you’re looking to temporarily satisfy a case of wanderlust or are simply craving a change of scenery, come along as we venture to Canada’s west coast in style with Samsonite!
It’s the first Friday of spring, so my food blogger friends and I thought it was the perfect occasion to celebrate! Today I couldn’t be more excited to bring you the Spring Edition of Connecting Over Cocktails where I’ve teamed up with 7 talented food bloggers across North America to showcase a plethora of floral flavours in cocktail form. If you’re looking for innovative cocktail ideas as we spring forward, you’ve come to the right place — just scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members whipped up for you this weekend!
I’m embracing this beautiful new season here at JustineCelina with my Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktail — inspired by my recent trip to the west coast. Delicate and ultra mellow, this refreshing spring sipper features small batch, hand harvested, artisanal gin from Canada’s Vancouver island complimented by a fusion of orange blossom water and hydrating coconut water, finished with a splash of fresh orange juice. With just 4 ingredients, this elegantly understated gin cocktail is simple to prepare, but sure to impress. My Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktails would be the perfect accompaniment to a light spring lunch, garden party, birthday party or shower. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted this Friday afternoon, settle in for this ultra floral, spring inspired recipe!
I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a cocktail — and today I’m in good company! Do you remember this past summer when I collaborated with a handful of my favourite food bloggers to create a patio-inspired drink? It was a blast and we figured it was about time to do it again! I’m elated to share my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine as part of our second Connecting Over Cocktails collab — this time with a cozy, seasonal flavour focus! If you’re looking for some fantastic cocktail ideas as we transition into the holiday season, we have some serious cocktail inspiration in store for you today. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for seven festive cocktail recipes from my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members. Cheers to creative collaboration and connecting over cocktails!
‘Tis the season for my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — a sophisticated twist on a holiday classic! Luxurious flavours of pomegranate and vanilla mix and mingle with robust Zinfandel, clementines, honey, cloves, star anise and a touch of nutmeg to warm you from the inside out! This mulled wine is chock full of antioxidants and healing spices, because who doesn’t love a festive beverage with feel good health benefits? If you’re hosting a holiday celebration this season and looking for a crowd-pleasing beverage to serve, welcome guests with a warm mug of Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine. It’s the ultimate in cold weather comfort — like a cashmere sweater for your taste buds!
We’re home from Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and tonight I’m recapping our experience! What is Christmas in November, you ask? Basically, it’s a giant meeting of people who love all the same things I love — great food, wine, entertainment and seasonal inspiration. This past weekend we cooked with celebrity chefs, learned about holiday decor from industry experts, came away with tons of culinary inspiration and tasted wine from all over the world. Sounds like a good time, right? Now, imagine that experience set in a charming, rustic lodge, overlooking a serene mountain lake in a picturesque National Park. That, my friends, is what Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is all about! I’m sharing every detail of our trip — including the accommodations, the food, and drink, the lodge, the spa, the setting, the sessions, the after parties, who we met and what I wore! Come along with us to Jasper, Alberta on this festive retreat nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and let’s kick off the holiday season in style!
I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of collaborative content, because today’s post is a collaboration with a good blogging chum of mine, Dana over at Killing Thyme. Dana’s blog may sound familiar because I’ve mentioned it a few times here at JustineCelina! Dana and I met last year through The Food Bloggers of Canada and you could say we became fast blogging friends — we clicked right away. I love Dana’s zest for life that’s wildly apparent in her content, her voice and authenticity, her generosity, and of course, her fantastic recipes and culinary knowledge! You see, Dana has been at this whole blogging thing a lot longer than I have and she’s always been so supportive of what I’m doing. In short, she’s a an absolute gem and I’m sure you’ll love her content and her blog just as much as I do! Pop over to check out my guest post and grab the recipe for my Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos.
So, when she asked if I’d be up for a guest post on her site, I jumped at the opportunity! You see, we both love a great cocktail, so I knew my Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos would be a perfect fit! They combine sweet blueberries with refreshing lemon, cucumber and mint with a healthy dose of gin and a splash of soda water for just the right amount of sparkle. These late summer sipper are free of refined sugars and made with all natural ingredients — so the next time you’re craving a cooling summer cocktail, indulge yourself with a fresh twist on the classic mojito! Cheers to sharing the love, to new blogs and new friends!