Fellow tequila and mezcal lovers, I’m elated to share the first my first recipe roundup dedicated exclusively to cocktails with my 5 Festive Cinco De Mayo Cocktails post! If you’re a fan of my better-for-you libations, you’ll know my love of tequila and mezcal runs deep — as does my adoration of Mexican culture. Over the past decade, we’ve been fortunate to spend quite a bit of time in Oaxaca (specifically Huatulco — one of my favourite places in the world!) and discover many fantastic artisanal tequila and mezcal varieties, visit agave farms and learn about authentic spirits and cocktail making from the locals. In fact, our home bar is always stocked with several varieties of tequila and mezcal from our travels — and I typically have a few Mexican-inspired sips in development at any given time! So today, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I’ve rounded up my most popular tequila and mezcal based cocktails — which all happen to be vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free! Hey — life is all about balance, right?!
While we may be celebrating Cinco De Mayo digitally this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t do it over a fantastic cocktail (or 5!). Can I interest you in a Green Jalapeño Margarita, Gingered Cara Cara Grapefruit Paloma, Watermelon Frosé Margarita, Hibiscus Blood Orange Mezcalrita or a Creamy Coconut Mango Mezcalrita? There’s never been a better time to learn how to shake up a Mexican-inspired cocktail in the comfort of your own home — all you need is a cocktail shaker, a bottle of your favourite tequila or mezcal and a few simple, fresh, supporting ingredients! Join me for a crash course on tequila and mezcal (plus recommendations to pair with each recipe!) as we shake up a few festive cocktails tonight in celebration of the vibrancy and resilience of Mexican culture!
Friends, I’m elated to be back today with the first completely new piece of content I’ve created in 2021, dedicated to My Dry January Experience. You may have noticed that things have been more quiet than usual lately as I took a step back from content creation to refocus my time, attention and resources on reviewing 2020 and getting inspired for the year ahead. While January wasn’t the most exciting or glamorous month, I’m so grateful I finally gave myself permission to focus on what matters and align with my goals! This Dry January involved a lot of self reflection, accountability and honesty about my blogging and entrepreneurial journey and where I want to take it. 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for so many, myself included — but it was peppered with experiences and wisdom that have afforded me a greater clarity than I’ve ever experienced. As a result, I’ve emerged from 2020 a much different person (as I’m sure many of us have!).
This time last year were in Huatulco and I was sipping a mezcalrita with my toes in the sand — oh how times have changed! Despite the drastically different circumstances of present times, this isn’t my first January, or sober month. It’s something I do whenever I feel I need a hard reset — and I’ve always found it to be in incredibly rewarding experience! If you’ve always wanted to try a Dry January (or sober month) but aren’t sure what to expect, are looking for some strategies to ensure success, or are curious about the benefits and positive new habits I’ve adopted, this post is for you. Top up your coupe glass with your favourite kombucha and join me for a raw, transparent recap of My Dry January Experience and how it changed my relationship with alcohol!
Happy New Years Eve Eve, craft COCKTAIL lovers! After a restful holiday vacation, I’m back today with a fresh cocktail recipe (and a fun giveaway) to help you send 2020 off in style! My Gilded Vanilla Pear Sparkler is a glitzy, French 75 inspired sparkling cocktail nuanced with an elegant seasonal flavour profile and premium ingredients (including Eau Claire Distillery’s 24 karat gold infused Christmas Gin!). Although this NYE in quarantine is unlike the celebrations of years past we’ve become accustomed to, that doesn’t mean it has to be any less glamorous or memorable — and if you’re looking for an NYE inspired sip to celebrate the end of a challenging year, I have just the recipe. I invite you to put your best suit or dress on, dust off your crystal and toast 2020’s departure (good riddance!) with me in the comfort of your own homes, JustineCelina style!
Inspired by all things glittering and gold, Eau Claire Distillery‘s Limited Edition Christmas Gin combines with Brut Prosecco, Italian vanilla liqueur, bright lemon juice and a stunning Honeyed Vanilla Pear Syrup where Bosc pears are poached in decadent Canadian honey alongside Tahitian vanilla extract. The result is an opulent, gold infused winter cocktail that’s equal parts creamy, crisp and refreshing — and it couldn’t be easier to mix up at home! To help spread some holiday cheer, I’ve partnered with Eau Claire Distillery to give away a full sized bottle of Christmas Gin and 2 coupe glasses to one of my Canadian friends — you’ll find details on how to enter near the bottom of the post (this giveaway has now closed). Cheers to a brighter 2021!
Foodie friends, who’s up for some healthier, pre-holiday baking? I’m thrilled to finally share my Gluten Free Mapled Pumpkin Chai Bread with you today after just over a year of recipe development! I’ve mentioned previously that due to my extensive recipe testing and development process and focus on seasonal ingredients, oftentimes recipes take over a year to make it to JustineCelina. As with any piece of content I share on this pages, quality is my top priority! Over the course of the five times (yes, really!) I’ve baked, tweaked and meticulously tested this delicious seasonal loaf, it’s become one of our all-time-favourite recipes — and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it for you. I’ve also included a handful of my favourite local grocers and vendors where I picked up all of the ingredients I’ve used in this recipe. Now more than ever, local businesses need our support and I’d like to ask you to consider how you can support your local economy (in whatever capacity you’re able to) as we transition into the holiday season.
My Gluten Free Mapled Pumpkin Chai Bread typifies late autumn by combining two of my favourite seasonal flavour profiles in one deceptively decadent, easy-to-bake loaf that’s free of dairy, gluten, refined sugar and oil. Exceptionally moist and perfectly spiced, this simple, seasonal pumpkin bread tastes like an indulgent fall cake, but is loaded with nourishing ingredients and warm, healing spices! Pumpkin puree, creamy coconut milk, pure Canadian maple syrup and a splash of Mexican vanilla extract are beautifully complimented by a rich melange of quintessential chai spices — including cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamon and anise. The result is an incredibly delicious ‘free from’ pumpkin loaf to be enjoyed by plant based eaters, those with food allergies and sensitivities and anyone that loves delicious seasonal baking! Consider adding my festive Gluten Free Mapled Pumpkin Chai Bread to your holiday baking menu this season for an inventive, better-for-you spin on classic seasonal flavours that the whole family can enjoy. Throw on your coziest sweater and your fuzziest slippers and let’s bake up some chai-inspired seasonal goodness, shall we?
In need of some relaxing tunes for your next cozy evening in? Well friends, I have just the playlist! Indulge your ears in my November 2020 Soundtrack — featuring 3 hours of easy listening, ultra chill, electronic, jazzy, ambient, indie and alternative grooves to perfectly compliment a bottle of Pinot Noir in front of the fireplace. This familiar scene from our Living Room is what almost every single weekend evening has looked like since March — and although I do miss a lot of things about our life pre-COVID, I’m so grateful for this little piece of serenity amidst a chaotic world. I’ve come to treasure our quarantine Friday evenings when we put the fire on, open a bottle of wine and get lost in the world of music! MUSIC has always been an integral part of my life — and I hope my MONTHLY SOUNTRACKS bring you a bit of extra peace and joy to help ease these difficult times. These 56 tracks have been my musical therapy through a tumultuous month!
Remember when I mentioned over the holidays that I wanted to bring more ENTERTAIN content to JustineCelina this year? Although these weren’t quite the circumstances I envisioned (now that’s an understatement!), I’m thrilled to share A Simple Easter Dinner For Two with you today! While Easter certainly looked a lot different for everyone this year given the current global situation, we decided to make the most of it and celebrate here in our home in Calgary — just the two of us. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d spend an Easter without the large family gatherings in the country we’ve become accustomed to over the years — but rather than mourning the loss of our cherished traditions, we resolved to stay home and create a few of our own!
In over a decade together, this was the first Easter dinner we’ve celebrated in our home — and I wanted to mark the occasion by capturing these memories to look back on. I put on a dress, ordered flowers, made some nostalgic family recipes along with my first ever carrot cake — then we popped some Prosecco and enjoyed A Simple Easter Dinner For Two (Adam was actually peeling potatoes in the kitchen to my left as I snapped these photos from my tripod!). I was reminded of my ability to find beauty in uncertainty and create amongst chaos — these are things I find very cathartic and truly bring me joy. While it wasn’t a traditional Easter, it was still a lovely weekend — gifting us with lessons in resiliency, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and doing the best you can with what you have, where you are! Whether you’ve stopped by today for details on our Easter in quarantine, are planning a more intimate Easter gathering of your own, or are visiting years in the future once this is all behind us in search of some easy Easter entertaining ideas, I’ve got you covered!
Year after year as we approach Valentine’s Day, I find myself seeing through proverbial rose-coloured glasses and craving all things pink! And during the almost 6 years I’ve been blogging here at JustineCelina, I’ve created a plethora of dreamy, pink themed content. To celebrate love day this year, I’m sharing mega dose of all things pink, feminine and romantic in my 40+ Valentine’s Day Ideas roundup — featuring a collection of my favourite love day inspired things across categories. From what I wear, to the beauty products and fragrances I chose, to the flowers I bring into my home (or to my screen!), to what I eat and drink to how I entertain and practice self care, I love to incorporate February’s quintessential hue into Valentine’s Day — no matter what I’m up to!
Whether you’re in search of Valentine’s Day outfit ideas, the perfect rose toned lipstick, gift ideas for your significant other, pretty cocktails, seductive fragrances, plant-based pink recipes, flower arranging tips and education, self care ideas, or Galentine’s Day entertaining inspiration, I’ve got you covered! Plan yourself the best Valentine’s Day yet whether you’re single or attached, no matter how you celebrate by fixing yourself a delicious pink cocktail (may I suggest a Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz?) and cozing up with me tonight for some fun, attainable and creative ways to infuse a festive touch into your to your love day!