Iced Haskap Green Tea

A vibrant, naturally-sweetened iced haskap green tea recipe. Superfruity and refreshing.

My haskap culinary journey began like the best food adventures: at my local farmers market in peak summer.

The bright berry displayed in the booth captured my attention and the facts sheet on this superfruit was astonishing to read. Did you know that the haskap has more antioxidants than blueberries and more vitamin C than oranges?

Since that market stall encounter, haskap berries have remained on my radar. I keep a jar of haskap preserves in the fridge for stirring into yogurt or spreading on scones. My own superfruit stash.

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Apple Cider, Raspberry & Tonic Mocktail

A colourful and refreshing, non-alcoholic, big-batch mocktail for any season.

In winter, I crave fresh and bright-tasting drinks that are homemade and not from a can of concentrate.

Citrus, in its many forms, is great for satisfying this craving, and in the cold months, I also rely on frozen berries for their bold flavours and vibrant colours.

In my Apple Cider, Raspberry & Tonic Mocktail recipe, I’ve paired raspberries with a few simple winter ingredients for a drink that’s as delicious as it is pretty. Get ready to stir and sip!

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7 festive hot and cold beverages for the holidays

As I write this post, a steaming cup of honey-sweetened roasted apple tisane perches on my desk, brewed from a couple of withering Cortlands plucked from my cold room stash.

It’s infused with ginger and a little tumeric because I’m fighting a mild cold, and the fragrant tisane is just the tonic I need to stay warm and hydrated while I work. ‘Tis the season for comforting hot drinks – and a few sparkling ones too.

Yesterday we had guests for Sunday dinner, and I served my classic winter sangria with slices of clementine and pomegranate seeds. This weekend my annual cookie swap is happening and I’ll be mixing up big pitchers of spiced eggnog and sparkling apple cider punch. And on the coldest days this week, I’ll have a fragrant pot of hot apple cider waiting for the boys when they arrive home from school.

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Sparking Vanilla-Scented Apple Cider Party Punch

Last week, I gave in to the chilly weather and started wearing socks and sweaters. I simmered two pots of soup, made a pie and roasted off a few butternut squash for future baking projects.

October arrived, as did a carpet of ochre oak and maple leaves on our forest floor. Yes, fall is here to stay, and it’s getting me in the mood for Canadian Thanksgiving next week.

Because of our large extended family, we will celebrate Thanksgiving with a couple of events here and there over the holiday long weekend. Then on Monday, Danny and I are hosting twenty people for a mid-day turkey dinner around our table. I’m still finalizing the full menu (so many favourite dishes to narrow down!) but I have settled on a punch to serve.

I have a go-to party punch for spring and summer – a raspberry rhubarb collins – and it serves me well for a range of warm weather occasions. But truth be told, I didn’t have a favourite punch for fall until I started testing in earnest quite recently.

Spices. Spirits. Syrups. Sweeteners. There are a dozen different directions one can go when it comes to creating a crowd pleasing drink. In the end, I stayed true to this blog’s mantra and kept things simple; today’s recipe for Sparking Vanilla-Scented Apple Cider Party Punch is my pick for pre-Thanksgiving dinner cocktail hour.

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Eat Seasonal: Strawberry and Preserved Lemon Lassi

These early March days have been bitterly cold, but brilliantly sunny. Spring still feels like a long way off, even though we are already making plans for Easter in a few short weeks.

The sunshine is a promise of good things to come: the sweetest season of all, where we boil our own maple syrup. The sap won’t run until the weather warms up though, so in the meantime we are hunkering down and eating the stores from the preserves pantry and the freezer.

Barbara Kingsolver called March “the hungry month” in her inspiring memoir, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and it certainly is the least exciting month as far as produce goes. We must wait patiently for the ramps, rhubarb and asparagus, while trying to content ourselves with wrinkly apples, more winter squash and kale.

March is when I most frequently pop the lid off of a can of peaches or reach for a jar of pesto from the freezer. My palate needs an awakening and I am so grateful to my former self for making time to preserve the harvest.

Today’s simple recipe is a result of such planning; small Quebec strawberries, frozen in their prime, along with tangy preserved lemons marry in a sweet and salty lassi. It’s just the ticket to get me through the beginning of March.

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