Honey-Drizzled Strawberry Ricotta Crostini

Just down the road from where we live, a family-run farm offers wagon rides and u-pick berries all summer long.

Last Saturday, Clara and I slipped away early, before the sun was too high over the strawberry fields, and picked ourselves two big baskets of the sweetest June fruits. The intense heat of this month to date has turned local berries a deep red all the way through and they are as sweet as sweet can be. Just how we like them.

Since I’ve declared this the summer of the spritz, I’ve developed this recipe to spotlight strawberries on the snack table. It’s partly savoury – toast and ricotta – and part sweet – berries and honey – and it’s a tantalizing bite you’ll want to whip up soon and serve at your next aperitivo.

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Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée

The first time I met our elderly neighbour, Oskar, he was leaning on his shovel on the edge of his sprawling corner plot of land.

I can’t remember who nodded hello first, but we hit it off at once in a discussion about his garden. It was a beautiful, well-maintained plot, surrounded by a low rock wall, which my three children scrambled up in mere moments. He didn’t bat an eye at their antics, as they skipped up and down the ledge, probably because his children used to do the very same thing.

Over the years, and many visits across the rock wall, I came to learn that Oskar was a true homesteader. His wife had passed away shortly after delivering his sixth child, and Oskar raised the family himself. He had an impressive garden – the raspberry patch itself could supply his large family with berries galore. But alas, they had all grown up and moved away, save for one.

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Citrus Salad with Honey-Cinnamon Syrup

These days, the emails are flying thick and fast between my friends and family as we attempt to straighten out our plans for Easter.

Although it looks more like Christmas outside on the homestead, we are indeed planning to celebrate a spring holiday soon. Today I was reminiscing over an Easter past where we brunched al fresco on the patio and the ramps were already pushing up through the forest floor….but those signs of spring still seem like a long way off. It’s still too cold for our sap to run! But enough complaining…

So, Easter. We’re spending Friday with friends, Sunday is the traditional ham dinner with one side of the family, and on Saturday I will set a simple Spring-like table and host the other side of Danny’s extensive family for lunch. Or perhaps brunch, I haven’t decided. And Monday? Relaxing.

Here’s a peek at my menu plans and a quick citrus salad recipe that could swing for either brunch or lunch.

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Simple, natural kitchen cures for a cold

It felt like I was beating off a cold for the better portion of the holidays. You know that feeling when you wake up and go ‘Uh Oh’ because your throat feels dry and your head aches slightly. Yeah, not fun.

Because I was party planning and had house guests, I didn’t want to get laid up for a minute. It was time for some cold-curing home remedies.

Back in October, when I was yet again battling the onset of a cold, I asked my friends on Instagram what they do to kill a cold. Of course their response was swift and ever so smart. I saved their tips for my own reference, but I can’t keep them all to myself.

Should you be as unfortunate as to find yourself similarly sick, my hope is that you can turn to your kitchen for a natural cure using one or two of these suggestions.

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Honey-Sweetened Peach Lemonade

Fruity and light, thirst-quenching and utterly delicious, this Honey-Sweetened Peach Lemonade is the perfect finish to summer.

As long as there are peaches to be had, you can be sure we’ve got a basket ripening on the counter for salads, cobblers, and juicy snacks.

They are Noah’s absolute favourite fruit, which is why it made sense to feature them in a honey-sweetened lemonade for his recent birthday party. We celebrated Noah’s ninth birthday on Sunday – which is just mind-boggling because didn’t I just make this robot cake for his seventh? And his third doesn’t seem all that long ago, come to think of it.

Perhaps I’ll post a few more photos from the party later in the week, but this recipe for peach lemonade had to be shared as soon as possible. Hopefully you haven’t moved onto apples and pumpkin just yet; there’s plenty of time for that later in the fall.

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