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July 3rd

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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As you may already know, I’m Canadian BUT I have a ton of family and friends who live in the USA. I also feel that any excuse to celebrate and eat is fine by me. To commemorate the 4th of July, I thought it would be fitting to give you two sweet treats all dressed in RED, WHITE and BLUE. I couldn’t resist ordering some of these custom made donuts by miniliciousbyrachelle again AND I baked up an outta control cheesecake from an old recipe that is tried and true.
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When I wrote my blogpost on Canada Day, I gave you the top 11 things I love about Canada. Let me share my top 10 list of things I love about the USA in the eyes of a Canadian.

Here ya go:
1. The Star Spangled Banner – which I like to sing ……..out loud at the start of every ball game….which is fine because it’s so loud no one can hear me.
2. Walgreens – because they have just about everything you need in the makeup department without having to ship it through Amazon/Paypal to a US only address
3. REAL TARGET STORES – I can’t even begin to tell you how much ours (which lasted here for like a New York minute) sucked.
4. Cereal Selections – at the grocery store – they have Chocolate Chex™ Cereal for goodness sake.
5. Bloomingdales – right?
6. Restaurant portions – I can’t control myself
7. Dolla Dolla Bills – Love the US greenback single dollar bill – no loonies to weigh down your handbag
8. Hollywood – where all the stars come out at night (and during the day)
9. The Imperial System vs The Metric – I’m sorry fellow Canadians, but I still think in pounds, quarts, tablespoons and MILES!!
10. McDonalds™ Orange Pop – huh? Well, we stopped selling it here in Canada and it is the ONLY drink I can have with my Filet O’ Fish™ meal.

Mildred Stone’s 4th of July Cheesecake
For the Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbls sugar
Pinch salt
5 tbls unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted

For the Filling
4 pkgs cream cheese(8 oz/250g each), room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tbls flour
6 eggs separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 jar of cherry preserves (you can use any flavour here – strawberry and blueberry is delish too)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare crust by mixing graham crumbs with sugar, salt and melted butter.
Prepare 10 inch springform pan buy wrapping the bottom with foil so that no liquid leaks through when you place the filling in. I like to place the foil wrapped pan on a baking sheet that is lined with foil as well.
Press crumb mixture into pan and slightly up the sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes and let cool completely. You can place the cooled crust in the fridge while you make the filling. It will ensure that it is nice and firm.
Cream the cheese, sugar and flour until all ingredients are well blended.
Slowly add egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and sour cream and continue beating until blended.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into cheese mixture just until it is incorporated
Pour into prepared graham crust
Take 2 tbls of cherry preserves and dot onto the top of the cheesecake gently.
Now take a knife and make a marbled swirl through the preserves.
Bake at 350F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn oven off and leave cake in oven with door ajar for 1 hour.
When cool, serve with mixed berries.43
So I bet you’re wondering who Mildred Stone is.
She was a lovely lady who my mom was friends with a long time ago. Honestly? I’m not sure why I have a bunch of her hand written recipes. One of which is a cherry cheesecake that I’ve been making since I was a teenager.
I think it’s okay to share this with you. Right Mildred464445
Happy 4th of July!
Debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

categories: Baking, Dessert, Dinner Party, Food, Guest Post, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Simply Beautiful Eating, Sweets

July 2nd

Shower Chic

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It is always a great honor to style and help coordinate a shower or special event for a close friend. This particular shower was for the girl marrying the best friend of my husband. Confused yet? Stay with me.
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I just may have to go as far as saying…this is one of my favorite showers that we have styled to date. I used a color palette of black, white, pink and gold which fit so perfectly in the venue that my friend’s mom chose for this party. This shower was held at Per Lei in New York City where they set the tone with tons of artwork and a loungey vibe.
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One of my favorite details of the set up was the oversized photos on the dessert table. Luckily these friends of mine took my advice and hired Sasithon Photography for their wedding. Sas shot their engagement photos and they were absolutely gorgeous. So I chose my favorites, blew them up and framed each to line the back of the sweets table.
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Throughout the tables I used bright pops of pink peonies and garden roses in small glass bud vases to decorate.
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We worked with our friends at Minted to customize the menus at each place setting. And we placed a black and white cocktail napkin under each water glass to really make the tables pop.
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Abby tossed gold confetti on the tables to add a little “glitz” to the party.
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And we completed the tables with mini pedestals of cupcakes each with “eat me” toppers made by our favorite Etsy designer All that Glitters.
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On the dessert table we worked with Bake-tique 212 NYC for the beautiful chocolate and vanilla cupcakes as well as s’mores pops. YUM.
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For the cake, our girl Angela of Making that Cake nailed it with a painted gold design. And we completed the look with a fresh peony on top.
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To thank the guests for coming out to celebrate we sent everyone home with a mini bottle of “Pop” champagne.
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It was an afternoon to remember….and next up….the WEDDING! Can’t wait to celebrate these two.
Cheers!
Photos taken by Maggie Antalek

categories: Cake, Confetti, desserts, Flowers, Little Miss Foodie, little miss party, Party, Party Favors, Party Stylists, Restaurant review, Shower, Sweets

June 25th

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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As a citizen of the “true north”, it was only fitting to do a Canada Day post using lots and lots of RED & WHITE. Once again, my friend Minilicious by Rachelle provided perfect mini donuts to use in this shoot.CD9
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They are seriously adorable and even better – baked not fried. She also supplied an added bonus – huge sugar cookies which were decorated in the colors of the Canadian Flag – take a look at those maple leaf sprinkles…….weeeeeee!!
The donuts are simple to make at home, but why bother if you live in the Greater Toronto Area. Look her up – she does all the work for you and they are great for just about any occasion.CD1
Here are some things I love about being Canadian:
1. Our Flag – Is there any other flag as recognizable with that Maple Leaf? I don’t think so.
2. Fellow Canadians – We’re basically really nice people eh?
3. Freedoms – Free-est country in the world…..that doesn’t mean things are free here…we still have to pay for our stuff.
4. Health Care – Free healthcare means we don’t have to mortgage our homes when we break a hip. It’s not perfect, because you if you do fall and break something it takes up to 9 hours for a doctor to have a look at it in the ER, but who’s complaining?
5. Maple Syrup – I mean, pancakes and waffles need this…….I need this…….we all need this.
6. Poutine – Fries, Cheese, Gravy… um hello? That’s why we have free healthcare!
7. Smarties – The Canadian version of M & M’s but in my opinion better – “when you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last?” I DO!
8. Ketchup Chips – I can’t believe my niece (Little Miss Party) has to smuggle these back with her to the USA. Why?
9. Our Money – it certainly goes up and down like a rollercoaster against the greenback, but look at all the pretty colors!
10. Toronto – The city that I was born and raised in. A multicultural delight with loads of things to do, eat and see.
11. and lastly – BEING A PROUD CANADIAN. I love and respect our Country and the world seems to like us as well.

Show us your red and white – HAPPY CANADA DAY!
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Canada Day Sugar Cookies
3⁄4 cup butter (1 1/4 sticks, softened to room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄4 tsp real vanilla extract
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream butter with sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.
Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter/sugar mixture.
Chill at least 1-1/2 hours.
Roll on floured board to 1/2 inch thickness
Cut with desired cookie cutters.
Bake at 350F 8-10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. (you don’t want these too brown so keep an eye on them)
Cool and frost with your favorite frosting!
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See ya next week!
XO
Debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

categories: Baking, Dessert, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Simply Beautiful Eating, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

June 24th

An Americana-Themed Play Date

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July 4th is just around the corner and we’re getting ready with an all Americana themed playdate. We wrangled up Gavin, Mazzy, Harlow and Luke for a little summer time fun on the roof of our building decked in red, white and blue duds from Gymboree.
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Naturally I dreamt this play date would run smoothly and relaxed. HA! What a joke. These kids couldn’t sit still for one second. They were running wild while my adorable set up was quite literally blowing off the roof.
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I tried to pack picnic items that the kids could eat while they were running wild. Watermelon on a stick was a no brainer. The kids thought they were some type of Popsicle…
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The set up was pretty cute for the whole 5 minutes that it lasted…I served little American themed candy cups of cut tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries. The kids loved them before they all got knocked over and stepped on.
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I’ve got to hand it to our buddy Dave Robbins because he was able to very quickly capture shots of the set up before it all got destroyed. Lucky for us!
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Another really unfortunate situation that I didn’t anticipate was when the glass bottle I brought the lemonade up in got tipped over and broke. YIKES. Are you going up to a roof top pool anytime soon? I suggest you BRING PLASTIC!
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We tried to get some pictures of the kids lazing around on the picnic blanket…but as I’m sure you can imagine that was no easy feat.
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I put together picnic boxes for each of the kids filled with star shaped sunglasses, turkey sammies and corn on the cob.
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You got to hand it to these two…they sure know how to work that camera!
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My favorite part of this crazy playdate was the activities that we planned. I made a ring toss game by using empty soda bottles. I sprayed 2 red, 2 white and the rest I left as glass. The red were 3 points, white were 2 points and glass were 1.  We found wood rings at our local craft store and wrapped with twine for tossing.
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We also brought up some potato sacks which the kids loved hopping around in!
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Since I seem to always have a very hard time eating ice cream when it’s hot out I turned to our girl Clarelicious to make us some ice cream cone cupcakes to enjoy which minimized our mess. Was a brilliant idea. These were a HIT!
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When the kids took a breather and relaxed for a second it was nice to enjoy a moment of down time and the mad view of NYC from the roof top.
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We ended the playdate with a super huge star spangled balloon in front of the water fountain outside our apartment building. The kids said their good byes and we yet again ended another crazy but in the end, fun playdate.

For more on this playdate click on over to Mommy Shorts.
All photos above were taken by Dave Robbins Photography.
All clothes above were sponsored by Gymboree.

categories: Cake, Dave Robbins Photography, desserts, Food, Holidays, Outdoor Entertaining, Picnic, Summer Menu, Sweets

June 5th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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I remember growing up in an area where there were donut shops on almost every block. Not an ideal neighbourhood for a teenager who wore skin tight bell bottom jeans. Eventually my butt started looking like a donut so I limited myself to one a month for a special treat and started playing tennis to burn off “donut” calories.

You may or may not know how REAL donuts are made. Let me break down the steps for you.

1. START WITH A YEAST DOUGH
2. ADD A TON OF SUGAR
3. THEN DEEP FRY
4. GLAZE WITH MORE SUGARY STUFF
5. TOP WITH AN OBNOXIOUS AMOUNT OF SPRINKLES

Sound good? OF COURSE IT DOES!! That’s why skinny jeans may be out of the question if you are writing your memoir ” diary of donut addict”.

Well, don’t fret my friends. There is a way to healthy up your little donut passion. That’s right….YOU CAN BAKE EM’

Okay, so maybe they are still laden with sugar and are totally not “healthy healthy” ……….but they are better than fried.

My son’s girlfriend and I decided it would be a fun project to make mini donuts together. First we needed to equip ourselves with “donut gear”…..baking pan, cake mix, icing sugar and loads of sprinkles. Yes we used a ready made mix due to time constraints and the fact that I needed to bake up a babka on the fly. It’s fine. You can always substitute the real McCoy with a cake mix if you want to. Just so you know. I am not perfect. I know you are shocked by this confession. I have had my share of kitchen disasters and this my friends was one of those times. We followed a recipe we found on Pinterest and what we ended up with was this……..FLATNUTS. Translation? A donut that looked like a pancake. We have no idea what happened….my guess it was the pan. My other guess was that we were not patient and my final excuse was ……..I had blow-dry scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and there was no time to fiddle diddle with these stupid flatsie donut thingies.

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I quickly messaged my new friend who started a donut biz called MiniliciousByRachelle. I mean ….are they not the cutest?
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Here’s how the conversation went:

ME: “Hi Rachelle….do you think you can make me one dozen donuts in an “ombre” series from white to pink to orange”?

RACHELLE: “sure”

ME: “okay thanks”

To be honest, the conversation was about 3 days long but do you really want to waste time reading about how, what and why when you can get right down to the donuts?Donuts 5
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Let’s do this.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
For the cinnamon-sugar mixture (optional):
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. whole milk

To make the donuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of a mini donut pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and whole milk. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just blended.
Pour a scant 1 Tbs. batter into each prepared well. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean, about 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.
Wash and dry the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
If making the cinnamon-sugar mixture, place the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until combined. While the donuts are still warm, toss them in the mixture and transfer to a wire rack.
If making the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Let the donuts cool completely, then dip them, top side down, into the glaze. Transfer the donuts, glazed size up, to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Makes 24 donuts.
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#HappyNationalDonutDay !
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See ya next week,
xo
Debi @thegardenofeatin
simplybeautifuleating.com

categories: Baking, Dessert, Food, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

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