July 1, 2016

Yay for Canada Day!

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Seri and I have officially moved out East for the summer with the boys, which means so much summer inspiration and different places to shoot.  In other words, this will be the summer of snapchatting, so be sure to stay tuned!

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In addition to this weekend being the 4th of July AND Luke’s 4th Birthday Party, today happens to be Canada Day! We knew that we had to make something in honor of Seri’s home country, and we have been talking about making our own snow cones for ages now.  Why not make them red?  Genius!!

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Snow cones are enjoyed by people of all ages, so we made an adult version and a kids version of these babies, both using homemade simple syrup.  Cherry Thyme Simple Syrup, to be exact.  Ya ready?

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Here’s what you need:

-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup water
-20 fresh cherries
-a few sprigs of thyme
-ice
-bottle of rosé wine
-blender
-snow cone cups

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Here’s what to do:

1) Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil.
2) Add 15 cherries and a few sprigs of thyme to mixture in pan and stir to combine.
3) Reduce heat to simmer.  Take spoon or mallet and muddle cherries.
4) Let simmer for 10 minutes, until all sugar is dissolved and mixture has thickened.

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5) Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer into a heat safe pitcher to strain out cherries and thyme.
6) Cover and refrigerate syrup until cool, about 30 minutes.
7) Meanwhile, take your blender and make about 6 cups of crushed ice.
8) Once simple syrup is cooled, take out of fridge and have ready to go next to you.
9) Use ice cream scoop to scoop crushed ice into each paper snow cone cup.  If you can’t get the cone to form a perfect dome, use your hands to melt the ice into a dome.

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10) Take pitcher with simple syrup and slowly pour onto the top of each snow cone.

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11) If you’d like to make an adult version, pour some rosé over the top of your cone in addition to the simple syrup.

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12) Garnish with a fresh cherry, and you’re done!

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Enjoy, and Happy Canada Day!

xx, Abby
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June 28, 2016

Firecracker Popsicle White Sangria

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It’s almost Fourth of July! BBQ’s… swimming… fireworks… and most importantly, a long weekend. Here at LMP, we have a lot of big plans for the long weekend, and we will definitely be eating some delicious food and sippin’ on some refreshing cocktails throughout the whole 3 days.

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I’ve been noticing a trend in people combining cocktails and frozen treats, so I decided to make a festive version for this upcoming Holiday Weekend.  This beautiful concoction combines two summer faves – white sangria and popsicles.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 bottle white wine
-1 cup raspberries
-1 cup blueberries
-1 bottle of prosecco
-firecracker popsicles

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Here’s what to do:

1) Pour bottle of white wine, cup of raspberries and cup of strawberries into a pitcher.
2) Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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3) Remove from fridge, uncover, and stir in bottle of prosecco.

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4) Pour sangria into your wine glasses.

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5) Place one firecracker popsicle in each wine glass to garnish.  The popsicle will also act as an ice cube alternative!

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It’s that easy! You’ll notice when you place a popsicle in each glass, your sangria will fizz, just like a firecracker. Also, as the popsicle melts, your sangria will turn different shades of red, white and blue… how much more patriotic could a cocktail get?!

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We hope you enjoy, and also have a WONDERFUL weekend… Happy 4th everybody!!

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See ya next week!

xx, Abby
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June 24, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Let’s talk about watermelons. First of all, I don’t mind if it’s seedless chuck full of seeds. It just has to be ripe, red, sweet and beautifully refreshing. When I think of summer I automatically think of watermelon. The difference between buying these melons in the summer or the winter is simply this: Off season you will pay upwards of 15 bucks for a watermelon. STUPID. In the summer, it’s a free for all. They are anywhere from 2 to 5 bucks which is more like it.

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A perfect example of a watermelon bargain was at my local Walmart last week. I was walking towards the produce section and there were giant bins of watermelons set up near the front of the store. All I could see was butts. Yes, butts.

Shoppers were literally diving into these bins head first. That being said, there upper bodies were swimming amongst the watermelons while their butts were sticking up and OUT of the bins.

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Reminiscent of a bridal shower game I once got myself sucked into, I thought why not? As I approached the bin, I noticed that this wasn’t the kind of challenge I was comfortable playing in the middle of a Walmart store. Mostly because these “watermelon” divers had their game faces ON.

They bobbed in and out of the bins coming up with different sizes of melons. Once they grabbed a melon they didn’t stop there. They cradled, thumped, shook and measured their melons up against other divers finds. I started stepping away quickly when one diver decided to throw his melon back in the bin while someone’s butt was still sticking out. That meant, his head was clearly a target in the melon toss.

NO

THANK

YOU

BOB

I opted for a baby sugar watermelon instead. It was twice the price of the melons that were on sale in the bin. I weighed the risks of getting a watermelon thrown on my head and was satisfied with my decision.

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Now. How to choose a watermelon. There are tricks ya know. Mine usually involves asking the produce guy at my regular market to pick a perfect one for me. It works every time. The other trick is to let Steve pick one. He’s a watermelon aficionado. He knows how to shake, thump, rattle and roll his melons.

I held my baby watermelon gently in my arms. Gave it a little thump. Heard nothing and proceeded to do the rest of my shopping without giving it another thought.

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When I arrived home I unpacked my melon and placed it on the table. Steve looked at it with a raised eyebrow.

“You picked a watermelon by yourself”? He asked.

“Yes, I know how”. I answered.

Then I got that Skeptical Steve look. You know the one. It’s when he looks at you and THINKS to himself that there is no way on earth I could possibly pick a perfect melon without all the tricks.

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Well Steve?

Well?

I did.

And then, I put these watermelon wedges on pops and called it a day.

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Watermelon Pops with Yogurt, Feta and Pistachios

-10 – 12 watermelon slices cut into triangles
-Plain Yogourt
-Honey
-3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
-1/2 cup crushed pistachio nuts
-Popsicle sticks

1) Cut a small slit in the watermelon rind and insert a Popsicle stick in.
2) Drizzle with your choice of Yogourt, honey and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.
3) Could this be any easier? I don’t think so.

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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June 10, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Here we go again. It’s ice pop time! Just a warning. This isn’t the last ice pop rodeo for the summer, because I have tons of pop ideas swirling in my head.

It just happened to be that we had a week of straight H.E.A.T. and sunshine here in Toronto, so I hauled out my ice pop molds and made a healthy, refreshing treat to beat the heat. (Poetry is not my forte but it seemed to work here)

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These guys are a combination of coconut milk, acai, matcha and raw organic honey. A matcha made in heaven.

In one of my recent posts, I confessed to you that I have a tendency to “borrow” foliage from the neighbourhood for my shoots. In this particular instance, I was stuck for time, but there’s always Steve to the rescue.

He happened to be on his way home from the supermarket when I caught him in the car. I asked him if he could stop and pick me up some flowers (from the side of the road).

He asked me where? Here’s what I told him:

Travel east on John Street past the fire station.

When you hit the section of row townhomes, pull into the driveway.

Get out of the car and look for a tree that looks like this ↓

TREE

He then said “ya and then what’?

I then said “what do you mean and then what”?

GET OUT OF THE CAR.

GRAB AS MANY AS YOU CAN.

RUN.

So worth it because I mean……..look at this picture. Come on.

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Back to the pops that kinda turned out poopie. I placed all the ingredients in the molds and put my popsicle sticks in. Why is it that I always have issues with those sticks?

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Once the pops are set, I release them and the sticks are crooked!! This makes absolutely no difference in the way they taste but they look stupid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

COCONUT HONEY MATCHA ACAI ICE POPS

1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup milk (almond or coconut works)
¼ cup acai juice, (I use the frozen and let it thaw in warm water)
2-3 teaspoons good quality matcha powder
¼ cup raw honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
optional – melted white chocolate drizzle

1. In a large measuring cup, whisk coconut milk until smooth.
2. In a small mixing bowl, mix about 1-2 tablespoons milk with 2 teaspoons matcha powder until smooth. Pour mixture into coconut milk.
3. Add acai and honey and mix until smooth.
4. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze until firm. About 4 hours.
*optional – melt white chocolate and drizzle over pops before serving

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see ya next week!

debi
@simplybeautifuleating
www.simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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June 3, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I think you know by now that I get a little excited with “mini” sized thingies. When I first saw these Lodge Cast Iron Mini Skillets at Kitchen Stuff Plus, I just knew that I had to have them.

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Look how cute they are! Not only are they adorable, they are great for individual sized desserts or appetizers. The best part is they double as a baking dish and a serving dish…….that translates to less cleanup for me, thank you very much! Best part is Kitchen Stuff Plus is having a sale on all Lodge Cast Iron from June 1 -19 both in store and online! Shop here: Kitchen Stuff Plus

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Now, let’s get to the recipe I created for these l’il skillets. What’s better than having a chocolate brownie with extra chocolate added to it and when you thought there wasn’t enough chocolate you toss in more! Score! Or in this case Skor. Chocolate is supposed to be good for you right? I think? You know. The antioxidant proponent. So by rights you can eat all 7 of these skillets and not feel guilty about it because with the amount of antioxidants in here, these are totally good for you. Or whatever. If you are skeptical read this article → 11 Reasons Chocolate is Good for Your Health.  I’m totally down for reason #2, because if it improves my math skills, sign me up for a few chocolate bars a day.

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The key to any recipe is being creative. In my case, you know how I fly. Open up the cupboard and whatever falls out usually makes it’s way into the bowl. I had a some leftover dark chocolate from my flourless chocolate cake recipe, a bag of open Skor bits from a giant cookie I made recently, so naturally they made their way into a brownie recipe that is so rich and delish you will most likely need two skillets to make you happy.

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Oh and if you’re wondering about the abundance of blueberries in these photos, there is a reason for them. I attempted to make a “no churn” blueberry ice cream to top the brownies with. Here’s what happened, and it was clearly not my fault, because it was a major fail. Ready?

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I made the ice cream and placed it in the freezer. The problem was……..my temperature control is broken on the freezer so when I returned to get the ice cream, I had cream of blueberry soup. Instead of it being scoopable it was soupable. UGH!

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Anyways, I didn’t give up. I used the blueberries (yes I had extra ones) as a garnish and I had vanilla ice cream in my basement freezer, which is still working, thank God.  And wait.

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What about the mint? I was told there was a ton of it in the backyard, which miraculously wasn’t frozen solid during the past weekend’s weird weather pattern, that took us from spring, back into winter for two days. Where else can you live that you can experience frostbite and sunburn in the same week? Only in Canada, eh.

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FLOURLESS DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNK SKOR BROWNIES

-½ cup butter
-2 cups dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
-½ cup dark or semi sweet chocolate chunks
-¼ cup Skor bits, chopped
-½ cup almond butter
-4 eggs
-½ cup sugar
-½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-½ teaspoon sea salt

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1) Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare mini skillets by seasoning them first. For the “how to” click here.
2) Melt the butter, 2 cups chocolate chips, and ½ cup almond butter in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power in increments of 30 seconds for a total of 2 minutes. Stir until smooth and microwave for another 20 seconds at a time until melted, shiny and smooth.
3) Add chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chunks and Skor bits and mix just until combined.

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4) Divide mixture among 7 mini skillets and bake for 30-40 minutes until set and an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely or top with additional Skor bits if desired and serve warm with ice cream.

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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