the ultimate little miss blog

June 25th

No Brainer Dreamsicles by The Garden of Eatin’

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I think by now you know that here @thegardenofeatin I’m obsessed with easy recipes which require a minimal amount of ingredients. Well folks, this frozen treat CANNOT be more simple to make. Haul yourself into the kitchen right now because you need to create these magical treats on a stick. Here’s what you need to do…..
Open your fridge. Look inside – most likely to the left in the back on the second shelf you should have a container of yogurt…preferably Greek. How did I live without Greek yogurt for my entire life? And what took the Greeks so long to mass produce this dairy product? These are questions I need answered but not right now. Now open your fruit drawer and see if you have any peaches (4 to be exact) ….if you only have 3 peaches and 1 nectarine you can improvise and substitute one for another or if you don’t have peaches you can use ANY form of berry that you have hanging around…no one will judge you.
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Let’s grab that yogurt container and those fruities and get going because the only difficult part of making this recipe is waiting for these suckers to freeze.
HOW TO:
12 oz of any flavour non-fat Greek yogurt (I used ZERO fat….which is even better for bikini season)
4 peaches or nectarines, peeled – remember, you can sub berries if you don’t have peaches/nectarines
(I hear you thinking out loud….why are there only two ingredients listed here…she must have forgotten to write something above OR while cutting and pasting she neglected to PASTE)
NO.
There are really and truly only 2 …YES 2 ingredients needed for this deliciousness. Wouldn’t life be grand if every recipe was 2 ingredients? Perhaps.
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Fill the popsicle mold up halfway with the greek yogurt.
Freeze for at least 3 hours.
Purée the peaches or berries in blender and pour into the *ice pop mold.
Add the popsicle sticks.
*Here’s a little trick for you. I recently purchased a really cool ice pop maker by FOX RUN which comes with an aluminum top that has little slits for the sticks. I made a batch of blueberry ice pops last weekend and had a huge fight trying to release that top from the mold. So as to avoid throwing the whole thing against the wall this time around I simply stuck the sticks in and covered the mold with tin foil! Easy and no need to wrestle with the stupid thing.
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Freeze for another 3 hours and…..
THAT
IS

IT
These are totally worth the 6 hour wait…. similar to flying from here to London to see the Crown Jewels.
xoxo Debi
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categories: Dessert, Dinner Party, Guest Post, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, Summer, Summer Menu, Sweets, Toddler activities, Toronto

June 11th

Homemade Froyo with the Garden of Eatin’

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Hi!! The Garden of Eatin is back this week to bring you a family friendly favorite. The sun is shining and it’s getting stinkin’ hot outside so what can you make that’s quick (except the waiting for it to freeze part), easy and budget friendly? Helloooo! Homemade FROYO! I’ve always been obsessed with kitchen gadgets but have never allowed myself to buy an ice cream maker. When I researched frozen yogurt recipes I came across one that doesn’t require another kitchen appliance that will inevitably end up sleeping next to my fondue set which I last used in 1981.
The best way to produce an interesting treat in your home is to try it first on unsuspecting rent-free tenants……my boys. Even if the food product is inedible, it somehow seems to disappear into their bodies. That’s the beauty of having sons with appetites the size of a small country. Just for information purposes only….we have a local froyo shop around the corner, you know the type of operation I’m talking about.
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Step one enter the store.
Step two grab a giant cup.
Step three grab a bunch of tiny taste testing cups.
Step four pull down the levers of at least 6 flavours into your giant cup.
Step 5….pile on the toppings…oh those toppings!
Step 6…weigh your cup and wonder how in the world a “low-fat” cup of frozen yogurt can be tipping the toledo’s at over 2lbs. Gaaahhhh!  Oh who cares.

This week I attempted to recreate the classic froyo and lo and behold this vision of beauty came into our lives. The recipe is super easy, which if you get to know me you will understand that making anything with over 5 to 7  ingredients makes me shvitz ( sweat ). Try this recipe and let me know if it’s worth its weight in deliciousness. Oh and by the way…when no one was looking I baked up a batch of giant peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, slapped some FroYo in between 3 of them and jacked it up into a super fun decadent dessert.

Homemade Froyo by The Garden of Eatin
Ingredients
6 cups mixed berries – I used strawberries raspberries blueberries and blackberries, but you can use one or all
2/3 cup  instant dissolving fruit/berry sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups  Balkan-style plain yogurt, Greek or 2% plain yogurt
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Preparation
In a food processor (yes a food processor), whirl together fruit, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add yogurt; whirl until blended. Stick your finger in and taste it…I know you want to.
Press though sieve into 2 x 9-inch square metal cake pans; freeze until almost solid, about 1-1/2 hours. Break up the froyo and puree in food processor until smooth. Scrape into airtight container; freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Freeze for up to 1 week.)
xoxo
Debi
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categories: Dessert, For Mom..., Guest Post, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, Summer Menu, Sweets, Toronto

July 17th

Girl Gone 30

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Last week my sis turned 30. It was a hard number for her to swallow and I would say I feel bad but I don’t since I’ve been there done that…almost five years ago, gulp. But just because she hit a big number she didn’t give up the opportunity to have a fun party and what better way to celebrate on a hot summer day then with a picnic in the park?! And LMP Toronto style…she did it up with some really chic details…
Her hubby invited all of their friends to a park nearby and asked everyone to join them for an afternoon of discreet drinking, picnicking and good old fashion high school fun. Mandy and Jason provided the snacks and loot bags…
The snack packs were absolutely adorable. Mandy found kraft boxes and stamped them with a knife and fork…
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And then filled them with picnic perfect goodies: A turkey panini, mini basket of cherries, a pasta salad and fruit punch juice box. So easy for the guests to grab and eat on their picnic blankets while sitting on the grass outside…
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categories: Birthday, desserts, little miss party, Party, Toronto

May 18th

A Brunch full of Love & Moms

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Every year my Aunt Debi throws together a little brunch to celebrate being a mom, her mom and all mom’s related to her. This year she put on this brunch…but this was not “thrown” together. Not even close. Aunt Debi went all out LMP style so we just had to share!
The theme was family, elegance and class. Deb made a dessert table that displayed photos of all of the mother’s invited to her brunch…from their hay day and each black and white vintage original picture was more beautiful then the next.
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To toast the Mom’s at this brunch Debi set out Pink Grapefruit and sparkling white wine Margaritas with Lime which looked so beautiful over the lace runner (which is vintage Boobie – AKA Debi’s mom & my grandmother) that she used for her dessert table.
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categories: Brunch, Brunch, Dessert, Eggs, For Mom..., Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, little miss party, Sweets, Toronto

March 11th

Travel + Leisure LMP Style


I have written about it before…and still believe that one of the most important things to remember after having kids is – your relationship. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic-ness of mommyhood, your career, your social life…etc. The best advice I can give to new and even old parents is make time and room in your life for your partner. Whether it be date night or a short vacation…make it a priority to factor in alone time.
That’s exactly what my hubby and I did this weekend. We whisked away on a 3 night/4 day vacation to the Gansevoort in Turks & Caicos..without our little ones. Dare I admit to you…I actually relaxed? I can’t deny it. Not even for one second. I got so much R&R on this trip I actually read a book…which I haven’t done since the year 2008. I’m not kidding you. I don’t read. Unless it’s Good night Good night Construction site to my 3 year old. I have never been a big reader…but more of a magazine flipper…and it’s gotta be a good damn book to grab my attention long enough to get through it. So what did I read on this trip (in less then 24 hours for that matter)….?? Rachel Dratch’s Girl Walks into a Bar. What a great story! As you may know we’re doing a book giveaway for Rachel’s memoir and the winner is going to be announced ..um wait a minute…RIGHT NOW! Fabianne Espinola CONGRATULATIONS! You have won yourself a copy of this fascinating tale about a girl who struggled through her life to become famous…and thereafter to be happy post her 7 year career on SNL. Please email me here to claim your prize!
As I predicted Rachel’s book made me laugh out loud and shed a few tears (thanks a lot prophet Doug – inside joke, you’ll have to read her book to understand this one) and I could not put it down till I finished hearing how she settled into the life she has now…with her son, Eli.

As for our trips over the past year… with and without the kids…here’s what I can tell you…Travel + Leisure through the eyes of LMP:

Best Beach:  Turks & Caicos Grace Bay – hands down.
We have traveled to almost every Caribbean island out there…except until this weekend…Turks & Caicos. What were we waiting for? Turks & Caicos Grace Bay was hands down the best beach we’ve seen to date…and I’m talking from ALL OF THEM: St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Dominican, Bahamas, Mexico, Aruba…even off the grid to Hawaii. The beaches were pure white sand and oh so soft on our feet with no rocks, limited seaweed and as hard as my hubby tried to find them…no crabs. The water was bright turquoise blue and absolutely breathtaking.

We stayed in the ultra modern and super swank Gansevoort hotel. A very small and intimate boutique hotel that we would highly recommend (if you’re traveling without kids). The rooms were fresh and clean, they had a small spa and gym and the hotel was right on the beach. The service was typical Caribbean style where they move at a glacial pace but once you get over your initial hump of impatience it’s smooth sailing and they force you to relax there. Tons of great restaurants and a party at the Gansevoort on Friday nights with a bumpin’ dj and crowd that’s ready to dance makes you forget about home so you can let loose, have fun and relax.

If you do go – here are the restaurants we loved…and suggest you try…
Coyaba – a delicious menu that will leave you wanting to come back for more. I highly recommend the tempura coconut shrimp and grilled Caribbean lobster.
Coco Bistro - outdoor oasis with delicious Caicos fare and fun rum drinks! We LOVED the lobster spring rolls!
Parallel 23 – in the Regent Palms Hotel this restaurant is also outdoors and has a relaxed vibe where they serve a nice variety of seafood, meat and chicken dishes. Nice drinks and sometimes have live music.

Worst Pool but Best Kids Club: The Atlantis in the Bahamas
I’m not really sure how I can describe this resort without being too offensive but I deeply disliked the Atlantis in the Bahamas. When we arrived at the oversized resort this past winter when we took the kids for a vacation, not only were we not greeted with a friendly and inviting welcome but I had to fetch someone down to help us with our bags and then had to wait in a 10 person deep line to check in. Um, something is wrong here. For the amount of money this hotel cost us – nah uh. I want service. Gold service. The royal treatment…when you’re on vacation…don’t you?

I have become a huge critic when it comes to traveling and I apologize – but I’m just being honest with you. The Atlantis, while fantastic and a dream come true for kids, is an adults worst nightmare. Mine at least. Without getting into too much detail and risking your never reading this blog again – let’s just say…after day 2 of a week long trip to this factory of a hotel – we nick named it Poo-lantis. Why? Because on a daily basis someone would do their business in the pool and not just the kids pool. We actually stayed at the Reef for the week, the nicer of the towers where you can get ocean views, a full kitchen and two rooms…oh and a washing machine/dryer that didn’t work. On the flip side…the kids club was the best I’ve seen to date. My oldest had the best time there…so much so he never wanted to leave. He also just loved the aquarium, watching his Papa go down the huge water slides and swimming with the sting rays and sharks. Just know what you’re getting into if you come to this place…and from my experience…I could recommend much better ways to spend your hard earned dollars.

Most outstanding service: The NEW Four Seasons Toronto
When my husband proposed back in 2006 he did so in my hometown of Toronto. Our engagement was so perfect and special to me I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well….except for the suite that he booked us in for the weekend at the Four Seasons. At the time the Four Seasons Toronto was run down and beat up and felt a bit dumpy…though you wouldn’t have expected it from the prices you were paying. Since then…they shut down the old location and opened a new tower that is so fantastic I actually wish I could move in. Aside from the beautifully designed rooms the service is absolutely spectacular. With a gorgeous spa, dynamite views of the city and a location that just can’t be beat – the new Four Seasons is hands down my favorite hotel in the city. They are so kind, friendly and helpful there. Now isn’t this what you want from a hotel? I think so! The service at the FST keeps us coming back time and time again…and we thank them you for it!

So happy traveling…and if you go to any resorts that you love so much you want to share… please do so! We’d love to hear in our comments section below.

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categories: Toronto, Travel, Travel

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