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July Reads

July Reads

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston 4/5 Stars What if the first son of the United States and the Prince of England were in their early 20’s and fell in love during a tumultuous election year? Red, White & Royal Blue explores just […]

My Personal Rankings of the songs on “folklore”

My Personal Rankings of the songs on “folklore”

Taylor Swift saw us in lock down for the past however many months and gave us what we all needed – a surprise new album. This new album gives us a stripped down version of the pop star Taylor Swift that we’ve come to know […]

What I’ve been making lately – July 21

What I’ve been making lately – July 21

Aloo Matar

In an effort to make some more meat-free, filling dinners, I thought I would try out this Aloo Matar recipe from Vegan Richa. I loved the idea of a thick, potato based curry. It definitely took me longer than 30 minutes. Most recipes take me longer to get through. The flavour of the curry was really nice. I did put it over rice, and next time I wouldn’t. I think I will save this recipe for the winter.

Amped Up Butternut Squash Ravioli

I just wanted an easy, tasty lunch. I boiled the Trader Joe’s Butternut squash ravioli. While those were in the pot, I sauteed mushrooms and peppers in olive oil with some chili flakes and parm to make a bit of a sauce. I threw in the ravioli and topped with more parm.

Charcuterie Board

Inspired by a block of maple cheddar I bought on a whim, I wanted to make a Charcuterie board for lunch one day while Ethan was home as well. There was the aforementioned maple cheddar, the board also included brie, smoked cheddar, and mild cheddar. For meats, there was ham, prosciutto, and genoa salami. I also added some cherries, and cucumbers for freshness, cheez-it’s because I love them, and red pepper jelly for the brie.

Sweet and Savoury Crepes

Ethan wanted to try his hand at crepes. I, a lover of crepes, fully supported this dream. We used a recipe similar to this. We ran into an issue with the melted butter hardening again, so I strained the lumps out. Overall, they were delicious. The savoury crepes were stuffed with grilled chicken, swiss cheese, and mushrooms. The sweet crepes were stuffed with vanilla ice cream and topped with a berry mix and whipped cream.

Shakshuka

I love shakshuka for a really easy and tasty dinner. I used jarred tomato sauce and added garlic, chili flakes, and fresh basil and parsley from my very small herb garden. You heat up the sauce in a pan, and the crack some eggs in the sauce. I like to put a lid on the pan to poach the eggs a little quicker.

Pulled Pork Breakfast Hash

We ordered a pulled pork dinner from a local Italian hall, and it came with so much food we almost didn’t know what to do with it all. One of the things we made was a breakfast hash. I fried up some onions with potatoes that also came with the dinner. Then I fried some eggs . You can heat up the pulled pork in a pan or in the microwave, and then just put everything together and top with some banana peppers.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sometimes it feels like I just buy bananas to let them sit on my counter and prepare themselves for banana bread. I thought I would try muffins this time, so they would be easy to take for breakfasts. I just used the banana bread recipe on my blog. The batter was divided in a 12 spot muffin pan and baked for 25 minutes.

Pierogies with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms

I always have pierogies in my freezer for easy dinners. I prefer the potato and cheese ones. We topped them with fried onions and mushrooms, bacon, a dollop of greek yogurt, and chives from the garden.

Classic Mac & Cheese

We start this with a roux, and add in a ton of cheese and the pasta. We didn’t have macaroni so we used whatever this round one is. Top it with breadcrumbs and put it in the oven until it all melts together.

Taco Salad

I just really love taco salad. We used ground beef with a pack of taco seasoning. Put it over lettuce. I also added sauteed onions and peppers. Add some cheese, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, slather in catalina dressing and call it dinner.

Pita Chips and Tzatziki

I had originally made the tzatziki for chicken burgers that we didn’t end up having. We had some tortillas in the fridge so I made them into chips.

For the Tzatziki, I used greek yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic powder.

For the tortilla chips, I sliced them into smaller pieces, brushed on some olive oil, sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I baked them on 350 for 10 minutes, and then broiled for 2 minutes.

To see everything I’m making, follow me on Instagram @hstrong_

Check out all of my food posts here

Boxycharm – June 2020

Boxycharm – June 2020

I thought I was deserving of a treat (I always find a way to justify it), and ordered the June Boxycharm on a hope and a prayer. I ordered the box on June 3, it shipped June 16, and I received it July 6. Since […]

June Reads

June Reads

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson 3/5 Stars The Vanishing Stair is the second book in the Truly, Devious series. Stevie Bell is pulled out of Ellingham Academy by her parents after the murder of her housemate. They were convinced to let her go back […]

Frozen Berry Sangria

Frozen Berry Sangria

I love Sangria during any season. Change up the wine and the fruit and it works for any party, celebration, or night at home.

For these hot summer months, there’s nothing like a cool frosty drink. This Frozen Berry Sangria brings back the nostalgia of snow cones at street festivals with an adult twist.

Whip up a batch of this and pour it in a pitcher for your next backyard barbecue.

For sangrias, I like to use a drier wine because I like to add a couple different juices or pops to it. If I use a sweet wine, it tends to be a little too sweet for some.

Frozen Berry Sangria

Prep Time10 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Bottle Rosé Wine
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 cup Cranberry Juice
  • 1 cup Margarita Mix
  • 1 cup Frozen Fruit
  • 3-4 trays ice
  • 1/2 cup Frozen fruit

Instructions

  • Add the wine, Peach Schnapps, cranberry juice, margarita mix, 1 cup of fruit, and ice into a blender and blend until smoothish
  • Pour into a pitcher, or into stemless wine glasses, top with the rest of the frozen fruit and enjoy!

This sangria recipe almost couldn’t be easier. It takes no time to whip up, and you really could just use any combination of wine, fruit, and juices you have on hand. I just love rosé for summer. And also literally any other time.

Check out my other food and drink posts here.

Follow me on Instagram @hstrong_ to see everything I’m making.

What I’ve been making lately – June 16

What I’ve been making lately – June 16

Tacos Al Pastor Pork was on sale, so we thought we’d make tacos. Not just tacos, but my favourite kind of tacos – Al Pastor. I love pineapple on anything and everything. I was going to just cook the meat in a slow cooker. Ethan […]

Why I’m Excited for Matt James to be The Bachelor

Why I’m Excited for Matt James to be The Bachelor

The Bachelor has named their new lead, even though Clare Crawley‘s season of The Bachelorette hasn’t even been filmed yet. In an unprecedented move, ABC has announced that a Black man, Matt James, will be their new Bachelor. He may seem familiar, even if he […]

May Reads

May Reads

In the month of May I managed to read quite a few books and make up for my lacking in other months. I’m now on a better track with my reading challenge! Anyway, on with the books.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

3/5 Stars

In Julia Whelan’s debut novel, we follow American Ellan Durran as she follows her dreams through a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. In her first moments in England, she bumps in a rude stranger who ends up being one of her professors. Later he becomes much more than just that. Ella must figure out if she wants to stay in England, or continue her job with a presidential candidate back at home.

Lately, I haven’t really been reading the descriptions, and have just been diving into books head first based on recommendations and pretty covers. So there was a bit of a twist that I really wasn’t expecting. I did enjoy the book, but it probably wasn’t my favourite that I read this month. It did feel a bit darker than my usual romcoms.

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

3/5 Stars

I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into Jessica Simpson. She always seemed to be the distant third of female pop stars of the late 90s. I’d of course heard about her desire to remain ‘pure’ until her wedding. I knew she married Nick Lachey and they had a TV show. She just was never really at the forefront of my mind.

But I LOVE a celebrity memoir.

Especially one that tells me the dirt. I love when a book names names, and Jessica did that. She was very open and honest in a way that I didn’t really expect from her. The book is a compelling read, as she talks about her struggles with alcohol, assault, and body image. I found it a really endearing book. But please note that it is pretty religion heavy. Which I guess is to be expected from her.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

5/5 Stars

Tiffy Moore was recently broken up with and she needs to get out of the apartment they shared FAST. She’s on a tight budget, as she doesn’t make much at her job as an editor for specialty craft books. Most of the apartment she sees are not really what she’s looking for. She finds an add for a flatshare – and more importantly – a bedshare. Leon is looking for someone to share his flat as he works nights and only sleeps during the day, and wants someone with an opposite schedule. He could use the extra $350 a month to pay the lawyer in his brother’s armed robbery case.

Tiffy and Leon, while avoiding meeting, get closer and become good friends through a series of notes left around their shared apartment. They get to know each other and themselves better than they could have hoped. Tiffy faces the dark truths about her recent breakup.

I had heard about this book from blogger Beth Sandland and put it on my hold list immediately. It finally came to me in the middle of this month. I loved this book. I thought it was an interesting entry into my favourite genre. The Flatshare also dealt with some darkness that I wasn’t expecting, and a darkness that I don’t usually see in many books. I’d definitely read this one if you love a British romcom!

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

3.5/5 Stars

Vivian Morris is a young woman in the 1940s with no direction. She is sent to live with her aunt in New York City after being kicked out of university. She romps around town with showgirl, Celia Ray, while working as a costumer at her aunt’s playhouse, The Lily. One evening, she makes a misguided, childish choice that changes the course of her life, and she returns home. She later returns to the city with her aunt to help her during the war. She continues to live her life in a different way in a whole new NYC.

So, I think I liked this book.

The whole story is told by Vivian to a woman named Angela, who wrote to her asking what she was to her father. I kind of forgot about that part, because it didn’t totally become relevant until the very last quarter of the book. In fact, the part where is kind of is relevant, the 20 year span is covered in a few pages. Whereas we spent 3/4 of the book on about a year or 2 of action.

I feel like the first half could have been condensed just a touch. I feel like Elizabeth Gilbert takes pride in being exceptionally wordy. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The world she created was very clear and robust. It just felt a bit disconnected.

So yeah, I liked the book. But it wasn’t an absolute page-turner for me. I wasn’t craving to pick it up and read it every day. It took me a little longer than it normally does to finish a book.

See everything else I’ve been reading here.

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What I’ve been making lately – May 30

What I’ve been making lately – May 30

Breakfast Burrito Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito? It’s a great way to try and use up what’s in your fridge. I’m looking at the picture and craving this now. If you want the recipe, you can check it out here. Fancy Grilled Cheese We […]