Bubbly Watermelon Rosé Sangria

watermelon sangria
This is my fourth recipe this week! It’s a quick one, but a yummy one. I figured a cocktail would be the perfect thing to post before a holiday weekend.

This is probably more like a cross between sangria and a wine spritzer, which are my two favourite drinks in the summer. I feel like spritzers are perfect for hot weather since they’re not as dehydrating as a straight glass of wine. And adding some fruit to it just adds to the summeriness.

watermelon sangria
And the other thing I love is rosé (also: Brooklyn Nine Nine). Maybe I’m just falling for the LCBO’s clever marketing, but every one I’ve tried this summer has been delicious! We have a bottle that we picked up on our Niagara-on-the-Lake engagement weekend from Between The Lines winery and I am so excited to crack it open. Maybe for a little post wedding celebrating?

watermelon sangria

Bubbly Watermelon Rosé Sangria

  • 1/2 bottle rose (I just used a bottle of Jackson-Triggs – I didn’t want to go too fancy since I was adding to it!)
  • 3/4 cup watermelon juice
  • 1/2 small watermelon, diced
  • 1.5 cups sparkling water

Place the diced watermelon in a pitcher and pour the wine over it. Let chill in the fridge for at least an hour. When ready to serve, add the juice and the soda and stir briefly. Serve with plenty of the watermelon in each glass. Yum!


Summer Greens and Grains Hodegpodge

Oh summer, the time when the Toronto farmer’s markets fill with the most amazing selection of fresh veggies and fruits!

I uh, may have gone a little overboard last week.

The thing about buying tons and tons of veggies is that I always struggle with making quick weeknight dinners with them. There are lots of elaborate things I love to do with veggies, but sometimes I just need something that’s quick, yummy and doesn’t require me to dirty all the dishes.

Luckily, after all my success with my favourite quinoa salad, I’ve been cooking a lot more with grains. On their own, they can be a touch boring, but cooked in broth (or with Better Than Bouillon) and topped with roasted or sauted veggies, they are delicious.

In fact, judging from my instagram, this is probably one of my frequent meals!

grains and veggies IMG_4750 grains and veggies grains and veggies

(clockwise from top left: quinoa with peas, farro with peas and a side of garlicky tofu, farro mixed with roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa with peas and basil with a side of Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini parmesan crisps)

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Vegetarian Cheeseburger Macaroni

veg hamburger helper

Confession time! I was a terrible cook when I first moved out on my own. It wasn’t due to a lack of role models or experience, because as a kid I spent tons of time watching my mom cook delicious and healthy dinners. I think it was just a lack of practice with the day to day part of feeding myself.

So my inexperience led me to eat a lot of pretty disturbing things as an undergrad. My favourite dinner EVER was these President’s Choice frozen breaded macaroni and cheese nuggets. So horrifying processed but so so good. I also ate a lot of Kraft Dinner, as every good Canadian university student does. And my favourite discovery was probably Hamburger Helper. Growing up in a health-conscious, vegetarian household, I’d never tried it before. But I would substitute with fake ground beef and I just loved it.

veg hamburger helper

And OK, this version uses some processed foods. But I am willing to beat that there is way less sodium in this version than in the original – especially if you go with no-salt-added tomatoes and use a light hand when seasoning everything. And it really takes no time at all.

veg hamburger helper
This version has a touch of spice to it which really adds to that homey feeling. I know it seems crazy to be craving comfort food in August, but there have been some really chilly days this summer!

veg hamburger helper

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Macaroni

I used the pre-seasoned version of veggie ground beef (it’s all my grocery store carries!), but I’ve written the recipe so you can season it yourself and buy the plain kind.

  • 1 28 ox can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon or 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dry macaroni
  • 1 package of vegetarian ground beef (I used Yves but President’s Choice makes a good one too!)

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup 2% milk (I used whole just because it was what I had)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a large pot, pour in the canned tomatoes and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and add pasta, spices, bouillon and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the pasta doesn’t stick together.

While the pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture is bubbling, then add the milk and whisk until smooth. Let cook for a few minutes until thickened. Once the mixture can coat the back of a spoon nicely, add the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Once the macaroni is cooked, remove the pot from heat and add the vegetarian ground beef, stirring to ensure it is thoroughly heated. Add the cheese sauce, stir and serve!


Homemade Two Bite Brownies

So, we’re all equally obsessed with these, right?

The first time I tried them, I was probably about 14 and my parents were having our neighbours over for dinner. They brought these along for dessert and I couldn’t believe how good they were! I kept sneaking into the kitchen to grab more. They’re just so fudgy and moist. Mmm. That’s all I want in a brownie.

Well, I recently posted this on instagram:
two bite brownies

And I was surprised when two different people requested the recipe! It almost seems TOO easy to justify having a recipe, but I suppose what makes the homemade ones the best are that they have that same fudgy moist taste but way fewer ingredients. Using melted chocolate instead of cocoa for the brownie makes it so much richer tasting. And the best part about this recipe is that it’s a one-bowl method!

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