long, busy days can only mean one thing: cooking isn’t going to happen at the end of one! easy meals are my fave. and when i say easy, i mean those that take less than 5 minutes to make, and do not include an oven, or result in any dirty dishes.
this quick little salad is my absolute go to all year long. it’s such a cinch to throw together, and it’s filling, meat-free and satisfying. whenever possible, i like to go organic. gmo’s scare me, and yes, the organic route costs a bit more, but for my husband and i, it makes sense.
actually, this little salad is a perfect first course for a dinner party because it’s pretty, clever and simple, no? it’s almost silly to describe the ingredients and steps, but here goes:
halve an avocado, sprinkle with a little salt, add halved bocconcini cheese, and cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper (i prefer maldon salt for finishing as it’s more of a delicate flavour), drizzle some of your best olive oil, and balsamic crema (find this at your specialty grocer – it’s sweet and tangy, almost syrupy). done!
i’ve been on such a bad girl kick lately. after the wedding, i enjoyed some serious foodie indulgences. i’ll blame it on the fact that prior to the wedding, everything i put into my mouth was accompanied by serious guilt and worry about fitting into my dress, so after our nuptials, all gloves were off.
well, here’s a shocker: eating like crap makes you feel like crap. mornings are hectic for me and i oftentimes don’t get around to eating breakfast until 11am (yes, horrible, i know!). frantic emails, task lists etc. leave me at the end of my to-do list, and at that point i reach for toast and peanut butter, or worse, go straight into lunch. smoothies feel too fussy sometimes (that said, if you’re looking for one, this is my fave), and it makes sense to get a healthy breakfast prepped before bed for the next day.
overnight oats are super easy, healthy and perfect for on the go (like those mornings i’m rushing to an early meeting!). thanks to my husband (eee, still weird) for turning me on to this one.
THE SPARKLE OVERNIGHT OATS
1/2 cup slow cook or steel cut oats (sub for gluten free if you want, but try to go organic)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seed
1tbsp coconut oil
seal in a mason jar, shake, and leave in the fridge overnight. i like to heat mine a bit in the morning (zap in the micro for 45 seconds). top with whatever you want… banana, nuts, dried fruit. coconut shavings are a fave around these parts. voila! grab and go, no dirty dishes, you’re full for hours.
summer days in the office can quite quickly become mundane and ordinary, amiright? i find changing things up can be overlooked, but really helpful in getting energized again. my sparkle media account coordinator sarah and i were spending the day tap, tapping away on our laptops, and i broke out this super simple watermelon frosty to give a little oomph to a hot day in the office.
cube some watermelon, and blend it in your magic bullet (or if you’re one of those fancy people, a vitamix) with some ice, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of water… and if it’s friday (or monday, or tuesday…), replace that water with a splash of vodka! adding a paper straw can take any drink to the next level, no?
usually when i cook, i don’t even think about the fact that i could totally blog about it and share the recipe. horrible, i know. thus, the quality of these photos and sketchy measurements in the recipe isn’t up to par, but i wanted to share this one! when i cook, i always improvise, and unless i’m baking, fiddle with ingredients and make up recipes myself… such was the case with this take on a potato salad.
i was looking for something summery and reminiscent of the classic picnic, and came up with this one as i yearned for a little slice of outdoor living space.
THE PICNIC PERFECT POTATO SALAD
5-6 large yukon gold potatos, peeled and boiled
20-30 sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped in half
5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1-2 cobs of corn, boiled, adding just kernels cut right from cob
cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cups sour cream
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp each grainy and dijon mustard
dashes hot sauce
drizzle of honey (for balance!)
salt and pepper to taste
mix the ingredients together. the textures and flavours are a real treat. add dressing right before serving to avoid dryness (the potatoes quickly soak up the sauce). tweak as you please, i won’t be offended!
yum, yum, yum. that’s seriously the best way to describe this summer peach and blueberry cobbler. i was looking for something to make for sunday dinner, and my mom was dreaming of cobbler – a little google action (getting my mom using the ipad, priceless!), and this beautiful sweet, tart and satisfying dessert was ours. it is honestly the perfect summer evening treat, and topped with ice cream, there’s almost nothing better. i substituted peaches for nectarines, and corn starch (little tip, look for organic, the conventional is gmo city) for the tapioca.
there not much else i love more than baking, and a chill sunday morning spent with a coffee, and baking supplies in my fave nighty is the ultimate relaxation for me.