Last summer I was obsessed with all things watermelon and lime and this summer I am finding my fancy with the blend of watermelon and lemon – yumm so refreshing… After trying YamChops cold-pressed watermelon and lemon juice, I knew I had to start making this one at home; that $9.50 a pop is only justifiable as a treat. Instantly inspired to make my own, I was ready to do just that. Then came my ah-ha moment while harvesting beets from the garden. I thought why not add a few of these red beauties to  pump up the nutrient value for this sweet juice (see their benefits here).

And that is how Beet-Melonade was born. To my anti-beet followers, trust me when I say – you won’t even recognize the beets in this one. Deliciously sweet with a subtle sour tang, this juice is by far my favourite combo this summer and best served cold. Give it a whirl and let me know your thoughts!


Juice or blend half of a watermelon, 1 lemon (I juice with rind) and 4-5 small-medium beets.


Pucker Up. xx

Bruschetta Board

We had our first official summer kick-off BBQ/Housewarming at CasaDelSal and it was a lovely afternoon/evening spent with some of our favourite people. While we kept things pretty basic food-wise, with firing up the grill and accompanying salads; my friend Michelle put together a fantastic Bruschetta board that truly wow’d our guests. This was a dish that had to be shared and evidently I asked Michelle to enlighten us with her creativity behind this delectable appetizer. Please read on, share with your friends and above all else, try this one out!

Thank you again Michelle for putting together such an impressive board with a new-fashioned twist! Here’s her dish:

This past weekend I was invited to a BBQ at a friends house in Toronto.  If you know anything about our gatherings, they are mainly focused around family and friends with plenty of food and drink.

I was racking my brain trying to think of what I was going to bring for an appetizer – something fresh, colourful, easy to transport and make ahead and doesn’t require much kitchen time at the BBQ.  Huuummmm….summer…seasonal…ah-ha! I will create a bruschetta board, a non-traditional bruschetta board. I decided I would make all the mixes first thing in the morning and when I got to the BBQ all I would have to do is cut the baguettes into thin slices, toast and assemble.

Added bonus, all these incredible mixtures are nut-free and vegetarian + vegan friendly. Mixture and assembly is as follows:

Bruschetta Board Close Up

Farmers Market Cherry + Strawberry + Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1+1/2 cups fresh cherries, pits removed and chopped
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped
  • 5-7 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (stack the leaves as evenly as you can, roll the stacks tightly so it resembles a cigar, slice the roll crosswise into very thin slices and pull apart into strips)
  • 5-7 mint leave, cut into chiffonade
  • 2-3 tbsp finely diced red onion
  • 4 tsp raspberry balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic vinegar can be used as a substitution) + extra for drizzling
  1. Wash and cut all fruit
  2. Add all ingredients into a medium size glass bowl, mix gently
  3. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to use

Farmers Market Tri-Colour Peppers

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large peppers – 1 x red, orange and yellow
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Wash and thinly slice the peppers
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan on low heat, add peppers, season with sea salt and pepper
  3. Stir occasionally until the peppers are very soft, approx. 30 mins
  4. Add additional sea salt and pepper if required
  5. Cover and set aside in a medium glass bowl in the fridge until ready to use

Butternut Squash + Caramelized Onion + Maple Syrup

  • 4 cups of 1-inch cubes of peeled butternut squash (tip – President’s Choice offers already cut butternut squash in approx. 1-inch cubes, you can pick up a package if you’re tight for time or don’t want to fuss with cutting your own)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • A few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar + extra for drizzling
  • 7-10 mint leaves, cut into chiffonade
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Spread butternut squash into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper
  3. Let cook for approx. 30 mins until fork tender, turning with a spatula every 10 mins, remove from oven
  4. In a large skillet heat on low approx. 2 tbsp. of olive oil, add onions, season with sea salt and cook until very soft and caramelized, approx. 20-25 mins
  5. Add maple syrup and the red pepper flakes to the onions, let cook for another minute while giving it a gentle stir
  6. In a large glass bowl combine the butternut squash, onions and balsamic vinegar, mash the mixture together (I used my Pampered Chef Potato Masher – works wonders), season to taste with additional sea salt and pepper
  7. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use

Bruschetta Board Assembly (requires 2-3 fresh baguettes)

  1. Remove toppings from the fridge and gently mix
  2. Turn oven on to the ‘hi broil’ setting
  3. Thinly slice baguettes, drizzle the one side with olive oil
  4. Place in oven, broil bread until lightly toasted, remove from oven
  5. Turn bread over and drizzle the other side with olive oil and place in the oven until lightly toasted, remove from oven
  6. Place toasted baguette sliced on a wooden bread board (I lined mine up in 3 rows to showcase each variety I made)
  7. Add toppings to the baguette slices
  8. Drizzle raspberry balsamic vinegar over the Cherry + Strawberry mixture
  9. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and sprinkle mint over the Butternut Squash + Caramelized Onion + Maple Syrup mixture

Ta-dah – your non-traditional bruschetta board is complete!

Bruschetta Board

Mangia, mangia!!

xox, Michelle

Herb Crusted Salmon

This recipe is a new household favourite and if looking to entertain, this one will be sure to impress your guests. I’m still impressed each time I whip it together, it is just so good! I have decided it will be my new go to dish for when friendships join for dinner- who’s coming over!? 🙂 It is simple in its preparation and  explodes with flavour, the perfect dish to kick off the spring season.

salmon ingredientsI have only tried it with salmon, but this herb crust would be absolutely amazing on just about anything. I stumbled across this tasty dish on one of my favourite food blogs, Freshness GF, followed it to point (per filet) and it was perfect.

Now for the accompanying salad. This may look a bit familiar (see here) however I adapted it for a more spring-like pop of flavour. Omitting the salty variable and adding cucumber and pomegranates to freshen it up! Again this colourful, flavourful mix is a great addition to just about any protein and leftovers make a great salad topper.

salad ingredientsHerb Crusted Salmon (yields 3 servings)

  • 3 salmon filet
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tsp mustard
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 6 Tbsp fresh herbs (cilantro or parsley or both) – I use both!
  • 3 Tbsp gluten free bread crumbs
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lay salmon in baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix honey and mustard together, spoon over salmon, coating it evenly. Think of it as the glue.
  2. In a food processor, combine herbs, bread crumbs, garlic, oil and walnuts.  Chop until finely blended.  Spoon over salmon evenly including the sides.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes. When you start to see white oozy parts, it’s done.

Pomegranate, Corn, Pepper Salad

  • 2 cups corn
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 a cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 an orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups arugula

This recipe is a quick one to whip together, and you really can add as much or as little as you like of each ingredient. The flavours will still pop.

  1. Soften onion and peppers in a frying pan for about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Remove from skillet and cool.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, cucumber, and pomegranate.
  4. Serve on a bed of arugula with herb crusted salmon, and a squeeze of lime.

herb crusted salmonEnjoy! xx