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Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

These Tipsy Cheese & Cherry Crostinis are a perfect summer appetizer!  Made with fresh seasonal cherries and a flavourful Swiss like cheese.

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It’s Cheese of the Month time!  I hope you look forward to this cheesy goodness each month, as much as I do!  I’m really enjoying discovering new Canadian cheeses.  Canada has an amazing range of award-winning cheeses from different regions all across the country, so it’s exciting to be able find new ones and share them with you each month.  Canadian cheese really is the best cheese.

So far through this partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada, I’ve had the chance to feature ‘Heidi’ in a Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam, ‘Dragon’s Breath Blue’ in a Dessert Cheese Plate and ‘Comfort Cream’ in a Baked Canadian Camembert with Rhubarb Compote.  And this month I’m sharing Gunn’s Hill Tipsy Cheese in these Tispy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis!  Dee. Licious.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Tipsy comes from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese out of Woodstock, Ontario. All of their cheeses are made with milk right from the family dairy farm.  When I first tasted Tipsy Cheese I knew right away this was my favourite thus far.  It’s a mild and creamy cheese with a subtle Merlot flavour.  The Merlot flavour comes from the rind, as Tipsy has been soaked in Palatine Hills Cabernet Merlot for several days, so the rind is so good. So so good.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Because I loved the flavours of the wine and cheese so much, I wanted to preserve them in a recipe.  I wanted to make something that would bring out the true flavours of the cheese, so I decided to make these Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis. And they’re perfect for summer!

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

I kept things simple and made a cherry balsamic reduction to drizzle all over fresh bread and slices of the Tipsy cheese. And it works.  Oh does it ever.  You get rich and sweet cherry flavours, but you can still taste the creamy cheese with wine undertones.

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Tipsy is definitely on my list of favourite cheeses.  I will be packing Tipsy on our next picnic, with crackers and bread…it’s a perfect picnic cheese.

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Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, cut in half and pits removed
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 block of Gunn's Hill Tipsy Cheese
  • 1 baguette
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Mix together the water and cornstarch.
  2. In a saucepan over low to medium heat, add the halved cherries, water/cornstarch mix, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the cherries are soft and the juices turn syrupy.

  3. Once the cherries are cooked, set them aside to cool.
  4. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices. If you wish, you can toast the slices or leave them fresh, it's entirely up to you!

  5. Lay the baguette slices out on a serving platter, add slices of the Tipsy Cheese, then add dollops of the cherry mixture to each crostini.
  6. Drizzle with extra cherry syrup, add salt & fresh ground pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley.
  7. Enjoy!

Tipsy Cheese and Cherry Crostinis

About Gunn’s Hill Tipsy Cheese:

  • Type:  Handcrafted washed rind cow’s milk cheese, modelled after a Swiss cheese.  Soaked in Palatine Hills Cabernet Merlot.
  • Tasting Notes: Mild creamy cheese with lactic and buttery flavours. With an edible rind rich in Merlot flavour.
  • Pairs Well With:  Lighter white wines like Riesling, as well as Lager beers.
  • Location:  Woodstock, Ontario

More Ways to Enjoy Cheese!

Visit Dairy Farmers of Canada for delicious recipes using cheese!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada.  I will be working with Dairy Farmers of Canada over the next year to bring you some delicious recipe ideas that I have created!  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  I love cheese. 😉

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

Getting together with friends and family over food, has never been easier!  Here are 5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ!

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I think it’s obvious that I love to cook and bake, but at the same time I’m the first person to admit that there are times when it’s just nice to buy things that are ready to go.  This is especially true for last minute gatherings with friends and family…impromptu BBQ’s on summer nights are the best.  So I gathered some friends together for a BBQ and we tried out some of President’s Choice new Canadiana themed food from the PC Insider’s Collection!

Here are 5 tips to make these last minute get togethers fun and stress free!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

1.  Buy everything that you can

Sometimes it’s just nice, and necessary, to buy everything that you need to host a BBQ with friends.  It takes the load off and means that you don’t have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing dinner!  We bought premade burgers, smokies, chips, buns, drinks dessert and Maple Marshmallow s’more ingredients!  I did make a pasta salad, but only because I wanted to!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

For this BBQ we tried out the PC Loads of Canadiana Beef Burger and PC Poutine Flavour Smokies!  It was a great opportunity to try some fun new flavours!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

2.  Make it self serve

Make dinner a buffet.  Spread everything you are serving out on a table, and let your guest help themselves.  People love to do this…it feels casual and fun.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

3.  Put all the drinks into a cooler with ice

Fill up a cooler with ice and put it out on the deck where you will be having dinner.  That way your guests can just help themselves when they want something!  We put out a selection of PC Organics Watermelon Lemonade, iced tea, PC De-Alcoholized Lemon Radlers, and Caesar’s using the new PC Bacon Flavour Tomato Clam Cocktail!

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

4.  Keep the set up simple.

Host everything outdoors, this makes clean up so easy!  Then throw on a table cloth, put out paper plates, napkins and cutlery.  Set out cushions for comfort, string some lights around your patio, light candles and don’t forget to keep the bugs away with a citronella candle.  An easy breezy night.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

5.  Don’t stress

But most of all, don’t stress.  Nights like these are supposed to be fun.  That’s why you’re buying what you need…so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your impromptu night with friends.

5 Tips for Hosting an Easy Summer BBQ

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by President’s Choice, owned by Loblaw Companies Limited.  But as always the pictures, my voice, all content, and opinions are mine alone.  Happy Summer! xo

7 Summer Appetizers!

7 Summer Appetizers to make your summer nights on the patio delicious!

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Ah summer.  The season of easy, dreamy living.  And the time of year when everything tastes better outdoors on the patio, glass of wine in hand. So what better way to enjoy this beautiful season than with a repertoire of delicious summer appetizer recipes? You’re in luck…I’m sharing 7 appetizers that are perfect for summer.  Full of fresh and flavourful summer ingredients.

7 Summer Appetizers

Caramelized Onion, Apple and Brie Flatbread

I’m sharing the recipe for this Caramelized Onion, Apple and Brie Flatbread over on the Kendall-Jackson blog. This is a perfect summer appetizer that you can make on your BBQ!  It’s great as an appie or a light meal as well!

Figs with Ricotta Cheese & Honey

Summer is the best time to find figs around here, making them the perfect fruit for a summer appetizer. This recipe for Figs with Ricotta Cheese & Honey is simple and so delicious!

Cherry & Wine Compote with Goat Cheese

This Cherry & Wine Compote with Goat Cheese is a delicious summer appetizer!  Serve it up with chunks of fresh bread, and enjoy with a glass of wine.  I dare you not to eat the whole thing.  😉

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Tomato Basil Bruschetta is always a summer favourite.  There’s no other time when tomatoes are more plenty, and taste more delicious!  This flavourful and fresh appetizer is a crowd pleaser.

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce

These Zucchini Fritters are a great way to use up zucchini, fresh from the garden!  Double the batch and serve them with Tzatziki sauce.

Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto Skewers always disappear from the table faster than any other appetizer! The combination of cheese, olives, pasta, tomatoes and cured meat is so delicious!  These are fun to get creative with too…use your favourite cheese, add fresh basil…the possibilities are endless!

Easy Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels

Easy Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels are a fun appetizer too! I like these because you can make them ahead of time, and make a lot…perfect party food!  And they’re a favourite amongst all ages.

Now nothing left to do but invite your friends and family! Enjoy.

Have a delicious day!

 

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Kendall-Jackson wines!  But as always the pictures, my voice, all content, and opinions are mine alone.  Happy Summer! xo

9 Movies to Binge Watch on Netflix this Summer!

Looking for movies to entertain yourself this summer?  Here are 9 Movies to Binge Watch on Netflix this Summer!

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Summer is here, and man am I ever happy about it!  No more soccer, rugby, exams and car pooling…just free time, sleeping in, camping, beach time and plenty of time to binge watch movies!  Summer bliss.

While we don’t watch a tonne of TV in the summer, especially during the day because we’re busy, but there’s nothing like sitting down to watch a movie after a full day.  It’s one of my favourite ways to wind down after a busy day. So I am pretty happy to see some of my most favourite old movies are on Netflix…I’ve got plenty to watch this summer!

9 Movies to Binge Watch on Netflix this Summer!

 

The Notebook

A classic.  This is one of my most favourite love stories of all time…sigh.

Legends of the Fall

Remember this movie?!  A throwback to 1994…and when I really truly fell in love with Brad Pitt.  That hair though.

Last of the Mohicans

This was one of my favourite movies of the 90’s!  I can’t wait to watch this one with my teens this summer.

Romeo & Juliet (1996)

This is such a good movie…I can’t believe how young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are in this one!  Oh, and this movie has the best music soundtrack.

Vacation

I still haven’t seen this movie, but the ads on TV were beyond hilarious…I’ll be watching this one first.

Silver Linings Playbook

I remember seeing this movie in the theatre and loving the chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  This is a great movie and I can’t wait to watch it again.

Ghost

Oh Ghost.  A movie everyone needs to see.  I bawled my eyes out at this movie.  I still can’t listen to Unchained Melody without getting weepy.

Footloose (1984)

If you’re going to watch the new Footloose, you must watch the original…it’s a classic.

Forrest Gump

Run Forrest Run!  I haven’t seen this movie in ages.  So excited to see it on Netflix this summer!

 

And don’t miss 15 Throwback Movies to Watch on Netflix!

15 Throwback Movies to Watch on Netflix

Happy Streaming!

Disclosure:  I am part of the Netflix StreamTeam, but as always all thoughts and opinions here are my own…I LOVE Netflix…it’s an addiction…but a good one!

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

This BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce is a perfect summer dish!  Easy, healthy and so delicious!

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Summer suppers in our home are all about the BBQ!  Barbequing is so easy when it’s hot out and you don’t feel like cooking over the stove.  Plus the mouth watering flavour that barbequing gives food, just isn’t comparable to anything else.  And the grilling possibilities are endless…burgers, roasted vegetables, side dishes. So many delicious options.

One thing you may not think to grill on the BBQ, is turkey.  Turkey is a perfect grilling protein.  It’s lean, healthy and so versatile.  There are many cuts to choose from including ground meat, legs, drumsticks, thighs, breast steaks, breast rolls, breast roasts, drummettes, wings, sausages, and burgers.  So much deliciousness.  As I’ve said before, turkey is not just for the holidays!

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

One of our favourite ways to serve turkey from the grill is this BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce.  The brown sugar rub is perfect with the turkey, because it adds so much flavour.  I make a small batch of homemade rub, then generously cover the meat with it so you get a delicious taste of sugar and spice in each bite.  Then we toss the turkey onto the grill and cook it up until it’s juicy and tender.

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Once the meat is almost done cooking, we smother it with our favourite BBQ sauce and roast it a little longer…just until the sauce gets nice and sticky!

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Then slice it up like a flank steak and enjoy!

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Doesn’t that just look scrumptious!  I served our grilled turkey with roasted corn on the cob, fresh radishes, zucchini zoodles and warm bread.  A perfect summer meal.  And ready in about 30 minutes.  So easy.

BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Just think of the grilling possibilities.  There are so many delicious ways to grill turkey!

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BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce

Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Turkey:

  • 1 turkey breast (approx 2 lbs) (see notes)

BBQ Sauce:

  • your favourite BBQ sauce

Brown Sugar Rub:

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 - 3 tbsp chili powder
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 racks of back ribs

Instructions

Brown Sugar Rub:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, brown sugar, chili powder and fresh ground pepper.

Prepare the Turkey Breast:

  1. Separate the fillet from the turkey breast. It should remove easily. We do this for ease of BBQ'ing.

  2. Generously rub the tops of both the turkey breast and the fillet with the rub. (as show in the photo above)

BBQ'ing the Turkey Breast:

  1. Preheat your BBQ to high, then, turn down the heat to low/medium.
  2. Add your turkey and roast over the low/medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, (10 minutes on each side), or until the internal temperature measures 165 degrees.  Note:  The fillet will take less time to roast because it is smaller.  It will likely be done in half the time.  Just check it by temperature for doneness.

  3. In the last few minutes, coat the top of the turkey with your favourite BBQ sauce. We like ours to be smothered!
  4. When the turkey is done, remove from heat and let rest under tin foil for a couple of minutes.

Serving the Turkey:

  1. When it is time to serve the turkey, cut the turkey into 3/4 inch slices, cut against the grain.
  2. Serve with cobs of corn, bread and a green vegetable!
  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

1 (approx 2 lb) turkey breast will feed our family comfortably.  

Tips for Healthy Grilling:

  • Grill lean and trim the fat.  Using lean cuts of meat with less fat means less flames and smoke on the grill.
  • Infuse flavour into your meats by marinating them with healthy fats like olive oil, adding citrus, beer, wine or vinegar and fresh herbs, spices and rubs.
  • When grilling, go low and slow by grilling over low and medium heat. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the meat.
  • Practice food safe habits and refrigerate any foods that are marinating longer than 1/2 hour.
  • Cooking entire meals on the grill will give you juicy meat and tasty vegetables.
  • Grilling your food gets you outside where you can hang out with the family while you cook.

Try More Turkey Recipes:

Answering Your Questions About Turkey:

For more information on using turkey in your every day, visit the Canadian Turkey Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube channel.

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Canadian Turkey.  I am working with Canadian Turkey as a brand ambassador, and over the next year I am excited to bring you some delicious and easy turkey recipes that I have created!  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  We just really love turkey over here!

What’s For Dinner? Canada Day Edition

What’s For Dinner?  Let’s have dinner, Canada Day style.  This week it’s all about maple!

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It’s time again for What’s For Dinner!  Since it’s almost time to celebrate Canada Day, I thought it would be timely to post a dinner menu with a Canadian twist!  It just so happens that I have a few recipes with maple syrup as an ingredient, so what better time than now, for a menu like this!

Canada Day Inspired Menu

  • Main Dish:  Lemon and Maple Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
  • Side Salad: Green Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
  • Dessert:  Maple Cream Tarts

Lemon and Maple Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner

Make this Lemon and Maple Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner in less than one hour.  And if you feel like BBQ’ing, you can make this dish in a tin foil pocket on the BBQ.  Or if you feel really adventurous, cook it right on the grill.  Healthy and delicious!

Green Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This Green Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is one of those hidden gem recipes on my blog.  The vinaigrette is SO good. It’s amazing with tender greens, nuts, goat cheese and fresh mango. Pairs perfectly with roasted salmon!

Maple Cream Tart

These Maple Cream Tarts are a delicious dessert!  With a creamy maple filling made with Quebec maple syrup, on a buttery and tender shortbread crust.  So much yum.

Have a delicious day!

Canada Day Party: Maple Leaf Cookie S’mores

Up your s’more game and make these Canada inspired Maple Leaf Cookie S’mores at your next campfire!

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Here we are at day #5 of Canada Day theme party ideas!  If you missed any ideas, you can see them at the bottom of this post.  They’re all easy, delicious and quick to make…which is perfect for party planning!  It is my hope that you have been inspired to have a fun and tasty Canada day!

Maple Leaf Cookie S'mores

Today I’m sharing a yummy campfire dessert with a Canadian twist, Maple Leaf Cookie S’mores!

Maple Leaf Cookie S'mores

These are SO good, and a nice change from regular s’mores.  Just swap out graham crackers for maple cookies, and milk chocolate for white chocolate.

Maple Leaf Cookie S'mores

Delicious.  But you will need a glass of milk after.  😉

Maple Leaf Cookie S'mores

What you need to make Maple Leaf Cookie S’mores:

  • Maple Leaf Cookies
  • Marshmallows
  • White Chocolate
  • A campfire!

Maple Leaf Cookie S'mores

That’s it.  Sugar overload…but what’s a party without sugar!  Enjoy

Here are more Canada Day Party Ideas!

5 Minute Dessert Kebabs

Make these delicious and fun 5 Minute Dessert Kebabs.  Only 2 ingredients.

Maple Leaf Shaped Watermelon

These Maple Leaf Shaped Watermelon pieces are a simple and fun way to serve this summer treat!  Aren’t they great?

Strawberry Cloud

This Strawberry Cloud is a delicious and light dessert, that’s perfect after a big meal!  Ready in 15 minutes.

Canadian Animal Cupcakes

And how fun are these Canadian Animal Cupcakes?!  Make them with store bought cupcakes!

150 Canadian Songs for your #Canada150 Road Trip!

Going on a road trip?  Here are 150 Canadian Songs for your Canada 150 Road Trip!

 

There you go!  I hope you enjoyed this week full of Canada Day Party ideas!  Have a happy Canada day!