Friday, 28 June 2013

Long Weekends, Canada Day & BBQ Celebrations!

Ahhhh, summer. I'm not a fan of the heat, but I have to say, I love EVERYTHING else that comes along with summer. Longer nights, cold drinks, bonfires, BBQ, hang outs and best of all, the LOOOONG weekends. A time to kick back, relax and soak up the sun (or in my case, hide in the shade with my SPF 100 on). This weekend in particular is a time to celebrate our AH-mazing country and reflect on how proud I am to be a Canadian.

Now, since I started dating my hubby, we usually head up to his parent's trailer on the long weekend. Here it is a time of food, drinks, washers, swimming, boat rides, food, food and more food and friends.  I've met some pretty awesome peeps up there (we affectionately call ourselves "Trailer Trash" because we're so loving like that).

But let's get back to the food. 

I love food, and most of all I love food that are themed around BBQ season! Usually it is all fatty, bad for you, but oh-so-good. If you're trying to loose weight (or in my case, not GAIN weight) it can be tough to manage. 

My suggestion? STILL EAT IT, just be selective with how much you put on your plate. I won't lie to you, when it comes to BBQ's and social gatherings, I have a tendency to go whole hog. I dream about potato salad and pasta salad and all the incredible dishes that come along with a potluck style get together. My plan? Before you get to the buffet table, decide what you really want to eat. Make sure you put salad on HALF your plate (I mean salad w/ lettuce people, not macaroni or potato salad). That leave 1/4 of your plate for the meat option (Burger, Hotdog, Chicken etc.) and 1/4 for all the fatty, yummy, amazing options. With only 1/4 the plate left to fill, you better bet your hat you pick the bestest, most yummy additional option.

Since I've been moving, Zumba-ing and just generally trying to get my sh*t together, I didn't have time to MAKE/DO any of the below for our upcoming Canada Day festivities, but I wanted to share some of my FAVE BBQ Pin's that I've seen over the last little bit (or things that have made me drool) in case you need some last minute ideas!

If you like something, click the photo, it will link back to the original source!

The Salad:

I have a strong love/hate relationship with salad. Sometimes I can't get enough, and other times, it makes me want to barf. This salad however, is a NEVER miss. I don't have any amazing pictures to show you, but I promise you, no one can say no to this salad. It's my Aunt Kaethe recipe and she makes it for almost every family holiday. I look forward to it EVERY TIME!

Spring Mix and Strawberry Salad 
By Aunt Kaethe
1/2 tsp salt
1 green onion (finely chopped)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
Pinch of paprika
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp poppsy seed

Caramelized Almonds:
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp water

2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 bag of spring mix (I like the DOLE mix, personally)

In a frying pan, combine the almonds with the sugar and the water and mix until evenly coated. Stir Fry them for about 6-8 mins until they are a light golden brown. Set aside.

In a bottle or jar (Mason Jars work well) combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake until combined.

Put spring mix in a large bowl, and top with the almonds & strawberries. Pour a small amount dressing over top, and toss. Have a taste and apply more if needed. This dressing is VERY strong, so you don't want to put TOO much on.

I suggest doubling the batch though, one bag rarely is enough, and if you have left over dressing, it keeps in the fridge for about a week!

The Potato Salad:

This one I haven't made personally, but it looks SO dern good, I just wanted to post the photo so we can all drool over it together (photo links to recipe)

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

 The "Other Starch"

No BBQ is complete without CORN ON THE COB. If you're lucky enough to live near a farmers market, go buy your corn there. It is MILES above what you can get in a grocery store, especially when it is in season (August to early September, I believe). Also, if you can, do the corn on the grill. We started doing this just a few years back, and it makes a WORLD of a difference. It's making me salivate just thinking about it.

If you're feeling REALLY crazy and want to take a step outside of just butter & salt, try out this Chilie and Lime Grilled corn on the cob! YUM!

Grilled Corn on the Cob w/ Chili and Lime
The Meat:

Obviously burgers, hotdogs and chicken are staples at a BBQ, but I happened across this AMAZING recipe for Teriyaki Turkey Burgers.
Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
First, I love anything Teriyaki and second, I've really grown to love ground turkey. We've made many things with ground turkey recently, so I'm deffo going to try this out next.

FINALLY, my personal favourite:


Luckily for me, Pinterest has a PLETHORA of Canada Day themed desserts. Here are a couple of my faves (photos link to original source):

You had me at Kit Kat!
 This dessert goes along with my obesession of dipping everything in chocolate:

Canada Day Oreo Pops
And even though it isn't specifically Canada Day themed, I still think these look delish and would make an AMAZING treat to bring to a BBQ (so much so that I might make them and bring them along with me this weekend!):

Red Velvet Brownies w/ Buttercream Frosting
Hope you found a little bit of inspiration here for you BBQ this weekend (or some that are upcoming!) If I make any of the above treats, I'll be sure to share!!!

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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