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In Recipe on
June 17, 2020

Lilac Sugar Recipe

Spring in Alberta means lilacs. Those fragrant little flowers start popping out in June and it seems like everywhere you walk you can smell them. Unfortunately the season is way too short. That is why we want to help you preserve the smell of Spring with this beautiful, easy recipe for Lilac Sugar.

Lilac Sugar can be used to replace regular sugar in cookies, biscuits, scones, tea, cocktails, salad dressing, marinades and more. Wherever a hint of floral, fragrance could be used to elevate your dish! The taste is not over powering but if you want just a bit you can always mix in half lilac and half regular sugar.

This will keep in the pantry for months so make a big batch (the recipe below is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on how many lilacs you can find!) and enjoy the smell of fresh, beautiful lilacs until they come back next year.

Lilac Sugar Recipe

1/4 cup Lilacs

3/4 cups Sugar

Step 1 – Pick the flowers you want to sugar. When you are using flowers for baking and cooking make sure you collect the flowers from an area you are familiar with so you know if they have been sprayed with any chemicals or toxins.

Step 2 – Pick off the flower parts from the stem trying to remove as much green stem as possible. If a little gets into the sugar it is OK but for looks you basically want just the flower. They are very easy to pull off with your fingers. Avoid using scissors as it will bruise the petals releasing the fragrance before you want to. If you can do this step outside it is best as tiny bugs and twigs will come out.

Step 3 – Rinse and wash the flowers to remove any other unwanted bugs, leaves, or twigs. Shake the flowers under a gentle stream of water to keep the flowers intact.

Step 4 – Spread the flowers evenly on a tea towel to dry for at least an hour. You want the flowers to have no excess water on the petals or your sugar will clump.

Step 5 – Once the flowers are dry layer the flowers and the sugar into a mason jar. Don’t worry about even layers as you will be shaking the jar over the next few days. Make sure to leave a few centimetres of room at the top of the jar to allow for movement when shaking.

Step 6 – Shake the contents of the jar every day for a week. I usually put the jar by the coffee maker to remind me to shake it every morning. As you go about your day if you walk past the jar give it a little shake too. The more you shake the more the flavours and fragrances come out. This is a great job for kids!

Step 7 – Once a week passes the sugar is ready! You can sift the sugar to remove the flowers and leave just the flavoured sugar or leave them in. They are edible and make a beautiful addition when you use the sugar.

In Christmas, Lifestyle, Random Thoughts, Recipe on
December 9, 2019

Instant Pot Turkey Buffalo Mac n Cheese – The Perfect Dish For Your Next Potluck Dinner

It’s hard to pick the perfect potluck dish. You want something easy to prep, a dish that will feed a crowd, and something that’s easy to transport.

Don’t worry Mamas, we’ve got you! We’ve partnered with Alberta Turkey and have created the perfect pot luck dish: Turkey Buffalo Mac n Cheese. And the best part? EVERYTHING was made in an Instant Pot because we know you have zero time this time of year. By using the Instant Pot we’ve also cut out on all the dishes you have to do. This is literally a one pot meal!

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In Lifestyle, Recipe on
December 3, 2019

Easy Alberta Turkey Meatball Appetizer AND a Giveaway

It’s Christmas Party Season! We love the holidays and all the opportunities it brings to be with our friends and family and that usually means sharing food together. Although we love attending all the parties we can, sometimes figuring out what dish to bring can be a daunting task especially as our to-do list grows and grows the closer we get to Christmas.

That is why we’re excited to partner with Alberta Turkey to bring you TWO easy, quick and delicious dishes you can enjoy at home or bring as a dish to share with your next party.

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In Lifestyle, Recipe on
September 12, 2019

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Super quick and delicious bruschetta recipe using leftover or garden cherry tomatoes

I’m not sure whether it’s been the rain this year (there’s been little sunshine) or I just got lucky but I have a TONNE of cherry tomatoes in my back yard this year.

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In Lifestyle, Recipe on
July 11, 2019

Canning Party with Bernardin

Growing up I LOVED my moms strawberry freezer jam. I remember getting excited when I saw my Dad bring home cases of strawberries because it meant that we were making jam soon. We would spend hours in the kitchen together washing the jars, mashing the strawberries, stirring in the sugar, and pouring the jam into jars ready to be frozen. All while listening to Sunday morning classics on CFCW because it isn’t canning unless you’re listening to the oldest honky tonk music right?

I loved when our cousins, friends or Grandparents stopped by and were able to help too. Cooking is always better when you’re working in a group!

That is why we were so excited to host a canning party with Bernardin. We wanted to recreate that feeling of friends and family coming together to cook while getting the kids involved.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Recipe on
May 5, 2019

Sick of Making School Lunches? We’ve Got You Covered Until Summer Vacation!

It’s May and I don’t know about you guys but I am sick of making school lunches and the kids are tired of their lunches. But don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a list of easy, quick and fun lunches to carry you over until summer vacation!

  1. Wraps – The easiest transition from boring bread. Some favourites in our house are: banana and sunflower seed butter (school safe and same taste as wow butter without all the sugar), ham and cheese, jam, and cream cheese and cucumber.
  2. Crackers and cheese – Add pickles (if you’re kids are into it!), sausage, and their favourite crackers to make an easy lunch.
  3. Breakfast cookies – The kids will get a kick out of being able to eat cookies for lunch and you’ll feel great knowing they will be full and ready to take on their afternoons. There’s so many great recipes on Pinterest or you can check out the ones we love to make (and are SO easy to adapt to taste) here.
  4. Cereal – Keeping with the breakfast theme, send individual packs of cereal with them to school for lunch! Keep it simple and let them eat it dry or send some milk in a thermos.
  5. Leftovers – This one is best if the kids have access to a microwave but is such a time saver if you can make it work!
  6. Pizza Roll Ups – This is a little more prep but can be made ahead in big batches and can be kept in the freezer until you want to use them. Get pizza dough (make it yourself or pick it up pre-made at the store), roll it out, lay down your favourite toppings, roll it up (think cinnamon bun rolling), slice into even pieces, lay out on a lined baking sheet and bake. So easy and delicious!
  7. Muffins – Cram them full of good, healthy ingredients and they won’t miss their sandwiches at all AND they will stay full until the end of the day.
  8. Mini Pancakes – Make the night before to make the morning easier, add some fruit and the kids have a fun, easy lunch.
  9. Pita Bread and Hummus – The EASIEST lunch for those days when you just don’t have time. Bonus if you have those individual packs from Costco. Even a two year old can pack this easy lunch!
  10. Let Them Choose – Give them parameters (has to include all the food groups for example) but them let them go wild. No restrictions. It is always interesting to see what combination they come up with!

We hope some of these give you inspiration to get through the school year! We’d love to hear what your kid’s favourite lunches are. Share below!

Can we also agree that the cute shapes, googly eyes, and over the top bento boxes be done for the year? No one needs that pressure right now. Save it for September Karen.

 

Box Social Event Planning

Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.

In Contests, Edmonton, Explore, Lifestyle, Recipe on
February 20, 2019

The What’s for Dinner Nightmare (+ Simply Supper Giveaway!)

Meal prepping with Simply Supper

It’s 4pm, you are trying to get all the things from your to do list done in the last hour of the “work day” while shuttling children back and forth to sports and playdates. Then, you get the call, “what’s for dinner tonight?”. Ahhhhh! This is the thing nightmares are made of. Planning dinner every. single. night. Who else is with me on feeling the burden of this chore?

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In Lifestyle, Recipe on
February 10, 2019

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

You’ll look like the cool mom when you serve cookies for breakfast. Just don’t tell the kids they are actually really healthy! The best part about these banana oat breakfast cookies? There are only two steps, one bowl and one spoon needed, AND they freeze really well. It’s basically the unicorn of healthy cookies.

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