Summertime Sangria

When entertaining, I like to serve one main cocktail and then have some basic alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages on hand for those who don’t wish to partake in the beverage I have chosen to serve.  A few weeks ago I had some of Paul’s family here for food and cocktails and given that it was the start of the warm weather in Toronto, I decided to make a huge pitcher of sangria.

Sangria is one of those beverages that is perfect for summertime entertaining. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of sangria filled to the brim.

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Little is known about the origins of this flavourful Spanish drink but it has become a popular summertime beverage. It is generally believed that the word Sangria is taken from the Spanish word sangre meaning blood, in reference to the red color of this wonderful beverage.

You will find many versions of how to make sangria on the internet but the one I like the best is the one that I had when I was in Spain last year.

Here is what you will need:

  • One bottle of red wine (preferable Spanish)
  • 1/4 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup of Triple Sec or Quantro
  • 2 cups of orange juice (non pulp)
  • 2 cups of cranberry juice (like Tropicana)
  • Fresh cut fruit such as strawberries, blackberries, orange slices

Here is how to make it:

  • Add the sliced fruit to the bottom of a pitcher
  • Add the wine, brandy, Triple Sec, orange and cranberry juice to a pitcher
  • Let merry for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

Tis The Season For Strawberries – Almost!

I love strawberries! If you have been followed my blog this week you would know that this weeks posts are all about the wonderful world of strawberries. They are a romantic fruit, a sweet sensation and very versatile. I love dropping a plump juicy strawberry into a glass of procesecco on a hot afternoon in the summer.  This week I have shared with you a recipe for strawberry sauce that I have been know to eat right out of the jar with just a spoon, a strawberry crisp recipe that is so simple and easy yet divine, to this coffee cake recipe that you can enjoy any time of day because it is not too sweet for breakfast or afternoon coffee and can also hold its own as a dessert. whatever your desire, if you love strawberries, you will love this recipe.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

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Here is what you will need:

  • For the topping
    • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • For the cake
    • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
    • 3/4 of a cup of Miracle Whip
    • 1/4 cup of milk
    • 3 cups of all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp of baking soda
    • 1 tsp of baking powder
    • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 1 pint of fresh strawberries hulled and coarsely chopped

How to Make the Strawberry Coffee Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 rectangle pan.
  • To make the topping stir together cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  • To make the cake, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium- high speed, beat the eggs and sugar for 1 minute. Add the Miracle Whip and milk and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes. The batter will be think and pale (thick like banana bread batter).
  • In another bowl stir together, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nut meg and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the egg mixture. Beat until thoroughly blended.
  • Add the strawberries and any of their juices and using a large rubber spatula fold in the strawberries, just until evenly distributed. Do not over mix.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkling topping evenly over the cake batter.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes our clean.
  • Let cook for about 5 minutes, run a knife around the sides of the pan. Cut into squares and serve with homemade whip cream or sprinkle a dusting of icing sugar if desired before serving.

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!