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A Last-Minute Guide to Canada Day Dinner
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Today I’m busy prepping for our annual Canada Day party. For 12 years, we’ve been hosting our entire extended family, plus a few favourite friends, for a backyard bash complete with a classic cookout of hamburgers and hotdogs, an epic selection of toppings, sides and salads, and a few patriotic-inspired desserts.

We’ve been doing this for so long that the party practically plans itself, but if you’re thinking about celebrating our nation’s birthday tomorrow—even just with a simple family dinner—and don’t have anything planned at this point, here are a few last-minute ideas that will help you put together a menu worthy of Canada’s 148th birthday.

  • Serve lots of fresh seasonal fruit! Strawberries, cherries and watermelon are in season and readily available. Fill white bowls to the brim (and even higher) with your berries and cherries, and cut your watermelon into sticks (trust me on this!), stacking them on a platter.
  • Offer a selection of Canadian-made beer and wine only. It’s easy to find and makes putting a bar together simple and inexpensive.
  • If you don’t have time to make dessert, pick up a box of Tim Horton’s donuts, stack them on a cake plate and stick a Canadian flag in the top.
  • Stick sparkler candles in the top of store-bought cupcakes to mimic fireworks.
  • Serve Canadian-beef burgers topped with back bacon, make potato salad from PEI potatoes, and cook up some lentils for a stunning salad—after all Canada is the largest exporter of lentils to the global market.
  • Scour your house for anything red and white that can be used in your table setting and decorations—balloons, napkins, tea towels, straws, serving platters and bowls, etc.
  • Instead of buying decorations, print off a Canada-themed printable banner and use it to decorate your space (this is a fun project for the kids).

Are you celebrating Canada Day tomorrow? If so, what’s on your dinner menu?

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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Two-Ingredient Sorbet for Summer
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Frozen fruit is definitely one of the workhorses of my kitchen, and I’m never without a bag of summer berries, cubed mango, pitted cherries, sliced bananas, and a tropical fruit blend tucked inside a basket in the freezer portion of my fridge. Don’t get me wrong: I adore fresh fruit as much as the next person, but when it’s not in season (read: expensive and flavourless) or difficult to access, frozen is the next best thing as far as I’m concerned.

While I usually turn these frosty bits of fruit into smoothies or some form of baked good, lately I’ve taken to making a simple sorbet by blending the fruit with just a touch of water until it’s thick and smooth, and similar in texture to soft ice cream. This ‘sorbet’ is ridiculously healthy, so I feel good eating it and offering unlimited scoops to the kids, who are officially convinced this is something we should be eating all summer.

When I started experimenting, my favourite variation was blended cherries with a tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate scattered over top. I’ve also made mango with toasted coconut, banana with chopped walnuts and blueberries with a smattering of shaved white chocolate. It tastes like a treat made specifically for the season, without the guilt that usually accompanies indulging in a daily ice cream.

There is no real recipe for this: simply blend your fruit in a high-powdered blender or food processor and add just enough water (if needed) to create something that is the consistency of soft ice cream. Garnish with your topping of choice and serve immediately. If you find that in order to blend the fruit you need to add so much water that the fruit looks soupy, just pop it into the freezer until it firms up, then scoop into bowls.

What is your favourite frozen healthy treat these days?

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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Welcome

Welcome to the EatSavvy Blog where you’ll find great food ideas for your family. We want to help you tackle the day-to-day monotony of what’s for breakfast? Lunch? Snack time? Thanks to our amazing food editor Jannise Scott of www.familybites.ca, we’ve got some great tips in the kitchen as well. Get inspired.

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