Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Dining

I'm so excited Wilde North Interiors have invited me to contribute to their awesome blog today. Thank you Lynda and Dhiraj! Lynda’s fun post on Outdoor Decorating was a great way to usher in the start of summer. By now hopefully your hanging baskets have been hung, your deck chairs dusted off and all traces of winter are tidily tucked away (don’t be like me and leave your winter jackets in your coat closet all year long! please!).

If you've implemented some of Lynda’s tips (or been inspired to) you've got yourself a fabulous outdoor space. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy it and savour every bit of sunshine this season has to offer (but remember the SPF!). An icy drink on a balmy evening, the smell of grilled meat wafting through the air, a heady buzz brought on by laughter and friendship.....what are you waiting for?

Wilde North

My three step approach to an impromptu summer get together goes like this - slap some meat / fish on the grill, chop up a salad, and swig away at something cold (preferably laced with alcohol) while you wait to eat. Here are some ideas (courtesy of some great food / lifestyle blogs) for a quick, easy summer meal that you can enjoy tonight!

Let’s start with the good stuff: A refreshing Summer Cocktail. I christened this grapefruit Campari concoction ‘Summer Breeze’ after the Seals and Croft seventies classic of the same name (Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine of my mind…cue epic guitar riff…you know it!). The tangy grapefruit pairs really well with the bitter-sweet Campari and the color is just glorious. One sip and you will totally get why this drink just makes you go "ahhh....Summer Breeze". It’s also not too sweet or overtly girly, meaning even the most rugged among your friends circle may be tempted to put down his/her brewski in favour of this.

Side note - I'm always partial towards drinks that can be made in pitchers, that way guests can just help themselves to refills. Also I've always made this using regular Tropicana grapefruit juice from the carton but feel free to squeeze away if you have the time! 
Wilde North

Next is the main meal courtesy of an article on street food I saw on Goop (I know what you are thinking but give Gwyneth a chance, her site is not all juice cleanses and chakra balancing - she featured real food too!). This meal idea is basically a de-constructed Greek Gyro wrap - perfect for a light meal. Marinate the chicken and throw it on the grill, chop the veg for the salad, and make or buy Tzatziki. Using store bought Tzatziki will work just as well and give you a head start on those Summer Breezes…..just saying…. (I skip the pita croutons and just serve with toasted pita which you can also throw on the grill before the chicken).
Wilde North

Summer desserts are usually your standard issue watermelon slices or ice cream, which are fine, but .....these adorable popsicle moulds may persuade you to deviate from the norm? DIY popsicles are super simple, look gorgeous and are probably a whole lot healthier with way less sugar than the packaged kind - which is an especially good thing if you have little ones running around that you are hoping to wind down for the evening.  

My favourite combinations are a mix of strawberries/blueberries topped with coconut water, or mango/peach topped with orange juice (just place the fruit at the bottom of the pop, then fill with liquid and freeze). You can experiment and use whatever mix of fruit, juice/liquid you have to hand.
Wilde North

Let us know in the comments below if you do give these recipes a try and how they turned out. Happy Entertaining folks!

Maya Ribeiro is a freelance copywriter living in the GTA. You can contact her at

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