I’M BACK!!!!! After a little hiatus from the blog, I decided to make an appearance again. To be honest, I missed it. I missed having the creative outlet and creating content and sharing information. So I thought I would start 2023 with being creative and blog about this year’s new trend everyone is talking about – What’s Your Word for 2023?
Summer…The time of the year when the local farmers markets are full of harvest. And also that time of the year to can, preserve and pickle. Canning and preserving was something farmers and the like have done for years. Mainly because many fruits and vegetables were not available all through out the year as they are now. My Nan did it, my mom did it and now I am doing it. I do it mainly because what we buy at the grocery stores do not even hold a light to homemade products. And are not full of additives. One of our favourites are these easy homemade dill pickles. Now when it comes to canning and preserving, everyone puts their own special twist into it and has their own family secrets to how to do it. This is how I was taught to do it.
In honor of National Piña Colada Day, Danni and I bring you our favorite healthy summer dessert for 2022!
Piña Colada Parfaits
My favorite healthy summer dessert for 2022 is such a simple recipe, I almost can’t call it a recipe – so this is going to be a quick post with just the basics, cause that’s all you need. Also, I’m visiting Calgary right now, so I am busy bugging Dani, eating, drinking, stampeding, yahoo-ing and such. I just wanted to get this to you in time for National Pina Colada Day 🙂
Piña Colada Parfaits take NO time to put together, are light and healthy, and a perfect addition to your next summer bbq.
Want a light dessert for book club? Yup – these will work. I dare say you could add these to a breakfast or brunch buffet as well.
I will let you in on a little secret. I don’t really love the idea of a piña colada (coconut and pineapple have never really done it for me), even though my fav pie ever is coconut cream. WEIRD right? But something about this parfait is perfect!
These parfaits are one of those not too sweet desserts. The fresh pineapple adds the only sweetness, so there is no added sugar. The coconut milk adds the richness, and my favorite Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla Abstract adds this awesome touch of just a little something-something.
Use this recipe to fill two wide parfait glasses or use shot glasses for a taster size (buffet ready!)
One thing I DO have to tell you a little about is one of the ingredients in this parfait. Many people will have never heard of ZENBASIL seeds. In fact, even Danni gave me a weird look when I told her I was making a recipe with them. So while basil seeds look almost identical to CHIA seeds, basil seeds have (gram to gram):
2x the fibre, 2x the potassium, 2x the calcium, 2x the iron, and 10x the prebiotics.
Pretty cool, right?
So if you are in to trying new, healthy additions to your diet – give them a try. I bought mine through Amazon, but I attached the link above.
Of course, you can make this recipe with Chia seeds too if that is what you have!
Pina Colada Parfaits
An easy healthy dessert or brunch item to add to your Summer menu
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (lite or regular)
1.5 tsp vanilla (We like Trader Joes Bourbon Vanilla)
1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
8 tbsp Chia seeds or ZenBasil seeds (try the ZenBasil seeds – really!)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (We like the large flake)
sprinkle optional white chocolate chips (if you want to make it "extra")
Add can of coconut milk and 1 cup of fresh pineapple to the blender.
Blend until smooth and then pour into your glassware
For two servings, add 4 tbsp of ZenBasil seeds (or Chia seeds) to each glass and give it a good stir.
Place in freezer for 15 minutes or if you are serving the next day, in the fridge if you like.
If you think about it, give it a stir at about 7 minutes just to mix it up again.
Remove from freezer and add remaining fresh cut pineapple and sprinkle coconut to make it look pretty on top. You can alternate the two ingredients a bit. Just play around with it. And – if you want to make it "extra" add a few white chocolate chips for fun.
** If you want to make these in large shot or champagne glasses, I would mix the chia and coconut mixture in one bowl and then add to glassware.
We can’t start off the summer without our nod to our Summer Reads for 2022.
Dani and I are HUGE readers. And I confess, with my recent move and sudden lack of friends, reading has really filled the lonely gap for me.
I’ve also realized how much of an introvert I actually am. I could literally speak to absolutely no one all day and be totally fine with it as long as I had a good book to keep me company. While I know many of you are now into podcasts – which I do enjoy as well, I have become an audiobook fanatic.
This is such a huge surprise to me because I am literally the most traditional reader you will ever come across. I love a book store. I love the feel of a brand new book and I love the smell of fresh pages. AHHH – new books.
BUT – reality sometimes intervenes. With audio books, I get to clean the house while I “read.” I can also “read” when my hubby turns out the lights and declares its time for bed 🙂 AND because this year I was the driver for school – I can read while I driving to and from school pick up!
This list is a SUMMER selection. Fun, not too deep novels that can be put down to jump in the pool and layer on the sunscreen. These are not books that are going to keep you up at night nor challenge the brain all that much. That being said, they are fun and entertaining and worth the time in my opinion.
So – here are a few of our summer reads for 2022.
The Guncle – Steven Rowley
Ok – so I just loved this book. It is not deep literature, as you might have gathered from the cover, but it is still a meaningful story, with great characters and it made me LAUGH. If you want to try an audio book and you don’t know where to start – start with this one. This story is narrated by the author, who I believe either lives in Palm Springs or spends a ton of time there (where the majority of the story is set). His voices are priceless and made me wish I had a GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick) in my life. GUP is not only outrageous – he is kind and gentle, surprisingly supportive, and grieving. This is a fun, heartfelt story and I didn’t want it to end. To that note, I read Steven Rowley’s other book The Editor, which I also loved… and am looking forward to reading Lily and the Octopus too.
I LOVED this book. If you like reading about food, people who love food, or food history – this is DEFINITELY the book for you. If you hate all of those things, but enjoy a good story, you will like this one as well.
This book surprised me. I can’t remember what pushed me to purchase it. Perhaps I was perusing novels narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Julia Whelan? I expected the food angle, I was excited about the magazine angle, I guessed the sister angle, but there were so many surprises in this book I didn’t expect.
I learned a ton reading this book. Who knew food history could be so cool.
Check this one out – it will have you thumbing through old recipe books and motivated to buy local, great tasting, in season food too 🙂
I have a confession to make – I love all things Italian. I love the food, I love the people, I love Italy. So – you see, I might be a tad biased when recommending this book 🙂
Our summer reads for 2022 are just that – summer reads. You won’t find much deep literature in our selections – but hey, that is what summer is for, right? So just enjoy this one. Read it in the sunshine on a beautiful day wherever you find yourself these days. Enjoy the beautiful descriptions of the Amalfi coast and a surprisingly interesting plot twist. A totally unrealistic plot twist, but a twist nonetheless.
If I have one recommendation, it would be this. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT get the audio book on this one. YUCK. I just could not get my head around the narrators voice. Read it yourself and you should enjoy.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
After I read this book (and Daisy Jones and the Six) I decided I had to read all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books – which I did. And while I enjoyed them all, my fav is still The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! This is just such a fun romp through Hollywood with bits and pieces of real life smashed in with fictional characters. I loved how it weaved between the past and present and I loved (and hated) many of the characters Reid created. This is a MUST read. If you like this one, I understand the author has a new novel coming out this summer as well – and I literally can’t wait… link to the info on the new book HERE
Ok – so full disclosure, I’m still reading this one, but I had to add it to the list. It just came out literally a few days ago and I’m blowing through books so fast, I thought – hey, why not add this one to the list. So far, I am loving it. I’m a sucker for anything to do with high fashion, and a bit of a plot twist, so I’m super excited to see where this one goes. Written around the counterfeit designer handbag game and exploring the Chinese factories these designer bags are made – this book ticks a lot of boxes for me.
Check our insta – I will post some updates when I finish this one!
So now you have a few books to get you started and a few authors also that we enjoy. The one thing I didn’t include in this list was any autobiographies. It seemed a little redundant to add FINDING ME – by Viola Davis to the list given that anyone who lives anywhere near social media will have heard of it and its amazing reviews. I read it. I loved it. Yup – add me to the hype on this one. It was hard to read, hard to imagine a person with that much resilience. I confess, I didn’t know much about Viola Davis’ work prior to reading this but wow – she is quite a human being. So much respect for her. Worth the money all day long.
If you want to look back at one of our other book lists, check out: