Coconut Chia Seed Granola Recipe

While technically speaking it’s still summer, September always feels like fall to me. It also serves as reset. Back to routine, back to meal planning & prepping and back to eating healthy (you don’t want to know how much ice cream we ate this summer).

I’ve always found the easiest way to make healthy eating choices is to have convenient, easy options available. Meal prepping some things like muffins, overnight oats and granola makes it so much easier when the kids tell me they’re hungry at 6:30 am.

Homemade granola is so easy to make, and there’s so many ways to customize it. For me it’s great, because I’m allergic to almonds, and most pre-packaged granola has almonds in it. Most of the time I just use whatever ingredients I have on hand like dried fruit, nuts and seeds. You can also control the type and how much sweetener you use. I like using honey most of the time.

Once it’s made you can just munch on it on its own, with milk or our favourite way—on top of organic vanilla yogurt with fresh berries.

All of the ingredients I used to make this granola were found using local grocery delivery service Spud.ca. They make it easy to find locally-sourced, organic, healthy ingredients to feed my family…and deliver it to my door! If you’re wanting to try Spud for yourself (do it, it’s the best lol) use the code CREDM-SOCALE for $20 off your first order.

Coconut Chia Seed Granola Recipe

Yields: Jar of Granola

You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup coconut strips
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cacao nibs
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, chia seeds, coconut flakes & strips and pinch of salt.
  3. Place the coconut oil and honey in small bowl and melt together in the microwave, then stir to combine and sand add vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and pile the granola into a heap on one half of the pan and compress. This will make nice, big clusters. Allow to cool completely and then break into chunks.
  6. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! As I said it’s easy to adapt based on what you have or like. Add in almonds or cashews, use maple syrup instead of honey. Make it your own!

Happy {almost} fall!

Alex

Cucamelon Gin & Tonic

A good Gin & Tonic is the epitome of a summer drink in my opinion. It’s funny, I love them, but have no real desire to drink them other than on a hot summer day. They’re just so refreshing!

A Gin & Tonic is such an easy drink to make, but the key is using quality ingredients. Buying a good quality gin and a good quality tonic makes such a big difference in your cocktail. I can’t stand cheap tonic, it’s way too sweet. My favourite tonics are by Fever Tree–especially the Elderflower and Aromatic ones.

A second way to really amp up a classic G&T is through your garnishes. It’s such a fun, easy way to make a good drink a great drink.

For today’s G&T my girlfriend Holly and I used mint, strawberries and cucamelon’s! If you haven’t heard of a cucamelon before, don’t worry, you’re not alone. They are probably the cutest garnish I’ve ever used though.

A cucamelon looks like a teeny tiny watermelon (so cute) but tastes like a cucumber with a hint of lime. Cucamelons may be small, but they’re quite the superfood, packed full of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, and are also low in calories. Holly and I were lucky enough to be gifted a bunch of them from our friend Catherine, who grew them in her garden. Here’s how to enjoy them in a G&T.

Cucamelon Gin and Tonic Recipe

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces gin (we used Epitaph Gin)
  • Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water, to top
  • Lime round
  • Half a strawberry, sliced
  • 3 cucamelons, to garnish
  • Mint sprig, to garnish
  • Cubed Ice

Directions: In a cocktail glass filled with cubed ice, combine gin, lime round and sliced strawberry. Top off with tonic water and lightly stir. Garnish with mint sprig and cucamelons skewered on a cocktail.

Hope you enjoy! Cheers!

Rhubarb Gin Sour Recipe

Rhubarb is one of my favourite garden treats in the summer. I just love the tart, sour taste of it and how well it works in baking.

This year, I was determined to find a fun, new use for it, besides my go-to strawberry rhubarb crumble so I decided to make a rhubarb simple syrup to incorporate into a cocktail! If you don’t drink, this syrup would also taste great in an Italian Soda or on top of ice cream!

This cocktail is fresh, fruity and tart. It reminds me of something you’d order in a restaurant off a fancy cocktail list, however, it’s quite simple. Hope you enjoy!

Rhubarb Gin Sour Recipe

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp of rhubarb simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1.5 oz gin (I used Black Fox Farm Haskap Gin)
  • 1 oz of fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Egg white
  • Ice

Directions

Add your gin, lemon juice, rhubarb syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake twice, hard, without ice to emulsify the egg. Add ice, shake again and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish and serve.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

Boil equal parts sugar and water in a medium sauce pan until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and steep with the rhubarb for 20 minutes.

Allow it to cool, the strain out the rhubarb pieces. The simple syrup can be stored in your fridge for up to three weeks.

Cheers! If you recreate this, or any of my other cocktails be sure to tag me on Instagram @alexandtribe.

Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

I’ve had a love for all things Italian for a long as I can remember. It’s my favourite country to visit. The history, architecture, beaches, city life, food and drinks; it just can’t be beat.

Enjoying an Aperol Spritz in Rome

There’s no drink, in my opinion, that has as strong a claim to being “Italy’s drink” as an Aperol Spritz. The cocktail is built around Aperol—a semi-sweet, slightly bitter aperitif from northern Italy.

The herby orange-red liqueur was invented by the Barbieri brothers in Padova, Italy in 1919 and was originally designed as a health and diet drink. The recipe, as those for bitters and liqueurs tend to be, is secret, but includes bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and gentian.

When the Austrians controlled the Veneto after the Napoleonic wars, they took the local Italian wine and added a splash, or in German, a “spritz,” of water. Over time the water was replaced with sparkling water and the still wine was turned into wine fortified with a liqueur. It wasn’t too long before the liqueur of choice became what we today call Aperol. It gained popularity all over Italy during 1920s to 1930s and it was marketed as a drink for women and people with an active lifestyle.

There are many kinds of Spritzes, but the Aperol Spritz is probably the most popular cocktail in Italy. Along with the more bitter-tasting Campari, Aperol is also one of the most successful Italian liquors overseas.

The spritz has become synonymous with the Italian tradition of the Aperitivo, a drinking occasion associated with the transition between work and play at the end of the business day.

The Campari Group purchased Aperol in 2003 and embarked on a huge advertising and marketing campaign that positioned the Aperol Spritz as a drink for the creatives, the fashionable and the successful. Today it is one of the most popular drinks around the world.

Today my girlfriend Holly and I have put together a recipe for a classic Aperol Spritz for you. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy these dog days of summer with.

Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

Yields 1 drink You’ll Need:

  • 3 parts Prosseco (we used La Marca)
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water  
  • Ice
  • Orange slice, to garnish

DirectionsMix all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

If you’d like it ‘Venetian-style,’ add a green olive as an additional garnish.

Hope you enjoy this little taste of Italy. If you recreate this cocktail for yourself, be sure to tag us on Instagram @alexandtribe and @chandeliers.and.champagne.

Cheers!

Classic Piña Colada Recipe

I’ve always found it amusing that there’s a day for just about everything. Today happens to be National Piña Colada Day, and coincidentally enough it’s a beautiful, warm day in Edmonton, perfect for this delicious blended summer drink!

Curious about the origins of the Piña Colada, I did a bit of research and found out it was invented by a bartender in Puerto Rico. This pineapple coconut drink was so beloved that in 1978 it was named Puerto Rico’s national drink. Its name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish, referring to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple used in the drink’s preparation.

The best Piña Colada I’ve ever had was at a little roadside stand in Cuba on my way to Havana. It was incredible–made with fresh fruit and served frosty cold. Perfect for a hot beach day.

So let’s all celebrate summer and honour the great Piña Colada with this delicious recipe.

Piña Colada Recipe

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 cups of ice
  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 2 ounces of pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces of premium coconut milk
  • 1.5 ounces of white rum
  • Umbrella, maraschino cherry and pineapple wedge to garnish

Directions

Add all of your ingredients except for garnishes into your blender and blend until your drink is smooth. If you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to add in one to two teaspoons of sugar as well.

Pour into a hurricane glass (or bonus points, a coconut shell) and add garnishes.

Cheers friends, hope you have an awesome weekend!

Watermelon Basil Martini

There’s few things more reminiscent of summer than fresh, juicy watermelon. It’s the perfect treat on a hot day.

I had a giant watermelon at home needing to be used and figured I’d try my hand at adding an adult twist to this childhood favourite. Did you know that watermelon’s are 92% water and full of vitamins? You’re basically have a health drink with this cocktail 😉.

My recent spud.ca order includes a beautiful new bottle of vodka from Confluence Distilling, out of Calgary, Alberta. The vodka is made from local, glacially-fed water and Albertan grains and has a smooth finish to it. And we all know how much I love supporting local.

I’m so pumped that I can order local beer, wine and spirits online with my Spud grocery order. Makes it so easy and convenient to discover new, local companies.

If you’re looking for a way to use up some leftover watermelon, then look no further than this delicious martini I’ve crafted for you.

Watermelon Basil Martini

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 0.5 ounces St. Germain
  • Aprox. 2 cups of watermelon
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Splash of fresh-squeezed lime
  • Basil and watermelon, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Cut up your watermelon and put it in either a juicer or high-powered blender, along with your basil leaves. After you blend it, run it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining chunks.

Combine vodka, St. Germain liqueur, lime juice and watermelon juice in a cocktail tin with a couple pieces of ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass and garnish with a cube of watermelon and a basil leaf.

Cheers, enjoy this taste of summer!

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Lilacs are one of my favourite spring flowers. They have the most incredible scent and make such a beautiful, full bouquet. I’m lucky my mom has two trees in her yard that I get to raid as much as I want!

Unknown to a lot of people is the fact that lilac blossoms are actually edible. The petals can be used to make a lilac sugar for baking, or a sprinkle of flowers for garnish, or my favourite–in a simple syrup for cocktails. It adds a light, floral note to your drinks as well as a hint of beautiful colour.

Today’s cocktail is a delicious Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey. It’s light, fruity and a perfect summer patio sipper. You’re going to love it! If you can’t get your hands on lilacs for this simple syrup, lavender would work well too.

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 0.5 ounces lychee liqueur (we used Soho)
  • 1.5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 0.25 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Dash of lilac-infused simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Soda water, to top
  • Fresh lilac petals, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Combine gin, lychee liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice and lilac-infused simple syrup in a cocktail tin. Stir and pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice. For a layered look, top slowly with soda water. Garnish with lilac petals, ogle at its beauty, then stir gently and enjoy!  

Lilac-infused Simple Syrup

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lilac blossoms
  • 4 blueberries (for colour)

Instructions:

Remove stems and leaves from lilac blossoms, otherwise they can make your syrup bitter. Gently rinse blossoms in a fine mesh strainer and put aside.

Add water and sugar in a small pot, whisking together until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil then add lilac blossoms and blueberries. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the lilac petals. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature then store in a jar or bottle. Syrup will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Hope you enjoy this delicious summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers!

Easter Butterscotch Bird’s Nest Recipe

Easter is definitely not going to be normal this year. Corona Virus social distancing measures mean we won’t be having a big family dinner. There will be no community egg hunts and no cute Easter Bunny photos. There’s plenty we can do to make it special for our kids though and one of those things is making fun Easter treats!

These birds nests were so easy to make–all you need are four ingredients. You don’t even have to bake them! My kids had so much fun helping me both make them, and eat them.

Butterscotch Bird’s Nests

Yields approx. 15 nests

Tools:

  • Muffin tin
  • Wax paper

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips (250g)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups of Chow Mein noodles
  • 1 bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs to decorate

Directions:

Melt your butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until melted.

Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl with your Chow Mein noodles and stir well to combine.

Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray and add a spoonful of your mixture into each compartment. If needed shape them slightly so they look like nests.

Leave the nests for about 20 minutes to set, then carefully transfers to parchment or wax paper, and lightly shape them again if needed. Add your mini eggs into the middle of the nests and you’re done!

Hope you have fun making these with your kids, be sure to tag me on Instagram if you do (@alexandtribe). Hope you find a way to have a great Easter while staying home!

Happy Easter!

Alex

Earl Grey’s Royal Gin Fizz

How’s everyone doing? Hope you’re staying home and staying safe ❤️. This social distancing stuff is weird; it’s so opposite of my general nature, I thrive on being busy and social. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t easy, but I know it’s necessary and so we’ve stayed home for the last three weeks or so.

Wanting to feel a sense of normalcy, my bestie Holly and I decided to attempt our first virtual cocktail making hangout. We put the little ones down for a nap, fired up FaceTime on the iPad and crafted a new cocktail for everyone to try! It was fun (except for the part where my bottle of prosecco exploded on me while I opened it 🤦🏼‍♀️ haha).

We’ve been wanting to try a foamy cocktail for awhile now. I’m not going to lie, the idea of adding a raw egg white to my drink made me a little weary, but I can assure you that it’s totally flavourless, it just adds an awesome foamy topper to your drink.

This cocktail was so good. By now you’ve probably already realized I love gin and a tea-based cocktail, so this one was right up my alley! Delicious, refreshing, slightly citrusy–I’ll definitely be making it again!

Earl Grey’s Royal Gin Fizz

Yields 1 drink

You’ll need:

0.75 oz Gin (we used Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin)

0.75 oz Earl Grey-infused simple syrup (recipe below)

0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 egg white

2-3 oz of champagne or prosecco

Handful of ice

Earl Grey tea leaves, finely chopped, to garnish

Directions:

Combine gin, Earl Grey-infused simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and an egg white in a cocktail shaker.

Start with a dry shake: shake the concoction vigorously, without ice, to emulsify the egg white. This will help give the egg a nice whipped and foamy texture.

Then, do a wet shake: add some ice and shake again to help cool the drink.

Double strain into your cocktail glass and slowly top with Champagne or prosecco – about two to three ounces (careful, the drink foams up quickly).

Lastly, add a dusting of finely chopped Earl Grey tea leaves to garnish. Or, a sprig of lavender or a twist of lemon would work great too!

Earl Grey-infused simple syrup

Yields enough for 3-4 cocktails

You’ll need:

1/2 cup water

1/2 sugar

2 Earl Grey tea bags (I used Blue Hour)

Directions:

Boil equal parts sugar and water in a medium sauce pan until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and steep the tea bags for 5-6 minutes.

Allow it to cool before using. The simple syrup can be stored in your fridge for up to three weeks.

Hope you enjoy our latest cocktail. We’re loving in some crazy times right now, I’d say we all deserve a weekday treat! Stay hone & stay safe and be sure to tag us on Instagram (@alexandtribe @chandeliers.and.champagne) if you make any of our cocktails!

Cheers 🥂 Alex & Holly

Instant Pot Pancake Bite Recipe

Well, we’re on week three of laying low and staying home over here. I’m grateful that everyone in our family is healthy and safe and that we can do our part to help flatten the curve–this pandemic is scary stuff.

Being at home 24/7 means snacks are flying off the shelves over here. Pretty sure the sole role of being a parent is fetching your toddler snacks. All day long.

Whenever I can, I try to have nutritious, easy-to-grab snacks available that my kids can help themselves to. I like having them on hand for myself too, let’s face it, as a mom you don’t always have an opportunity to sit down and have a proper meal.

These Instant Pot pancake bites are easy to make and have added protein, which is great, because my kids don’t always get enough. I’m not going to lie, the texture took me a minute to get used to. Cooking them in the instant pot gives them a slightly rubbery texture–but you get used to it after the first couple.

You’ll need a silicone mold to cook these pancake bites in. I’m actually using one I had leftover from when my kids were babies and I made them purées to freeze. Here’s a link to one on Amazon.

Feel free to switch up the ingredients in these. Blueberries or chocolate chips would be tasty, or you could add a flavoured protein powder to up the protein even more!

Instant Pot Pancake Bites

Yields 7 pancake bites

Tools:

  • Silicone mold
  • Instant Pot with trivet
  • Tinfoil

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of protein pancake mix (I used Kodiak Cakes)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp of Chocolate peanut butter powder (I used the Kraft one, but PB2 or protein powder would also work)
  • 1/2 cup of diced banana

Directions

  • Pour 1.5 c water into your Instant Pot, lower your trivet inside your Instant Pot
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the pancake mix, peanut butter powder and water. Add additional water if it’s too dry
  • Add diced banana and stir to mix.
  • Pour batter into your silicone mold till they are 3/4 full
  • Cover egg mold with tinfoil and lower it into your Instant Pot on top of your trivet
  • Set your Instant Pot to manual for 9 minutes
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then release the rest of steam
  • Carefully lift mold out, remove foil, allow to cool enough to handle mold
  • Flip silicone mold over on to a plate and pop each pancake bite out of each hole

You can eat these immediately or they freeze well too!

Hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it for yourself be sure to tag me on Instagram (@alexandtribe).

Stay safe and stay home!

Xo Alex