Pimm’s Iced Tea Recipe

If I think Spring thoughts, and drink Spring drinks, will that magically make Spring appear in Edmonton? Probably not, but this cocktail is so good I don’t even care that it snowed this weekend…again.

I’ve been wanting to make a honey-based cocktail for awhile now, so I was excited to partner up with the Edmonton Home + Garden Show to make a cocktail using some delicious honey from Good Morning Honey, a family-owned and operated apiary just outside of Edmonton.

Good Morning Honey is going to be presenting on the main stage at the Home + Garden Show on Friday, March 19 at 1pm. They’ll be doing a presentation on how to make Beeswax Wraps! How fun is that? There’s going to be tons of other great presentations and activities taking place over the course of the weekend, you can find out more here.

Let’s get back to the honey though! We love honey in our house. I like to use it as a substitute for sugar when I’m baking and occasionally in cocktails too. This cocktail that Holly and I crafted has the perfect mix of sweetness from the honey and tartness from the lemon. Its my first time trying Pimm’s No.1, a gin-based liqueur, but it won’t be my last! This drink is one I’ll be mixing up all summer long on the patio, it’s that good.

Pimm’s Iced Tea

Yields 1 drink

You’ll need:

  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) brewed Orange Pekoe tea
  • 2 tsp honey (we used Good Morning Honey)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Mint sprig
  • Ice cubes
  • Citrus wedges, sliced strawberries and cucumber ribbons, to garnish

Directions:

Brew Orange Pekoe tea and while warm, add honey. Stir and allow to cool (we placed our tea and honey in the fridge).

Add Pimm’s, lemon juice and mint sprig (or about 6 mint leaves) to a cocktail tin and muddle with a muddling stick or the back of a spoon.

Line the side of a second glass with a thin slice of cucumber. Fill glass with ice and strain the mint mixture into the glass. Top with tea and honey.

Mix, garnish with sliced strawberries and a citrus wedge and serve.

I hope you love this cocktail as much as I do! If you try it yourself, be sure to tag @alexandtribe and @chandeliers.and.champagne on Instagram.

The Edmonton Home + Garden Show runs March 19-22 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, grab your tickets here. I’m also giving away a pair or tickets over on my Instagram page!

Cheers! Alex & Holly

Yule Mule: Festive Pomegranate Moscow Mule

There’s less than a week till Christmas now, and if you’re anything like me, your to do list is about as long as Santa’s delivery list.

One thing I’m in charge of this year is the Christmas cocktail, and I think we’ve got a winner! This Pomegranate Moscow Mule is as delicious as it is festive.

This cocktail is fresh, easy to drink and relatively easy to assemble. And the the red and green colours make it scream Christmas. So, check one item off that to do list. Your Christmas cocktail is officially covered!

Yule Mule: Festive Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup Ginger Beer
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz of vodka
  • 1tsp fresh juiced ginger
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • Mint for garnish
  • Ice

Directions:

Fill your cup with ice. Add the ginger beer, pomegranate juice, vodka, ginger and lime. Stir well to combine then garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint.

Cheers, enjoy your cocktail (and get started making round two because you’re going to want more than one of these)!

Happy Holidays! Alex and Holly

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Well, it’s official, the snow is sticking to the ground. Pumpkin spice has morphed into peppermint and egg nog, and the nights are now long and dark. Winter is here for the long haul which means it’s time for soup season!

There’s something so comforting about a hot bowl of soup or stew on a cold winter day. One of my favourites is potato leek; it’s creamy, hearty and goes absolutely perfect with a warm slice of homemade bread (that’s a post for another day). One of the things that made me hesitant to make this soup in the past was how long it took to cook, but thanks to my trusty old Instant Pot I can whip this up while the boys are napping.

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Servings: 5

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts 1/8-inch slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions:

  1. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot. Allow pot to heat until the display reads “hot” 
  2. Add olive oil and butter to the pot, once hot add the leeks. Sauté until softened, stirring frequently and not allowing to brown, 8 minutes
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds
  4. Add potatoes, vegetable broth, salt, bay leaf and thyme; stir to combine
  5. Make sure that the release valve is in the “Sealing” position, place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn to lock 
  6. Press “Manual” button on the Instant Pot and set the timer for 7 minutes 
  7. It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up and build up the pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display and count down
  8. Once the cook time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes
  9. Carefully remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot
  10. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs
  11. Use a hand immersion blender to puree the soup until just smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree. Careful not to splash as the soup will be hot
  12. Add in milk and black pepper, stir to combine 
  13.  Garnish with chives and additional black pepper

Hope you enjoy! What’s your favourite type of soup? I’m always on the lookout for a new one to try. 

Happy eating, Alex! 

Tips for weaning from breastfeeding

Writing this post is bittersweet for me. I’ve officially completely weaned Austin off of breastfeeding at 19 months old.

The time was right for me; I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2015 with no break. That’s about 4.5 years now that my body hasn’t been my own. So, while I’m happy to be able to enjoy a cocktail whenever I want, use skincare products without reading the label and to take the good cold meds when I’m sick, it’s still sad to close the chapter on this phase of my life.

Weaning Austin was definitely a bit more difficult than weaning Colton. My guess is it’s because I went back to work after Colton turned one, so he had that separation from me. Austin is a Stage 5-Clinger with pretty much no separation from me in his short little life, haha.

So, without further adieu, here’s how to wean your baby in 100 steps or less:

1. The first thing I did was to stop breastfeeding on demand. I fed both my babies on demand. It was for me as much as it was for them. Fussy baby? Boob. Hurt yourself? Boob. Overtired? Boob. This was the hardest step of weaning for me. Instead of feeding on demand I cut Austin down to feeding when he woke up, before both naps and before bed. It was sooo hard for me to not nurse when Austin was fussy for no reason or to use it as a crutch when he got hurt.

2. After about a month we moved onto phase two of our weaning journey, which was to quit nursing before naps. This step pissed Austin off; oh man did we struggle with this step. For nearly two weeks Austin barely napped. He’d just sit and cry in his crib until I caved and went to get him. Eventually he accepted his new normal and his naps went back normal.

3. The next step I took was to drop our morning feed. This step was pretty easy for us; Austin didn’t seem to be phased too much by it. The only downside to dropping this feed was that sometimes I would feed Austin in bed and he’d fall back asleep for another hour. I miss that, haha.

4. Finally, our fourth and final step—kicking that bedtime feed. I held out on this one for awhile. Partially because I wasn’t quite ready to be 100% done and partially because I don’t think Austin was quite ready. In the end, I used a 3-night girls trip as the final push to kick the feed. I don’t think Austin was even getting much milk in the end, which I think helped this step go smooth. When I came home I just didn’t offer to breastfeed Austin again, and he didn’t ask.

And there you have it, the end to my breastfeeding journey. All in all, we probably spent about 6 months weaning. I wanted to take my time on each step to try and make it as easy as possible for a Austin.

Hope this helps if you’re starting the process of weaning your baby. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Alex

Apple Cider Sangria

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my fellow Canadians. For all my American friends, I’ll be jealous of your turkey dinners next month 😉.

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. Food is my love language and there’s nothing better than a great meal with friends and family. Give me all the turkey sandwiches, pumpkin pie and apple cider I can stomach. I also love the reminder to be thankful for all the amazing things I have in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful for my health, my home, my family and my friends. I’m a lucky girl let me tell ya!

I don’t have to host any Thanksgiving meals this weekend (yay), however I know how stressful preparing a big dinner can be, so my girlfriend Holly and I have whipped up a festive drink that you can throw together for your thanksgiving gathering. At least one item will be easy to check off your to do list!

What I love about this Apple Cider Sangria is that you can make it in advance and let it sit in the fridge. The longer the flavours muddle together the better. I also love the fact that it’s an easy sipper. It’s definitely the least boozy-tasting cocktail I’ve posted on here to date. I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to get drunk at a family get together, so a nice light, refreshing sangria is the perfect way to go.

Apple Cider Sangria

Yields 1 pitcher

You’ll need:

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine (750 ml)
  • 1 can of Strongbow (500 ml)
  • 2 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple
  • 1 pear
  • Large handful frozen cranberries
  • Cinnamon stick to garnish

Directions:

Thinly slice your pear and your apple and place them in your pitcher. Add a large handful of frozen cranberries, your bottle of white wine, can of Strongbow and your Triple Sec. Stir well to combine. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks and put the pitcher in the fridge to allow the flavours to combine for 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve, arrange a couple slices of apple and pear in your glass. Add in a few cranberries and a couple pieces of ice and top with your sangria. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving long weekend! Be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what cocktail we come up with next (hint: it might be a Halloween one 😉) and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers! Alex & Holly

Tips for a great Dîner en Blanc experience

I’ve never met a theme I didn’t like. I’m always down for a great party, but one with a fun dress code? Even better! I’ve now been to three Dîner en Blanc’s in Edmonton so I feel like I have a good handle on what to expect and how to make it a great night.

If you’ve never heard of Dîner en Blanc before here is a bit of history. The event was started in Paris, 31 years ago when a Frenchman invited a group of people to an elegant picnic and asked them to all dress in white so that they could easily find each other. Now, the event is held in 80 cities in 30 countries around the world.

This year, Edmonton’s event was held on the field at Commonwealth Stadium, where our professional football team plays. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side. It rained so hard. And not a quick, light shower. It was a torrential downpour, with thunder and lightning and wind. It was a gong show, but you know what, we still had such a fun time. Attitude is everything (refer to tip 4) and our group had a great one.

If you’re getting ready for your first Dîner en Blanc here are five tips to make it a great experience.

1. Make sure you wear white. I know, sounds obvious, that’s the dress code, but there are always people who show up in cream or have another colour on their dress. You stick out like a sore thumb, so look for an outfit that’s all white. Also, it’s a dressy event, so leave the white jeans and sneakers at home.

2. Have fun with your accessories. I love to wear flower crowns, so that’s my go-to for this event, but I’ve seen people in fascinators, white wigs, tutus and boas. It’s not everyday you get to have so much fun with your outfit, so don’t waste the opportunity! Also, ladies, please wear flats. Sometimes the event is held in the grass, sometimes you have a 15 minute walk to get there, regardless you’ll be so much more comfortable in flat shoes.

3. Prepare for the weather. I’ve been rained on at two out of the three events I’ve been to. Like I mentioned above, it torrentially poured on us this year, so I’m so happy I had my clear poncho and umbrella with me. Yup, you read that right, even your rain gear needs to be clear or white, so make sure you’re prepared in advance.

4. Go into it with a great attitude. I’m not going to lie, this event is a lot of work and planning. They’re also always held outdoors rain or shine. Obviously weather isn’t something you can control, but your attitude is. We got totally rained out but had such a fun time this year. I was with fun people, we had wine and dessert (we made sure to grab both when we sprinted for some cover) what more do you need!

5. Pack light. You have to pack your whole life for this event (kidding, sort of), so obviously you can only pack so light between your table, chairs, linens, food and decor, however be smart where you can. Bring collapsible table and chairs and small but attractive decor (flameless candles, flowers etc). This is even easier the larger your group. We had a group of 6 going this year and divided up responsibilities so everyone was bringing something.

Hope this helps prepare you for your first Dîner en Blanc experience. It’s really such a fun event, you just have to make sure you put in the pre-planning work. If you have any other questions about the event, or some tips of your own please share them in the comments!

À votre santé!

10 Edmonton summer date night ideas

Date nights are a precious and rare commodity when you’re a parent. We’ve only got one babysitter (thanks mom!), so when we do get a chance to get out, just the two of us, I want to make sure we make the most of it.

It’s easy to fall into a date night rut of dinner and a movie, but there’s so many fun things to do in Edmonton in the summer that it would be a shame to waste a date night in a dark, over-air conditioned movie theatre.

To help spark your creativity I’ve assembled a list of 10 great dates to do in Edmonton.

1. Snow Valley Aerial Park. I was so excited when this opened up. It’s actually what Justin and I did on my 30th birthday. The aerial park is a ropes course with more than 100 games/challenges. It was pretty challenging, but so much fun. If you’ve ever seen American Ninja Warrior on tv, a lot of the obstacles remind me of that. For a unique date night visit them on Thursdays in the summer for Thirsty Thursdays. After your climbing adventure you can kick back and relax on a one-of-a-kind patio designed by Chateau Lighting. The patio is at the top of the aerial park, surrounded by nature and has a BBQ Concession running with burgers and hot dogs as well as select local micro-brewery beverages.

2. Couples cooking class. I love cooking classes, and there are lots that are geared towards date nights. My favourite classes are through Get Cooking, I’ve been going for years now and love how the menu is interactive and has wine and drinks paired with every course. Some of my favourites have been the pasta making class, Mexican brunch class and taco & tequila class. There’s pretty much any type of cuisine you could want, check out the course catalogue here.

3. Food Crawl. I love food, eating out is one of my favourite ways to spend my free time. Instead of just having dinner at one restaurant, why not make it more of an adventure and turn it into a progressive dinner somewhere on Whyte Ave, Jasper Ave or 124th street? Start off with a drink and appetizer at one restaurant, go somewhere else for your entree and then end at another restaurant for dessert. We had a date night like this last summer and started at Situation Brewing, followed by Have Mercy and ended our night at Julio’s Barrio. It was so much more entertaining than just going out to one restaurant for dinner.

4. Horse races. In case you don’t know, a brand new horse racing track and casino just opened up next to the airport (Century Mile). I haven’t checked it out yet, but can’t wait to get there. I’ve been to the horse races a couple times and even though I’m really not a gambler, I had a blast betting on the horses. Grab your date and place some friendly wagers. Loser buys dinner!

5. Walk and picnic in the River Valley. We have such a beautiful River Valley with views that can’t be beat. Get out and take advantage of the summer by packing a delicious picnic, some bubbly and hiking to a beautiful viewpoint for a romantic picnic. A few of my favourite views are: the Fort Edmonton Park trail (great field for a picnic near the foot bridge), the Victoria Park East trail and Forest Heights Park.

6. River Cruise. What’s more romantic than a sunset cruise overlooking downtown? Impress your date with a bottle of wine and charcuterie plate on Thursday Date Nights on the Edmonton River Boat.

7. “Golfing.” I don’t know about you but 18 holes of golf is a bit much. I have fun for awhile, but by no means am I an avid golfer. My husband is though; so I found the perfect middle ground, a putting course. I’ve tried both the Kinsmen Pitch & Putt and the putting course at Red Tail Landing (by the airport). My favourite was the one at Red Tail Landing, we had the whole course to ourselves and it was great to be able to go at our own pace.

8. Rec Room. This option is a great one for a rainy day. There’s tons to do at the Rec Room from arcade games, to bowling to ax throwing. My husband and I love the old school games like skee ball and the one where you throw balls at the clown faces. There’s two Rec Rooms in the city, South Edmonton Common and West Edmonton Mall.

9. Canoe or Kayak down the river. This one is on my wish list. I think it would be so much fun (and a great workout to boot), to paddle down the river. There’s a couple different companies in the city to rent boats from including Canoe Heads and Haskin Canoe.

10. High Level Bridge street car. This one is a fun day date option. Start your day with brunch on Whyte Ave (Under the High Wheel and Rooster Cafe are great options) or pick up some goodies for a picnic at the Strathcona Farmers Market (if it’s Saturday) and then catch the street car from the Strathcona terminal. Find the schedule and terminals for the street car here.

Hope this list is a good starting point for you to plan some summer dates. Honestly, it’s just a fraction of the things you could do in our city. What are some of you favourite things to do in Edmonton? Anything great that I’m missing?