One of the best things about Summer – besides the free reign of unlimited ice cream cones and ice cold beer on the front stoop – is fresh, tender, immaculate garden produce.
Yesterday we hit up Taste Of Little Italy. It’s a festival that happens every year in Toronto to celebrate everything the neighborhood has to offer. Churros, games, rides, shopping, churros, live music, kissing booths, BBQ, churros, sun, sangria, friendly faces, churros…. Did I mention they were serving churros?
John and I inhaled a ton of street food, wandered around the streets lathered up in our SPF 100 sunscreen (I still burned) and just took it all in. It’s moments like these when I think, Toronto isn’t so bad after all. It’d be better if I didn’t have seasonal allergies and I wasn’t hacking up a million lungs an hour… Evidently I go through a lot of lungs.
It was fabulous. And totally Summer. And the very best part of the day was when a woman handed me a beautiful, ruby red, perfectly tender, Ontario strawberry. I went out of my mind. It was so juicy and sweet and the epitome of everything a strawberry should be… It completed my day. So while I didn’t quite make it to the farmer’s market, I still got the chance to inhale the very best of Summer. It was like eating rainbows and puppy dogs and unicorns. Which, as I say it, may not have been the best things to eat. But the strawberry was!
Another one of my favorite things to chow down in Summer? Basil. Mix it with a little – okay a lot of – gin and you’ve got yourself one happy – if not drunk – lady! Imagine my elation when my Secret Recipe Club assignment, Kate’s Kitchen, had a recipe for just that very thing!
Her recipe for the Garden Gimlet is a nice twist on a traditional Gimlet. Think of it like a mojito – but with totally different ingredients. It’s refreshing, simple and totally Summer. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making more of these this Summer. Next stop, pitcher city – population, me!
Muddle most of the basil in a cocktail shaker or big mason jar. Toss in the lime juice, simple syrup, gin and then ice. Place top on container and shake baby shake! Pour into glasses, top with soda and serve with a wedge of lime and a basil sprig.
If you’re into really good food cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients, drinks with a little somethin’ somethin’ and enjoying what you put in your mouth, this book is for you.
Julia Child famously commented, "I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food . . . ” Kristy Gardner has taken this idea to the next level in Cooking with Cocktails. Every recipe is touched with alcohol; the result is a punchy visual adventure with roots in Italian and French cuisine that demands enjoying meals with passion, with friends, and with alcohol.
Join the celebration of the very best that life has to offer—good friends, good food, good drink and great stories —with humor, delicious and inventive
recipes, and mouth-watering photographs for each and every dish!
Hey, I'm Kristy. I'm a writer, photographer, actress, and general badass (who goes to bed at 8:30pm) in Vancouver, BC. I've written & photographed with Edible Communities, The Taste Canada Food Writing Awards, and CountryMan Press and have presented at The Food Blogger’s Online Summit. My book, Cooking With Cocktails, is avaiable at all major retailers! When I'm not online, I'm indulging in seasonal cocktails, carbs, bad ’80s films, hiking, camping, bourbon, and pigs.