Blue Galentine’s Party

I’m definitely a romantic, there is no denying that. Beyond romance with my fiancé (we’re cooking homemade pasta and meat sauce on Sunday and I can’t wait), I think celebrating your friendships is uber important. It’s so much fun to dress up and drink some girly cocktails and eat candy!!

I’m super excited to share some behind the scenes pics from our feature with Rue Magazine this month. PS. the February issue is unreal – I can’t wait to read the whole thing with a glass of wine tonight!

Keep reading below for a fun little Valentine’s cocktail that I made which is so easy to recreate this weekend!

DSC_7944I knew that I wanted to make a cocktail that was romantic and easy. Elderflower liqueur immediately came to mind but then when I found this tiny bottle I knew it would be perfect! It reminded me of the love potion that Romeo and Juliet drank that decided their tragic fate. Luckily, this party ended on a totally different note (a lot more fun – ha!)

Love Potion Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

1 oz. gin
1 oz. elderflower liqueur
3 oz. prosecco

Add gin and elderflower liqueur to coupe and top with Prosecco.

Photography: Tracey Ayton Photography
Lauren Armstrong‘s Dining and Living Room designed by Gillian Segal Design
PARTYSKIRTS worn by Sophie Collins, Gillian Segal, Lauren Armstrong, Mariel Armstrong
Food & Drink: Me!
Makeup: Jasmine Hoffman
Flowers: Botany & Co. (our wedding florist!!)
Candy: Karameller (Vancouverites, if you haven’t gone, you must!)

I hope you have an amazing week leading up to Valentine’s day!

Here’s last year’s Valentine’s post. 

Maui Top 10

There is no denying that Maui has some incredible food. From farmer’s markets to açai bowls to high end restaurants, there is no shortage of delicious offerings. Having gone there for the last few years, I have tested lots of restaurants and I wanted to share! If you’re planning a trip, feel free to reach out to me for more info! All pictures by me (some from my instagram account)

IMG_5335

I’m going to start with my favourite spot on the island, Ka’Ana Kitchen. I’m not lying when I tell you I have never had a bad dish or drink here. The food is fresh, local and inventive. Have you ever heard of a restaurant putting seared ahi tuna with burrata? Neither had I…but it’s amazing. Those little green cubes? Fresh passion fruit jelly. I mean REALLY?? So good.

Another favourite for food and drinks is Mama’s Fish House. Their mai tai is strong, and served in the cutest tiki glasses. Beyond that, their fish is fresh and absolutely delicious. They basically have every single type of seafood on the menu, served any way you could imagine (curried, seared, raw, grilled). You can’t go wrong. The restaurant is located in a local inn in Pa’ia and the beach above is right out front. It’s gorgeous. If you follow me on snapchat (sophiecaldwellc) you will see how obsessed I am with the amazing flower arrangements they have (I’ve posted one above).

A new discovery on this past trip was local favourite Kihei Caffe. The line is long, but it goes by fast, and it’s so fun to sit with the local Maui residents on the roadside in Kihei while the sun is coming up. I ordered the Macadamia nut and banana french toast and Peter had the breakfast burrito. Both were amazing. We each sipped one of their blended coffee drinks and we proceeded to roll down the beach home. You can’t miss this place.

 

Another Pa’ia favourite is Flatbread Company right on the main drag. Their pizzas are delish (and a nice welcome from the light tropical fish-based foods), but their salads are the best. If you go, add pulled pork to your salad and thank me later. (Yes, that is a double decker pizza serving plate)

While many of the roadside fruitstands are pretty overpriced, I really enjoy pulling over and getting some local fruit from the farmers. This one was near Jaws Beach when we went to see the surfers surfing 50 ft waves (they were 20 ft max, and there were no surfers)…But, we got papaya! There is a great farmer’s market in Kihei that has the same vibe, and way better prices.

BRUNCH! Because what is better than eating at a buffet before spending the day in a bikini? I’m not usually a breakfast person but DUO the Four Seasons Resort Maui has the best (that is bolded, underlined, and italicized for a reason) pancakes and waffles. See exhibit A above (banana chocolate chip). They have everything from the most amazing fresh omelettes, to lox and bagels, to polynesian dishes, to PANCAKES (have the pancakes). While I’m at it, the guava margarita at the lobby lounge is to die for.

One of my favourite spots on the whole island is the Andaz hotel, but specifically the Lehua Lounge. The piña coladas are so fresh and delicious, along with every other drink on the menu. The best part is that you get to pretend you’re staying there while you sip your drink poolside.

Another recent discovery, I went to Wow Wow Lemonade when the coffee shop beside our place ran out of their açai bowls. Boy, am I glad they did. This menu was insane! Each bowl had at least 10 ingredients, and they make fresh lemonade right in the store. I wish I could have one of these every morning.

What you see above is the best, freshest, healthiest fish taco you will ever find. Coconut’s Fish Cafe consistently has a line out the door, and for good reason. Their fish tacos are made with 17 ingredients, with everything made in house. Split an order of the fish tacos and coconut shrimp, and then go back the next day and do the same thing.

Lastly, if you do one thing while you’re on Maui, watch the sunset (I like to watch the sunrise too). There is nothing more calming then listening to the waves and watching the sun go down at the end of a day in the water or around the pool.

Can I go back now?

#WineWednesday: A Midwinter Night’s Dream Edition

As you may have seen from Monday’s post or my Instagram feed, I’m super excited that A Midwinter Night’s Dream was featured on one of my favourite lifestyle blogs, Camille Styles on Monday. Camille always puts together the most gorgeous entertaining features and I was so happy to be featured talking about my dream dinner party guests, my entertaining rules and, most importantly, my wine pairing tips. I wanted to delve a little deeper into each of the wines (and spirit) that were presented in the feature.

Read below for my pairings with Creamy Tomato Soup, Barons of Beef Roast with Crispy Kale and a Chocolate Pomegranate Cake.

christie graham photography-90 christie graham photography-45 christie graham photography-50 christie graham photography-55

Hugues le Juste Viognier with Creamy Tomato Soup

In the winter months, it’s really nice to start off dinner with a small bowl of vegetable soup. For this dinner, I wanted something warming yet elevated. Oftentimes having a creamy soup to start off can make you feel full and heavy, which is why I paired this with a bright white wine. There are some tropical flavours to this wine and it’s really nicely balanced between richness and acidity. It has a crisp finish that leaves you feeling refreshed, your appetite whet for what is to come. At $14.99, it’s a no brainer this holiday season and would be perfect served at your next holiday get together, or as a table wine during upcoming dinner parties.

christie graham photography-84 christie graham photography-73 (1)

The Chocolate Block Red Blend with Barons of Beef Roast and Crispy Kale

There’s truly nothing like red wine and red meat. Instead of serving this beautiful piece of meat with something heavy like mashed potatoes, I wanted to lighten up the mood with some (equally delicious) kale chips. I also love how the colour of the kale kind of blended in with the meat and the other tones of the table. It all came together very well!

I’m quite familiar with South African white wines, but haven’t tried a ton of their reds. That’s all going to change now that I’ve tried The Chocolate Block Red Blend. Not only is it a beautiful bottle (love that font!) but the wine is equally is gorgeous. Small hints of spice are layered underneath this ripe-blackberry-flavoured red. It’s light tannins are perfect alongside the intensity of the meat, and the finish is perfectly smooth.

christie graham photography-65 christie graham photography-82

Calvados Père-Magloire Jack Rose cocktail with Chocolate Cake (topped with Pomegranate Seeds)

Have you ever had a French Eaux de Vie? Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This particular Eaux de Vie is an apple brandy from Normandy. It’s an absolutely perfect gift for the holidays (along with a couple cool martini glasses or a martini shaker perhaps!) The bottle is beautiful and it’s insanely delicious. I mixed this up with lemon and grenadine for a “grown up Shirley Temple” and it was the perfect way to finish off the meal. I used this recipe and couldn’t have been happier with it. The spirit has a strong apple flavour that refreshes your palate while helping you digest your food. Enough said!

What sort of food and wine pairings are you planning this holiday season?

Photos: Christie Graham Photography

Cozy Date Sunday Night Dinner: Dark & Stormy

I love pairing wine with food, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a little bit. A few months back, I had my first Dark & Stormy. I was surprised with how refreshing and light it was considering the name of the drink. I had a feeling it would pair really well with cheese – especially a mixture of smokey and creamy cheeses, and boy was I happy I was right! The refreshing nature of the cocktail (coming from the fresh lime and ginger beer) made it a perfect complement to the heartiness of the cheese. At the same time, it got my appetite ready for a heavy meal ahead. Read below for the easy recipe. This is something I’ll be making through every season.

sophie october- christie graham photography-4857sophie october- christie graham photography-4829 sophie october- christie graham photography-4915

Dark and Stormy

Makes 1 cocktail

1 large ice cube
2 oz. Angostura dark rum
3 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. lime juice
lime wedge to garnish

1) Add ice cube to your favourite cocktail glass.
2) Add rum, ginger beer and lime juice. Stir to combine.
3) Garnish with lime wedge.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the #WineWednesday post to accompany this Sunday Night Dinner!

Cheers!

Photos: Christie Graham Photography

End of Summer Sangria

XHkDrw1r1Rszm5B4J2RTP2w_onm67mNlSOcXdoUIA24

This sangria recipe is perfect for the end of summer. It uses the best of all of the late summer stone fruit, and puts it together for a delightful savour-summer twist. The recipe couldn’t be more simple, but I thought I would share it with you and let you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stone Fruit Sangria
Makes 1 pitcher

1 bottle of white wine, I made this with Sperling Market White and it added some delicious stone fruit and tropical flavours along with a slightly sweet base in order to sweeten up any underripe fruit
2 peaches, pitted and cut into small wedges
1 plum, pitted and cut into small wedges
16 cherries, pitted and cut in half
2 apricots, pitted and cut in half
1 cup ginger ale (added right before serving)

1) Add everything together in a pitcher. Mix in a little bit of ginger ale (optional) right before serving. I also served this with bubbly on the side to cut down on the sweetness.

Photo by Christie Graham Photography

Wine Wednesday & Summer Cocktail Roundup

It’s Wine Wednesday again! Yay! Along with my post on Vancity Buzz, I also have rounded up my favourite cocktails from around the web to enjoy in the last month of summer. Can you believe next month is August? I can’t!

mld106343_1110_french75c_vert

Hendrick’s Gin is my favourite, especially in a classic gin and tonic. For something new, I want to try this French 75 Recipe by Martha Stewart. It combines all of my favourite things, but I would probably cut down on the sugar.

IMG_7831-Edit-crop-464x393

Besides the fact that this drink is totally gorgeous, it sounds delicious and refreshing, and able to stand up to some yummy foods! It is a Summer Cordial, and I am excited to try the Sage Honey Syrup.

6lA8sFayFvoasAPwIBxs1Ezj

First of all, that drink above looks so delicious. Second, what better way to use up all of those amazing berries you have right now? This Blackberry Sage Cooler would be a really impressive drink to serve at your next dinner party.

dsc_0037$!400x

There is nothing more summery than raspberries, lemons, and basil. I will most definitely be trying the Raspberry Basil Limoncello Cocktail recipe ASAP.

ft_sept05msl24_sq

While I do think it’s a little funny that there is one carrot and one slice of fennel on the plate in the photo above, the recipe for this Raspberry-Herb cocktail sounds absolutely delightful!

What are your favourite summer cocktails? Check out my beverage Pinterest board for more drink ideas!

PS – there is ONE MORE DAY to enter the Hart House Restaurant Giveaway!