Party TimeSips, Sweets & Snacks

DSC_9123

Alyssa: We firmly believe that all Canadians deserve a sunny vacation when the cold weather rolls around, but it’s not always an option for everyone between finances, busy jobs, and well, life in general really. I was lucky enough to escape most of the winter chill this year, but the rest of #TeamRAOP back home had to get a little more creative. Queue Couch Island, our go to strategy for winter survival:

Jo: It’s a rough time here in Canada – we’re right in the middle of the coldest time, Christmas is long gone behind us and ‘the most depressing day of the year’ just breezed by. The obvious answer is to get away; Mexico, The Bahamas, Costa Rica, LA (in Alyssa’s case) but we know it’s not always that simple, so we’ve created an oasis inside our own home, and you can too!

This ultimate stay-cation themed lounge fest always helps us fight off those winter blues, and it’s inspired by one of my favourite places to visit: couch island (a close second to bed island). Inexpensive, close to home, safe, warm and filled with friends and loved ones, there’s really no better place to be when the temperature drops. Our version includes Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Coladas served in pineapples, tropical snacks, colourful decor and of course RAOP’s go-to in the ultimate guide to staying at home: a selection of our current favourite music and reads via Playster. Through the glow of the pink flamingo neon light and the sounds of our favourite tunes we can hardly tell we’re not actually in a beach cabana…

You can find our custom RAOP playlists here:
RAOP’s Sunshine Station
RAOP’s Couch Island Book Club

Looking to make your own perfect Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Colada? Scroll down for the recipe!

DSC_9243

DSC_9387

DSC_9370

DSC_9258

DSC_9261

DSC_9230

DSC_9152

DSC_9382

DSC_9339

DSC_9173

DSC_9096

DSC_9421

DSC_9213

DSC_9295

DSC_9300 2

Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Coladas

What you’ll need //

2 oz malibu original
3 oz pineapple juice
1.5 oz coconut cream
1/4 oz lime juice
1 dash simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
coconut flakes
fresh pineapple

We used a core-er to hollow out pineapples as cups. Simply blend on high until smooth and garnish with coconut flakes, fresh pineapple and a cute straw. Now grab some snacks BFF’s and strand yourself on your very own Couch Island!

DSC_9140

DSC_9079

DSC_9284 2

DSC_9326

A special thanks to Society 6, Sunnylife & ShopRAOP for providing our comfy-tropical decorations.
And thanks to our models Meghan Yuri Young and TeamRAOP members Kelsie & Olivia

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

DSC_0307

As post-vday February drags on and the days slowly start to get a tiny bit longer it’s important to keep spirits up – with spirits! If you’ve already burned through your countless boxes of Valentine’s chocolate, plus the extras you bought on sale at the drugstore on the 15th, this cocktail is for you. Inspired by the sweet fruity flavours found in red heart boxes, this month’s Zevia creation is a blend of bold berry flavours, plus a touch of chocolate of course!

Scroll down for the full recipe

DSC_0221

DSC_0230

What you’ll need //

Zevia Black Cherry sugar free soda
Dillon’s Strawberry Gin
Fresh strawberries
Dark chocolate

In a cocktail shaker, combine 3oz strawberry gin with one can of Zevia Black cherry soda and shake with ice. Pour through the strainer into coupes and garnish with fresh chocolate dipped strawberries. Make a small incision on the side of the strawberry to rest over the lip of the glass. You’re ready to enjoy all the flavours of a box of chocolates without all the sugar!

DSC_0239

DSC_0265

DSC_0286

DSC_0318

DSC_0327

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

DSC_9023

No matter how where you are in the world, it’s most definitely wine season. I’ve spent the past couple of days exploring Napa and the Sonoma coasts talking terroire and vintages, while the rest of the team back home has been playing around with something a little more experimental. Introducing, our take on the perfect winter red wine spritzer!

Made with absolutely no sugar (thanks to Zevia!), fresh fruit, and a bold red wine, this cocktail is as delicious as it is gorgeous, and it won’t even mess with your healthy living 2017 resolutions!

Scroll down for the full recipe

DSC_8954

DSC_8940

Ingredients //

Zevia’s blackberry sparkling water
Red wine
Blackberries for garnish
Fun ice cube mould, we used this sphere shaped one

Recipe //

The first step to create this sugar-free spritzer is to prepare your wine ice cubes overnight. Choose a red wine with an alcohol content around 10-13%, dilute the wine with a bit of water to help the freezing process, we used a 3:1 wine:water ratio. For an extra berry twist try adding some blackberries to the mould.

DSC_8960

DSC_9065

For an extra frosty effect, place your empty glasses in the freezer for 15-20 mins before serving.

DSC_8976

Remove your red wine cubes from their mould and add to each frosted glass. Now simply pour Zevia blackberry sparkling water overtop and watch the magic happen. Finish it off with some blackberries and you’re ready to enjoy!

DSC_9014

DSC_9037

DSC_9048

DSC_9068

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

dsc_7698

We took a bit of a break over, well, the holiday break, in part because we needed it, but also because we had a lot to figure out re: me taking off to La La land! With half the team (aka me) keeping toasty down here and the rest of us freezing their tails off back in Toronto, content has become a bit challenging.

Nothing wrong with a little challenge though, right?

The way I see it, our distance only means we can inspire each other in new, unexpected ways. One of my favourite things about the city of angels is the incredible food – so much fresh produce and so many amazing vegan options! Inspired by the dreamy menus I’ve seen here, and a potential upcoming trip to Hawaii (fingers crossed) I thought up this tropical veggie burger with the team, and they made it happen back home in the studio!

Taking a cue from some of the burgers I saw served to tables on trips to Hawaii as a kid, we topped our veggie patties with grilled pineapple rings, avocado and sweet bbq sauce. For a pop of pink, simply add a handful of pink pickled onions or turnips!

Scroll down for the recipe

dsc_7705

Ingredients //

Veggie burger patties (we used St.Yves because they’re vegan!)
Burger buns
Lettuce
BBQ sauce
Pineapple slices
Avocado
Pink pickled turnips or onions
Umbrellas for decoration (optional)

Steps //

We started by grilling our toppings! Lightly oil your grill and allow it to heat up fully. For the pineapple, make sure you press as much water as you can out of it first with paper towels. Then place on the grill and wait for those dark brown grill marks to appear, flip and grill the other side as well.

dsc_7719

To grill the avocado, lighting oil your grill again, cut the avocado in half length-wise and carefully peel away the skin from each half. Place the halves flat side down on the heated grill until you see the desired grill marks.

dsc_7732

Now grill your veggie burger patties and assemble! Start with the BBQ sauce, burger patty, lettuce, turnips, pineapple and finally avocado. Top your burger off with a fun umbrella and fries and you’re ready to eat like the islanders do!

dsc_7716

dsc_7746

dsc_7725

dsc_7751

dsc_7789

dsc_7780

Plates from the Cheeky Home + Brit & Co collaboration!

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

dsc_6463

Christmas dinner may be the tradition, but we feel very strongly about Christmas brunch! Just think, all of your favourite holiday flavours infused into all of your favourite breakfast foods! Oh, and did we mention the cocktails?

No brunch is complete without a good bubbly, fruity brunch cocktail, and due to our obsession with all things sparkly, champagne was obviously a must. We also can’t resist good packaging, so Chambord was also a shoe-in… but what about the delightful concord grape flavour?

We were lucky enough to scoop up one of the very limited edition jars of Kitten and the Bear’s handcrafted concord grape jelly before it sold out, and we knew it would be the perfect touch to our festive berry cocktail. Don’t worry- if you missed the boat on their seasonal batch this bubbly beverage is also incredible with our exclusive RosΓ© All Day jam (and it adds little floating gold flakes to your cup!)

Scroll down for the full recipe!

dsc_6206

dsc_6235

dsc_6318

dsc_6255

dsc_6326

dsc_6278

dsc_6335

Ingredients //

Champagne or sparkling wine
Grape jam (we used Kitten and the Bear’s Concord Grape)
Chambord
Grapes
Sugar sprinkles

First, make your garnish – frozen, sugar dusted and Chambord infused grapes! You’ll want to start this the night before. In a small jar allow grapes to soak in about 3 oz Chambord for 3-4 hours. Drain the alcohol and place the grapes on a tray lined with parchment paper, dust with sugar and place in the freezer. Halfway through freezing, turn and dust again with sugar.

To make the cocktail, start with a teaspoon of jam at the bottom of your glass. Add 1 oz of Chambord and top it off with Champagne. Finish it off with the frozen infused grapes. Cheers!