It’s the last day of the decade — and after a very restful, unplugged week in the country celebrating the holidays, I’m back with the final Monthly Soundtrack of 2019! My December 2019 Soundtrack is a short n’ sweet, 20 track playlist that’s equal parts festive and relaxed — with a few hip-hop curveballs thrown in for good measure! It you’re looking for some great tunes to decorate your NYE plans as we get ready to ring in 2020, this playlist is for you!
This month I had a few modern holiday playlists on repeat, including, Indie Christmas 2019 and Modern Holiday — but also discovered a few standout tracks of my own during December! Bien’s The Best is yet To Come, Flughand and steichi’s fyrsta, lōland’s linus, Mtbrd’s Those Eyes, Tycho’s Stress, Regina Spector’s My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) and LOYAL’s Light Up For You were some of my most played tracks. If you’re in need of even more fresh tunes, check out my Spotify-generated 2019 Soundtrack, featuring my 100 most played songs from 2019! No matter what your plans are tonight, I hope you all have a fun, safe and happy New Years Eve! Thank you for spending a little bit of the last day of 2019 with me and for your continued support here at JustineCelina — it truly means the world to me. Wishing you all the happiest new year and fabulous decade ahead!
With the holidays just around the corner and the height of entertaining season upon us, I’m elated to share my go-to Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas in my first dedicated ENTERTAIN post in… gulp… 3 years! The absence of entertaining content here at JustineCelina in recent years has happened authentically, as we’ve scaled back on entertaining in general — simply because life is busy (I’m sure you can relate, especially at this time of year!). Although we love to have an apartment full of company eating, drinking and be merry during the holidays, I’m all about making this festive time of year as fun, stress free and healthy as possible — and that’s what this post is all about! Whether you’ve been with me for years or are new to my cozy little corner of the internet (welcome!), you’ll know I also love to incorporate better-for-you food and drink whenever we’re hosting or attending a party — because I believe in balance and mindful choices in every season of life.
Earlier this month as I pulled out our festive decor and entertaining essentials I discovered Kombrewcha — a delicious, 4.4% ABV hard kombucha made from organic ingredients. As a plant based eater with a sensitive stomach thanks to numerous food intolerances, I’ve long enjoyed kombucha as a way to help keep my digestion on track — especially during the holidays! I also love to mix this effervescent, probiotic-rich, fermented tea into my COCKTAILS (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you’ll know I’ve been developing kombucha cocktails since last summer!). This holiday season, I was absolutely delighted to find a better-for-you beverage that incorporates all of my libation must-haves (made from incredible ingredients and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar!) in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format. Tonight I’ve partnered with this new to Alberta brand to host a casual holiday dinner party and share my tried and true Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas — complete with my best decor, styling, hosting, food and drink, fashion and beauty tips to create a festive and memorable evening. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!
Music lovers, I’m back today with a fresh Monthly Soundtrack for your listening pleasure! My November 2019 Soundtrack is a laid back, easy listening playlist brimming with 2 hours of eclectic and inspiring tunes spanning genres that have been fuelling my creative endeavours this month! I’m also still on a bit of a jazz kick — there’s something about cold weather and the approaching holiday season makes jazz sound so good (especially in front of the fireplace with a glass of your favourite libation!). As 2019 winds down I’ve been busy finishing up various projects while gearing up for the holiday season — and I’ve had this playlist on heavy rotation. It makes for great thinking, creating, writing, relaxing and entertaining music!
As autumn comes to a close and the holiday season approaches, I’m back today with my Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing — an inventive vegan entrée that combines some of my favourite seasonal ingredients in a nutritious, protein packed bowl! Although it’s been awhile since I’ve published a SALAD or BOWL recipe here at JustineCelina, if you follow along with my Stories, you’ve undoubtedly seen me whip these up almost weekly over the past few months. This recipe was originally conceived back in August when I was yearning for my first taste of fall flavours — and after many rounds of testing to make sure it was just right, I’m eager to share the perfected recipe with you!
My Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing are an ultra nourishing, 30 minute vegan meal that beautifully showcase seasonal produce and pantry staples, but can be enjoyed year-round. A bed of baby spinach and arugula houses a hearty melange of black glutinous rice, chick peas, fresh apples and shredded carrots — topped off with a tanini-based Creamy Poppyseed Dressing, dried cranberries and roasted pecans. If you’re into meal prepping, you can also whip up a large batch of rice and multiple batches of dressing on the weekend — and have healthy, effortless weekday dinners and hearty lunch options sorted for the week. Come join me in my kitchen for a fresh, vegan bowl brimming with nutrients that celebrates late autumn while fueling you up for the busy holiday season ahead!
Just ahead of the holiday season, I’m thrilled to bring my sixth sangria recipe to JustineCelina today (if you’re new here, why yes, I adore sangria!). In years past, I’ve shared my tried and true recipes created with wine and spirits you would traditionally associate with sangria — but over the years as I honed my mixology skills I’ve also become just as passionate about craft cocktails. Now that I have a well-rounded baseline of sangria and cocktail recipes to work from, I find myself drawn to more creative and interesting ingredient combinations and flavour profiles — and that’s exactly how the idea for my Violette Noir Berry Sangria was born! Although I have a Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria (my original sangria recipe that inspired all the others!), I’d always wanted to develop a berry-forward sangria using less conventional grapes and liqueurs. So this summer, I got to work using some of the more elusive ingredients in our bar — and today I’m finally sharing the recipe, after 6 months of extensive testing!
My Violette Noir Berry Sangria is a dramatic, berry-infused libation where bold, luscious flavours of raspberry-laden Chambord, floral Crème de Violette, juicy blackberry and a fresh kiss of citrus intertwine over an elegant Pinot Noir backdrop. This sophisticated, Parisian-inspired spin on traditional red sangria is as intricate as it is accessible — seducing both wine lovers and skeptics with each delicious, antioxidant-rich sip. It’s the ideal accompaniment to festive cocktail parties, formal occasions, holiday dinners or anytime you’re craving a refined, wine-based bracer to delight and surprise even the most discerning of palettes! As always, my Violette Noir Berry Sangria brimming with fresh, better-for-you ingredients and is free of added sugars — because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!
Happy Sunday, friends! There’s something synonymous about autumn and a big, velvety bowl of puréed soup, isn’t there? It’s no secret that I love a good puréed soup here at JustineCelina — in fact, this recipe is the fourth one I’ve published! But his fall, I’ve channelled globally inspired flair and a unique, fruit-forward flavour profile into one of my favourite seasonal staples. The changing leaves and cooler temperatures always invoke a desire to spend my Sundays puttering away in the kitchen in a cozy sweater — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together! A jar of sumac arrived in my PC Insiders surprise box last month and I was eager to experiment, but we were running low on groceries — so I combined a handful of seasonal ingredients to create a simple fall soup that allowed the sumac to shine. We enjoyed it for dinner alongside a salad with a delicious glass of late harvest Riesling. After sharing it on Stories and receiving many requests for the recipe, I knew I wanted to bring it to the blog this autumn!
My Sumac Roasted Carrot Apple Soup is a fruity, exotic twist on an autumnal classic — where seasonal produce staples of carrots, apples, onion and garlic are generously seasoned with sumac and simple spices, roasted to perfection and pureed with creamy cashew milk, vegetable stock, fresh ginger and zingy lemon. This ultra simple, ultra nourishing, family-friendly fall soup is vegan, gluten and refined sugar free and comes together in just one hour with twelve ingredients, including seasonings! If you’re ready to celebrate the height of Canadian apple season and bring some Middle Eastern / North African flair your kitchen, pop out to your local grocery store, pick up some dried sumac (it’s available at Superstore in the bulk section, as well as part of the PC Black Label collection!) and let’s get to work! Sometimes all it takes is a new ingredient to reignite your passion for local, seasonal produce.
Craft cocktail lovers, I’m back today with fall’s first libation in celebration of Autumn Equinox! If you frequent my FOOD or COCKTAIL sections, you’ll know that my most inspired creations are born out of making use of what we have on hand to yield unexpected combinations — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together. Late August is when our annual case of Okanagan peaches arrives and every year I end up going into peach recipe overdrive, while simultaneously eating my body weight in peaches. I’ve explored peaches in smoothies, sangrias and crumbles (that recipe will have to wait until next summer), but this year I had an itch to experiment with my favourite summer stone fruit in a proper cocktail. We’d been grilling up a storm for dinner one Friday evening and Adam had some delicious Smoked Maple Bourbon kicking around — and voila, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash came to life right there on our patio!
This summer-meets-autumn sip juxtaposes the essence of juicy late summer fruit with a smoky grilled edge, infused with spicy autumnal warmth to create the ultimate transitional cocktail that’s equal parts sweet ‘n spicy. If you still haven’t had your fill of late summer peaches, get your grill on and imbibe this simple but sassy cocktail sure to impress both bourbon lovers and bourbon skeptics (believe it or not, I was the latter prior to this cocktail!). As always, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and brimming with better-for-you ingredients, because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Grilled Okanagan peaches, Smoked Maple Bourbon, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh thyme, spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, a splash of soda water and a dash of bitters are shaken to perfection and served over ice in this quintessentially September libation!