A highlight of summer is sharing great food, conversation and a cool, refreshing beverage with friends and family. But nobody wants to spend precious hours of summer sunshine labouring in the kitchen or fussing over decor.
The good news is that you don’t have to. Summer decor, indoor or out, can be a breeze, now that there are so many hard-wearing products that do double duty. Here are some of my favourite tips for great summer food and decor:
Many of the beautiful pieces from Artemano www.artemano.ca can, for example, be used indoors or out. (HOT TIP: This Canadian retailer has moved into soft furnishing — and was recently showing some wonderfully stylish sofas and chair with a great mid-century vibe.)
A great graphic indoor/outdoor rug from a retailer like Lowe’s www.lowes.ca can define a space — either on a backyard patio or family room. Either way, you won’t have to worry about little spills or kids with wet or dirty feet. A quick sponge or sweep — maybe a spray with the garden hose — and it’s looking good as new.
Add comfortable seating, and accessorise with flowering plants in lightweight pots that are easy to move. Or choose maintenance-free faux options. HomeSense www.homesense.ca is a great source for this, and for colourful unbreakable servingware.
When it comes to cooking, it also makes sense to look for easy, one-dish meals, like the Cider and Mustard Salmon recipe below. The secret ingredient is Molson Canadian Cider
Made with Canadian apples, it has a gorgeous crisp flavour that is particularly refreshing over ice, or mixed with a splash of beer or ginger beer. Try crushing a little mint in it as well. I’m loving it all those ways.
Cider and Mustard Salmon Vegetables en Papilotte
Recipe courtesy of Molson Canadian
What you need:
4 green onions, ﬁnely sliced
500 ml (2 cups) snow peas
500 ml (2 cups) carrots, julienned
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
2 stems of celery, finely sliced
675 g (1½ lb) filet of salmon, skin removed
45 ml (3 tbsp) Dijon mustard
30 ml (2 tbsp) old fashioned mustard
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
125 ml (½ cup) Molson Canadian Cider
Salt and pepper, freshly ground
45 ml (3 tbsp) fresh parsley, chopped
What you do:
Preheat the barbecue to high or the oven to 260ºC (500ºF).
On your counter or work surface, lay out a large rectangle of aluminum foil. Overlay with a slightly smaller rectangle of parchment paper. Arrange the vegetables on the parchment paper and top with the filet of salmon.
In a bowl, mix together the two mustards, honey and Molson Canadian Cider. Season generously and drizzle over the salmon.
Cover with a second rectangle of aluminum foil. Seal around the edges by folding and crimping the two sheets of aluminum foil.
Place the Papilotte directly on the barbecue grill. If cooking in the oven, place on a baking sheet. In both cases, cook for between 25 and 30 minutes.
PS: I also served this dish on a bed of steamed spinach. Delish.
Serve with a well-chilled Molson Canadian Cider.