3 Foods Your Need To Include In Your Long Weekend

We’re a bizarre species. Gifted a three-day weekend rather than spend the extra day sleeping-in or phoning mom, we pack up and drive off to the middle of nowhere. And it can take as many as three days to organize the whole ordeal including, of course, meal planning. Now a long weekend camping trip is its own beast. I don’t camp, so I can’t advise you what to pack. I don’t even regularly go away for long weekends—I serve brunch to the sad souls still left in the city. Nonetheless from my few weekend-away experiences, I share with you a list of unlikely pantry staples to toss into the cooler or tote bag. Note: I trust that you’re smart enough to load up on seasonal offerings from famers’ markets and roadside stalls on your long, boring drive to wherever.

long weekend foods

Canned chickpeas

No, I don’t classify anything “canned” as a summer food, but pantry staples are staples for a reason. Canned chickpeas save you the trouble of overnight soaking and cooking, yet still offer a filling source of protein that can bulk up any dish or tide you over from one meal to the next. Not based on any official survey, chickpeas are the most beloved of the legume family. They can form the basis of burgers, dips, salads or, when roasted, trail mix. Just don’t forget the can opener!

Jam and chutney

Like canned goods, preservatives shine throughout the winter months. However, also liked canned goods such as chickpeas, a quality jam or chutney can wear numerous hats on a summer weekend away. In the morning, it can top oatmeal or toast. At lunch it can add a subtle sweetness to sandwiches. Meanwhile at night-time, warmed and thinned out, it can dress a bowl of ice cream or serve as a layer in a smore. While you should refrigerate your jam over the long-term, it’s sturdy enough to survive at room temperature for a day or two given a malfunctioning cooler or non-existent cottage fridge.

Tea bags

Solid coffee requires too much paraphernalia. Why substitute lousy instant espresso, when you can source your caffeine from respectable bagged tea? I know, I know, I just sent a shudder through the spines of the entire coffee community. But in my books tea is tolerated by more than coffee is. And not only does the easily pack-able alternative to the loose leaf variety still deliver on flavour, it can also fill out your weekend meals in other ways. Brew ten or so bags in a jar and chill for homemade iced tea. It’s perfect on its own with a squeeze of lemon, splashed into a salad dressing or mixed into a cocktail. Toss a bag or two into anything you braise, boil or steam over the course of your weekend for added flavour without the hassle of packing your entire spice rack. Best of all use any leftover bags over your eyes upon your return to the city to ease irritation or redness from the weekend.

4 Outdoor Activities To Keep You Moving This Summer

Your school year gym routine failed. Utterly. It wasn’t even a routine. You went a total of two times—the second time because you forgot your (rented) calculus textbook in a locker. But now you have a whole summer ahead of you and the time and weather to allow for more rewarding, enjoyable forms of exercise. Remember fitness isn’t limited to treadmills, free weights or 175 BPM playlists. You don’t even have to remain within the confines of four walls. Get outside and repair your relationship to physical activity. You might just even establish a routine that sticks past September through to the first signs of winter.

outdoor activities for summer

Finder’s keepers

A phone is now as much a necessary piece of workout equipment as gym shorts, running shoes or deodorant. And it too can play a role in outdoor activity. One word: geocaching. It’s the scavenger hunt you don’t have to invest any energy into setting up. For an introduction to the real life version of treasure hunting, check out geocaching.com or earthcache.org. Be prepared to invest in membership fees, or alternatively apps, and, depending on if you fall for it, possible acquisition of nerd status. Yes, geocaching is nerdy. Very nerdy.

Green thumb

Gardening, it’s a summer classic. And no bountiful backyard is required. Perhaps your back at your parents’ digs for the summer where green space is plentiful, but window boxes or an allotment can satisfy dorm and apartment dwellers. Even without endless space, it still takes physical activity to establish and maintain a small-sized garden. In the case of allotments, your gardening days could be both social and physical. You may become friends with folks on neighbouring plots or pair up with a buddy on a membership fee, splitting maintenance duties and sharing your produce. Be warned though, obtaining an allotment can be competitive, but often it’s then yours to keep in years to follow.

Good deed doer

Where chores were once, well, a chore, during the summer months the outdoor variety of such mindless tasks gets you moving and perhaps even helping. Consider offering to walk a neighbour’s dog, mow their lawn or repaint their porch. Keep your ear to the ground and listen out for opportunities. You could charge for your services, but why not consider the exercise and appreciation thanks enough—just save time for a summer job if some income is a necessity.

Game on

I often wish to time travel back to my childhood where I managed to live in the present—without the aid of mantras or self-help guides—and carried practically no responsibilities. We may have outgrown Oshkosh overalls and Saturday morning cartoons, but games aren’t off limits. My personal childhood favourites? Manhunt and capture the flag, of course. As an adult, they lend themselves perfectly to Friday night socializing masked as physical activity. Round up some friends, choose a large outdoor area—a public park being the most obvious—and pack some snacks and beverages to refuel over the course of the evening. Wikipedia has disturbingly detailed description of the rules to each and variations for seasoned pros.

5 Summer Swaps For Your Favourite Drinks

Spring classes are ending, and summer classes are beginning, so it’s time to celebrate, or console ourselves accordingly. That means a shift, from the big, heavy, warming drinks of winter into the light, refreshing, but no-less potent libations of summer.

Summer swaps for winter drinks

White wine fans should drop the oaky chardonnay and pick up some Sauvignon blanc. Where a big, buttery chard might feel nice in the wintertime, summer is all about refreshment. Sauvignon blanc, grown in the right places, will do just that. If you like a bit of coastal influence and a touch of salinity, go for New Zealand. If, like me, you want stony minerality and a straight shot of acidity, check out Sancerre. Produced deep in the Loire valley these wines can be gorgeously tart and grassy, perfect for park sipping.

Craft beer drinkers might think about trying a Basque cider or two. Most Ontario artisanal ciders focus on gimmicks, using raspberries or peach, maybe aging in champagne casks or adding hops. These can be delicious, but often taste overly worked and sweet. Fans of craft beer, especially fans of funky barnyard-y Brett beers, will get a little more refreshed, but equally intrigued by these “apple and apple only” ciders (i.e. fermented apple juice) from the Basque lands. The best will balance earthiness with light sparkle and super refreshing juiciness. It’s a drink you can think about or simply crush back.

Red wine drinkers might want to trade their Cabernet Sauvignon for Beaujolais. Long considered Burgundy’s lesser cousin, Beaujolais is becoming known as France’s most underappreciated wine region. Thanks to the magical innovation of carbonic maceration, the past thirty years have seen a group of organic and natural growers making fantastic glou-glou wines with the region’s signature gamay grape. These are certainly wines you can glug back. Often served chilled and almost inevitably refreshing, Beaujolais are wines best described as just damn good juice.

If you like something stronger

For gin drinkers, trade your martini for a Negroni. Where the dark nights of winter lend themselves to a boozy forget-your-woes martini, summer patio weather calls for an equally boozy, but refreshing slow sipper. Mix equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and dry gin with an orange twist over a few fat ice cubes. Your new pal Negroni will take care of you through the heat of the afternoon to the cool of the evening.  Fans of rum and tequila are in luck—summer is your time.

Whiskey drinkers, however, might find themselves overheated on the patio. My answer is the Sazerac. A classic New Orleans take on an Old Fashioned, the Sazerac combines rye with rich brown sugar syrup and Peychaud’s (or Creole) Bitters in a chilled, absinthe-rinsed glass. Certainly boozy, the bitters and absinthe give the drink a bit of lift, while a peppery rye will refresh more than a cloying bourbon or smoky scotch ever could.

Why You Should Take Your Lunch Outside

by Hannah Lank

I’m writing this from New York City, where taking lunch outside is practically a prerequisite of living in the city for the summer. (If you don’t picnic in Central Park, did you really even go to New York?!)  Wherever you find yourself, get out and eat your lunch outside. Munch on your sandwich, salad or other lunch item and see if the wind in your hair, the light touch of the sun on the back of your neck and the chirping of happy birds doesn’t improve your day.  I have reasons for saying this, but honestly don’t take my word for it—try it!


What’s that smell

Your workplace, house or classroom probably smells bad at lunch, namely it smells like everyone else’s lunch and not in a pleasant way. For example, I recently went into an elementary school and was immediately struck by an overwhelmingly olfactory experience. Currently, I intern in a one-room, carpeted office and the olfactory environment is very much the same as that elementary school.  To maintain the integrity of your own nasal receptors, get outside. Remind yourself that the world doesn’t smell like your co-worker’s week-old, garbage-bound banana peels. In fact, sometimes the outside world can smell pretty darn good.


Another hundred people

If you’ve never just watched people go by—alone or in company—you’re seriously missing out.  Get out for your lunch break, find yourself a comfortable vantage point, in a park or other public area, and observe the many unique characters that populate this earth.  You’ll be surprised by what you see—both good and bad, but nonetheless interesting. It’s up to whether you talk to the strangers you spot.    


Remember to breathe

Shocker: air and sun are good for you; recycled air and no sun aren’t.  It’s basic science.  Of course, please wear sunscreen and seek shade as necessary, but just stretching your legs, breathing in some real O2 and seeing the sky is beneficial for both your body and mind.  I almost always feel better after a dose of fresh air. They say a change is as good as a rest. (By “they” I mean my mom, but she is usually right about these things.) So pre-order your lunch and change up your surroundings—even for just half an hour—and see how you feel.

The Best Food Shows To Spend Your Summer With

If you consider Hell’s Kitchen or Masterchef quality food programming, please stop reading this post. Despite being an open-minded individual, I have very strict guidelines for my chosen food shows. Here’s my shortlist of summer binge-worthy food programming according to those guidelines—guidelines that Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef certainly do not meet.

Homecooks are not professionals (or drama queens)

The Great British Bake-Off (PBS)

great british bakeoff

Although the BBC game-changer came to an end last summer—it’s since been dramatically picked up by Channel 4—PBS has only aired up to season three here in North America. The beauty of GBS was its casting. There was no unnecessary insinuated drama among contestants or cooked-up tear-jerker backstories. They openly admitted to practicing the recipes at home and even carried print copies alongside them as they baked. Add the judges’ and hosts’ hilarious, yet human, approaches, food history segments and the now infamous tent and you’ve got yourself a respectable television cooking contest.

Chefs are not (always) celebrities

Chef’s Table (Netflix)

chefs table

Netflix original, Chef’s Table takes food porn to a new level. Mesmerizing direction and music highlight the dishes of the world’s best chefs. Beyond the food, Chef’s Table profiles their featured chefs through interviews with colleagues and food journalists as well as footage of them on the job. The program manages to feature an impressively varied selection of chefs and thusly terrains and working conditions. Each episode is as often a love letter to the area in which each chef cooks as much as the chef themselves.

How To Nail Your Summer Internship

On the clock from nine to five—or sometimes longer—sweating it out in your professional wardrobe and lumbering around under a constant sense of self-doubt: sounds like summer, doesn’t it? For those of us unable to relax from May to September, yet desperate to stay clear of a textbook, we search out summer internships. In my case, I worked it in an advancement office, hospitality and food buying departments and then sick of suits, ended up at a dairy farm. Aside from the additional lines on your resume, the change in schedule, surroundings and company is often invigorating—if not terrifying. Here are my top tips to survive a summer in a limited time position.


How To Nail Your Summer Internship


Own your naivety

5 Kitchen Gadgets To Gift Yourself After Graduation

by Danielle Del Vicario

Last week, I made hummus. I know, I know. Right now you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Danielle, you make hummus all the time.  And write about hummus all the time. We get it.”

But bear with me.

I made it from scratch, with nothing but a knife, a pot and a potato masher in my student apartment. As I mashed away, my thoughts laced with nostalgia, I remembered my well-stocked kitchen in Durham, England, complete with two food processors, pasta maker, spiralizer and raclette set. What I would give for the days of easy smoothies, perfect zucchini pasta and bubbling French cheese. Much mashing, stirring and (attempted) mincing of garlic with a dull knife later, I had an acceptable—but still pretty lumpy—hummus, packed into the fridge with a disconsolate sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a little elbow grease in the kitchen. I’ve been known to beat egg whites to stiff peaks using just a whisk all in the name of almond riciarrelli. (The perfectly balanced almond cookie, native to Sienna, is worth a quick Google). And while an avocado slicer is not going to make a significant impact on your life, there are kitchen gadgets that will. So as you near the end of exams and possibly even graduation, treat yourself. Please. It will be a life investment with countless hummus-y returns. My five can’t-go-without gadgets are below, but I also salute you on whatever kitchen-related spurges you make.

5 kitchen gadgets to buy yourself after graduation