Canada is turning 150 years old on July 1st, and in honour of the big day, a group of Canadian bloggers has put together a series of Canada Day celebrations to inspire you! As part of our Year of Feasting blog hop, We’re sharing our ideas and recipes for pulling together a fabulous and festive Canada Day gathering, whether you’re expecting 150 guests or five.
Giant Tiger has been generous enough to sponsor our summer edition of the Year of Feasting series, and we are thrilled to be incorporating some budget-friendly Canada Day inspiration and decor into our festivities.
This post was sponsored in large part by Giant Tiger. It also features fabric sponsored by Milkshakes n Shunshine. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Flourish & Knot possible. For more information, please see my Policies page.
It was so much fun to create this outdoor BBQ meal. We were a small gathering – just myself, my husband, our daughter, and my parents – so it was a lovely chance to celebrate Father’s Day, as well. The weather (which has been decidedly uncooperative lately) was stunning: a perfect early summer afternoon and evening, with almost NO mosquitoes. The company was (of course!) wonderful, and the food turned out soooo yummy. A good time was had by all!
We started things off with some cool drinks: a Canada Day red punch that I made from pineapple juice, cranberry-raspberry juice, and ginger ale. I had fun adding a little red sugar rim to the glasses! We also served Beau’s Lug Tread ale, which is brewed just 45 minutes from where we live. It is such a great summer beer! The beautiful Canada-themed tea towel was made by my talented mother.
We hung out on the deck with our “buzzy” (what my family calls a juice-ginger ale combo) and drinks, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I loved the addition of the canoe paddle pillow from Giant Tiger, which made our rocking chair much more comfortable. The little water carafe with the red top and matching red ice cubes was another great GT find, and it will be really useful all summer. Because our home is surrounded by cedar hedges, we get some wicked mosquitoes, so having a lid on liquids is really handy.
For appetizers, I served a roasted red pepper dip (recipe coming later this summer!) and a zesty tomato-corn-lime salsa. Both were a hit, but the red pepper dip got the giant stamp of approval from everyone!
Canada Day is a holiday for simple, fun, and vibrant decor (at least in our home). I don’t like things to feel too fussy, so when I saw these sweet red, white, and robin’s egg blue tea light holders at Giant Tiger, I knew they’d be perfect for my decor. They look like metal camping cups, but are actually ceramic. I used citronella tea lights in them and they really helped keep away the bugs!
And that cheerful red floral printed fabric? An awesome find from Milkshakes n Sunshine on Etsy. I loved collaborating with Callie and I can’t wait to show you more of her charming fabric prints in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
My other appetizers were these cherry tomato and feta cheese kebabs, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. They. Were. Amazing. I am DEFINITELY making these again! They were polished off in about three minutes. 🙂 If you’re looking for another great hot-weather appetizer, you should check out my recipe for Watermelon Basil Bites.
Another of the great Giant Tiger finds were the cheery (and super-comfy!) red, orange, white, and turquoise striped chair pads. We needed new ones this year, and I was so pleased to find these at GT. They are made of outdoor fabric, which will hold up so much better than our old ones.
The BBQ portion of the evening was homemade beef shish kabobs, but I got so busy grilling that I completely forgot to take a picture! And then I was so busy EATING them that I forgot to take a picture AGAIN. #badblogger
We rounded off our meal with my new favourite dessert: shortcakes with rhubarb-strawberry-raspberry compote and whipped cream. Total bliss. And the rhubarb came from my garden, so it was even more satisfying. I also made up a little goodie bag for the ride home, with maple leaf gummies and chocolate loonies (Canada’s $1 coin).
All in all, it was an absolutely fabulous evening. Nothing can possibly be better than sharing a meal with the people you love, outdoors in beautiful summer weather.
I want to thank Giant Tiger for sponsoring this post. It was a pleasure shopping for some wallet-friendly summer decor that we’ll be enjoying all season.
Be sure to check out all the other #YearofFeasting posts by my fellow Canadian bloggers. There is a whole lot of summery Canada Day inspiration to be had!