Borgia Coffee


This drink reminds me of my Sister-in-law Alexandra. I remember going to Sherway Gardens in Toronto as a young girl and getting one of these from the Melitta Coffee stand in the food court. In the 70’s this was the hip coffee place to go and a Borgia was essentially a Mocha, part hot chocolate, part coffee, topped with whipped cream (the best part!) and a sprinkle of chocolate, or orange. I have created a less sweet, simple version by adding the cocoa and cinnamon to the coffee grounds. It has a nice smell and you can still top with whipped cream and a tiny bit of orange zest or cinnamon. If you want something special you can add orange liqueur to the whipped cream and the brewed coffee!

You will need


  • ground coffee (I used 3 heaped tbsp for 6 cups in my machine)
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix regular baking cocoa)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • sweetened whipped cream – you can add a splash of orange liqueur, sugar and cinnamon
  • grated chocolate, ground cinnamon and a tiny bit of orange zest to top -use one or all of these.




Step 1: add your coffee, cinnamon and cocoa powder to your coffee filter and brew coffee according to your machine and strength you prefer.


Step 2: whip cream with sugar and few shakes of cinnamon and you can add a dash of Cointreau or other orange liqueur.


Step 3: pour freshly brewed coffee in mugs, add milk and sweetness if you prefer. You can add a splash of orange liqueur if you like and top with whipped cream.



Top with a dash of cocoa or cinnamon or a tiny bit of orange zest and enjoy with your favourite person!


Tony’s Clear Out


This is a great juice to clear out any congestion or Vampires you might have! I love juicing but, honestly could they invent a juicer with less than 60 pieces you need  to wash after! This juice has a powerful kick from the ginger and that one little clove of garlic but, it does the trick when you are feeling under the weather . This is a great juice courtesy of my pal Tony Fortunato.


You will need:


  • a juicer
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 oranges (peeled)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2-3 pieces of Kale



Step 1: wash the Kale and carrots and cut off the ends. Remove skin from oranges and remove skin from garlic. I did not remove the skin from the ginger.





Step 2: run it all through a juicer and drink immediately to benefit from the POWers of the juice!


Step 3: spend the next 10 minutes washing all the parts to the juicer!


Pomegranate Pom Shots

I made these the first time last year when I made my own pomegranate vodka. It tastes almost as good if you use some Pom juice (pomegranate juice) fresh pomegranate seeds and your favourite vodka. The seeds at the bottom finish the shot with some fresh fruit exploding  flavour. You can also do it with blueberries or raspberries and the matching juices.

Hmm?… I will have to make my own fruit vodkas again this year. Whenever, fruit comes into season  you buy lots and pour vodka over it and leave it until Christmas. Magic!

You will need:

  • pomegranate seeds
  • vodka-ice cold
  • pomegranate juice

Step 1: remove seeds from a pomegranate. You can also buy them already cleaned at the grocery store. In a shot glass add  a layer of seeds. I fill approx 1/4 of the glass. Add half the glass in pom juice and fill the rest with vodka. You can stir or not.

Step 2: sip or shoot it back and crunch the seeds. You finish the shot with little pops of pomegranate flavour. WOW….POW!

Raspberry Banana Smoothie

This is a great snack. I have added some fibre, fruit and yogurt to make a cool delicious treat. I like to add whatever fruit is in the smoothie directly on the straw. This is like having an additional fruit kebab in the drink. Kids will love this! You can use bananas, strawberries, kiwi etc..
You will need:
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 banana (mine was frozen)
  • 1 cup Almond Coconut Milk (use any kind you like)
  • 1 tsp fibre mix such as ground flax 
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup ice if you want it slushy and cold
Step 1: put all your ingredients in a blender. You can add ice to make is slushy. You can create any combination of fruit, yogurt and milk you like. If it’s too tart add a bit of honey or Agave syrup to sweeten.
Step 2: blend it up and enjoy!!

Iced Tea

Iced Tea is easy if you make a concentrated tea which you can store in the fridge then when you want a drink just add ice, sweetener and lemon.
You will need:
  • 8 tea bags of black and herbal teas of your choice
  • 4 cups/1 litre of boiling water
  • sugar syrup or agave syrup
  • lemon slices
  • ice
Step 1: get 8-10 of your favorite teas. I use some black, some green and some herbal teas.
Step 2: in a 4 cup measuring cup pour boiling water over tea bags and let steep for 1 hour.
Step 3: pour in a few tbsp of either sugar syrup (which is just equal parts sugar and water stirred to dissolve sugar) or agave syrup. I like agave because it is a better sweetener for you than white sugar and I would never recommend artificial sweeteners
Step 4: add half to 3/4 of the glass with the tea concentrate and the remainder with water. Add a slice of lemon and enjoy.
Why buy the store bought teas when you can make it a home knowing what is in your drink!

Iced Coffee

This is a perfect afternoon pick me up drink on a hot day. My brother in law John will love this one!
You can just use coffee brewed in a coffee maker cooled down as your base however, I make a cold brewed coffee which has a smoother taste with no bitterness and it can last in your fridge for ages. If you have it ready then when you feel like this drink you just add the ice and milk or cream and sweetener. If you wanted to use it with a splash of Bailey’s or Tia Maria now you have a party!
You will need:
  • 1/2-3/4 cup ground coffee
  • 4 cups/1 litre of cold water
  • cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • milk or half and half cream
  • sugar or agave syrup
  • lots of ice
Step 1: take 1/2 cup of ground coffee (you could use 3/4 cup if you like it very strong – John would make it strong!) and 4 cups of cold water and mix until all the coffee is wet. Leave 8-10 hours.
Step 2: strain out the coffee grounds (you can sprinkle the coffee grounds in your garden the plants love it!)
Step 3: strain once again through fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter in your strainer.
Step 4: now you are ready to make your drink. Take a tall glass and fill it with ice cubes.
Step 5: I add 2 tbsp agave syrup to the glass. I like agave syrup because it dissolves easier than sugar (you can buy this syrup in the natural section of any grocery store now a days) If you like it sweeter add more.
Step 6: fill the glass slightly more than half full of your cold coffee base and stir to mix the syrup.
Add milk (I used 1% milk) or almond milk, or half and half if you want it decadent and rich. Put the whole thing in a blender and you have a slushy coffee drink. Add some booze and get the party started.
It is smooth and delicious and I promise you once you make this yourself you wont ever feel you need to spend all that money on the store bought ones. 

Moroccan Mint Tea

My parents lived in Morocco for a short time over 60 years ago. My favourite sister was born there and  I have heard many stories over the years. My Father told me how they served hot mint tea everywhere. It is a symbol of hospitality and they drink it all day long. In Morocco making this tea is an art form and has many steps to perfect. My version is delicious and less work.

Moroccan sweet mint tea is usually a hot tea however, it is also lovely as an iced tea. Try it both ways.

You will need:

  •  4-5 cups boiling water
  • 3 tbsp loose best quality green tea (you can use tea bags)
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (or agave syrup)
  • fresh spearmint leaves
Step 1: boil water and gather all your ingredients. Typically white sugar is used and they like the tea very sweet. I like it a bit less sweet and I also like to use agave syrup instead of sugar. Run hot water in your tea post to warm.
* you can buy agave syrup in any grocery store usually in the organic/natural aisle.
Step 2: You can put the leaves in the pot loose (which is traditional) and strain after steeping. I usually put it in a tea bag or ball for easy clean up. You can buy these bags that are open on top an you can fill them with any kind of loose tea to get a better brew. Tea bags are fine to use however, they are typically an inferior quality of tea than when you purchase loose. I have done it with both.
Step 3: pour boiling water over green tea leaves and add sugar. let steep 5-10 minutes. Strain or remove tea and pour in heat proof glasses with sprigs of mint. (remove mint after 5 minutes) If you want to serve this iced then steep tea 15-20 minutes then pour over ice and mint leaves.

ABC – Apple, Beet, Carrot Juice

If you go to Whole Foods they sell this as an ABC- An Apple, Beet, Carrot juice.

 It makes me feel like I am sitting with Damon Salvatore (of course I like the bad brother better! those eyes!) in the library drinking. Come on, I like the way they take it out of the bag and pour it into a crystal glass.  I mean really. That’s what all the civilized Vampires do!

You will need:

  • 1 small beet
  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots (they can be bigger than the ones I have used)
  • juicer
Step 1: get out the Jack Lalanne juicer.
Step 2: chop the apple and beet in half, then juice the beet, the apple and the carrots.

Step 3: Drink it immediately after juicing for optimum nutrition.

Step 4: wash the 29 parts that the juicer breaks down to.

Natural Fruit Vodkas

“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.” 
― Chelsea HandlerAre You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

I have been making my my own fruit vodkas for years. As the spring and summer approaches I make whatever fruit comes into season and then leave the fruit steeping in the vodka until at least Christmas. It makes a great gift and you always have something special on hand if someone stops by for a cocktail. I have made some that I have left for as long as 1 year and they are all good. You can make so many different kinds. They are better than the store bought variety because they are made with two things fruit and vodka, not full of artificial flavours. I try to make something new every year. Last fall my neighbour Shelley gave me a huge box of apples she brought from the Okanagan Valley. Her son said “why don’t you make some apple vodka?” and I thought…..why not. It was the breakout hit of the year!! I love to serve it like a liqueur in a shot glass with a couple of the same fresh fruit in the glass. I put a few fresh raspberries in the glass then pour over the raspberry vodka. This is fantastic with raspberry/blueberry and the pomegranate is really fun. It gives you a pop of fresh flavour at the end. You can also use them in your favorite martinis.

I have made:

  • pomegranate- put seeds in jar (this is made in Nov/Dec when in season)
  • apple 
  • blueberry
  • raspberry
  • strawberry
  • blueberry/raspberry
  • blueberry/ strawberry
  • blueberry/strawberry/raspberry
  • orange/vanilla/coffee- you stick coffee beans in slits cut in the oranges and add a fresh vanilla bean
  • clementine- peel them and stick them in the jar whole
  • lemoncello
They are really so easy to make.
You will need:
  • vodka (lots!) I start a pot with one bottle, then add more fruit and vodka as the pay checks get deposited. That way you don’t feel the pinch all at once. They also don’t look at you like you are a complete drunk at the liquor store.
  • fruit (lots) when something is in season go to a farm and buy a flat of fruit
  • a large container with a lid that will seal the fruit and vodka mix.
  • strainers/ coffee filters once completed- some fruit has sediment on bottom and needs to be poured through a coffee filter or several to make it clear.
Step 1: gather your fruit, your vodka and a clean glass jar with a lid. If you can use organic especially with something like apples which are typically a fruit on the “dirty dozen” list of fruit that is high in pesticides do it.
Step 2: wash and core apples. I use a melon baler. I then remove stems and chop into quarters. I do not peel the apples because the skins give the vodka a nice amber colour. Put in as many pieces of apple as you can fit into the jar.
Step 3: fill jar with vodka.
Step 4: seal jar and leave in a dark place for at least 2 months. If you have soft fruit like raspberries or strawberries I would leave it for at least 6 months – 1 year. This works perfectly if you start the vodka in the Spring when Strawberries are ripe then keep it until Christmas when you would serve it. You can make apple vodka at any time because they are available year round but, normally you need lots of fruit so you buy it when its at it’s best and also cheapest.
This is after about 1 month-you see the fruit at the top of the jar is starting to get brown but the bottom is not yet. 
After approx 2 months or when all the apples are brown. I strain out the fruit (make sure you put a bowl under that strainer-you don’t want to let your precious hooch go down the drain!) and disgard.
I then fill with another bag of apples and return the vodka to the jar and leave it another 2 months and strain.The apple vodka needs to be strained through coffee filters a few times to make it clear. The apple vodka is very smooth and similar in taste to Ice cider (not the hard cider you buy like a cooler) this is like “Neiges”- which is an iced cider made in Quebec and very similar  to Ice wine where they pick the fruit after the first hard frost and it is sweet and concentrated. (Neiges is a gorgeous product if you haveb’t tried it it is excellent!)
This was my collection from last Christmas. I like to save my favourite Prosecco bottles that have great resealable lids for my moonshine! I also buy small vinegar bottles from the Dollar Store for gift bottles, they come with a nice little spout and they cost a buck! I try to pretty them up with labels and ribbons etc…

They are great served in a shot glass with the fresh fruit and really are like a liqueur or you can add them to a drink like a martini. They are so much nicer than the artificial flavoured vodkas in the store.

Drink it cold.

Make a lovely Martini like the Apple Martini or the Raspberry Martini shown here. Go to my other post called Raspberry and Apple Martinis for the exact recipe.

Green Tea Latte

You need this for a Monday after the clocks have moved ahead!
Green Tea is so good for you. Matcha Green Tea is where they grind the leaves to produce a powder. It exceeds the health benefits of green tea because you ingest the whole leaf, not just the steeped water. Some have said it’s like having 10 cups of normal green tea. Buy a can of matcha for change! It’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. 

I remember when I was a kid and we used to drink Nestle’s Quik -it came in a metal can and it was a powder. You had to put the powder in the cup and then add a drop of milk to make a paste and then you could slowly add more milk. This was how you had to make it so there were no lumps of chocolate floating on your drink. “We didn’t have no chocolate syrup and that’s the way we liked it”  This is how you need to make this drink too.

Step 1: To make exactly one cup I take the cup I want to use and fill it half with water and half with milk (any kind you drink) Then I get a larger container so I can microwave it. Of course you could also do this on the stove.

Step 2: Take 1/2-1tsp of matcha and put in the larger container you plan on microwaving.
Step 3: I use a sweetener like Agave to sweeten my latte. I use 1 tbsp of syrup and pour on top of the matcha.
Step 4: mix the syrup with a little whisk and then slowly add a drop of milk until you get a nice lump free paste. It takes a minute. 
Step 5: Microwave in this larger container until almost at the boil. Mine takes 1 minute 30 seconds.
Step 6: whip it good with your whisk and put into your favourite cup
Drink it yourself or give it to someone you love!