How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

Because there has literally been nothing else to do this summer other than eat and sit outside.

We’re not quite sure how it happened, but it seems that the summer of 2020 has turned into the summer of charcuterie boards. We cannot even begin to count how many people we’ve seen post about their take on this board- eating them in every location possible, from the trunk of their car to the beach. So we decided that we wanted to make our own charcuterie board and attempt to live our most boujee beach lives these last few weeks that we have here in Ontario.

Since this is titled a “boujee” beach picnic, we knew that our local Superstore or Walmart wouldn’t cut it. So we embarked on a journey to the most boujee and lavish grocery store there is in Ontario- Whole Foods, also known as Nat’s personal heaven.

There’s something about even the air of Whole Foods that just hits different. With a variety of options, they seriously have everything for every dietary restriction on the planet. Walking around the store, we were able to find all the items we needed and even a couple of surprise items that we weren’t planning on getting.

So without further ado, let’s break this board down.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of cracker or bread. Browsing the pristine aisles of Whole Foods, we decided upon three different kinds- classic pita chips, cranberry pumpkin seed crackers, and a fruit and nut sourdough bread that Natalie made beforehand. We’d definitely recommend getting a variety of plain and more flavoured crackers!

The next thing that you’ll need is to find some good meats and cheeses. Mira decided on a combination of brie cheese, kasseri cheese, and prosciutto. Since Natalie is essentially vegan, she purchased a vegan cheddar cheese, which was surprisingly great and proves that you can actually make a delicious vegan charcuterie board.

The third thing you’ll need is some kind of sweet element for your board. While this is not essential, if you have a sweet tooth like Nat, then having only cheese and crackers might not sound too exciting. She’d much rather prefer a board filled entirely with Dunkaroos and Fuzzy Peaches. Therefore, we decided to purchase both fruit and dried fruit to diversify the flavour palate of our board. For dried fruit, we chose figs and mangoes, however, there are so many other great dried fruits out there- like persimmons, apples, and peaches that would work as well. For real fruit, we decided to get some grapes. To be honest, Natalie has PTSD from one of her third grade classmates peeling their grapes and throwing the peels all over the floor leaving a sticky residue, but decided to suck it up because any other type of fresh fruit on the board would’ve looked aesthetically displeasing.

Nat also saw some vegan caramel dark chocolate balls and knew immediately that she had to purchase them. So, those kind of became a part of the sweet section of our board whether Mira liked it or not.

Finally, the last thing you’ll need is some sort of dip. For this, we’d highly recommend hummus. Instead of buying hummus from Whole Foods though, we brought an edamame garlic hummus we made at home that is seriously delicious.

We also decided to throw in some spicy corn nuts for fun because they looked cool and we thought we needed to add a little bit of spice to our board.

Once you’ve purchased all of your items, you can then move on to the most exciting part- arranging your items on a cutting board! This is where you can let your creativity take the reins, and lay out the delicious snacks you bought in any way that you want.

Check out the full visual of our board below:

PRO TIP: In order to ensure safe transportation of your board, we’d suggest using clear bowls for items that seem like they wouldn’t stick well to a cutting board. Also, for softer cheeses like brie, we’d recommend bringing a cheese knife and possibly other utensils, like a spoon, for dips and any other elements that would be hard to access otherwise.

If you’re interested in making your own sourdough and edamame garlic hummus like we did, check out the following recipes:

Other random essentials that you will want to bring include a blanket or mats, champagne (a MUST), and a speaker. These will definitely enhance your charcuterie experience.

If you’re looking for a great way to end your summer, pull up to your local Whole Foods, grab a bottle of Champagne, and go crazy. Much like bucket hats and silly bands, we have a feeling that this charcuterie trend might go out of style soon, so jump on it while it’s still hot!

A Comprehensive Review of Niagara Beaches

A Comprehensive Review of Niagara Beaches

Written by two people who have been to a beach only a handful of times in their lives.

To spare you the pain of driving hours to visit Niagara’s sub-par beaches, we took it upon ourselves to visit them for you and come up with a list of our favourites. As two people who are wholly unqualified to review beaches, we decided on the following five criteria to help us distinguish which one was the best: cleanliness, crowdedness, sketch-factor, the “Is there actually sand?” factor, and “Would we get in the water?” factor.

Our cleanliness ratings are based off of the general cleanliness of the beach and whether or not there’s a lot of litter; a score of 10/10 being the most clean. Our crowdedness ratings are based off of how busy the beach is with a score of 10/10 being extremely and unbearably crowded. Our sketch-factor ratings relate to the overall sketchiness of the beach, with a 10/10 score meaning that this beach gives us some very questionable vibes. The last two criteria are pretty self-explanatory and take the form of two questions that can be simply answered with a yes or no.

Sunset Beach- Overall Rating of 4/10

For God knows whatever reason, whenever someone suggests going to the beach for a day, Sunset Beach is always brought up. Why, you might ask? That was a genuine question because we truly don’t understand why someone would choose to go to this beach out of all the other beaches in the Niagara region. This is the St. Catharines version of the Jersey Shore, but it doesn’t even do that well. It is littered with high school students and their draw string bags, that are most-likely holding their one Mike’s Hard Lemonade. If we’re at the beach, we have no desire to see sixteen year olds talking about “how much they feel it” after one cooler.

Niagara-On-The-Lake Beach- Overall Rating of 5/10

This location is undoubtedly picturesque. With a little bit of image-doctoring, VSCO presets, and Lightroom, you can convince your friends that you’re actually further up in Northern Ontario. The only downside is that you probably will have a tourist sitting on the rocks behind you in your photos. With a tiny strip of sand, this is not the best place to go to if you’re looking to sunbathe, however, the water is much cleaner than anywhere else in this region.

Port Dalhousie Beach- Overall Rating of 2/10

The Port Dalhousie beach gives us strong Florida vibes, but not in the white sandy beaches and turquoise-water type of way. What’s similar about these two places is the lack of understanding that we are in a pandemic, and that social distancing is a requirement to protect the safety of ourselves and others. Packed with an inappropriate amount of sunbathers, children, and volleyball players, this beach is truly a circus– even equipped with a functional Merry-Go-Round.

Centennial Beach- Overall Rating of 7/10

We have very low hopes for any beach in Niagara, but this beach truly surpassed our expectations. Pleasantly surprised that the water was clean, we actually were bold enough to go in. This beach made us forget that we were actually in Lake Ontario– because we were in Lake Erie. With a perfect ratio of sand and water, this is really Port Colborne’s hidden gem and we’ll definitely be back.