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Queen Victoria was born on May 24, so Canadians have always been given a holiday on the Monday which falls closest to the actual day. It is a favourite weekend of many Canadians, and not because of our loyalty to the monarchy. No, this is the weekend that begins our summer season. If you have a cottage like I do, it is the traditional weekend to open it. If you have a garden, it is the weekend to plant. If you have friends, it is the weekend to party.

We are heading to up to our cottage and after the dismal spring we’ve had, we are hoping for a bit of sunshine. This is largely a work weekend for us, and it will be fun because apparently animals have chewed through our electrical wiring for the pump. I expect that my daughter and I will be drawing buckets of water from the lake as my husband swears while trying to replace the wiring. But it won’t matter because we will up north, with the loons and the blackflies. I’m thinking about recipes that don’t take too much effort or that can be grilled.

1. There is a bit of alcohol in these sangria burgers, but don’t worry it will cook off on the grill.

Photo Credit: Kelly Rossiter

2. Scrambed Eggs With Stinging Nettles: Scrambed eggs are often part of our cottage breakfast, but the addition of stinging nettles makes them even better. Use gloves when handling the raw nettles, because they really do sting.

3. White Bean Salad with Radish, Walnut and Wild Leek: This white bean salad is a nice simple dish that uses spring radishes with a little crunch of walnuts. It’s great for a light supper with a green salad on the side.

Photo Credit: Emma Alter

4. Chicken Noodle Soup: When I was growing up chicken soup meant Lipton’s with it’s day glow yellow and extreme saltiness. For my husband it was his mother’s homemade chicken soup with matzo balls on Friday nights. This recipe for chicken noodle soup is closer to that, but with vegetables rather than the matzo balls

5. Potato Chip Frittatas: I made these potato chip frittatas from the Time for Dinner Cookbook. They would be a lot of fun for kids to eat with their hands, and you can customize them for your family while still eating essentially the same meal. They are small, so they would be great for a quick snack as well.

Photo Credit: Emma Alter

6. Pad Thai: Thai food can be a difficult thing to serve to a young family because it’s often quite spicy. The flavours are complex and might be a bit challenging to children. But Pad Thai seems to be a dish that everyone can enjoy, although you might want to cut down the amount of sriracha you use and add it to the adult plates at the table. This is a vegetarian recipe, but tossing in some chicken would be no problem at all.

7. Asparagus Pesto: If you still have asparagus available then this recipe for asparagus pesto is a winner. You can make pesto out of all kinds of things, other than the traditional basil pesto. Here is Sami’s take on making it with walnuts.