Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Julie Miguel and I’m a single mom of two amazing boys and a Food Media Personality. My passion for food and family stems from my Italian upbringing. The kitchen has always been the heart of the home for me growing up and it is the most important room in the house for me. I had an interest in cooking since I was a child, often spending hours in the kitchen with my Mother and Grandmother.

My passion was in menu and recipe development. I would spend so much time scrolling through blogs, gaining inspiration and I would develop my own recipes to try. I learned a ton from watching cooking shows and daytime talk shows.

In 2013 I was casted for the very first season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada. The process was really easy for me, as if I was destined to be part of this experience. I came in 7th place, and did my very first television segment on CTV’s the Marilyn Denis Show. From there I started my blog, Daily Tiramisu, and continued to work on producing food content and doing cooking segments on television wherever I could. In 2018 I also competed on CBC’s Fridge Wars and became a cooking expert on City TV’s Cityline hosted by Tracy Moore. The journey has been amazing and I can honestly say that not even in my wildest dreams did I believe I would be working in this space and cooking on TV on the shows that I grew up watching.

Tell us about the renovation

My home is about 14 years old and I purchased it new construction from a builder. The finishings are outdated and low quality. Slowly my goal is to update every space in the house but for now I chose to update the kitchen. I chose to update the kitchen because it’s my studio and where I do a lot of my food work. It’s also the room that I spend the most time in.

I wanted to keep the renovation as budget friendly as possible. I also wanted to repurpose as much as I could. I knew I wanted this to be a no demo reno – I needed this to happen as quickly as possible since it was an important room that I couldn’t go without for very long.

My cabinets are in good shape so I opted to have them sprayed. I also removed all of my upper cabinets to open up the space and added open shelving. I removed an entrance into my dining room and created a large pantry to make up for lost storage. I always had a moveable Ikea cabinet so I couldn’t wait to build a large stationary island.

What was your design inspiration?

This kitchen definitely speaks to my personality, fun and unexpected. I also wanted it to be a little bit quirky, retro and classic. My goal is to have this kitchen age and look like a kitchen out of the 1960’s.

I have always been drawn to green cabinetry. The journey to finding the perfect tone was long but I settled on Vintage Vogue by Benjamin Moore and I couldn’t be happier with it. I opted for black matte hardware as I didn’t want the handles to be a focal point. My kitchen company matched my existing cabinetry for the pantry and I am amazed at how seamless it looks!

I have always loved wallpaper and this bright and bold pattern definitely spoke to me. It makes me feel like I’m in Capri, Italy. I opted for walnut shelving because the warm tone went so well with my other finishings. I also knew I wanted Quartz and the fact that HanStone is manufactured in Canada made it an easy decision.

My Wishlist wasn’t complete yet. I have been eyeing Bertazzoni, Made in Italy stoves for over a decade. It is my dream stove. I finally got one in the most beautiful yellow I have ever seen. I opted for induction because I’ve had a gas range my whole life and they are dangerous for kids and also the worst to clean. Now, I simply wipe down the cooktop and my kids can cook without me worrying about their sleeves catching fire. The stove is literally the sunshine in my kitchen and I couldn’t be happier with the way it came together.

What HanStone quartz colour did you select?

I chose Strato because I wanted something with a bright white base and subtle veining. The warm golden vein that runs through this colour is perfect in my kitchen. It pairs perfectly with my warm luxury vinyl flooring, and other warm accents like the walnut wood shelving. Quartz is also durable, and easy to maintain. The less fuss, the better for me, especially since I cook a lot in my kitchen.


What do you love most about your countertops?

I love how easy they are to clean and how they lighten up my kitchen and always look great. They’re the first thing you see when you walk in my kitchen and I always get compliments on them!

Design trends you are loving right now?

I am totally obsessed with oak cabinetry and I’m so happy it’s making a comeback!!!!! Coloured appliances are also trending right now and I jumped right on this trend as you can see from my yellow stove.


Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 10 mins

Servings: 4 servings


4 tablespoons fresh tomatoes, diced small

2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped small

2 tablespoons fresh jalapeno, minced

2 key limes, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

2 large avocados, cut into bite-size chunks (about 2 cups worth)

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds


Combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, jalapeno, lime juice, and avocado in a medium-size mixing bowl. Use a potato masher or a fork to smash the avocado.

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Add the pomegranate seeds.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Store the guacamole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Enjoy!

Pomegranate Guacamole with Chips

For more delicious recipes make sure you head over to Julie's blog Daily Tiramisu

Photography Kyla Zanardi

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