4 Super Healthy Smoothies You Need to Try

Eating healthy sounds easy enough — stay away from sugar, carbs and salt, and eat tons of nutrient-rich foods. But the problem isn’t so much what to eat, but when to find the time to gather ingredients, prepare, cook and have a sit-down meal.

Here are four easy, nutritious smoothies that’ll give you the healthy boost you need, no matter what time of day. Whether you’re looking for a boost of vitamin C to fight off an oncoming cold, an antioxidant or green cleanse, or you need a healthy substitute for your daily sugar fix, we’ve got you covered.

vitamin-c-boost

1. The Vitamin C Boost

 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pineapple, diced
1/4 cup strawberries, stemmed and diced
1/2 orange, peeled
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of ice

FN_RReardin_27Aug3

Directions:
Blend ingredients together until smooth.

antioxidant-rich

2. Antioxidant Rich Green Tea and Blueberry

 

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 banana
1/4 cup light vanilla soy milk
Handful of ice

FN_RReardin_27Aug5

Directions:
Boil water and steep tea bag in it for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, blend blueberries, banana, soy milk and ice in blender until smooth. Add honey to the tea and pour it in the smoothie, stir and serve.

green-and-clean

3. Green & Clean

 

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 banana
A few slices cucumber
1/3 cup of kale, chopped
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Handful of ice

FN_RReardin_27Aug7

Directions:
Blend the avocado, blueberries, banana, cucumber, kale and ice together and then sprinkle cinnamon on top.

the-sweet-fix

4. The Healthy Sweet Fix

 

Ingredients:
1/3 cup strawberries, stemmed and diced
1/3 cup raspberries
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
Sprinkle of cacao powder
Handful of ice

FN_RReardin_27Aug9

Directions:
Blend strawberries, raspberries, yogurt and ice together, and then sprinkle cacao on top.

Lynn Crawford

Lynn Crawford’s New Year’s Food Resolutions

At a recent lunch to celebrate the launch of Sunwing Café, Lynn Crawford’s new menu for the vacation airline, the chef was all smiles. Graciously, she greeted the assortment of journalists, food bloggers and fans assembled at her Toronto restaurant, Ruby Watchco.

As ebullient as always, you’d never know that at the time, Lynn Crawford had a three-week-old baby back at home, a newborn still in the parental demanding early days of life. Ask for the secret to her seemingly endless energy and the Chopped Canada judge doesn’t miss a beat: “Coffee.” But later, over the phone from her home in Toronto, she reveals another reason for her effusive smiles: Love.

“She’s beautiful,” says Chef Lynn about her daughter, Addie Pepper. “She’s absolutely perfect, and it’s amazing how a little one can change your life so much.”

Relative to her size, Chef Lynn’s newborn is playing a huge influence in the Food Network star’s life, impacting everything from her schedule to the foods and flavours she wants to try in 2017.

Foodie Resolution #1: Travel and Eat



“There’s a wonderful world of food out there, and Lora and I both being chefs, we really want to explore that world with Addie,” she says. “And as two chefs who love food as much as we do, a big part of it is certainly travelling.”

The family is planning a trip to Hawaii this spring, where Chef Lynn hopes to reconnect with the macadamia nut banana bread and fish tacos with pineapple caper salsa she enjoyed so much on her last trip to Maui.

She also hopes to revisit some of the tasty restaurants she’s explored on her own, and as a Great Canadian Cookbook host, like Tofino’s Wolf in the Fog,  Calgary’s Charbar and Quidi Vidi’s Mallard Cottage.

Foodie Resolution #2: Pitchin’ in at Home

Apples

Despite the vacation plans, babies have a way of keeping their parents housebound, and for Chef Lynn, that’s meant getting reacquainted with her home kitchen.

“I’ve done more cooking in the last three weeks being at home than I have in such a long time,” she says without complaint. “It’s a fine line, commenting on how to parent a child in the wonderful world of food,” she admits, but still, Chef Lynn is excited to introduce little Addie to healthful, homemade, seasonal whole foods. “I’ve got Addie in one arm and I’m going around the kitchen and I cut into this Macintosh apple and Addie smells it — it doesn’t register yet, but it’s nice to get her senses excited about food!”

Foodie resolution #3: Ordering in

Although Chef Lynn has been spending more time than ever in her home kitchen, she’s also excited about all the new apps that allow diners to order in, and thinks she might try a delivery of her favourite Vietnamese comfort food next year. “I love a really good pho,” she says.

Family Style Holiday Poutine

Leftover Turkey? Make This Family-Style Poutine

You’ve made turkey soup and endless turkey sandwiches, but there’s one more deliciously Canadian way to use up those last bits of leftover holiday turkey.

All of the best parts of a festive turkey dinner combine to make a cheesy, gravy-filled poutine. Roast sweet potatoes make a festive, crispy and colourful base for leftover or quick homemade gravy, cranberry sauce, turkey and squeaky cheese curds. Just set in the middle of the table with lots of forks, and enjoy!

Family Style Holiday Poutine

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 10 to 15

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Fries
2 large sweet potatoes, skin intact, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips or wedges
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Cranberry Sauce (or 1/2 cup prepared cranberry sauce)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup

For the Extra Toppings
200g cheese curds
8 oz cooked smoked or roasted turkey meat (not deli meat), shredded
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus whole fresh rosemary twigs to garnish

Family Style Holiday Poutine

Directions:

Sweet Potato Fries
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. On a large baking sheet, toss all sweet potato ingredients until sweet potatoes are evenly coated.
3. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and beginning to brown on the bottom.

Cranberry Sauce
1. In a medium skillet or small saucepan, bring all cranberry sauce ingredients to a boil. Reduce to medium low. Cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until liquid has reduced and cranberries are burst.
2. Remove from heat, mash cranberries with a fork until desired texture is reached. Set aside.

Assembly
1. On a warm platter or in a warmed cast-iron skillet (for presentation only), add a bed of fries. Top with cheese curds and turkey. Ladle over gravy (use as much as you prefer; there may be extra), followed by cranberry sauce and chopped rosemary. Garnish with a rosemary twig and serve immediately.

Looking for more tasty leftover ideas? Try our 14 Ways to Enjoy Holiday Leftovers.

New in 2017: Chopped Beat Bobby Flay, Star Plates and More!

With the New Year right around the corner, we can’t help but celebrate a batch of brand new shows! Get ready to welcome back your favourite stars with an exciting winter season packed with tons  of talent, competition, inspiration and drool-worthy recipes.

If your New Year’s resolution is to learn how to cook, then the new season of Worst Cooks in America is the perfect place to start. Kick off the first day of 2017 with Anne Burrell, Rachael Ray and a brand-new roster of hapless cooks. Starting Sunday, January 1st at 9 E/P, two teams of bumbling contestants will be put through an intense boot camp designed to whip them into culinary shape.

In January, we’ll also get a double dose of Bobby Flay with two new exciting shows. First, on Beat Bobby Flay: Kids Takeover, premiering Sunday, January 8th at 7 E/P, chefs take on kid-friendly and kid-tested dishes in their quest to beat the renowned chef. Then, Bobby joins the Chopped judges table in the first-ever Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay tournament. The winning chefs from the first three rounds will go on to compete against the culinary icon for a chance to win the $40,000 grand prize.  Watch the fun unfold Tuesday, January 17th at 10 E/P.

On Chopped Canada Teen, 20 of Canada’s most talented young chefs will battle it out in the kitchen for a chance to win $5,000 and the title of of Teen Champion. The five-part tournament kicks off Saturday, January 14th at 9 E/P.

Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli are back with a brand-new season of Kids Baking Championship, putting 12 young bakers through 10 weeks of delectably difficult dessert challenges. The kid bakers, ages 9 to 12, will be challenged to make impostor desserts, volcano Bundt cakes, breakfast desserts and more. The exciting competition premieres Sunday, January 8th at 8 E/P.

On Star Platescelebrities experience life as a line cook, working side by side with the chef at a restaurant they love. Stars include Mindy Kaling, Colin Hanks and Erin Andrews, who team up with Marcus Samuelsson, Vinny Dotolo and Susan Feniger, respectively. Catch back-to-back episodes starting Friday, January 6th at 9 E/P.

Some of the best chefs from Triple D invade Flavortown Market on another epic installment of Guy’s Grocery Games: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Tournament. For the finale, host Guy Fieri takes the final four chefs on an incredible  cross-country road trip. It all kicks off Saturday, January 7th at 10 E/P.

For our full show lineup, visit our schedule page.

Dulce de leche rugelach

Irresistible Dulce de Leche Rugelach

The recipe for rugelach is an heirloom in many Jewish families. Passed down from one generation to the next, it’s made year after year as a holiday treat. Classic versions are often filled with chocolate or rolled with sticky-sweet strawberry and apricot jam.

This version oozes smooth, creamy dulce de leche, rolled in plump cream cheese-filled dough, with toffee bits for extra crunch. We’re hoping this recipe will start a new tradition for every family looking to make a tasty treat. It’s similar enough to the classic for your grandmother to enjoy, and decadent enough for all your foodie friends to gush over.

Dulce de leche rugelach

Prep: 40 minutes
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Makes: 32 rugelach

Ingredients:

Dough:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 oz cold cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla

Filling:
1/3 cup dulce de leche
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp toffee bits (such as Skor)
1 egg yolk

rugelach

Directions:

1. Whirl flour and salt in a food processor. Add in butter and cream cheese, and pulse until mixture is evenly blended and crumbly. Add in egg yolk, vanilla and cinnamon, pulsing until a ball of dough forms in the food processor. Remove dough from food processor and divide into 2 equal portions. Form portions into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Remove 1 disc of dough from refrigerator. Roll out into a circle about 12-inches wide and about 1/8-inch thick. With a paring knife, cut the dough along the centre into 16 equal triangles as if you were slicing a pizza. Spread 1/2 the dulce de leche over the dough and sprinkle with 1/2 the toffee bits. Separate 1 piece of dough from the circle. Beginning at the wider end of the triangle, roll toward the tip to form a tight roll. Repeat with remaining disc of dough. Arrange on prepared baking sheet about and 1 inch apart from each other.

3. Mix egg yolk with 1 Tbsp of water. Brush mixture over rugelach. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over rugelach. Bake until rugelach are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Looking for more dulce de leche? Try our 15 Sticky-Sweet Desserts with Dulce de Leche.

seafood tower

How to Make a Stunning Seafood Tower

The holidays are a time of year when we indulge, and there’s just something ultra festive about a vibrant, chilled seafood tower.

Typically looked at in awe while dining at a contemporary seafood restaurant, you might be surprised to realize that making a tower chock-full of delicious ocean bounty is quite easy to do at home. All it takes is a little preparation and final assembly right before your holiday party guests arrive.

Just follow these simple tips and everyone will be impressed!

seafood tower

Buy good quality, sustainable seafood
When you’re serving friends and family a big smattering of seafood, you want it be as fresh and delicious as possible. While some grocers offer fresh shellfish at their seafood counters, you’re better off going to a local fishmonger like The Fish Counter (Vancouver), Billingsgate MKT (Calgary), Hooked (Toronto) or Fisherman’s Market (Halifax).

Prepare seafood same-day, if possible
Shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters, can be purchased a day or two ahead, and live safely in your refrigerator until you’re ready to prep them. The latter two can be cooked and chilled hours before eating, but set aside a few minutes to shuck the oysters right before assembling the tower.

Chill tower tiers before serving
Got a fridge full to the brim with holiday dishes and bottles of wine? Well, one of the handy things about our Canadian winters is the fact that our back deck or balcony can double as a large freezer (or fridge if you’re closer to the west coast). Giving the tower layers an hour or so to get cool will help keep the ice from melting too quickly while you’re assembling.

seafood tower

Have the right tools handy
While you can remove all of the lobster meat beforehand, guests like a little hands-on activity at a party, so make sure to have the necessary seafood picks and seafood crackers (nut crackers work well in lieu) for people to use. Napkins too!

Don’t have a tower? 
Although the tiered presentation definitely adds a “wow” factor to the table, using a couple large serving trays and laying out the myriad of shellfish over ice, studded with lemon wedges and ramekins of sauce is pretty appetizing, too.

seafood tower

How to Make a Seafood Tower

Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Tower:
Crushed ice (enough for each tower level, approximately 10 cups)
1 lb fresh mussels (steamed and chilled)
1 lb fresh manila clams (steamed and chilled)
12 freshly shucked Malpeque oysters
24 large cooked prawns
1 2lb cooked lobster (claws, arms and tail separated)
2/3 cup seafood sauce
1 lemon (halved and cut into thin wedges)

Spicy Lemon Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

seafood tower
Directions:
1. Evenly distribute crushed ice onto each of the 3 tower tiers.
2. On the bottom tier, lay out all of the clams, 1/2 of the mussels and 1/2 of the oysters.
3. On the perimetre of the second tier, alternate 1 oyster with 4 prawns. Work your way around the tier. Take lobster claws, arms and tail and place around the centre of the tier.

Seafood Tower

4. Fill any empty space on the second tier with remaining mussels.
5. On the top tier, place ramekins of sauce and fill remaining space with lemon wedges.

spicy lemon aioli

Spicy Lemon Aioli:
1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve with seafood.

Ready? Learn How to Shuck an Oyster Like  a Pro.

Yule-Log-Buche-De-Noel-recipe

Chuck Hughes’ French-Canadian Holiday Menu

This holiday season, think outside the traditional menu and look to our food-loving and French-speaking neighbours for ideas and inspiration. Québec has a mixed bag of edible holiday traditions that’ll make your mouth water — some imported to the New World from France, while others are influenced by the (chilly) outdoor elements or British, American and Indigenous cultural traditions. Chuck Hughes, host of Chuck’s Day Off and Montreal chef extraordinaire, shares some French Canadian holiday traditions, as well as delicious menu items to add to your Christmas dinner.

Start with a Midnight Feast

In the 1600s, Québecois settlers traditionally gathered on Christmas Eve for midnight mass, and celebrated afterwards with réveillon — a festive feast fit for a king. Traditionally eaten in Europe, the table would be overflowing with seafood, meat dishes, wine and luxurious sweets, consumed late into the evening. Four centuries later, this dining ritual continues in many French-Canadian homes.

“When I was a kid, the real tradition is on December 24,” says Chef Hughes. “We would go to church at midnight and then after that, you come home and have a big feast. That was really our main meal.”

ragout-and-pickles

Put Out the “Pig Foot Stew” and Pickled Beets

Although réveillon originates from Europe, Québecois have added their own French Canadian additions to the table. For instance, the centrepiece isn’t usually turkey — it’s a hearty pig foot stew simmered in spices for half a day.

“[The menu] revolves more around pork than turkey,” says Chef Hughes. “Our tradition here is Ragoût de pattes de cochon, which means ‘pig foot stew.’ My grandmother used to serve it with potatoes and bow-tie pasta.”

For one tasty rendition, try this satisfying and savoury Pig’s Feet Meatball Ragout, packed with meaty morsels of pork. In other versions, beef, pork, or veal meatballs (or all three) swim in the stew, each seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and rolled in flour to help thicken the broth.

Want to try a Chef Hughes’ family tradition? Fill each bowl with cooked potatoes, a heaping spoonful of stew and meatballs, and then dash with pickled beets — a staple ingredient at his table.

“In the fall, my grandmother pickles her beets,” he says. “Pickled beets are the side dish, served in the centre of the table.”

If you’re tickled by pickled foods, try making some other preserved veggies to accompany the stew. From carrots to cauliflower, dazzle your diners with an array of pickled vegetables using this recipe from Chef Hughes.

Easy-Buche-De-Noel-recipe

Tourtiere and Bûche de Noël

No French Canadian-inspired festive feast would be complete without tourtière, the famed double-crusted meat pie that originates from Québec. Although every family recipe varies, the basic ingredients are the same: a pastry shell is filled with spiced, minced meat, and then baked until the crust is golden and flaky.

“Obviously, this traditional Québec meat pie is a big part of [holiday eating],” says Chef Hughes.

This delicious dish dates back to 17th century Québec, when the pie played a starring role at réveillon and was often stuffed with wild game (rabbit, pheasant, or moose). For a less rustic rendition, try Chuck’s Tourtiere, a crust teeming with ground pork and veal seasoned in onions, cloves, and spices.

Once your guests are ready to burst, bring out the pièce de résistance — a Bûche de Noël, a one-of-a-kind Québecois dessert. It’s a classic Christmas jelly roll cake, layered with sweet flavours and fillings, such as cream, cherries, and caramel. Rolled up and decorated like a log, just slice it along the end to feature the rings.

888_pumpkin-spice-pancakes1

Pancakes, Maple Syrup, and Caribou

After such an indulgent midnight feast, what should be on the menu for Christmas morning? Chef Hughes suggests adding a little Québec maple syrup to your holiday brunch.

“Christmastime revolves less around maple syrup, but it’s a big part of celebrating,” he says. “We’ll make pancakes it’s messy, fun, and easy. You have your pancakes with Québec maple syrup and then you open gifts.”

For something stronger to fight the wintery weather, pour yourself a glass of Caribou a sweet beverage made of red wine, liquor and maple sugar that’s served warm in the wintertime.

“Back in the day, you’d be outside, playing hockey on the rink, and you’d have a sleigh ride,” says Chef Hughes. “And that’s the thing you’d drink Caribou. It’s a Québecois alcohol that you drink to warm up.”

Caribou juice aside, Christmas traditions are ever-evolving with the times in Québec. But no matter what’s at your table, Chef Hughes encourages getting playful with festive recipes and ingredients, and adding French Canadian twists to your menu that will delight family and friends. After all, it’s the best way to “keep the tradition alive.”

Looking for more delicious recipe? Try our 10 Delicious French-Canadian Dishes.

Best-Ever Gravy Recipe

Don’t let your gravy be an afterthought — this killer herb-infused, make-ahead recipe is about to become your secret weapon for winning the holidays.

Never underestimate the power of a good gravy. From its ability to heat up lukewarm mash to its sly way of camouflaging a turkey that’s been cooked a bit too long, gravy is the unsung superhero of holiday cooking that rarely gets the glory it so deserves.

best-ever-gravy-recipe-with-chicken-wings

Making it ahead means you can take your time creating the kind of rich and velvety gravy holiday dreams are made of. This one is built on a solid foundation of chicken wings, a gorgeous helping of flavour-packed vegetables, and a seasonal trio of fresh herbs, all slow-roasted to perfection. To really send it over the top, add the juices from your roasted bird the day of for even more depth of flavour. Just try not to guzzle it up all before it hits the table.

best-ever-gravy-recipe-using-chicken-wings

Ingredients:
8 to 12 chicken wings
2 yellow onions, halved with outer skin in tact
4 to 5 small carrots, peeled, quartered
3 celery stalks, quartered
4 fresh rosemary stems
4 to 5 fresh sage leaves
4 fresh bay leaves
1 Tbsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp flour

best ever gravy with mashed potatoes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place all the ingredients in a large roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for about 75 minutes.
3. Set roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add 8 cups of boiling water, scrapping up any brown bits as you stir. Sprinkle in flour and stir to ensure no lumps form. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, smashing with a potato masher every now and again.
4. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into another pot. Let cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
*If serving with your holiday turkey, reserve any juices from your bird and add this to your make ahead gravy.

Coffee Fudge

How to Make Two Types of Canadian Fudge

Full of classic Canadian flavours, these easy fudge recipes taste like the real deal, with very little effort. Inspired by the popular Canadian coffee order, the “double double,” drive-through lovers will adore this delectable dessert. Every bite tastes like a sweet and creamy sip of coffee! We also have a sweet and simple maple fudge, which can be made with or without a little crunch by adding chopped walnuts or pecans.

To package them as gifts from the holidays, simply wrap each square using parchment paper, twist the ends, and tie each side with a pretty ribbon.

Canadian Coffee Fudge

Canadian Coffee Fudge

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3-1/2 hours
Makes: 36 pieces

Ingredients:
2 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tsp boiling water
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
350 g good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract

Canadian Coffee Fudge

Directions:
1. In small bowl, whisk together instant coffee powder and water until coffee is dissolved.
2. In large heatproof bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate, vanilla extract and coffee.
3. Place bowl over saucepan of hot water, making sure the water isn’t boiling. Heat chocolate mixture, stirring often, until smooth.
4. Scrape into 8 x 8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Using offset spatula, smooth top. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
5. Cut into 36 squares.

Easy Maple Fudge

Easy Maple Fudge

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3-1/2 hours
Makes: 32 pieces

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
300 g good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp maple extract

Directions:
1. In large heatproof bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate, maple syrup and maple extract.
2. Place bowl over saucepan of hot water, making sure the water isn’t boiling. Heat chocolate mixture, stirring often, until smooth.
3. Scrape into 8 x 8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Using offset spatula, smooth top. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
4. Cut into 16 squares. Cut each square in half, diagonally, to form triangles.

Looking for more fantastic treats? Try our 12 Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fudge Recipes.

Anna Olson’s Tips to Make Holiday Baking a Breeze

As Canada’s baking expert and adored television personality, Anna Olson has amassed an infinite amount of tips and tricks to keep her calm and organized in the kitchen.

Whether you’re a serious home baker or just preparing for your annual cookie swap, it’s always a challenge trying to whip up homemade treats during the busy holiday season. Here, the Bake with Anna Olson star shares some of her holiday traditions, along with her tried-and-true tips for holiday baking.

Scottish-Pan-Shortbread

On Her Turkey-Less Traditions
I do have some traditional things; when I grew up, my grandmother would always make cherry walnut icebox cookies. And my husband’s favourite holiday dessert is an Icelandic dessert called Vinarterta; a prune and cardamom shortbread torte. So for me, it’s not Christmas until those are made. But, I am a cookie monster. I love making holiday cookies — shortbreads are my favourite. There are so many different styles with those same four ingredients.

On Show-Stopping Desserts
To ensure success and to ensure that you’re spelling desserts front to back and not backwards (which is stressed), you want to budget time. It takes baking, chilling, cooling, setting time — those are the little steps that you don’t want to cheat on. For something like a croquembouche, make it work for you as a make-ahead (dessert). (Make and) freeze the profiteroles a week ahead, take them out to thaw, and make the pastry cream two days ahead. Then, you can assemble it the day you serve it, and set aside one hour.

Croquembouche

On The Right Ingredients
(Use) unsalted butter, not salted butter. It’s sweeter, fresher and you’re in control of the salt, because you don’t know how much salt is in salted butter. Salt also retains water, and when you melt butter in a pan, you get that white liquid that runs off called milk solids, [which is] essentially water. So you’re getting more butter in unsalted butter.

On Knowing Your Oven
Just because you set your oven to 350°F, doesn’t mean it’s actually at 350°F. Spend the $7 to $10 on an oven thermometre. That’s the best way to prevent a baking disaster, because that’s the point where you relinquish control. I do a lot of candy making and chocolate work at holiday time, so I have a really good thermometre and I’d say that’s indispensable.

Chocolate-Slice-Cookies

On Freezing Now, Baking Later
I find that when you freeze baked cookies, they never come out as good as they went in. They take up so much space, so you can just make all your (cookie) dough ahead of time. If it’s a slice-and-bake, say my Chocolate Slice Cookies, I’ll just label it: “Chocolate slice, 325°F, 1/4-inch thick, 12 minutes.” So when I pull it out (of the freezer), I don’t have to go back to the recipe — slice, bake, done.

Timing is Everything
My #1 tip: Timing. Taking time now that we have time. If you know you have between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, then make that your time. Make your favourite coffee, put on your favourite playlist, and baking takes you into that place. We love our sweets at the holidays, but we love baking because it’s an extension of that sharing and giving, and you want to channel that — remind yourself that that’s what it’s about.

Looking for some festive dessert recipes? Check out Anna Olson’s Ultimate Holiday Treats.

Super Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Warm, toasty, buttery garlic bread is always welcome alongside a plate of pasta or a hearty bowl of soup. But what if we told you it could be made even better?

Enter: gooey, cheesy pull-apart garlic loaf. Consider it garlic bread’s wilder, much cooler cousin, this crowd-pleasing, pull-apart version only takes a few more minutes to prepare, and is infinitely more delicious.

finishedproduct

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:
1 whole loaf French bread (or 6 large French bread rolls)
1 cup salted butter (cubed)
4 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

step03

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place butter in a small pan and melt on medium-heat. Once melted, reduce to low, add garlic cloves and herbs, and let sit for 10 minutes so flavours infuse.
3. Remove aromatics and transfer 3/4 cup to small bowl and 1/4 of a cup to another. Set aside.

step02

4. Using a bread knife, slice the loaf (or loaves) on the bias in approximately 1” slices, stopping just before the base of the loaf. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees and slice again on the bias. You should end up with small squares of bread that are all still attached to the base.
5. Take the 3/4 cup of garlic thyme butter and use a small spoon to drizzle into all of the crevices of the bread. If needed, use fingers to gently separate the squares before drizzling butter.

step04

6. Once everything is buttered, take the shredded mozzarella and tuck small portions of it into the spaces between the cubes of bread. (Note: you can use less cheese if you want, but the more cheese you use, the gooey it will be.)
7. Wrap loaf in the tinfoil and let bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the garlic butter has become very fragrant, approximately 16-18 minutes.
8. Remove from oven, turn to low broil and unwrap loaf. Combine remaining melted butter with Parmesan cheese, stir to combine and then brush liberally all over the exterior of the loaf (or loaves).
9. Return to oven and bake until top is golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

finishedproduct02

How to Host a Feast of the Seven Fishes Like Matt Basile

Until he was well into his teens, restaurateur and cookbook author Matt Basile had never tasted a Christmas turkey. Instead, the Italian-Canadian creator of the Toronto street food company, Fidel Gastro, spent his childhood holidays dining on Southern-Italian specialties, like fresh grilled shrimp and fettucine Pomodoro.

Basile’s family never called their holiday meal a ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes,’ but as he points out, “Italians — especially southern Italians — don’t really look to name a food trend; they just eat the best quality food.” Even among the Italian and Italian-American families who call their holiday dinner by the idiosyncratic name, there are no set rules for what must be served, although, as the title implies, seafood is appreciated.

Here are Basile’s tips for hosting a memorable and delicious Italian-Christmas dinner.

garlic shrimp

Start with Love (and Frangelico)

“Lots of love and food,” were always on the menu at Basile’s Nonno’s house, where his family would gather for a festive feast, always served family-style. “It’s just how you ate,” he says. “It forced you to be patient and to look at the person across from you and make sure their plate was topped up before yours. It taught you to share a meal with the people you loved versus just consume one.”

Before the generous meal, there was “always enough to feed an army,” says Basile — his family served Frangelico aperitivos.

Add Seafood (and Pasta, and Steak)

Grilled shrimp, grilled sardines with lemon, and crab legs were regulars on the Basile family’s holiday menu, often served alongside fettuccine pomodoro and steak. But it’s the zuppa di pesci, a fragrant seafood soup, that really gets Basile in the Christmas spirit. “The most nostalgic of the dishes was the zuppa di pesci — tomato broth with incredibly soft potatoes and carrots with clams, cod, salmon and shrimp,” he says. “It would be something I would absolutely crave every year. A few years ago when my girlfriend and I opened our restaurant, we invited both our families and I made a massive 20 litre pot of it.”

tiramisu

Don’t Forget to Espresso Yourself!

The Basile family capped their holiday meals with Sambuca-laced espresso,  a nice alternative to dessert. But just in case you and your guests still have belly room, consider serving one of these Italian holiday favourites: panforte, a spiced chocolate cake, crisp pizzelle waffle cookies, creamy tiramisu, or a towering fruit-studded panettone.

Whatever menu you choose, remember Matt Basile’s advice: setting a festive mood is more important than serving any particular dish. “If you have to follow rules like it’s biblical, then you’re doing it wrong,” he says. “It should be fun, first and foremost.” Good times are not just for guests, either — as the host, it’s essential for you to participate. After all, says Basile, “the more fun you have, the more fun your guests will have!”

Fun and Festive Cranberry Brie Empanadas

Instead of the usual cranberry and Brie in puff pastry,  these holiday stars are enclosed in a flaky, spiced empanada dough. Sweetened with a touch of honey, these tart, creamy and impossibly flaky empanada-style hand pies will become a new, classic holiday staple.

Cranberry-Brie-Empanadas2

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
Serves: 12 to 15

Ingredients:

Spiced Crust
1 large egg
8 Tbsp ice water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp milk, for brushing

Filling
1 wheel Brie, chilled, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh or frozen (do not defrost) cranberries
2 Tbsp honey, plus more for serving

Cranberry-Brie-Empanadas1

Directions:

Spiced Crust
1. In a small bowl, beat egg with 4 Tbsp water and vinegar.
2. In a food processor or in a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cloves and nutmeg. Pulse or cut in butter until a fine meal forms.
3. Using the food processor, add egg mixture to flour mixture until a shaggy but manageable dough has formed. Add additional water if mixture looks too dry.
4. Transfer dough onto counter and knead until it all comes together. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 3- to 4-inch cookie cutter or rim of a glass, cut rounds. Roll scraps and cut additional rounds. Arrange rounds evenly onto two large baking sheets.

Filling and Assembly
1. In the centre of each dough circle, add a slice of brie, a few cranberries, and drizzle of honey. Do not overstuff. Repeat with remaining circles.
2. Brush the top half of the dough circle with milk. Fold circles in half and crimp to seal with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
4. Brush chilled empanadas with milk. Bake for 10 minutes, until dough has puffed and is beginning to brown around the edges.
5. Transfer empanadas to a serving plates, slice in half (optional) and drizzle with additional honey. Serve warm or room temperature.

Looking for more tasty holiday bites? We’ve got 75 Party Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Latkes

How to Throw a Crowd-Pleasing Latke Party

It’s time to celebrate the season, and what better way to gather friends and family than throwing a party dedicated to one of the most-loved Hanukkah snacks: latkes!

Like all great parties, a latke get-together takes a little planning ahead, and we’ve got five fantastic tips to make sure your party goes off without a hitch.

888_classic-potato-latkes

Make ’em Ahead of Time
As delicious as they are, latkes can be quite time consuming to make. You have to grate the potatoes and the onions, drain, add the flour or matzoh meal, and then fry them in small batches. You don’t want to be entertaining guests while sweating by your box grater. Unfortunately, you can’t make your potato mixture too far in advance or your spuds will oxidize, turning an unappetizing brown colour.

My advice is to make the majority of your latkes hours before your guests arrive and keep them warm in the oven. Place your fried latkes on baking trays in single layers in an oven set to 325° F. As your guests arrive, have enough potato mixture to fry up the last couple of batches. The kitchen is a great place to start the party. When guests come in, they will be welcomed by the delicious smell of crispy latkes being fried. Once you have finished frying the last few latkes, whip off your apron, grab a latke and a drink and settle into the party.

Spiced Apple-Pear Sauce

It is All About the Sauces
No one will argue that half the fun of eating latkes is loading them up with your favourite toppings. Classically paired with apple sauce and sour cream, latkes can really be served with lots of different dippers, so get creative! My bubbie served homemade strawberry apple sauce and now I can’t imagine eating my latkes without it. I recreate this sweet, chunky family tradition every holiday season to share with my friends. Passing on family secrets and stories is a special part of the season, but if you can always create your own traditions. Apple chutney is a great alternative to apple sauce. Think about switching out sour cream for thick Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce. The possibilities are truly endless.

Don’t Forget the Sides
It’s a good idea to serve latkes with some fresh crudites or salads. Your guests will appreciate having something on the lighter side to eat alongside greasy latkes. Make a cucumber salad with lots of fresh dill and yogurt, or a roasted beet salad with mint. If you want to stick to finger foods, prepare some veggies and hummus or eggplant dip.

Serve Sippers that Pair Well with Latkes
It isn’t a party without drinks. Wines with high acidity and tart drinks are perfect for cutting through greasy latkes. Serve them with a cool, dry Riesling or dry sparkling wine. Cold, crisp lagers are another great option. Have some iced tea or tart lemonade on hand for non-alcoholic options.

strawberry cheesecake Sufganiyots

Don’t Forget Dessert
Latkes are the hero of the party, so you don’t want to outshine them with any big extravagant desserts. Typically, jelly filled doughnuts called sufganiyot are served at Hanukkah, but any little sweets will do the trick. If you are sticking to a Hanukkah theme, make some rugelach or serve some Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins).

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our 15 Deep Fried Hanukkah Desserts.

Great-Canadian-Toque-Cake

Get Cozy with the Great Canadian Toque Cake

This winter, let’s embrace the cold (and even celebrate it) with this chilly-weather inspired cake. Ultra-Canadian both inside and out, this maple and nutmeg flavoured dessert reminds us of bundling up for snowy winter days spent tobogganing or skating on the local rink.

Toque Cake

To create this super cute cake, simply carve a small layer cake into the domed shape before using a few decorative piping techniques to mimic different knit patterns with buttercream icing. Pop a pom-pom on top, and add a few marzipan maple leaves for extra Canadian flair!

This gorgeous cake is a perfect, whimsical showstopper for any party this season.

Toque Cake

Bake Time: 24 to 26 minutes
Total Time: 75 to 90 minutes
Serves: 6 to 10

Ingredients:

Maple Nutmeg Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Red gel food coloring (optional)

Maple Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Assembly
2 oz marzipan (or fondant)
Red gel food coloring

Toque Cake

Directions:

Maple Nutmeg Cake

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 6-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy. Add in the maple and vanilla. Mix until combined.
4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in the eggs 1 at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
5. With the mixer on low, add in 1/2 the dry ingredients. Once combined, stream in the buttermilk. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
6. Remove 1/3 of the batter and mix in the red gel food coloring until desired shade is achieved. Mix the remaining plain batter by hand until smooth.
7. Place the red batter in one of the prepared cakes pans. Evenly divide the remaining batter between the other 2 pans. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Maple Buttercream
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the sugar and maple syrup and mix until combined. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more sugar and/or milk until desired consistency is reached.

Red Buttercream
1. Make 1/2 the frosting used for our Red Rose Cupcakes.

Toque Cake

Assembly
1. Once the cakes are cool, trim the tops of the red layer and 1 of the white layers. Place the trimmed white layer on a cake board or serving dish. Spread on about 1/2 cup of buttercream with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Top with the red layer and repeat with the last white layer (dome side up, if present).
2. Using a long, serrated knife, trim and carve the cake into a domed shape. Save the cake scraps and set aside.
3. Once the cake has been carved into the shape of a toque, crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream all over.

Toque Cake
4. Fill 2 piping bags fitted with decorative piping tips with the red and maple buttercream. Stating from the bottom, pipe rows of the maple buttercream 1/3 of the way up (or until the red cake layer appears). Pipe red buttercream where the red cake layer is. Continue on to pipe maple buttercream over the top layer of cake.
5. For the pom-pom on top, gather a portion of the scraps and roll/form into a large cake ball. Place on top of the cake and pipe on red buttercream using a grass piping tip.
6. Tint the marzipan with red gel food coloring. Roll out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch and cut out maple leaves using a small cookie cutter. Place on the cake as desired.

Toque Cake
7. For the maple buttercream (white) piping details, use a small rose tip (104) to pipe roses of small, interlocking V’s to create the woven pattern. Reverse the direction of the piping every-other row.
8. For the red buttercream piping details, use a small star tip (18) to pipe ropes (spirals) of buttercream. Use a grass tip to cover the pom-pom on top.

Toque Cake

Looking for more Canadian cake inspiration? Try our 15 Cool Canadian Cakes.

 

doughnuts strawberry

Must-Make Strawberry Cheesecake Doughnuts

Celebrate Hanukkah with a tray of classic sufganiyot, but with a truly magnificent twist. We take the traditional treat, filled with strawberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar, and amp up the taste factor. Bite into one and you’ll get a mouthful of tart strawberry preserves, plus a soft, creamy cheesecake custard. If you’re a cheesecake lover and doughnut fanatic, this recipe might change your life — or at least make your Hanukkah extra special.

strawberry cheesecake Sufganiyots

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Makes: 12-14 doughnuts

Ingredients:

1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 7-g packet quick-rise instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour plus more for dusting
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup icing sugar

strawberry cheesecake Sufganiyots

Directions:
1. Heat milk in a small sauce pan over low until temperature is slightly above room temperature. Stir in sugar and remove from heat. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer set with the dough hook attachment, add yeast and set aside until tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the milk, about 10 minutes.
2. Beat in salt, vanilla, butter and egg until smooth. Add in flour and beat on medium high speed until a smooth dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly and climbs the dough hook, about 5 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
3. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface until 3/4-inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch round cookie cutter, press into dough and twist to release dough. Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll dough scraps one time and repeat.
4. Cover dough rounds with dish towel and set aside in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
5. Prepare a baking sheet lined with a few layers of paper towel. Pour oil into a large pot until 3-4 inches deep. Set pot with a clip-on thermometer and heat until temperature reaches 350°F. Adjust heat to maintain temperature. Working in batches of 3 or 4, fry doughnuts until golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove doughnuts carefully using a spider or slotted spoon. Place on paper towel lined surface and allow to cool.
6. To make the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese with icing sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Place mixture in a piping bag fitted with 1/4-inch piping tip. Poke piping tip into the side of each doughnuts and evenly distribute filling among doughnuts until piping bag is emptied.
7. In a small bowl mix strawberry preserves with lemon zest. If there are any large strawberry chunks in preserve, remove and chop into small pieces and return to mixture. Place into the same piping bag. Return piping tip into the same hole of doughnut made with cheese cake filling. Repeat with strawberry filling, distributing mixture to doughnuts.
8. Dust with icing sugar right before serving.

Anna Olson’s Tips for Hosting the Ultimate Cookie Exchange

Everyone wants a holiday cookie tin brimming with an assortment of styles but often there just isn’t enough time to get all that baking done, even if your intentions are true.

Hosting a cookie exchange with friends is the best way to get a great variety and also make an occasion out of getting together to swap.

Get the hot chocolate (or mulled wine) warming…it’s time for cookies (and I hear there is a certain North Pole resident who is rather fond of cookies!)

Get the hot chocolate (or mulled wine) warming…it’s time for cookies (and I hear there is a certain North Pole resident who is rather fond of cookies!)

Here are three key tips to hosting a successful cookie exchange this holiday season.

1. Make a Cookie Wish List
If you are initiating the exchange, create a list of cookies that people can sign up for. That way you know you’re getting a balanced mix of colour, size, shape, flavour and texture. Of course, invite your guests to offer their own favourites before confirming the list. They may have a fantastic family recipe you wouldn’t know about! Also inquire into any allergies, so guests can steer clear.

Specify how many cookies each should bring. If a group of ten people are asked to bring a dozen cookies for each person, then everyone goes home with ten dozen cookies – perfect!

2. Consider Exchanging Dough
If you are meeting weeks before the holidays, your cookies might be stale (or eaten!) before you even get to your own festivities.

Exchanging cookie dough to be frozen and baked later is another great option.  The dough should be shaped as they should be baked. Icebox cookies can be shaped into logs to be sliced and baked and chocolate chip cookies can be scooped and then frozen.  Each guest needs to include a little card with the name of the cookie with the portioning and baking instructions. This way each guest can bake the cookies as they need them.

3. Have a Decorating Party
When gathering your cookie group together, have a little fun by including a decorating session. Have gingerbread or sugar cookies ready with frosting and decor in ample supply. Let everyone dress up a few cookies to eat then or take home.  My theme last year was Christmas sweater cookies!

Looking for more holiday cookie inspiration? Check out our collection of 50 Classic Christmas Cookie Recipes.

3 Fun and Festive Cranberry Cocktails

It wouldn’t be the holidays without bright, tart cranberries, and the same goes for cocktails. Celebrate the season in style with these three fruity drinks fit for any holiday party.

From a fizzy champagne cocktail featuring a homemade spiced cranberry orange simple syrup, to vanilla vodka-spiked cranberry mule, to the cinnamon infused cran-apple white wine sangria, we’ve got a drink to suit everyone’s taste this season.

festive-cranberry-cocktails

Holiday Fizz

Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For the Spiced Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp orange zest
1 whole star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick

For the Drinks
12 fresh cranberries
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 bottle Canadian sparkling wine or champagne, chilled
1 recipe Spiced Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup, from above, chilled

Directions:

Spiced Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
1. In a medium saucepan, bring all simple syrup ingredients to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until sugar has dissolved and cranberries have started to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain into a glass jar; discard solids. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until chilled. Store simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Assembly
1. Skewer 2 cranberries on each rosemary sprig. Set aside.
2. In each of 6 cocktail or wine glasses, add a few slices of orange, 1 Tbsp prepared simple syrup and 1/2 cup sparkling wine or champagne. Serve chilled.

Vanilla-Cran Mule

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 cups ice
1/2 cup vanilla vodka
1/2 cup ginger ale
1 Tbsp cranberry juice
12 fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to defrost if using frozen)
1 lime cut into thin rounds, to garnish
Evergreen twigs, to garnish

Directions:
1. In a cocktail shaker or pitcher, per mule, gently stir 1/4 cup vodka, 1/2 cup ginger ale and 1 Tbsp cranberry juice.
2. Add 1/2 cup ice, 3 cranberries and a couple lime slices to each glass (use traditional copper mule mugs or regular cocktail glasses).
3. Pour prepared cocktail into each ice-filled glass. Garnish with evergreen twigs. Serve.

Cran-Apple Sangria

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to defrost if using frozen)
1 gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brandy
1 bottle white wine

Directions:
1. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, stir together cranberries, apple slices, apple cider, cinnamon, brandy and white wine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Pour or ladle sangria into glasses, being sure to include the wine-soaked apples and cranberries. Serve chilled.

Snowflake Cookie Cutter Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs can be fussy, but with this bake-and-decorate method, they’re made party-friendly. Use whatever cookie cutter shape that you love, changing with the season.

In this festive version, we used snowflake cookie cutters to create the perfect party appetizer for any holiday celebration. Feel free to use other add-ins or toppings such as pickled beets, Sriracha, smoked salmon, olives… the options are endless!

snowflake-devilled-eggs

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients:
12 eggs
Oil, for greasing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh dill

Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides. Lightly grease parchment.
2. Separate egg whites into a large bowl and beat until foamy. Pour into prepared dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until egg whites are set to the touch. Cool completely in pan. Remove from pan using parchment overhang or flip out; place on a cutting board.
3. Meanwhile, cook egg yolks in a large non-stick skillet over low heat until firm. Transfer to a food processor, pulse and cool for 5 minutes. To yolks, add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, curry powder and salt. Puree until smooth and transfer yolk mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
4. Using a cookie cutter, cut shapes of egg whites and place on serving plate. Pipe egg yolk mixture on top of whites and garnish with a sprig of dill and/or egg white shape scraps. Serve immediately.

Note: Egg whites and yolks can be made-ahead, kept separately, well-covered in refrigerator for up to two days.

Pate

How to Make Party-Worthy Paté

Paté is an elegant and super-easy appetizer to make for a holiday party. These three simple recipes will wow your guests and make you look like a star in the kitchen, without spending the whole day cooking.

One version is vegan, another vegetarian, and the third is for the meat lovers at our soirée. Pair with crackers, toast, cheese and charcuterie, and you have a homemade appetizer spread everyone can enjoy, no matter their dietary restrictions.

Pate

Lentil Walnut Paté

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cooked Puy lentils
2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium high. Add in onion, garlic and salt then fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add in lentils, rosemary, mustard and honey and continue to cook until lentils are dry and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Scrape mixture into a food processor with walnuts and pulse until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, serve warm or at room temperature

Creamy Mushroom Paté

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1 14 g package of dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
3 shallots, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup soft goat cheese

Directions:
1. Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of very hot water on mushrooms and allow to soak until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain any excess water.
2. Heat butter over medium high in a large pan. Add in shallots, and fry until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in porcini mushrooms then pour in white wine. Cook, stirring often until liquid has evaporated. Add in cremini mushrooms, salt and thyme, and cook until mushrooms are dark brown and dry, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Remove pan from heat and scrape mixture into a food processor with goat cheese. Pulse, scraping down sides until mixture is smooth and even. Season with fresh ground pepper and more salt if necessary.

Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Paté

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken livers, cleaned and patted dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
3 sprigs thyme
2 shallots thinly sliced
1/3 cup brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1. Season chicken livers with salt.
2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 1/2 the butter. Once butter is melted and foaming, add shallots and thyme then sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in chicken livers in a single layer. Fry each side for about 1 minute. Livers should be nicely browned on the outside but still pink on the inside. Add in brandy and stir until liquid is almost completely reduced, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Remove thyme sprigs and discard then scrape contents of the pan into a food processor. Pulse until mixture becomes a smooth paste. 4. Pour in heavy cream and remaining butter. Pulse, scraping down the sides until mixture is uniform. Adjust seasoning with salt. Place pate in a jar or glass bowl and cover with plastic. Allow to cool in the fridge in order to set before serving, minimum 2 hours.

Looking for more tasty bites? Try our 40 Make-Ahead Holiday Appetizers.