Tag Archives: appetizer

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

This Baked Brie With Nuts and Dried Fruit is the Perfect Holiday Appetizer (or Easy Dinner Idea!)

With five minutes of prep time, this incredibly easy appetizer is a favourite around the holidays — or any day for that matter. You don’t even need to splurge on a fancy Brie, a budget choice is just as delicious with every sweet and savoury bite. And while this holiday recipe calls for walnuts or hazelnuts, as well as cranberries or cherries, feel free to add in whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer. Almond and pecans are always tasty, alongside apricots or figs. You can also swap out the herbs for a strip of orange or lemon zest too.

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

Baked Brie With Nuts and Dried Fruit

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

200 g double cream Brie
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp butter
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary
½ cup toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the Brie in a small oven-safe skillet or a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Score the top with a paring knife for the cheese to quickly warm. Bake until softened and slightly puffed all around about 15 minutes.

Related: Best Edible Gifts Under $20 That’ll Make Anyone’s Holiday Sweeter

2. While the Brie is in the oven, make the topping: combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and thyme in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil; cook, stirring until brown sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts and dried cranberries.

Making baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

3. Immediately top warm Brie with hot pecan cranberry mixture and serve with crackers and fresh fruit if desired.

Tip: If using a heat-safe small skillet or ceramic dish, the Brie will stay warm for up to 15 minutes. It can also be reheated in the microwave until warm, about 30 seconds. If you’re a fan of toasted nuts, feel free to toast them before adding to the brown sugar mixture. Do so over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes.

Serving of baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

Like Soo’s baked Brie recipe? Try her Chinese scallion pancakes or pan-fried pork chops with roast cabbage wedges.

Winning Recipes for Your Academy Awards Party

Celebrate the Academy Awards with Oscar-worthy spread that is sure to impress even the toughest critic. Hollywood’s biggest night deserves your best kitchen performance and these recipes are sure to earn you at least a ‘Best Host’ nomination.

Whether you’re channeling old-Hollywood elegance or have a casual evening in mind, we have a slew Oscar party ideas for easy appetizers and cocktails that will keep you well fed from the red carpet through to the credits.

Oscar Party Menu

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails

Greet your guests with a celebratory champagne cocktail. Crème de cassis, a dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants gives these bubbly sippers their bright red-carpet shade.

Oysters with Caviar

Oysters, Caviar and Bubbles

Your movie-buff guests may shy away from spoilers, but they won’t mind you spoiling them with these indulgent appetizers that are packed with old Hollywood glamour. Reserve a little champagne from your cocktails for the mignonette sauce, which is seasoned with fresh shallots and bright pink peppercorns.

White Bean Puree on Endive

White Bean Puree on Endive

We’d like to thank Patricia Heaton for this delicious and simple bean dip that gets a fancy flourish when served on individual Belgian endive leaves. Place these apps on a gold tray for an elegant cocktail-party feel. Not a fan of endives? Serve this light dip in a dish with toasted pita points or chips.

Deviled Eggs with Caviar

Devilled Eggs

Party like the stars with these lavish appetizers. The ordinary snack gets a lavish twist with a dollop of salty Sturgeon roe. For a paired-down version, omit the caviar and season each egg with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Puff pastry is your best friend when it comes to whipping up a tray full of appetizers in no time at all. These spinach bites are everything you want in an appetizer: golden flaky crust paired with a warm, cheesy filling you can enjoy in two delicious bites.

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

No Academy Awards party is complete without popcorn! When those acceptance speeches go on and on, you’ll be happy to have this sweet and spicy popcorn to snack on. Leave out the peanuts and cashews if you want to keep it nut-free.

Caramel Popcorn

While not everyone can go home with a golden statue, your guests can each enjoy their own golden caramel popcorn treat. For added fun, shape each popcorn ball into your own version of the iconic statue and ceremoniously hand them out to your special guests.

Rumarita Cocktail

Rumarita Cocktail

As soon as the credits start to roll, that’s when the real party starts. Kick off your after-party with a rumarita, made with gold rum and fresh citrus.

Looking for more ideas? Try our 20 Best Recipes for an Awards Show Party.

Fruit Bruschetta

Fresh, Fruity Bruschetta to Sweeten Your Summer

Bruschetta is a crunchy Italian appetizer that celebrates summertime tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil, all of which is spooned over crispy, toasted bread. With all of that goodness packed into one bite, it’s no wonder it’s so popular!

While tomatoes are lovely, the concept of bruschetta is open to interpretation. Instead of the standard tomatoes, we put some of summer’s best stone fruit in the spotlight, creating three scrumptious, tomato-free bruschetta using peaches, cherries and apricots. Enjoy one, two or all three of these sweet-meets-savoury creations for a bright, stunningly beautiful alternative to typical tomatoes.

peach-bruschetta

Peach and Radish Bruschetta
Thinly slice 2 ripe peaches and place in a medium bowl with 2 thinly sliced radishes, 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion and 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let peach mixture stand for 10 minutes. Garnish toasted crostini with peach mixture and serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

cherry-bruschetta

Cherry and Chive Bruschetta
Pit and slice 2 cups cherries and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let cherry mixture stand for 10 minutes. Smear extra-smooth ricotta on toasted crostini and top with cherry mixture, spooning over residual cherry juices. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Apricot-Basil

Apricot and Basil Bruschetta
Slice 2 cups ripe apricots and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup sliced red onion and 1/4 cup finely chopped basil. In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar with 2 Tbsp apricot jam and microwave for 30 seconds. Toss apricot mixture with jam mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. Top toasted crostini with apricot mixture and garnish with crumbled feta. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Don’t get us wrong, we still love tomatoes! Here are our finest fresh tomato recipes for summertime and beyond.

Jerk Chicken Wings

Turn Up The Heat With These Jerk Chicken Wings

If you’ve ever been to Toronto in July, chances are you’ve experienced Caribana. Since 1967, the festival has been a bright, colourful and delicious celebration of Caribbean culture. If you can’t make to the festival, you can still celebrate by making these spicy jerk chicken wings right at home.

The key to jerk seasoning’s delicious burn is the scorching Scotch bonnet peppers. Dial down the heat by removing the seeds and using as many or as few peppers as you desire.

jerk chicken wings

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours 45 min
Serves: 1 to 2 people

Ingredients:
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
6 garlic cloves
3 green onions
2 to 3 small Scotch Bonnets, seeds removed
1 1/2-in piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 Tbsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 lbs chicken wings

jerk chicken wings cooking

Directions:
1. Combine oil with soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, green onions, scotch bonnets, ginger, thyme, allspice and cinnamon in a blender. Purée until smooth, then pour into a large bowl.
2. Add chicken wings, then toss to coat. Let marinate, in refrigerator, for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on prepared sheet. Spray rack with oil. Transfer wings to rack. Reserve marinade.
4. Roast wings in centre of oven, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade, until crispy and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
5. Remove pan from oven and let stand until cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Tip: Enjoy these wings on their own or skewer them for an impressive garnish for a cool and refreshing Caesar cocktail.

jerk chicken wing caesar

3 Ways with Cauliflower Wings

If you’ve been searching for a healthier chicken wing alternative to please both carnivores and vegetarian diners, look no further. Enjoy classic wings — sans meat — with these three tasty cauliflower wing variations!

Cauliflower-Wings-7

Cauliflower florets offer a pool of flexibility when it comes to flavourings, so get creative with your homemade and prepared sauces. From Thai peanut to maple chipotle to honey garlic, these tasty bites will satisfying your cravings with little caloric impact.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Cauliflower-Wings-12-Thai-Peanut

Crunchy Thai Peanut

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 Tbsp minced fresh Thai chili
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp tamari or fish sauce
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
1/4 cup water, more to thin
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Minced green onion, to serve
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
Sriracha, to serve

Cauliflower-Wings-1-Thai-Peanut-Prep

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl whisk peanut butter, lime juice, chili, tamari or fish sauce, ginger and water until smooth. Mixture should be thick but still run off the spoon; if too thick, add water, 1 tsp at a time until proper consistency. Add panko to a large plate.
4. Working one at a time, dip cauliflower in peanut butter mixture to coat, then coat in panko, shaking off extra. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and panko is crispy. Transfer to a serving plate, top with green onions, cilantro and a drizzle of Sriracha. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-1-Chipotle-BBQ-Maple

Maple Chipotle BBQ

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1 cup prepared or homemade BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl, mix BBQ sauce, maple syrup, vinegar and chipotle peppers until combined. Working one at a time, coat cauliflower in BBQ sauce mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender sauce is sticky. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-Honey-Garlic-Sesame

Honey, Garlic and Sesame

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp white miso paste
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or mirin
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried granulated garlic (no garlic salt)
2 tsp black and/or white sesame seeds, to serve
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)

Cauliflower-Wings-5

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk honey, miso, vinegar or mirin, water, sesame oil and garlic until combined. Working one at a time, coat cauliflower in honey mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender sauce is sticky. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro and chili, if using. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-14

Note: Make these as close to baking as possible. The longer the panko sits on the peanut butter mixture, the less crispy it will be.

For another tasty appetizer, try this recipe for Moroccan-spiced cauliflower bites.

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.

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.

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.

How to Make a Snowman Cheese Ball

Building a snowman cheese ball is a fun project for kids (and adults) of all ages, especially when you’re snowed in. This recipe is simple, relatively quick to prepare and can be made-ahead and frozen, which means you can get a jump-start on your holiday food prep.

Combining sharp cheddar, tangy feta and decadent cream cheese, it’s an adaptable recipe that you’ll have a hard time resisting with a few crunchy crackers. Flurries or clear skies, you can turn your stash of cheese into a charming, cultured (no pun intended) masterpiece that would make Frozen’s Olaf proud.

Snowman-Cheeseball1

Snowman Cheese Ball

Ingredients:
185 g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
100 g aged white cheddar, crumbled
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving
Whole black peppercorns (“eyes” and “buttons”)
Sliver of carrot (“eyes”)
Zucchini top (“hat”)
Shaved zucchini (“scarf”)

Snowman-Cheeseball5

Directions:
1. In a food processor, pulse feta, cream cheese, cheddar and garlic powder until combined; scrape down sides and pulse again. Blend for 10 seconds, scrape down sides and blend until creamy.

Snowman-Cheeseball4

2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dollop 3 rounds into small, medium and large sizes (about 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup portions of cheese). Roughly form into balls and dust with Parmesan. Freeze for 45 minutes until firm but still pliable.

Snowman-Cheeseball3

3. Remove from freezer. Add largest ball to serving plate; insert a toothpick in centre. Secure second (middle, medium) ball on top with toothpick. To the middle, add another toothpick in the centre and secure head (top, small) ball.

Snowman-Cheeseball2

4. Insert a toothpick in the centre of the head (top, small). Decorate snowman with peppercorn eyes and buttons, and carrot nose. Wrap zucchini around snowman’s “neck” and insert 1 to 2 toothpicks to secure. Dust with additional Parmesan for a snowed-in effect. Serve with crackers.

Snowman-Cheeseball6

Notes:
– Make the 3 cheese balls in advance (without decoration), and store wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container, up to 1 month. Defrost in refrigerator overnight before decorating and serving.
– To add texture but keep the snowy-white appearance, mix in 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds after blending cheese. If you’re not concerned about the appearance, dried cranberries and walnuts, and/or fresh herbs work well here.

Easy, Cheesy Cherry-Pistachio Brie En Croute

Want to be a holiday party hero? Make this recipe that’s quick, easy and delivers huge in the yummy department. Impress your guests with beautifully decorated puff pastry, then shock them when you cut through and soft, gooey cheese oozes out. Finally, send them to heaven with this sweet and salty combination of tart cherry preserves, crunchy pistachios and rich double cream Brie.

cherry-pistachio-brie-en-croute2

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 10-inch x 10-inch sheet puff pastry
1 200 g wheel double cream Brie
1/2 sour cherry preserves (or jam/jelly of your choice)
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (nut of your choice)
1 egg yolk

cherry-pistachio-brie-en-croute

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface. Place Brie in centre of pastry. Place preserves on brie and then place nuts over preserves. Bring the corners of the pastry into the centre of the Brie, then bring the side up to meet the corners. Trim excess pastry from the centre. Form decorative detailing with excess pastry to help seal the pastry. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.
2. While chilling, preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Mix egg yolk with 1 Tbsp water and brush over pastry. Bake in centre of oven until pastry is golden, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Do not bake in advance.

Looking for more tasty hor d’ouvre inspiration? Try our 75 Holiday Party Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Mini Bacon Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup Shooters

Next time you’re hosting a game-day feast or party during the cold-weather months, try serving this creative spin on a comfort-food classic.

Everyone loves a grilled cheese sandwich, but the addition of bacon, mustard and cherry tomatoes are what sets this dish apart from the rest. To really take this already delicious dish up a notch, we’re serving it a with mini tomato soup sipper that’s spiked with a touch of beer. Comfort food at its best!

Mini-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese

Tomato & Beer Soup Shooters

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 16 servings

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup beer
2 cups strained tomatoes (passata)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Pinch granulated sugar
3 Tbsp sour cream or crème fraiche
2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or chives

Directions:
1. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic, stirring often, until soft and starting to turn golden, about 8 minutes. Deglaze with beer. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until beer is almost evaporated, 5 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and broth. Bring to simmer; cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. (Tip: Let cool slightly. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours. Reheat before continuing.)
4. Transfer sour cream into small sandwich baggie. Pour soup into shot glasses or small demi-tasse cups. Snip tiny piece of corner from baggie and squeeze a small drizzle of sour cream over top of soup shooters. Sprinkle with tarragon.

Note: Make sure you choose a not-too-bitter beer, preferably from a local microbrewery, such as a malty ale or Belgian-style wheat beer.

Mini-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese2

Mini Bacon Grilled Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 16 sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 baguette, sliced into 32, 1/2-inch thick slices
1/4 cup softened butter
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
11/4 cup shredded old Cheddar cheese (125 g)
8 slices cooked bacon, sliced into 4 pieces each
8 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Spread butter over top of 16 baguette slices. Arrange, butter-side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread tops with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle cheese over half of the pieces; top each with 1 bacon piece.
3. Spread butter on remaining 16 baguette slices, topping each cheese and bacon-covered piece with an un-topped slice, butter-side up.
4. Bake turning once, until golden and cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Skewer each sandwich with a tomato half with a toothpick.
6. Serve with Tomato & Beer Soup Shooters.

How to Make Bloodshot Eyeball Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs get a bit more kitsch by soaking in an eerie red bath, creating a bloodshot eye pattern on their tops. Inside, these bites get a double hit of spice from a creamy wasabi filling and Sriracha squiggles, and are then topped with black olive slices for eerie “pupils.”

This seriously spooky appetizer is a cute way to dress up devilled eggs for Halloween, but you can enjoy them anytime. Simply omit the red food coloring and add a few drops of hot sauce over top.

bloodshot-devilled-eggs2

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes
Serves: 6 to 12

Ingredients:

Eggs:
6 large eggs
1 Tbsp red or burgundy food colouring gel
4 cups of water

Filling and Toppings:
6 egg hardboiled egg yolks, from above
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp prepared wasabi
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
6 pitted black olives, sliced into rounds or 24 pre-sliced black olive rounds
3 Tbsp to 1/4 cup Sriracha

bloodshot-devilled-eggs

Directions:

Eggs:
1. Add water to medium saucepan and stir in red food colouring. Add eggs and stir. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Carefully remove eggs from red water with a spoon. In the bowl, tap egg with a spoon or press gently with your thumb to create cracks all over exterior. Place back in red water. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
3. Once chilled, peel and rinse eggs. Slice in half lengthwise and add egg yolks to a medium bowl for the filling. Place hollowed egg whites cut side-up on a serving platter.

Filling:
1. Mash removed yolks with a fork until yolk is in fine pieces. Add mayonnaise, wasabi and sesame oil. Mix well to incorporate.

Assembly:
1. Spoon or pipe filling into hollowed egg whites. Dot filling with a black olive round to create the “pupil” or use. Pipe Sriracha onto whites to create a bloodshot eye appearance. Serve.

How to Make Easy Butter Chicken Hand Pies

Take your favourite Indian curry on the go with these mildly spiced hand pies that make a perfect school or work lunch. Flaky, half-moon pastries are stuffed with tender morsels of marinated chicken, smothered in fragrant, creamy sauce seasoned with a blend of ginger, garlic, garam masala and touch of lime juice.

Butter Chicken Hand Pies

Prep: 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 12

Ingredients:
Marinade
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Butter Chicken Sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, grated
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Pies
2 10 in. x 10 in. sheets of store-bought, pre-rolled, frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water

Directions:

Marinade:
1. To make the marinade combine yogurt, lime juice, garam masala, paprika, cumin and salt in a medium bowl. Add in chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Butter Chicken:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add in ginger, garlic and onion. Stir while cooking until mixture is golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Add in chicken with marinade and cook until chicken is white and and almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
3. Add in chickpeas, tomato, chili powder, salt, and garam masala and stir to combine.
4. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce begins to bind to chicken, about 8 minutes.
5. Stir in cream and cook until sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Assembly:
1. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
2. To make the pies trace 4 circles, 5 inches in diameter, on a sheet of puff pastry. The circles will touch the edges of the dough sheet to ensure 4 equal circles. Using a paring knife, carefully cut out circles. Repeat with remaining sheet.
3. In a small bowl stir egg yolk with water.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Place 3 tablespoons of cooled butter chicken in the center of a dough circle. Brush egg yolk mixture around the circumference of the dough. Fold the dough over filling to close into a semi circle Continue with remaining dough. Place hand pies on prepared baking sheets.
5. Remove hand pies from refrigerator. Cut 3 small slits on the top of each one. Lightly brush egg mixture over each hand pie and bake until golden brown and flakey, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

pizettes

3 Weeknight Dinner-Worthy Pizzettes

These decadent flatbreads will make you feel like you’re dining at a trendy gastro pub. Simple and quick enough to make on a busy weeknight, you can customize each pizzette to the diner’s taste with just a few ingredients.

Serve as an elegant appetizer or a simple main course with a side salad as the perfect way to enjoy those end-of-summer garden flavours.

three-pizettes

California Club Pizzette

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp berry jam (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, etc.)
1/2 avocado pitted, peeled and sliced
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled into large pieces
3 Tbsp shaved aged white cheddar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
2. While crust is still warm, spread with jam. Top with avocado, bacon and cheddar. Slice and serve immediately.

Apple, Prosciutto Pizzette

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp goat cheese
1/2 apple, any variety, cored and thinly sliced
2 slices prosciutto
Small handful arugula

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
1. While crust is still warm, sprinkle with goat cheese. Top with apple, prosciutto and arugula. Slice and serve immediately.

pizettes

Garden Vegetable Pizzette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

For the Spiced Hummus:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp za’atar or baharat or curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 (19 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup water

For the Pizzette:
1 small soft flatbread or pita or naan bread
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, shaved
1 watermelon radish, shaved or thinly sliced
Small handful salad greens such as baby kale
2 tsp balsamic reduction

Directions:

Spiced Hummus:
1. In a food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add tahini, lemon juice, za’atar or baharat or curry powder, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth.
1. Add chickpeas and blend until combined. Add water, to thin, beginning with 2 Tbsp and adding until desired consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate airtight for up to 1 week.

Assembly:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flatbread or pita or naan on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven.
1. While crust is still warm, spread with hummus. Top with shaved vegetables, greens and balsamic reduction. Slice and serve immediately.

3 Quick and Easy Mini Bagel Appetizers

Trendy, avocado toast is definitely delicious and bruschetta is a real summer treat, but we can’t get enough of bagels — mini bagels to be precise. The wee favourites are far from microwaved pizza bagels of years past. We’ve got three tasty and truly grown-up ways to enjoy these bites as a unique and adorable appetizer.

From modern BLT bagels to spicy Mexican flavoured bites to classic cream cheese and lox, there’s something for everyone in these party-ready recipes.

Mini Bagels

BLT Bagel

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients:
12 mini bagels, sliced in half, toasted
1/2 cup roasted tomato jam or sundried tomato pesto
1/2 cup arugula
6 slices bacon, chopped

Directions:
Place bagels cut side-up on a large serving plate. Spread bagels with 2/3 of the tomato jam or tomato pesto. Top with arugula, bacon and remaining 1/3 the tomato jam or tomato pesto. Serve.

Spicy Mexican Bagel

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients:
12 mini bagels, sliced in half
1/2 cup chunky tomato salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1 avocado, pitted and sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp sliced fresh basil or cilantro
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:
Place bagels cut side-up on a large serving plate. Spread bagels with salsa. Top with a fan of avocado, dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of basil or cilantro and sprinkle of chili flakes. Serve with lime wedges for seasoning.

Mexican mini bagels

Cream Cheese & Lox Bagel

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients:

Lemon Cream Cheese:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Bagels & Toppings:
12 mini bagels, sliced in half
6 to 8 slices smoked salmon
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4cup capers
1/2 cup fresh dill

Directions:

Lemon Cream Cheese:
In a large bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.

Assembly:
Place bagels cut side-up on a large serving plate. Spread bagels with prepared lemon cream cheese. Top with smoked salmon, a few slices of red onion, 3 to 4 capers and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serve.

Cauliflower Bites with Turmeric Yogurt

Bright and Bold Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites

Turn a head of cauliflower into a flavourful and healthy appetizer in less than 30 minutes.

This meat-free “wing-style” dish will entice even the most discerning carnivore with its full flavour profile. Turmeric gives this dish it’s bright yellow hue, combined with cinnamon, pepper, cumin and thyme, for a fragrant spice combo you’ll want to use on more veggies. Serve as a quick party appetizer or as part of a larger meal as a tempting veggie side dish.

Cauliflower Bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites:
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Turmeric Yogurt Dip:
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced

To Serve:
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or diced green onion

Directions:

Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites:
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a large bowl, toss all cauliflower ingredients until florets are evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet.
3. Roast for 18 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender and beginning to brown on the bottom.

Turmeric Yogurt Dip:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk all dip ingredients until uniformly yellow. 2. Transfer to a serving bowl. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir before serving.

To Serve:
1. Arrange cauliflower on a platter, sprinkle with cilantro or green onion, and serve warm or room temperature alongside dip.

lobster bites

Simply Irresistible Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster rolls — soft rolls stuffed with a creamy, cold lobster salad — are a comfort food favourite across the Canadian Maritimes. The airy, soft roll gets swapped out for crispy little toast cups in this fun, bite-sized appetizer that’s perfect for any time of year.

Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster Roll Bites

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 48 pieces

Ingredients

Toast Cups:
12 slices soft white bread
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Lobster Salad:
1-1/4 cups diced cooked lobster meat (5 oz/140 g)
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 green onion, light and dark green parts separated, minced
1 rib celery, finely diced
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch each salt and pepper

Lobster Bites prep

Directions:

Toast Cups
1. Using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll each bread slice firmly to flatten it. Trim the crusts from the bread to make squares.
2. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with butter, and then cut slices into quarters to make 4 small squares.
3. Press 1 square into each well of two lightly greased mini muffin tins.
4. Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack. You can store the toast cups in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Lobster Salad & Assembly:
5. In a bowl, mix together lobster, mayonnaise, white and light green part of green onion, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 4 hours.
6. Spoon the salad into the toast cups just before serving. Sprinkle with dark green part of green onion.

Lobster Roll Bites

Lobster 101
You can buy lobster a few different ways from your fishmonger or the seafood department of many grocery stores: Whole cooked lobsters; frozen claws and arms (which are usually less expensive); fresh raw tails; frozen shelled meat; or follow the tip below to boil your own live lobsters. You’ll need one live, whole 650g lobster or 450 g cooked claws or tails in shells to yield the amount of meat called for in this recipe.

How to Cook and Shell Whole Lobsters
In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, pour in enough salted water to come at least halfway up the side of the pot. (Make sure the water covers the lobsters by a couple of inches, but remove them before continuing.) Bring to a rolling boil. Snip off the rubber bands from the lobsters’ claws. Carefully plunge each lobster headfirst into the saucepan. Don’t drop them in, or boiling water may splash on you. Cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lobsters have turned bright red and the small legs twist off easily, about 10 minutes for a 650g lobster. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Twist the tail off one lobster. Using kitchen shears, cut up the inside and back of shell to release the meat. Crack apart claws and remove the meat. Repeat with any remaining lobsters.

 

Looking for more tasty lobster recipes? Try our 15 Best Canadian Seafood Recipes

Mennonite Favourites Made with Love

By Trish Mayor, as told to Devon Scoble

Trish Mayor grew up in Martensville, a community outside Saskatoon with a strong Mennonite presence, where she was raised with love, tolerance and an appreciation for butter. She has fond memories of eating her mum and omi’s roll kuchen (cookies) and fleisch perishky (meat dumplings) on Sundays.

The town I grew up in had a very generous environment among a family-oriented community of people. Kind and loving and accepting: That, for me, is the definition of Canadian—how we try to be as caring and accepting of others as possible.

I believe roll kuchen and fleisch perishky are very old recipes. Like with many Mennonite recipes, they’re made with whatever’s in the cupboard; you throw them together with leftovers. I fondly remember visiting with my grandparents and eating both dishes for Sunday brunch. My grandparents would make them ahead of time and serve them cold.

My mum often made roll kuchen to have with soup, but you can have them with jam or syrup, too—it’s a wonderfully diverse recipe. My mother said that many Prairie towns have fundraisers where they sell watermelon slices with roll kuchen—so it does go with sweet—but most often, we eat them with savoury soup. Roll kuchen is something I make when I don’t want a biscuit, plus they’re quicker and easier to make than buns!

Mennonite-Favourites_blogembed1

These days, fleisch perishky aren’t so much a staple as they are a treat. When we do make these meat-filled dumplings, we make a large batch to freeze so we have some on hand.

I’m expecting my first child this summer and I’m looking forward to cooking with him. I want to teach him to understand the benefits of eating “real” food (as local as possible), that food is not just about eating what you like, that it’s also about nourishing your body—and to eat his vegetables! One of my favourite things to do now is cook with my partner, who is also a very good cook. We turn on music and enjoy ourselves in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to having our child as part of this happy picture.

I think my love of food and cooking came from growing up and not being worried about small things, such as too much butter in my food. Food was more like, “This is good, and we’re sitting together and enjoying this together.”

I do think that food is love. And when it is prepared with love, it can be something very special.

Omi’s Fleisch Perishky, courtesy of Trish Mayor

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 3/4 hours (includes rising time)
Yield: 24 to 36 dumplings

Ingredients
Dough
1½ pkg yeast
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) warm water
1 cup (250 mL) warm milk
½ cup (125 mL) melted shortening or butter
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 eggs
4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour
2 egg yolks

Filling
1 lb (450 g) ground beef or leftover roast that has gone through meat grinder
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 cups (approx) (250 to 500 mL) mashed potatoes (enough to bind meat) (optional)

Directions
Dough
1. Dissolve yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar in warm water; cover and set aside until light and fluffy, about 20 minutes.
2. Stir in milk, shortening, remaining sugar salt and eggs; mix until well combined.
3. Add flour, a bit at a time, mixing until it comes away from bowl. Knead until elastic, about 8 minutes.
4. Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let rise, turning once, for 1 hour.

Filling
1. In skillet, cook beef and onion until beef is no longer pink inside and onion is softened; season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add mashed potatoes, if using, to form paste.

To Finish
1. Pinch dough into about 24 to 36 pieces.
2. Flatten each to form oval; add about 1 tsp (5 mL) filling to centre. Wrap and close dough around edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, placing each dumpling on greased baking sheet to rise for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
3. Mix egg yolks with equal amount of water. Brush dumplings with egg yolk mixture.
4. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve hot or cold.

Follow the jump to print, save or share this fleisch perishky recipe.

Roll Kuchen, courtesy of Trish Mayor

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 32 cookies

Ingredients
2 cups (500 mL) flour
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream
2 eggs
oil for frying

Directions
1. Into bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well; add cream and eggs, mixing well. Add a bit more flour if dough is too soft.
2. On floured surface, roll out dough to about 16 x 16 inches (40 x 40 cm). Dough should be springy and no thicker than a pencil.
3. Cut dough into strips about 4 x 2 inches (10 x 5 cm). Cut lengthwise slit in centre of each strip; pull half of the strip through it.
4. Fry, turning once, until golden brown.

Watch Chef Lynn Crawford make roll kuchen here. 

Follow the jump to print, save or share this roll kuchen recipe.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

A Gourmet Caponata You Can Make at Home

By Christine Martin

Eggplant is not a vegetable that I cook with often. It has a very unique flavour and texture, which can make it challenging to know how to use it properly. So I am always intrigued to find new ideas about how to incorporate this beautiful vegetable into my cooking.

On Valentine’s Day a number of years ago, and I was searching for a new appetizer recipe, when I first came across caponata. Our kids were just babies and we couldn’t find a babysitter in order for us to go out to eat. Instead, my husband and I decided to have a nice, romantic dinner at home once the kids were asleep. It was my first time making caponata and we both instantly fell in love with it. Now, whenever we want a gourmet treat, we make this dish!

Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe a few times, to make it exactly how we like it. This rustic Italian recipe is so versatile, you can serve it many different ways: hot or cold, as an appetizer or salad, or as a sauce on top of chicken or fish. The flavour is so incredible that your taste buds will be longing for more after every bite.

Rustic Italian Caponta, Courtesy of Christine Martin, amidstthechaos.ca, Pickering, Ont

This versatile dish is an elegantly easy way to enjoy eggplant.

rustic-italian-caponta_888embed

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup (50 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
salt
1 medium onion, diced
2 large ribs celery, thinly sliced crosswise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 (14 oz /398 mL) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 tsp (10 mL) rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar
2-3 Tbsp (30-45 mL) pine nuts, toasted

Instructions
1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
2. When oil starts shimmering, add eggplant and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until eggplant is softened and browned. Remove from heat; scrape eggplant into bowl. Set aside.
3. Return skillet to heat. Add onion, celery and another pinch of salt. Sauté until onions are slightly softened and somewhat translucent.
4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar and sugar.
6. Return eggplant to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes, adding reserved tomato liquid if needed to keep mixture from drying out.
7. Remove from heat and fold in the pine nuts. Salt to taste.

Tip: Most pine nuts are sold raw. For this recipe you’ll want to toast them in a frying pan on low heat. Make sure to keep a close eye on them, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

Amidst the Chaos
Christine is the editor and creative thinker behind Amidst the Chaos, a food and lifestyle blog that focuses on finding beauty every day, amid the chaos of life. She is a work-at-home mom who resides in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and their three kids under the age of five.