Tag Archives: entertaining

These Comforting Fried Mashed Potato Balls Make Leftovers the Star

Who doesn’t love creamy mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving? A classic favourite, this delicious side dish is usually one that leaves you with leftovers to repurpose. Instead of simply reheating them (not recommended), get creative in the kitchen with this ultra-tasty and easy appetizer idea that’s great for entertaining. Use whatever cheese and fun add-ins you have in your fridge to change up the flavours and suit your mood!

Mashed Potato Croquettes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 18 balls (approx.)

Ingredients:

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
¾ cup shredded old cheddar cheese
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ tsp salt, divided
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped chives
¼ tsp pepper
Oil, for frying

Directions:

1. Stir together mashed potatoes, cheese and bacon in a medium bowl. Portion into 1-inch balls.
2. Mix panko with ¼ tsp salt in a small bowl. Roll potato balls in panko mixture, pressing lightly to adhere.

3. Heat 1-1/2 -inches oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack. Fry potato balls in batches of 4 or 5 until golden. Set aside, and continue frying remaining batches.
4. Stir sour cream with chives, remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl. Serve with warm croquettes.

Don’t stop reimagining your leftovers there! Here are 12 turkey soup and stew recipes, plus tips on how long you can actually eat your Thanksgiving leftovers. Also, this braised turkey sandwich is worthy of becoming a new holiday tradition.

Eddie Jackson's Pineapple Gochujang Short Ribs

Eddie Jackson’s Gochujang Short Ribs Are Your New All-Star Dish

Eddie Jackson’s sweet short ribs made with gochujang sauce and fresh pineapple make for easy entertaining, leaving you with more time to enjoy with your guests (and the big game!). Inspired by Koreatown tableside grilling, they are ready in a flash — and will be gone even faster!

Serve at your next gathering with other crowd-pleasing favourites from Game-Day Eats: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro.

Eddie Jackson's Pineapple Gochujang Short Ribs from Game Day Eats

Pineapple-Gochujang Short Ribs

Prep time: 5 minutes (plus 5 hours marinating and resting time)
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients: 

1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 oz (about 115 g) fresh pineapple, roughly chopped
½ cup turbinado sugar
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 (1-inch/2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon gochujang
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 lbs flanken-style short ribs
Thinly sliced scallion, for serving

Directions: 

1. In a food processor, combine the soy sauce, pineapple, sugar, shallot, kiwi, garlic, ginger, gochujang, sesame oil, and black pepper. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and no large chunks remain.
2. Put the ribs into a large resealable plastic bag or large nonre­active bowl with an airtight lid. Pour the marinade over the ribs and massage it into the meat. Seal (or cover) and refrig­erate for at least 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature about 1 hour before grilling.
3. When ready to grill, prepare a grill for direct cooking (or set a grill pan over medium-high heat).
4. Grill the ribs until the meat is browned through, 2 to 3 min­utes per side, turning frequently. Top with the scallions and serve immediately.

Tip: Shake off any excess marinade before you grill the meat to prevent any flare-ups. Any leftover marinade can be brought to a boil until it reduces slightly and used as extra sauce for the ribs, if desired.

From the book GAME-DAY EATS: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro by Eddie Jackson. Copyright © 2019 by Eddie Jackson. Published on September 24, 2019 by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

8 Cooking Tips to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes Every Time

The perfect mashed potatoes should be creamy, fluffy, decadently buttery and so good it requires little to no gravy if made right. Why then have we grumbled over gluey, lumpy and sloppy interpretations of what is a simple staple on every holiday menu? You need only follow 8 incredibly easy tips for the lightest and most sublime mashed potatoes. This spuds for you.

1. Mix it Up

We like Yukon gold potatoes for their buttery texture and golden hue, and Russet potatoes for their starchy, dry quality, making for a lighter mash. Choose one or mix the two for the best of both worlds.

2. Size Matters

Peel and cut the potatoes the same size and add to a large pot of cold water. Both measures will ensure even cooking to prevent the outer layer from breaking down, avoiding lumps.

3. Seasoning is Everything

Add enough kosher salt or sea salt to boiling water until salty to the tongue, about 1 Tbsp salt to 6 cups water. Two cloves of garlic will flavour the cooking liquid and the potatoes when you mash together.

4. Shake the Pot

Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Set over medium heat, shaking the pot, uncovered until all moisture has evaporated, about 1 minute.

5. Hot Liquid Equals Smooth Mash

Heat butter and cream or milk in a saucepan until steaming, and keep warm. A hot mixture is easily and quickly absorbed into the mashed potatoes. Starch requires full-fat dairy for a creamy texture, so don’t skimp out during the holiday.

6. A Ricer is Nicer

A ricer or food mill is a professional cook’s tool to push the spuds through small holes to get that restaurant-quality texture every time.

7. Fresh is Best

Reheated mashed potatoes are never as good as freshly made. To prep ahead: peel, cut and soak your potatoes in cold water, and combine the butter and cream or milk in a saucepan, covered. Stir in the seasoned cream mixture into the potatoes and taste for seasoning. You may need to sprinkle more salt, and remember, reserve any remaining cream mixture, as the potatoes will continue to absorb the liquid.

8. Dress for Success

Perfect in its natural state, don’t forgo a simple garnish like a square of butter, and or chopped chives, green onions or parsley. You can also stir in a spoonful of sour cream for a tangy finish.

Classic Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

1.5 kg russet and Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed
¾ cup 35% cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup butter
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)

Directions:

1. Fill a large pot of cold salted water; add potatoes and garlic. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are falling apart, about 15 minutes.
2. Drain potato mixture and return to pot over medium heat; shake pot, uncovered until potatoes are dry, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl.
3. Using a ricer or food mill, press potatoes and garlic through ricer back into pot.

4. Heat cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper in saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, and mixture is hot. Stir into potato mixture and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
5. Transfer to serving dish and top with butter and green onions (if using).

See here for the ultimate guide to turkey cooking times, a reliable Thanksgiving checklist to stay ahead of the stress, and the best make-ahead baked stuffing.

Tasty Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Sauce (That You Can Make Ahead!)

A Thai-style appetizer with a Thanksgiving twist, these “fall” rolls offer a light bite before the main event. Inspired by the fresh summer rolls enjoyed at Thai restaurants, this autumnal version with roasted sweet potato and cabbage, soba noodles and peanuts is paired with a savoury coconut milk and pumpkin sauce spiced up with sriracha and juicy lime. They’re healthy, easy to prepare and can be made ahead up to one day – a bonus when holiday entertaining

Create your own filling to use up leftovers like roasted Brussels sprouts and squash, or add a bit of protein with shredded roasted turkey. You can even wrap up a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. There are no rules to roll.

Fresh Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 15 to 20 rolls

Ingredients: 

Filling
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch sticks
5 cups shredded green cabbage or quartered Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp soy sauce, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ (363g) pkg (2 bundles) buckwheat soba noodles 

Coconut-Pumpkin Dipping Sauce
1 (160mL) small can coconut milk
⅓ cup pumpkin purée
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Sriracha, to taste 

Assembly
15 to 20 rice paper wrappers
3 green onions, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup fresh basil leaves or cilantro leaves
¼ cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), roughly chopped
Black or white sesame seeds

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add squash, cabbage, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and then toss to combine and spread into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, toss and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender and beginning to caramelize. Set aside to cool to room temperature, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drain well again. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with a splash of additional sesame oil and soy sauce to coat and prevent the noodles from clumping. 

3. For the sauce, in a medium bowl whisk all ingredients well to combine so no lumps remain. If the coconut milk is cold, there will be lumps that refuse to whisk; if this happens, heat mixture in a pot over low heat, whisking constantly, until they melt. Pour into a serving bowl, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The sauce will firm as it cools, which tastes great, too – bring to room temperature for a looser dipping sauce consistency. 

4. To assemble, fill a large pie plate or rimmed baking sheet with warm tap water. Have all the filling and assembly ingredients chopped and within arm’s reach. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and have a few damp paper towels handy. Working one rice paper wrapper at a time, re-hydrate for 20 to 30 seconds in warm water until pliable, and place on a clean service.

5. To the wrappers, in the bottom third leaving a portion of rice paper wrapper exposed at the bottom, add a small amount (about ⅓ cup total) of roasted vegetables, noodles, green onions, basil and peanuts. Tuck in the bottom, then the sides and continue to roll away from you to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp paper towel to avoid drying out. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. If making ahead, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and transfer to an airtight container for up to one day; unwrap before serving.

6. Add rolls to plate next to dipping sauce, sprinkle the rolls and sauce with sesame seeds, and then serve. 

With an appetizer covered, it’s time to figure out the main course – here are some hacks to keep stress down in the kitchen.

Why Custom Catering is Becoming the Next Best Dining Experience

When it comes to food trends, 2019 has been all about consumers dictating which ingredients wind up on their plates – not to mention the cultivation of Instagram-worthy experiences. We’re demanding more healthy, sustainable farm-to-table options of our own choosing while also being given the opportunity to flaunt our food photography skills by capturing the latest crazes to emerge from the culinary world.

That’s where custom catering and grazing tables come in – merging big, diverse and beautiful displays that showcase our love of food with unique experiences you can enjoy with family and friends. From spectacular styling to high-quality ingredients (wave goodbye to processed meats!), these tables and platters make for a showstopping bespoke dining experience.

Aliza Devenyi, who co-owns Toronto’s cured.catering with Zoë Wisenberg, can attest to the high demand for photo-ready displays. “Most clients are concerned about the ‘wow’ factor,” she says, referring to the stunning table-sized charcuterie boards (pictured) she and Zoë specialize in. “Clients want an impressive, beautiful and, most importantly, delicious spread.”

According to a recent survey on millennial spending habits, more than 3 in 4 (78 per cent) said they would choose to spend their hard-earned cash on desirable experiences over material things. This pattern in spending habits is what economists are referring to as the “experience economy”, and its influence on food culture is undeniable – foodies need only look to the growing trends in farm-to-table options, custom catering and grazing tables for evidence.

“[They’re] not only a beautiful focal point for any party, but they provide a fun, interactive and customizable experience for guests,” Devenyi adds. “Gone are the days of stuffy dinner parties with complicated cuisines.”

A Visual Feast

For the uninitiated, a grazing table or supersized charcuterie board may resemble a traditional buffet at first – but instead of stacking a plate high with a limited selection of food, they instead allow guests to walk by, pop a bite-sized item into their mouths and keep mingling with the crowd. After all, nothing brings a group of people together quite like a table gorgeously styled with a rainbow assortment of drool-worthy foods to choose from.

And, as companies like cured.catering have proven, grazing tables or super-sized charcuterie boards are also genuine works of art. Even Pinterest is reporting that searches for grazing tables have skyrocketed by more than 163 per cent in the last year – and you can credit that surge in popularity to its Instagram-ready displays and communal experiences.

It also allows for customizing to suit a variety of dietary needs as people become more vocal about taking ownership of what’s on their plates.

With the growing number of dietary requirements, Devenyi and her business partner Wisenberg have had to get creative, sometimes crafting tables with a 50/50 balance of meat and vegetarian options. Think: prosciutto and honey paired with blue cheese (a personal favourite of hers) or something like vegan cashew “cheese” balls and thinly sliced veggies with nuts.

“We’ve noticed an increased demand in requests for offerings that cater to specific dietary needs, like gluten sensitivity, dairy-free and vegan,” she says. “We also have people asking for lighter options, such as more fruit and crudités.”

All of cured.catering’s creations are made up of locally-sourced produce, meats and specialty cheeses – something more foodies are taking note of when choosing where to spend their money.  As the business has developed, so too has its offerings, including all fruit or dessert tables – and candy tables for those with a major sweet tooth.

It’s apparent from rainbow bagels to epic spreads that people are eating with their eyes now more than ever before, with no signs of the trend abating anytime soon, including the ability to pick and choose how and what food you consume.

“Every bite has the power to be a different, transformative taste, which is why I think it’s so popular,” Devenyi says. “It’s not a plated meal, but rather … a way for guests to get creative and indulge in their hearts’ desires.”

All photos courtesy of cured.catering 

Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

You can never go wrong when serving your guests a hearty, veggie-packed breakfast casserole topped with melted, gooey goat cheese. Stratas are usually reserved for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Easter brunches, simply because they easily feed a crowd and can be fully prepped ahead of time; so no fuss, no muss when entertaining guests. Make this the day before and pop it into the oven when it’s go-time. What makes this strata even more special is that it’s made with sourdough bread, an artisan-style loaf that is easy to digest and adds incredible texture and bite.

Make-Ahead Vegetable Strata With Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, sliced into thin circles
1 ½ cups chopped kale or baby kale
1 ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
6 eggs
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk
4 cups sourdough loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place a skillet on medium heat, coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally and allow them to cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini and let them cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the kale, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir until the kale begins to wilt.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and dairy-free milk.
5. In a large casserole dish (9×13), coat the bottom with a little olive oil, spread ½ the bread on the bottom, top with ½ of the veggies, then layer the rest of the bread and veggies on top.

6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over and crumble the goat cheese on top, nestling some pieces underneath the bread cubes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. It can be left in the fridge for up to one day.
8. When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 350°F, place the uncovered strata in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it starts to bubble up and crisp.

This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata & Sourdough Bread

Still salivating? Here are 25 more crowd-pleasing brunch recipes and 15 sheet pan breakfast bakes that promise to please!

Vegan Shortbread Cookies That Party Goers Will Happily Devour

Rich and melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are a holiday classic loved by all ages. Vegans and those who avoid dairy can still enjoy the butteriest time of year with this cookie recipe using store-bought vegan butter. Look for a variety with a touch of coconut oil in the mix for the richest flavour and most tender texture.

Vegan Shortbread Cookies

A dusting of icing sugar or drizzle of melted chocolate to finish will make these cookies pop on a platter, though for shortbread purists, they’re just as nice without the flourish. Whether you decorate or not, a pot of tea to pair alongside your vegan shortbreads is non-negotiable.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (125 g) vegan stick butter (not spread or margarine), room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch, salt
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or light spelt flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (skip for non-stick baking sheets).
2. In a large bowl, cream vegan butter until smooth. Add sugars, vanilla and salt, and then continue to cream the mixture until fully combined, whipping a bit of air into the mix as you go. Slowly stir in flour until fully combined.

Vegan Shortbread Cookie Dough

3. Using your hands, gather dough into a ball and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Or, wrap dough tightly and freeze for up to 2 months; defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Vegan Shortbread Cookie Pressed Dough

4. Roll into 12 balls and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1- to 2-inches apart. Using the tines of a fork, gently flatten the top of each cookie. Alternatively, use a cookie press to make decorative spritz cookies.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the bottom and puffed. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
6. Once cookies are cool, dust with icing sugar. Serve.

Baked Vegan Shortbread Cookies

Impress guests further with these 25 Decadent Vegan Holiday Desserts.

How to Make a Classic Manhattan Cocktail

With the holiday season in full swing, thoughts are turning to what to serve at festive parties. What better cocktail than a classic Manhattan – easy to make (and customize according to how sweet or dry your guests like it)?

perfect-manhattan-cocktail-recipe

It’s said the Manhattan was created in New York in the late 1800s. According to some, Sir Winston Churchill’s mother was throwing a party at The Manhattan Club in honour of Samuel J. Tilden (a presidential candidate at the time) and a guest was making a cocktail from rye whisky and sweet vermouth which was so popular the club made it theirs (many say this story, although entertaining, can’t possibly be true as Churchill’s mother would have been in Europe and pregnant at the time). Others believe the cocktail was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black who worked at a bar on Broadway. No matter who invented it, it’s become a classic all over the world and you’ve probably got all the ingredients in your liquor cabinet already.

cocktail-manhattan-in-glass

The Classic Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:
2 oz rye whisky or bourbon
1 oz sweet vermouth (You can use ½ oz sweet and ½ oz dry vermouth)
A dash of bitters (Angostura)
Cocktail or Maraschino cherry for garnish
Ice

Directions:
1. Place the ice in a mixing glass, add the bitters.
2. Pour over the whisky and vermouth then slowly stir the drink until chilled.
3. Place the cherry in the bottom of a chilled serving glass, add more ice then slowly pour the cocktail over the ice.

Looking for more drink ideas? Try these Sensational Canadian Cocktails.

baked-brie-rolls

Baked Brie Becomes a Show-Stopping Appetizer with Pull-Apart Bread Rolls

Store-bought pizza dough makes this show-stopping appetizer come together in a matter of minutes. A wheel of Brie is already a crowd-pleaser, but it is transformed into a truly sensational holiday dish when baked with fresh buns and served warm from the oven. Serve in the cast iron pan at the table so guests can tear off pieces of bread and dig in to the gooey, melty cheese.

BakedBrie3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:
600g pizza dough
170g Brie wheel
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch each salt and pepper
Jam (cranberry, fig or lingonberry)
Fresh figs and rosemary sprig (to garnish)

BakeBrie1

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 75g pieces. Roll each into a tight ball; set aside.
2. Using sharp knife, remove top rind of Brie. Place Brie, cut side-up, in centre of cast iron pan. Arrange pizza dough rolls around cheese.
3. In small bowl, combine melted butter, rosemary, salt and pepper. Brush butter mixture over pizza rolls.

BakedBrie2
4. Bake in 400°F oven until top of pizza rolls start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F; bake until pizza rolls are golden, hard on the outside and sound hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes.
5. Spoon a little jam over Brie; top with fresh figs and garnish with rosemary sprig.

Looking for more inspiration?  Try Our Cheesiest Appetizers Ever.

antipasto-cups-on-cutting-board

Salami Antipasto Cups are Your New Favourite Make-Ahead Appetizers

Parties, parties and more parties rule this time of year. From ugly sweater get-togethers to cookie swaps to annual potlucks, your calendar seems to fill up quickly in this season of celebration. With party-going comes the need for fun and flavourful appetizers you can toss together with ease, no matter the occasion.

These cute little salami antipasto cups are a perfect holiday party date. Each savoury cup is packed with delicious and fresh flavours that are guaranteed to make you a favoured guest. The best part? You can use virtually any and all kinds of salami, fresh herbs, cheese and veggies you have on hand for a delicious array of flavour combinations. Plus, you can make these bites in advance, and use a muffin tin to safely transport to your party.

stuffed-salami-antipasto-cups

Salami Antipasto Cups Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 cups

Ingredients:
24 slices round salami
½ cup  mozzarella cheese, torn or cubed
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
⅓ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
10 basil leaves, torn
2 Tbsp roasted red peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salami-cup-ingredients

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375F. Line 24 mini muffin tins with salami. Fill each cup with a 1-inch loose tinfoil ball. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crispy. Let cool completely.

2. Toss together remaining ingredients. Spoon into cooled cups.

Looking for more tasty ideas? Try these Holiday Party Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Apple and brie roses holiday appetizer

Make These Beautiful Brie and Apple Cinnamon Rose Appetizers

These pretty little appetizers are as easy on the eyes as they are to eat. Tender apple and creamy Brie all wrapped up in a delectable crispy, buttery puff pastry cup with a cinnamon sugar swirl. These are sure to be a hit with your guests – and will make it onto your roster of simple and delicious appetizers for the holidays!

Brie and Apple Cinnamon Roses

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes: 16

Ingredients:
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 sheets (two 450 g packages) frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1 egg, beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, very thinly sliced
400 g Brie cheese, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray (you’ll need 16 cups total).
2. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll one sheet of puff pastry (keep the other chilled). Cut into four 2½-inch wide strips. Egg wash ½-inch of one long end and one short end of each strip.
4. Place apple slices along the opposite long edge from the egg wash, extending slightly over the edge. Top with slices of Brie cheese. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
5. Starting at unwashed short side, roll dough, upwards. Press lightly to seal edge. Pinch bottom to seal and place into prepared tin. Egg wash the exposed pastry lightly. Repeat with remaining strips, sheets of pastry and ingredients.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until pastry is golden. Carefully remove pastries from tins immediately and place on wire cooking rack to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Love this recipe? Check out 10 more puff pastry holiday appetizer recipes.

halloween-pretzels-3-ways

Make These Spooktacular Halloween Pretzels and Watch Them Disappear

Halloween is the time of year for sweet and salty treats and we’ve come up with some super fun recipes that transform pretzels into spooky and delicious Halloween party eats. On top of being easy to make, all the ingredients can be picked up at your grocery or bulk food store. Plus each of these adorable bites come together in minutes and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

halloween-pretzel-party

Pretzel Ghosts Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
24 small pretzel twists
½ cup dark chocolate molding wafers

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt white chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl over a small pot of gently simmering water. Dip each pretzel in chocolate and place on parchment sheet. Place in fridge to set for 10 minutes.
3. Melt dark chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
4. Fill each opening in pretzels to create eyes and mouth.
5. Place in fridge to set, about 20 minutes.

spider-web-halloween-pretzels

Pretzel Cobwebs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
72 pretzel sticks
Halloween candy quins or sprinkles

Directions:
1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
3. Dollop six dime-sized rounds of chocolate onto each prepared tray. Lay 6 pretzels in the centre so they touch the chocolate and radiate out. Dollop another circle of chocolate on centre. Working in a circular motion from the centre out draw web lines about a ¼-inch apart. Finish web design at edge of pretzels, repeating the circle three times to add strength to the web.
4. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle edges and centre with candy quinns or sprinkles. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

cookie-and-pretzels-spiders

Pretzel Spiders Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
36 pretzel sticks
12 chocolate wafer sandwich cookies with double filling (such as Double Stuffed Oreos)
3/4 cup dark chocolate molding wafers
24 candy eyeballs

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Break pretzels in half and stick three into each side of the cookie about ¼-inch apart to resemble legs.
3. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon a quarter-sized dollop onto cookies, spreading to edge. While still wet, press candy eyeballs into chocolate.
4. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try our Zombie-Approved Recipes for your next Halloween party.

Thanksgiving Sides Pairing

10 Perfect Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving dinner is about more than just the turkey — we also come to expect to see the table creaking under the weight of all manner of delicious side dishes paired with the juicy roast bird. From old standbys such as creamy garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to new favourites like roasted, caramelized Brussels sprouts, check out these drool-inducing ideas to pair with your turkey on Thanksgiving day.

1. Ree Drummond’s Best Ever Green Beans

cooked green beans with sauteed onions and red pepper in white bowl on table

Few vegetables pair so perfectly with turkey as green beans, and Ree Drummond’s version gives the humble vegetable something to brag about. This kicked-up recipe adds butter (or bacon grease), onion, red pepper and garlic, cooked to perfection in a skillet.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Best Ever Green Beans

2. Guy Fieri’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are practically a given at any Thanksgiving dinner, and there are seemingly endless variations on how to prepare this tasty tuber. Rather than simply baking or mashing, Guy Fieri serves up this twice-baked recipe that adds extra texture thanks to chopped pecans, all topped with a brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon crust.

Get the recipe for Guy Fieri’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

3. Bobby Flay’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Thanksgiving recipes Bobby Flay_Roasted-Brussel-Sprouts

Once upon a time, Brussels sprouts were those soggy, boiled-to-mush vegetables that kids would try to hide under their napkins — but no more. Bobby Flay turns that idea on its head with this Thanksgiving-ready side dish of perfectly caramelized and crispy mini cabbages with rich pancetta bacon. Don’t be surprised if this fall side becomes your family’s favourite new holiday side dish.

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

4. Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Instead of the same old dinner rolls, kick your Thanksgiving dinner into overdrive with Ina Garten’s easy-to-make biscuits, delectably infused with the taste of sharp cheddar cheese.

Get the recipe for Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

5. Ree Drummond’s Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving Ree Drummond cranberry sauce recipe
Thanksgiving turkey without cranberry sauce is like a ski vacation without snow, and Pioneer Woman host, Ree Drummond offers her own creative take on this time-honoured sauce. With orange juice and maple syrup adding extra sweetness and some grated orange rind for extra zest.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Cranberry Sauce

6. Giada De Laurentiis’ Roasted Root Vegetables

No Thanksgiving table should be without a healthy serving of colourful, roasted root vegetables. Giada serves up a simply prepared but undeniably delicious combo of potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and carrots, roasted together to mouth-watering perfection.

Get the recipe for Giada De Laurentiis’ Roasted Root Vegetables

Sausage and Herb Stuffing; Ina Garten

7. Ina Garten’s Sausage and Herb Stuffing

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving dinner favourite, and everyone seems to have their own unique tried-and-true recipe. It’s pretty much a given that the Barefoot Contessa would have a killer stuffing recipe up her sleeve. If you’re looking to try out a new recipe to pair with your turkey this year, look no further than this savoury sweet stuffing by Ina Garten featuring diced apples and spicy Italian sausage.

Get the recipe for Ina Garten’s Sausage and Herb Stuffing

8. Ree Drummond’s Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Simple but delicious, Ree’s recipe for mashed potatoes adds half-and-half cream, butter, cream cheese and tons of roasted garlic for a savoury side dish that will pair perfectly with any turkey. But be forewarned: don’t be surprised if guests come back for a second helping of these fluffy, flavourful spuds, so you’ll want to make plenty!

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving-Tyler-Florence-gravy

9. Tyler Florence’s Roasted Turkey Gravy

Nothing on the Thanksgiving table pairs more perfectly with everything than gravy. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, stuffing or turkey, a classic gravy is a tasty addition to dress up any dish. Tyler Florence’s drool-worthy sage- and thyme-flavoured gravy recipe will produce about three cups of aromatic sauce for your lip-smacking pleasure.

Get the recipe for Tyler Florence’s Roasted Turkey Gravy

10. Ree Drummond’s Mushroom Pilaf

In addition to recipes that offer new spins on old favourites, this filling side dish by The Pioneer Woman is bursting with the rich, savoury flavour of shitake mushrooms.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Mushroom Pilaf

Looking for some main-spiration? Look no further than our best Thanksgiving turkey recipes and the most delicious uses for leftover mashed potatoes.

Peach-and-Proscuitto-toast-on-plate

These Fresh, Easy Appetizers Will Save Your Summer

Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, it can be as easy as toast … especially when you can lean on the abundance of beautiful fresh stone fruit that is soon to be in season. We’d love to show how to turn your fruit bowl into an easy summer appetizer, with a baguette and some simple toppings.

Peach-and-Proscuitto-toast

Peach & Prosciutto Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
12 slices prosciutto or speck
1 ripe peach, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil, torn
Good quality olive oil to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then drape 1 piece of prosciutto over each toast. Top each with 2 peach wedges. Garnish toasts with pistachios and basil, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Plum & Ricotta Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
3/4 cup ricotta
1 ripe plum, cut into thin slices
2 Tbsp balsamic glaze
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then smear 1 Tbsp ricotta over each toast. Top each with 3 plum slices. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then garnish with pine nuts and tarragon.

Cherry & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then divide cherries between toasts. Top with goat cheese and almonds. Drizzle with honey, then garnish with thyme and a crack of freshly ground black pepper.

Fruit-Toasts-spread

Looking for more recipes? Try these Sensational Summer Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

A Royal Wedding Inspired Tea Party Menu

Take a cue from the House of Windsor and hail Britannia with this very proper wedding inspired royal tea. Steeped in tradition with a hint of a modern twist, our afternoon tea for eight is fit for both the Queen Mum and the next-gen royals in line for the crown. We’ll walk you through the perfectly-mannered steps of serving a bountiful feast of sandwiches, biscuits, desserts and, of course, tea, that will delight any anglophile in your life.

Despite seeming decidedly lowbrow next to high tea, its imperial sounding cousin, afternoon tea, stems from the habits of the Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century. Small sandwiches, scones and other bite-sized treats became popular amongst the rich and famous, while high tea remained a substantial meal meant to sustain the working class at the end of the day.

Brioche-Tea-Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches

Traditional tea sandwiches are dainty delicacies, made with thinly sliced bread and vegetables and meant to be consumed in one or two bites. In your own kitchen, a mandoline or vegetable peeler can be used to make almost translucent shavings for fillings, while a rolling pin helps to flatten the bread. When it comes to fillings, think beyond plain cucumber and try to offer a variety of savoury and sweet to suit all tastes. Simplify your life by pressing a versatile bread such as brioche into double duty for both types of fillings — the slight sweetness will make a good pairing for most teatime toppings. For a playful take on tea sandwiches, transform the flavours of Bloody Mary cocktails such as pimento olives and anchovy paste into a small snack, or take tuna salad from the lunchbox to the parlour with fancy open-faced tuna and white bean treats.

Get the recipe for: Brioche Tea Sandwiches,  Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches,  Open-faced Tuna Tea Sandwiches.

Lemon-Cranberry-Scones

Scones with Jam, Cream and More 

Given the brouhaha over the correct order of cream and jam layering, Brits take their scones seriously. Avoid controversy by letting guests slather their own scone with Devonshire cream, lemon herb chèvre or a honey and orange flavoured homemade butter. Offering gluten-free and vegetarian versions is a nice touch for dietary-restricted guests. When baking scones, use a light touch to avoid overworking the dough and ending up with tough scones.

Get the recipe for: Lemon Berry Scones With Lemon Glaze and Devonshire Cream,  Gluten-free Sweet Potato Scones, Lemon Cranberry Scones

Watch Anna Olson teach you how to make flavoured homemade butter and other homemade treats, then get a step-by-step recipe for Honey and Orange Butter and Herb Butter.

Battenberg-Cake-recipe

Biscuits and Cakes 

Dust off your tiered cake stands and silver trays — or fashion a sleeker version with plates balanced on overturned bowls — to serve these prettily portioned treats. Think small and bite-sized to keep a sense of modest British restraint, but offer a variety so you and your guests don’t feel deprived. Our menu contrasts the checkerboard pattern of a traditional Battenberg cake with the gooey lusciousness of savoury cream cheese profiteroles and Southern charm of a butter pecan crumpets.

Get the recipe for: Battenberg Cake, Savoury Cream Cheese Profiteroles, Butter Pecan Crumpets

Tea

A comforting pot of tea is often filled with a well-known blend such as Earl Grey, and steeped in ritual. Niceties such as warming the teapot first with boiling water, swaddling the teapot in a cozy and debating the milk in first or last question are all traditions you can bring across the pond for your afternoon tea. For variety, why not take it a step further by offering your guests some different flavours and temperatures in their cuppa? Mint tea is a soothing herbal digestif with a beautiful aroma and colour, while lemon lavender iced tea offers a refreshing floral note for your senses. For those who want to be a bit naughty like Winston Churchill, who reportedly used to hide strong spirits in his teapot during Prohibition, a white tea and rum cocktail with honey lime syrup will fit the bill. Serve up your tea in your best china, or for a more modern take, mix and match in Chinese, Japanese, Russian or Moroccan teacups for a splash of colour and pattern. Be sure to select china or glassware that can withstand hot liquid, and place saucers or doilies strategically to avoid spillage.

Get the recipe for: Moroccan Mint Tea, Lemon Lavender Iced Tea, White Tea and Rum Cocktail With Honey Lime Syrup

So this season, whether you are hosting William, Kate, Harry or Meghan (or a party of aristocratically-minded friends and family), raise a cup to celebrate the ritual of afternoon tea. Just remember to keep those pinkie fingers down — Miss Manners dispelled the habit as a needless affectation once the cup handle was invented.

This Loaded Hummus is Changing the Dip Game for Good

Carrots and hummus are a classic snack, but why not turn everyone’s favourite Middle Eastern dip into a meal!  We’ve loaded up our creamy hummus with the works to bring you an inspired meal that is visually stunning and devour-worthy.  This is a party and crowd-pleasing kind of dish, but it can also double as a simple weeknight dinner.  We’ve kept it vegetarian, but feel free to get creative and top it with homemade chicken shawarma, if you fancy.  Serve with warmed pita and thoroughly enjoy every bite.

Loaded Hummus Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

Hummus:
3 cups cooked chickpeas
3/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cold water

Hard Boiled Eggs:
4 eggs
Water

Tabouli Salad:
2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped finely
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
2 stalks of green onions, sliced finely
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Roasted Veggies:
1/2 cauliflower head, chopped into large florets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in thick matchsticks, about 2 inches in length
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt and pinch of pepper

Steamy Beets:
3 beets, peeled and sliced into wedges
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt and pinch of pepper

Additional Toppings:
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, drizzled on top
1/2 tsp za’atar, sprinkled on top

Pita of choice to serve, warmed or toasted

Directions:

Hummus:
1. Place chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt in the food processor and blitz until pureed.
2. While the food processor is still running, gradually add water, about 2 Tbsp at a time, until a really creamy consistency starts to form.
3. If you would like your hummus to be even creamier, add more water.

Hard Boiled Eggs:
1. Place the eggs in a small pot and cover them fully with water, bring to a boil and continue the rolling boil for 1 minute.
2. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and let sit for 12 minutes.
3. Run the eggs under cold water and let cool completely before peeling.
4. Once peeled, slice two eggs into wedges and the other two into thick one-inch circles.

Tabouli Salad:
1. Prep all of the veggies and mix together in a bowl, pour lemon juice over and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir to fully combine.

Roasted Veggies:
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF . Prep the veggies, place them in a bowl, add in olive oil, granulated garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
2. Arrange the veggies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Don’t overcrowd the sheets, to ensure the veggies get nice and crisp.
3. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until the veggies brown slightly.

*The world is your oyster here, so feel free to also roast up eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and mushrooms, if you desire.

Steamy Beets:
1. Prep the beets and place them into a pot, add enough water so the beets are slightly covered but not submerged, turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and allow to steam for 15 minutes, until tender.
2. Pour apple cider vinegar over the beets and season with sea salt and pepper.

Assembly:
1. Once the hummus is ready, spoon it onto a platter or in a large bowl.
2. You can get as creative as you like here. You can assemble the toppings in layers, first with the roasted veggies, then the steamy beets, the tabouli on top of that, the hard-boiled eggs and then the additional toppings. You can also place each topping in little piles, rather than mixed together. We personally love getting a bite of all the ingredients, so we prefer to assemble in layers.
3. Serve with warmed pita and enjoy!

Craving more delicious good-for-you recipes? Here are 25 Healthy Weeknight Meals When You Have No Time.

These Fully-Loaded Vegan Nachos are the Ultimate Healthy Party Snack

This is our fully-loaded, monstrous tower of insanely delicious vegan nachos. What can be better than crispy tortillas piled high with zesty guacamole, spiced black beans, creamy vegan cheese and fresh-to-death pico de gallo? Don’t just reserve making this recipe for game day or dinner parties – you’ll crave it for a snack every day of the week. Not only are you getting your nacho fill, but you’re also eating a healthy dish equipped with great fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Bon appetit!

Fully-Loaded Vegan Nachos

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
Vegan Nacho Cheeze:
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 clove garlic

Spiced Black Beans:
15 oz can black beans
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp tamari

Guacamole:
1 avocado
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, squeezed
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Pico de Gallo:
1 large tomato, finely diced
1/4 cup corn
3 radishes, finely diced
2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional)
1/2 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp sea salt

Assembly and Toppings:
1 bag of your favourite tortilla chips
Sliced radishes
Fresh cilantro
Green onions
Sliced olives

Directions:
Vegan Nacho Cheeze:
1. Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for 30 minutes to soften, then drain and rinse.
2. Place all ingredients in your food processor or high-speed blender.
3. Turn the food processor on and gradually add 2 Tbsp of water at a time (there are 8 Tbsp in 1/2 cup).
4. Blitz until creamy.

Spiced Black Beans:
1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
2. Place a saute pan over medium heat, add the extra virgin olive oil and toss in the garlic powder and chili powder, mix around to allow them to toast for 30 seconds.
3. Add in the black beans and tamari, stir to combine with the spices. Let them heat up in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from the stove.

Guacamole:
1. Slice the avocado in half and scoop it into a bowl, discarding the peel. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.

Pico de Gallo:
1. Prep all of the veggies and toss them in a bowl. Mix well to combine the flavours.

Assembly:
1. We like to assemble these nachos on a large cutting board, but a big plate or tray will also do the trick.
2. Place down a layer of tortilla chips, then top with a hearty scoop of spiced black beans, pico de gallo and nacho cheeze. You can dollop the cheeze on top or place it in a plastic bag, cut a hole at the corner and squeeze it over.
3. Layer on more tortilla chips and place the rest of the toppings over, dollop with scoops of guacamole and finish with thinly sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, green onions and olives.

Looking for more healthy, crowd-pleasing dishes? Try these must-make Vegan Taco Recipes (think pulled jackfruit and crispy cauliflower).

3 Healthy Vegan Taco Recipes You’ll Crave Every Tuesday

Step aside meaty tacos, we’ve got three satisfying, fresh and insanely delicious vegan versions that will blow any taco enthusiast away.  Although they may share similar seasonings to their meaty cousins, these tacos have so much more to offer (like a hefty amount of fiber and an ample supply of vitamins and minerals). Meaning, while your taste buds can love them up, so can your body. Each taco is paired with a simple topping, like a smack of vegan cashew sour cream and a zesty dollop of fresh guacamole.  Impress friends and make these for a dinner party, or just for yourself – you won’t regret it.

Pulled Jackfruit Tacos with Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Vegan Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

Ingredients:
Pulled Jackfruit Filling:
1 can young green jackfruit, drained and rinsed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup veggie broth
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)

vegan pulled jackfruit taco ingredients

Guacamole:
1 avocado
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, squeezed
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
Cilantro, roughly chopped

Pulled Jackfruit Taco Filling

Directions:
Pulled Jackfruit Filling:

1. Once jackfruit is drained and rinsed, chop it up into thin pieces.
2. Heat a pan over medium, add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and saute the yellow onion in the pan for 5 minutes until translucent, then saute the garlic for another minute.
3. Add the jackfruit, spices, broth, tamari, maple syrup and adobo sauce.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on low heat until the liquid is absorbed, this takes about 15 minutes. Keep uncovered.
5. Once the jackfruit softens, shred it by pulling apart with two forks, it will resemble pulled pork.

Guacamole:
1. While the jackfruit is simmering, prep the guacamole.
2. Slice the avocado in half, scoop it into a bowl and mash it. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Guacamole Recipe

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed.
2. Spoon a good amount of jackfruit filling onto the tortillas, sprinkle on sliced cabbage and cilantro. Dollop guacamole on top.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Taco Recipe

Ingredients:
Crispy Cauliflower Filling:
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Taco Ingredients

Mango Salsa:
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/3 cup green or purple cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 lime, squeezed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Cilantro, roughly chopped

Crispy Cauliflower Snack Recipe

Directions:
Crispy Cauliflower Filling:
1. Chop the cauliflower into florets.
2. In a bowl, combine the almond flour and spices, mix well so the spices are dispersed throughout. In a separate bowl add the non-dairy milk, brown rice flour and lemon juice.
3. Have a tray lined with parchment paper ready for the next step.
4. Dip the florets in the milk mixture, shake off excess, then coat in the almond flour mixture and place onto the tray. Repeat until all cauliflower is coated.
5. Drizzle 2-3 tsp of extra virgin olive oil on top of cauliflower to allow for even more crisping.
6. Bake in the oven at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp.

Mango Salsa:
1. While the cauliflower is baking, prep all salsa ingredients and place them in a bowl, mix well so everything is combined.

Mango Salsa Recipe/Taco Topping

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed.
2. Spoon a hefty amount of salsa onto each tortilla, place 3-4 crispy cauliflower florets on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cashew Sour Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Vegan Lentil Taco Recipe

Ingredients:
Lentil Walnut Filling:
1 cup cooked green lentils
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp tamari
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lime juice

Vegan Lentil Taco Ingredients

Cashew Sour Cream:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 15 minutes or up to overnight
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp non-dairy milk

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Red peppers, thinly sliced
Radishes, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:
Lentil Walnut Filling:
1. Cook 1/2 cup dried green lentils, submerge with water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft and cooked.
2. Pulse the walnuts in the food processor until crumbled into small pieces; don’t over process or you’ll end up with walnut butter!
3. Place 1 cup of cooked lentils and the rest of the ingredients into the food processor with the crumbled walnuts and pulse a few times until lentils are slightly chopped up and all of the ingredients are combined well.
4. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 375ºF. After the lentil and walnut filling is roasted, it will resemble ground meat.

Cashew Sour Cream:
1. While the filling is in the oven, prepare the cashew sour cream.
2. Soak the cashews for 15 minutes or up to overnight in water. If you’re only soaking for 15 minutes, use hot water.
3. Drain the water and place cashews in the food processor with the rest of the sour cream ingredients, blitz until smooth.

Vegan Cashew Cream

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed. You can wrap a few tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350ºF.
2. Spoon a desired amount of lentil walnut filling into the center of each tortilla. Top with sliced red peppers, radishes and cilantro.
3. Either dollop cashew sour cream on top, or place it in a piping or ziplock bag, cut a little hole at one end and squeeze it over.

Discover more delicious plant-based mains with 20 Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinner Recipes.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe copy

Jalapeño Popper Dip is Your Favourite New Make-Ahead Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients: 
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Dip prechop

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe

4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good dip, so here are over 25 party-perfect options to dive into.

Michael Smith's Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice

How to Serve Oysters Like Chef Michael Smith

Nothing brings the glitz and glamour to a holiday party like freshly shucked oysters on ice. In this episode of Food Network Canada Chef School, Chef Michael Smith gives the ultimate cocktail party snack the Bloody Mary treatment with a spicy, lemony, white wine-spiked tomato ice. This savoury, granita-style topper adds a bold hit of flavour and a vibrant red hue to your platter – it definitely says, festive!

 

The first step is the spicy tomato ice, which needs to be prepared in advance, giving it ample time to freeze. The takeaway here is added sugar, which stops the tomato mixture from fully freezing. Natural sugars found in the white wine (he’s pretty casual about the variety of wine here, recommending to use what you’re drinking) also contribute to a slushier ice, which means smooth sailing come show time. And, for the requisite spicy element, Chef Michael Smith adds his go-to hot sauce. Combined with the natural, briny liquor (juice) found in the oysters, the combination positively sings on the palate.

This recipe, which Chef Michael Smith serves at his celebrated The Inn at Bay Fortune restaurant, uses Colville Bay oysters, a local variety from PEI with the great, big taste of the salty sea nearby. But, you can make it right at home, wherever you’re located, with his tips and tricks for safe shucking. Here, he shows you how to do it like a true PEI pro.

 

Easy, right? If you can’t find Colville Bay oysters, don’t fret; there are many more varieties from Prince Edward Island with a flavour, texture and appearance that will match your vibrant tomato ice. Try Pickle Point, Raspberry Point, Malpeque, Bedeque Bay or Summerside appellations, which all harbour delicious PEI oysters, too.

And forget plates. Oysters bring their own vessel, which adds a rustic, seaside touch to your festive spread. Be sure to keep these morsels on a bed of ice to keep your oysters ice-cold and the granita fresh.

Of course, one of the best parts of eating oysters is slurping them back, which always gets the conversation started! Treat your friends and family to this recipe for Chef Michael Smith’s Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice.

Need more inspiration for your holiday entertaining? Try Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto or Mark McEwan’s Ricotta Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. Finish off your holiday dinner with Roger Mooking’s elegant Cookies and Cream Napoleons.