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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Round-Up

It's getting to be a busy time of year with everyone rushing about preparing for the holidays.  We're all looking for short cuts to make the season easier, including me!  So here's a round-up of holiday posts that might make life a little easier for you.

First, a couple of simple meals to have in your back pocket for those busy nights where there's just not enough time.

Cacio e Pepe (Cheese & Pepper Pasta)

Unbelievably simple and delicious. You can use spaghetti, linguine or bucatini.  Keep Romano cheese and white pepper on hand and this is a pantry meal for any time.  

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

These take a little more time to make, but you can make several batches to freeze and bake any time for a quick meal.  Seasonal and flavourful, this is great to have on hand for cold winter nights.  

Now, if you're hosting a party or are a guest who needs to bring something, here are some appetizer ideas.

Shrimp Cocktail 

It's so much nicer when you make it yourself.

Little Hasselback Potatoes

This potato technique makes an amazing side dish, but it would also be great as an appetizer with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.

Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

Surprisingly simple but incredibly impressive.  These are great as an appetizer, or in place of rolls on a buffet table.  They freeze well too.

Butternut Squash Tart

Puff pastry tarts are a quick and easy meal and can be cut into smaller pieces for a fancy appetizer.  This one is easy and delicious.

With all these appetizers, you'll need some cocktails!

Mulled Wine

This festive treat became a favourite last holiday season.  

Craft Beer

Or how about a beer? Scroll through the Beer Baron's posts for ideas to serve at your party or bring as a gift for your hosts.  

If you have time to do a little baking...

Ginger Crackles

Festive and seasonal, I make these every year and love them.

Saltine Toffee (aka Christmas Crack)

This is another annual tradition that never fails to impress, even with the humblest ingredients.  

Now for the main event...

Spatchcocked Turkey

If you're serving turkey to a crowd, there's no quicker way to cook a crispy, juicy whole bird than to spatchcock it.  This post is old, but the technique is timeless.

Jerk Roasted Turkey Breast

If you're serving a smaller group, this Jerk-spiced turkey breast is perfect, unusual and warming.

And finally, I always like to serve seafood as a special treat on New Years Eve.  

Lobster Bisque

This soup makes a wonderful first course for a fancy dinner, or even a meal on New Years Eve along with a bunch of appetizers.  

Lobster Pot Pie or Lobster Mac & Cheese

You can make these yourself, but why not treat yourself and order some delivered to your door to have a special treat without the effort.  You deserve it!  

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