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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Holiday Sangria


1 bottle white wine
1 bottle sparkling cider
2 clementines sliced
1 granny smith apple chopped
1 gala apple chopped
1 -2 cups cranberries

Combine wine and cider in a pitcher
Add chopped apples and clementines
Add cranberries
Stir well
Chill until serving

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


yield: 8 TO 12 SERVINGS 
cook time: 30 MIN 
total time: 30 MIN

Christmas Crack is all your Christmas candy wishes - on crack! You won't find an easier candy to make, anywhere. It's salty, sweet, and ADDICTIVE!

35 – 40 saltine crackers (or graham crackers)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups toppings as desired such as pecans, walnuts, crushed OREO cookies, pretzels, toffee bits, M&Ms, or drizzles of other melted chocolate

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 15” x 10” x 1” pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Line up crackers in a single layer in rows on foil.
Meanwhile, using a candy thermometer, melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (270 to 290 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Immediately pour over crackers and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake 5 minutes or until the candy hardens (300 to 310 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power until melted. Spread over hardened caramel.
Sprinkle nuts or other toppings and press into the chocolate using a greased spatula. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
Because of reader feedback, I've been able to improve this recipe by suggesting the use of a candy thermometer (thanks, Valerie!). I hadn't used one previously, but there are enough variables here that things can go wrong.


Canadian Living Magazine: December 2016

Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs are a bargain at the grocery store, plus they're so much juicier than boneless thighs or breasts. Look for smaller thighs to ensure they cook quickly; if they're on the larger side, they may need a few extra minutes.

Prep time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Portion size 4 servings

4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 450 g total)
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 Gala apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry hard cider
3/4 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Smashed Potatoes:
800 g red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch each salt and pepper

Chicken: Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat half of the remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook apples, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a separate plate. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook onion, garlic, and thyme, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in cider; cook, scraping up browned bits until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. 
Stir in broth, mustard and remaining salt and pepper; bring to boil. Add chicken and any accumulated juices. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until juices run clear when chicken is pierced about 18 minutes.
Transfer chicken to clean plate. Discard thyme. Whisk flour with 1 tbsp water; add to sauce and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in apples.
Smashed Potatoes: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes; drain and return to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add milk, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper; coarsely mash together. Serve with apple mixture and chicken.

Per serving: about
Fibre6 gSodium1047 mgSugars14 gProtein22 gCalories566Total fat30 gPotassium1215 mgCholesterol98 mgSaturated fat10 gTotal carbohydrate51 g


4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts, butterflied
8 slices chorizo
4 slices pepper Jack cheese
2 tbs olive oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1 tbs lime juice

Fill chicken with chorizo and cheese, tie with twine. In a skillet, cook chicken in oil, until golden. Turn, roast at 400° until cooked 20 min. Whisk remaining ingredients for the sauce. SERVE and ENJOY...

Christmas Crunch

Good Housekeeping December 1995

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
8 ounces slivered blanched almonds, lightly toasted and finely chopped

2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon shortening

In heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar, corn syrup, and water to boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir in margarine or butter. Set candy thermometer in place and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches 300 degrees F or hard-crack stage (when a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads), about 20 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Reserve 1/3 cup chopped almonds. Stir remaining almonds into hot syrup. Immediately pour mixtures into lightly greased 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan; spread evenly. Cool in pan on rack.

Prepare chocolate glaze: In heavy small saucepan over low heat, heat chocolate and shortening until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat: cool slightly.

Remove candy in one piece from pan to cutting board. Spread chocolate over candy: sprinkle with reserved almonds, pressing them gently into chocolate. Set candy aside to allow glaze to set, about 1 hour. Break candy into pieces. Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in tightly covered container to use up within 2 weeks. Makes about 1 3/4 pounds candy.

Christmas Eve Meat Pie

Servings 8

Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins

When this pie is baking, my daughter says that the house smells like Christmas. This recipe evolved over the years and is served as part of our family's Christmas Eve celebration. It's a soul-satisfying dinner on a cold winter day.

Dovetailing Tip: Use the remaining 2 cups of chopped onions from Meal 2, when preparing the Christmas Eve Meat Pie.


3 tablespoons butter
2 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 large baking potato, shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1/2 pound ground pork
1 (8-ounce/225ml) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, ground mace and ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large handful fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cabbage, shredded
1 package (14.1 ounces/395g) refrigerated pie crust, or homemade 2 crust recipe


Yield: 8 servings

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and potatoes; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add beef and pork; cook 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up meat into crumbles. Drain. 

2. Stir tomato sauce and seasonings into meat mixture. Stir in spinach, cabbage, and potatoes. Remove from heat. Unroll one pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie plate; trim even with rim. Add filling. 

3. Unroll remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge. Cut slits in top. Bake 10 minutes. 

4. Reduce oven setting to 350°. Bake 45-55 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cover edge loosely with foil during the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent over-browning. Yield: 8 servings.

Revised from Source:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


SPONSORED BY  Lavazza Holiday

This recipe is featured on Holiday desserts that pair perfectly with coffee

If you're looking to amaze dinner guests with an impressive dessert, soufflés are just the trick. Since height is the sign of a successful soufflé, always serve them straight out of the oven, before their tops have a chance to settle. Serve a shot glass of crème anglaise to each guest so they can pour it in after opening the soufflé with a spoon.

Portion size 6 servings
Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: February 2016

Amaretto Crème Anglaise:
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch salt
3/4 cups whipping cream (35%)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Soufflés:
1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
170 g dark chocolate (about 6 oz), chopped
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 teaspoons cocoa powder sifted
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons icing sugar

Amaretto Crème Anglaise: In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream with milk just until bubbles form around edge; gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 3 minutes. (Do not boil.)

Immediately strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl; stir in amaretto and vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Chocolate Soufflés: While crème anglaise is chilling, grease six 6-oz (175 mL)
ramekins with 1 tbsp of the butter; sprinkle with 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar. Invert and tap ramekins to remove any excess sugar; discard. Set ramekins aside.

In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, heat together remaining butter, the chocolate, salt and 1 tbsp water, stirring, until melted. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat; whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.

In separate bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining granulated sugar until thick enough to form long ribbons that hold their shape for 2 seconds when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes. Fold into chocolate mixture.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar until stiff glossy peaks form; stir one-quarter into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg white mixture until no streaks remain. Scrape into prepared ramekins, smoothing tops. Run tip of thumb around inside edge of ramekins to wipe clean.

Bake on rimmed baking sheet in 375°F (190°C) oven until tops are dry yet centres are still jiggly, about 12 minutes. Dust tops with icing sugar. Serve immediately with crème anglaise.

Tip from The Test Kitchen: Substitute the amaretto with another liqueur, such as hazelnut, chocolate or coffee, to customize the flavour of the crème anglaise.

per serving: about
Fibre3 gSodium70 mgSugars27 gProtein8 gCalories472.0Total fat35 gPotassium314 mgCholesterol253 mgSaturated fat19 gTotal carbohydrate33 g