Friday, November 30, 2012

Ten of My Favourite Christmas Baking Recipes

Can you believe it is the last day of November? Where does the time go?
We are 25 sleeps away from the big day.

I am sooooo not ready. I haven’t started shopping, I haven’t started baking. AHHHHH!!

I plan to start my Christmas baking extravaganza this weekend.
Here are a few of my all-time fav’s.

It just isn’t Christmas without some classic iced sugar cookies! YUM!

This is my mom’s recipe and my in house taste testers absolute must have.

I am not a huge fan of gingerbread but I love these, so perfectly chewy!

I have no words… I am drooling just thinking about these.

Such a simple cookies but so pretty and delish!

I have a problem with this stuff; I CAN’T stop eating it, so addictive!


Thank you Brenda for this one! I love these simple bars!

They aren’t a brownie at all but I can’t imagine not having them at the holidays!

My Auntie Dorothy always made these for me, I just love them, and her!!

I just made these for the first time this summer but they are going to be a regular Christmas cookie from now on, they are so amazing!

Plus, if you are looking for THE BEST HOLIDAY COCKTAIL EVER…

What’s your favourite Christmas treat?

I have a couple of new recipes to try; I will be sharing them over the next few weeks, so get your sweet tooth on!!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meatballs in Cranberry BBQ Sauce

I like to stock up on fresh cranberries at this time of year.
It is nice to have them in the freezer to make things long after the holidays are over.

I felt like something different for dinner the other night, and thought of those frozen cranberries I had stashed in the freezer, so I started searching the Internet for a recipe. This one jumped out at me right away.

I had some of my frozen meatballs in the freezer so I used those and then tossed them and the sauce right in the slow cooker. Then all I had to was make some mashed potatoes and I was ready to go.

It was very tasty; the sauce is a tangy but sweet!

What you need,

2 tbsp. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
Salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, you can add a couple extra tbsp. if you like it a bit sweeter
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp. dry mustard powder
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending how hot you like it!
5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1-2 lbs. frozen meatballs

Heat the oil in medium sauce pan over high heat. Add the onions and garlic, salt and pepper and cook until deep golden brown, stirring often, 12-15 minutes.

Add the sugar and tomato paste, mustard and cayenne cook stirring constantly until darkened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and cranberries and continue to cook, stirring often until cranberries start to pop, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

You can puree in a blender or use an immersion blender to make it smooth or if you don’t mind chunky BBQ sauces just leave it, I did! You can even use a potato masher to smooth it out a little if you like.

Add your meatballs to the slow cooker and pour the sauce over. Stir to coat. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

If you are wondering why my mashed potatoes are orange, it is because I like to mix one sweet potato in with my regular potatoes. I did it once when I was short on regular potatoes and my in house taste tester loved it, now I do it all the time. It adds a really nice sweetness!

This is a lovely way to use up some cranberries!


Recipe from Whole Foods

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cauliflower Gratin

One of my favourite side dishes growing up was cauliflower with cheese sauce.
This is a totally kicked up version of my old school recipe

The crispy cheese topping is to die for, I couldn’t stop eating it!

What you need,

1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tbsp. butter, divided
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup grated Gruyere cheese, dived
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the cauliflower for about 5 minutes until just tender but still firm.

Drain and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until light golden brown. Whisk in the hot milk and continue to cook until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, ½ cup of the grated Gruyere cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and the nutmeg. Stir until smooth.

Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce into a baking dish; spread the cauliflower pieces over the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the cauliflower in an even layer.

Mix the remaining Gruyere cheese with the panko crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and pour over the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the topping gets brown and crisp.

This is the best way to eat cauliflower ever!
So much flavour, the Gruyere cheese is perfect.

This is a great side dish!


Recipe from

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Perogy Casserole

Who doesn’t love perogies! They are perfect pillows of cheese and potato, YUM!

I noticed a few different perogy casserole recipes around the interwebs and decided to combine the best of all of them to make this amazing dish!

I can’t even tell you how good it is! It totally tastes like a perogy.
There are a bunch of little steps but they are all pretty easy and it goes together fairly quickly!

What you need,

10 lasagna noodles (not the no bake kind)
1 cup cottage cheese
½ egg, beaten
¼ tsp. onion powder
Salt/pepper to taste
1 large Yukon gold potato, cooked and mashed, about 1 cup
¼ tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. milk
Salt/pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter
½ cup diced onion
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
Sour cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and 8x8 baking dish, set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package.
When they are done, drain and set aside.

Cook the potato and mash with ¼ tsp. onion powder, 1 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. milk. Season with salt and pepper. If you had left over mashed potatoes, they would work great here.

In a small bowl mix the cottage cheese, egg, ¼ tsp. onion powder and salt and pepper to taste.

In a small sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion over medium heat until soft and translucent.

To assemble the casserole, lay 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the baking dish, cutting to fit if needed.

Spread the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle on half of the chopped bacon and ¼ cup of the grated cheddar cheese.
Layer on another 3 more noodles. Spread on the mashed potatoes, sprinkle with the second half of the bacon and ¼ cup more of the cheddar cheese.

Finally top with 3 more noodles. Pour the butter and sautéed onions on top and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 or so minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream on the side.

This recipe could easily be doubled and made in a regular 9x13 lasagna pan. 

It is so tasty, I wish I would have doubled it, the left overs were great!

I served mine with a side salad made with baby kale, apples and cranberries, it was perfect.
Some grilled sausage would also go nicely.



Recipe adapted from All Recipes