Holiday cooking and entertaining should be about one thing: tradition. Nothing completes a festive supper like three helpings of your Great Aunt’s sausage stuffing, Grandma’s melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies, or one too many rum and eggnog while listening to your in-laws bicker. However, there is no time like the “present” to add a few dapper dishes to your holiday entertaining. The following recipes have a festive and traditional flare, with a modern day twist.
From my hectic holiday kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas!
Coconut Heavenly Holiday White Hot Chocolate
Greet your guests with a decadent hot chocolate.
4 cups (1 L) So Nice Organic Unsweetened Almond Beverage
1 small piece of vanilla bean – about 1/4 inch
3 tbsp (45 mL) Bulk Barn’s Heavenly White Hot Chocolate Mix
1 drop Club House Coconut Extract
Heat So Nice Organic Almond Beverage and vanilla bean over medium heat until desired temperature. Whisk in Heavenly White Hot Chocolate Mix and coconut extract. Remove vanilla bean and divide hot chocolate between four mugs (for a jumbo serving, divide between two mugs). Top each mug with Gay Lea Coconut Whipped Cream. Garnish evenly with finely chopped white chocolate and biscuit. For an adult version; drizzle homemade vanilla extract on top of each mug.
Caramel Covered Brie with Dried Cherries and Nuts
This divine “starter” is a guaranteed show stopper. It presents as beautifully as it tastes, and will have your guests raving for days. Serve as an appetizer, or as a cheese course with Port for an after dinner nibble.
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) corn syrup
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
½ cup (125 mL) mixed salted nuts
½ cup (125 mL) dried cherries (or cranberries)
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
9 inch (1 kg) round double cream Brie wheel, slightly warmed
Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepot. Cook over medium heat stirring only once or twice until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Continue to cook for about one minute without stirring. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda. Stir in nuts, dried cherries, rosemary and cayenne. Place Brie wheel on a wooden cutting board or platter and pour caramel mixture over Brie. Serve with an assortment of crackers and fresh fruit.
*Note: this recipe was inspired by my days working as a recipe tester and developer for Dana McCauley & Associates in Toronto. Learn more about about Dana here. Follow Dana on twitter @DanaMcCauley
Curried Cauliflower & Kale Salad
Impress your holiday guests with a simple, delicious and nutritious salad.
3 tbsp (45 mL) prepared mango chutney
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) each; minced fresh ginger, minced fresh garlic and finely grated orange zest
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets *should equal about 6 cups (1.5 L)
2 tbsp (30 mL) melted coconut oil, butter or vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder
½ tsp (2 mL) each; ground cinnamon and salt
4 cups (1 L) packed baby kale leaves or chopped kale
½ cup (125 mL) whole raw cashews
1/3 cup (75 mL) dried cranberries
Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Toss cauliflower florets with oil, curry powder, cinnamon, salt and cardamom. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When ready to serve toss cauliflower with kale, cashews, cranberries, and reserved dressing. Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L). *Serves 8 people as a side dish.
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All recipes written and developed by Charmaine Broughton. www.charmainebroughton.com™