Category Archives: Holiday Food

Choco-Mint Snowcap Cookies – Christmas Baking

Choco-mint Snowcap Cookies

Here’s a little Holiday cookie recipe that looks cool and is really easy to pull off. It’s a chocolate mint snowcap cookie that’s perfect for bringing to parties, potlucks, bake sales or wherever you need to bring something impressive and festive. Have fun with this one and enjoy the holidays!

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon mint flavouring
  • powdered sugar

Combine the flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt then set aside. In a double boiler, heat 1 cup of semisweet chocolate pieces on medium heat and stir til melted.

Beat the butter with a mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar til combined. Beat in the melted chocolate, the eggs, vanilla and the mint flavouring. Stir in the dry mixture and remaining chocolate pieces. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll in powdered sugar. Place them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350F for 10 – 12 minutes or until the tops become crackled. Cool for a couple minutes before serving. What I like best about these cookies is the striking contrast of the white powdered sugar against the dark of the chocolate cookie. Grab yourself a large glass of milk or a hot coffee and enjoy!

Question of the day: Do you like cookies with coffee or milk?

Cinco de Mayo Recipe Ideas

char siu tacos

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I have gathered a few of my favourite recipes from my Mexican food archive. To help me along, I have also my friend, Hilah Johnson of Hilah Cooking here to show you a few of her own picks for the weekend. So kick back, pop open a cerveza and enjoy the show. Do you have any favourite dishes for this amazing celebration? Let me know in the comments below and have a fun and safe weekend!

Easter Bunny Stew

This year, we made a tender and delicious Easter Bunny Stew. Using the tried and true method of slow braising, we made a succulent and delicious rabbit that I’m sure you are going to love. This Hasenpfeffer inspired recipe features the notes of red wine, fresh herbs and currant jelly to create this unforgettable Spring holiday meal.

You will need:

  • 3-4 pounds rabbit meat
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • Salt to season
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 parsnips
  • 6-8 baby potatoes
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp currant jelly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ tbsp rosemary
  • ¾ tbsp thyme
  • 300 ml dry red wine
  • 1-1.5L chicken stock
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

For the gravy:

  •  3-4 tbsp all purpose flour
  •  3-4 tbsp butter
  •  ½ tbsp thyme
  •  Juice of half a lemon
  •  A few ladles of braising liquid

Take apart the rabbit, setting aside the legs and shoulder, which we’ll be using in the stew. Take the loin out as you can just sear that off with a little salt, pepper, lemon, and herb and that will be awesome by itself.

The meat might smell a little gamey, but if you brine it overnight (or at least a few hours) it’ll be alright. We brined ours in 4 litres of water, ½ cup salt, 10 peppercorns and a couple bay leaves.

When the brining is done, take it out and dry with kitchen towels. Take rabbit and lightly dredge in flour.

Heat a large pot or dutch oven on medium high heat and fry up ½ lb of chopped bacon to render out the fat. Remove the bacon, keeping the fat, and brown the rabbit pieces on both sides. When they’re browned, remove and set aside.

In that same pot, sautee 2 diced shallots, 3 cloves of minced garlic, a chopped medium onion, and a ¼ lb of bacon. When the onions are looking translucent, deglaze with 2 cups of dry red wine, then add 1.5 litres of chicken stock and a splash of cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, stir in 1 tablespoon of currant jelly, 10 whole peppercorns and ¾ of a tablespoon each of fresh thyme and rosemary. Submerge the rabbit in the liquid and add 2 or 3 chopped parsnips.

Cover and let simmer on medium heat for 1.5 – 2 hours or until rabbit is tender, almost falling off the bone. In the last half hour, add 6-8 baby potatoes, cover and continue to cook until they are fork tender. Remove rabbit and root veg for plating.

When the stew is done, make a roux by whisking a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat with some flour to make a paste. Cook that paste for a minute or two to give it a little colour, then add in some of the liquid from the stew. Combine with more thyme, season with salt and pepper and there’s your gravy.

Easter Bunny Stew

Plate the vegetables and put the rabbit on top. Spoon over some of that rich gravy and a dollop of sour cream. Serve and enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe – Lamb Stew with Colcannon

This St. Patrick’s Day lamb stew with colcannon recipe is hearty, rich and unbelievably delicious. The tender lamb is seared off and caramelized, creating a wonderful sauce that brings all the elements together. This stew is served with an Irish favourite called Colcannon. Rich and creamy mashed potatoes with sauteed kale and leeks, broiled to a golden finish. This is a recipe you must have in your regular arsenal.

for the stew:

  • 2 lb lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 leeks, bottom part only sliced
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 litre chicken or lamb stock
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

for the colcannon:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 100g fresh kale
  • 2 leeks (bottom part) sliced
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt

Start with a hot heavy bottom dutch oven or large pot over high heat with a couple tablespoons of oil and add the lamb in a single layer. Working in small batches, sear the lamb until golden brown all both sides then set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions. Saute and stir frequently until the onions start to turn translucent. When that’s done, add the carrots and leeks and continue to cook for a couple minutes to get them started then deglaze the bottom of the pot with the stock. Turn the heat back up to high, stir the pot to get the fond from the bottom and toss in the thyme and rosemary. When the pot comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, put the lamb back on top of the mixture, and let simmer uncovered til the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened.

Once the veg is done remove the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some fresh or frozen peas to finish and you’re done! Now let’s make some colcannon.

Peel and cut the potatoes into rough chunks, put into a medium pot and cover with water. Boil until fork tender, strain and return to the pot. Toss the potatoes over the heat in a dry pot until the potatoes start to look fluffy on the outside. Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat with a ¼ cup of butter. As the butter melts, add the leeks, kale and a touch of salt and start to gently saute, stirring frequently. When the vegetables are wilted and tender, remove from the heat and set aside.

Back to the potatoes. Add the ¼ cup of butter to the potatoes and mash until smooth. As you mash, add the milk and the egg yolks. The eggs yolks serve one purpose. When you broil the potatoes (like making a shepherd’s pie), they help give the golden brown finish. If you’re not broiling the potatoes, you can omit the egg yolks. When the potatoes are smooth, add the sauteed vegetables and combine.

Lamb Stew with Colcannon

Now scoop some of the colcannon onto a baking sheet and pop under a broiler for a few minutes until golden brown (you see what I meant about the egg yolks?). When finished, take out and gently take the colcannon off the baking sheet with a large spatula and put on a large plate. Make a nice indent in the center of the pile and ladle on some of the finished lamb stew. Garnish with fresh parsley. Marvel at your masterpiece, grab some cutlery and enjoy!

Beef & Guinness Stew

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, what better way to celebrate than with a hearty bowl of this classic comfort food. A dish like this is well worth the effort and with the freshest ingredients, you can be sure that this stew will be a winner.

  • 2 lbs beef chuck, cubed
  • some flour, for dredging
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 3 sprigs each, fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1 cup each of parsnips, carrots, pearl onions & potato (cut to bite-sized pieces)
  • salt & pepper

Dredge the beef in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat up a couple Tablespoons of oil in a heavy pot or dutch oven and brown the beef on all sides. Work in small batches as not to overcrowd the pot. When the beef is browned, set aside.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pot and lightly sweat them out. You want them translucent. Once that’s done, de-glaze the bottom of the pot with a little bit of the Guinness. Stir with a wooden spoon to pick up all the flavourful fond.
Once you have de-glazed, re-add the beef, the rest of the Guinness, the beef stock, the herbs and the orange zest. Bring to a boil, set the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 2 – 2.5 hrs until the beef is tender.
15 minutes before the beef is done, add the parsnips, carrots, pearl onions and potatoes, cover and continue cooking until tender.
Salt and pepper to season, then enjoy.
Take this recipe, make it yours and most importantly… have fun in the kitchen!