Author: Melissa

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

For my final recipe of 2018, I am putting a twist on a classic recipe: Shrimp Cocktail. This elegant recipe concludes my #AppyHolidays series on my blog and it just so happens to be perfect for New Years Eve! Small (Shrimpy) Changes Make A Big Difference For the most part, the ingredients for classic shrimp cocktail and this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail are the same, however, the preparation method is slightly different. Typically, shrimp for a classic shrimp cocktail are often boiled in water until they are cooked, then are chilled and served on a platter with cocktail sauce. In this recipe, the shrimp are still served chilled, but they have tons more flavour as I roast the shrimp in the oven! This additional step (and a bit of garlic, salt and pepper) adds so much flavour and ensures that the shrimp say nice and succulent and juicy. Sustainable Seafood As with any recipe, the quality of the ingredients can really make or break the dish. In this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail recipe, I really wanted to focus …

Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini

I’m back with another #AppyHolidays recipe for you all! And this one is perfect for when you have those pesky last minute guests that are coming to visit! We all know how that goes during the holidays… These Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini are fast and use seasonal ingredients. Really, you can make Crostini with really anything you have, but you always need a good bread to host all the other toppings! I use a locally made French Baguette from Portofino Bakery to make these crostini. The bread has a great thin crust on the outside and a soft and spongy center. A quick toast under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and voila! You have a delicious crostini base to top with any ingredients you like! In this case, I used a generous smear of Herb Boursin Cheese, a few leaves of bitter radicchio and a few slices of very thinly sliced Asian pear. I really like the combination of the crunch and saltiness of the bread, mixed with the …

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all the creatures were stirring….because you made these cute and tasty Cinnamon Roll Cookies! It’s a tradition in my family to always wake up on Christmas morning to a freshly baked batch of cinnamon rolls. The bliss of a freshly baked, warm cinnamon roll only lasts momentarily since we gobble them up so fast. And through self control, we only make one batch (our waistline probably thanks us for that :P). But since cinnamon and sugar is such a great combination for the holidays and I think it needs to be enjoyed more than just on Christmas morning. I made these teensy, bite-sized Cinnamon Roll Cookies to continue to enjoy the flavours throughout the holiday season! For the full recipe for my Cinnamon Roll Cookies, click here! I hope that you enjoyed the #12DaysOfChristmas series as much as I did! I sure did enjoy eating and giving away all these cookies to my friends and family! Let me know in the comments below which cookie recipe …

Homemade Chocolate Turtles

OK, so this may not be a cookie recipe, but I just had to include these tasty sweets in my #12DaysOfChristmas series! You may know these caramely, choclatey and crunchy candies as Sweet Georgia Browns or Pecan Clusters, but I have always recognized these candies as Turtles. You often see these candies come out around the holiday season. They come packaged in their tall, iconic orange and white striped box. On the front of the box is their little mascot– a turtle dressed to the nines in a tuxedo, top hat, cane and monocle. Super fancy, right? While these candies are easy to buy (and taste delicious) I have come up with a homemade version for all the adventurous cooks out there in my recipe for Homemade Chocolate Turtles! I have to warn you, this is not an easy recipe to make whenever you feel like it. Don’t decide to make these on a whim on a weeknight or if you have some place to be in the next 2-3 hours. This requires some planning, concentration, and …

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

If there is something better than plain old chocolate, it’s having two kinds come together in a cookie recipe. This recipe for Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are perfect to make for young kids and adults alike, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint around the holidays? These Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies we’re inspired by one of my favourite holiday drinks: Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Many coffee shops and cafés serve this drink during the holiday season since it is so warming and comforting! I enjoy the richness and creaminess of the hot chocolate itself, but the peppermint adds a wonderful refreshing flavour to it! I knew that I had to make a cookie based on this popular holiday drink! These cookies have a traditional chocolate cookie base that is fudgy and tender. However, rather than adding dark, semisweet, or milk chocolate chips to the cookies, I add white chocolate chips. I really enjoy the sweetness from the white chocolate and the pops of white embedded within the chocolate cookie make it look very …

Coconut Macaroon Christmas Trees

For the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a gluten-free cookie recipe! Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas! If you are looking for an easy, gluten-free cookie recipe this holiday season, look no further than this recipe for Coconut Macaroons. These Coconut Macaroons get a festive update as they are shaped like little Christmas trees. With a light dusting of icing sugar, these beautiful cookies make a gorgeous and edible winter arrangement! Check out the full recipe below! Coconut Macaroon Christmas Trees Servings: 12-15 tree-shaped cookies, or about 24 round cookies Difficulty: Easy Prep Time:  15 minutes   |   Cook Time: 20 minutes   |   Total Time: 35 minutes Ingredients:  3 egg whites, beaten 1/2 cup icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar together until the eggs have become foamy and the sugar has dissolved. …

Maple Bacon Shortbread Cookies

Have you ever heard of bacon in cookies? It seems like a completely outrageous concept… but after lots of testing, I can say that these cookies are amazing and definitely worth a try this holiday season. For the 8th day of my #12DaysOfChristmas series, I give you my Maple Bacon Shortbread Cookies. If you recall, a few posts back, I wrote out my grandma’s famous Shortbread Cookie recipe. This Maple Bacon Shortbread Cookies use the same base recipe, just with a little less sugar and more bacon 😛 These cookies feature two of my favourite local Vancouver Island products and they just so happen to compliment each other perfectly! Local Bacon In this recipe, I use my favourite local bacon from Red Barn Markets. This bacon is always cut to the perfect thickness and has just the right amount of smoky and sweet flavour. I enjoy this bacon on just about anything, but I never thought to put it into cookies until I was developing my recipes a few months back. Just as I suspected, the …

Orange & Almond Biscotti

I couldn’t let the holidays pass us by without featuring an Italian cookie in my #12DaysOfChristmas series! Growing up in a part-Italian family, we always looked forward to the Italian treats and desserts. From tiramisu to cannoli we had it all! But my all-time favourite dessert recipe (which just so happens to be a cookie recipe) is Biscotti. Biscotti are a very divisive cookie; some people love them and some people really dislike them. I personally enjoy the hard, crunchy and crumbly texture of these cookies, especially when enjoyed the traditional way with a espresso or tea. They get their hard texture from being baked twice. The dough is first formed into a large log and baked whole. After that, the log is sliced into pieces and baked once again to really dry out the biscotti cookies. There are endless biscotti recipes and flavours out there, but I really love this combination of  Orange and Almond. Almond biscotti are very traditional, but the flavour of these biscotti are elevated with the addition of orange zest, …

Maple Pork Belly Bites

These Maple Pork Belly Bites make the perfect appetizer for the holiday season. They are sweet, savoury, spicy and are packed with tons of flavour. Plus the bite-sized portions really help you control this rich cut of meat! Pork belly comes from– you guessed it– the belly of the pig. The cut of meat is what is also used to make bacon. It is heavily marbled with meat and fat, meaning that it will be juicy, tender and flavourful once cooked. I prefer to roast or braise the pork belly for a few hours in the oven so that the fat renders off slowly. Plus, this makes the meat super tender! This cut of meat typically comes with a thick cap of fat and pork skin. This gets nice and crispy when roasted under the broiler. It is important to lightly score the fat with a sharp knife so that the pork cooks evenly. I buy my Pork Belly from Fairway Market in Victoria. Fairway is an Asian grocery store that has just about any …

Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies

I didn’t forget about my Gluten-Free friends during the #12DaysOfChristmas! I have made this delicious and not-too-sweet cookie recipe using almond flour and whole almonds. These Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies are inspired by may grandma’s almond cookie that she makes every Christmas. While hers are made with ground almonds, marzipan and flour, I am keeping my recipe 100% gluten-free. These cookies are much lighter but pack a ton of almond flavour just like my grandma’s recipe. In this recipe, I use ground almond flour, almond extract and whole almonds to give these cookies lots of flavour and texture. The ground almond flour makes the cookie crumble nicely and have a bit of a bite while the almond extract adds a deep almond flavour. The whole almond on top of the cookie adds lots of crunch and texture. These cookies have everything you are looking for! To get the full recipe for my Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies, click here!