Author: Melissa

Holiday Brunch Menu

I’m getting my house ready for our guests that will be visiting this holiday season, and I’m feeling so festive! I’m excited to cook a bunch of meals for them, especially this Holiday Brunch Menu! This year, we are hosting Christmas at our house and we are going all out…even with brunch on the big day! However, I didn’t want to be slaving away for hours in the morning, so I’ve planned out a whole menu where all but one recipe can be made the night before! Watch my YouTube video by clicking on the image below! On our brunch menu, we have my Sausage & Leek Breakfast Casserole, Oven-Baked Hashbrowns, Maple Bacon, and a refreshing Citrus Fruit Salad! Everything apart from the Maple Bacon can be made the day before and kept in the fridge overnight to bring out on the big day. You can even make my Oven-Baked Hashbrowns a few weeks before and freeze them, then cook from frozen! Even better! Recipes: Sausage & Leek Breakfast Casserole and Oven-Baked Hashbrowns I have …

Eggnog Rice Pudding

We are on to day seven of my #12DaysOfChristmas series, and today I’m giving you a delicious recipe that can be served as a holiday dessert or even as a holiday breakfast. This recipe for Eggnog Rice Pudding is very festive and will warm you up and keep you energized this holiday season. Thanks to my friend Pauline who suggested this idea as a blog post for this series! Which Variety of Rice to Use? I’ve made (and eaten) lots of rice pudding in my day, so speaking from experience, I have a key variety of rice that I like to use in my rice pudding recipe. Arborio Rice is my favourite because it is short-grained and really starchy. These properties really make the rice pudding nice and sticky and thick, just like the rice pudding should be! Unlike most recipes, I do not like to pre-cook my rice. I find that it doesn’t turn out creamy enough and the milk doesn’t get a chance to really infuse through each rice grain. So instead, I …

Holiday Gift Guide 2019

We are on to our sixth day of my #12DaysOfChristmas series! Have you been liking this series so far? Today, I have a great collection of gifts to give this holiday that will be perfect for any foodie on your list! As a bonus, all of these products are all local to Vancouver Island! Not only do I love these products and have used them time and time again, supporting local businesses is a great way for your money to feed directly back into local communities and the local economy. In my opinion, that’s much better than my money going to big corporations! And with the amazing quality of these products, they are much better than any shopping mall gift any day!  Picot Collective Honey Tobacco Candle  This has been my favourite candle discovery of the DECADE thanks to my friend Alex! She introduced me to this local company, Picot Collective, and I have loved their signature fragrance: Honey Tobacco. Apart from what you may infer from the name, the candle does not smell like …

No-Cook Party Appetizers for the Holidays

We are exactly ONE WEEK away from Christmas and I am super excited for the big day! While it can get to be a hectic time entertaining friends and family, it can become even more hectic when you have unexpected guests drop by (or invite themselves over last minute!).  Today, I am giving you three of my favourite No-Cook Party appetizers that you can whip up in a flash when you have guests coming by. These are all really simple and can be made with just a few ingredients. Plus, you don’t have to cook anything! Total bonus! Of course, while these recipes are simple, it’s important to use high quality ingredients to get the best flavour! Citrus Marinated Olives My Citrus Marinated Olives can be made right before guests come over or can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge. I use castelvetrano olives in this recipe since they have a nice buttery consistency, and they’re not overpowering in flavour or salt.  To marinate these olives, I add olive …

Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means… I am back again today with another #AppyHolidays post! This week, I am sharing my Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushroom recipe. These Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect little appetizer that your guests can pop right into their mouths and savour during a cocktail party or right before a festive holiday meal. They are also very easy to make and can be served straight out of the oven or at room temperature. These mushrooms are fabulous either way! I particularly love this recipe since mushrooms are in season and widely available. Plus, during the winter here in Canada, we don’t always have fresh local produce year round (other than greenhouse veggies in the winter)! However, mushrooms are available year-round thanks to the amazing local mushroom farmers! While you can stuff mushrooms with just about any filling, I went for cream cheese and bacon this year. I think that these ingredients make it so rich and decadent, and isn’t that what the holidays are …

My Top 5 Holiday Cookies to Bake this Season

We are on to our third day of my #12DaysOfChristmas series here on my blog, and I am getting into my holiday baking! Yesterday’s post all about pairing Hot Chocolate with Cookies, really got me thinking about what cookies to make this year. So I’ve rounded up my top cookie recipes to share with you! I hope that this inspires you to get to baking (if you haven’t already!) and to try out some of my own recipes! Let me know what your favourite cookie recipe is in the comments below! Shortbread Cookies If I only had to choose one cookie recipe to make this year, it would have to be these Shortbread Cookies. This recipe is actually a family recipe that has been passed down from my great-grandma! As with any traditional shortbread cookie, this recipe uses A LOT of butter with just three other standard baking ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already! I love the flavour of these cookies, the crunch from the sprinkles, and the fact that they can …

Hot Chocolate & Cookie Pairings for the Holidays

I am back with the second post of my #12DaysOfChristmas series here on my blog! And today I have a fun YouTube video for you all! Hot chocolate is one of my favourite treats to have during the cold months and cookies are my favourite treat to have during the holiday season. Naturally, I decided to combine my two favourite treats and come up with a tasty pairing! You can watch my YouTube video to see how I made the hot chocolate and cookie recipes, or you can continue reading down below! Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Peppermint Crinkle Cookie During the winter months, peppermint is one of my favourite flavours! It’s so refreshing and soothing and tastes great in just about any dessert! I’ve added a dash of peppermint extract into my Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe and in my Peppermint Crinkle Cookie recipe to make them taste delicious and festive for the holidays. This cookie recipe is also gluten-free which is amazing! White Hot Chocolate & Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies White Hot Chocolate has a …

Planning & Preparing for the Holidays: My 7 Top Tips

My 12 Days of Christmas Series begins on my blog today! I’ll be posting a blog post every day for the next twelve days leading up to Christmas! I am starting off with a few of my tips for planning and preparing for the holidays! The holidays can be a crazy time of year. With all of the different parties, shopping, and cooking, it can really wear you down before it even begins. Today, I got you covered with some holiday planning tips that will help you stay organized and on track to fully enjoy the season. 1. List your Tasks There are a lot of tasks to tackle during the holidays. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, or if you’re entertaining for your friends and family, lists are imperative to ensure that you don’t forget to do something. In total, there are about five lists that you should make (depending on your role this holiday season):  a guest list, a holiday menu list, a grocery list, a gift list, and a chores list.  I like …

Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets

I am back with another wonderful #AppyHolidays recipe this week! This recipe is for all of those who like something a little bit elegant and complex in flavour, but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen creating it! These Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets are great little appetizers to serve at a cocktail party or as a first course of your holiday dinner this year, perhaps with a side salad! Using the Best of the Season The late fall/early winter is when pears begin to come into season here in BC. And when they start arriving, I can’t stop myself from eating them! They’re sweet and have a nice subtle flavour, making them the perfect fruit to pair with other ingredients! Plus, if you can find locally grown pears (yes, those exist here in B.C.) then you will be on your way to making a wonderful seasonal and local recipe! A Delicate Combination of Flavours and Textures When combining sweet and savoury flavours, I like to keep things simple with basic, but good …

Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

Hello everyone! I am happy to announce that #AppyHolidays is back on the blog! This is the third year I am doing this blog series where I post a holiday recipe once a week for the month of December. So this year, there will be FIVE holiday appetizer recipes for you to make and enjoy with your friends and family. However this year is special as I am partnering with a wonderful not-for-profit organization called We Heart Local BC. We share similar philosophies of cooking with local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible. Head over to their website to check out some awesome blog posts about local farmers in British Columbia as well as lots of tasty recipes. Retro Recipes with a Modern Twist For my #AppyHolidays series this year, I took my inspiration from the retro holiday appetizers that my parents and grandparents used to make when I was a kid. In this case, I experienced these retro appetizer recipes growing up in the early/mid 1990s, but these recipes most likely originated between the 1960s …