Author: Melissa

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 …

Gochujang Chicken Thighs

Now that it is dark outside super early, I am finding that I want quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes even more. But as the cold weather moves in, I want something more than meat and potatoes or soup. I want to enjoy something spicy, aromatic and lively during these dull times, and this recipe for Gochujang Chicken Thighs does the trick! What is Gochujang? Gochujang is a spicy, savoury and slightly sweet chili paste from Korea. It has s complex flavour, but works well in a wide range of Korean dishes, especially savoury ones. This paste is extremely thick as it is made from glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and dried red chilies and comes in a paste form. Gochujang can also vary in terms of spice levels, ranging from mild to hot. Since I love spicy foods, I always go for the ‘hot’ spice level for my recipes! Not sure if you’ve had gochujang before? Well, if you’ve ever had any Korean food (Korean Fried Chicken, Kimchi Jiggae, and even kimchi itself), it is …

Squid Ink Arancini

Happy Halloween, everyone! I know I am a day early, but I had to post this haunting recipe so that you can make it to celebrate to spookiest day of the year! This year, I came up with terrifying (yet delicious) Squid Ink Arancini– and they’re perfect for serving at any Halloween party you may be hosting or attending! A Spooky Twist on an Italian Classic Arancini are simply deep fried rice balls. They are made of risotto (often leftovers from a previous meal) and are typically deep fried and served with marinara or another similar tomato sauce. They are a classic Italian appetizer recipe as they are a small 2-3 bites in size, but they can sometimes be large enough to be served as a main dish as well. Of course, since rice is a blank canvas, there are so many flavours that you can add to the risotto itself! Mushroom, squash, or even my Spring Veggie Risotto are all delicious and classic risotto flavours. However, in this recipe, I opted to keep it …

Classic Chicken Kiev

Fall calls for comfort food, and this Classic Chicken Kiev is one of my favourites! Chicken Kiev is simply a chicken breast that is stuffed with a hearty herb and garlic butter before it is breaded and cooked. Most often, Chicken Kiev is deep fried, but in an effort to make this recipe a bit healthier, I like to bake them in the oven. Read on down below to learn my tips and tricks to getting the perfect Classic Chicken Kiev, and check out my YouTube video to see how I make it! My Tip to Avoid Leaking Butter  While this recipe is delicious, it can be a little complex to make. Most often, people have issues with the herb and garlic butter leaking out of the chicken breast while it is baking. I have tried many ways to avoid this, but the trick that works the best for me is to stuff the opening where the herb and garlic butter with the chicken breast tender. Sounds weird….but trust me! Simply remove the chicken tender …