Holiday Cookie Guide

Holiday Cookie Guide

I can't believe that it's already December and it's National Cookie Day and that means that it is time to start thinking about Holiday cookie baking! You can never have too many cookies over the holidays whether for entertaining, giving them away as gifts or even just to snack on yourself. It's always nice to have a variety of cookies on your platter so that everyone can find something they like and perhaps even try some new ones! I have gathered a few of my favourite holiday cookies here to share with you and I will also be trying a some new ones over the coming days!

Although some cookies, like chocolate chip cookies, shouldn't be made until a few days ahead of time others, like shortbread and fruit cakes, will keep for weeks at room temperature and months in the freezer so you can plan accordingly to ensure that you are not swamped at the last minute with cookie baking. It's time to get your baking on!

Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Are you ready for baking for the holiday cookie season? I thought that I would start out my holiday cookie platter with these thick and chewy peanut butter cookies which are both a classic and a personal favourite! These peanut cookies are so easy to make! You just mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, mix them together, form balls and bake for 10 minutes! All said and done they take less than 30 minutes to make! Pour yourself a glass of milk and put on some holiday music and relax while you wait for them to to come out of the oven! These thick and chewy peanut butter cookies are a crowd pleaser and they will disappear quickly so it's always a good idea to make a double batch!

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup
Beef and barley soup is one of my favourite comfort foods! There is just something about a tasty bowl of soup with slowly braised melt in your mouth beef that really hits the spot. This soup takes a bit of time to make but it's super simple/easy and it's that long and slow cooking that helps bring out all of the amazing flavours!

Italian Seasoning

Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning is a blend of spices that are commonly used in Italian dishes including oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sage. Many recipes call for an Italian seasoning or an Italian spice mix/blend and this blend is perfect for them! If you are making an Italian dish with a few of these spices you can also replace them with this mix to speed things up. This seasoning is so easy to make where you simply mix the ingredients and you can customize the dried herbs based on your personal preferences. The next time you need an Italian seasoning, don't go for a bottle of a premade mix with who knows what in it, make your own in your own way!

Chicken Puttanesca

Chicken Puttanesca
Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta dish with a sauce consisting of tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic. I make spaghetti alla puttanesca fairly often and sometimes I like to add chicken to the mix, especially chicken thighs, with their crispy and tasty skins! After browning the chickens skin in a pan it is simmered/braised/roasted in the sauce so that all of the juices and drippings infuses the sauce with the chickens flavour! You can either make this quickly, in less than 30 minutes, or you can do it as a slower braise/roast which will bring out even more of the flavours depending on whether you have the time or if you want the flavour. Throw the chicken puttanesca on some pasta and you have one quick, easy, tasty and hearty meal!

Cranberry and Brie Turkey Quesadillas with Avocado and Candied Jalapenos

Cranberry and Brie Turkey Quesadillas with Avocado and Candied Jalapenos
Do you have it in you for one more roast turkey recipe? I hope that you have some roast turkey leftover from your Thanksgiving dinner to make these tasty jalapeno cranberry and brie turkey quesadillas with avocado and candied jalapenos! (If you don't you should seriously consider roasting up some turkey right now!) I often make a jalapeno cranberry cranberry sauce in addition to the classic cranberry sauce for those that like a bit of spice and because it's perfect to use the leftovers in tacos, burritos or these quesadillas! When I think about quesadillas, after first thinking about all of that melted cheese, I go to the spice and so I like to throw some more in with the addition of candied jalapenos which I almost always have on hand these days! You just can't go wrong with the turkey and cranberry flavour combo in quesadillas with spicy jalapenos, creamy brie and cool avocado!

Cranberry and Brie Turkey Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Bacon

Cranberry and Brie Turkey Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Bacon
Got leftover turkey form your Thanksgiving dinner? This cranberry and brie turkey grilled cheese with avocado and bacon is the way to enjoy it to the max! Crispy and buttery grilled bread just overflowing with creamy melted brie cheese, cranberry sauce, bacon and avocado! I was dreaming about these tasty cranberry and brie turkey grilled cheese sandwiches a few days before the big turkey dinner and I was drooling over the thought of them even while enjoying the roast turkey dinner!

Turkey, Cranberry, Brie and Pear Sandwiches with Avocado and Bacon

Turkey, Cranberry, Brie and Pear Sandwiches with Avocado and Bacon
Roast turkey never had it so good! My favourite part of the roast turkey dinner has to be the leftover sandwiches and these turkey, cranberry, brie and pear sandwiches with avocado and bacon is the one that I am currently crushing on! You really can't go wrong with a roast turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich but add brie and pear and you are in sandwich heaven! I don't stop there, continuing on with crispy smoked bacon and creamy avocado to finish the sandwich off! (Well, lets not forget the candied walnuts!) No matter how you make these 5 minute turkey, cranberry, brie and pear sandwiches with avocado and bacon it's sure to please!

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

The Thanksgiving dinner is a truly amazing thing and one of the parts that I enjoy most is just getting started when the dinner comes to an end and that is thinking about creative ways to use all of the leftovers. In fact I tend to plan on making more than I believe that will be finished to ensure that there will be enough leftover to experiment with. Although I would be probably be perfectly happy using all of the leftover turkey in my favourite roast turkey sandwiches, I see it almost as a challenge to do something new and creative with the leftovers every year to keep things interesting. There are just so many things that you can do with roast turkey and if you also consider using some of the other leftovers in the same dish like the cranberry sauce or the sweet potato casserole things really start to get really fun. If you roasted a full turkey, don't throw the carcass out as you can use it to make some turkey stock and that opens up a whole new load of doors for turkey soups and stews. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some ideas for using your Thanksgiving leftovers in creative ways and so I present to you some of my favourites!