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Canadian Food Bloggers Christmas Traditions
December 24, 2018

Canadian Food Bloggers Christmas Traditions

Food bloggers are the food celebrities of today! With the ongoing expansion of social media and the ability to connect with fans on such a personal level all over the world, its no wonder food bloggers have become our society’s role models.

From mouth watering pictures on Instagram to helpful tips and recipes on their websites to friendly fan interactions via comments and YouTube videos, we look to our favorite bloggers for a break in our daily routine and as an inspiration for new ideas we can adopt into our very own lives.

So, since we already admire them for telling us what overnight oats recipe we should be crafting for our breakfast every second week of the month, what lotions to use when we go to bed, and their favourite book right now, why not look to them for inspiring new Christmas traditions too? Chances are, you’ll be glad you found out!

A CANADIAN FOODIE

Valerie Lugonja of the award winning blog A Canadian Foodie is a traditionalist at heart. The basis of her blog focuses on traditional Canadian Prairie Cuisine where she also includes long passed down family recipes and stories.

For Christmas, her recipe for Mom’s Canadian Traditional Shortbread Cookie Recipe 2016 is one she’s been making for family and friends every year since 1982. Another includes her delectable Christmas Butter Cookies: The Happiest Christmas Tree 2016.

Canadian Shortbread cookies

MOM'S CANADIAN TRADITIONAL SHORTBREAD COOKIE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour (remove 2 tablespoons to be replaced with the cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of Berry sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF
  2. Combine sugar and flour mixture; mix well
  3. Work in butter; knead
  4. Divide into two equal portions; wrap in plastic and refrigerate
  5. Roll cool dough to ⅛ inch on pastry cloth using a rolling pin cloth cover
  6. Cut out shapes; transfer to tray and dock decoratively
  7. Bake 8-9 minutes, until lighty golden on bottom and white on top
  8. Cool on rack

And as for some Christmas Buttermilk Cookies, Valerie explains in detail here:

Canadian Buttermilk Christmas Cookies

CHRISTMAS BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Butter Cookie Dough:

  • 720 grams or 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 335 grams or 1 ½ cups butter
  • 80 grams or ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 125 g granulated sugar
  • 15 grams or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Decorating the Christmas Tree Cookies:

  • Gold Starsor tree topper of some kind
  • 400 g Green Candy Melts
  • Red sugar pearl dragee
  • gold flakes for tinsel
  • Gingerbread Men sprinkles

Instructions

Instructions for Making Dough:

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder; set aside
  2. Cream butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy; scrape down sides of bowl
  3. Add vanilla and mix to combine; scrape down sides of bowl
  4. On slow speed, add dry ingredients until fully incorporated (do not over mix); shape dough into large disc
  5. Wrap in plastic; chill in fridge for one hour or overnight

Instructions for Making Dough in Thermomix Machine:

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder; set aside
  2. Weigh butter and powdered sugar into TM bowl; combine together for 30 seconds on speed 3.5
  3. Weigh in granulated sugar with vanilla; mix to combine and cream for 3.5 minutes, speed 3-4
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl at mid point
  5. Add dry ingredients; mix to combine until ingredients start to clump together 15 seconds speeds 1-7
  6. Shape dough into large disc or two discs
  7. Wrap in plastic; chill in fridge for one hour or overnight
  8. Divide disc in two; place on lightly floured surface between parchment paper papers

Instructions for Rolling Dough:

  1. Divide disc in two; place on lightly floured surface between parchment paper papers (I use a mat and a sleeve on my rolling pin)
  2. Roll to ¼ inch thick; cut with cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet about ½ inch from one another
  3. Combine dough a couple of times and continue to roll out and cut into shapes; avoid combining dough more than two times, or it will be tough
  4. Continue with second disc, repeating the process; bake for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned only around the edges for a small cookie
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes; remove cookies to cool completely on baking rack

Instructions for Decorating Cookies:

  1. Place green candy melts in disposable pastry bag; clip on one end to avoid spillage
  2. Melt in microwave, according to instructions
  3. Snip end off bag ever so carefully, holding up to the light to allow only the tiniest thread of liquid to escape the bag
  4. Dot 3 trees with a dollop of candy melt glue at the tip of each tree and cover the base of each tree at the same time; place a star on the top of each tree and a little gingerbread sprinkle on the base
  5. Repeat this process until all cookies have stars and bases; then proceed, one cookie at a time
  6. Draw a garland on a cookie in a draping fashion, from side to side of tree; plop three red dragees into position on the tree: one top right, one mid-left and one bottom right
  7. Using about 1/2 teaspoon of longish green needle-like sprinkles, sprinkle over wet candy melt garland to affix sprinkles, starting along each side of the tree and finishing down the centre leaving some open space (avoid base)
  8. Shake 24K gold foil flakes over tree for final sparkle; set on cookie sheet with finished cookies
  9. Pack in air tight container, in layers divided with plastic wrap; freeze until ready to serve

SIMPLE BITES

In Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s latest post on her blog, Simple Bites, she explains how she plans her ideal Christmas brunch for friends and family. It’s super detailed as a means of making it as stress free as is humanly possible. And perhaps one of her most wonderful, most sage pieces of advice?

"My holiday brunch strategy goes like this: a decadent baked treat, a flavourful egg dish, a winter fruit salad and heaps of coffee. That’s it.”

With each broken off into sections with a handful of recipe selections from her blog so you can mix and match dishes (and drinks!)

Canadian Holiday Brunch

ROCK RECIPES

Barry Parsons of the Rock Recipes blog has one post that is particularly fascinating in skewing up Christmas tradition— turkey poutine! Say what?

That’s right. Barry is a huge advocate for utilizing leftovers and his compilation of Christmas (or Thanksgiving) leftovers— be that turkey or ham, cranberry sauce, etc. —over fries and smothered in cheese curds and gravy have definitely got our attention. French-Canadian comfort food never tasted so good.

Canada and its Turkey Poutine

TURKEY POUTINE
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover dressing or stuffing
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese curds see notes for substitutions
  • 3/4 cup cranberry sauce room temperature
  • French fries
For the French fries
  • 6 large or 6 medium size russet potatoes
  • 1 liter canola oil or more depending on the size of your fryer
  • kosher salt for seasoning
Instructions
For the french Fries
  1. The best, most crispy fries are always cooked in two stages at 2 different temperatures.
  2. Wash or peel your potatoes and cut them into fries. I like to keep the skins on. The size of the fries is up to you but shoestring size, about ¼ inch square (6-7 mm) always maximizes the crispy flavour.
  3. Hold the fries at room temperature in lukewarm water until ready to fry. Lay them out on layers of paper towels and pat dry with additional paper towels immediately before frying.
  4. Add the canola oil to the deep fryer and bring it to 350 degrees F. Fry the potato sticks until just beginning to crisp but not brown; about 6-8 minutes for shoestring fries.
  5. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. These fries will likely go limp as they cool. This is perfectly normal. They will re-crisp in the second fry.
  6. Turn off the deep fryer until ready to fry again.
  7. When you are ready to serve the fries, bring the oil up to 375 degrees F in the deep fryer.
  8. Fry for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the fries begin to turn a light golden brown and become quite crispy.
  9. Remove from oil and toss with a pinch of kosher salt to season.
To put together the poutine:
  1. First of all, use real cheese curds if you can find them. They should also be at room temperature for best results.
  2. The turkey and stuffing should be heated in the microwave. I find wrapping them in plastic keeps moisture in while reheating.
  3. It is essential to have boiling hot gravy for this dish, so be sure to have that simmering on the stove and at the ready.
  4. Hot French fries are also essential so that the combined heat of all of the ingredients will help the cheese curds to melt.
  5. Start by placing the french fries in the bottom of 4 serving bowls, followed by a layer of stuffing and shredded turkey.
  6. Add the cheese curds on top and pour the gravy slowly over the cheese curds to get them starting to melt.
  7. Serve with a dollop of the cranberry sauce on the side.
Recipe Notes

Fresh cheese curds are best for this recipe but are not always easy to find. Fresh mozzarella cubes make an acceptable substitution in a pinch. Many fast food restaurants in Canada will substitute grated mozzarella for cheese curds but if you choose to do that I think small diced cubes are better but be sure that they are at room temperature before the gravy is poured on.

SWEET POTATO CHRONICLES

Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh of the Sweet Potato Chronicles blog have been on a mission to take some of their favorite recipes and put a healthier twist on them. In their latest and greatest? Mini Yorkshire pudding Bites with Yves Veggie Cuisine Ground Wellington Topping are taking the cake.

These appetizers were claimed to have been served at a holiday party (with Sirloin instead of the veggie option) for out of town friends a year ago and were gone in a snap! They say the swap out for the Yves Veggie Topping instead of the sirloin is a healthier and easier alternative that has already been massively loved by every taste tester they’ve encountered and are excited to serve it again this year.

Mini Yorkshire Pudding Bites

MINI YORKSHIRE PUDDING BITES

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallots, diced
  • 1 cup of cremini mushroom, finely diced or put through a food processor
  • 1 package of Yves Veggie Ground Round
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, separated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream or horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • For the yorkshire puddings:
  • 3 eggs (large, measured in a measuring cup)
  • Milk ( equal quantity of your measured eggs)
  • Flour (equal quantity of your measured eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil

Method

For the filling:

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm your olive oil. Add the shallot and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shallot is soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove mushroom mix leaving juices behind and place in a bowl and set aside. Add the Yves Veggie Ground Round to the pan and break up with the back of a spoon and season with a pinch of salt. Add the fresh parsley and Allow the mixture to warm; about  3 to 5 minutes. Stir the mushroom mix back into the pan and combine with the veggie mix. Check seasoning and then remove from the heat and set aside.

For the Yorkshire pudding:

Pour the eggs and milk into a large mixing bowl and add the pinch of salt. Whisk thoroughly with an electric hand beater or hand whisk. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Gradually sieve the same volume of flour (as the eggs) into the milk and egg mixture, again use an electric hand beater or hand-whisk to create a lump free batter resembling thick cream. If there are any lumps pass the batter through a fine sieve. Let the batter rest for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to several hours.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Pour a ¼ teaspoon of vegetable oil into each mini muffin hole of your mini muffin tin and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking.

Give the batter another good whisk adding 2 tablespoons of cold water. Carefully remove the hot muffin tin from the oven and, working quickly, fill a third of each section of the tin with batter and get it back in the oven fast.

Cook until golden brown approximately 12 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a large serving dish.

Fill each yorkshire pudding with a teaspoon of the vegetable mixture. Give each yorkshire a dollop of horseradish or sour cream and then sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve and enjoy.

SWEETOPIA

Marian Poirier of blog Sweetopia is a sugar-infused genius when it comes to all things dessert-related. As well as being a very talented baker, she is an extraordinary artist with frosting that she uses for coloring in and decorating all sorts of cupcakes and cookies a like.

Her holiday post How to Color Icing Red & Decorated Christmas Cookies gives a detailed breakdown of how to easily tap into your inner pastry chef and wow the crowd at your next Christmas gathering.

Colored Holiday Cookies

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Christmas Eve dinner? Christmas Day brunch or dinner? Maybe you’re a leftover genius like Rock Recipes.  Whatever your traditions are, and whether it be you hosting it or going to a friend or family member’s place, may this post have inspired you to whip up a little something different this holiday season.

And like the bloggers say, if it tastes good and looks mighty fine, take a picture of your work of art when it’s done, post it on Instagram and tag us @williamsfoodequipment for a chance to be featured on our page! William’s Food Equipment. Canada’s largest kitchen-ware store.  Check out our post, Your Ultimate Kitchen Products Christmas Shopping Guide, for a breakdown on all our best products you can save big money on. Details on free shipping and more savings included.

And for even more holiday gift inspiration, read our Top Canadian-Inspired Christmas Kitchen Gifts post for ideas on what to get for all your foodie family and friends.