December 12th, 2017

8 Heavenly Hanukkah Recipes to Savour this Season

Photo via DPM Does

At Hanukkah, Jewish families celebrate an ancient miracle, when one day’s worth of oil lasted for eight days. It’s not a surprise, then, that oil-based cooking is an inspiration for this holiday’s decadent feature dishes. But whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, these must-try comfort foods are sure to warm your belly and satisfy family and friends on any cold winter night.

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Your favourite breakfast foods (hashbrowns and pancakes) have combined into one glorious stack of onion-y dinner goodness. Making these is a family affair: They don’t taste right if there aren’t half a dozen people crammed into your kitchen hand-shaping the patties, fighting over flipping duty or trying to sneak a bite. Load them with sour cream, applesauce, or caviar if you’re feeling fancy.

[Find the recipe at ToriAvey.com]

Jewish-Style Braised Brisket

With all of the pre-dinner shmoozing (read: chatting) that goes on at family events, waiting for that meat course can be tantalizing. Likewise, preparing this mouthwatering masterpiece requires a long-game strategy—we’re talking 3-4 hours in a good roasting pan—but it’s worth the wait. Bonus: This dish can be made in advance and stored in its braising liquid up to 4 days before your party. Extra marinating time, anyone?

[Find the recipe at SeriousEats.com]

Photo via Serious Eats

 

Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts)

This globally recognized treat has a special place in Jewish tradition. It’s easy to fry up a batch in your own kitchen using a cast iron frying pan. Customize with different jams, or swap the milk and butter with coconut milk and coconut oil to make them dairy-free. These treats are best enjoyed fresh. (This also serves as justification for eating several. Right now. You’re welcome.)

[Find the recipe at SmittenKitchen.com]

Photo via Smitten Kitchen

Sweet Noodle Kugel

Noodle Kugel is an ultra-comforting casserole, and it’s unbelievably simple to make. This creamy dish is lightly sweetened, which might seem surprising at first, but have a little faith…it’s a must-have at Jewish holiday gatherings for a reason. Serve it warm or cold next to your main. Adding raisins and a dash of cinnamon is highly recommended.

[Find the recipe at ChowHound.com] 

Photo via Rebecca Seigel

 

Classic Challah Bread

Challah is a type of braided egg bread that’s traditionally shared on the Jewish sabbath. After it rises, each braid loop forms a scrumptious little bun that can be broken off the bread is passed down the table. Move aside, dinner rolls!  This moist, luscious loaf is the perfect complement to any hearty meal.

 [Find the recipe at The Nosher]

Photo via The Nosher

Rugelach Pastries

These flaky spiral crescents are made with a special cream cheese dough, and can be filled with dried fruit, chopped walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds or whatever else your heart desires. Consider them a timeless treasure. They’re found in Jewish bakeries and cafes all year round, but rugelah-lovers will find any excuse to bring them out, and nobody ever argues.

[Find the recipe at MarthaStewart.com]

Photo via Martha Stewart

Homemade Chocolate Gelt

In old Jewish tradition, money (“gelt”) was given out at Hanukkah. Nowadays, most families distribute chocolate coins wrapped in gold or silver foil. They’re often store-bought, but personalized gelt can be made at home if you’re crafty. Prefer white chocolate? Try mixing in some matcha powder for added flair.

[Find the recipe at dpmdoes.com]

Photo via DPM Does

Hanukkah Chocolate Gelt Cake

Very lucky kids get a Chocolate Surprise Gelt Cake at Hanukkah. These cakes typically have a hollowed out core filled with (you guessed it) chocolate gelt. One slice reveals the spoils, and havoc ensues! For a less messy but equally delicious option, people with a sweet tooth can chop up the gelt and use it for cake layers. In the spirit of the holiday, some recipes call for olive oil in place of the eggs and butter.

[Find the recipe at Kitchen-Tested.com]

 



November 21st, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook

The days are colder, the nights are longer, and we’ve fallen back, ending Daylight Saving Time. Time to start planning for the holidays! Do you know what gifts you’re going to get for your loved ones this year? We’re here to help.


Throughout November and December, we’ll be posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. From showstopper items to smaller stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.

We’re starting our holiday gift guides with ideas for the home cook in your life. Whether you know an adventurous chef or a young person just learning the basics, you can’t go wrong with kitchen-y gifts. Everyone needs to cook!

Here’s our guide to buying the perfect kitchen goodie for the home cook on your list.

1. Introduce Them to the Joys of the Crock-Pot Life

The Crock-Pot Express 8 in 1 Multicooker is an outstanding gift for the home chef. It’s a convenient way to make delicious, hearty fare that will nourish an entire household. The bonus? It does all the work while you’re out preparing for the holidays or relaxing with a good book. 

 

This particular model is an 8 in 1 wonder appliance, with settings for rice cooking, yogurt making, and more. Include some recipes with your gift so the recipient can get started with it right away–we’ve got a list of 3 sensational crock-pot recipes right here.

[Photo: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

2. Elevate Their Coffee Game

Chances are your foodie friend loves coffee just as much as they do cooking. But do they have all the tools needed to make a truly great cup of coffee? A real chef will appreciate a grinder to grind their own beans to the perfect coarseness for their coffee maker of choice.

Do they need a new coffee maker? Why not a cold brew coffee maker to make delicious cold brew at home! If they love design as well as functionality, this beautiful Bodum pour over coffee maker with a classic cork band will look gorgeous on their shelves. And for those that would prefer to spend their time cooking rather than making coffee, a Keurig K-Cup machine to make the perfect cup every time with no effort on their part. Help them end their dinner parties with just the right amount of coffee, and without stress.

3. Restock with Beautiful Basics

Chances are, the home cook in your life has a solid set of pots, pans, and knives, but those good reliable basics may need some upgrading. Non-stick coating wears off and pans get scratched–it happens to the best of us. This Gotham Steel 10 Piece set is made with stainless steel, and the cooking surface is scratch resistant and oven safe. If your friend is a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a good cast iron skillet.

 

Even if they have a good set of kitchen basics, no home cook worth their salt can resist a beautiful new tool that’s good for cooking and serving. Think colourful enameled cast iron dutch ovens, cookware classy enough to go from oven to table, and quintessential white CorningWare dishes.

4. Give a Gaggle of Gadgets

The best part about being a cook is that there’s always a cool new tool to try. Specialized utensils, gadgets designed to make a job easier, or niche appliances would make great gifts for the kitchen connoisseur in your life. Add some tools to their toolbelt!

It can seem overwhelming trying to find something that they don’t already have, but if you pick something related to a recent food trend, you’re generally good to go. Think spiralizers, cupcake carriers, and milk frothers.

Or go the other way, and pick up tools that will always be useful: multi-blade herb scissors, a knife sharpener, or an egg poacher. This knife mat will corral their blades and keep them sharp, while this covered bowl with included serving set is perfect for bringing to parties. No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a gadget out there for them.

For more gift-giving advice for the home cook on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back next week with a gift guide for kids (and parents). See you then!

See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids (and Parents)

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Techies

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the DIYer

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers



November 8th, 2017

You Need These 5 Kitchen Appliances for Hassle-Free Family Dinners

Excess kitchen equipment can take up valuable cupboard or counter space, but there are a number of amazing kitchen tools that are worth the extra real estate. We’re highlighting five kitchen appliances here that will make family dinners easier, as well as fantastic recipes for you to use with them. Bon appetit!

Family Dinners - London Drugs Blog

Wok

The wok isn’t your typical frying pan. It’s a particular type of round-bottom cookware that can be used to stew, braise, poach, boil, steam, pan fry, deep fry, and stir fry. It’s almost a pot and a pan in one dish, but the distinct shape makes it easy to toss food around with a spatula and it heats better than a flat pan. It’s simply the best tool for stir-fries, which make super quick weekday meals.

Bok Choy Stir Fry - London Drugs Blog

Recipes to try:

Basic Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Egg Fried Rice

Chinese Beef with Honey Black Pepper Sauce

Indoor Grill

Indoor grills bring the flavour of the summer inside, all year long. Instead of struggling with coals or barbecuing in the rain in the fall, turn on your indoor grill. It has a more even cooking temperature than an outdoor grill and is dead simple to use. Everything tastes better grilled.

Thai Chicken Skewers - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Tuscan-Style Grilled Tuna Steaks

Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Rice Cooker

The rice cooker sounds like it’s only good for one thing–cooking rice–but it’s far more versatile than it seems. You can also use it to make curry, oatmeal, soup, polenta, and tons more. Surprising, but delicious! We’ve listed recipes here that go beyond the classic use, although rice cookers do make cooking a side of grains pretty darn simple as well.

Yellow Split Pea Dal - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Ribs and Rice

Yellow Split Pea Dal

Super Cheesy Polenta

Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are for the perfect tool for someone who wants a meal ready to go by the time they get home. Prep in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll come home after a long day with your house smelling amazing and dinner waiting.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooker Cider-Braised Pot Roast

Multi-Cooker

If your kitchen space is truly at a minimum, don’t fret. The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen appliance that basically combines many features from the previous tools into one: it’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. It even makes yogurt! And it uses much less energy than many stoves. Easy, simple, and environmentally friendly.

Pressure Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas - London Drugs Blog

Recipes to try:

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Pressure Cooker Faux Pho

Crispy Chicken Carnitas

For more Instant Pot recipes, check out our 6 Sensational Recipes for the Instant Pot post!

Do you love your Instant Pot or your rice cooker? Find all of these kitchen appliances at your local London Drugs in-store or online.



November 7th, 2017

Changing of the Gourd: 9 Perfectly Pleasant Pumpkin Recipes

We are well into #PSL season, as you’ve probably gathered from your Instagram feed. (That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, for you non-coffee drinkers.) Luckily for foodies, there is so much more to this versatile autumn gourd than just coffee shops and Thanksgiving pie, so we’ve put together some of our favourite pumpkin recipes to help you celebrate everyone’s favourite fall flavour.

1. Pumpkin, Beef and Black Bean Chili 

This hearty, savoury dish has a surprising hint of sweetness from the pumpkin that will warm up any cool fall night. Double the recipe and save for a freezer full of leftovers to enjoy throughout the season—it’s no secret that chili is always better the next day (or week, or month). Don’t forget the chipotle sour cream!

[Find the recipe at Country Living]

pumpkin recipes - chili

2. Savoury Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin for breakfast? Of course! Inspired by traditional Indian cooking, these healthy and simple pancakes are also known as besan ka puda. Ingredients can be substituted to make custom flavours, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Perfect for getting you out of that breakfast rut.

[Find the recipe at Ruchi’s Kitchen]

pumpkin recipes - pumpkin pancakes

 

3. Glorious Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Even the people who aren’t into the whole #PSL thing will find it hard to pass up a nice, hot bowl of velvety, spiced pumpkin soup. Top with pecans or goat cheese, throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a cable knit sweater, and you’ll be a Pinterest board come to life. A fall classic.

[Find the recipe at JamieOliver.com]

pumpkin recipes - pumpkin soup

4. Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Got a craving for a creamy pasta dish, but trying to cut down on the fat? We’ve got you covered. The richness of the pumpkin in this recipe takes the place of the loads of cheese traditionally found in a baked pasta dish. Comfort food level: EXPERT.

[Find the recipe at Country Living]

pumpkin recipes - pumpkin shells

5. Easy Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin and curry go together like a pile of leaves and a jumping toddler. Skip the take-out and instead whip up this spicy crowd-pleaser, even if you’re short on time. You can pour this delicious concoction over your favourite rice, vegetables, or tofu, or whichever combination of the three satisfies your current craving.

[Find the recipe at A Beautiful Mess]

pumpkin recipes - pumpkin curry

6. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We hope you hung on to the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, because these crunchy snacks are a fall must-have. Packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep), vegans and vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours: soy sauce, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg – time to get creative!

[Find the recipe at Oh! She Glows]

pumpkin recipes - roasted pumpkin seeds

7. Savoury Pumpkin Pizza

Yes, it sounds strange on paper, but we promise this will be on your top 10 list of best pizza EVER. Mild and creamy havarti cheese is the perfect flavour accompaniment with the veggies in this dish, and a fun change from mozzarella. Don’t skip the sweetened onions step—they’re the secret ingredient that will put this dish over the top into OMG territory. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be instantly addicted, and gluten-free foodies can use their favourite GF crust.

[Find the recipe at Love Lola]

pumpkin recipes - savoury pumpkin pizza

8. Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burger

Looking for an alternative to your pre-packaged veggie burger option? Try these quick and healthy pumpkin patties. Spices can be dialed up or down to your preference, and toppings are open to creative interpretation. Don’t get boxed in by the bun—these baked, crunchy beauties can also be tucked into a super-healthy lettuce wrap or crumbled on salads. They also freeze nicely, so they can be made ahead of time. Future you will heartily thank present you.

[Find the recipe at Peas & Crayons]

pumpkin recipes - chipotle pumpkin burger

9. Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love a trip to the Cheesecake Factory during a visit south of the border? Well, someone did us all a favour and broke down their creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and now we’re here to share it with you. (Yeah, you’re welcome.) Next to the prevalent pie, this modern classic is a fall dessert staple. Pro tip: replace white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper, richer taste.

[Find the recipe at Genius Kitchen]

pumpkin recipes - cheesecake factory pumpkin cheesecake

Tuck into these perfectly pleasing pumpkin recipes and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Happy eating!



October 13th, 2017

It’s Crock-tober! Share Your Classic Crock Pot Recipe to Win

Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes the changing colours, crisper air, and a desire for comfort food. There’s nothing better than having your crock pot simmering away on your kitchen counter with a delicious soup just waiting for you to enjoy.

Crock Pot Recipes - London Drugs Blog

We know you love Crock Pots. Now you can win one!

October is the month where we pull out our crock pots and those old favourite recipes we love. Maybe some are passed down through the family, or others you’ve only tried recently. But why keep those recipes to yourself?

We’d love to hear what your favourite crock pot meal is and put some of those great recipes into action. Plus, share the love with others!

Four ways to enter the contest:

1. Submit your recipe in the comments below (1 entry)
2. Enter through our sign up form from Oct. 28 – Nov 1 (1 entry)
3. Share your recipe on Twitter with #LDCrocktober (1 entry)
4. Follow @londondrugs on Instagram and let us know in the comments (1 entry)

Also, here are some of our favourite recipes to make for an easy Crock Pot dinner!

1. Crock Pot Baked Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Crock Pot Baked Spaghetti - London Drugs Blog

Who can go wrong with a delicious cheesy baked spaghetti in the Crock Pot? Try this fool-proof recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker or share your very own recipe with us in the comments below!

2. Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Sometimes all you need is chicken soup and a good book on a crisp fall day. This classic Crock Pot recipe from The Black Peppercorn will soothe your soul – but we also want to know what else you would add to it!

3. Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs

Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs - London Drugs Blog

Meatballs are a crowd favourite and oh-so-easy to whip up in the slow cooker. Try this tasty recipe from Well Plated and tell us in the comments below what you would pair your meatballs with!

We will be giving away Crock Pots all month long through Facebook, Twitter, and right here on the blog. Check back often to see dates for each giveaway!



October 5th, 2017

4 Thoughtful Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas

Hosting a group of people for Thanksgiving is a lot of work, and while many hosts are happy to spend the occasion with friends and family, they deserve a hearty thank you for their efforts. Show your appreciation for a Thanksgiving meal by bringing a thoughtful host gift. We’ve got 4 Thanksgiving Host Gift ideas to start with. Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Sandwich Fixin’s

Gourmet Turkey Sandwich - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs Blog

If the host of your Thanksgiving is particular about their dinner, then why not bring food for the next day? This is especially nice if you’re staying with your hosts – it’s the type of thing one might overlook in the uber focused prep shopping. Put together a nice collection of the makings for turkey sandwiches. A nice loaf of bread (or two!), a quality jar of mayo, and some nice lettuce is plenty – but if you want to turn it up a notch, consider this gourmet turkey sandwich recipe. Cream cheese, sprouts, and sunflower seeds? Sound delicious, and super thoughtful.

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs

Breakfast for the next day is probably the last thing on your host’s mind, so we love the idea of prepping it for them. This apple pie overnight french toast is ideal because it can be prepped in advance and takes no work the next day. Use a disposable tin foil pan to make cleanup a snap! Just make sure your host will have space in their fridge for the pans – or take responsibility for some creative rearranging.

Homemade goods

Homemade Salsa - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs Blog

If you’re crafty in the kitchen, it’s always a good idea to bring homemade goods as a hostess gift. Whether it’s pickles, salsa, or jam, it is a lovely gesture to bring a non-perishable homemade gift. With this and the chocolates listed below, it’s important to stress that the items are a gift – so there’s no need for them to share with their guests.

Chocolates – homemade or not

Slow Cooker Fudge - London Drugs Blog

No time to cook or can? No problem. This simple fudge recipe is a literal “set it and forget it” slow cooker recipe. All you need is milk chocolate chips, whipping cream, honey, white chocolate chips, and a bit of vanilla and sea salt, and a few hours for the chocolate to cook and cool. But if you don’t have time? No problem. Check out our extensive chocolate selection in store or online.



October 2nd, 2017

6 Delicious Turkey Preparations for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Let’s talk turkey. Canadians are getting ready to gather with friends and family to give thanks, and also to eat a whole bunch of delicious food. It’s fantastic—but daunting, too, if you’re the one in charge of the bird. To help, we’ve gathered and outlined some of the best ways to prepare a turkey for the big day. Please enjoy these 6 Delicious Turkey Preparations for your Thanksgiving Feast.

1. Brine, Baby, Brine

turkey preparations

Image via The Kitchn

Brining your turkey creates rich flavour, and also helps you get prep done the night before the big day. It’s a favourite around our houses, for sure. Here’s one recipe and method. We recommend adding a full clove of garlic and a ¼ cup of honey to add even more depth of flavour.

2. Deep Fried Turkey

turkey preparations

Image via Serious Eats

This turkey preparation was all the rage for a while there, and we can really see why. Deep frying the turkey gives it a delicious taste and texture, and the crispy skin is a heavenly treat. Deep frying a turkey is a potentially dangerous activity, so follow these safety precautions to the letter.

3. Slow-Grilled Turkey

Image via David Malosh

Did you know you can grill a turkey? Neither did we. Still, if you have the right kind of kettle grill, the deliciously deep smoky flavour might well be worth your effort. Check out the whole recipe and method here.

4. Classic Roast Turkey Preparation

Hamptons-chic domestic guru Ina Garten has a classic recipe for roast turkey that uses thyme, lemon, onion, and garlic to add flavour. The recipe is linked here and is a great place to start for those who are new to Thanksgiving chef-ery.

5. Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Image via RecipeTin Eats

3 minutes of prep and a day of slow cooking make this recipe an easy choice for busy people (or those who would rather spend their fall day outdoors instead of hovering around a hot stove). The low and slow preparation delivers fantastic flavour, and the gravy that comes out of the pot is also superb. This one is a brine must try, at Thanksgiving and beyond!

6. Caribbean Turkey with Spicy Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing

 

Image from Jamie Oliver

Recipes for turkey with out there ingredients can be found all over the internet. If you are feeling adventurous, give some of these a try! Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Caribbean Turkey with Spicy Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing is sure to wow your dinner guests.

 



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