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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We’ve all said it before – even if it’s only lasted for the first two weeks of January: “My resolution this year is to eat healthier meals and stop snacking on junk.” Even though a protein-packed and nutrient-rich diet may be ideal, the truth is that a low-fat life is not easy to sustain for everyone.
Thankfully, healthy eating does not have to mean drab and flavourless eating. The following recipes are designed to keep you fuller longer, provide ample nutrition, and satisfy any unhealthy cravings left over from the holidays.
During a busy workweek, it can be difficult to make time for a well-rounded breakfast that will get you through the day. While oatmeal has a reputation for being bland, there are countless variations that will allow you to switch it up daily. Add cinnamon, maple syrup, and dried fruit to your oats the night before, and allow your mixture to soak up all the goodness. The addition of chia seeds supplies an early morning dose of Omega-3s to allow for a bustling day ahead.
When you have a hankering for a big plate of Chinese food from your local restaurant, you may not regret it at first, but all that grease won’t settle well in your stomach. If you’re vegetarian, it’s difficult to find anything on the menu you can eat at all. Lettuce wraps can be made at home for everyone, and are even speedier than takeout. With hoisin sauce, Sriracha and soy sauce as a base, all you need is fresh lettuce, tofu and veggies of your choice. Meat lovers can even substitute chicken or shrimp to make it family-friendly.
Although squash is a staple of the fall season, they can usually be found at the grocery store year-round. Whenever there’s a significant cold spell in the city, nothing is better than turning on the oven and baking an aromatic, savoury-sweet dinner. This dish is extremely versatile: just add whatever protein you’re in the mood for, quinoa or rice, veggies on hand and toppings such as walnuts and parmesan cheese. Another easily-adaptable meal, roasted squash can also be substituted with bell peppers and zucchini.
Carb-cutting might seem near-impossible (or just unrealistic), but as long as you eat it in moderation, and you have no gluten sensitivities, there’s no harm in having pizza once in a while! Personalized flatbread (usually featuring a little less dough than a pizza crush) is one healthy— and delicious—way to curb your craving. Using health-conscious ingredients like organic sugar, and spelt flour (in addition to all purpose flour) can lessen the guilt and add to the flavour. Top your flatbread with hummus, sautéed vegetables, and a protein of your choice. Drizzle with a balsamic dressing for added sweetness.
When you’re looking for an extra boost of energy—whether training for a marathon or preparing for a presentation at work—it can be difficult to eat mindfully. It’s far too easy to load up on carbohydrates like pasta, or simply drink a protein shake and call it a day. Make sure you reap all the benefits from this protein and fibre-packed salad. Olive oil, sunflower seeds, apples and kale can be topped with breaded or grilled chicken, fish or pork. Add a handful of chopped figs for sweetness and sprinkle with hemp hearts for Omega-3s, iron and zinc.
For another vegetarian dish that will please everyone at the dinner table, grab that can of chickpeas you’ve been saving in your pantry and make this creamy curry. Canned tomatoes, coconut milk, tomato paste and spices make the sauce for this stew. Add eggplant, sweet potato and spinach to round it off. Served on rice or quinoa, this is a foolproof dish perfect for the winter. Hint: double the recipe and freeze a portion for another day.
Using just a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, these peanut butter quinoa bars are great as a snack to throw in your bag, a quick breakfast on-the-go, or as a satisfying dessert after dinner. Substitute peanut butter with almond butter in case of allergies, and chocolate chips with raisins. Oats, quinoa, honey, coconut oil and chia seeds make this a jam-packed protein bar reminiscent of sweet blondies or granola bars.
Dark chocolate is not only acceptable as a healthy treat, but it’s also recommended for daily intake. It contains heart-healthy antioxidants, amino acids and releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. Of course, only 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate is needed per day to promote some of these health benefits, but don’t worry, we won’t tell if you exceed that amount. Dip dried apricot halves in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chilli powder for a fast and decadent dessert with a kick.
For many, fall is a popular season. Cozy nights in front of the fireplace, a cup of steaming coffee on a rainy morning, wool socks and warm toques – what more could you ask for? Dessert, of course. Keep these universally pleasing fall dessert recipes in your repertoire to ensure your holiday weekends and chilly evenings are just as sweet.
Fall would be incomplete without a pumpkin-based dessert. Even though it may be best known as the finale for Thanksgiving dinner, this delicious no-bake pumpkin pie recipe can stand alone. With a modern twist using ginger snaps instead of graham crackers, you can save on time by substituting pre-made vanilla pudding for the packaged mix.
[More at Reader’s Digest]
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a huge job – not only does it take a lot of planning and organization, it can also be fairly costly. If you’re not hosting this year, it’s worth thinking about how to help. Always ask the host what you can bring – that way, they can choose something specific if they want to. However, if they don’t have a preference, we’ve got some great suggestions for dishes you can bring along that complement the turkey. Read on!
You know how it goes. Thanksgiving arrives, and the oven is overfilled with a turkey and roasting vegetables and the stovetop has cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing. So why not offer to handle the mashed potatoes? You can prep them in advance and then bring the whole slow cooker with you – that way, no oven space is needed to reheat your dish, but no one will have to bear cold mashed potatoes. Check out this recipe, which features classic cream and butter, and then let us know what your favourite mashed potato toppings are. We especially like cream cheese and sour cream.
Shana Tova U’Metukah!
Rosh Hashanah is all about eating delicious food together to help ensure that you will have a sweet New Year! With delicious and symbolic foods ranging from beets to black-eyed peas, apples dipped in honey isn’t your only option. We’ve got some classics, some off-beat suggestions – and so many delicious ways to celebrate the New Year.
Having everyone over? Kick off the festivities with a tasty snack of crispy beet chips dipped into a delectable honey mayo sauce. (Our top tip? Double the recipe. Yes, they’re that good.)
The Hebrew word for beets sounds like the word for “remove”, or selek, and eaten to express the hope that your enemies will depart.