Eton Mess-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart with Candied Kumquats

A colourful little tart I created last month for our Thanksgiving feast turned out to be quite the showstopper.

Even though we’re up to our ears in boxes and the movers come next week, I had to share this recipe with you. I’m usually all about the classic desserts for the fall and winter holidays, but this time it was really fun to change things up with this unique Eton Mess-Topped Cranberry Curd Tart with Candied Kumquats. Yes, that’s a mouthful, and I promise you, it tastes even better than it sounds.

Here’s a dessert that’s absolutely perfect for the holiday season, featuring sweet clementines, fresh cranberries and tiny little kumquats, not to mention mounds of cream and crispy, crumbled meringues. Read on for a handful of photos and the recipe for this decadent tart.

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Overnight Spiced Stollen Swirl Buns

This morning, as I sat down with a notebook and a pen to make a menu plan for the week, I was filled with such a tangible sense of gratitude; how fortunate I was to be able to outline our eats straight through to Boxing Day.

Noah and I donated some time to a local food bank last week, and I saw first-hand what many people in my community will have to eat over the holidays. Not much, I’m afraid. It is a huge privilege to be able to plan party nibbles, brunch baking, and pot-luck dishes. That is not something I take for granted.

We’re having a bit of a quiet, minimalist Christmas this year. No huge parties or multi-course meals are in the plans, and most of our gift shopping was from the World Vision gift catalogue (really the coolest thing). Here and there, we’ve taken small steps to make a positive impact on our global community – something that’s so desperately needed these days. This is the season for giving, after all.

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for overnight spice swirl buns with you for a while now. I’m not sure how it fits into my feelings of gratitude and gifting today, but perhaps it will inspire you to bake up a tray of buns and share them with someone this holiday season.

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Baked Brie and last-minute appetizer ideas

I had all but forgotten this last-minute baked brie appetizer from the Simple Bites archives, when my sister unearthed it for a recent party.

She presented the brie in all its glory, bubbling from the oven and topped with toasted walnuts, and I quickly remembered just how popular it was. Party guests swarmed the table and in a matter of minutes, half the round of brie and an entire baguette was gone.

I mean, warm cheese and crusty bread, does it get any better than that?

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Cranberry Quince Conserve and a break

We’ve been under fickle skies for the past week.

In the time that it takes to stroll five minutes down my leaf-strewn lane, an afternoon of sunshine is overtaken by clouds. Painted in every colour of grey imaginable, they bring a dreamy rain that slides down the exposed tree trunks and slicks the leaves underfoot. Then, in a moment, rain changes to flurries of snow that never seem to land, only whirl around and around as if lost in the October winds.

The sensation of feeling adrift is a familiar one; being tossed around similarly to those golden-hued leaves abandoned to the tendencies of autumn gales. We have no normalcy these days, I confided to a friend one evening. While many things factor into this unsettling times, a certain upcoming surgery certainly plays a lead role.

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Simple Brie & Cranberry Stuffed Mushroom Bites

Entertaining over the winter holidays is what I was born to do.

As a small child, I can remember the thrill of being allowed to help my mother set the table for Christmas dinner. She always placed a perfectly ironed cloth napkin on each dinner plate and I would set a small mandarin orange in the center for a simple, natural decoration.

Now it’s a thrill to welcome young and old into my home on cold December days to catch up over winter sangria and hot spiced apple cider. From intimate dinners with friends to rowdy brunches with an army of family members, my kitchen is command central and I am the general.

These festive little stuffed mushrooms were inspired by one of my most popular recipes, a baked Brie with cranberry sauce and heaps of walnuts. I wanted to create something just as tasty that left out the bread and crackers altogether.

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