A Few Really Great Food Ideas for the Holidays

Over the past few weeks, I’ve hit fifth gear a few times in the Simple Bites kitchen. This is one of my favourite times of year to play with my food.

In my flurry of cooking and baking, I’ve come up with a few really great food ideas for the holidays that I just had to share. Nothing here is planned, more of series of inspired moments that turned out to be quite fun.

Read on for a cheery crêpe Christmas tree, a brilliant use for leftovers, an elevated winter pie and an introduction to the #Jarcuterie trend.

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Small-Batch Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

A small-batch version of our family favourite, these Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies are festive and fun.

Meringue cookies, in any shape and any flavour, are always the first treat to disappear from the holiday cookie plate. Snatched up by my kids, there are usually only a few crispy shards remaining by the time I’m ready for something sweet.

This year I am wising up and creating nearly the whole cookie tin or plate with meringue cookies. I’ll leave room for a few shortbread, of course. Since my family are about the only guests I’m baking for, I may as well keep the customers happy.

Read on for a recipe you’ll want to add to your permanent repertoire and bake up for years to come.

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The Best Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip

An easy winter recipe for a vibrant beet and walnut dip. Swirled with sour cream and topped with dill, it’s a luxurious and festive appetizer.

All winter long I’m never without a sack of beets in my cold room. I roast them up in batches about once a week and stash them in the fridge, where they keep for about 4-5 days.

A surplus of cooked beets is necessary to have around in the Simple Bites kitchen. Recipes like the kid’s favourite Chocolate Beet Snack Cake and today’s beet and walnut dip are in regular rotation all season.

I’ve been meaning to share this quick, do-ahead appetizer that I make every year around the holidays. The vibrantly coloured dip, paired with crisp winter vegetables, is exactly what I want to eat to balance out all the cookies.

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7 Fantastic Salads for the Holiday Season and Beyond

Recipe ideas for easy salads that are great for the holiday season and beyond.

Happy December.

Over the weekend we ushered in the holidays by dragging a seven-foot pine tree through the front door and then sitting down to our first Tourtière of the season.

Like the tree-trimming-tourtière feast, most of our family traditions happen around the table at Christmastime. This year won’t be any different, we’ll merely be a few less people and throwing a few less parties.

Since it will be just us, I’m involving the kiddos in much of the meal planning. If someone wants a lasagne on the 24th, so be it. We’re not bound by tradition. So lists are being made of our holiday baking projects and I’m stocking the pantry.

Included in the planning is a solid round-up of fantastic salads for the holiday season. A balanced diet is so important, especially this time of year.

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15 Good Reads: Danny’s Book Recommendations

Here are 15 book recommendations for the year 2020, touching on topics from humour to social issues, or for just broadening your perspective.

When Aimée heard that I had read over forty-five books this year, she was completely astounded. She polled her Instagram readers to see if people wanted suggestions for what to read next (or gift ideas!).

The response was a resounding yes, so here we are. Consider this my first gift guide. Remember, Aimée has shared her favourite cookbooks of 2020 as well as 24 Food Gifts from Canadian Artisans.

Today, I’m listing 15 titles that cover everything from humour to social issues. I’m always looking for a new read or audiobook, so please share your book recommendations in the comments.

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