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Archive for the ‘entertaining’ Category

crispery3This blog post is designed specifically to make you salivate. These Rice Krispie treats (pictured left) from The Crispery are available for order only in the U.S. (boo!) but they look so yummy, I had to share! They come in a variety of individual flavours like: Caramel and Marshmallow, Peanut Butter, Coconut and Chocolate Dipped Crispy to name a few. Mmmm! It’s not like my hometown of Toronto doesn’t have its own fair share of bakeries that make mouthwatering treats. This blogto.com blog post lists the best cupcakes in Toronto, for example. And Rice Krispie squares are easy enough to make at home (though The Crispery certainly adds an original twist to an old favourite!) If you’re interested in making your own squares at home, here are a few recipes from Canadian Living: Cocoa frosted Rice Krispies peanut squares, Rice Krispies fruit and nut granola bars.

crispery2Anyway, I’m just feeling mighty hungry now. If you’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth and are looking for more ideas, check out our Food & Entertaining section, full of easy recipes for delicious desserts! The weekend is the perfect time to try your hand at a new recipe.

Here are a few of my faves (pictured above):

Chocolate dream scone with mascarpone spread
Cranberry pistachio biscotti
Baby butter and jam sandwiches

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I spent this weekend enjoying holiday cheer with my family. We put on some Christmas music (some of my favourites are Elvis Christmas Duets, Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong,  and Celine Dion’s These are Special Times) and set to the task of decorating the tree. It was a lovely festive afternoon of family and fun.

We also enjoyed a glass each of fresh and frothy homemade eggnog. I recently spent a weekend at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, just outside of San Francisco (you can read a bit more about it here) and I visited the cooking school, where Kelsie Kerr, Cooking School Director, was whipping up delicious, delectable holiday eggnog.

I was inspired. While I didn’t get my hands on Kelsie’s recipe, I did find a few online and I whipped up a batch of this sweet treat for my family. Mmm! Here are a few for you to try, courtesy of eggnogrecipe.net.

Easy Eggnog
Diamond Eggnog Recipe

Traditional Eggnog Recipe
Coconut Eggnog Recipe
Chocolate Eggnog Recipe

Low Fat Eggnog

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Kate Spade sells gorgeous Christmas ornaments, too! Shocking! My sister is pining over a gorgeous Kate Spade bag (she likes the white; I like the black) and while I was checking out its specs online, I came across these pretty ornaments. The candy-coloured ceramic ornaments come packaged in a beautiful hatbox and will look stunning on your tree. Or, if you’re hosting a dinner party, put one on each guest’s plate with their name and let them keep it. (This means, of course, that you’ll have to buy extra for yourself!)

Price: $75 for a set of 5
For more information: visit katespade.com

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Delight your guests with a table that looks perfectly pulled together. It’s really not that hard. Pretty placemats, tablecloths and table runners instantly dress up a table and at trendexhome.com, you’ll find a huge assortment of styles, colours and patterns to choose from. The simple gesture of dressing your table will let your guests know that you care enough to go to a bit of trouble for them (though it’s really no trouble at all!).  Or if you’re dining solo, it’s nice to do something special for yourself and set a pretty table before you sit down to eat. Boldly patterned pieces, like the ones pictured here, are a whimsical way to liven up stark white dishware. If your crockery is bold enough on its own, choose from simple but elegant solid colours – trendexhome.com has a wide assortment; you’re sure to find something that’ll suit your table just right!

These products also make a great Christmas present. Order by December 1 for delivery by December 22 in Canada and the United States.

For more information, visit trendexhome.com. For inspiring ideas for dressing your table in style, check out Style at Home’s tabletop section.

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I love the simplicity of Bodum’s designs. The YOHKI storage jar with chrome lid (featured left), is perfect for storing flour, sugar and pasta and is perfect for blending into any countertop. The CHAMBORD French press coffee maker with metal lid (pictured right) is so elegant. I can just smell the aroma in the air and it makes me think of sipping coffee at a patisserie in Paris. Except that I don’t drink coffee.

Bodum products can be found at Home Outfitters and select The Bay stores across Canada. Or at Bodum stores in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Australia … you know … if you’re going.

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You just can’t go wrong with the gift of food. Well … okay, maybe that’s not true. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled if someone showed up at my house with a cabbage casserole. They say it’s the thought that counts but I’d just be thinking, Wow. This person really doesn’t like me. So let me rephrase. You just can’t go wrong with the gift of baked goodies. And if you don’t have time to whip up some tasty treats yourself, then just leave it to the professionals. Frostineedibles.com is an online Canadian bakery that makes a vast assortment of cookies and other baked treats and offers overnight shipping to anywhere in Canada and the United States. So next time you’re looking for a hostess gift or housewarming present, a birthday gift or just something to satisfy your own sweet tooth, then consider Frostines Edibles. My favourite part is how they’re packaged – beautiful, re-useable boxes that come in a variety of colours and truly look like something special. Here at my office, we sampled the cookies and here’s what my colleagues had to say:

“Soft and crumbly. It dissolves in your mouth – delicious!”
Alaina Chapman

“These yummy cookies were truly delightful, melting away in my mouth. The butterscotch ripple was my fave — a simply sweet treat to cap off my lunch. If this is the way the cookie crumbles, I want more!”
Lauren McPhillips

“I had the chocolate brownie cookie … very chocolate brownie like! It was really rich and quite tasty, but somewhat dry. Would be perfect with a cold glass of milk. I imagine a serious chocolate lover would be very grateful to receive some of these to feed their craving.”
Daniela Payne

“This cookie makes a valiant effort to be all things to all people – it’s got shortbread, it has a modest filling, it has cranberries and who knows what else. That said, the holiday hubris pays off: In several sweetly satisfying bites, you get an essential taste of Christmases past, updated for the present. The verdict:  A-. The minus is for leaving out the chocolate. Now, can I have another one?”
John Kuipers

Good to know: All flavours of Frostines Edibles cookies are nut- and peanut-free.

For more information, visit: frostinesedibles.com

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At every turn, there’s no doubt that it’s Halloween today. Although, as a colleague of mine astutely pointed out, traveling on Toronto’s subways, it’s not always entirely possible to distinguish the once a year costumes from the every day streetwear of some. But I digress. Since Halloween conveniently falls on a Friday this year, I’m sure many of you are attending Halloween parties or perhaps hosting one yourself. If you’re looking for some last-minute decorating ideas, that are more chic than cheap, check out these seven ideas. They’re inexpensive but will look good around the house, year after year. I love these (pictured above): Twig Hurricanes, starting at $39 US (right), Glitter Skull, $19 US, Pottery Barn (left).

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