This summer I had the very pleasant task of writing a Christmas piece for Calgary’s Avenue Magazine on “How-To Entertain with Ease at the Holidays”. That piece will be in the upcoming December holiday issue. I loved writing it – even in the heat of summer – because it got me thinking about things that make a difference to an “ideal holiday experience” versus a harried and hurried one that leaves people frazzled, stressed and grumpier than Scrooge himself.
My holiday ideal is time to enjoy my family and friends. That means time to go skating or skiing or to just sit and watch movies or play board games together. At the same time, I like to share delicious festive food and treats with everyone and have my home look beautiful. To make it all happen, I’ve scaled back on the decorating, I make lots of “to do” lists, I buy some of the treats we enjoy and I have a plan for the cooking I really like doing myself.
The key to success is to start early.
So even though we haven’t even had our Remembrance Day holiday, like all my professional baker friends, I will start making batches of my signature Holiday Biscotti now. My mother-in-law is making Nanaimo Bars. My friend Annie is making her shortbreads (I’m going to share her recipe soon).
For you, I’ve gathered three great recipes of various levels of difficulty to help you should you choose to start now too.
Read on for Crave’s Thumbprint Cookie recipe, a Peanut Brittle recipe from my mentor Noorbanu Nimji and our new book A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen and last but not least – an easy Coconut Cashew Ginger Bar that’s fun to make.