Homemade, Slow Cooked, Creamy Mac and Cheese

 So there is nothing paleo or vegan about this dish, but trust me it is so worth the indulgence. I know, I know, I bragged that our Canadian Thanksgiving menu was filled with paleo, vegan and clean eats.  But rules are meant to be broken, and this recipe is so worth bending the guidelines for.  My justification for its inclusion is that every year without fail my super host of an Aunty preps some Mac and Cheese, because it is my cousin Graeme’s favourite side dish. So in my mind no Thanksgiving table is complete without a little Mac and Cheese. After you try this recipe I am pretty confident you will agree. Continue reading “Homemade, Slow Cooked, Creamy Mac and Cheese”

Vegan, No Bake Pumpkin Spice Balls

 This treat from our Canadian Thanksgiving has it all covered. They’re vegan. They’re paleo. They are gluten and dairy free. If you make them all with organic ingredients you can call them organic. This is a fast, simple, no guilt dessert or everyday fall treat. It also is right on the Pumpkin Spice trend. So enjoy being hip and healthy with these Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Balls.

Continue reading “Vegan, No Bake Pumpkin Spice Balls”

Butter Brickle Ice Cream Dessert

 Another recipe from our Canadian Thanksgiving is here! I know I gushed about how thankful we are for our NYC family, but that in no way means I didn’t miss my own family over the holiday weekend. It is an exciting time for my most precious people.  One of my best friends/maid of honour (who is married to my cousin) is expecting their second babe any minute now. There are more pregnancies and brand new babies for some of my most cherished friends and family. My brother just got engaged (and KILLED the Victoria Half marathon). So there is so, so much to celebrate right now.  So to make me feel a little closer to home I tried to emulate my Aunt’s fantastic Thanksgiving feast the best I could. That includes my all time, hands down favourite holiday dessert-Butter Brickle.  You can keep your pumpkin pies and apple cobblers, I am all about this ice creamy treat. Enjoy! Continue reading “Butter Brickle Ice Cream Dessert”

Canadian Thanksgiving in NYC 3.0: Paleo Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

This is our third Canadian Thanksgiving in New York.  Being expats we have the pleasure of celebrating two Thanksgivings a year like the true gluttons we are.  Each year when the Canadian version of the holiday roles around we wrangle a gaggle of our nearest and dearest Americans and try to make them a touch more Canadian.

In all seriousness though, we are incredibly fortunate to live out a real life Friends episode each and every day.  We have amassed an incredible group of close, dynamic friends who have become our second family. Whether it is big events, or small moments we are truly thankful to be able to walk through this life with them.  Each and every single one enriches us beyond measure in a way even the most eloquent words couldn’t capture. So although it doesn’t fully quell the homesickness of being far away from my traditional family on Thanksgiving, I am glad to have some pretty rad New Yorkers to celebrate the occasion with.

Now on to the food! I switched the menu up a little from last year. Again I strove to meet the gluten-free, vegan,  dairy-free, paleo dietary needs of my guests (with a few very needed exceptions).  Based on the accolades and praise I received, I would say this year’s menu was a gland slam. Today you will find my recipe for Paleo Brocoli and Cauliflower Casserole. But don’t fret in the coming days I will continue to share the new recipes I whipped up for this years event, so keep checking back.  Until then, Happy CANADIAN Thanksgiving to all!

Our Thanksgiving 2015 Menu:

Served 12 with tons of leftovers to spare

  1. Pomegranate-Blueberry Glazed Roast Turkey
  2. Mushroom-Leek Gluten Free stuffing
  3. Curried Coconut Yam Casserole
  4. Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pear
  5. Homemade Mushroom Gravy
  6. Paleo Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole
  7. Mashed Potatoes
  8. Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese
  9. Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad
  10. Buttermilk Biscuits
  11. Vegan Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Balls
  12. Butter Brickle Ice Cream Dessert
  13. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Continue reading “Canadian Thanksgiving in NYC 3.0: Paleo Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole”

Canadian Thanksgiving: Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pear

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We all know how much I love to host, and that I jump at any opportunity to fill my home with those I cherish most.  So needless to say I wrangled 15 of my nearest and dearest to come celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with us.  Since moving to NYC I have only gotten more patriotic so naturally I love showcasing some of our Canadian culture (even if Canadian thanksgiving is merely a carbon copy of the American version save for the pilgrims and Plymouth rock). This year we were so, so fortunate to have two very exceptional Canadians in town visiting, bringing the Canadian representation up to five speculator people.  We love guests, and getting a chance to connect with Rachel and Courtney was a real treat (thanks guys for playing with us!)

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We had an amazing time eating ourselves into a turkey coma while savoring the exceptional company.   Now undertaking an entire turkey feast is always a touch daunting because I have spent every Thanksgivings at an my aunt’s home.  So this year not only was I longing to be there to snuggle all the new babies, but I was very rightfully concerned that my meal just wouldn’t be up to snuff.  That woman knows how to host something fierce, and so the bar of excellence has been set high.

However, I managed to pull out a meal that was lauded by everyone.  Not only was everyone angling for seconds (the highest form of praise) but is was a super healthy supper that met all the varying dietary needs of our beautiful guests. As such, most of the dishes were either vegan, paleo or gluten free.  I will be be sharing a bunch of these recipes over the course of the next few days and weeks (some Americans you can steal them for your approaching Thanksgiving feasts).   Furthermore, I would also like to give myself some self praise in that this was the first time I tackled homemade bread and cheese cake without my Kitchenaid mixer (which is safely stowed in storage back home) which is no easy feat.  This whole meal was prepared from scratch the tech-free, old school way.  So needless to say I got my upper body workout in. Overall the meal was a success, but by far the brightest part of the evening was being surround by our New York family.  Although it didn’t completely erase my homesickness for those back home, at least my heart and home was filled with so much love nevertheless. Continue reading “Canadian Thanksgiving: Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pear”

Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting

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A little throwback to a Christmas past.  Last season, an old friend of Jay’s was in town with a beautiful new girlfriend at his side so we hosted a little get together so we could meet her and eat our fill of scrumptious holiday foods.  At the time we were waiting to move into our new house and were renting a great, little basement suite but that left space was at a premium.  However, our lack of large dinner tables nor our quaint dwellings didn’t daunt of festive decor or vast spread of eats.  Below I have detailed our menu for the event, as well as my meal prep tips for small space hosting.  So here is a little inspiration for hosting the masses no matter how grand a place you call home.

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Continue reading “Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting”