Category Archives: xmas

White Chocolate Vanilla Bread Pudding

½ loaf of challah bread (cut into 1 inch squares)
2 cups whole milk
2 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (scraped)
1/8 tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cinnamon
4 ounces chopped white chocolate
2 tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak bread in whole milk. Set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla bean, allspice and cinnamon. Add bread and white chocolate to egg mixture and toss very gently to combine.

Brush four soufflé ramekins with the melted butter. Divide bread mixture between the prepare ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes until set. Let cool and remove from ramekins. Garnish plate with vanilla crème anglaise and fresh berries or leave in ramekins and spoon crème anglaise over top of the bread pudding.

Crème Anglaise
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Heat milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan until small bubbles form on the edges. In a mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Slowly add ½ the milk mixture to the egg mixture whisking immediately. Add the mixture back into the remaining hot milk, return to low heat. Whisking continuously, bring to a simmer and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly. To test doneness of the sauce, dip a spoon into the sauce and run your finger across the back of the spoon. If the line remains on the spoon the mixture is thickened sufficiently.


broccoli casserole super easy

parboil broccoli in salted boiling water for 2 minutes then plunge into ice water

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp of flour

2 cups of milk

at least 2 cups if not more of cheese (any type you like)

fresh bread crumbs

melted butter

heat butter until melted

add flour and heat for about 5 minutes on med low to ensure the flour is cooked (light brown)

add milk in small increments while continually stirring

once smooth then add cheese

mix cheese sauce and broccoli

add a mix of breadcrumbs and melted butter on top and

heat 350 for 20 – 3 min or until bubbly


Mexican Lasagna Breakfast Casserole xmas plan

12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 medium white onion, diced
2 jalapeños, deveined and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 corn tortillas
1 (16 oz) package Jones Dairy Farm Dry Aged Bacon, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

In large bowl combine eggs and milk. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin and salt over the bowl while whisking to prevent large clumps from forming. Whisk until completely combined.

In medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and garlic. Toss to combine.

Line bottom of prepared baking pan with 4 corn tortillas, overlapping if necessary. Top tortillas with 1/4 of tomato mixture, 1/4 of bacon and 1/4 of each cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times beginning with 4 tortillas and ending with cheeses.

Pour egg mixture over casserole.

Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining cheese and broil until melted, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining tomato salsa and bacon over top and garnish with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

To Make Ahead:

Refrigerate overnight. Allow casserole to sit on counter for about 30 minutes before baking.

Buche de noel (Yule Log) – vanilla with praline buttercream

So I finally took the leap and made my own Buche de Noel this year.  Lots of research went into this before settling on a series of recipes that would work for me.  It only took around 7 hours total.  It’s mostly done except for final frosting and decorations (currently in the freezer)

So here are the steps:

First make the Vanilla Simple Syrup (can be made a few days in advance):   vanilla syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla pod split

Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract and add in vanilla bean.Let cool completely.

Praline (hazelnut) Paste:  Perhaps this is easy to find elsewhere in the world but I could not find in Montreal, so I had to make my own – This can be made  ahead of time – It will keep for several months in a tightly-closed container at a moderate temperature. Avoid heat, which will turn the hazelnut oil rancid and make the paste unusable.

3 Cups Hazelnuts
1 ½ Cups Caster sugar
1 Teaspoon Hazelnut oil

Preheat your oven to 180c and put your nuts on a tray  (You can omit this part if you buy roasted hazelnuts instead of unroasted)Place in hot over for about 5-8 minutes Until the skins start to split. Lift out. Place in a tea towel, Rub your nuts;)The skin will easily rub off . When cool enough you can rub your nuts in your hands!     There should be no skin left on them whatsoever..hazelnut

Line a tray with silicon sheet or oil a tray. Add sugar to a pan. Put on a med-low heat with NO water .  It will start to melt and caramelise .  It may a little time but be patient. If you find it is getting too dark too quickly, reduce heat. Add your nuts      .And coat.  Turn out onto tray to cool, don’t put in fridge. pralineWhen cool smash them up. And blitz in a food processor.     Like this until nicely ground. And there you go! Ok so this is hazelnut praline. But……you want to  make hazelnut paste, so carry on. Keep blitzing on high until the oil starts coming out off your nuts.

Add 1 tsp of hazelnut oil, Keep on blitzing

Now on to the Praline Buttercream:

1/3 cup praline paste

 1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Heat sugar and eggs: Bring a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Set bowl over (not in) simmering water, and whisk until whites are warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. (Heating the eggs relaxes their proteins, enabling the eggs to whip up higher and more quickly; the sugar also melts, for a silky smooth consistency.) Test by rubbing between your fingers; the mixture should feel smooth.start of buttercream
  2. Whip meringue: Attach bowl to a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture is cooled completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in butter: Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter 2 tablespoons at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled at this point; it will become perfectly smooth again with continued beating. After all the butter has been incorporated, beat in vanilla. Blend ½ cup buttercream into the praline paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine.adding butter to buttercream
  4. Finish: Switch to the paddle attachment. Beat on the lowest speed to reduce air bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.mid-buttercream

Cook’s Note

If not using the same day, transfer to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or the freezer up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature; beat with paddle attachment on the lowest speed until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes. Sometimes buttercream will break.  Look online for there are many  fixes that you can do to make it work



  • Butter for jellyroll pan
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and coat parchment with spray. Dust with flour, and tap out excess.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  3. With a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg mixture on high speed until pale and very thick, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Sift flour and salt over mixture in 3 additions, folding gently with a spatula. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl, and gently fold until completely incorporated.
  4. Heat oven to 400°. Grease and flour an approximately 13″ x 18″ rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and set aside. Spread batter into an even layer on bottom of prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes. genoise in ovenPlace a clean kitchen towel that is larger than the baking sheet on a work surface, and dust it liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Invert cake onto towel; dust with more sugar. Starting with a narrow end of the rectangle, immediately roll cake up into a jelly roll, letting the towel roll inside the cake. Let cool to room temperature.
    5. Once cake is cooled, gently unroll it, remove towel, and brush the inside with the vanilla syrup; allow to soak in for about 2 minutes. Spread buttercream evenly over cake; reroll cake and set the roll seam side down on a serving platter. Since I did not have enough buttercream to frost, I froze the cake at this point. It looked like this IMG_0623[1]Then I wrapped with food saver and bubble wrapped (just in case)IMG_0624[1]IMG_0625[1]
  5. Next step I’ll prepare a couple of of days prior to Xmas .  Left to do…Slice off about 3″ of one end of the cake roll at a 30° angle; cut the other end to make it flat. Spread the flat end of the angled slice with a little buttercream and set the slice on top of the cake roll to create a “stump.” More buttercream frosting and use something to make it look like a log….

Turkey Stuffing – Sage Sausage Stuffing (Xmas) PLUS AN EXTRA MAKE AHEAD OPTON


1 large onion, chopped or you can cook until softened if you prefer in butter and remove from heat (add in celery 1 stalk if using)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 LB good quality sausage meat
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp  sage

2 TBS Worcestershire

3 tbsp poultry seasonning.
1.5 C fresh white breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg

¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley

12 bacon strips

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F). Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a 20 cm (8-inch) square pan with parchment.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil, followed by the onion and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool.
Meanwhile, cut open the sausage casings (or buy sausage meat without the casings) and place the meat in a large mixing bowl. Discard the casings.
Add the eggs, breadcrumbs, , maple syrup, parsley , and mix well to combine—your hands will make fast work of this task, but you can also use a spoon. Add the cooled onions and celery, and mix in well. Spoon into the prepared pan, pressing down to level the mix.
Arrange the bacon slices over the sausage, covering it completely. I like to make a bacon weave to top the sausage squares
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the bacon has browned and the meat registers 74 C (165 F) on a thermometer. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
Chill for 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before slicing into squares (this slices more easily when chilled). Before serving, preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F). Arrange the squares on a parchment-lined baking tray, bacon side down, and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes; the bacon will crisp up. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 36 bite-size portions.
Make ahead
This recipe reheats brilliantly. You can refrigerate the pan of baked sausage dressing, covered, for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.


4:30  start browning roast and put in oven

5:00 start potatoes

5:45 mashed potatoes

6:00 prepare gravies

6:00 remove roast and let rest

6:00 prepare beets

6:15 prepare peas

6:15 prepare spinach salad dressing

6:35 prepare glazed carrots

6:30 start oven for buns cook 5 minutes

6:30 carve roast

6:30 carve turkey