I hope you and your loved ones have been enjoying a very happy holiday season! Mr. Hungry and I just got home from a few days on the road for family time and are prepping for a little trip to see some friends before the new year! I wanted to touch base with you all and share a few of my favourite things from the Hungry Christmas celebrations.
The holidays are for trying new cocktails! When our family came into town, our first stop was One18 Empire. The guys were excited to customize their old fashioned cocktails with a barrel wheeled right to the table by our server, but I only had eyes for the Stokes Shrub ($15) with Toki, Cointreau, maple syrup, rhubarb bitters and cranberry shrub. Shrub cocktails are made with “shrub”, which is a sweetened, vinegary fruit syrup. This was my first one and I absolutely loved it! And who can say no to a festive garnish like that?
I was spoiled with some wonderful foodie gifts under the tree like griddles, bundt pans, cheese board labels and mini cupcake tins! My husband knocked it out of the park with this mini candlelight raclette kit – it’s almost as though he’s caught on to the fact that more methods for his wife to melt cheese is a good thing. For those not aware, raclette is a beautiful cheese from Switzerland ideal for heating, then scraping the melted portion over meat or starchy sides. I’ve been obsessed for a couple of years with finding a place to try it and finally enjoyed a nice raclette appetizer at Calgary’s charcut earlier this year, apparently just in time to make Mr. Hungry realize that this needed to be added to my Christmas list!
Another favourite thing of mine about the holidays is all the different stops we make along the way (despite my grumbling each time we pack up the car to head to a different destination). There are different traditions at each place we land, but a gift exchange, boozy brunch, afternoon snacks and obnoxiously large dinner are a must.
We shook up tradition on Mr. Hungry’s side of the family and hosted their Christmas festivities this year! We gorged on a honey bourbon-glazed ham, creamy sage mashed potatoes, apple and bacon stuffing (I know, even without a turkey) and bacon maple brussel sprouts. The best part of the meal was undoubtedly the Turtles-flavoured yule log cake complete with meringue mushrooms from Sweet Relief, one of our favourite bakeries! They were my first blog post and will always hold a special place in my heart, so I’m very glad they could be a part of the first Christmas dinner at our house!
Happy holidays to you and yours, wherever you are and whatever you’re celebrating. See you all in the new year!