The Halloween goodies are off the shelves in the supermarkets. Canadians usually see this as the switch in thinking directly to the Holiday Season and the countdown begins. Entertainment plans are being made and decadent cakes and cookies move to the front burner. I'm already seeing the glitz and glitter everywhere and soon the Santa Claus parade will be making its serpentine run to delight children and adults alike.
This week I was one of the invitees to the President's Choice kick off for the holidays. An Insider's Report is created and mass mailed to give families a look at what's new for the 2009 season.
The event was held in a well appointed home converted to a holiday theme to showcase both foods and decorating ideas. This year, we'll see 8 ft. PC Christmas Trees in the stores. For me, a tree is a tree so no great hype but what did impress me was that Loblaws has taken a responsible stand on tree sales. For every tree that's sold, another is planted. I'm liking this philosophy.
Many decorating ideas created from moderate cost items available in the stores.
Generally, I'm more inclined to "do it from scratch". But, I'm also aware that this coming time of year can be more than just stressful for many families who just don't have the time. In between school concerts, hockey tournaments, dance and gymnastics it just doesn't make sense to take sleep out of your daily repetoire.
Here's a look at some of the things that impressed me the most. They are not even closely indicative of everything available.
These shrimp wontons are a hit. I wouldn't hesitate to serve them in my home. They're delicious and each portion has a good sized shrimp on the inside.
I have such little experience cooking with Indian flavours. If you like appetizers with a kick, these are the ones (another one I'll be stocking)
At the risk of sounding like a commercial I'll just say that I'm pretty impressed with the gravlax salmon appetizers. For me it takes President's Choice to Progressive Culinary. Apart from my foodie friends, not many would even know what gravlax is.
For those who prefer not to embibe, a non alcoholic sparkling drink bottled to look like champagne.
A large series of mocktail mixes that include mojito, mulled sparkling cider and my favourite Sicilian lemon.
After sampling the lamb, which has not been one of my most successful dishes to prepare, I realized I can be a hero with this one that tastes pretty amazing and looks great to serve to the table.
and let's not forget about dessert. The plate is a cool thing - it's actually a shadow box and you can change the inside with whatever theme you like.
I don't think I can allow myself to keep the almonds or truffles in the house - yep, they're that good.
It was fun to see what's new. This is a small sampling but definitely falls into the category of some of my favourite things (hmmm...isn't that an Oprahism??)