Over the holiday season many families cozy up and spend quality time in the kitchen, following recipes that have been passed down for generations. For us our kitchen radiates warmth from the cozy string lighting and simmering pots of perogies that bubble on the stove. A recipe that reminds me of my grandmother and our Ukrainian roots that my Aunt Tina has perfected over the years. The smell of potatoes and onions fill the air as our family gathers around the counter, rolling out dough and pinching perogies with love, transporting me back to childhood memories. Conversations and laughter fill the room as carols play softly in the background. The kitchen overflows with love and comfort as we create new memories, just as meaningful as the meals we share.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home during the holidays, especially in the Maritimes. Lively fiddle tunes fill the room as children cheerfully dance along with the melody. It is where timeless traditions and loving memories are made with those we love the most. I had the pleasure of chatting with some of our talented Points East Coastal Drive members, who generously shared some of their favourite holiday recipes with me for this blog post!
Why not gather your loved ones in the kitchen and try your hand at some of these delicious dishes this season? Perhaps a new festive cocktail to get you into the holiday spirit! Here are 5 holiday recipes that you definitely want to check out this Winter.
SNAP. Cranberry Apple Mule
‘Tis the season for cocktails, sparkling lights and festive holiday music as the warm hum of friendly chatter fills the room. What better way to spread holiday cheer than trying your hand at a new, tasty cocktail? Our friends at Bogside Brewing generously shared a tasty recipe with us that your guests are sure to love! The holidays are all about making memories and this cocktail may just become a new tradition in your home.
The SNAP Cranberry Apple Mule is a delightful winter cocktail that combines the crisp flavors of apple snap, the tartness of cranberry juice, and the zesty kick of lime juice. This refreshing concoction starts with a base of 6 ounces of SNAP. Apple Vodka Soda complemented by 2 ounces of vibrant cranberry juice and a zingy half ounce of lime juice. With 2 ounces of ginger beer, providing a little spice element to the drink. The option to incorporate vodka to taste adds an extra layer of sophistication and a warming sensation. Served over ice, the cocktail is poured into a glass rimmed with the comforting aroma of apple pie spice, enhancing the overall sensory experience. The presentation is elevated with the addition of dehydrated orange slices, offering a hint of citrusy brightness, and sugared cranberries that provide a sweet and festive garnish.
This winter-inspired SNAP. Cranberry Mule is a perfect balance of fruity, tangy, and lightly spiced notes, making it an ideal choice for cozy gatherings or festive celebrations.
6 ounces of SNAP. Apple Vodka Soda2 ounces of cranberry juice,
1/2 oz lime juice
2 oz of ginger beer ,
vodka to taste if required,
Stir over ice and poured into apple pie spice rimmed glass
Garnish with dehydrated orange slices and sugared cranberries
Mulled Holiday Cider
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light! What better way to spread holiday joy than with a steaming mug of mulled apple cider? This heartwarming recipe comes straight from the kitchen of Chef Michael Smith and his lovely wife, Chastity at The Inn at the Bay Fortune. One sip of their famous cider is sure to fill you with glee. Gather around the fire and take in the aroma of apple and spices in this soul-warming winter drink. This is the season for togetherness, and this cider brings loved ones together to share in the magic of the holidays.
When the weather cools and the holidays beckon this classic treat will warm up
any party. ‘Mulling’ is as simple as simmering cider or wine with fragrant spices,
infusing the aromatic flavours. Classic baking spices add familiar warmth while
rosemary and bay add interesting savoury notes.
Serves 8 to 12
2 liters fresh apple cider
1 bottle of your favourite red or white wine
20 whole cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
spiced rum or brandy
Pour the cider and wine into a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a
slow steady simmer. Meanwhile spike the orange with cloves, carefully inserting
their sharp tips into the fragrant skin. Add to the cider with the rosemary, thyme,
bay, cinnamon sticks, fennel, coriander, and vanilla. Reduce heat to very low,
cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into warm mugs.
Splash in an optional shot of rum or brandy.
A White Chocolate Parsnip Cake
The lovely Country Taste Kitchen & Bakery in Belfast, PEI is a local business that you can surely trust when it comes to delicious baked goods! Everything they create almost looks too beautiful to eat, like pieces of art in the form of food. I connected with the bakery and they kindly shared this unique & delicious recipe that I cannot wait to try! What a perfect time to explore a new holiday recipe and share your creations with dear friends.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup neutral oil
½ cup melted butter
4 large eggs room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated parsnip
2 cups white chocolate chips
½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup white chocolate (to be caramelized)
Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and prepare one tall 9×13 pan by lightly greasing and lining with with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Add your neutral oil and melted butter and stir well.
Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Stir in parsnips until well-combined.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake on 350F (175C) for 40 minutes (toothpick inserted in center should come out mostly clean with only few moist crumbs).
Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, invert onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Allow cake to cool completely before covering with the frosting.
Spread out white chocolate on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toast in oven until they are a nice golden colour. Let cool almost completely on pan then crumble.
Combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy, well-combined, and lump-free.
Add vanilla extract crumbled white chocolate and the salt into the bowl and stir well to combine.
With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until ingredients are completely combined (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula).
Once your cake has cooled completely, cover with frosting
Treena’s Seafood Lasagna
It simply wouldn’t be the holidays in Prince Edward Island without seafood dishes filling the tables at every family gathering. There’s something about friends gathering and cracking open lobsters that feels like home to me. If you’re looking to change up the usual holiday spread this year, our friend Treena from Treena’s Takeout was kind enough to share her incredible seafood lasagna recipe! It’s the perfect blend of comfort food and coastal flavour.
12 choice oysters
Bacon, small dice 1 lbs
Shallot, minced 1 ea
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Brown Sugar 0.5 C
White Wine vinegar 0.25 C
Local Craft Beer 0.5 C
Maple Syrup 1 oz
Dill, chopped 2 oz
Glasgow Glen Beer Gouda, grated 4 oz
Pepper To Taste
In a pot, sweat off shallot, garlic and bacon together, in a pot until the edges of the bacon begin to caramelize.
Add beer, vinegar and sugar into the pot.
Cook on medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved and 90 percent of the liquid has evaporated.
Off the heat finish with dill, maple and pepper to taste. Set Marmalade aside.
Shuck your 12 oysters, discarding off the top shell.
Place 1-1.5 oz of Bacon Marmalade on top of each oyster with 0.5 oz of beer gouda on top of Marmalade.
Top with cheese and broil oysters for 2-4 minutes on high.
Plate & serve hot!
The gift of quality time is the most precious gift we can give, I hope you’ll join me in the kitchen this holiday season with those you love the most to try some new traditions! Let’s gather around the kitchen island, share stories and make memories while we whip up some of these delicious recipes from the incredible local businesses in Eastern PEI.
Ashley MacDonald is a Nova Scotian born freelance writer who began using her love for writing and photography as a form of therapy during her son’s cancer treatment. She continued to write after he passed away in October 2019 as a way to help keep his story alive, heal her heart and share her experience with grief and sorrow with others who may be struggling. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science Recreation in 2014 and moved to Prince Edward Island in 2020 in search of comfort and simplicity.