Culinary Trends for the Holiday Season and a Give-a-way!

Canada’s Holiday Trends for 2012

Browne Retail Canada is one of my favourite distributors of quality kitchenware! Seriously. We are talking quality. Some of the brands they carry include Cuisipro, Emile Henry, Bérard, Dreamfarm, Kitchen Grips, and Global Knives. That is a stellar line up, wouldn’t you say? I have the privilege of offering my readers a gift from Browne’s that I would love to have myself! Can you guess what it is? (Scroll down. I will give you a hint, but you won’t guess!)

This past September and October, Browne Retail Canada surveyed more than 70 specialty retailers across Canada to gather information on holiday trends for the upcoming season.

The Results?

The traditional holiday meal classics prevailed, as one might expect, but trends clearly emerged:

  • 55% of retailers chose rustic wood fire oven-like homemade pizza (the number one spot) as the hottest culinary trend for the upcoming holiday season (but not for “the” dinner)
  • 32% chose loose-leaf teas and gourmet salt as a hot trend; I guess I have been way ahead of the ball on this one, as I have been collecting salts for 10 years now (blush) and haven’t loose-leaf teas been around for a couple of years now?
  • a variety of respondents indicated that decadent desserts such as crème brulée and hand-made caramels would be popular during the festive season (Duh!)
  • an equally impressive number recognized “Café Gourmand”, a Parisian culinary trend quickly becoming popular in North America; itembodies the concept of coffee accompanied by mini desserts, or mignardises, such as fondants, truffles, crème brûlée, pot au chocolat, etc. Sometimes I wonder about these surveys. What questions did they ask? I don’t see this as new, but it is a trend that has been around a bit, and I love it!

The Give-A-Way!

Loving Paris as I do and coming home with a suitcase full of all sizes and shapes of the most adorable verrines a couple of summers ago, the Emile Henry “Café Gourmand” gift set (above and below) is the perfect give-a-way for my readers! I have been treating guests with after dinner coffee and handcrafted mignardises for years. I so enjoy a sweet bite at the end of a lovely meal, and more than one sweet little bite is a very luxurious way to enjoy that last after dinner coffee.

 

For those searching for the perfect gift for friends and family members who have a passion for cooking, Browne Retail Canada offers a range of kitchenware items that complement these 10 top hot culinary trends:

Here are the Top Ten Culinary Trends revealed from their survey:

  1. Homemade Pizza (I do my dough on the grill) but Browne sells the Emile Henry Pizza Stone made of Burgundy Clay in France
  2. Turkey with all the trimmings and the Global Carving Knife Set from Browne would make any kitchen mama happy (see the slide show in the footer of this page for all of my holiday trimmings recipes)
  3. Loose leaf teas and the Dreamfarm Teafu is offered to meet this trend
  4. Holiday Pies (we love Pumpkin and Saskatoon Berry, but Sticky Toffee Pudding with Homemade Mincemeat Ice Cream is our new favourite); the Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish is a show stopper
  5. Crème Brûlée: the Emile Henry Crème Brûlée Gift Set is gorgeous
  6. Gourmet Salt and the Bérard Olive Wood Salt Keeper is lovely for your favourite one
  7. Moroccan-inspired Tagines; have you seen the Emile Henry Tagines?
  8. Café Gourmand: bite-sized desserts served with coffee (find my Christmas sweets here!): learn how to win this below!
  9. Hand-made Caramels; I am so in; done it, never posted it and would you believe Emile Henry has created a Caramel Pot Gift Set just for this emerging trend?
  10. Homemade Gravy: I have this very item: the Cuisipro Fat Separator

How to win and Full Disclosure:

First of all, thank you for reading A Canadian Foodie!! As you all know, rarely do I write promotional posts like this. I have not been compensated personally in any way to write it. I do get a perk; however, as I get to offer a prize to my readers for “hangin’ in there”! I have met so many people, heard so many compelling stories and learned so much through sharing my culinary experiences with you over time. Standing Ovation and big hug to each of you!

And trends are interesting don’t you think? And timely. I also have gifts to buy this year! Also, I do love Browne products; it is a win win for me, and hopefully, for you, too! ;)

The Deets:

  • the prize will be mailed to anywhere in Canada, only
  • will close at 6 pm December 9th, 2012 (you would think I was giving away a car!)
  • the winner will be announced via e-mail December 9th, 2012, and the Emile Henri Café Gourmand will be mailed to you December 10. 2012 (or as soon as you send me your mailing address)
  • all of the names will go in a hat (this is the way we do it here) and my husband will draw the winner; each name will go in for each entry as outlined below

To enter the contest, you must do #1 or #2; the other ideas are opportunities for extra entries:

1. Write a comment on this post that includes either what you foresee as a culinary trend over the holidays

2. OR write a comment on this post that includes a tradition at home you love (if you do both in two separate comments, you get two entries)

3. Follow me on Twitter: has to be a new follow to count, sorry

4. Tweet the contest and include @canadianfoodie in the tweet      so I can count it as an entry in the draw; you can tweet daily (each tweet counts as an entry into the draw)

5. Like my Facebook page: (and I am talking the page, not the post) has to be a new like to count, sorry

NOTE: please make sure you leave an e-mail with your comment that I can reach you at on the Sunday evening.

That’s 5 entries. I wonder if anyone will make this kind of effort! I recall doing this for a Kitchen Aid Mixer once! Geesh! It hardly feels like a “Thank you” at all, when I am asking you to work so hard for it, does it?

Features of the prize: 

  • Four sweet cups: 2 Pamplemouse & 2 Fig
  • Two gourmet plates, both Raspberry
  • Secrets of Emile recipe book
  • Café Gourmand is a concept of coffee accompanied by a mini dessert (fondants, muffins, clafoutis, crème brûlée, mousse or crumble)
  • Made of High Resistance ceramic, the sweet cups distribute heat evenly and travel from oven to table
  • Extremely hard glaze protects your cups from scratches and chips, and they are dishwasher safe

Emile Henry France:
French manufacturer of oven-to-tableware and dinnerware fashioned in Burgundy clay. Suggested Retail Price:  $79.99 / set

ACF’s Top 10 unresearched and off the top of her head Holiday Trends for 2012:

  1. The colours red and green will prevail amongst copious amounts of glitter and glam throughout the holiday season
  2. Christmas cookies will be big: there will be a huge resurgence across the land to bake fancy-schmancy holiday sweets; everyone will go nuts and small children everywhere will be bragging about their mother’s culinary prowess
  3. More young families will have a turkey for dinner: he had to go somewhere
  4. Turkey Tetrazzini will make a comeback: remember it from the University cafeteria?
  5. Last, but not least, children everywhere will remember to help their mothers or fathers in the kitchen; there is a new radical and retro movement where the family actually understands that working together can be fun!

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF THIS CONTEST DECEMBER 10 2012

Congratulations to DREENA! I would have been shocked if she hadn’t won as she tweeted daily and had about triple the entries to everyone else. Though she “deserved” to win for her concerted daily effort, I was actually quite relieved that she did! This will be mailed out today!

Comments

  1. says

    Kinda exciting to see that wood-fired oven pizzas becoming a top trend. However, I’m not sure which Canadian in their right mind is going to be outside spinning pizzas in our winter holidays season :P

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      I do, Addie! That is what being Canadian is to me! Out on the grill or open fire summer or winter! Anything for a really good pizza! :) Valerie

  2. Laura T says

    I think that BBQ restaurants are going to keep expanding and become the new trend. There have been numerous places popping up all over Edmonton lately and I LOVE it! :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Laura,
      That is a very interesting bit of thinking considering Edmonton just had its first BBQ contest ever this month at Northlands (I posted about it)!
      :)
      V

  3. Laura T says

    My tradition at home for the holidays is playing board games with family! Its very old school but it always gives my family a chance to have some good old fashion fun together! :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Laura,
      Completely agree! And, sadly, we eat and play! My grandma’s poppycock and my homemade nuts’n bolts are always on the table too. Makes for very tacky playing bits!
      =)
      V

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Laura, Whether you win or not (and you should) you deserve a huge gold star! I have your name in the draw 5 times. WHOO-HOO!
      :)
      V

  4. Lesli CK says

    I think gingerbread will be popular this year, but with a twist: gingerbread chocolate chunk cookies, Gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce or caramelized buttered apples or pears…just to name a few… :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Lesll CK
      Gingerbread? Love it! My grandmother Maude’s Big Fat Gingerbread cookies are a family tradition, here (and posted)! The gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce sounds like a trend you should start! You are onto something. I haven’t had a gingerbread cake for years, and love it!
      :)
      V

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Bonnie!
      Thank you for sharing! I have made homemade eggnog, but it is so strong! Love it, though! There is nothing like family traditions for the holidays. I must admit, I am a little overwhelmed right now as this is our year to have both children and their spouses here. I usually start baking and preparing in September, and have not got to it yet! I am so excited to start!
      :)
      V

  5. says

    Our family has a few Christmas traditions and they’re all centered around eating! Homemade quiche for brunch. Turkey roll (deboned turkey and then rolled up into one). We then use the bones to make a soup so nothing is ever wasted!

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Daniel!
      Lillian was just telling me about your family traditions in her response! Hilarious! Good thing for her that she married into your family!
      :)
      Valerie

  6. Lorraine Saunders says

    Love your new look! Our Christmas Eve tradition is homemade Tourtiere with spinach salad and fresh buns.Then off to church carol sing.

  7. says

    Delightful giveaway and good luck to one of your Canadian readers, Valerie! I’d say Happy Thanksgiving but I know you already celebrated yours :)

  8. says

    I don’t know how I wasn’t already a facebook fan (I am a bit shocked but problem solved now)! Our holiday tradition is always to have dinner on boxing day since it keeps sticky fingers away from Mum’s food prep. We also do a Asian fusion style dinner where we have a Chinese herbal soup, some roasted pig and BBQ duck etc. with a small turkey/chicken and stuffing.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Diane!
      Dinner on Boxing day is wild! What do you do Christmas Day? I was raised with “the dinner” on “the day” but with my own children, it evolved to Christmas Eve with Christmas day being so relaxing and more enjoyable family time. Last year was a change that I think might stick for a few more years now that all are adults. We did an Italian Christmas Eve and splurged on all kinds of sea food. It was a hit. Then Christmas day, we had a very informal, but delicious turkey dinner.
      :)
      V

      • says

        My Mum usually hosts dinner for our extended family so Boxing is great because everyone else goes to other family events on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then comes over for our dinner on Boxing Day. My immediate family actually doesn’t do much on Christmas Day – sometimes I just spend the whole day watching old movies or I round up my friends with no family in Edmonton and we drink wine and eat dessert all day (another favorite tradition during my University days).

        • Valerie Lugonja says

          HI, Diane
          Too bad there wasn’t a wine glass with small desserts gift, eh? Having a Boxing Day tradition with one family really clears the way for the others and is a great alternative.
          :)
          V

  9. says

    I have been seeing a lot of panna cotta lately – I would love it if a trend (maybe I should make it one) is holiday flavored infused panna cotta… mmm gingerbread panna cotta.

  10. says

    Well, every single family’s tradition during Christmas most likely centers around eating! I’ve always thought that my family did a fair amount of eating and relaxing but never have I seen a spread of food at Christmas breakfast, lunch AND dinner then at my husband’s family home. Their tradition certainly includes home-made quiche, a delicious spread of food (including the infamous deboned turkey all rolled up), good wine, laughter and memories.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Lillian!
      I suppose when one marries, the traditions change! It has been so long ago, for me. This is my second marriage and Vanja’s parents live in Europe, so I make sure to include his favourite ethnic dishes – which I have learned to make very well – as part of our holiday fare! My first marriage? Well, we were so young, we just went home for Christmas.
      :)
      V

  11. says

    In terms of Culinary Trends, I am certainly seeing Salted Caramel making a come-back. However, like all come-backs they will have a twist from the original. Chocolate is always a good pairing for salted caramel, as is salted caramel brownies, salted caramel infused with some sort of alcohol (?) or salted caramel and panna cotta (leaping off of Diane’s idea). :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Lillian,
      Isn’t salted caramel over 10 years old now? For me, it is still relevant, but not a new trend. It was so incredibly new about 10 years ago. Does that mean for the younger crowd, like you – it is already making a come back? Stop the car! Book me an appointment with the undertaker! I am further gone than I thought!
      :)
      V
      LOVE salted caramel. Just had a caramel chocolate infused with lime that was so unexpected it caught me completely off guard and I wanted more. There wasn’t any more.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Bryn,
      Send me a picture of this years house! I still have a photo of the very first one I made by myself when I was 14 years old. I made a house, a yard, and people doing “stuff” in the marshmallow snow. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had such fun making it. Then, I took it next door to the little boy I babysat as the fun was in the making it. Would you believe, I have never made another from scratch? I have bought the kits and made them with kids. Lots of fun. What a great family tradition. I can imagine the family album!
      :)
      V

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Aslya,
      Now that is an interesting idea. I was at our local Mexican grocer a couple of weeks ago, and they were selling six packs of dulce de leches with sticks for snacks! :)
      V

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Aslya
      Thank you for your comment. You have just reminded me of something I had forgotten. Playing in the snow. One winter I got one of those really long hats with a tassel at the end. In Canada, we call them toques. The really long ones were so cool I was so excited to skate, and toboggan and play outside that year because I had the very coolest hat in the neighbourhood!
      :)
      V

  12. says

    Biggest trend so far and hopefully carrying on until next year: pop-up restaurants! They’re everywhere and with the help of social media, everybody gets a chance to attend!

  13. says

    Also, my family tradition: making a heaping pot of pho broth all morning so we can eat a big, hot bowl of pho together while watching whatever the special film is on TV! (Usually Christmas Carol, or The Grinch is my favorite!)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Cindy!
      I love to hear about family traditions that are so different than mine, but that I can totally relate to. Our family, for years, has gone to a movie together Christmas Day late afternoon. Odd, but it works for us. Everyone looks forward to it. It used to be skating, but with asthma in the family, it is now the movies!
      :)
      Valerie

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Mama B
      Great to meet you! I will drop by! That is what I am hearing! ginger cake, ginger bread, ginger. I love ginger, so I am in!
      :)
      V

  14. says

    As for a tradition at home that I love, that would be putting up the decorations just in time for Advent to begin. We’ll start tonight, so that we’re ready for next weekend. But if it’s a food tradition that you’re after, that has to be candy. I make more candy at Christmas than cookies. Often it’s candied citrus zest and chocolate dipped sponge toffee.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Laureen!
      I would love to bring out the fine china again… and tea sandwiches do seem to be making a comeback. For sure, snack foods are HUGE! :) Valerie

  15. Shawna y says

    I think a new culinary trend is gourmet bacon – I can picture bacon shortbread and hot chocolate with bacon sprinkles!

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Shawna!
      You are probably on to something as I don’t thing the bacon trend is going away any time soon. Indulgence is definitely “in”.
      :)
      V

  16. Teresa says

    Seeing how pretty the post-dinner treats are in your pics makes it all worth it (though I always learn something new when I read your blog, so that’s usually enough reward on its own)! Speaking of learning new things, I learned about some holiday family (or friends, in Diane’s case) traditions of a few friends through reading through the comments above :)

    Let’s see…for the culinary trends this holiday season, I think lighter-textured desserts integrated with things like caramel, bacon-related ingredients (bacon salt?), so a sweet-salty combination of some sort might become increasingly popular. Like Lillian and Diane, I have seen a lot of panna cotta lately (even experimenting on my own), and other lighter desserts that present a nice finish to a heavier holiday meal.

    P.S. I love your “unresearched” trend #5…I would personally love to see more of that. In early November, I had a chance to spend time with my cousin and her two kids (visiting from Taiwan), and little M (2.5 yrs old) helped me make french toast for her family for breakfast! One of my favourite memories with her thus far :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Shawna
      Popcorn cakes!!!! My grandmother and I used to make those – for years. Now I just make them “free form” style, like Poppycock. See my recipe on this site. Do you make yours in Angelfood cake pans? One year, a friend of mine and I made 50!!!! The best Christmas gift ever. And were we insane, or what?
      :)
      Valerie

  17. Teresa says

    As for holiday family traditions, I love: with my family in BC, instead of traditional turkey dinner, my parents and I have had a big hot pot feast many years. Definitely favourite Christmas tradition!

    With my boyfriend’s family here in AB, they are super close-knit and so we all get together at his brother’s place or grandmother’s place for a big Christmas all-day party (with so much food!!), and often spend the night there and watch the kids open their Christmas presents together in the morning. One of my favourite traditions of theirs is watching the younger two kids read a letter from Santa on Christmas morning :)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Teresa!
      What lovely traditions – and the best of both worlds:east and west! The hot pot sounds deadly delicious. And there is nothing like little ones to bring the Spirit of Christmas into the home. Thank you for sharing!
      :)
      Valerie

  18. Teresa says

    Only eligible for 3 entries, but have posted comments and tweeted this post :) Have a fantastic weekend, Valerie!

    P.S. Your last post about Cheesepalooza with all the gorgeous pictures is SO yummy-looking. I will have to dedicate a day or two to reading everyone else’s posts once final exams are over!

  19. Peggy Doyle says

    I don’t live near my family anymore (life of the army). I love my new tradition of going to my friends Mom’s place every Christmas Day. They have included my husband and I every year we’ve lived here (1998-2004) and again (2010-present). I have really come to appreciate the “Ukranian” elements as well. never had perogies until I started going there. As for my family, my Mom always sends me a Christmas sticking every year filled with lots of the same goodies I got as a kid. Especially important are the large red delicious apple and naval orange in the bottom. She mails them from NS every year so I can still fell a little bit like I am home.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Peggy!
      What a beautiful story! That your mom takes such joy each year filling a stocking for you to maintain a tradition from home across the country is very endearing. My heart goes out to you both. Last year, both daughters got married and it was our first year alone. This year, we will all be together! I am so excited!
      We also have a friend we include in our family holidays as he is alone, so I am sure you look forward to that celebration in your friend’s home as I know our friend does.
      :)
      V

  20. ragan says

    My favorite family trend is our Christmas morning wifesaver. I tell people it is lie breakfast lasagna! Ham, cheese, bread, egg, cornflake and onion topping!!! Make the night before so when my sister and I get up at 8, we put t in the oven! After presents are open, it is ready to serve along with mandarin oranges and cinnamon buns! There is never a shortage of delicious food at momma’s!

  21. ragan says

    A new trend I would like to see is apple pie or pumpkin pie ice cream. A small bite of the full experience after a full meal!

  22. says

    It’s been too long since I’ve been over here to visit your blog.. it’s just filled with such pretty Christmas spirit! I have no clue what will be trending for this Christmas, but given my daughter’s friends.. I’m thinking some new gluten-free or vegan dishes will begin to spring up:) Lovely give away you have here.. I’m off to visit your other recipes. I’m trying to spend more time browsing local blogs.. and yours is the best place to begin! xx

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Lovely to see you by, Barbara!
      Somehow I don’t think vegan is going to hit the masses as a trend any time soon!
      :)
      V

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Adrian,
      I used to do that years ago, and then got very busy and have slacked off, though mom and my best friend always get some treats! I hope to be able to do more, now that I am “theoretically” retired!
      :)
      Valerie

  23. Gary Davis says

    I think the new trend will be healthier cookies. We are making our shortbread with much less flour. We substitute brazil nuts instead, making healthier delicious shortbreads. Mmmm

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Gary,
      Well, nuts instead of flour would still be OK with me – but start substituting the butter, and you are going to the dark side! :) Christmas baking can definitely be healthier, but it still needs to be YUMMY!
      :)
      V

  24. Gary Davis says

    We also have a similar tradition to another earlier pst, homemade tortiere Christmas Eve. We have homemade beans with ours. We use a recipe from A 30 year old ratty Gourmet magazine.

  25. Lesley says

    Hi Val! Beautiful set you have there.

    In regards to culinary trends, with the resurgence of preserving and canning in the contemporary kitchen, I think we will be seeing more and more people turning to gifting of jars from this year’s bounty. I am looking forward to pickling and canning this December!

    Lesley

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Lesley!
      I definitely agree. I have made gifts of preserves in the fall, and the Wreck Canning jars are gorgeous containers for gift giving. I even put my homemade young and fresh cheeses in them for gifts!
      :)
      You are definitely on to something!
      Valerie

  26. Lesley says

    #2 Family Traditions.
    Every year, I will join my family and relatives for a festive dinner at my aunt’s home on Christmas’ eve. Following the dinner, my family will head to our church for the Midnight Mass.
    Typically Christmas day dinner and gift exchange is held at my parents’ home. However, since last year, the dinner has been shifted to my home (my parents called a house warming….) I supposed we are setting our own traditions. Aiming to roast a turkey again this year….which Steven has to pick up early in the morning the day before!

    #3 Already follow you on Twitter
    #4 Retweeted already
    #5 Just ‘liked’ your Facebook page.

  27. Lindsay D. says

    One of my favourite traditions is one of my family’s newest. When my parents moved four years ago, they made new friends in the community that they moved to. One of these new friends has turned out to be my mother’s best and closest friend ever. My husband and I first met Birgit four years ago, a scant two months after my parents moved into her community. Without having ever met us before, she invited me and my husband over to her house for Christmas eve to join in with her family celebrations. From the moment that we walked in the door, we were met with nothing but smiles. We were instantly treated like family. We feasted on homemade eggnog, an exorbitant display of charcuterie, and painstakingly baked goods. And that was all before the main course of a fantastic broth fondue, followed by apple and maple buttermilk pies. Stuffed to the brim, we left her house ready to crawl into bed to await Santa’s visit.

    We have been lucky enough to have been accepted into this gracious and loving family right from the start and I am proud to count these fantastic Christmas Eve meals as one of my favourite holiday traditions… one that I am eagerly anticipating again this year!

  28. says

    I’m seeing a lot of desserts incorporating sour dairy components (buttermilk, yogurt…) and I think we’ll see that into the holidays. Panna cotta, puddings, ice cream… just all yummy

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Hungry.
      Now I have to take a look at your site to see what part of the world you are from as I cannot see panna cotta taking off in Canada, amidst the icy weather… fatty luxurious cream, yes! On everything, please!
      :)
      V

  29. says

    As for holiday traditions – I’m Filipino so we tend to go crazy. It’s the same stuff every year (pig pig and more pig product), an open door, a full house, karaoke… absolutely insane and it’s just awesome. I have no idea what a quiet Christmas is like… and I’m fine with that :-)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Hungry!
      Now I know why you can eat cold things on Christmas. Hilarious that your house is a big loud bold party at Christmas! Love it. My husband is from the former Yugoslavia and everything for his traditional holidays is all about the pig, too!!
      :)
      V

        • Valerie Lugonja says

          Margarita
          If you have a Superstore near you – was getting medication yesterday – and the “Joe” brand PJ’s are GORGEOUS. Didn’t have time to see if they had boys – don’t have any boys! Quality was excellent they were cool plaid fleece!
          :)
          V

  30. Dreena says

    Our tradition for Christmas is on Christmas Eve we try to include 12 meatless dishes – it is very Ukrainian. Also, we attend the Midnight Liturgy at church.
    Thanks.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Dreena!
      Are you from Edmonton? As this is a very Ukrainian based community. Last year, I hosted a 12 course meatless dinner cooked here by Allan Suddaby. I am not Ukrainian, but the food is delicious and it has become part of our family culture as Ukrainians settled in Northern Alberta and have greatly influenced our regional cuisine!
      :)
      Valerie

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Dreena,
      I do believe gourmet donuts are trending, but don’t think that people at home are going to be cooking up batches any time soon. Just my opinion. So few people cook regular daily meals anymore, that to think donuts may be an “at home” trend is stretching it a bit, for me…. but, they are certainly trending in little shops and restaurants! Thank you so much for stopping by! You are in the draw a few times, I see!
      :)
      Valerie

      • Dreena says

        Yes, you are right. Not too many people would make homemade doughnuts. My grandma did and they were delicious, certainly not “gourmet” like I see in the little shops, but still absolutely yummy. Must enlist some friends for a doughnut making party.
        Cheers.

        • Valerie Lugonja says

          Dreena!
          What a great idea! My grandma did, too – and my husband’s culture has a donut like little bundle the Balkan women make, a little different in each area, that is just like our glazed donut, but without the hole, and sugared!
          :)
          YUM – best eaten hot!
          Valerie

  31. Shawna says

    A favorite holiday tradtion I have with my mom is making whipped shortbread, popcorn candy cakes and fudge. These are our signature holiday gifts to friends:)

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Popcorn Candy Cakes!
      You are the second person here to say that! WOWSERS! That is one of your traditions, too! What is your recipe? Mine is on this site under Poppycock.
      :)
      V

  32. says

    My children are grown now but they still remember my reading to them at Christmas Time. I bring it out now as a coffee table book in case any young ones come by. The book is The Polar Express. The other tradition is NEW Pajamas on Christmas EVE. That tradition started with my Grandmother. She was a Jehovahs Witness, so Christmas was not in her vocabulary, in English or German. She had beautiful BLUE Eyes and they would twinkle as she made from her foot peddled sewing machine new pajamas for all the siblings and cousins. She was a “waste not want not”from the depression so we also recieved them in a hand sewn bag instead of wrapping paper. That tradition I continue for myself ,my kids and my family. They are not made from a foot peddled sewing machine but the love is still there, like my granny.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Leslie!
      What a lovely story! My grandma had that sewing machine, too. My cousin got it! Darn! Love your memory and tradition! The Christmas stories were huge for me with my children, too!
      XOXO
      Valerie

  33. Paula Globerman says

    As we celebrate Hannukkah I make a feast of different latkes-traditonal potato ,sweet potato,carrot and ginger,zucchini and mint,beets and green onions . I make homemade apple sauce,tsadziki . Also serve sour cream and vegan sour cream on the side for those who like. A big salad and lots of wine.Everyone brings their menorah and we all light the candles.A house full of friends,fun and fried food-the best.

  34. Karen Edwards says

    My Christmas tradition is to make Lefsa, a Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes, cream, butter & flour. It is delicious served hot off the griddle. Just slather with butter & maple syrup, roll it up & enjoy!

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      HI, Karen
      I actually have a post about lefsa, though I have never made it. I was with mom when she was visiting a life long friend and we talked about her tradition and she shared her recipe. Sadly, she died two months later, so I was really happy I had written the post. She wasn’t even ill! Is your recipe similar?
      Lovely tradition! My mom LOVED Marg’s lefse!
      :)
      Valerie

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Brooke
      I thought that about 10 years ago as it was SO big in the 70’s (were you born then???) but, there has been no real comeback yet. Hope you are right!
      :)
      V

  35. Brooke says

    My favorite holiday tradition is breaking oplatek before our Christmas Eve meal. It is a Polish Christmas wafer that each person breaks ad eats with each other, wishes them wonderful things for the coming year. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming tradition!

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Brooke
      What a wonderful sharing. These are the stories that warm my heart and this is my first introduction to that word – so THANK YOU!
      :)
      V

  36. says

    Culinary trend over holiday season – salty caramel, whether in hot chocolate or paired with ice cream…

    Family Christmas tradition: Turkey basted a la Chinese (Cantonese) seasoning (soya sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil + hoisin sauce). Stuffing made in wok includes Chinese pork sauce!

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Now, Shirley, this turkey sounds absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! I have never heard of a Chinese Christmas Turkey – and I am ALL IN!
      :)
      Valerie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>