Spring is my absolute favourite season. Warmer weather, green grass, fresh lilacs … and RHUBARB! For as long as I can remember, there have been rhubarb plants at my parents house. I remember eating it raw, dipped in a little bit of sugar. The BEST! Walking around various local farmers markets, rhubarb is definitely in abundance this time of year. I like to stick with classic rhubarb recipes – compote, strawberry rhubarb jam, rhubarb crumble and rhubarb muffins!
Well friends, the holidays are officially upon us! I am certain that I have all my Christmas shopping done (and if for some reason I done, I’m sorry for whoever I’ve missed because I am NOT going out again!). Today will be spent wrapping gifts, watching endless Christmas movies and finishing up some holiday baking!
I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 holiday treats! I wasn’t as adventurous as I have been in previous years, so I only made a few of these this year, and opted for the easier ones (but they are equally delicious!).
- Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies): for some reason, I have always found myself trying to find the perfect recipe for Puppy Chow all over Pinterest. That is until I realized that the recipe is INSIDE the Chex Mix box. So this year I cut it out and shoved it into my recipe book!
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: these are basically brownies in cookie form and are absolutely delicious! They are super quick and easy to make and just look so beautiful when they are done!
- Ginger Molasses Cookies: I stumbled upon this recipe earlier this week and OH MY GOSH they are literally the best ginger cookies I have EVER made! I was initially looking for a good gingerbread recipe (if anyone has one, send it my way please!), but these will most definitely do for this year!
- Mincemeat Pies: I don’t have a recipe for mincemeat because in all truth, I have never made mincemeat filling from scratch. Perhaps I will attempt it at some Christmas in the future. For now, I stick with the President’s Choice Mincemeat filling and my Grandma’s good ole dough recipe! These are the only dried fruit treats that I really enjoy during the holidays (no fruitcake for me thanks!) Plum pudding comes in second, but I usually only get that AFTER Christmas (you know, when everything Christmas goes on sale!)
- Church Windows: apparently THESE cookies are super old school, as in people remember their Grandma whipping these up during the holidays! I discovered these last year while shopping downtown. Card’s Bakery in Kingston had some, I tried it and it was magical! These cookies are no bake, and the only part I found to be difficult was rolling them up in the plastic wrap! I left out the walnuts because nuts just don’t belong in desserts!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with delicious food, and surrounded by family!
YGK Craft Beer Fest has become the teaser of summer for me. I have been lucky enough to have experienced this amazing event for the past three years and have watched it expand through both vendors and the number of people who attend.
Located on the hill at Fort Henry, YGK Craft Beer Fest boasts a number of local (and not so local) craft breweries, great local food trucks, and a fabulous line up of live music. Top it off with a beautiful sunny day (which have been few and far between this year!), that Fort Henry view of Kingston and Lake Ontario and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The turnout this year was the best I have seen; but more people involves lines, lines … and more lines, so just be patient!
Here are some helpful hints for next year:
- Purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid the ticket line.
- Look around for the Beer Fest people in orange shirts – they have the beer tokens and will save you time from standing in yet another line!
- Most vendors have debit/credit machines, so cash is not necessary, but it’s always good to have a little on hand, just in case.
- Bring a blanket to get a spot on the hill. Beer, food and live music are much more enjoyable when you are sitting.
- HYDRATE! Bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up. The Utilities Kingston Water Buggy is onsite and definitely came in handy this year!
- Wear sunscreen and a hat! I know, I know, how many times do you have to be reminded, right? But the only tents that are available are the beer tents. I don’t mind sitting in the sun, but wear sunscreen and re-apply it often!
- Try something new! With so many breweries to choose from, you might as well! I tried the new Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead (a new brewery in Kingston) and a delicious Stadium Island Peach cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse (Toronto).
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!