Here's to bright and colourful gourmet holiday celebrations!

Julie's Notes
For colorful and gourmet parties to perfection!

There’s no doubt the holidays are synonymous with the pleasures of eating, drinking and gastronomic exuberance. But, by applying a bit of creativity, many gourmet pleasures can also be healthy indulgences. Here are some of my tips for a healthy festive table that packs a punch!

Multi-coloured ice cubes
To keep your guests’ drinks and cocktails cool, prepare ice cubes with eye-catching pieces of fruit, or use frozen whole fruits such as cranberries, strawberries and blueberries. You’re sure to wow your guests! And, if you stocked up on frozen haskaps over the summer, this tasty Mint, lime and vanilla cocktail with haskap (honeyberry) ice cubes recipe is a must-try.

Quick and easy appetizers
Swap mini-quiches and other puffed pastry hors d’oeuvres with fresh, easy-to-make appetizers.

  • Mini-soups Puree tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic and fresh thyme. Presentation: Serve cold in espresso cups.
  • Fig and prosciutto bites Wrap fig wedges in a slice of prosciutto, with a piece of Parmesan cheese and a basil leaf. If desired, sprinkle with a balsamic vinegar glaze when ready to serve.
  • Cucumber canapés Spread Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs on cucumber slices. Top with a slice of smoked salmon and a few toasted pine nuts.

Classics revisited
Sometimes, only some minor adjustments are needed to create a flavourful, healthy dish.

Almost, but not quite, decadent desserts!

  • “Light” Christmas log Prepare your Christmas log with angel food cake, and make your own whipped filling with 35% cream, plain Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Decorate your cake with fresh fruits, such as ground cherries, raspberries, blackberries and starfruit.
  • A fruit salad Christmas tree This makes the perfect—and original—centrepiece! All you need is an apple, a carrot, toothpicks and a variety of fresh fruits. At serving time, drizzle the tree with melted chocolate! Click here for the how-to.

Happy gourmet holidays, everyone!

Julie DesGroseilliers, Dt.P.