Holiday Hosting with President’s Choice Insiders Collection
With the Holidays only 3 weeks away, it can be stressful and challenging throwing a dinner party. Last week, I attended President’s Choice Holiday Hosting 101 workshop and brunch hosted by Chef Andrea Buckett and Kelly Deck.
During the workshop, we learned everything from tablescaping to holiday decor to impress your guests. We also learned about PC Insiders Collection, a digital and interactive online platform with more than 70 new products for the holidays.
Kelly beautifully decorated two tablescapes. The first table is a contemporary Christmas theme. While the second table is a whimsical, winter wonderland with white, gold and green theme. All of the decor are from the PC Home collection.
Chef Andrea suggested having a charcuterie and cheese board is a great way for guests to mingle. The board had a wide selection of cured meats and fine cheeses like PC Black Label Jamón Ibérico Dry-Cured Ibérico Ham, Comté and Gorgonzola Dolce cheeses.
It’s a nice touch to have a little gift for your guests. It also act as a placeholder for the seating arrangement.
We had a custom cocktails of Prosecco & Peach Bellini with PC Blackcurrant Maple Syrup.
Our starter was PC Black Forest Stuffed French Toast. It’s an elevate classic breakfast dish by using chocolate cherry bread and stuffing it with Montmorency cherry spread.
PC Black Forest Stuffed French Toast recipe
- 8 slices PC The Decadent Chocolate Cherry Loaf
- 1 cup (250 mL) PC Black Label Ontario Montmorency Sour Cherry Fruit Spread
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) 2% milk
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Black Label Normandy Style Unsalted Cultured Butter
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) very cold 35% whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) icing sugar
- Place four slices of bread on work surface; divide 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cherry spread among the four slices, spooning an equal amount onto the centre of each slice. Sandwich with remaining bread slices.
- Whisk together egg and granulated sugar in wide shallow bowl until frothy. Whisk in milk until combined.
- Melt butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Dip one sandwich in egg mixture, carefully turning to soak; transfer to hot pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches; discard any remaining egg mixture. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Using metal spatula, carefully turn over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until bread is golden and crisp at edges; transfer to cutting board.
- Meanwhile, using electric hand mixer, whip cream with sugar for 2 minutes or until soft peaks form.
- Cut French toast in half diagonally; arrange two halves on each of four plates. Spoon 1 tbsp (15 mL) of remaining cherry spread into the centre of each plate; top each with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired. Serve immediately.
Our side was PC Greek Yogurt with Coconut with Chocolate Chips. Each 3/4 cup serving of greek yogurt contains an impressive 18 g of protein. It’s great for snacking, baking and cooking and can also be used to create dips and marinades.
Hasselback Potatoes is a Swedish dish. The trick is to used a wooden spoons or chopsticks as a guide. The spoon will prevent the knife from cutting through the potato. As the result, you will get the crispy edges and creamy middle.
PC Hasselback Potatoes Stuffed with Cheddar and Bacon recipe
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) PC New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 PC Strawberry Blonde Potatoes
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
- Half 250 g-pkg PC Aged 2 Years Canadian White Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC black label Panko Japanese-Style Bread Crumbs
- 6 slices PC Naturally Smoked Bacon, cooked and each slice cut crosswise into 10 pieces
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Stir together butter and oil. Brush bottom of 14 X 11-inch (3 L) roasting pan with some of the butter-oil mixture. Slice thin lengthwise strip off the bottom of one potato; place flat side down on cutting board. Place two wooden spoons on opposite long sides of potato. Cut potato crosswise into 20 thin slices until almost all the way through, stopping when knife hits spoon handles. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
- Arrange potatoes flat side down in roasting pan; brush with butter-oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Scatter rosemary and thyme sprigs around potatoes.
- Bake in centre of oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through but still firm, basting with butter halfway through. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes.
- Grate 2 tbsp (25 mL) cheese finely; combine with panko. Slice remaining cheese crosswise into 20 slices; cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces for a total of 60 pieces.
- Insert bacon alternately with cheese in potato slices. Brush all over with butter from pan. Sprinkle panko mixture over top. Bake in centre oven for 12 to 16 minutes or until cheese is melted and panko mixture is golden. Discard herb sprigs; garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
Our main was Mixed Mushroom and Comté Strata. The strata recipe can be prepared ahead of time, making it perfect for dinner or brunch. The strata features three types of cheese and lots of veggies.
PC Mixed Mushroom and Comté Strata recipe
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) PC New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1-1/1 tsp (7 mL) salt
- 1 pkg (200 g) PC Chef Blend Sliced & Whole Mushrooms, torn or roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (50 mL) white wine
- 4 cups (1 L) lightly packed PC Organics Kale, Chard, Spinach Salad Mix
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups (500 mL) 2% milk
- 1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream
- 13 cups (3.25 L) cubed French or Italian bread, cut in 1 –inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about loaf)
- 1 pkg (150 g) PC Black Label Comté Hard Ripened Cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) finely grated PC Splendido Parmigiano Cheese
- 1 Heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir in leeks and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Add mushrooms, garlic, pepper and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in wine; cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add salad mix; cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Whisk eggs in large bowl; whisk in milk, cream and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt; set aside.
- Brush 13 X 9-inch (3 L) baking dish with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Arrange half of the bread cubes in a single layer; top with a layer of half the leek-mushroom mixture and sprinkle with half of each of the cheeses. Repeat layers with remaining bread cubes, leek-mushroom mixture and cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over top; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove plastic wrap; bake in centre of oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed and browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Our dessert was PC Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cheesecake with PC Black Label Raspberry Syrup, whipped cream and fresh fruit. It was rich and creamy that pairs perfectly with the raspberry & strawberry.
The PC Cable Knit Coffee Mug is pretty cool.
By the way, the best way to decorate the Christmas tree is to start from the inside out and starting with the lights.
Looking for last minutes gift idea? The PC Christmas Hamper is a perfect gift for your foodie friends. My favourites are the Chocolate covered Caramel Popcorn with Sea Salt and Applewood Smoked Bacon Chips.
The hamper contain:
- Chocolate covered Caramel Popcorn with Sea Salt
- Kettle Cooked Applewood Smoked Bacon Chips
- Smoky Bacon flavoured Maple Syrup
- Blackcurrant flavoured Maple Syrup
- New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Spiced Chocolate Collection
- Yogurt covered Cranberries
- Cookie Butter
- Sea Salt Giant Corn Nuts
- Deluxe Mixed Nut
- Scottish Shortbread
- Cheese Board
You can find all of these Presidents Choice products at Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws CityMarket and No Frills.
Thanks President’s Choice, Chef Andrea Buckett and Kelly Deck for the awesome workshop and brunch.