Holiday Hosting with President’s Choice Insiders Collection
With the Holidays only 3 weeks away, it can be stressful and challengingÂ throwing a dinner party.Â Last week, I attendedÂ 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.Â We also learned aboutÂ 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 contemporaryÂ Christmas theme.Â 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 aÂ charcuterie and cheese board is a great way for guests to mingle. The board had a wide selection ofÂ cured meats and fine cheeses like PC Black Label JamÃ³n IbÃ©rico Dry-Cured IbÃ©rico Ham, ComtÃ© and Gorgonzola Dolce cheeses.
It’s a nice touch to have a little gift for yourÂ guests. It also act as a placeholder for the seating arrangement.
We had a customÂ cocktails of Prosecco & Peach Bellini with PC Blackcurrant Maple Syrup.
Our starter wasÂ 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 theÂ four slices, spooning an equal amount onto the centre of each slice. Sandwich with remaining breadÂ slices.
- Whisk together egg and granulated sugar in wide shallow bowl until frothy. Whisk in milk untilÂ combined.
- Melt butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Dip one sandwich in egg mixture, carefully turningÂ to soak; transfer to hot pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches; discard any remaining egg mixture.Â Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Using metal spatula, carefully turn over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutesÂ 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)Â of remaining cherry spread into the centre of each plate; top each with a generous dollop ofÂ whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired. Serve immediately.
Our side was PC Greek Yogurt with Coconut with Chocolate Chips. EachÂ 3/4 cup serving of greek yogurt contains an impressive 18 g of protein. It’s great forÂ 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 aÂ wooden spoons or chopsticks as a guide.Â The spoon will prevent the knife from cutting through the potato. As the result, you will get the crispy edges and creamyÂ middle.
PC Hasselback Potatoes Stuffed with Cheddar and BaconÂ 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
- Â¼ 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 425Â°F (220Â°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 cuttingÂ board. Place two wooden spoons on opposite long sides of potato. Cut potato crosswise into 20 thinÂ slices until almost all the way through, stopping when knife hits spoon handles. Repeat withÂ remaining potatoes.
- Arrange potatoes flat side down in roasting pan; brush with butter-oil mixture and season with saltÂ 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 withÂ 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 20Â 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. SprinkleÂ panko mixture over top. Bake in centre oven for 12 to 16 minutes or until cheese is melted andÂ panko mixture is golden. Discard herb sprigs; garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
Our main wasÂ Mixed Mushroom and ComtÃ© Strata.Â 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 ComtÃ© StrataÂ 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
- Â½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- Â¼ 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 â€“inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about loaf)
- 1 pkg (150 g) PC Black Label ComtÃ© 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 (2Â mL) of the salt; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Add mushrooms,Â garlic, pepper and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or untilÂ tender.
- Stir in wine; cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add salad mix; cook for 1 minute or until wilted.Â 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 cubesÂ in a single layer; top with a layer of half the leek-mushroom mixture and sprinkle with half of each ofÂ the cheeses. Repeat layers with remaining bread cubes, leek-mushroom mixture and cheese. PourÂ egg mixture evenly over top; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up toÂ overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350Â°F (180Â°C). Remove plastic wrap; bake in centre of oven for 45 to 50 minutes orÂ 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 creamyÂ that pairs perfectlyÂ 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 theÂ Chocolate covered Caramel Popcorn with Sea Salt andÂ 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 Â CityMarket and No Frills.
ThanksÂ President’s Choice,Â Chef Andrea Buckett and Kelly Deck for the awesomeÂ workshop and brunch.