One of life's greatest comfort foods is a plateful of potatoes and gravy, but if you are vegetarian, traditional meat gravies are a no-go. Don't worry, you don't need to give up that warm, savoury side dish - mushroom gravy is a wonderful alternative. In my house, this gravy is enjoyed by my meat-loving family, especially when my husband cooks a roast or a turkey on the grill, which doesn't allow for traditional gravy-making. It's easy to make and so delicious!
In a medium saucepan, saute mushrooms and green onions in olive oil until liquid evaporates, approximately 10 minutes.
Add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and flour. Stir to coat mushrooms well.
Add water, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and stir well. Continue stirring occasionally over medium heat until gravy thickens.
Welcome to true confessions, wherein I admit to having a crush on Chris Noth and also to having holiday baking fatigue. I know! Me! Ms. Nicole-The-Elf, Ms. Santa's-Coming-OMG-Santa-I-Know-Him! But there, I said it. I have holiday baking fatigue.
Maybe you do, too. Maybe all you want to do is lie on the couch drinking Bailey's and coffee and watching Christmas Vacation over and over again. Maybe the busy-ness of the season is starting to get to you, what with parties and concerts and - in my case - karate tournaments. I get it. I really do. Last week I organized a bake sale, and this morning I made a potluck dish for one of the three potluck dinners I have committed to in the next two days. I AM TIRED. I just want to drink and watch Clark Griswold kick his plastic Santa on the lawn.
And yet, part of the fun of lying on the couch drinking booze and watching already-viewed Christmas specials is also having some baking to nibble on. Those cookies are not going to bake themselves, people. It's up to you, so put down that spiced rum, grab your apron and mixing spoon, and play "Eye of the Tiger." You can do this.
These easy, festive recipes are the best cookies for beating baking fatigue - they are simple to make and will fill your house with all sorts of festive good smells. Forget those holiday scented candles - go forth and bake!
This recipe is perfect for the holidays; what could be more festive than gingerbread men? This is a great recipe to make with kids; children love cutting out the shapes and decorating with candy and frosting. Get the kids to do the work - it's not child labour, it's super fun! Plus, you make the dough ahead of time so it's ready when you are!
What could be more classic than shortbread at Christmas? Maija's got an easy, scrumptious recipe that yields 6 dozen cookies. This is her grandma's recipe, and I have to say, I am a sucker for grandmotherly goodness. A must make!
Maybe you don't have time for all that cutting and decorating. Don't worry - Maija's got you covered! This is a delicious recipe that has all the festive taste of gingerbread without all the fuss.
Welcome to the M&M show! Peppermint and chocolate - what a combination! These are wonderfully soft cookies with a "bet you'll bite an M&M" bonus. If peppermint isn't your thing, substitute regular M&M's or chocolate chips.
This is my grandma's recipe for gingersnaps, and it is my very favourite cookie recipe. These cookies are chewy, gingery, and magical. They are fun to make with kids because they need to be rolled into balls which are then rolled in sugar. My kids love doing this (but they also love saying "I'm putting my balls in sugar" over and over because they are boys and jokes about balls NEVER get old). This recipe makes a lot of cookies - a great yield for minimal effort!
What's that, you say? You wish you could have a classic shortbread cookie at Christmas but you are unable to have gluten? Don't be sad - now you can! Gwen's got you covered with this amazing recipe that you will not believe is gluten-free - and it's also vegan!
My mother's favourite thing in the world is Skor, but now I am going to be her favourite thing in the world because I'm going to make these for her! Ha ha! At last, the Favourite Child title will be mine! Thanks, Maija!
While we're confessing things, I will tell you this: sometimes when I make something really fabulous, I will wait until my husband has told me that he enjoyed it immensely, and then I will blurt out "IT'S VEGAN". Then I cackle like an evil witch. These cookies fall into that category.
There you have it - easy recipes that will have you basking in the holiday spirit in no time. Alternately, send these recipes to "that friend" who loves baking - maybe arrange to swap a bottle of wine for some homemade cookies. I know I would overcome my baking fatigue for a nice bottle of Shiraz - anyone want to take me up on this? WILL BAKE FOR WINE. And maybe a copy of A Christmas Story.
Some things are meant to be together: peas and carrots, salsa and tortilla chips, Harry and Sally. But my favourite pair of all is mint and chocolate. I want to hug the person who first thought of mixing together mint and chocolate; that person is a genius who has done much for humankind.
What is it about that combination that is so irresistible to me? As Jerry Seinfeld said, "it's very refreshing." A few years ago a friend of mine was living in Texas and, knowing my love of all things mint chocolate, she sent me a bag of mint M&M's. At the time they were not available in Canada, and so for a while I lived for the occasional care package from travelling friends. I may have even developed a slight hoarding problem back then.
Well, dear readers, I'm happy to say that mint (or "Holiday", as they are sometimes called) M&M's are now widely available in Canada, and so if you're a mint chocolate addict like myself, you are in luck! Why not whip up a batch of these scrumptious cookies; they are perfect for a cookie exchange or to just eat all yourself. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
If using flax eggs: in a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of ground flax with 6 tablespoons of water; set in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Beat together melted coconut oil or butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flax mixture - or 2 eggs - and mix well.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ones and stir until just combined. Fold in M&M's.
Form into balls approximately 2 inches in diameter and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.
VARIATION: mint chocolate not your thing? Swap the mint for regular or peanut butter M&M's.
MAKE IT VEGAN: swap the M&M's for non-dairy chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
Yield: approximately 3 dozen large cookies