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guacamole iStock

An Appetite For Easy: One Minute Guacamole

Here’s a recipe for the best guacamole you’ll ever scoop on a chip: it’s fresh, seriously delicious and you can make it in a minute.

guacamole iStock

 

ONE-MINUTE WONDER | It’s a holiday today in British Columbia and we are having friends over for a dinner, which means I’m going to need appies: lots of them. I can get away with serving strictly store-bought stuff—cerignola olives, edemame in the shell, gourmet potato chips—if I serve it in small, one-of-a-kind containers that give it an air of exclusivity. But store-bought alone feels ungracious to me so I like to mix in a few homemade or half-scratch appies I can turn around on a dime. One of my all-time half-scratch favourites is cheater guacamole. I’m always surprised by how many people ask me for the recipe. Read more

Handpainted Easter Cookies iStock

How To Paint Cookies Without A Pastry Bag

For decorating cookies, there is an alternative to both tricky pastry bags and pricey tubes of store-bought frosting.

Handpainted Easter Cookies iStock

 

SHOPPING AROUND | Nothing says spring (and Easter) like hand-painted sugar cookies. My kids are begging me to make some, but since I didn’t inherit Cake Boss genes, I decided to YouTube for decorating advice where I ran across Iron Chef America’s Cat Cora channelling her inner Martha by cranking out these adorable designs on holiday cookies. Hopeless at using a pastry bag, I was about to settle for uneconomical grocery-store tubes of icing with clip-off tips when a girlfriend suggested a cool alternative: squeezable frosting bottles with interchangeable decorating tips. Read more

Cheesecakes in Jars - My Baking Addiction

Awesome Ways To Put Weck Jars To Work

You needn’t be an ace with a canner to find awesome ways to put gorgeous Weck jars to work.

Cheesecakes in Jars - My Baking Addiction

 

BEAUTIFUL & EASY | “Now this is a full-circle moment,” said my friend Anne, pointing to the Weck canning jars prominently displayed in the chi-chi San Francisco kitchen shop we cruised through last week. “I was so happy to get away from these things when I moved here from Germany and to discover canning jars with screw-top lids. They’re much easier and more convenient to use.” Read more

Katy Perry party

Make Two Top Appies In Under 10 Minutes

It’s party season, people, and you know what that means: You’re going to need appies. Here are two dead simple ones that’ll please even your zaniest guests.

Katy Perry party

 

EASY & AWESOME | Unless you have serious Hollywood connections, it’s unlikely that Katy Perry and her best “gurlfriend” Markus Molinari, pictured here in the cockeyed hat, will be partying at your house this coming holiday season. But hey, if you’re like me, that’s probably the least of your worries. You’re more likely thinking, “I’ve got people coming over for a holiday thing, and what can I serve them that’s thoughtful, tastes great and makes up really easy?” Time to dip into the Frugalbits vault for two of our all-time favourite appetizers that can be made in less than 10 minutes. Read more

filigree pumpkin - Martha Stewart Living

Supersimple Ways To Decorate Pumpkins

We’re jacked about Halloween—and these supersimple ways to decorate pumpkins.

filigree pumpkin - Martha Stewart Living

 

EASY DOES IT | This whole pumpkin-decorating thing has gotten crazy out-of-hand in the past few years, with elaborate designs like the filigree-carved jack-o’-lantern pictured here that’s posted on Martha Stewart’s website (CLICK here for more of her beautiful ideas). It’s not exactly easy to cut through a pumpkin, let alone arrive at a design like this one (can’t imagine how long look it took a pro to do it). We propose getting back to basics with quick and simple pumpkin décor like the two options offered below. At the very least, going easy on the pumpkins will give you more time to perfect your costume. Read more

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Easy Appie #3: Herb & Pepper Goat Cheese

Stellar food stylist/writer Béatrice Peltre makes goat cheese look amazing.

ENTERTAIN SMART | Some things are so stunningly beautiful that you just want to eat them up—like the arresting food photographs taken by Béatrice Peltre, a French expat who lives in Boston and writes, styles and shoots a food column for the Boston Globe. Peltre also shares her adventures in cooking and eating on her seriously addictive blog, La Tartine Gourmande, which has been (among its many well-deserved accolades) recognized as the best special interest food blog of 2010 by Saveur magazine. Read more

Big City Bar Nuts - Clinton Hussey

Easy Appie #2: Lesley Stowe’s Big City Bar Nuts

Before treating the world to her signature Raincoast Crisps, Vancouver chef Lesley Stowe served this sinfully simple—and quick—appetizer to her catering clients.

Big City Bar Nuts - Clinton HusseyENTERTAIN SMART | Long before Lesley Stowe began producing Raincoast Crisps, the one-of-a-kind, gourmet cracker-alternative she manufactures locally and distributes throughout North America, she owned and operated the most celebrated catering and specialty food emporium in Vancouver. From her charming (now closed) shop off Burrard Street, she and her team offered prepared dishes and imported food products from around the world and treated Vancouverites to a taste of delicacies previously unavailable in the city.

Known for her inventive mix of ingredients (to which Raincoast Crisps are a testament), Stowe says that Big City Bar Nuts were a favourite on her catering menu. “There are quite a few sweet and salty things out there, but our recipe added something on the savoury side. It’s the hint of rosemary that makes them stand out.”

This nut mixture, made in under 10 minutes, was a show-stopper then—and now! Read more