Tag Archives: Metro

Holiday Party Planning: Tips for Festive Fun!

30 Dec

Holiday party season is coming to an end but there’s still one more big party to go and it’s the one most people go all out for…New Year’s Eve!

If you’re hosting, you’re either reading this and thinking:

a)      Holiday Party Planning Tips? I have this down pat.

b)      I better get cracking…yikes!

If you’re in the second group, I have a few holiday party planning tips to share from Metro (one of my “go to” grocery stores). Since my side of the family is vegetarian and my husband’s side eats everything, we try to have a little something for everyone at our parties. Some of our veggie-friendly favourites include the Irresistibles Vegetable Spring Rolls and Irresistibles Spanakopita. They are easy to store in the freezer and pop into the oven if you need a quick appetizer. If you have a sweet tooth, the Irresistibles Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels With Sea Salt and the Irresistibles Maple Butter are both faves of my bro-in-law (these are a surprise for him…shhh!).

Irresistibles Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels With Sea Salt and Irresistibles Maple Butter

Irresistibles Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels With Sea Salt and Irresistibles Maple Butter

As promised, here are some great tips for your next party : )

Holiday Party Planning: 10 Tips for Festive Fun!

Creative serving

Instead of communal bowls of nuts, try a more eye catching and hygienic presentation by putting snacks in clear glass, narrow-necked decanters. Guests can pour nut and trail mixes themselves, and it looks great, too!

Stagger serving times

If all food is served at the start of the night, guests are likely to gorge and go home early. Keep your party hopping by serving your tasty hors d’oeuvres all night long.

Impress with a signature cocktail

Channel your inner mixologist and offer guests a unique signature cocktail for your holiday party. Be sure to have other non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages to offer alongside this cocktail.

Prep in advance

The “day of’’ for the party planner is always hectic! Between set up, last minute errands, and wrangling the kids – stress is high. Try prepping what you can a few days before. Things like fruit trays, cheese and cracker platters and Swedish meatballs can all be put together a day or two in advance.

Presentation is everything

When preparing food trays and hors d’oeuvres platters, have fun! Use the Canadian winter landscape as inspiration by placing pinecones and frosted pine needles in your tray display.

Fast and fancy

Limited time? Solicit the help of the frozen food aisle! Metro’s private label line, Irresistibles, offers delicious appetizers (quite a few vegetarian options too!) which are perfect for party planners, with selection and creativity covered.

Tidy as you go

No one likes waking up to a mess, by tidying bit by bit during your party, the house will be kept clean for your guests, too!

Set the ambiance

A beautiful candle display can never go wrong at a holiday party.

Provide plenty of options

Be sure to provide an assortment of appetizer options at your holiday bash to keep all types of appetites full and happy!

Enjoy yourself

This is your party, too! You’ve worked hard and it’s important to enjoy the environment, interact with your guests and taste your delicious treats!

Do you have any special party tips to share?

Disclaimer: I received a holiday basket of Irresistibles products from Metro. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Honey-Glazed Grilled Fruit + WIN a Harvest From Home basket from Metro!

16 Jul

Summer time is (finally!) here and farmers are busy harvesting their crops! If you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables to quench your healthy appetite, look no further, as from June through October, Metro has Ontarians covered with their annual Harvest from Home program.  During Harvest from Home, Metro purchases food from more than 100 farms across Ontario, providing its customers with a wide variety of the freshest most delicious produce.  They are proudly supporting local farmers and the economy, which is something we should all do. Local tastes better!

The lovely folks at Metro recently provided me with a great summer grilling recipe and a basket including the local ingredients from Ontario needed to make their special June/July recipe. How could I say no to a basket filled with delicious goodies?!?!

Honey-Glazed Grilled Fruit

The original recipe can be found on the Metro website here: http://www.metro.ca/recette/6239/honey-glazed-grilled-fruit.en.html. I’ve modified it slightly to suit the tastes of my family.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) Irresistibles Orange Juice

1/2 cup (125 mL) Selection Unsalted Butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) Selection Liquid Honey

1 Selection Cinnamon Stick

1 quart fresh Ontario grown strawberries, hulled and washed

4 fresh Ontario grown pears, washed, cored and cut into large chunks

2 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 ripe but firm Ontario grown peaches, washed, pitted and cut into large chunks

Kabob skewers, wooden or metal

Directions:

Heat Irresistibles Orange Juice, Selection Unsalted Butter, Selection Liquid Honey and 1 Selection Cinnamon Stick in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and melted. Simmer for 10 minutes until slightly syrupy.

Thread fresh fruit pieces onto kabob skewers. Grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning often and drizzling with the orange juice mixture, until tender and browned.

My tips: Drizzle the orange juice mixture over the fruit every time you turn the skewers on the grill. You should turn them every few minutes to promote even cooking. The drizzle helps the fruit to caramelize a little and sends flames up to char the fruit, giving the kabobs a great smoky flavour. We had them at the end of a big barbecue, so I simply served the fruit kabobs on their own to keep things light. I think they would be great served alongside vanilla ice cream too…yum!

My favourite parts of the kabob were the grilled peaches and bananas and I think I might just focus on my favourite fruits next time. Overall, my family loved the kabobs and I’m happy to say that the serving plate was empty a few minutes later! I can’t wait to try the kabobs with other fruit combinations and perhaps add a little grated ginger to the sauce for an added kick next time.

CONTEST: Do you want to try this tasty recipe at home? Metro wants me to give away a Harvest From Home basket, including a Metro gift card, to one of my readers! Please note that you must be a resident of Ontario to win, given that Metro’s stores can only be found here in Ontario. If you win, Metro will deliver the basket directly to your home, so that you and your family can enjoy the Ontario grown Harvest From Home goodies immediately.

TO ENTER: 

Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what your favourite Ontario grown fruits and/or vegetables are and what you use them for. P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you!

Again, you must be a resident of Ontario to enter!

Hurry! Contest closes on Sunday July 22 at 5 pm EST. The winner will be announced on Monday July 23. Good luck!

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WINNER!!! 

Congrats to Pauline Grant (@PaulineGrantTO ) for winning the Metro gift basket! Your basket will be delivered straight to your home by the great folks at Metro : )

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