OnDiva Dara from Cookin’ Canuck

For the past week, we have been introducing you to our new panel of OnDivas. The OnDivas are each fabulous home cooks, creative recipe developers, talented food photographers and entertaining culinary writers all rolled into one. They are helping Discover Endive spread the word about California endive: the health benefits of eating endive, its value at the grocery store, and its versatility in your weekly menu. What’s more, this week the OnDivas offer you more wonderful holiday recipes and entertaining suggestions that will reduce your stress in the weeks to come!

Dara of Cookin' Canuck

Dara of Cookin' Canuck

Today, Dara from Cookin’ Canuck shares one of her “go-to” recipes for holiday entertaining, as well as revealing some of her favorite memories and foods from this joyful season.

What are some of your family’s traditional recipes or foods that you include in your holiday cooking from year to year? What are the “new” holiday culinary traditions you’ve created, and how did they come about?
Some of our holiday recipe traditions come straight from our childhood, such as my husband’s great-grandmother’s butter cookies in the shapes of wreaths and trees.  Being from Canada, my family holds tight to many English traditions, such as serving plum pudding (on fire, of course) and butter tarts.  Our new traditions include serving decadent maple-glazed cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  We always serve turkey for Christmas dinner, but we make it on Christmas Eve and slather it with hot gravy on Christmas.  This takes some of the chaos out of Christmas day.
 The holidays just aren’t the holidays without _________________________?
…without watching my mum, my mother-in-law and our two boys dress up as reindeer, serenading us with jingle bells and Christmas carols.  It just never gets old.
What is your favorite holiday movie, television special, character or song?
Without a doubt, my favorite holiday character is the Grinch.  My dad started reading the story to us every Christmas Eve when I was very young and my husband and I now carry on the tradition with our boys.  We look at every picture in detail, marveling at all of the cool Seuss-ian toys.
What is one go-to recipe for the holidays that you can share with the Discover Endive audience?
My dad’s bread stuffing is a “must” at Christmas table.  Filled with fresh herbs and tender bread, the stuffing easily fills half of my plate each year…and then I go back for seconds.  He started making the stuffing when I was a teenager.  My mum was sick with bronchitis one year and my dad took it upon himself to come up with a stuffing recipe.  Surrounded by every cookbook we owned, he pieced together what has now become a family favorite.
What is one tip, suggestion or piece of advice for the Discover Endive audience to cut back on stress during holiday entertaining and/or cooking?
Delegate, delegate and then delegate some more.  Everyone wants to help, so let them!  The last thing guests want to do is sit idly by as they watch a harried host run around the kitchen.

Thanks, Dara!

Be sure to visit Dara’s food blog, Cookin’ Canuck for more great recipes and ideas.


Stay tuned for more from the OnDivas, including California Endive Stuffed with Homemade Boursin later this week. And if you have a question for our OnDivas, post it to the Discover Endive facebook page or shout it out on Twitter!


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