I love to entertain particularly early in the month of December when the air turns crisp, the snow falls and the holiday season is upon us. My other more selfish reason is to put a timeline on getting ready for the holidays early. I need a reason to decorate, put up the tree and start preparing yummy holiday meals.


This year I decided to host an intimate event at my house to both celebrate Rachel’s 30th birthday and to usher in the season. The theme was Creature Comforts where I encouraged everyone to arrive in their favourite holiday sweater. Michael Buble filled the air with his particular brand of musical magic while fires burned pleasantly in the hearth and everyone aged one and up noshed on favourite recipes, bubbly beverages and sinful desserts.




With proper planning, pulling off a gathering like this is not as challenging as we might think. It helps to keep the theme as close to what your goals are as possible. With the relentless challenges of the past three years, I have not felt terribly festive but am coming out of the darkness one step at a time. I feel best when I keep it simple. My Christmas tree still only has lights on it – I can’t seem to put baubles on it yet. But the wine cooler was full, candles burned and 16 people came over to celebrate.


I opened up the kitchen to any chefs who wanted to join in on the fun. Pretty soon Rachel, Kelsey and I were up to our ears in food and fun. The result of all that talent in the kitchen is the menu you will find below. It’s our gift to you to take some of the guesswork out of meal you might like to throw.


I wish you love and happiness over the holidays.
Big hugs,


Tosca’s Recipes
Charcuterie Board with figs, grapes, nuts and crackers
Beef Tenderloin with Zesty Coffee Spice Rub
Winter Kale Salad with Spicy Seeds
Dirty Smashed Potatoes
Red Wine: Barolo and Amarone


Rachel’s Recipe
Guacamole with Tortilla Chips

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Virgin Apple Cider Cocktail

Virgin Pomegranate Cocktail



I’m not going to lie here – Rachel wanted a Pralines and Cream cake and I couldn’t find one nor did I make one so I bought one from a beautiful Italian deli called Mercato. Can I just say how delicious it was but oh!-so-rich. I could only eat a little. YUM!