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How to Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party

Written by: Famous Foods | 2019-12-09 | no comments

If you’re having trouble choosing which cookies to bake for the holidays, organize a Christmas cookie exchange party. Here, you’ll get to enjoy a variety of cookies while only needing to bake one type yourself.

Here’s how it works: during the exchange, everyone sets out their cookies buffet-style. Then, each participant goes around and fills their plates or bags with different treats. This way, all attendees go home with a sampler containing every cookie variety. Workplaces, clubs, retirement communities and families will find these events quite easy to organize. Here are a few tips:

Pick a Time and Place

Survey your colleagues and friends to measure interest in participation. After confirming who will attend, work out a time and place for the exchange. This could be your house, the break room at work, or a community centre.

Prepare a Signup Sheet

Put the time and place on the sheet and ask people to specify the type of cookie that they intend to bring. Ideally, participants should choose to bake different recipes to prevent having too many of the same variety. If you ask each attendee to bring two dozen cookies, then each should go home with two dozen as well. You might want to pad the numbers a bit so that everyone can enjoy a few cookies at the party, too.

Set Up for the Party

Ideally, the host should supply plates or food bags for attendees to place their cookies in. Providing a beverage or asking other attendees to bring something to drink would be appropriate as well.

Great ingredients make great cookies that will surely impress party guests. Famous Foods in Vancouver stocks many high-quality natural and organic specialty baking ingredients, like candied or dried fruits, coconut, chocolates, and nuts. We look forward to helping you prepare for your holiday celebrations!

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3 Cozy (and Healthy) Vegetarian Stew Recipes

Written by: Famous Foods | 2019-11-15 | no comments

One of the joys of cool fall days is being able to indulge in hearty and comforting stews.

If you and your family love trying new and healthy soup or stew recipes, these three vegetarian offerings are sure to become instant hits in your house.

Mexican Quinoa Stew

This stew is a delicious alternative to chicken tortilla soup, and it’s a meal that you can feel good about eating over and over again. It clocks in at just 250 calories per serving, and it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

You can find the recipe here.

Vegan Roasted Pumpkin Apple Stew

Nothing says “fall” quite like a good pumpkin soup. Many of the options out there add bone broth or dairy, but this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.

The recipe calls for slicing and roasting an entire pumpkin before blending it with the other ingredients, but you can also use canned pumpkin or pre-packaged chunks of pumpkin or butternut squash instead. The apple lends tartness, and the vegetables add the perfect amount of savory flavour for a well-balanced taste.

The full recipe can be found here.

Autumn Vegetable Stew

This is a North African-inspired dish that utilizes a broad range of spices and an assortment of autumn veggies to create an intensely flavourful and rich stew that is perfect for cosy nights indoors.

While the ingredients list might look a bit intimidating, the majority of it consists of spices that you likely already have in your pantry. All of the vegetables are easily obtained, and you can even buy pre-chopped versions if you want to reduce chopping time.

Head over to Forks Over Knives for the complete recipe.

Enjoy a Cosy Meal This Fall

Chilly weather is the perfect excuse to bundle up with a hot mug of soup. Try these three vegetarian stews the next time you’re looking for a cosy and delicious meal. And don’t forget to stop by Famous Foods to pick up the ingredients first!

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Beat the November Blues With These 5 Mood-boosting Foods

Written by: Famous Foods | 2019-11-01 | no comments

As the days grow shorter and colder, it is extremely common to feel the effects of seasonal depression. One of the best ways to stave off the November blues is by adding specific foods to your diet.

Below are five delicious, mood-boosting items to enjoy this fall and winter.

Hot Cocoa

Believe it or not, there is scientific research supporting the mood-boosting effects of drinking a bit of chocolate every day.

Not only is this a warm and comforting treat, but cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols that can have a positive effect on your mood. A dose of polyphenol-rich chocolate has been shown to help people feel calmer and happier.

Fermented foods

You’ve likely heard the buzz surrounding probiotics and gut health. But did you know that researchers believe that when your gut is flourishing, your mood will improve too?

Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and kimchi can provide you with a large helping of probiotics.

Fish

Incorporating more fish into your diet can benefit you in a number of ways. Fish is packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, folates and other important vitamins and minerals that support your mental and physical well-being.

Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important for brain health, and science has shown that adding fish such as salmon, albacore, tuna and anchovy to your diet can reduce your risk of depression.

Fruit

Chances are good that you’re not getting enough fresh fruit in your diet. Health Canada recommends eating roughly two cups of fruit per day, and it’s best to vary the types you consume.

Not only can fruit be a great way to satisfy a craving for sweets, but berries and bananas in particular are full of vitamins and nutrients that are known to lower your risk for depression.

Complex carbohydrates

Low-carb may be a diet trend right now, but eating the right kinds of carbs can actually help your mood. When you eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables, your body can better produce mood-boosting brain chemicals like serotonin and tryptophan.

Complex carbs are also digested more slowly than simple carbs, which stabilizes your blood sugar and energy levels.

Beat the Blues With Your Food

Eating the right kinds of foods this November can help you to feel happier and more positive even if the days are dark and cold. Stop by Famous Foods to stock up on these essentials!

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