December is here, which means the holiday season has kicked into high gear. Yay! It’s always fun to dress up in something sparkly, while enjoying fabulous food and drinks with friends. My favourite part is decorating and making the place look really festive! I recently came across gloss dining table sets which have arrived just in time for the holiday season. I am so excited to put on a big spread and sit around the table with family and friends to enjoy the festivities. Last weekend, I was invited to spend an evening at Angelie Sood’s new home. Angelie is the blogger behind The Lifestyle File, but you can also catch her on YouTube. She hosted a holiday cocktail party for some friends and created a beautiful and delicious spread.
I know I’ve mentioned this before (here and here), but I’ve been so lucky to have met some wonderful friends through blogging. This is one of the reasons that I can’t imagine what life would be like if I hadn’t started this blog.
Anyhow, I met Angelie in the summer, when we both attended the Spark Sessions photography workshop. We had never met before, but because we sat next to each other, we ended up as partners in an ice breaker game. In that ice breaker, attendees partnered up and learned about each other. Then, you had to introduce your partner to the rest of the group. Yes, that’s as nerve-wracking as it sounds, but it’s how we became friends! Ever since, we’ve been friends via Instagram. This is why it was so nice to be invited to her holiday cocktail party and to catch up again in person.
All I can say is, Angelie sure knows how to throw together a cocktail party! She served fabulous drinks and a huge spread of appetizers. Angelie partnered with Bonne Maman and used their orange, cherry, blueberry and caramel jams in each of her menu items. Angelie told me that her favourite way to use Bonne Maman jam is for cheese plates, but the blueberry jam is delicious on pancakes. I definitely need to try that.
Bonne Maman Jam:
In case you haven’t heard of Bonne Maman, their preserves are all produced in France, using natural ingredients. They don’t use artificial colours, additives, or preservatives in any of their products. The only ingredients used in Bonne Maman jam are fruit, sugar, cane sugar, concentrated lemon juice and fruit pectin. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name (I was too), “Bonne Maman” means “grandmother” in French. All of their jams are packaged in traditional facetted jars, topped with a red and white gingham lid, and handwritten label.
As you can see from the photo above, the menu was extensive! Angelie served a variety of cured meats, crackers and cheese. One of the cheeses was an herbed goat cheese, topped with a spiced cherry jam chutney. One of my favourite dishes of the night was the “spoonful of Christmas dinner.” This dish included mashed potatoes, chicken meatballs, peas, gravy and a cherry jam glaze, served on a pretty white spoon. So good! I also really loved the orange marmalade dipping sauce that Angelie served with chicken tacquitos.
The drinks were just as good as the food. To round off the meal, Angelie served hot apple cider in glasses that she lined with Bonne Maman caramel spread.
Photography by Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Bonne Maman
This party was such a fun way to kick off the holiday season, with other Toronto bloggers and foodies. As a side note, I was excited to bring home some of the Bonne Maman jam as a takeaway, because I’m inspired to whip up a few holiday appetizers of my own!
A big ‘thank you’ to Angelie for hosting and Bonne Maman for partnering with me on this post.