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Making Christmas

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All your favourite Christmas recipes made easy

If you moved to Whistler to work and enjoy a little of the big life, chances are you left your grandmother and her box of recipes at home.

While life away from home has a number of advantages, and most of us wouldn’t trade ski town living for anything, it can get a little lonely around the holidays. We miss our families, friends, and most of all, that awesome holiday spread.

A roast turkey and all the fixings. Cakes, pies and shortbreads. Little plates of appetizers. Gingerbread houses. Warm beverages. Cool nogs.

You can buy most of these things in the store, but with all due respect to the food processing industry, the homemade treats always taste a little better.

Here are a few classic – and most important, easy – Christmas recipes to help you through the season.

Appetizers:

Roasted Chestnuts

While the Mel Torme song clearly indicates "Chestnuts roasted on an open fire" for Christmas, if you don’t have a fireplace, woodstove, or asbestos glove, you can make this traditional treat in the oven. For half a kilo of roasted chestnuts, you’ll need the following:

500 grams of chestnuts (duh)

1/4 cup of butter

A pinch of salt

A slightly larger pinch of ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit (190 degrees C).

2. Cut a small one centimetre incision into the shell of the chestnut to prevent it from exploding.

3. Bake the nuts in a pan for about 30 minutes. This will smell a lot like Christmas, and a lot like the PNE.

4. Cool and shell your chestnuts. They should come apart with a butter knife at this point, so put the cleaver away.

5. Place the nuts in a skillet with the butter and saute the mixture on high heat until the butter is melted, then put the skillet under the broiler until the nuts are golden on top. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon and serve.

This also works well as a desert with ice cream or egg nog.

Spicy Yule Cheese Log

I don’t know how traditional the cheese log/cheese ball is in your circles, but it’s something I always associate with the season. They’re incredibly easy to prepare and make great gifts. You’ll need:

3 packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

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