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Everything Christmas ~ Decorating Your Home ~ Recipes That Will Delight ~ Activities For Children

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2 Everything Christmas

December 2015

North Island Gazette

Decorating Triggers Happy Feelings It is not the holiday season until homes, stores and town centres are decorated in lights and tinsel. When entire neighbourhoods are enhanced by bows and animated figurines, the celebratory tone is set and decorations can trigger happy feelings associated with holiday gatherings. Some people find holiday decorating enjoyable and eagerly anticipate taking out storage containers and sorting through all of their memory-laden trinkets, while others are less enthusiastic about readying their homes for the season. No matter which group you fall into, the following are some simple tips to make holiday decorating easier. • Plan to decorate on a day when you do not have any other responsibilities. Choose to decorate on a day when you can devote your full attention to decorating, avoiding a day when you might be distracted by other things. If you prefer to decorate alone, ask a friend to watch the kids or have a spouse take them out of the house for a few hours. If decorating is a family event, find a day when everyone’s schedules are clear. • Take out the decorations the day prior. Hauling boxes and containers from the attic or basement can take a while. Take some time to move all of the decorating items to a main floor of the house the day or night before your decorating marathon. This way you won’t get discouraged or tired by the task even before the real decorating has begun. • Put the tree up first. The Christmas tree is the a focal point of holiday decorations, so set up the tree and decorate it before you get started on decorating the rest of the house. If you do not get to all of your other decorating, at least the tree will be ready and your home will still have some holiday appeal. Once the lights 7318301

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are on, decorating the tree is a great activity for keeping the kids busy while you handle other jobs. • Divide and conquer. Nothing makes holiday decorating go faster than delegating decorating tasks. Assign specific tasks to your helpers. Put one person in charge of decorating the living room while another handles the outside lights, wreaths and inflatable items. • Turn on the tunes. Working to music frequently takes your mind off of the work and will help pass the time more quickly. Have your favorite holiday playlist at the ready and turn up the volume. Sing along to the carols or contemporary songs while you are elbow-deep in decorations. • Take some breaks. Working hungry or tired may lead to sloppy work or frustration. There’s little chance of untangling a knot in the lights with your patience in tact if you haven’t eaten for hours. Plan some time for lunch while you sit and rest. Survey the work you’ve done and make a list of the next steps. After the hard work of decorating, you’ll likely have a sense of accomplishment. Now it’s time to enjoy the holiday scene and prepare for the excitement of the weeks ahead.


North Island Gazette

Everything Christmas 3

December 2015

Brighten Your Home With a Little Coastal Christmas Decor

Living on the North Island it’s only natural to perhaps thing about including a little local flavour to your Christmas decorating. With a few items found along the beach, it’s easy to brighten up your home with a Coastal Christmas scheme. For instance, a garland of seashells draped from a fireplace mantel look perfectly at home during the Christmas holidays. The same method can be applied to a festive wreath for your front door. Cone-shape seashells mimic the silhouette of Christmas trees so why not make a tiny tree farm as a tabletop display? When dry, arrange your tiny trees in a tray of beach sand. Let your imagination guide and inspire you.

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Similar to snow globes, glass beach scene ornaments are perfect elements for invigorating seasonal decor. Buy clear glass ornaments and add a layer of sand. Drop small seashells through the ornament opening until they’re layered along the sand in a balanced manner.

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4 Everything Christmas

North Island Gazette

December 2015

Ideas for Your Gift Enigmas (NC) Sometimes we wish we could just get a list from our friends and families to ease the stress of finding the perfect gift – especially for that person who is nearly impossible to please. Here are some gifting ideas for the gift enigmas on your list so you can enjoy a care-free shopping experience this season: DIYers – Purchase arts and crafts workshops for friends or family members who have a creative flare. They can put an additional skillset to use and make some personalized holiday décor with their new expertise. Zenfully Minded – Gift a spiritual friend with a private yoga class or weekend meditation retreat. They’ll appreciate their downward dog away from city life and find inner nirvana in a countryside sun salute. Foodies – If their risotto comes out perfect every time, pastry classes might be the way to go – even a soufflé can unnerve Michelin star chefs. A tour of a vineyard is a great gesture for those who are selfproclaimed or practicing sommeliers, too. Style Maven – Gift cards are a fantastic option because you choose any denomination, and you can get one directly from the recipient’s favourite retail destination. From homemade knits to haute couture, they’re not tied down to one article of clothing.

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North Island Gazette

December 2015

Everything Christmas 5

Create Your Own Traditions (NC) Traditions are important to every family. They can strengthen bonds and create meaningful and lasting memories. While many traditions are set in stone, try adopting some new rituals this season to get into the holiday spirit and bring your family together. 1. Rent a ping-pong table and host an elimination tournament with your family. The last person standing gets a free pass for not doing the dishes. 2. On Christmas Eve, implement a mandatory onesie dress code. To document your onesie party conduct a playful photo shoot with your family and friends. 3. Create a playlist of old tunes from your grandparents and parents’ generation, your teenage years and classic cheesy holiday songs. Turn up the music and have a dance party. 4. Combat the cold by incorporating tropical items into your holiday menu. Create Caribbean inspired drinks like coconut eggnog slushies or mandarin orange spritzers and beach inspired snacks like guacamole or crab dip. 5. Dust off and bust out your old school VHS player and watch old home videos from your childhood. 6. Have a slumber party with your siblings by camping out in the living room in front of the tree. 7. Host an ugly sweater craft session and contest with your

family. The person with the most ‘likes’ on social media gets to open the first present. 8. Make breakfast. Four words: ‘The Wife Saver Recipe.’ This breakfast dish that you can easily throw together the night before will save you when your family wakes up with hungry tummies after a night of festivities.

Green Ideas for the Season • In lieu of a gift, make a donation to a charitable organization that supports green initiatives. By following this list and checking it twice, it will be easy to have a festive and green gift-giving season.

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(NC) The holiday season is a time filled with joy and giving, but it can also be a time of great waste as packaging and wrapping from gifts finds its way into landfills. This year, follow these tips to spread the joy without the extra waste. • Don’t leave home without a healthy supply of reusable shopping bags. • Use reusable gift bags, newspaper or even fabric to wrap gifts instead of wrapping paper, which often cannot be recycled. • Send greeting cards electronically or make your own cards out of recycled materials. • Consider giving an experience, such as tickets to a local attraction or the movies, or something that’s homemade, like baked goods made from locally sourced ingredients. • If giving a physical gift, look for items that use minimal packaging or have packaging that can be recycled. Consider gifts made from sustainable and responsibly sourced material, choose electronics that are energy-efficient and opt for edible gifts that are organic or locally sourced.


6 Everything Christmas

North Island Gazette

December 2015

How to Host a Unique Party over the Holidays Entertaining season is in full swing, and many people’s social calendars are filled with parties, dinners and family gatherings. For those serving as host or hostess, setting your event apart from others can be challenging but not impossible. Explore these ideas to breathe new life into holiday parties. Choose a creative date. The weeks prior to New Year’s Day tend to be the busiest of the holiday season, so think about hosting your event outside of this four-week span. A pre-Christmas party or something in mid-January may be more amenable to busy guests. Parties that fall outside of the usual time period may be a welcome change for guests who are simply stretched too thin during the heart of the holiday season. Choose an unusual party time. Cocktail parties are the norm come the holiday season, so switch things up for your soiré. Host a brunch or luncheon, which figures to be less expensive than cocktail or dinner parties.

Invite children to the event. For a departure from the more typical adults-only holiday parties, include children in the festivities this year. Seeing the magic of the holidays through the eyes of children can add life to your party, and it can save you and your guests the cost of childcare. Create a photo montage. Collect images of your guests from the last year and create a slide show. Guests will likely enjoy reliving the previous 12 months and look forward to making some memories in the year to come. Throw a party you would love to attend. Instead of thinking of ways to make your party the best or the most unique for guests, figure out your likes and what makes you comfortable. If you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, there’s a good chance that demeanour will rub off on your guests.. The holiday season is littered with parties, many of which are difficult to distinguish from one another, but party hosts can take several steps to set their shindigs apart from other holiday gatherings.

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North Island Gazette

December 2015

Everything Christmas 7

Celebrate With These Fun Beverages Cinnamon Mocha Coffee 1/3 cup ground coffee (not instant coffee granules) 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup 2% milk 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons baking cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cinnamon sticks, optional Whipped cream, optional Directions In a coffeemaker basket, combine the coffee and ground cinnamon. Prepare 4 cups brewed coffee according to manufacturer’s directions. Meanwhile, combine the milk, sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes or until small bubbles appear on the sides of the pan, stirring occasionally (do not boil). Pour hot milk mixture into four coffee cups, then add cinnamon-flavored coffee. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and whipped cream if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Grinch Cocktail Recipe 2 ounces Midori 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1 teaspoon simple syrup Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour in all the ingredients. Shake well until chilled, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Candy Cane Cocktail Recipe 3/4 ounce SKYY Berry vodka 3/4 ounce peppermint schnapps 3/4 ounce white creme de cacao 1/4 ounce grenadine 3/4 ounce half-and-half (or 1 part heavy cream to 1 part whole milk) Crushed hard peppermint candy. Mix the vodka, peppermint Schnapps, grenadine and creme de cacao with ice in a cocktail shaker. Be sure to shake it up thoroughly. Rim a cocktail glass with crushed hard peppermint candy and pour the shaken mixture into the glass. Top it off with half ‘n’ half.


8 Everything Christmas

December 2015

North Island Gazette

It’s Okay to Get a Little Crabby With only 10 minutes of prep time, this Crab and Artichoke Dip comes together so quickly and easily. And once it comes out of the oven, you’ll just want to gorge on this dip like there’s no tomorrow. Just be sure to have some extra baguette slices for dipping because you’ll want at least 3 servings of this! Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 35 minutes Yield 8 servings This crowd-pleasing dip comes together in just 10 minutes, and it is baked to absolute cheesy perfection! Ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered 12 ounces lump crab meat 1 cup shredded fontina cheese, divided 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Instructions Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in artichoke hearts, crab meat, 1/2 cup fontina cheese, pepper jack cheese, green onions and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Hardy Buoys Smoked Salmon Baked Potatoes Prep: 15 min Bake: 40 min Great compliment to any meal. Can be made ahead of time, for this busy holiday season! INGREDIENTS: 4 medium baking potatoes ½ cup sour cream ½ cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon butter Salt & Pepper to taste

4 teaspoons minced chives 4 ounces Hardy Buoys Smoked Salmon – Candied Wild Bites (In store special month of Dec.)

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DIRECTIONS: - Scrub and pierce potatoes. Bake at 400 for 40-60 minutes or until tender. Cool until easy to handle. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato and discard. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin shell. - In a bowl, mash the flesh with sour cream. Stir in the buttermilk, butter, salt & pepper. Gently fold in the smoked salmon. Spoon into potato shells. Sprinkle with chives. Yield 4 servings. The Smoked Salmon Candied Wild Bites are on special in our Port Hardy store the whole month of Dec. Buy one pound $16.00 Buy five pounds, pay only $15.00/lb Buy ten or more pounds, pay only $14.00/lb

www.HardyBuoys.com

Spread crab mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina cheese. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 2025 minutes. Serve immediately.

Candy Cane Biscotti

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick) 1/2 cup sugar 3 eggs 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes Method: Heat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. If it’s hard to soften the butter, boil a cup of water and leave it in the microwave along with the butter. The steam will help soften the butter without melting it. Then, add the eggs and continue beating until everything is well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour/baking powder. Finally, stir in crushed candy canes. At this point, you should have a somewhat wet batter. If it is too wet (as in the dough sticks to your hand and there’s no way to shape it), add some more flour. Lightly flour a baking sheet and shape the biscotti into a long loaf. The recipe suggests nine 1-1/2-inch logs. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are cracked and ends just start to turn light brown. Be sure to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the wet dough from sticking. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325F. Cool logs 10 minutes on cookie sheet. Carefully remove logs to cutting surface. Cut into 1/2-inch slices with sharp serrated knife on a diagonal. Arrange pieces on same cookie sheet, cut-side down. Continue baking for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once, or until cookies are lightly browned and crisp on both sides. Remove to wire cooling rack; cool completely.


North Island Gazette

December 2015

Everything Christmas 9

Satisfy Their Hunger With These Yummy Mixed Crostini It’s easy to satisfy your guests and family’s different tastebuds with these mixed crostini.

DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the red peppers, thyme, and oregano and saute over high heat for five more minutes, until the peppers and onions are very soft. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside. In the same 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until smoking. Add the cavolo nero and the pepper flakes and cook until wilted and soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, place the cabbage mixture into a bowl, stir in prosciutto pieces, and set aside. Place the mushrooms on a sheet tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Chop the mushrooms into 1/4-inch cubes and place into a bowl with the juices that have exuded during cooking. Add the sage, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until smoking. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft and translucent, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool in a bowl. Tear the mint leaves by hand and add to leeks. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Drain the soaked beans and cook, covered with fresh water, over high heat until the beans are very tender but not waterlogged. Drain the beans, allow them to cool slightly, then mash with a potato masher or fork, taking care not to “whip” them too much. Stir in the minced garlic, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 cup olive

oil. Season with salt and pepper, add more oil if necessary to create a smooth texture, and set aside. Preheat the grill or broiler. Grill or toast bread for 2 minutes, until browned and firm. Taste each of the mixtures for seasoning and moisten any that may be dry with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of a lime.

Deck the Halls! As another holiday season gets into full swing, we’d like to display our best wishes, and deliver our gratitude to all of those who have visited us this year. For your friendship, we feel truly blessed and look forward to serving you again, soon.

Terry, Dale & Arlo Scarlet Point Seafood Ltd 250-949-6630 info@scarletpoint.ca

7317036

INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water to cover 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 4 tablespoons, 1 small red onion, finely diced 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and chopped into 1/2inch dice 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves Salt and pepper 1/2 head cavolo nero or kale, stalks removed and roughly chopped 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes 1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1/2 pound porcinis or portobellos, stems removed 4 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch thick rings 1/2 bunch mint, leaves only 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 loaf Italian stirato, or baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices, on bias


10 Everything Christmas

December 2015

North Island Gazette

Bake Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies Sand-dollar sugar cookies add a surprising seaside twist to Christmas sweets. Ingredients 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar 1 egg 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder 1 pinch salt In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes. Between waxed paper or on lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. With 2-inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out shapes, re rolling any scraps. Using spatula, place cookies, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper‚ lined or greased baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 375F (190C) oven until pale golden on bottoms and edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on pans on racks; transfer to racks and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.) After making classic sugar cookies, use a knife to cut five

small slits approximately one half-inch from the edge of each cookie. Press a flat almond slice into each slit to complete the look.

Festive Pinecone Cheese Ball

Add a fun and festive flavour to your holiday season with this unique pine comb cheese ball. 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onions 1 Tbsp. chopped red bell peppers 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp. lemon juice dash ground red pepper (cayenne) Beat cream cheese and cheddar in small bowl with mixer until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except nuts; mix well. Refrigerate several hours. Shape into pinecone; position almonds. Garnish with rosemary stems.


North Island Gazette

Everything Christmas 11

December 2015

Fun Crafts for Your Family to Create Christmas is the perfect time to settle down to some good kids crafts: the days are short, the cold discourages playing outside, crafting will keep your kids busy and take away some of their impatience and excitement while they wait for Christmas Day to arrive. You will need: Red felt Needle and thread Sequins, buttons and other decoration Fabric glue Ribbon Instructions: Fold the felt in half and cut two stockings out. Use blanket stitch or a small running stitch to sew the stockings together, leaving the top edge open. Cut a length of ribbon and fold in half to make a loop and sew or glue inside the stocking. Decorate with buttons, glitter, felt shapes, sequins, beads however you like. Hang on the Christmas tree filled with candy canes and other goodies. Or why not make 24 Christmas stockings, add numbers and make your own advent calendar!

Craft with pompoms

Hand Crafted Christmas The Hobby Nook

250-949-6544

Come in and pick up everything you need to create a hand made ornament for the one you love

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Here is a simple and fun idea to get your kids into the Christmas spirit. Help, or have them make wreaths and candy cane ornaments to put on the family Christmas tree. While the photo shows traditional red and green, any colour can be used to fit your holiday decor. You will need one inch pompoms, tacky glue, recycled cardboard from soda or cereal boxes, a hole punch and a piece of ribbon for hanging (and for a bow on the wreath). Start by cutting shapes out of the cardboard. After the shapes are cut, punch the hole which will be used to hang the ornaments and add the ribbon. This should be done before adding the pompoms because it will be more difficult later. After cutting out the shapes, applied glue and carefully place each pompom on the cardboard. When finished sit something heavy on top for a few minutes to get the edges of the pompoms glued well to the cardboard. Hang on your tree.

5685 Hardy Bay Rd, Port Hardy


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December 2015

North Island Gazette


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December 02, 2015  

Section Z of the December 02, 2015 edition of the North Island Gazette

December 02, 2015  

Section Z of the December 02, 2015 edition of the North Island Gazette