I had the pleasure of working with Trish Magwood during my time sourcing gourmet product for Indigo. Trish is a James Beard award-winning chef, a food and lifestyle consultant, a mother and a lovely, energetic and enthusiastic person. She recently launched her second cookbook, In My Mother's Kitchen, which is filled with delicious and simple family food recipes inspired by her mother and grandmother. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Trish on her best tips for holiday entertaining.
1. What are your top 3 holiday entertaining at home tips?
1. Bake way ahead of time (just did mine today) – stuff that’s quick to make and that you can freeze so you have host, teacher gifts as well as dessert and stand-by treats for post-Christmas.
2. The Christmas box – keep a box or two of tree décor and other finds on stand-by so you can dress up your house in a second. Check out Indigo, West Elm, Ikea to spruce up your kit with fun things like paper mache reindeer and glass snow globes.
3. Controlled pot luck – whether you are hosting or heading to your sis-in-laws, divide and conquer the meal and decide early who does what.
2. What is your favourite Christmas cookie recipe?
All my fave cookie recipes are in In My Mother’s kitchen – definitely Mardi’s shortbread and Stewie’s ginger cookie – all simple old fashioned baking.
3. What is the perfect gift for a wannabe chef? What about for a foodie?
Food as gift is a no brainer for anyone who enjoys good food. Throughout the year I collect little food grabs like Knock Knock paper pads (Note from Kena: the "All Out Of" pad is a must-have!), retro egg timer etc so I have a little stash of gifts for foodies. For good home cooks, a knife is a treat – MAC is my fave, chef knife is the essential. Be sure to tape a penny to it for luck. Pantry essentials like a flaked sea salt and your favourite oil and vinegar in a wine bag is a great gift to stock a solid pantry.
4. How do you set a festive table? I’m a sucker for pretty xmas crackers and pretty festive napkins and its time to pull out the good glasses and flatware. Bows downs the centre of the table with pomagranates in a trifle bowl lets me grab my décor at the grocery store!
5. What do you need to be prepared for last minute holiday hosting? A good night sleep! Oh, and a stocked bar, pity those who forget to hit the lcbo. Fun, fancy kid-friendly and non-alcoholic drinks too – fizzy juices in fun glasses and everyone feels special.
6. What should you bring when you are invited to someone's home over the holidays? The make ahead baking you whipped up (or as close to it as you can get)!
7. As a Mom, chef and entrepreneur you balance a lot everyday...based on your own experience, what are your tips for women attempting to do the same? Organize ahead, keep it simple, enlist help and accept that all will not be perfect!
8. What is your morning routine? COFFEEEEEE, at least try to get it going before the kids wake up. Never happens but that would be ideal.
9. If you had an hour free, where and how would you choose to spend it? A massage at Chi, a boxing class at Totum, coffee with a friend.
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To read 9 Questions with Joe Mimran, click here.
To read 9 Questions with Mireille Guiliano, click here.
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