Chocolate for Christmas: The Canadian Tradition

Nanaimo bars are creamy, chocolatey squares that originated in Nanaimo (pronounced nah-NYE-moe), Canada, a small town just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, the origins of the bar (aside from its location) are unknown. When I lived in Victoria back in 2007, I was determined to make a trip to Nanaimo just to say that I had been there…and of course I ate a Nanaimo bar. The bars are so popular in that city that tourism officials produced a “self-guided trail” brochure, leading tourists to several locations offering traditional Nanaimo bars and variations. Continue reading

Festive Treats on the Cheap

Elephant-in-the-room time: The holidays don’t exactly come free. There are gifts to consider, and travel expenses, and Santa Yoda tree-toppers. So what’s a budget-conscious person supposed to make when invitations to Ugly Sweater Party potlucks arrive? You could hole up at home for the season. (Not fun.) You could blow your budget in the name of holiday spirit. (Not wise.) Or you could make one of these three wallet-friendly treats and smile inwardly about their price point. If you don’t tell, I won’t!

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My Go-To Potluck Christmas Dessert

The holiday season is a pretty busy time of the year for most of us. From school parties to family gatherings to office parties, there always seems to be some festive get-together or celebration that we’re headed to during the month of December. And if you happen to be anything like me, you probably rarely show up to a holiday gathering empty handed. Sweet treats are kind of my specialty during the holiday season, so holiday desserts are usually my go-to potluck dish for this time of year. Continue reading