A Homestyle Holiday

This festive feast is easy to prepare and full of hearty, comforting flavour.


Photos by Erik Putz

Pineapple-Ginger-Glazed Ham

Prep | 25 min Total | 2 hours 50 min Serves | 16

  • 3-kg smoked bone-in cooked ham
  • 3 ½ cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced ginger
  • ¼ cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 325F. Slice off and discard any ham rind and netting, if needed. Place ham, fat-side up, in a 9 × 13-in. baking dish. Using a sharp knife, score top and sides of ham in a diamond pattern, about ¼ in. deep. Cover with foil and seal to pan edges. Bake 15 min per 500 g, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  • Combine pineapple juice, sugar, ginger and soy in a medium saucepan. Boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 30 to 35 min. Discard ginger. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and Dijon.
  • Remove foil and brush ham with a quarter of the glaze. Continue baking, brushing with glaze every 15 min, until a digital thermometer inserted into thickest part of ham registers 140F, about 45 min. Let stand 10 min before slicing. Serve with remaining glaze.

Per serving 377 calories, 37 g protein, 16 g carbs, 19 g fat, 1 g fibre, 1,523 mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin B6.

Cheddar & Onion Buttermilk Biscuits

Prep | 20 min Total | 35 min Serves | 12

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated old cheddar
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions (about 3)
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Grate butter into flour mixture and toss to coat. Add cheddar and green onions and gently stir until coated.
  • Reserving 2 tbsp, stir buttermilk into flour mixture until dough just comes together. Do not over-mix. Turn out onto lightly floured surface, lightly knead 3 times and pat out until 1-in. thick.
  • Cut out 12 rounds using a 2 ½-in. round cutter, gathering and rerolling extra dough, or cut into 12 squares using a sharp chef’s knife, and arrange 1 in. apart on prepared sheet. Brush with reserved buttermilk.
  • Bake until tops are golden brown, about 14 min. Transfer to a rack and brush with melted butter.

Per biscuit 221 calories, 7 g protein, 22 g carbs, 12 g fat, 1 g fibre, 401 mg sodium.

Tip: Cold, grated butter is key to a perfect biscuit. When the hot oven hits the cold butter bits, it creates steam, which pushes everything up for a high-rising, flaky biscuit.

Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Prep | 30 min Total | 30 min Serves | 8

  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces, or 10 cups baby kale
  • ¼ cup canola oil, divided
  • 450 g brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced (5 cups)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 200 g roasted chestnuts, quartered
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1⁄3 cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts

  • Massage kale with 1 tbsp oil, using fingertips, in a large bowl until softened (omit this step if using baby kale). Add brussels sprouts, cranberries and chestnuts.
  • Whisk lemon juice, tahini, 1/4 cup water, remaining 3 tbsp oil, garlic, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Per serving 311 calories, 6 g protein, 33 g carbs, 19 g fat, 6 g fibre, 325 mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin A.

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage & Pears

Prep | 20 min Total | 1 hour Serves | 8

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 cup diced pancetta
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 small red cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced (14 cups)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 pears, sliced into wedges
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add pancetta and cook, stirring until crisp, about 5 min. Add onions and cook, stirring until browned and softened, about 8 min. Stir in garlic, cloves and cinnamon and cook for 1 min.
  • Add cabbage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until slightly wilted,
  • minutes. Add sugar and vinegar and cook, stirring until softened, 10 min. Add pears and ⅓ cup water and cook, stirring, until pears are cooked and cabbage is tender, 10 to 15 min. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  • Stir in butter and parsley.

Per serving 184 calories, 6 g protein, 25 g carbs, 8 g fat, 5 g fibre, 374 mg sodium. Good source of vitamin C.

Scalloped Potatoes

Prep | 25 min Total | 1 hour 35 min Plus 15 min cooling time Serves | 12

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 kg Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into scant ¼-in.-thick slices (12 cups)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup grated gruyère

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Heat milk and cream in a pot over medium-low.
  • Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring until softened, 5 min. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 min. Slowly add milk mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until slightly thickened before adding more liquid.
  • Stir in salt and pepper and cook, stirring until thickened. Add potatoes and cook over medium, stirring bottom of pot to prevent browning, until slightly tender, 8 to 10 min.
  • Spread half of the potato mixture in a 3-L oven-safe dish. Place dish on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan and top with remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and gruyère. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and continue baking until top is golden and potatoes are tender, 20 min. Let stand for 15 min before serving.

Per serving 361 calories, 12 g protein, 32 g carbs, 21 g fat, 3 g fibre, 544 mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin B12.

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Prep | 45 min Total | 1 hour 15 min Plus 1 hour chilling and cooling time Serves | 12

Brown butter icing

  • ⅔ cup butter
  • 125 g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Cake

  • 1 cup fancy molasses
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring until nutty brown, 4 to 5 min. Pour into a medium bowl, leaving brown bits in pan. Let cool 10 min. Refrigerate until butter is cold and firm, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 9-in. round cake pans with oil and line bottoms with parchment.
  • Whisk molasses with hot water in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in baking soda. Let stand for 10 min.
  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, oil, both sugars and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in molasses mixture. Gradually whisk in flour mixture just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 min. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 min. Run a knife around edge of pans and turn out onto rack. Remove parchment and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Beat cold brown butter with an electric mixer on medium-high, until light and creamy, about 3 min. Beat in cream cheese until smooth, about 4 min. Reduce speed to medium-low. Gradually add icing sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until combined, 5 more min.
  • Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread half of the icing overtop. Add second cake layer. Spread remaining icing overtop. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger.

Per serving 605 calories, 5 g protein, 85 g carbs, 28 g fat, 1 g fibre, 437 mg sodium. Excellent source of iron.

Tip: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap. Make brown butter up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container.