Another year come and gone – can you believe we start 2019 at midnight tonight? This year has been a good one for us. As always, there were a few ups and downs, but it was definitely a year of growth, new experiences and good times. To celebrate another great year and the start of one that will be even better, we wanted to create a cocktail that’s perfect for ringing in the new year – the Midnight Hour Cocktail.

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The Midnight Hour cocktail is perfect for your countdown – it utilizes Hounds Black Vodka, which gives the drink its deep shade and adds a fun touch with edible glitter. It’s sweet, it’s tasty and it’s easy to make.

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All you need is 5 ingredients, and a little sparkle, to put this celebratory cocktail together. We decided to serve this in a coupe glass, though you can definitely use a martini glass if preferred.

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Print Recipe
Midnight Hour Cocktail
The perfect celebratory cocktail with a sparkling surprise
midnight hour cocktail, new year's eve cocktail, holiday party cocktail, easy vodka drink, easy vodka cocktail, drinks for celebration, hounds vodka drink, hounds vodka cocktail recipe, black vodka, creme de violette, giffard's creme de violette, simple syrup recipe
Course Cocktails
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cocktail
Ingredients
Course Cocktails
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cocktail
Ingredients
midnight hour cocktail, new year's eve cocktail, holiday party cocktail, easy vodka drink, easy vodka cocktail, drinks for celebration, hounds vodka drink, hounds vodka cocktail recipe, black vodka, creme de violette, giffard's creme de violette, simple syrup recipe
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except gold stars and sugar) in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for about 35 seconds. This drink needs a good amount of dilution and should be served very cold.
  2. Rim half of a chilled coupe glass (throw it in the freezer for a few minutes beforehand) with gold sugar and strain cocktail into glass.
  3. Garnish with a few edible stars, serve and celebrate!
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Cheers to 2019! Enjoy our Midnight Hour Cocktail and let us know what else you’ll be drinking in the comments below.

 

 

The venerable Old-Fashioned; the original whisky cocktail. Arguably, the finest whisky cocktail.

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Created sometime in the early 19th century, it follows the classic cocktail formula (spirit, bitters, sugar, water) and has remained mostly unchanged for the last 200 years. Where legacy is concerned, the Old-Fashioned reigns supreme.

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With the resurgence in cocktail popularity, the traditional version of this drink has been enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. Gone are the days of muddled fruit and seltzer water – we can safely relic those inferior recipes to the ’80’s memory bank, alongside neon ski-suits and insufferable synth-pop. Besides, this new crop of cocktail-aficionados prefer their drinks spirit-forward and unapologetic – something the Old Fashioned has in spades.

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So how does one “improve” on such an iconic drink?

With Canada Day looming, we’ve taken this version of the classic and pushed it as far as our Canuck politeness will allow. We’ve chosen a bold & spicy 100% rye whisky that can stand tall against the strong flavours of maple. We’ve brought it to a new level with the addition of sweet, smoky applewood and have topped it off with a slice of deliciously-candied bacon.

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While much of the world thinks of us as igloo-building, beaver-saving hockey players, this cocktail highlights some of our real attributes; namely, the resourcefulness and ingenuity to showcase domestic ingredients and really make the most of them. This Smoked Maple Old-Fashioned might just become one of Canada’s best-known exports.

Print Recipe
Smoked Maple Old-Fashioned with Candied Bacon
Instructions
  1. Add maple syrup, bitters and water to a mixing glass and stir to dissolve the syrup. Once combined, fill the glass with ice.
  2. Add the whisky and stir for about 15 seconds. Taste for balance; you want some dilution (from the ice melting) but the whisky should still be upfront.
  3. Introduce smoke to the cocktail. We've used a Breville Smoking Gun to add smoke directly to the mixing glass, but you could also use a kitchen torch to light the wood chips and place a glass over the embers to collect the smoke. Cover the glass and allow the smoke to incorporate with the cocktail for 5-15 seconds. A little smoke goes a long way.
  4. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass over a single ice cube.
  5. Twist the orange zest to express its oils onto the surface of the cocktail. Garnish with a candied bacon cocktail pick.
Recipe Notes

Although the applewood smoke and candied bacon really do elevate this drink, we're aware that some people may prefer ease over innovation; feel free to omit these last two steps and simply garnish the cocktail with orange zest. It will still be miles ahead of the Old-Fashioned you'd be served at most bars.

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The raw, fiery spirit of the rye plays beautifully with the rich sweetness of the maple syrup and both are complimented nicely by the applewood smoke. The combination of bitters introduces a tangible depth-of-flavour to the cocktail and also lends a subtle orange undertone to the drink, without overpowering the sharp edge of the whisky.

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The Old-Fashioned is beautiful not only in its simplicity, but also because of how its flavour profile evolves over time – as the ice cube melts, the drink becomes progressively more diluted and the balance between its elements shifts ever-so-slightly. Sipping this cocktail on a warm summer night is an experience every Canadian should enjoy as we celebrate our country’s 151st birthday. And, after a couple of these, you might even relax those exquisite manners we’ve become so well known for.

Well, I guess we can’t hide from it any longer. Valentine’s Day is a week away, and whether you celebrate it or not, I think we can all safely agree on one thing – chocolates and treats are hella delicious and February 14th is the perfect excuse to make something yummy for someone special, especially when it means you get to eat the leftovers. We don’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day but we absolutely fall into the group of people that love to nom on some tasty chocolates or cookies this time of year. Want a super easy Valentine’s Day treat you can throw together quickly and in a large batch? Look no further than these chocolate-dipped animal crackers.

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It honestly doesn’t get any easier than this. You only need three ingredients and about an hour of your time (most of it inactive) to through these delicious little treats together. Package them in a cute container and send them your crush’s/BFF’s/SO’s way and they’ll be super happy.

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I (Dee) actually made these for a friend’s birthday this past week and they were a big hit, judging by the snap I received this morning showing the half-empty jar. These chocolate-dipped animal crackers might not be anything fancy, but they sure are delicious – we’ve been snacking on the broken cookies that I ended up dipping in the chocolate once I was finished.

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These chocolate-dipped animal crackers also make a great treat to hand out to your kiddos and their friends, if you’re looking for something they’ll love. You can totally get the little ones involved when you make them as well!

And if Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, don’t worry – you can change up the colours of the chocolate wafers & sprinkles to match any occasion or event.

Print Recipe
Chocolate-Dipped Animal Crackers
These tasty, easy-to-make treats will definitely a be a hit!
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Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate wafers using double boiler method, about 1 cup at a time. If you don't have a double boiler, you can place a metal over a saucepan with water in it (about 1 inch). Heat water on low-medium heat (never let it go to a boil, or it will overheat the chocolate) and stir the wafers as they melt until they come to a shiny, liquid consistency.
  2. Once the chocolate wafers have melted, dip animal crackers about halfway in to coat. Lay flat on a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle sprinkles over top to set into the melted chocolate.
  4. Let sit for 20 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden and it's time to enjoy!
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What do you think of these chocolate-dipped animal crackers?

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With fall weather in full swing and Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, we’ve put together a delicious main that will hit all the right notes and offer an impressive presentation. This Maple and Herb-Roasted Cornish Hen recipe is the perfect alternative to a traditional turkey feast.

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While we love getting the whole family together for a big Thanksgiving dinner, we know that this isn’t always an option for everyone – some of us have smaller families and might only be cooking for 1-2 people. Some of us just don’t want to deal with all the prep required for a large holiday dinner, while others simply don’t enjoy turkey. These Cornish hens are easy to cook, stunning to serve and can be pulled together in just over an hour.

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This dish is all about using seasonal ingredients in a way that elevates their flavour to produce something that is simple yet elegant. The combination of herbs, maple and root veg work beautifully together and help to really showcase these lovely little birds. If you haven’t cooked Cornish hens before, this recipe will serve as a great introduction.

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Adding the compound butter underneath the skin keeps the breast meat juicy and ensures that the delicious herb flavours penetrate the entire hen. Basting the birds with the maple-herb butter will help the skin to crisp up for a gorgeous, golden-brown finish.

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And maybe the best part; cooking everything in one pan means less mess and almost zero cleanup. The flavours all meld together in the skillet, infusing the vegetables with the cooking juices from the hens. This dish is hearty, packed with taste and everyone gets their own little bird to pick at. These maple and herb-roasted Cornish hens are really easy to pull together and will look great on your table.

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Print Recipe
Maple and Herb-Roasted Cornish Hens
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 - 55 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 - 55 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place cast iron skillet inside to heat.
  2. Rinse and pat dry cornish hens. Salt the hens 15 minutes before cooking to draw moisture out. Pat dry again.
  3. Combine finely chopped herbs (use 1 tsp of rosemary) and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Carefully slide your fingers under the skin of each breast (from the butt-end of the bird) to create 2 'pockets' between the skin and meat. Rub 2/3 of the herbed butter into these pockets. Season the hens generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Melt remaining compound butter and combine with maple syrup to create the basting liquid.
  6. Toss potatoes in oil and remaining rosemary.
  7. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and oil the bottom. Place Cornish hens in skillet, breast-side up, and add potatoes, onions and garlic around them.
  8. Brush melted compound butter onto hens and place skillet back in oven. Be sure to brush the entire bird.
  9. Halfway through cooking time, add carrots to pan with potatoes and onion. Baste hens with the remaining maple-butter mixture.
  10. Continue to cook cornish hens until a thermometer placed in the meatiest part of the thigh reads a temperature of 165 degrees F; 45 - 55 minutes. Remove from the skillet, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Hi everyone! We’re so happy you decided to drop by for a visit. This Pumpkin Spice Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing recipe is the first one going up on our blog and we really hope you enjoy it.

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October is here, which means pumpkin-spice-everything, lots of tasty treats, cocktails that will warm you up and tons of festivities to partake in. We really wanted to kick things off with some killer recipes that will be perfect for your Thanksgiving celebrations and will make your fall season even warmer (and tastier).

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When it comes to fall, we think of  pumpkin picking, sweater weather and comfort food; warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg just seem to go hand-in-hand with the season, and what better way to put these things together than in a cupcake? I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good cupcake? They’re always a hit with both kids and adults and they travel well for family dinners and gatherings.

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We know not everyone is totally obsessed with pumpkin everything, so we made sure that these aren’t overly pumpkin-y. You still get some really nice pumpkin flavour and the spices work well together to bring this out without ever being overbearing. If you feel like adding a bit more just be sure to balance out the milk and use a bit less so as not to make these too runny. Feel free to also adjust the spice levels to add more or to soften them a bit. Either way, we know you’ll love these pumpking spice cupcakes!

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These cupcakes do take on a bit of a denser feel because of the addition of the pumpkin puree and will actually work really nicely as muffins as well in the morning. Throw on the cinnamon cream cheese frosting to tie everything together and you’ll definitely have a hit on your hands.

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Print Recipe
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
These pumpkin spice cupcakes are the perfect fall and Thanksgiving dessert, bringing warm flavours into a comforting treat!
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Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18-20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes
For the icing
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18-20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes
For the icing
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (makes 12).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, white sugar, brown sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add in melted butter, pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla and continue to combine.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients while continuing to mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are included.
  5. Divide the batter into the muffin tin and place on the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester or knife inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. For the icing, combine cream cheese, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Slowly add in the icing sugar and cinnamon, mixing until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cooled, spread over top.
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Let us know if you try this pumpkin spice cupcake recipe and what you think! Have any adjustments that make it even better? We love hearing about them!

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