We spoke (and ate) with one of Canada’s favourite celebrity chefs, cookbook authors and restaurateurs about eggs and one of this season’s biggest trends in holiday entertaining.
Turns out, even top notch celebrity chef (and new mom!) Lynn Crawford is looking for new ways to celebrate with friends and pull out the entertaining stops and still find time to cook her signature dishes—all without going crazy. The solution? Brunch. This beloved morning meal might just be the new cocktail party for entertaining this holiday season.
“Making brunch doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Crawford. Given the trend of simplifying and streamlining, it makes sense that some of our cooking and entertaining styles shift from night to day. Hosting or going to brunch “doesn’t eat into your day,” says Crawford, and it still gives both parties those extra pre-party hours everyone covets. If you’re cooking brunch at home, Lynn advises to pick dishes that can easily be made ahead of time or whipped up quickly, like her Spicy Chorizo and Tomato Frittata with Pepper Jack Cheese, which she had breezily mixed together moments before we arrived for this interview.
Since we’re all looking to trim budgets, brunch is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on flavour or fun—since it’s a shorter window of time, you tend to eat and drink way less. But, that doesn’t mean the menu will be boring, and don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for cocktails, too! Brunch is a moveable feast and can be as intimate or jam-packed as you want. Lynn recommends starting sometime after 11:00 A.M. but cautions that brunch isn’t something you should ever have to set an alarm for.
Try Lynn’s make-ahead frittata:
Preparing this delicious frittata during the holidays has become a Crawford Christmas tradition. It is a perfect dish for brunch, lunch, dinner or even a late night snack on cold snowy nights. Frittatas can easily be made ahead of time, saving you from spending the whole night in the kitchen. Plus, they’re great to make for a potluck dinner—this recipe will feed a crowd and the dish is easily transportable.
SPICY CHORIZO & TOMATO FRITTATA WITH PEPPER JACK CHEESE
8 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
2 chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup pepper Jack cheese, grated
¼ cup parsley and cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 375*F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, peppers and chorizo. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion and peppers are soft and the chorizo is completely cooked thru. Add the eggs and tomatoes and stir together. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until egg has set and cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and parsley leaves.
The singer-songwriter and philanthropist comes clean on her ten-year job as a housekeeper, why she finds cleaning therapeutic, when she taught her daughter to do laundry and why she has teamed up with Tide purclean to launch its new eco-friendly detergent.
Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado grew up in the family business—the cleaning business. “I come from a housekeeping background. My mom ran a laundry and cleaning company, and from a young age, I would go along with her to help out on odd jobs,” says Furtado. For the Grammy-award winner, lending a hand with the housekeeping turned into her first decade-long job. “I was a professional housekeeper at a hotel for 10 years in Vancouver,” says Furtado.
So, when Tide approached Furtado to help launch purclean—their first bio-based detergent (65% of the ingredients are made using renewable energy sources, such as plants)—the decision was an easy one. This more eco-friendly option is also hypoallergenic, free of dyes, chlorine and phosphates, and is produced in an environmentally-friendly manufacturing site.
Along with using a more sustainable detergent, Furtado limits the amount of loads she does per week and uses energy-saving cold water. “Every little bit counts: I drive a hybrid car so I only have to fill up on gas once a month. I make my own cleaning products with vinegar and water. When I’m spring cleaning or moving, I donate everything from faucets and cabinets to furniture to Habitat for Humanity so they can reuse them instead of putting them in a landfill,” says Furtado.
Furtado taught her daughter, Nevis, who is now 13-years-old, how to do laundry when she was 10-years-old. “At the time, she was saving up to buy an iPad, so Furtado gave her a list of chores to do, including laundry, to save enough money for the big purchase. “I felt I was teaching her a really valuable skill that she’ll use into adulthood, but she already mastered it at a young age. She’s really good at folding, too,” says Furtado.
Along with raising a teenage daughter and managing a successful music career (she has sold 16 million albums), she is committed to her environmental and humanitarian philanthropic work. This year, she helped host We Day, an event that empowers kids to contribute to positive changes in their communities, as well as acknowledging many who do. She also remains very close to the organization, Free The Children—she has helped raise $1 million dollars for a new all-girls school in Narok in rural Kenya. This Christmas, Nelly will visit the girls at the school.
In March 2018, Furtado will release her seventh album, The Ride. Most of the songs were written outside the studio while doing other things, such as laundry or in a car ride in Kenya during one of her Free The Children missions.
These days, when she’s not travelling, Furtado continues to clean her own house as she finds it puts her in a meditative mood, giving her the opportunity to focus on her music. “It’s part of who I am,” says Furtado.
These small surprises will make the people on your list smile—no matter their personality—and won’t break your budget.
Enamel pins, $8 each, pennypaperco.com.
Snowball maker, $4, ebay.ca.
Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infused With Garlic, $5, terradelyssa.com.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duos, $17 each, sephora.ca.
Nadège Thé Vert Grand Cru Chocolate, $10, nadege-patisserie.com.
Happy Holidays Squish Mix gummy candies, $8, squishcandies.com.
Philosophy Hands of Hope Ornament, $14, sephora.ca.
Mini lint rollers, $12, meetflint.com.