holiday entertaining

Holiday Entertaining with Local Food

By: Carly Chagas
December 21, 2017

Can you believe the holidays are already here? December has flown by! We are looking forward to taking some time to slow down and spend time with our friends and family. Our favourite way to entertain during the holidays is around the celebration of local food.

You may be asking yourself, what’s in season this month? Good news! There are a number of fruits and vegetables available in Canada this month. Some of the available produce includes butternut squash, apples, cranberries, pears and mushrooms. We’ve included a list of some of our favourite recipes below for holiday entertaining with local food, we hope you enjoy them.


The focus of holiday entertaining is usually on the meals themselves. We’ve found a couple of simple beverage recipes that you can prepare ahead of time and will show off your bartending skills.

Cranberry & Apple Sangria – The key to this holiday beverage is the cranberries. Did you know Bala in Ontario is known as the “Cranberry Capital of Ontario”? Tip: freeze the cranberries ahead of time to be used as ice cubes (without watering down the drink!).

Slow Cooker Apple Cider – Having a big pot of apple cider cooking in your slow cooker all day will make your house smell amazing, but it is a great drink to sip on all day.


Serving appetizers before the main event is the best way to get your guests excited. The recipes below are simple to put together, but will impress your guests.

Cheese Plate – Nobody complains about a good cheese plate. Head to your local cheese shop and purchase a variety of cheese depending on the number of guests you’re serving. If you want to enhance your plate, include fixings such as crackers, roasted garlic, red pepper jelly, balsamic glaze, apples and pears.

Butternut Squash Crostini – Local food on a crostini is always a good crostini. We love switching up our crostini toppings depending on what’s available.

Cranberry Brie Puffed Pastry Bites – This is the best kept secret of holiday parties. The bites sound complicated, but they are incredibly easy and always a hit.

Main Course

We’ve included some of the classic main dishes below in addition to some plant-based options!

Turkey and/or Ham – if your family likes to stay traditional, purchase a local turkey from a reputable butcher like Rowe Farms.

Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Stuffing – Now that you have a turkey, you have to stuff it. Take this non-traditional spin on stuffing with the addition of our favourite winter squash.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower or Mushroom Wellington – To stay inclusive for all your guests with dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s great to add a vegetarian or vegan main dish. Even your meat eaters will love these plant-based recipes.


If you want some more holiday entertaining ideas, check out our Pinterest board. What are you bringing to your table this holiday season? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and be sure to tag us. You can also follow the conversation on all things local food and sustainability by following #eatlocal.