Just Peachy!

Peach season has finally arrived! When you live in the Green Belt like we do, that’s a pretty big deal. Is there anything better than taking that first sweet and juicy bite out of a locally grown stone fruit? We think not!

Peach Recipes | Christy's Gourmet Gifts

But there is more than just one way to enjoy this fuzzy favourite; from festival ice cream parfaits, to party drinks, or sweet treats, peaches are a versatile ingredient that makes any event extra special.

One of our favourite ways to enjoy peaches is with a kicked-up Peach Sangria. Citrus, white wine, and the delicious peachy flavour with a touch of bubbly is sure to put a smile on any peach-lover’s face.

Peach Sangria Recipe | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario

Here’s how to make it:

White Wine Peach Sangria Recipe
1 Bottle White Wine
1 cup Peach Nectar or Peach Juice
1 Liter Ginger Ale or 7UP
Local Peaches, Sliced
Ice

  1. Place sliced Peaches into the bottom of a serving jug.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Add White Wine.
  4. Top with Peach Nectar or Peach juice.
  5. Top with more ice and more peaches. Stir.
  6. In glasses, put Gingerale.
  7. Pour the sangria mix over the gingerale and stir with a spoon.
  8. Garnish with extra peaches and enjoy!

Peach Sangria Recipe | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario photo 2

We love the peach craze so much, we had to create our own homage to the tree-fruit, with peach-shaped cookies! A soft sugar cookie, decorated with sweet royal icing is sure to bring your party, event, or even just your Instagram account, to the next level.

Peach Cookies, Burlington Ontario | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Decorated Cookies

And we aren’t the only ones that love peaches! In nearby Winona, Ontario, they host the annual Winona Peach Festival – celebrating the fruit that they grow right in the region. Highlights of the festival include the famous Peach Parfaits topped with Ice Cream, the “Peach of a Car” show, and the amazing local retail vendors.

Find the festival in Winona this Friday August 24th, Saturday August 25thand Sunday August 26th. The details about the festival can be found at THIS LINK.

Do you have a favourite way to enjoy peaches? Share the details with us in the comment below!

For more from us, follow @christysgourmet on instagram

Meet Buttercup

Meet Buttercup 

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Travelling Sweets Trailer

We are excited to announce a brand-new addition to the Christy’s Gourmet family; “Buttercup”, or “Cup” for short!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 2

Just in time for the Summer season, the new “Buttercup” is our mobile sweets pop up. She is available for rent or for hire in the Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville and Milton areas via Christy’s Gourmet Gifts.

Here at Christy’s we love to celebrate traditions with our customers and now we can join you anywhere!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 5

Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, shower, fundraising event or something in between – Buttercup puts an extra special spin on the occasion, guaranteed to make your event memorable…and she sure is instagrammable!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 4

Our sweets pop up can be set up anywhere provided a flat service is available.  We will travel to your event, set up, serve and tear down. Choose from a variety of sweet options or customize to meet your needs, like:

  1. Fresh Waffle Pops
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Dippity Do I Love You (Ice Cream Sandwiches, Cheescake Pops, Buttertarts). What ever you can think of, we can dip it in delicious Belgian chocolate
  4. Customize (Cotton Candy, Popcorn – you name it we can do it)

We are always thrilled to work with you to see your vision become a reality. Ask us about the do it yourself options too!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 3

Find Buttercup sweets trailer and the Christy’s Gourmet Gifts team every Saturday at the Ainslie Wood Community Market at GRAIN&GRIT Brewery at 11 Ewen Road in Hamilton

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 6

For more behind the scenes info on the Christy’s Gourmet biz, or to find out where Buttercup is today, follow us at:
Instagram www.instagram.com/christysgourmet
Facebook www.facebook.com/christysgourmet
Website www.christysgourmetgifts.com

Do you have an idea for Buttercup? Contact us here

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Bean to Bar Chocolate

Chocolate making is an art form. Tougher still, is the bean-to-bar process, which requires many different steps and precision…but results in some of the most amazing sweets you’ll ever taste! We are pleased to say that we now offer both options at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts – creating chocolate in-house with products like our Christy’s Crunch, and creating handmade bean-to-bar chocolates, some of them vegan!

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate

With Bernhard’s expanding passion for high-quality chocolates, and the knowledge he has gained along the way, we are able to create innovative products that aren’t readily available at local chocolate shops, one of our favourites being our Coconut Milk Chocolate Bean-to-Bar. Bernhard was first inspired to create bean-to-bar from his trip to Costa Rica – he explored the chocolate industry from the grower and agricultural end, and was inspired  by the farm-to-table movement that’s currently flourishing in the culinary industry.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 2

To give you a behind the scenes look at the detailed process, Bernhard shares a bit more about our creation process for bean-to-bar chocolate below:

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 11 Source high-quality processed beans from the farmers. Bernhard uses a variety of high quality beans, choosing to source them from different farms and locations like Honduras or Mexico, to sample the different flavours that are available to us. Currently, he is sourcing his beans from Peru, but each shipment of beans he receives is a different variety.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 32 Processed beans then go into the crushing machine to bring the beans down to smaller, workable pieces and separate the husks.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 43 A winnowing machine is then used to separate the smaller cacao nibs from the husks. The husks are set aside to make anything from tea to garden filler.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 54 Then, the chocolate liqueur is created by placing the nibs into the refiner. Once the chocolate has heated, sugars, any extra cocoa butter (which adds a smooth mouth-feel), and spices or flavourings can be added, and then we continue to process in the refiner for around 48 hours.

5 From there, we complete the tempering process and place into chocolate moulds for cooling.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 2

The bean-to-bar process may be a long one, but the products that come of it are even more customizable flavour-wise, and more raw. Some of our favourite bean-to-bar creations in the shop have been our antioxidant bar with cacao, goji berries and blueberries, our gianduja bar, and more!

Interested in making your own chocolate at home? To temper your own chocolate, follow the instructions below or read our detailed blog post here.

Temper Chocolate - Tabling Technique
The tabling technique is best done on granite or a stone counter top. (Use parchment paper to cut down on the mess). I like doing this method because it gives me a real feel for the chocolate and let's me see it start to crystallize.
Ingredients
  • Chocolat callets
Instructions
  1. Measure out the amount of chocolate you need. Melt the chocolate in a clean dry bowl in a microwave. Do short bursts of 30-45 seconds, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted and you reach 45 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover a countertop with a piece of parchment paper. Pour roughly ⅔ of the melted chocolate onto the parchment.
  3. With a pallet knife or spatula, work the chocolate until it starts to crystallize (the step right before it starts to harden), if it goes too far and begins to get clumpy, you will have to start again from Step 1.
  4. Once it starts to crystallize, put the chocolate from the parchment paper back into the melted chocolate in the bowl. Mix it together and make sure it all blends in.
  5. To ensure readiness: Milk and White Chocolate should be brought to 28-30 degrees Celsius. Dark Chocolate should be brought to 31-32 degrees Celsius.

 

For more talk of chocolate, follow us at:
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Facebook
Website

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Mother’s Day Party Two Ways

Girls Night In or Afternoon Tea?
Is your mom more of a Girls Night In with wine type, or an Afternoon Tea and brunch type? Good news! Whichever way your mom enjoys spending her time, we have Mother’s Day party ideas for both options… so you can give her just the celebration she was hoping for.

When planning an Afternoon Tea and Brunch for mom, the first thing you’ll have to think of is the tea. We have some fabulous loose leaf tea artisans in the area, who make such a large variety of loose leaf flavours, that anyone could find a new favourite! Some of our top picks include: Tealish’s Caramel Crunch Black Tea, Sloane Fine Tea Merchant’s Coconut Almond Rooibos and 3 Teas’ Spa Blend Herbal infusion.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Tea Party Cookies for Mothers Day

In addition to the tea – impress your mom with a hand-decorated Tea Party themed cookie pack, available at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts. After all, you’ll need something to serve alongside those yummy drinks.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Tea Party Cookies for Mothers Day 2

And of course, you can’t have a brunch without a main dish! Below is a recipe that has been handed down through generations in our family, a classic and simple recipe that yields big results: Brodie Pancakes! The secret here is the special Brodie flour (which can be found at Bulk Barn and other bulk food stores), which is self-rising – giving you a fluffy, light pancake…almost like a soufflé.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day Photo 3

You can either enjoy the Brodie Pancakes plain, and top them with butter and maple syrup, or add in additional ingredients like blueberries, chocolate chips, or bananas. The options are endless!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day

Brody Pancake Recipe
2  Eggs
3/4  Cup White Sugar
2  Cups Brodie Flour
1-1/2  Cup Milk
Blend altogether.  Cook on fairly hot pan greased with a little butter.  Turn when the surface is bubbly. If using mixer, beat eggs and sugar together, add milk, then beat in flour.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day

___

When planning a Girls Night In with mom, the first thing it starts with is the movie! Some of our favourite films to watch with mom include: ‘Freaky Friday’ (for a fun, family friendly flick), ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ (a romantic comedy, if that’s more your mom’s thing) and ‘The Blind Side’ (a heart-warming drama, featuring a mom who just rocks!).

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Girls Night Out Party Cookies for Mothers Day photo 2

But movie night just isn’t movie night without the snacks! Serve up our hand-decorated Girls Night In cookies, in the shape of a Martini glass, a Leopard print shoe and a polka dot X O.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Girls Night Out Party Cookies for Mothers Day

And with it, a delicious martini! See below for one of our favourite Chocolate Martini Recipes, that pairs perfectly with those cookies.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Martini for Mothers Day 2

Chocolate Martini Recipe
1 1/2 fluid oz Chocolate Liqueur
1 1/2 fluid oz Creme de Cacao
1/2 fluid oz Vodka
2 1/2 fluid oz of Cream (Half-and-half)
1 cup ice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lid. Shake until mixed and cool. Pour into a chocolate drizzled cocktail glass. Enjoy your special drink! 

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Martini for Mothers Day

That martini won’t last forever.

That’s where one of our chocolate-dipped rosé bottles comes in! Choose your favourite rosé to enjoy with mom, purchase it, and bring it over to us. We will dip it in a chocolate that is paired to the drink. Not only is the look of the chocolate-dipped bottle impressive, you can pull the ribbon tabs on the chocolate, the chocolate will fall onto a plate below and you’ll be left with a tasty pairing to enjoy the full movie through! Our favourite rosés are: LOLA Blush Pelee Island VQA, Kew Vineyards Rosalie, or if you’re feeling very fancy – Moet & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Dipped Wine for Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day!
___
Where to find the products?
Tealish Fine Teas’ Caramel Crunch Black Tea: www.tealish.com
Sloane Fine Tea Merchant’s Coconut Almond Rooibos: www.sloanetea.com
3 Teas Spa Blend Herbal: www.3-teas.com
Tea Party Cookie Pack: Christy’s
Girls Night In Cookie Pack: Christy’s
LOLA Pelee Island Rosé: Website
MOET & Chandon Brut Champagne Rosé: Website
Kew Vineyards Rosé: Website

Don’t Forget to Follow us!
Instagram: @christysgourmet
Facebook: ChristysGourmetGifts

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Central American Chocolate Tour – Part 1: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4Central America Chocolate Tour – Part 1
By Bernhard Mueller, Master Chocolatier at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts

Do you follow us on Facebook? If so, you probably would have noticed the posts about my chocolate adventure to Central America; Costa Rica to be specific.

Well, I’m back, and I’m ready to share my new-found chocolate knowledge with you wonderful ChocoTalk blog readers!

I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica on a Thursday.  It was 25 degrees C and breezy.  I had a lovely visit with my brother Gerhard who travels to Costa Rica often.  He showed me the sights of San Jose including the markets and local chocolate shops.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

I must say I was most impressed with all the food and not just the chocolate.  Fresh fruit, veggies and eggs the colour of sunshine…Wow! I could get used to that.  I loved walking the farmers market. I wanted to buy everything! I was most interested in a fruit called soursop.  The locals claim this fruit has cancer curing properties. I am not sure if this is true, but I really did enjoy its sour yet subtly sweet flavour…a must try for anyone planning on visiting this region.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

After my brief visit with my brother I headed out on a long venture to the other side of Costa Rica on the Carribean Coast just north of the Panama border.  I was told I must rent a 4×4 in order to successfully arrive where I was headed and wow were they right!  I arrived at approximately 2:30 in Puerto Viejo at my beautiful destination the Mango Walk cacao farm.

The beautiful sounds of exotic birds greeted me as I walked the path to start my chocolate tour with the chocolate maker from Caribeans, Paul Johnson.  This is Paul on the right. He is originally from Minnesota and moved to Costa Rica 12 years ago where he learned the art of chocolate making from bean to bar.  I can’t wait to tell you more about this guy…. But that will come soon.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1

As part of my introduction to the Caribeans chocolate farm we enjoyed a chocolate tasting experience  perched on top of a hill overlooking the jungle canopy with the Caribbean coast off in the distance.  This view was by far one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in my life!  The sounds of jungle birds, howler monkeys and crashing waves contributed the overall experience.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

It was here in the tasting lounge I felt my chocolate  journey truly began.  I paired delicious single plantation chocolate with spices like cayenne pepper, rosemary, mint, garlic, anise, sea salt and more.   The chocolate was dark, bold and had fruit undertones.  My personal favourite was the cayenne pepper with sea salt combination.

Tasting Pairing Evening

After my tasting experience, I checked into my cabin.  I felt like I was entering the movie Jurassic Park!  My cabin was nestled in the jungle forest….It was beautiful.  All that beauty did come at a cost though…… because when you stay in the jungle, you get the jungle!  I am not going to lie, I was glad there was a cage around my cabin most nights.  Enjoy these pictures of my cabin and the critters that lived with me for 7 days.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

Some photos courtesy of www.themangowalk.com

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

Some photos courtesy of www.themangowalk.com

Well that’s all for now.  My cup of Costa Rica coffee and delicious dark chocolate awaits.

In my next blog I will tell you all about the bean to bar experience.  Please stay tuned for more chocolate adventures.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday April 9thth from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of Costa Rican bean-to-bar chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

A Lesson in Chocolate Tempering: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4

A Lesson in Chocolate Tempering

Ask any chocolatier in the industry what one of the most important skills is to learn and they will likely tell you the art of tempering.

ChocoTalk with Christy's Gourmet Gifts Master Chocolatier | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate and Gift Shop

Tempering chocolate is the art of bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature and viscosity, so that you don’t get ‘bloomed’ chocolate.  Think of cocoa butter and chocolate like oil and vinegar, they desperately want to separate – this creates bloomed chocolate. Tempering chocolate creates a chocolate/cocoa butter utopia, where the chocolate is not able to separate within itself

There are two types of bloom:

Moisture Bloom – Sugar crystals pull in moisture and expand. With the moisture bloom you will see spots throughout the chocolate.

Fat Bloom – Cocoa butter separates from the rest of the ingredients. With the fat bloom you will see a hazy look throughout the chocolate.

Below you will see a photo of chocolate with a fat and moisture bloom, compared to a properly tempered chocolate bar. Which would you rather eat?! 😉

ChocoTalk with the Master Chocolater | How to Temper Chocolate | Burlington, Ontario

How can you tell if you have a properly tempered bar? Even if there are no signs of a moisture bloom (spots) or a fat bloom (hazy), a tempered chocolate will have a tell-tale ‘snap’ sound when you break it.  An un-tempered bar will bend slightly when you try to break it. In addition, tempered chocolate ‘sets’ quickly with a glossy finish, where un-tempered chocolate will ‘set’ slowly and you’ll end up with a dull finish.

Are you interested in learning more about how to temper chocolate? Take a look at the how-to below OR join me at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops!

-Bernhard, The Master Chocolatier

Temper Chocolate - Tabling Technique
The tabling technique is best done on granite or a stone counter top. (Use parchment paper to cut down on the mess). I like doing this method because it gives me a real feel for the chocolate and let's me see it start to crystallize.
Ingredients
  • Chocolate callets
Instructions
  1. Measure out the amount of chocolate you need. Melt the chocolate in a clean dry bowl in a microwave. Do short bursts of 30-45 seconds, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted and you reach 45 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover a countertop with a piece of parchment paper. Pour roughly ⅔ of the melted chocolate onto the parchment.
  3. With a pallet knife or spatula, work the chocolate until it starts to crystallize (the step right before it starts to harden), if it goes too far and begins to get clumpy, you will have to start again from Step 1.
  4. Once it starts to crystallize, put the chocolate from the parchment paper back into the melted chocolate in the bowl. Mix it together and make sure it all blends in.
  5. To ensure readiness: Milk and White Chocolate should be brought to 28-30 degrees Celsius. Dark Chocolate should be brought to 31-32 degrees Celsius.
Notes
*Tip from the Master Chocolatier, Bernhard*
Drizzle some of the chocolate on your finger once you think you have brought it to correct working temperature. Touch your lip with the chocolate. If the chocolate reads cold, it is good to go.

 

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday February 6th from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of a new favourite single origin chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to chocolate, join Bernhard at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops on Thursday, February 11th, Friday February 12th or Saturday February 13th. More information can be found at our website: http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com/store/item/?id=162

Stay tuned for a video where we discuss different chocolate tempering techniques.

Meet Bernhard, the Chocolatier: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4Meet Bernhard, the Chocolatier

We are very excited to announce that Bernhard Mueller, the Master Chocolatier and Baker at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts, will be starting his own segment on the blog called ChocoTalk!

In this segment, Bernhard will discuss everything from chocolate tips and tricks, recipes, behind the scenes at Christy’s and more.

_________________________________________________________________________

Want to get to know the expert? Check out our interview with Bernhard the Chocolatier below!

Bernhard the Chocolatier | Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Burlington, Ontario

What inspired you to become a chocolatier?

With a European background, I grew up tasting chocolate. Chocolate was a central part of all our family traditions. This fueled my passion and love for fine, high-end chocolate. As a teen, I worked in the German club and was involved in helping to make European dishes and traditional baked goods. I was always intrigued by the artisanal nature of European chocolatiers. Their passion for hand crafting chocolate using only quality ingredients inspired me. Later in life, I was blessed to meet my wife Christy, who was a talented baker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Together we started Christy’s Gourmet Gifts and with her encouragement I persued my dream of becoming a chocolatier. It has been a sweet life adventure and I look forward to all that the future brings.

Are you working with any noteworthy ingredients lately?

Right now I’m experimenting with pairing 70% French Dark Chocolate and health foods – such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, buckwheat sproats and goldenberries. Our customers have been raving about it so far! A perfect way to start the New Year, antioxidants and chocolate!

Chia Seed French Dark Chocolate Bar | Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Burlington, Ontario

Do you have a favourite chocolate?

I know as a true chocolatier I should prefer dark chocolate, but I have a sweet tooth and to me there is nothing better than a piece of creamy milk chocolate.

What is your favourite part about being a chocolatier?

I love experimenting with new products, and being creative with chocolate pairings. Trying and bringing in interesting single origin chocolate is also my favourite part about being a chocolatier. For instance, I just brought Amedei Porcelana bars from Italy into the Christy’s Gourmet Gifts shop. These are created with one of the rarest cocoa beans in the world. How amazing is that?!

_________________________________________________________________________

Bernhard the Chocolatier at Christy's Gourmet Gifts

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday February 6th from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of a new favourite single origin chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to chocolate, join Bernhard at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops on Thursday, February 11th, Friday February 12th or Saturday February 13th. More information can be found at our website: http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com/store/item/?id=162

Fall Product Launch

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Leaves are falling, the kids are back to school and the smell of Pumpkin Spice lingers in the air. We don’t know about you, but our favourite thing about Autumn arriving is that it means another season of new product launches!

In addition to our ever popular Christy’s Crunch, we have added a plethora of new seasonal products like:

Pumpkin Spice Belgian Hot Chocolate

Just stir one of our Belgian Milk Chocolate spoons into a cup of steamed milk and you’re ready to enjoy the flavours of Fall!

Pumpkin Spice Belgian Hot Chocolate - Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Burlington, Ontario

Pumpkin Spice Brittle with Pepitas

This thin brittle with a salty sweet taste has pepitas throughout and is already a favourite among customers!

Pumpkin Spice Brittle - Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Burlington, Ontario

Apple and Caramel Dip

Warm the caramel dip, or keep it at room temperature – no matter how you serve this delicious dip, it makes an awesome snack with a fresh seasonal apple!

Caramel Apple Dip - Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Burlington, Ontario

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Dip with an Apple

Caramel Dip with a Pumpkin Spice twist! This delicious seasonal snack is ready to enjoy, no difficult prep work required.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Dip with Apple - Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Burlington, Ontario

Oak Leaf Sugar Cookie (By special order only)

Our Chocolate-dipped Vanilla Sugar Cookies make great favours for your Fall events!

Oak Leaf Cookie - Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Burlington, Ontario

Stop by the shop at 3530 Mainway or give us a call at 905-336-9080 to try some of our new products!

What Fall-themed products would you like to see at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts? Let us know in the comments below! 

First Day of School Traditions

The first day of school is a time of excitement, stress and tons of new experiences. It’s a time full of high emotions, but also a time for making memories! In our opinion, the best memories usually revolve around family traditions.

We collected 5 of our favourite ‘First Day of School’ traditions from around the web, to give you some ideas for this year!

1. Photo on the first day of a new school year

Perhaps one of the most popular First Day of School Traditions – taking a photo of your child on the first day! We love the idea of putting all the photos into a scrapbook as a keepsake for when they are older. These cute year-by-year printables from DesignsByNicolina are not only adorable, they help you keep each year photo organized and in order.

First Day of School Traditions 1

http://designsbynicolina.blogspot.ca/2013/08/free-first-day-of-school-download.html

Find the year-by-year printables at DesignsByNicolina.

2. Shop for ‘Study Buddies’

We love this idea for the little ones! What makes homework more fun? Having a partner to work with, of course! One fun idea is to bring each child on a shopping trip to buy a new stuffed animal ‘Study Buddy’. Not only is homework more fun with your study buddy, it adds a feeling of comfort to children during times of transition and change.

First Day of School Traditions 22

3. First day of School Interview Page

School is all about growth and change, but sometimes we blink and the change and growth happens far too fast! A great way to document changes is to start with this Free School Interview Page printable. Get your child to fill it out every year, and then put them all together or in a time capsule. Keep those memories forever!

First Day of School Traditions 3

Find the Free School Interview Page printable at Giggles Galore.

4. A Sweet Treat

A long hard day of school deserves a sweet treat after school! Surprise them with some Christy’s Crunch, and a pun-ny tag – “Let the Number CRUNCHing Begin”!

First Day of School Traditions 4

5. Fashion Show

Everyone knows that one of the best parts about Back to School is getting a couple new outfits for the year! On ‘School Year’s Eve’, why not have a kids fashion show? Roll out the red carpet and let them show off their new outfits. What a confidence booster for the first day!

Do you have any First Day of School Traditions? Please share them with us in the comments below!

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Vanilla Bean Milkshake

For the past few weeks, we noticed everyone posting online about a Canberra, Australia, cafe’s milk shakes. We have seen the photos (we’re sure you have too) and we can understand why everyone is so captivated. These milkshakes look decadent and over-the-top amazing!

Patissez Canberra Milkshake

Patissez / Facebook / Via Facebook: patissez.pty.ltd

We wish we could try them….if only they weren’t so far.

Unfortunately, we can’t make it out to Australia anytime soon – so we settled for the next best thing…making a delicious, sweet & messy milkshake at home!

See below for the recipe:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Milkshake Recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Vanilla Bean Milkshake 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Container Christy’s Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 2 cups Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • 1 cup 1% Milk
  • Whipped Cream for topping
  • 1 Package of Christy’s Salted Caramel Chocolates
  • 1 Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie – broken into pieces

How To:

  1. In a blender, blend together the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and the Milk until it’s frothy and totally mixed together.
  2. In the meantime, take the top off the Salted Caramel Sauce and microwave it until it’s liquid-y (about 30-40 seconds), stirring half way through.
  3. Take a large mason jar, fill the bottom and the sides with the warm Salted Caramel Sauce.
  4. Pour the ice cream/milk mixture from the blender into the mason jar, covering the salted caramel sauce.
  5. Top the milk shake with a big spiral of whipped cream.
  6. Place pieces of Salted Caramel Chocolate into the whipped cream.
  7. Crumble the Vanilla Bean Sugar cookie pieces overtop of the whipped cream.
  8. Top with any leftover Salted Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Syrup.
  9. Enjoy!