The Sweet Life! with Christine Kropp; Cookbook Review - Set for the Holidays

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Christine Kropp

Anna Olson, Canada’s favourite pastry chef, released this holiday cookbook in time for the holiday season.

Set for the Holidays features recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The first half of the cookbook begins with savoury menus; from hosting a brunch, or a cozy dinner with friends, to an elegant plated affair. The first chapter begins with cooking basics, outlining suggestions for preparation, storage, cooking tools, and ingredients. Ending with a chapter on what with the leftovers when the holidays are over.

Many of the recipes have a corresponding photo, helpful hints and ways to add “sparkle” to your dish. In our home I’m in charge of planning the appetizers and then dessert, my husband cooks the main meal. I’m excited to try a few of the recipes noted in “Entertaining a Crowd’ like mini tourtieres, cheddar and chive shortbreads and lobster mac n’ cheese squares.

I loved that Anna shared her organizing tips for planning a dinner party, writing a grocery list for effective use of time shopping, to the final cooking-prep list.

The second half of the cookbook is dedicated to baking for the holidays. Although Anna is a trained chef, she is loved for talent as a pastry chef; and this section of the cookbook doesn’t disappoint. The first chapter again starts with baking essentials, assisting the novice baker with the tools and ingredients used in the coming recipes. The following chapters covers holiday favorites; cookies, squares, confections, pies/tarts, and finishing with plated puddings.  

I have always wanted to make my own fruit cake, but the detailed steps always made it seem a daunting task. The recipe in this book for a fruitcake square sounds like a simple alternative.

If you are looking for a cookbook with detailed information on hosting dinner parties, how much to feed a crowd, or setting up a dessert buffet, this book is perfect to add to your wish list.

Would you love to know more about this cookbook, and how to create a festive holiday meal, or make festive gifts for neighbours and friends?

Join us at our Cookbook Club, Wednesday, December 18th. Find more details at

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