My Very Own ‘O’ List: Olive’s Favourite Things

Left your Christmas shopping to the last minute and stumped for gift ideas for the foodies on your list? Here are a few of my favourites.


In his cracking new book, Jamie’s Comfort Food, Jamie Oliver turns one-hundred classics from around the world into mind-blowing recipes, perfecting the method, and layering on flavour in each step. Brilliant. Ultimate Black Daal is fragrant and sumptuous. My son cooked an awesome No. 1 Toasted Cheese Sandwich with a crispy cheese crown. We aim to set up a little charcoal grill in our garden this summer and try the Chicken Tikka Masala. I’m eying the Hummingbird Cake for my birthday and Ossobuco alla Milanese for my husband’s. When you are going to indulge, this is your book.  Nutritional info is included. A fantastic gift for the passionate cook.


Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: by Ina Garten. I don’t have this book yet (my BFF and I are exchanging copies this Christmas) but often rely on the Barefoot’s recipes for entertaining (I always start with half the salt). She has finally published a book focusing on make-ahead recipes. Recipes include Ginger Shortbread, Cauliflower & Celery Root Soup, Make-Ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes...”how gorgeous is that?”. Great for someone who loves to entertain.


I haven’t tried the recipes yet but this book is so splendid, I have to tell you about it. À la Mère de Famille is filled with recipes from a well-loved Parisian confectioner (founded in 1761). French cakes, jams, caramels, chocolates, cookies, ice creams, candies, and drop-dead-gorgeous candied fruit (whole pineapples, kumquats, and pears – oh là là!). Total eye candy. Hope I have time to make the Candied Orange & Lemon Slices before Christmas. A real treat for the serious, francophile foodie who loves pretty sweets.


A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse: by Mimi Thorisson. Though I follow Mimi’s swoon-provoking food blog, Manger, I’d love to own her cookbook too.  In her blog, Mimi’s storytelling and her husband’s stunning photography give us a glimpse of a dreamy, romantic life in charming rural France with classic, seasonal recipes to bring home to your own kitchen. Judging by the reviews, her recently released cookbook does not disappoint.


Fitbit One

I have been using a Fitbit One wireless activity and sleep tracker since September 2014 to log my food and track my steps, stairs climbed, and calories burned…and I love it. It took some work setting up my favourite foods and meals; I prefer to cook from scratch and the database is flooded with prepared foods. But now that I have my own favourites set up, Fitbit’s online journal is an easy way to log my food and track my caloric, protein, fibre, carb, fat, and sodium intake. It syncs wirelessly with my devices (compatible with select smartphones). I chose the tiny One clip rather than the bracelets; it’s easy to slip into my pocket.

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Stocking Up For Christmas: Cheese Boutique

One stop at Cheese Boutique and all stocked up with gourmet treats for the holidays!


Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in fine cheese. So easy for entertaining, so luxurious. I asked the experts at Cheese Boutique to describe three cheeses they might like to serve on their own cheeseboard this Christmas.



Brebiou: a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of France. Very ripe due to its 4 months of wet aging. Quite mild with a nice finish.


Glengarry Celtic Blue

Glengarry Celtic Blue: a soft, creamy cow’s milk blue with a mild, buttery flavour. Produced in Glengarry, Ontario by award-winning Glengarry Fine Cheese.


Majestic Henry

Majestic Henry: A pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, aged in barley and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Developed by Cheese Boutique co-owner Afrim Pristine in conglomeration with Samuel Adams. Made in Quebec exclusively for Cheese Boutique. Aged 6 months in-house. Named after Afrim Pristine’s dog (the rind resembles his coat).

Go for the glorious cheeses and come back with so much more. Cheese Boutique is brimming with gourmet goodies from around the world. Cole’s Great British Christmas Pudding from England, Kirriemuir Gingerbread with Candied Orange from Scotland, JCQ Almond Filled Pastry Ring from Holland, and DiGennaro Marrons Glacés from Italy are just some of the special Christmas treats.

Cheese Boutique has the widest variety of marzipan I have ever seen. There are marzipan chocolates, fruits and ladybugs…


Marzipan ladybugs and fruit.

and adorable, little marzipan pigs.


Traditional marzipan pigs.

I am smitten with these beautiful marzipan squares from luxury Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Beautiful Neuhaus marzipan squares.

You’ll find great gourmet stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and special delicacies to make your Christmas extraordinary.

Merry Christmas!

Cheese Boutique
45 Ripley Avenue
Toronto, ON
M6S 3P2
Telephone:  416-762-6292
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Home Sweet Home: Oakville’s Elm Hill Cookies

Whether your loved ones are travelling from across the pond or across the province, here is a sweet way to welcome them home for the holidays: a mini gingerbread house from Elm Hill Cookies.


Aromatically spiced and artisanally crafted using the finest ingredients. These absolutely adorable, wee cottages are decorated with charming fondant pieces.


Very reasonably priced. Perfect for homecomings or hostess gifts.

There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays (music by Robert Allen, lyrics by Al Stillman, artist Perry Como)

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Olive My Love

If you live in my neck of the woods and are interested in placing an order for my shortbread cookies, you can find pricing and all of the information you need on my Shop Olive My Love/ Contact Olive page on the very top menu of my site (beside Grocery Store and Farmers Market Directory) or by clicking here:

Please take note of my Christmas order cut-off dates below.


Last date to place an order to guarantee delivery before Christmas will be: Sunday December 7th, 2014.

Last week of delivery before Christmas will be: Monday December 15th to Friday December 19th.

If you have missed these dates please contact me. I may have some frozen dough still in stock and will try my best to accommodate you.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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Visions of Sugar Plums: Gracie’s Christmas Cookies

Olive has Christmas all wrapped up – cookie-wise that is. Between my own personal stash of Olive My Love frozen cookie dough and these handmade cookies I bought at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, all I will have left to do is bake some squares.


You’ll find the kiosk for Gracie’s Christmas Cookies inside the Peddler’s Village building at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. I was told they freeze beautifully so I bought a stash to freeze for Christmas. Gracie’s makes more than 30 varieties. Now I can sleep peacefully while visions of Gracie’s Cookies dance in my head. Aren’t they just adorable?

Gracie’s will be at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market on Thursdays and Saturdays, from Nov 13 to Dec 20, 2014.  Click here to find other Gracie’s sales locations at craft shows in Southern Ontario (including December dates in London, Niagara Falls, and Toronto).

 Christmas baking all wrapped up…CHECK!

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