Foodie Adventures

The Annual Vogel-Maple Holiday Party

Last Friday, my husband and I hosted our fifth annual holiday dinner party. To anyone wondering, the “Vogel-Maple” is a mixture of my husband’s last name and my biggest Canadian obsession. We came up with it the first year and it became associated with the event ever since. In any case, with my studying and paper writing, we decided to make our event much smaller this year than it has been in the past. We always encourage a potluck, mostly so we can taste the delicious variety of dishes that our friends come up with but also to save ourselves from all the work involved in cooking for 20-40 people. I did however spend a lot more time in the kitchen this year than I usually do. It’s not so much that I planned on cooking and baking so much but I was having a blast in the kitchen and couldn’t stop myself to come up with more and more dishes, even though I knew we’d have a much smaller crowd than usual.

As usual, we had a great time with our friends and, also as usual, I took pictures of the food but completely forgot to photograph any human beings. We also ended up with a ridiculous amount of leftovers that we’ve been happily snacking on for the past two days, even after filling up our freezer!

As the night went on, I forgot to get visual evidence of several fabulous dishes brought by our guests…but trust me, the pumpkin bread, the bacon-wrapped dates, the vegetarian chili, the chicken empanadas, the spicy butternut squash and the sausage bites, to name only a few, were A-MA-ZING!

Here are some of the culinary highlights of the early evening:

Vari’s chicken empanadas and my tourtière (Quebec pork pie)


The Olms’ pumpkin bread, my homemade marshmallows, my bûche de Noël (Christmas log cake), and Seth’s (very)spicy and tasty butternut squash dish (being opened when the picture was taken)…


The hit (or at least the talk) of the night: the snowman cheese ball! The back was riped apart but everyone wanted to keep the front pretty… DSC_1130

My Florentine bread… DSC_1145

I really wish I would have taken more pictures of everything and everyone but I guess it’s a good sign if your guests are so interesting that you forget how obsessed you are with your camera! 🙂

This was definitely the year where I spent the most time in the kitchen preparing for the party and I think this speaks volumes to my developing love for cooking. As the year is coming to an end, it is interesting to see the change in my culinary interest. Five years ago, when I sliced my finger trying to cut a mango for our first ever Vogel-Maple party, I would have never thought that I would actually enjoy cooking one day. Although I am still a clumsy mess, I definitely have a broader range of dishes and as far as I am from being at the Master Chef level, I am getting better and better at seasoning, cutting and all that jazz. After childhood education, the kitchen has definitely become by biggest passion.

With that, I would like to wish you all a very merry holiday season! Hug your family and friends (virtually if you can’t reach some of them like me!), cook, bake, giggle, and enjoy the magic in the air at this time of the year.

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