Appetizer Recipies from the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws' First Anniversary by Ama Scriver

Just recently, Loblaws Carlton (inside the old Maple Leaf Gardens) celebrated their first anniversary. This huge event kicked off by not only getting into the spirit of their anniversary but also the spirit of the holidays by unveiling a giant gingerbread house near the main entrance.

Many other surprises were in-store for all those the weekend of the anniversary, like giveaways of 400 gift cards to the store, several different challenges (including pizza making) and ballots to win a $5,000 shopping spree.

In the Loblaws Carlton kitchens, we were invited up to try out some of the President's Choice holiday party appetizers from their in-house executive chef, Mark Russell. Two of my favourites from the afternoon, that I thought would be perfect for any upcoming Holiday event were the following:

Mini Jacket Potatoes

· Prick the potatoes and bake until crisp- You can also pop them in the microwave for an instant dish

· Cut the top and open up the jacket (skin)

· Mix sour cream cheese, bacon and chives together – I like this blend but you can stuff them with anything you like

· Spoon into the open jacket and serve

Mini Arancini

For a new twist on risotto that will leave family and friends in awe, create these crispy rice balls filled with tomato or meat sauce and mozzarella. Serve them on individual spoons for an elegant presentation.

· Combine cooked risotto, egg and your choice of cheese

· Form into small balls, adding a pocket for the gooey centre

· Add sauce and mozzarella to the pocket, then fold over and seal to create a ball

· Deep fry until golden and crisp, allow to cool before serving to your guests

The Loblaws Carlton Location is a massive store with a huge selection of cheeses, fish/meats and bakery items. All of their cooking classes (with their in-house chefs) always cost between $20-50 and offer an fabulous foodie experience. Try out some of their appetizer recipes over the holidays and break out of your retail grocery shell.


Photos by Yuli Scheidt.

Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a foodie and music fiend. She is a food writer for Pink Mafia with her 'Eats' column and works as an event planner full-time. She enjoys random adventures that you can follow each and everyday through Twitter (@amapod) or follow through Instagram (username: amapod).


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