I'm not one for Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. It's a bit too intense for me. I think if I made my own my opinion may change but until then I'll stick to alternatives. It doesn't help that I despise marzipan. To make an equally lovely centrepiece I thought I'd try my hand at a festive trifle: mulled wine jelly, panettone and orange juice and softly whipped cream reminiscent of a snow scene. All it needs is some edible glitter; but they'd run
Is it just me or does everyone seem to open their fridge at some point in December and a wodge of Stilton has magically appeared? Cheese and biscuits is a must over the festive season but sometimes you can get left with an odd or and end of cheese that's not only in the way but is also stinking the fridge out. Enter Stilton scones. They take minutes to make and around 10 minutes to bake so they are a quick and simple way to use up a bit of cheese.
Around every corner there seems to be some sort of turkey and cranberry and/or stuffing sandwich. All those crazy festive sandwich fillings come out now for us to enjoy in an intense but short space of time; some more questionable than others. It seems you can put almost anything in a sandwich; I'm waiting for one to come out with a Brussels sprout and mincemeat filling. It is nice to be able to take in all the flavours of Christmas in one mouthful
I vaguely remember making these biscuits before, many years ago, but I can't remember what they tasted like. It was about time I tried them again because I love the idea of them hanging on the tree catching the light. What I didn't anticipate was the sheet brute force needed to break the boiled sweets up. I thought it would simply involve a swift whack with a rolling pin but after several increasingly ferocious attempts they just wouldn't break. So
A few years ago a friend of mine bought me one of those blank cookery books that you write up your recipes in over time. I had always cooked with my Granny and this seemed the perfect place for her to store some of her recipes for me to refer to in the future. One of the recipes she included was one for Sage, Chestnut, Apple and Onion stuffing which had a rather festive feel to it. She had also included a recipe for sausage rolls a few pages along
Although not my favourite meat you can't very well ignore a turkey at this time of year. I'm not going to be cooking a whole turkey (there's only two of us!) so instead, to make a nod to this festive bird, I made these spiced turkey meatballs. They are great with the chillied cranberry sauce. This recipe does have a whiff of a turkey curry about it but it's an ideal dish to make for party finger food.
You will need (for a good platter
Confession time. I'm not a great fan of mincemeat. It's just a bit too strong for me. Having said that I am a big fan of the mince pie; so long as there's more pastry than mince. To mellow the minciness of these mince pies I have mixed the mincemeat half and half with marmalade. There's also some orange zest in the pastry to give them a real citrus zing. I think if someone had given me this less intense mince pie as a child I would have been more
At this most wonderful time of year I would estimate that I'm around 10% booze, 20% pastry, 40% cheese, 10% bacon wrapped sausages and 20% mince meat. It's not a good look. The thought of tucking into a cucumber really doesn't appeal to me. Not at all. No. If I am in need of some cleansing and a break from all the indulgence it still has to be in keeping with the season. Hence walnuts, clementines and pomegranates all become great mates through the
As much as it's lovely to have plenty of ideas for food to cook with a festive feel you can't very well just make do with mulled wine for the month of December. No indeed. At some point in my life I went from having no spirits in the house to being on the verge of opening a drinks emporium. It seems to have crept up on me (I'm sure it has to everyone) and I have all sorts of odds and ends to do something with. The brandy is being used to make sloe
I do like a bit of cheese. Sometimes it's best with crackers and pickles, sometimes it's best melted onto or into something but then there are those times where you bake a whole cheese and then spoon it all out, all runny and lovely, mostly into your mouth and somewhat on the table. I'm not sure why I associate a Vacherin Mont D'or with Christmas but it doesn't get much better than warm, melted, faintly garlicky cheese scooped out with delicious homemade