Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Chocolate Ice Cream Bombe - Dessert

Chocolate lovers will just love this dessert - rich chocolate ice cream encased in slices of chocolate Swiss roll and topped with even more chocolate!

It's really, really easy to make too - continue reading for my step by step picture instructions.  

Christmas Turkey Curry - Easy Boxing Day Meal

With loads of leftover turkey from Christmas - what to do on Boxing day?  
Make a nice curry of course!

Nothing tricky, just a quick dinner ready in less than 30 minutes that looks good and tastes good too.  You can of course make this at any time during the year with leftover chicken from the Sunday roast.

The Best Mulled Wine Recipe

In my opinion some mulled wines can taste like medicine, which is not what I was looking for and neither are you I'm sure! After searching many recipes, Jean-Christophe Novelli's was the one.  
Lovely vanilla, star anise, cinnamon, lemon grass, cardamom pods, bay leaves and cloves, what's not to like?  I did titivate his recipe, but only very slightly...... 

recipe mulled wine

He did add a pomegranate to his but I couldn't get one. So with my way of thinking as Port also begins with a 'P' I thought a glass of Port would substitute nicely!  I also added dark Muscovado sugar.

The Best Cranberry and Port Sauce - Very Easy to Make

Seriously easy Cranberry sauce with port. This recipe makes enough for loads of people.

All you need is Cranberries, port, a saucepan and a few other bits and bobs and you'll have the best cranberry and port sauce ever!

Balsamic Glazed Beetroot and Carrots

Another fantastic idea from Marks and Spencer this Christmas!  Beetroot and Chantenay Carrots roasted with a Balsamic and Honey Glaze.   Of course, as soon as I spied them I had to have a go at making them myself.

Just a few minutes to mix up a bit of Balsamic vinegar, honey and a couple of other bits and bobs.  Minimal preparation - just throw the vegetables into a foil tray and your ready to roast.  


No Fuss Honey Roasted Parsnips - Perfect for Christmas Dinner

Honey roasted parsnips are so very simple to do, yet the supermarket will slap on more money just because they've done them for you.  Disposable trays are a marvelous idea and can actually be washed if you wish, so you can reuse them. 

A perfect side dish for Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years Day.

Roasted Parsnips

I find there's no need to mess about parboiling the parsnips beforehand they cook up nicely without all that fuss.

Seriously Good Coleslaw - easy to make

Coleslaw, easy to make for a Christmas or New Year's eve party.  I used to hate coleslaw and couldn't think why anyone would want to eat such a thing!  However, I suppose it's because I'd only ever encountered the stuff that comes in a plastic tub from the shop that was made at the very least, a few days ago.  Now when you have a go at making it yourself you end up with something completely different.

With the addition of a few bits and bobs to the shredded veg you can whip up a great big bowl in next to no time.  If you are making it for a Christmas or New Years eve, party you can just double the amount.

Leftover Christmas Turkey Curry

Marco Pierre White has come up with a lovely mild curry recipe using up any leftover Turkey you might have this Christmas.  This exclusive new recipe by Marco won't be available on the Knorr website until December, but I can share it with you now! 

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of fruity curries, but this one was actually really very nice indeed and all the fruit in it has to be good for you!  It's really easy to make and of course you can use leftover chicken if you wish.
Print Marco's Recipe courtesy of Marco Pierre White for Knorr

I was very kindly sent a truly amazing Seasonal Box from Forman and Field courtesy of Knorr.  Containing not only a Free Range Kelly Bronze Turkey but loads more Fantastic Christmas food!

A BIG thank you to Knorr, Jen and Neil for the fantastic seasonal boxes I've been sent over the past months and the great day we spent with Marco Pierre White.  And of course to Forman and Field for supplying such great food. 

The Best Apple Strudel Recipe

Almost everyone in the UK will have seen the Marks and Spencer advert for their apple strudel on television and I think nearly everyone has tried one!

Although I'm not one for desserts I had a go at making it myself.  Now I'm so not into pastry or baking but the result (although it didn't quite look like the M&S one) was good.

The Secret to Huge Yorkshire Puddings - Self Raising Flour

If you want huge Yorkshire pudding this is how!  By mistake I used self raising flour instead of plain and the result is HUGE Yorkshire puds.

Huge Yorkshire Pudding

I shouldn't think they'd win me a prize for looks but hey ho - they were crispy and they did rise!


Toblerone Snowballs

At the time of writing it's a little bit early for Christmas stuff, but I made these the other week - they were the result of an experiment that went wrong.  Toblerone Snowballs, Truffles, Sweets? Call them what you will but here they are!

I discovered that when you add runny honey to melted Toblerone it immediately goes like stiff sticky goo, but fear not - this is how my Toblerone snowballs are made.

Chicken with Tarragon and Marsala Mushroom Sauce

 Now, I've made Tarragon sauce before, but this is my best recipe yet. Oh yes, this is the bees knees of Tarragon sauce recipes!

The sauce was an experiment and I'd say the use of Marsala instead of the usual white wine really makes this recipe.

Chicken with Tarragon and Marsala Mushroom Sauce

Of course you can serve more than two - just double the recipe ingredients for four.

Marsala wine is available in any good supermarket and can be used in many other recipes.  If you can't get it, or simply don't want to buy it, just use a sweet white wine instead.  The sauce, I'm sure will still be delicious - just not as good as this was - sorry! 

How to Cook Pork with Crispy Crackling

So many supermarkets sell pork joints without the skin - Why?  I've no idea as pork just isn't the same without it.  Pork can be quite dry if cooked wrongly and the nice bit of fat with the skin is, in my opinion, needed to keep the pork succulent.  Perfect crispy crackling is so very easy to do. 

Pork Crackling

The vegetables act as a trivet and they don't all need to go to waste - you can make a nice gravy with them.

Cured Pork Loin with a Madeira and Honey Glaze

The perfect glaze for pork loin or gammon especially at Christmas.  It's so very easy to do, yet if you were to buy it like this already done in a supermarket they'd charge a fortune for it.  I used a nice piece of cured pork loin. 

Cut a criss cross pattern just through the fat.  The mixture of brown sugar, runny honey and Madeira adds a lovely sticky glaze.

Thyme Cumin and Orange Flavoured Butter

Here's another yummy butter from Jamie Oliver's 'Christmas with Jamie' DVD.  This one goes perfectly with carrots.  

If you fancy a chestnut and bacon butter for your Brussels then you'll find it here.  

Roast Potatoes in Goose Fat

 Perfect roast potatoes - everyone loves them!  But there's a difference between a good roast potato and a perfect roast potato.
You probably wouldn't want to use goose fat for every roast dinner throughout the year, but for Christmas, you must give it a go.

Chestnut Bacon and Sage Flavoured Butter - Jamie Oliver

Imagine this, butter that's ready sliced and flavoured, with crispy bacon, chestnuts and sage.  Ready to put a slice on whatever you fancy. 

Picture above: just give the sprouts a stir and the butter will melt.

Oooh what to do what to do?  Brussels sprouts at Christmas or of course anytime you fancy.  Or how about on a jacket potato?   I saw this on an oldish (2005) Jamie Oliver DVD - Christmas with Jamie.
Now it's all very simple to have this butter ready and waiting in your freezer for when the mood takes you to use it.

All you need is:
Greaseproof paper - a large sheet say 16x12 inches
250g pack unsalted butter - at room temperature
10 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
200g vacuum pack of ready cooked chestnuts
a handful of fresh sage leaves - kept whole
and a frying pan

How to do it:
Heat up your frying pan, there's no need to add any oil.  Fry the bacon until it's a lovely colour and really crispy.  Add the chestnuts and stir them about to soak up the fat from the bacon.  Now add the sage leaves and cook them until they're also nice and crispy.
Tip the lot into a bowl and leave the pan to cool, I mean really go cold.

Lay your sheet of greaseproof paper out on the worktop with the widest side  top and bottom.  You can run your hand under the cold tap and smear it over the paper if it won't behave and lay flat.  Dry your hands and then put the butter in the center and spread it out in an oblong.  It will probably spread to about 8 x 5 inches.  When the bacon mixture is cold put that on top of the butter.

Roll it up like a Christmas cracker.

Pop it into the fridge to set.  When it has you can unroll it and slice into thick slices.  Roll it back up pop it into a freezer bag and you have flavoured butter long after Christmas!  It'll keep for a good few months, ready to do with what you fancy.

Braised Red Cabbage with Port and other nice things

 Perfect side dish at Christmas dinner or with Lancashire Hotpot You can add a sliced apple to the ingredients if you fancy it.  
Very easy to do, you can prepare this the day before you want to cook it.  Just cover and pop it into the fridge.


Boozy Brownie Bites for Most Wanted - Yule Blog Bake are running a Christmas themed baking challenge - Most Wanted Yule-Blog Bake!
To enter you can bake a cake, cupcake, bread, pie, cookie or anything else that says 'Christmas' to you.
The winner will receive a £150 John Lewis voucher and two runners up will receive a £25 Lakeland voucher.

I made 'Boozy Brownie Bites' which was no mean feat for someone that doesn't 'do' baking!  I added Grand Marnier and orange pieces to the brownie mixture - resulting in double yum.

The closing date for the competition is Monday, 13 December 2010

The full details of the Yule-Blog Bake Competition on 'Most Wanted' the lifestyle magazine from

You can print my recipe here.

Tate and Lyle - We Love Baking Competition

Tate and Lyle will be appearing at the 'Taste of Christmas' event at the Excel Conference in London from 3-5 December 2010.
 'Taste of Christmas' is London's largest festive food and drink event, where you can shop for Christmas gifts and have a great day out, over 30,000 people are expected to attend.
Tate and Lyle will be appearing with their 'We Love Baking' stall (stand 308) bringing their Facebook Community to life.  A selection of different baking master class events will be hosted, as well as recipe cards being handed out.

In celebration of this event, Tate and Lyle are organizing a competition! Prizes up for grabs include baking goodies courtesy of Holly Cupcakes, a stylish apron from Posh Pinnies, plus VIP tickets to the event.
For a chance to win, all you have to do is simply send a photo of your Christmas Cake, Snowy Cupcakes or Festive Christmas creations to by Tuesday, 30th November 2010.

Please follow this link for more information and Terms and Conditions.
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