In typical fashion, I’m extremely late saying this but I just wanted to say I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
We had a lovely relaxing time – plenty of eating, drinking and spending time with family.
My desire to cook really returned with a vengeance in December. I thought that since I shared all my food pictures on my Instagram and Facebook page, it would be a shame not to post the pictures here. The decorations may be all packed away and Christmas Day is all but a slightly hazy memory by now, but let me just take you back there for a minute…..🎄
As always, I made Nigella Lawson’s fabulous chocolate fruit cake. To me, this cake is the smell of Christmas. It’s actually a boiled fruit cake – you simmer the dried fruits with coffee liqueur, orange zest and juice, honey and mixed spice. It makes your home smell amazing. It really is one of my all time favourite cakes.
Lots of mince pies were made and consumed.
I filled my pies with an suet free apple and Amaretto mincemeat. I used a Dan Lepard recipe for the pastry. It’s not your bog standard pastry recipe. Oh no. Dan’s recipe calls for ground almonds and cream cheese and let me tell you, Dan is a genius. The cream cheese helps to produce a gorgeous tender, melt in the mouth shortcrust pastry. I ate far more than I care to admit! And I wonder why I’m now having to pop the top button of my jeans open whenever I sit down. Oops🙊
You’ll find the recipe for Dan’s sweet shortcrust pastry right here To keep the kids happy I made their favourite rocky road crunch bars. After seeing one of my favourite bloggers Foodie Quine make the cutest gingerbread men rocky road, I couldn’t resist topping my sweet treat with these cute little fellas.
Over the festive season my most used cookbook is without a shadow of a doubt Nigella Christmas (quelle surprise!) I’m a huge fan of Nigella’s chilli jam recipe. It’s great for a little foodie gift but I always keep a few jars for myself because I love it so much. It’s great with cheese and cold meats, or in a bacon or sausage sandwich.
This was my breakfast one morning. Well, it was December! And there’s fruit so it’s fine, right? This is Nigella’s spruced up vanilla cake with berry balsamic fruit salad. The fruit salad is from The Mountain cafe (which is in Aviemore, not that far from where I live) cookbook and I have become addicted to making it. It’s very simple – you gently stir icing sugar, vanilla, balsamic vinegar (although you can use orange juice instead) and fresh mint into fresh berries. If you leave it to macerate for a while, the berries soak up all the flavours of the dressing. It’s really delicious and goes really well alongside so many puddings.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a pavlova and this one was pretty epic. We didn’t end up eating it until two days after Christmas because we were just too full up on other food. But once we cut into it it disappeared very quickly! It ended up with a very strange mixture of fruit on top because everyone in my house had a different idea of what fruit should adorn the pav. Note to self – next year make individual meringues! 😆
I didn’t take any pictures of Christmas dinner but we had the usual traditional fare – brined roast turkey, roast potatoes, maple roast parsnips, sausages wrapped in bacon, stuffing, sprouts and gravy.
This was my Boxing Day leftovers Christmas sandwich – I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a sandwich more in my life! When I think about it, I’m pretty sure I only buy a turkey every year just so I can eat sandwiches like these….
You’ve gotta have cranberry sauce at Christmas time…well I do.
Peanut butter cups from Nigella Christmas. These are so easy and quick. I’m a total peanut butter fiend so these must be hidden away from me.
Just to prove to myself we did eat something healthy! This is Christmas salad from Nigella Christmas. I just adore the colours. So pretty.
What did you eat over Christmas? Did you go traditional or did you try something different this year? Let me know by leaving a comment 🙂