When planning for my New Years Eve dinner party the first part of the menu I decided on was this Gin and Tonic Cocktail. It’s perfect because my friends love G&Ts and I know my limits with spirits!
Month: December 2009
This year I am hosting a New Years Eve dinner party, cooking for 11 people (at last count) and to be perfectly honest – I am terrified.
My main worry is making enough food, what if I underestimate and everyone is still hungry and there is nothing left? What if it burns? What if people won’t eat it?
I have chosen to host my first dinner party on the one night of the year that people want to be “perfect”. Arrgh.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I am still spending some time with my parents. This however means that more new posts might be thin on the ground for a little while – I haven’t done any cooking or baking in 5 days!
This is a soup I made just before Christmas and it was wonderfully tasty, and so simple. As with lots of good things it came from the necessity to use up things I had to hand and from no specific recipe. The week before Christmas, for me, is a time to try to use up anything left in the fridge or from the veggie box. I still had a plentiful supply of the soup basics: onions, leeks and carrots. Add to this fresh black kale, a tin of tomatoes and some leftover crispy bacon, and you have the makings of the perfect winter warmer.
I love salmon, but unfortunately the other half does not, and because it was on special I went for Venison rather than the alternative Beef Wellington.
I topped mine with a set of holly leaves and berries for the festive touch.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without the buttery pastry and spicy dried fruit filling of a mince pie.
Mince pies are one of the best desserts at Christmas time, they are great warmed with cream and ice cream, wonderful with a cup of coffee and amazing for breakfast!
Growing up in my family they were plenty of festive tiffins, tablets and meringues to snack upon which everyone loved, but my favourite was always the mince pie. I loved the spicy flavours and the dried fruit, and the smell! To some people it’s the smell of pine, to others mulled wine, but to me its freshly baked mince pies, that smell like Christmas.
Cherry and Almond Mince Pies
~ should make around 20 (with leftover mince meat).
- 1 batch of Cherry and Almond Mincemeat
- 1 package of pre-made shortcrust pastry
- 100 ml of milk, for brushing the top of the pastry with.
- Cinnamon sugar, optional
Roll out the pastry till it is about 1cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out circles, which will form the base of your mince pie, and stars that will form the top.
Gently press the circles into the tin, filling each with around 2-3 heaped teaspoons into each pie. Top each pie with a pastry star.
After you have completed all the pies, use a pastry brush to lightly cover each star with a little milk. If you have it sprinkle each pie with cinnamon sugar before baking.
Leave the pies in the oven for around 15 minutes, until they have turned golden, leave them to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes.
Writing this post on a full stomach is one of the hardest things I have had to do, I just absolutely could not eat another mince pie. Still thinking of the smells and the textures is making my mouth water.
Maybe in half an hour I’ll be able to eat one more…
You start with the best of intentions to make a wonderful batch of pistachio macarons for MacTweets since your first batch were as plain as plain can be. Then you realise that today is posting day, that tomorrow night will be hectic and you are going to be away all weekend. What’s a girl to do?
You borrow of course!
When it’s getting dark at 4 o’clock in the evening and the drive home is flecked with rain that might just be snow. Or when you’ve been in all day with the wind is howling outside and it is absolutely freezing.
You want something quick and tasty for dinner, but add to this the warm glow that comes from realising that Christmas and the holidays are only three weeks away.
If you, like me, haven’t done any Christmas shopping, put up your tree or sent cards, then this recipe is for you. It will inject you with a little bit of a Holiday Season kick, to push you on your merry way.
Today is my birthday! I’ve had some great presents and some lovely messages from friends and family. However my birthday treat to myself was to bake a cake, well that and the two pairs of boots I’ve bought today 🙂
Over the past year I have seen so many beautiful cake recipes, that I new I wanted to try something a bit different. My inspirations was almost entirely from Alejandra @ Always Order Dessert‘s amazingly vivid Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake with a little of Deeba @ Passionate About Baking‘s Lavender Mascarpone Cake thrown in.
For a couple of weeks now in the office there has been an almost constant supply of mince pies on the sharing food pile, so far I have managed to avoid these with my no mince pies till December rule. However this year I have an added incentive, tucked away in my fridge is a jar of homemade mincemeat.
I have promised myself that the first bite of a mince pie I have this year will not be the sad excuse that the supermarket’s sell. No, I will have a mince pie made entirely by my own hand.