Festive Food …

I’ve really enjoyed preparing all of our festive food this year. I started a few weeks ago with a Beetroot Chutney that I first made this time last year, it proved to be delicious again and will no doubt be made again next year. I also tried a Plum Jam recipe, this tasted incredible with the turkey – a truly delicious combination. Also served with our turkey were Turmeric & Polenta coated Roast Potatoes, Glazed Carrots and Parsnips and a Sausage-meat, Apricot and Butternut Squash Stuffing:

xmas collage 2The Salmon Blinis were made yesterday (Boxing Day) and were served alongside various leftovers, Confit Turkey Legs, Sausage Rolls, Focaccia Bread and Lamb Samosas.

The cheesecake in the photo above was a ‘Trifle Cheesecake’ – I don’t think I’ll ever make a trifle again as this was so much better! The base was a simple buttery biscuit base (click here to see a you tube clip that we are reminded of each time we hear the words ‘Buttery Biscuit Base’!), the cheese layer was a killer combination of cream cheese, double cream and custard and the final layer was simply raspberry jelly with fresh raspberries. It turned out to be a huge cheesecake (weighing over 2 kilos!!) – it’s no wonder that it has lasted 3 days so far and there’s still more left for tomorrow. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving!!

Other festive treats have included Chocolate Truffles with orange matchmaker ‘sticks’, Coconut & Chocolate Caramels (the Caramel was infused with cardamom pods, star anise, fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick) and Strawberry Cream Shortbread Biscuits:

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Finally, it just wouldn’t be Christmas with out our Biscuit Tree. We’ve made one each year for the past 7 years, it has become as much a part of our family Christmas as our Christmas tree and Christmas crackers:

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It’s been a wonderful feast of a festive time and we will no doubt be enjoying the left overs for many more days to come 🎄

 

 

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Festive Fair …

It’s that time of year again ! I’ll be at the Fishponds Festive Fair again this weekend and have spent much of today preparing cards and framing pictures:

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I’m pleased with how these little prints look when framed in a simple white wooden frame.

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I’ve got lots of Christmas cards printed and ready to go, any that I don’t sell will be sent to family and friends!
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Christmas is Coming …

Apparently Christmas has been coming for quite some time – we saw decorations up in shops at the beginning of October – crazy!! In a few weeks I’ll be attending a local ‘Festive Fair’ and I decided that I would need some Christmas cards to (hopefully) sell there. This is a design that took a surprisingly long time to create but now that I have it, I plan to fine tune it and then do a range of colour combinations:

The Main Event …

The food at Christmas is a real highlight for me. I love repeating some recipes each year, to the extent that they become part of our family’s traditional Christmas. A great example of this is our Biscuit Tree :

This year, my 10 year old made our biscuit tree – he prepared the biscuit dough, baked the biscuits, iced the biscuits and built the tree, all with only a small amount of help from me. I was very proud of him, he did a superb job.

Another of our favourites is the Salted Caramel Tart that I first made last year, click here to see the post. Here is this year’s version:

I also like to try a few new recipes each year. To begin our Christmas meal, we had some delicious smoked salmon blinis, served with an anchovy and tarragon butter:

To follow we had the traditional roast turkey, served with roast potatoes, curried carrots and parsnips, my mum’s stuffing, pigs in blankets and the chutneys and pickles that I had made during the past few weeks. Sadly, I didn’t photograph the main course, but I did make the leftovers in to a kind of roulade/puff pastry meal on Boxing Day:

To follow our turkey, we had a choice between the Salted Caramel Tart and a Caramalised Clementine Pavlova :

All in all, it was a very tasty Christmas !!

Snapshots of Christmas …

It’s been a while since I last posted, a combination of Christmas preparations, work being full-on and a chest infection meant that free time has been in short supply over the past few weeks. Anyway, I hope you have all had a happy and healthy Christmas, here are a few shots of my Christmas, taken on Christmas morning, after present opening with my boys and before my parents and in-laws arrived :


Feeling Festive ?!!

No, me neither, not yet anyway. It’s way too soon to be thinking about Christmas and all of the fun and frolics that go with it. Despite it still being early October, the shops are starting to fill up with Christmas related goods. In the spirit of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them,’ I painted some Christmas cards today. I tried a few different designs but the tree was definitely my favourite. I decided to paint it in 4 different colour schemes:

 

 

These will be for sale from my Etsy shop, hopefully from next week! 🎨