Category / Christmas

Christmas Recipe

Indulgent Parsnip Soup

I made this soup in an attempt to get my husband to eat parsnips, he hates them apparently! Not any more, I tricked him with this delicate soup, based on a German theme but rich and creamy with a hint of apples and spice! The wine can be omitted and replaced with extra stock.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 400g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
  • 250ml dry white wine (Riesling)
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 200ml single cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful smoked lardons

Method

in a large pan soften the onions in the butter then add the parsnips and potatoes, cook for a few minutes stirring all the time. Then add the wine and bring to a boil this will remove the alcohol content but leave the taste.Add the stock, mustard, apple juice and all the seasonings. Simmer about twenty minutes until the vegetables are soft. Using a hand blender stick blitz the soup until very smooth, add more stock if its a bit thick . Add the cream and let it heat gently.

Meanwhile in a frying pan cook the lardons in their own fat, it will be released as soon as it gets warm. Crisp them up.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls then swirl a little cream into it, place a spoonful of lardons in the centre and sprinkle with smoked paprika. To make this vegetarian friendly omit the lardons and replace with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Christmas

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

It is very hard to believe its now the end of 2018. The most amazing year I have ever had. I want to wish everyone who has been so kind, so supportive of me on this incredible journey a very Happy New Year.

Thank You

Karen

Baking Christmas

Christmas Cake Recipe


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It is here once again, we are into November and it is time to get the big mixing bowls out for the Christmas Cake.

I know that not everyone is a fan, but I am! It’s a tradition to make at least one cake. My mam used to make a round one; royal icing peaked to make look like snow, a ruffled frill around it and plastic decorations: Father Christmas, robins, a snowman, and a Merry Xmas greeting.

I don’t bother with fancy pants stuff,  I just go with tradition. Mam also made two Christmas Cake loaves. My fondest memories of Christmas Eve are having a slice with some cheese and a little sip of cream sherry.

When I am doing the final stir up I get my husband and girls to take turns stirring and make a wish. (If they’re away from home they do it telepathically, I text them when to make the wish and I stir for them).

Here we go, this makes a big cake, like ten inches and tall. If you want to adjust to make smaller give me a toot and I will send quantities.

Ingredients: 

450g Sultanas
450g Currants
450g Raisins
150g Chopped Prunes or Dates
100g Glace Cherries
100g Candied Peel
6 Tbs Brandy
450g Plain Flour
A large pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Mixed Spice
2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
450g Unsalted Butter
450g Dark Brown Sugar
8 Large Eggs
100g Ground Almonds
100g Flake Almonds

Method:

1. Soak all the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy the night before you bake your cake
2. Grease a 10inch springform tin and line with baking parchment
3. Preheat the oven to 150 or fan 140
4. Sift together the flour, spices cocoa and salt
5. Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
6. Beat the eggs in a jug and beat in to the sugar and butter gradually
7. With a large spoon, mix in the flour/spice mix and fruit together
8. Make a wish
9. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top
10. Using newspaper or brown paper and string protect the outside of the tin
11. Bake for about 3 and a half hours, or until a skewer come out clean
12. Leave to cool in the tin then wrap in foil and store in a cool place
13. Feed the cake with brandy every week until it is time to decorate (liberally spoon brandy onto the cake)

Christmas Recipe

Uncle David’s Favourite Mince Meat Recipe

I was just thinking this morning how it will be Christmas before we know where we are and I just happened to have all the ingredients in my store cupboard to make a huge jar of mincemeat for mince pies. It only takes ten minutes and little effort, with the resulting mincemeat much better than anything you can buy in the shops.

I have an Uncle David who is mince pie crazy. One year as a young man, he scoffed all my gran’s mince pies in one sitting. The following year she played a joke on him, baking him a tray full stuffed with cotton wool; each year he still remains optimistic that he will be plied with the real thing!

Ingredients:

700g Mixed Dried Fruit (any combination you like, cranberries, mango or (like me) just the standard currants, raisins, sultanas and mixed peel)
100g Glacé Cherries (chopped)
1 Cooking Apple (peeled, cored and chopped)
125g Unsalted Butter
50g Chopped Nuts (any will do)
225g Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 and 1/2 tbs Mixed Spice
1 tsp Mace or Nutmeg
Grated rind and juice of 1 Lemon
150ml Brandy

Method:

1. Warm the sugar, butter and lemon in a large pan on a low heat
2. Add all the other ingredients (with the exception of the brandy)
3. Cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring regularly
4. Remove from heat and leave to cool
5. Add the brandy and stir thoroughly
6. Place in a large sterilised Kilner jar or four small jam jars

Who still puts mince pies out on Christmas Eve? Not my Uncle that’s for sure!