Saturday, 22 December 2007

Mistletoe and Wine?

Well Christmas is almost upon us, the presents are bought and wrapped and all was well until I realised this morning I had completely forgotten about what sides, desserts and starters I was going to do for xmas and boxing day dinners (am doing both!) Cue a little panic and a trip to local greengrocers and butchers and all is well again!

For Christmas lunch I have bought from tescos a Turkey breast joint wrapped in parma ham and stuffed with lemon and thyme sausagemeat which looks delish, doing roast potatoes, honeyed parsnips and carrot and swede mash (seperate in the end as dear brother protested against the poor swede!), yorkies and bacon & cheese rolls ... have not decided on starter or dessert though!! I think my mum said she had a spare xmas pudding so will be snagging that (turns out was from 2002 but risked it anyway and are fine!!) (have since bought some vodka and cranberry cream to go with it! - never used) but really stuck on starter... I would love to go down the fishy route but one of our guests does not like seafood :( am doing soup boxing day so would rather not do that... help!! ...okay have a plan now, am intending to do slices of herby ciabatta, topped with roasted plum tomatoes and some special rosemary infused proscuitio I picked up this afternoon... *can recomend the starter, went down very well and would do again!*

Moving on to Boxing day lunch, current plan is my Cauliflower, bacon and parmesan soup to start then for the main event have bought a small leg of lamb which is going to be marinaded as per my Fragrant roast lamb recipe, also doing more roast potatoes, carrots, sprouts, parsnips and 'pigs in blankets' (for some reason I dont like them but they have been specifically requested!!) Dessert will be my choc orange panna cotta as they are so easy to make but delicious!

Wishing all the foodies out there a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and all the best for 2008!


Christmas and Boxing days all went to plan, the xmas starter was really good, mainly becuase of the lovely herby ciabatta from Lidls!


Monday, 17 December 2007

Slippery Slope to Butchery...

Following the recent cold snap I fancied something hot for tomorrow and comforting...have picked up a half shoulder of lamb (first time I have bought this cut!), which I spent the last 45 minutes with and my carving knife and one of my new steak knives! I now have a perfect pile of lamb cubes, all fat trimmed and ready to go in the slow cooker in the morning with some diced celery, onion and a bowl of pearl barley thats soaking overnight. Oh and did I mention the 7 cuts to my hands courtesy of my new steak knives?!!

Have recently seen a half-day butchery course which I am very tempted by but think I need to do some more practice first!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Its Party Time!

Well, the festive season is upon us and this saturday we are hosting the family christmas party (for the first time!) I have currently bought so many nachos I received a strange look from the checkout girl in tesco, and our spare room is full of wine and more (can't be bad!!)

I have bought a 'party pastry maker' from Lakelands and hoping to make lots of little canapes with chili beef (with two strengths!) and chicken in white wine sauce.

Will let you know if it works!!


The canapes were unfortunately a bit smaller than planned so that idea got scrapped and I made a vat of Chili con carne instead, which was delish if I do say so myself!!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Hello there!

Finally after what seems like forever Orange have decided to connect our Broadband and I am back *properly* online and not just snatched moments at work or borrowing friends computers!!!

I am officially in love with my new oven - but it is a *big* learning curve!!!

Recently on the foodie front I experimented with sweet potato + normal potato bake:

Piccie shows the leftovers unfortunately!!

I had not used any thickening products and the 'sauce' just consisted of cream and stock BUT the leftover liquid was very moreish and strangely vanished overnight... was wonderful using fresh bread as a 'dip'!!

I had recently succumbed in Homebase to the JML slicer (admitedly reduced to £4.99!) and whilst it did produce thin slices, it involved A LOT of elbow grease and effort! Not overly sure if I will attempt again....tried again last weekend and far to much effort!!

Today I have been very bad though and yet again ordered more kitchen stuff online, including a Party Pastry maker (!10372) and a rather lovely 'Joseph & Joseph' Carving board (!11753) Roll on Monday!!

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