The Big Fat Christmas Post 2016!

Merry-Christmas-Happy-New-Year-1

Merry-Christmas-Happy-New-Year-1

Well folks there’s just a week to go to the big day and I feel a mild panic starting to creep in. It will pass as Christmas is my favourite time of year. And a great excuse for doing a cheap linky best-of post with my favourite recipes from the year.

I do hope however that some of this helps if you are stuck for inspiration for entertaining over the festive period. And to further my cheap page clickbaiting, you can see my round up posts from 2014 and 2015.

It is always handy to have some soups and light bites in your arsenal which can also be served as starters. I am considering doing a whole section in 2017 for “stuff on toast”, a very underrated food group in my opinion!

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From top left, clockwise: Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese with Apple Fritters, Grilled Halloumi with Pepper and Hummus on Sourdough Toast, Pea and Broccoli Soup, Asparagus with Crispy Egg and Pancetta, Crab and Avocado Toasts. And the last pic is the soup again.

Salads are always a good choice for a starter as you can pack plenty of flavour in but still keep it light if having more courses. I often make salad for a quick midweek dinner, you can make more of a meal of them if you serve with some great bread or a good side.

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For those living in the Southern Hemisphere, the Grilled Peach Cherry and Goats’ Cheese SaladAsparagus Fennel and Orange Salad or Burrata Strawberry and Watermelon Salad are delicious. I’m looking forward to having them again in about six months time!

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We who are in colder climates can still enjoy these tasty Broccoli and Feta Salad, Warm Black Pudding and Apple Salad or Grapefruit Avocado and Feta Salad.

At times there is so much focus on the star of the meal that side dishes can be a bit of an afterthought. For me these are what can make or break a meal. I like to put a bit of effort into side dishes, particularly those that can be made ahead of time. Unsurprisingly three of these are potato based!

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From top left, clockwise: Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and GrapesCauliflower Cheese,  Potato and Parmesan Stacks, Creamy Potato Salad with Chorizo and Parmentier Potatoes.

When you get sick of all the turkey sandwiches – may I recommend my Cranberry and Port Sauce for those – here are some ideas for main meals. Some can be useful for using up leftover turkey.

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From top left, clockwise: Bang Bang Chicken, Chicken Roulade with Chorizo and Manchego, Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Easy Veggie Curry, Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa or Beef and Orange Stir Fry.

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From top left, clockwise: Beef Satay Skewers, Easy Sausage Meatballs,  Southern Fried Chicken Goujons, Indian Roast Chicken or Creamy Mushroom Pasta.

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From top left, clockwise: Cuban Mojo Beef Salad, Lamb Tagine, Easy Mexican Chicken Wraps, Lamb Rogan Josh and Roast Aubergine with Harissa, Red Pepper, Feta and Tahini Sauce.

 

If you’re having a party and looking for finger food ideas, the soups could be served in shot glasses. The salads could be served in lettuce cups or on some crostini. However no Christmas party is complete without sausages and I guarantee you these will all be devoured.

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Sausage Rolls, Sweet Chilli Bourbon Cocktail Sausages and this Hummus is an ideal dip and can be flavoured in many ways.

And now on to the desserts and sweet treats! It always amazes me at this time of year how the dessert recipes become the most popular. It is worth mentioning two older posts that are always searched for: my Chocolate Trifle with Baileys and the Baileys Cheesecake .

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From top left, clockwise: Chocolate Pots, Lemon Cake, Rhubarb and Strawberry Cake, Cherry Clafoutis and Chocolate Guinness and Baileys Cupcakes. I have seen cherries in some shops but you can make the clafoutis with any fruit you like.

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Blackberry Sponge Cake, Cherry Chocolate and Almond Biscotti and finally, Pear and Chocolate Cake.

 

As you are probably already aware, breakfast is my favourite meal and you might need more than one restorative ‘morning after’ meal if you’re feeling delicate.

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From top left, clockwise: Mediterranean Scrambled Eggs, French Toast – Two Ways!, Moroccan Eggs, Courgette and Sweetcorn Fritters and Bacon and Cheddar Frittata.

So that’s it! I don’t plan to post anymore recipes this year so I like to thank you all for reading the blog and interacting. I absolutely love when people tell me they have made my recipe, and more importantly that they liked it.

The highlight of my year was the month I spent in London staying with good friends and going to Leiths School of Food and Wine. Someday I’ll get around to posting about it, I promise.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!

Donna x

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