Christmas Get Aheads

Time saving Christmas Tips.

Christmas Countdown. The big day is nearly here. Could you be interested in any time saving tips, on the run up to that festive feast. No. Of course not, you are not worried, or panicked, no doubt you are sitting down, with your feet up watching your favourite Christmas movie. Or, maybe you are tearing your hair out, bitting those finger nails & wondering how you are going to cope? Have a read, you might find something to assist you.

Lots of things can be prepared, ahead of the big day, saving you time & allowing you to demonstrate just how good a hostess you are:

  1. Laying the festive table, the day before is alway a good idea. Delegate the task to someone else and check that all is in order, with nothing forgotten. Make sure you have enough glasses for all those festive drinks. Don’t stress if they are mis-matched. No one will notice, as long as they have a drink.
  2. Peel the spuds & par boil them. place in a bowl, & toss in whichever hot oil you are using, on the day.
  3. If you are serving mash, invest in a potato ricer. No only can you have your own, cheap, cauliflower, brocolli or carrot rice. It saves time trying to mash those lumps out. Start a new trend, to impress your guests. Place the rice potato in a serving dish, & hand butter or oil seperately. (will satisfy all dietry requirements!)
  1. Of course, if you have chosen a cold starter, this can be prepared the day before. Was salad veg ready & wrap in kitchen towels & store in the fridge.
  2. Slice carrots & celery sticks into chunky strips. Plave in a casserole or roasting tin. Sprinle with chopped parsley & pop in the oven to cook. Drain, reserving the stock for the gravy. & serve. (Any root veg can be cooked in the same way)
  3. Make your gravy the day before, thicker than usual. when the Turkey is cooked pour some of the juices from the roasting tin, into the made gravy to add more flavour & thin it down. If lumpy, pass it through a sieve.
  4. If you need a quick extra pud. Keep a shop bought pastry case to hand. Spread mincemeat over the base & arrange apple slices on top. Grate over some marzipan & bake. Sprinkle with icing sugar & serve.

Hope you find some of this useful. Just remember, delegation is the key. This is after all, just another roast dinner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Above all. ENJOY. It is your Christmas too.

Glace fruits, nuts, vegan Christmas Cake

Princess Camilla

Another Princess celebrates her special day. 19.5.2018

Food, Birthday Party, Children, chocolate, animals
Animal Magic

The rest of the world was glued to their screens, while another Princess was celebrating her special day in the beautiful grounds of Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire.

Surrounded by a gathering of happy children, a little Armadillo was snuffling around in the sunshine. He was preceded by a selection of other creatures. Some more unusual than others. Three brave – or mad, to my way of thinking – little girls had a large snake, draped across their arms, they were giggling with delight as the slithery creature wound its way across their bodies.

No. Great Chalfield Manor, is not a Zoo or an animal sanctuary, but the setting for Princess Camilla’s Fifth Birthday party.

food, children's birthday party, cake, truffleicious
Food for thought

food, cake, unicorn biscuits, cup cakes, truffleicious
Perfect Table Manners

food, children's party, birthday cake, homemade, Truffleicious
The perfect hostess

After a fantastic time on the lawn with the animals, the children let off steam, playing on  the grass. It was then time to head to the Coach House for the birthday girls sumptuous lunch.  What self-respecting little Princess would not want a Unicorn themed party.  Camilla’s wish came true. There were Unicorns everywhere.

 

The menu consisted of totally homemade food by Truffleicious from The Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield, Wiltshire.

Pride of place was a gluten-free Chocolate Unicorn Cake. complete with Chocolate Unicorn biscuits. Of course there were also unicorn Cup cakes & lots of unicorn decorations.  Mini homemade bread rolls were filled with ham & cheese, with sides of carrot & cucumber sticks. While a cheese & Tomato Pizza Bread also went down well. As a touch of elegance, mini fresh Strawberry tartlets were a well received.

After lunch the children said hello to another animal.  I think a good day was had by all.

food, cake, truffleicious, birthday, party,
Good bye Gypsy

All that’s left for me to say is Happy Birthday Millie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Stuffing.

The season to be jolly is rapidly approaching, so I thought in the run up to Christmas & throughout January I will share with you some of my recipes, hopefully to inspire you and also to help you #loveyourleftovers.

This week, its STUFFING. Three recipes to help you add a different way to “Stuff that bird”.

Always keep in mind that stuffing can be used in numerous ways.   Try stuffing different vegetables & baking them.  A good hearty stew, either with meat, poultry or vegetables can be turned into a flavoursome dish with the addition of some homemade stuffing balls, dropped into the pan 30 mins before the end of the cooking time. A healthier option to dumplings.

APRICOT & PISTACHIO STUFFING  *

50g Butter or Olive oil

1 Large Onion, peeled & finely chopped

2, Stalks Celery, Finely chopped

150g Dried Apricots, chopped

200g Breadcrumbs,

Grated rind & juice of 1 Orange

150g Pistachio Nuts, Shelled & chopped

Chopped, Fresh Parsley & Thyme

Chicken Stock or White wine.

Seasoning.

METHOD:

Heat the oil & better in a pan & fry onion & celery until golden.

Put the remaining ingredients in the pan & mix well until all ingredients are combined.

If you fell the mixture is to dry, add a little stock or white wine.

 

SWEET POTATO & LIVER STUFFING   *

1kg Sweet Potato, freshly cooked

50g Butter Softened

1 Large Onion, peeled & finely grated

Liver from the Turkey, chopped

2 Eggs, beaten

2 Tbspns Chopped fresh, Parsley

1 Tbspn Chopped fresh Sage

Sprinkle of Chilli Flakes, or more according to taste,

Seasoning

METHOD:

Mash the potatoes finely, add all remaining ingredients & mix well. Leave until cold before using.

 

SAVOURY RICE STUFFING.  *

1 Large Onion, peeled & chopped

1 Large Yellow Pepper, deseeded & finely chopped

100g Smoked bacon lardons

1 Tbspn Olive oil

2 Large Tomatoes, skinned & chopped

Finely chopped Basil & Oregano

200g boiled brown basmatti  Rice (cooked weight)

Seasoning to taste.

METHOD:

Heat the oil in a pan & slowly fry the onion, bacon & pepper until the onion is golden.

Remove from heat & stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

Leave until cold before using.

*   Food Hygiene. Always remember when making stuffing in advance, to cover & store in the fridge until needed, especially those containing raw meat or rice.

 

 

TRUFFLEicious Chocolate Truffles.

Fancy some chocolate? Bet you do. So, instead of nipping into your local super store for your fix. Head for the kitchen, don your apron &  rustle up some gorgeous chocs that contain good quality ingredients and do not contain those nasty additives, colourings & sack loads of added sugar.

P1010576 (480x640)

DARK & WHITE STRAWBERRY TRUFFLES.  No added sugar, Gluten Free. Makes 50 Truffles.

INGREDIENTS.

50g Unsalted butter.

150ml Double Cream

450g Good quality White Chocolate (I use Callebaut)

3 Tbspns Flavouring of your choice. Liqueur, Fruit puree, etc

METHOD

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan, over a gentle heat,. Bring to the boil.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly & add the chopped chocolate & flavouring.

Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted & combined with the other ingredients.

Pour into a bowl, allow to cool & become firm.

Break off small pieces & roll into balls, at this stage you can roll the truffle centres in nuts, grated dark chocolate or whatever takes your imagination.

Or you can temper some dark chocolate & dip the centres, leaving them to cool & harden on non stick baking parchment,

When they are set, drizzle with more melted white chocolate, to decorate.

Happy Truffling Foodies. Until next time, have a sweet time.