December 6, 2010 by Chrissie
I’ll admit it, I’m pretty late to the table when it comes to Eggnog. For years, I associated it with those shocking yellow bottles of Warninks Advocaat and traffic light red plastic tasting cherries and the thought of actually drinking and enjoying it was beyond me. However, one taste of home made eggnog at a Christmas party a few years ago completely changed my mind and now I’m a huge fan.
Not only is eggnog a fabulously delicious Christmas drink but it can be made fresh in just a few minutes, and tastes nothing like those awful commercial versions. Using some simple ingredients like cream, fresh free range eggs and sugar, it can be spiced up with a dash of alcohol to add to the festive cheer.
To make this delish drink you’ll need:
6 free range eggs (ideally at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar (for the egg yolks)
6 Tablespoons sugar (for the egg whites – vanilla sugar is good if you have some)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
fresh grated nutmeg or a pinch of mixed spice or cinnamon
3 cups whipping cream, chilled
2 cups whole milk
A splash of alcohol like brandy or rum
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until stiff before adding the sugar. When finished, beat the egg whites with 1 tsp sugar until soft peaks form, then very slowly fold the whites and the yolks together.
In another bowl, whip up the cream with the vanilla essence and the mixed spice and 1 tsp. sugar until stiff, then very gently fold the cream in to the egg mixture, along with the milk. Add a splash of alcohol of your choice, pour into some fancy glasses and garnish with a little nutmeg or cinnamon.
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December 5, 2010 by Chrissie
Cupcakes are wonderful things at any time of the year but you can really go to town and have a lot of fun with them at Christmas. Here are some of my very favourite designs – many of which are just far too good to eat!
Rudoph The Red Nosed Reindeers
Just look at these beauties with their pretzel antlers and ruby red noses. Gorgeous.
Frosty The Snowman
Love the hat and scarf and the gold case
Loving the hat made from Oreos and the mini Christmas trees!
I love the detail that’s gone into the fairy lights.
I love the way this snowman looks like he’s melting back into the cupcake – quick, eat him up before he disappears altogether!
Nightmare Before Christmas
I love the way Santa is perched on the very edge of this cupcake – just like he is on the edge of a roof.
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December 4, 2010 by Chrissie
It’s that time of the year again when the household divides over the best accompaniment to the Christmas dinner. Despite being a veggie for over 25 years, I’m still surprisingly fussy when it comes to the veg on my plate. For instance, I loathe carrots on their own, parsnips are too sweet and I’m not a great fan of red cabbage. When it comes to brussell sprouts however, I’m truly on the side of those who love them and look forward to this time of the year when we can have them fresh and with so many meals. For years, like so many households, we just used to boil them (perhaps with a bit of bicarb) but I’ve grown much more adventurous lately and have been trying different ways of cooking with them, and I think I’ve hit on the very best recipe for them ever!
First, peel and wash as many sprouts as you’ll think you’ll need (no exact measurements here, but remember to do a few more if you fancy bubble and squeak the next day!) and parboil them in a little salted water. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the sprouts when ready. To them, add some chestnuts, some lemon zest and some veggie bacon bits and the secret incredient – breadcrumbs from a wholemeal or seeded loaf. Saute the lot over a lowish heat until everything is thoroughly cooked through and the sprouts are a lovely golden brown colour on the edges.
The breadcrumbs will taste like stuffing and the veggie bacon bits and chestnuts will give the whole dish a huge amount of flavour. It’s so simple but such a brilliant way to liven up this much maligned green vegetable that you’re sure to get many requests for the recipe!
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