Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas you lovely lovely friends! It has been an absolute pleasure developing, writing and sharing my recipes with you this year.

To be honest, it has been a rather tough year with a lot of ups and downs and I am so grateful that the Christmas holiday is a time to stop, recharge and come together with loved ones and just have a really good time.

It’s about sharing some real heartfelt moments with those you love and care for and coming together and sharing one hell of a meal. Enjoy every single moment of it and even more so in this strange time that we are all facing.

Merry Christmas to all!

Carla x

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Mustard Beef Casserole

A recipe filled with deep flavours, highlighting the richness of the beef as it slow cooks for 3 hours becoming tender and juicy. Fantastic if you have leftover or off cut pieces of beef that need using up. The gravy is an absolute winner in this dish and is so delicious with fluffy and crispy roast potatoes.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 380g beef shin, cut unto chunks
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 250g frostier mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 dsp wholegrain mustard

Method:

  1. Start by coating the beef in plain flour.
  2. On medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the coated beef into a deep pan. Fry for 5 minutes or until browned and sealed. Then remove the beef from the pan and place on a plate.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and shallot. Fry together until translucent.
  4. Add the mushrooms and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes allowing the water contained to be released.
  5. Put the meat back in the pan along with 50ml of white wine and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and the remaining 100ml of wine and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and add the worcestershire sauce. Mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
  7. Just before serving, mix the mustard and cream together in a separate bowl. Then mix into the casserole and serve.

Best served with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Bacon wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese & Almonds

‘Tis the season for the indulgence and the time of the year where you can have all the naughty foods and truly enjoy those deep and rich flavours. These small bites of pure heaven are the perfect festive snack or starter and a real treat.
For this recipe smoked bacon was the port of call for me as it provides a more balanced sweet and savoury contrast. However, they are just as delicious using unsmoked.

12 dates

Ingredients:

  • 12 medjool dates
  • 6 bacon rashers
  • Flaked almonds
  • Stilton blue cheese
  • Golden syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 170 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut the dates lengthwise (not all the way through) and remove the stones.
  3. Take around a 1/4 teaspoon of cheese and stuff the dates. Then take 2-3 almond flakes and place inside too.
  4. Cut the bacon rasher in half and wrap around the date. Make sure to keep the wrap around part of the meat at the bottom so that it won’t fall apart when cooking. Place each date on the baking tray.
  5. Drizzle over a small amount of golden syrup and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crispy.

Enjoy! 🙂

Chocolate & Amaretto Cocktail

The festive season has begun, it’s time to party, have lots of good food and surround yourself with the people you love. This delicious Christmassy beverage is the perfect evening drink to wind down with while watching a festive film and is an indulgent alternative to a sweet treat.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 30ml Disaronno liqueur
  • 50ml Baileys chocolat luxe liqueur
  • 30ml single cream
  • Ice cubes

Method:

  1. In in a glass, fill with some ice cubes. Pour over the Disaronno, Baileys and single cream and stir.

Enjoy 🙂