I love Christmas. I’m one of those people that gets more excited than the kids. I spend weeks shopping, I struggle to sleep, and I’m out of bed waking everyone else up at 5 am. I get this from my mum, who is also a Christmas geek.
Obviously, I also love food. As an adult, I think food becomes one of the best bits. Once the excitement of presents starts to wane. Don’t get me wrong, I get some great presents, but for the most part, I know what they are now. I love watching the kids open theirs, but it’s the food that I get excited about. That said, I’m not a huge fan of some of the more traditional Christmas foods. Mince pies and Christmas cakes, I can take or leave, and I can’t stand Christmas pudding. Drinks too, I love Bailey’s, but eggnog is, frankly, vile and I’ve got no idea what that bloody yellow thing is!
But, some foods are so ingrained in the Christmas experience, I couldn’t be without them. Here are some of my favourites.
The Cheese Board
Me and my friend Anna have over the last few years developed a cheese tradition. One night towards the start of December, we get a massive cheese board, a Ben and Jerry’s winter special (Minterwonderland OMG!) and a bottle of Baileys and we watch Die Hard. The first year of this we ended up also eating a tub of quality street and ended the night by drinking Bailey’s out of the Ben and Jerry’s tub with the last of the ice cream mixed in. Good times!
We try to keep a fridge full of cheese for the whole month. It’s brilliant! This year I was lucky enough to get some special treats from Stag Bakeries to try with my Die Hard night cheeseboard. Gorgeous wafers, amazing cheese straws and a brilliant fruit cake which worked really well with the cheese!
As a child, I hated Christmas cake. I had some inexplicable marzipan hatred. Now, I’ll eat it if it’s there, but I’m not that bothered. This year, Opies sent me a recipe for their ginger Christmas cake, which I loved! It’s a little different, and I really enjoyed the flavour.
Safe to say my marzipan aversion is long gone. Stollen is probably my favourite of all of the christmasy cakes. I made one for the first time this year and decided to give them as gifts. It’s that big log of marzipan surrounded by sweet fruity bread. Perfect!
I’ve also made Panettone for the first time this year. It did not work, but I’m sure it’s just me!! I must say I’ve always sort of seen it as one of those things you buy people as a gift when you don’t really know them that well, simply because it’s christmasy and in a nice box! But, now I’ve made my own I can see the appeal. Here’s a recipe if you want to try and do it better than I did! http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/panettone.
I remember making Gingerbread with Michael when we first lived on our own. He was just 2 and loved helping. We’ve made some every single year since and it’s another favourite thing to give others.
I asked some other bloggers if they’d share some Christmas recipes with me. I love trying new things this time of year, so I can’t wait to have a go at some of these.
Christmas pudding is something I’ve never liked, so this incredibly chocolaty alternative sounds pretty wonderful! I think perhaps I’ll make these and not tell anyone else about them! http://mummyvswork.co.uk/2016/10/malteser-christmas-puddings/
I made some brie and cranberry swirls last year that were gorgeous, but I think the kids would prefer these pizza swirls! http://www.myboysclub.co.uk/2016/12/festive-food-christmas-tree-pizza-swirls.html
I always struggle with ideas of things to make with the kids and inevitably stick to gingerbread. There are some great ideas here, so cute too! http://www.rainbowsaretoobeautiful.com/2017/01/having-fun-motor-skills-practice-making.html
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never heard of speculaas! Which makes me really really want to have a go at this one! https://meanniebee.com/2017/11/20/spectacular-speculaas-recipe-tisane-steenbergs/
It’s never occurred to me to make mincemeat. I’ve always been a bit confused as to why people make mince pies if you’re just putting store-bought mincemeat into pastry, you might as well just buy them ready done! This is a brilliant alternative! http://www.wildmamawildtribe.com/allergy-friendly-recipes/gluten-free-vegetarian-mincemeat-no-effort-tastes-incredible/
I breastfed one Christmas, and while I never felt the need for lactation cookies, I can see why these would appeal. I vividly remember Hunky Husband cutting my turkey because Bobsy spent the duration of dinner time on my boob!http://www.naturalbeautywithbaby.com/recipe/festive-lactation-cookies/
These are so cute! The kids would absolutely love be making these and I’m happy with an excuse for Oreos! https://meandbmaketea.com/2016/12/03/10-minute-no-bake-christmas-pudding-oreo-cookies/
Tiger bread, lurpack and this Christmas ham sound like possibly the best thing ever! http://www.trulymadlykids.co.uk/christmas-hams-one-of-our-family-traditions/
And finally, because we need to drink too (more?!) https://mummywales.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/how-to-make-red-berry-liqueur-in-time.html
What are your favourite Christmas recipes?