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My 10 Favourite Festive Recipes

Pigs in Blankets. Pigs in Blankets. Pigs in Blankets.

It’s that time of the festive season where we all start thinking about the food. Who’s bringing the booze? Shall we make some gifts this year? Can we use Bisto, or do you want to make the gravy from scratch? Well in answer to those questions, I’m emptying out our liquor cupboard on Christmas Day and providing the fizz, if you want to handmade some gifts this year then I’ve pinpointed five recipes below that would be perfect for just that and yes, yes, it’s ALWAYS worth making your gravy from scratch – check out the game-changing recipe below.

With food on the brain I thought I’d share 10 of my favourite festive recipes; either ones that we’ve tried and tested and we use for our very own Christmas dinner, or ones that have been handed own through our families and I thought I’d share with you lot. Have a scroll and prepare to salivate…

CHRISTMAS BAKES – PERFECT FOR HOMEMADE GIFTING

Homemade Peppermint Patties. I’ve been asked a couple of times for the chocolate mints recipe that I showed in a vlog a few years back and this is THE ONE! All you need is to buy some chocolate moulds off Amazon (these ones would do) – and you’re ready to go. It’s really easy to scale the recipe up and there is nothing fancier than getting out your own homemade after dinner mints in the evening. CHECK YOU OUT.

My Mum’s Mince Pies. A simple, but a classic and it’s a recipe that I go back to year after year. I would always ring my mum for the ingredients, so instead just made it into a blog post that both you and I can refer back to. Suitable for vegans too (if you opt for a veggie mincemeat), these can be whipped up in about 30 minutes and always go down well with mates and colleagues.

Grandad’s Brandy Butter. I put this up on my Instagram stories last night, but I’ll save this and the Cranberry Sauce recipe mentioned below onto the ‘RECIPE’ highlight on my Instagram page. My Grandma wrote out a notebook with all her favourite recipes in to give to me when I moved out and this is one of my favourites. Pop it in a jar with a ribbon on top and people would love this as a gift.

Ina Garten’s Chocolate Pecan Scones. These aren’t a particularly Christmassy recipe, but I made them recently and they went down a treat! Perfect to eat on their own, or with a nice slick of butter on and warmed up. My recommendation would be to just use about a quarter of the salt suggested, or else they would have been too savoury for me.

Coconut Barfis. My Aunty started making these every year for Christmas and now it’s something that all the families make over the festive period; mostly to give away as gifts (my Mum makes these and a chocolate truffle and puts them in gift bags for neighbours and friends). Sweet coconut balls of goodness, they are so darn easy to make.

SAVOURY RECIPES – READY FOR THE BIG DAY

Garlic Roast Potatoes, Carrots & Parsnips. We use this recipe year round for all our roasted veg. I love it because it’s a one-tray wonder, taking up minimal space in the oven, plus you get three veggies done at onceย and there’s a hefty amount of garlic used (OBVIOUSLY I use about four times what the recipe recommends). Also a good option because olive oil is used as the roasting oil, so it’s good for everyone whatever the dietary requirement.

Brilliant Brussel Sprouts. There are so many good brussel sprout recipes now, but for me I always return to this one. I was previously a brussel hater, but now I love the things. Bacon bits, chestnuts and sometimes I do a little grating of parmesan over them at the end too just to really crisp ’em up.

Get Ahead Gravy. Mark takes gravy making very seriously and although this recipe is slightly labour intensive, it’s one that you can do the day before and store until it’s time to use it which is very handy because we all know that Christmas food takes up every ring on your hob and every shelf in the oven. It was so, so good. One of the highlights of our Christmas dinner that year.

Jamie’s Easy Turkey. Three years ago Mark and I hosted Christmas day at ours and I’ve been racking my brain for recipe we used for our turkey, but considering we used Jamie Oliver recipes for everything else on our plate, I have a feeling that it was this one that we used. If it was, I can tell you that it went down a treat and we had clean plates all round.

Grandma’s Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Every year Mark and I are delivered a jar of the aforementioned brandy butter, along with a jar of this and now my Grandparents have ruined cranberry sauce for me and I can never eat the shop-bought stuff again because it’s so delicious. I’m told that it’s very easy to make and it’s worth the extra step because it’s that phenomenal and a must on our Christmas dinner table.

Photos by Emma Croman

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