Tag Archive | Advent

Advent Calendar Day 5: Mulled Wine

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It’s Saturday night, I’m exhausted after a long day at work, so I thought I’d keep this simple…

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Make mine a large one!

Melissa xx

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Advent Calendar Day 4: Donna’s Salad

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The weekend hasn’t even started and I’ve eaten lots of rubbish. Thankfully Donna from The Cookbook Collection posted a wonderful, healthy Christmassy recipe earlier that will balance it all out!

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Brussels Sprouts, Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad – http://wp.me/p3BTn3-HQ looks amazing!

Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 3: Mince Pies

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So it’s the 3rd December and day number 3 of my 24 day Advent calendar. I think it’s time for a little, easy cheat recipe…

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I love mince pies and I have to admit it’s the only thing about Christmas goodies coming into the shops in October that I like. I love good quality shop bought mince pies with biscuity shortcrust pastry or flakey buttery puff pastry. I enjoy mincemeat that is sweet, fruity and a little spicy.

Last year I shared my recipe for Apple mincemeat, I had a couple of jars sealed and stashed away for this year.

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I’m using shop bought puff pastry to show you just how easy mince pies are to make. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could make my pate sucree, a sweet shortcrust pastry. Or if you have a couple of hours to turn and roll out pastry, you could try my rough puff pastry.

If not, lay out your shop bought ready rolled puff pastry. Use a pastry cutter or ramakin dish to shape and cut a circle out of the pastry and use a smaller cutter or egg up to shape the top smaller piece of pastry.

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Place the larger of the circles in the cake/cup cake tin. Spoon in a dollop of mincemeat in and then place the smaller pastry circle on top. Fork around the edges to seal the pies. Finally, poke a hole or small cut in the top to let the steam out.

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You can freeze the mince pies at this stage in the the tin and then transfer into a freezer bag or tub.

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I brushed my mince piese with beaten egg and sprinkled some caster sugar, before putting in at oven at gas mark 4 or 150 degrees. If your’s are frozen, drop the temperature a little and pop them straight in the oven.

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Serve with a snowy sprinkle of icing sugar and a dollop of whipped cream or some custard. Time to pop the kettle on…

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Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 2: Happy Birthday!

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I was invited to a festive birthday celebration last night by The Cooks Academy who were celebrating their 10th anniversary. Over the last 10 years, hundreds of students have passed through their doors. Today they run courses on everything from slow cooking to Thai food.

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Last night was a great fun, the room was full of foodies from the social media world. The wine and canapés went down a treat while we mingled.

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Conor from Social Media spoke about the interaction between foodies and social media. Twitter and Facebook have certainly changed my view on life and i’m incredibly passionate about my little blog. I’m also hopeful that it will help me break into the food industry.

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During the evening there were various tasks that we were invited to do; I attempted the molecular gastronomy taste test…. I was terrible at it, but I did get one correct!

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I didn’t think they’d get me cooking… Well, I didn’t actually cook… I assembled!

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I made a hell of a mess preparing a Christmassy street food dish for the ‘Cook Shoot Tweet’ challenge, but it was great fun!

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My creation was called ‘Bread basket Boxing Day Brunch’. I didn’t win the prize of a 4 week course, but I think I might need to do it any way after turning out that sort of dish!

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Thank you to Vanessa, Tim and all the Cooks Academy team for a fantastic night and to Glenisk for the yummy goodie bag. I really hope that they celebrate their 11th birthday in the same way next year.

For all of you reading this I have a special discount code, so that you can pop along and enjoy a short course too! I attended the pastry course in October and loved it. I’ll certainly be back to do more courses in 2015.

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The code can be used up to the 31st March 2015 to book a short course, even if the course occurs after 31st March 2015. A full list of courses can be found on their website. To avail of the 20% off offer, all you need to do is book online or telephone +353 1611 1666 using the special code glenhs824.

Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 1: In My Kitchen

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Some people open up a window of an Advent calendar to mark the 24 day run up to Christmas, but last year, to mark my first Christmas as a blogger I blogged every day in the run up to Christmas! Who needs chocolate behind a little window when you can have recipes and fun behind every post!

So to kick off the 1st of December,  I’m bringing you a post as part of Celia’s series In My Kitchen for her blog Fig jam and Lime cordial.

In My Kitchen…

…Are these cute Santa boxes! Only special people will receive homemade goodies for Christmas. I’m planning to put little cakes in them.

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In My Kitchen…

… Are these great versatile food grade bags. These will be perfect for cake pops or cookies.

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In My Kitchen…

… Are these heavy duty cookie cutters. I made the mistake of buying flimsy ones a few weeks ago- they were just awful! These new ones are much better made, they’re going to need to be, with all the work I have planned for them over the next few weeks.

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In My Kitchen….

… Are these fantastic cheat “I’m in a rush” products. Easy to use cupcake icing in chocolate and vanilla and shimmer spray in gold and silver! I have cupcakes and a birthday cake planned between now and December 24th for my Advent calendar.

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In My Kitchen….

…Is our Christmas reindeer table runner! I can’t wait to put it out!

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In My Kitchen….

…Is a jar of Ottolenghi’s quick pickled lemons. You only have to wait 24 hours for this pungent, addictive accompaniment. Roll on the leftovers!

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In My Kitchen….

…Sits beautiful jars of preserved lemons. Another fine recipe from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. The jars are only at the first stage, having been salted. The next stage will see rosemary, chilli and olive oil added. I promise I’ll post the lemon recipes in my Advent calendar posts over the next few weeks.

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I’m hoping January’s In My Kitchen will be coming live from an airport, before I head to The Glen House’s cousin…. In Goa!

Melissa xx