Festive Entertaining – also known as a night without the Kids! | Beckie’s Christmas survival guide, part 3

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Festive Entertaining – also known as a night without the Kids! | Beckie’s Christmas survival guide, part 3

Welcome to my Christmas blog! My name is Beckie, and I’m one of the brand managers here at KitchenCraft. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of my favourite bits of Christmas (mainly the food…).

So let us continue with our Christmas tale of Family, Friends and Food!

As we move closer to Christmas, my husband and I host our annual “Friendmas” party. A group of our closest friends come together for a night of food porn, prosecco and presents.

Every year my husband cooks up a different culinary delight while I dress the table to the max, serve drinks and canapés (I am making us sound much posher than we are but we really do go all out).

Over the last few years with have feasted on Four Bird Roast, Beef Bourguignon, Ginger Glazed Gammon, Stuffed Loin of Pork and even a full Christmas Dinner (Turkey, Gammon and all the trimmings)!

This year we (my husband) have decided to cook a butterflied leg of lamb, slow cooked with herbs and spices. The trick is to place the lamb directly onto the spiced vegetables so that as it cooks all of the meat juices continue to baste and add flavour, yum!

So we have the spiced lamb, and the roast veg but we need a few other things to make our Friendmas Feast come to life.

We have found a recipe for a pomegranate and red onion relish, to add a bit of sweetness, and some spiced couscous filled with flaked almonds and dates. Then to wrap it up (no pun intended) some flat breads and Tzatziki style dip.

After the feast, which we always finish (except the year with the Ginger Gammon where we had way too much Mac and Cheese) there is always room for dessert.

We have looked for a dessert to help us keep the middle eastern feeling going but in the end have settled on a something a bit closer to home.

A Pear and Mincemeat Frangipani tart. It’s a bit like a giant Cherry Bakewell but instead of the jam you add boozy mincemeat with a grating of clementine zest and then layer with mulled wine poached pears before spooning over the gooey frangipani topping. Add a scattering of flaked almonds and bake for 40 minutes at 190˚C (Gas Mark 5).

If that’s not mouth-watering enough, we will be topping it off with Chantilly cream and extra clementine zest - and maybe a glass of Amoretto or two.

Fast forward a few days and its Christmas Eve!

We like to prep ahead for the big day as much as we can, so by now the Cranberry Sauce and Braised Red Cabbage have been made. The Turkey is prepped to go into the oven over night and it’s time to sit back with a glass of wine and a comforting meal.

Some years we have a Strata, a savoury version of a bread and butter pudding made with spring onions, mushrooms and lots of cheese. Other years its homemade steak and ale pie with plenty of mash and tender stem broccoli.

Whatever we choose will be warm and full of flavour, perfect for some Christmas films before the boys head to bed to wait for Santa.

Come back next week for The Big Day!!!!!!