so this is christmas

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It’s Christmas! And I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to make some beautiful food, pop open a bottle of bubbly and share it all with friends. For me – this is the greatest gift.

I’m off to my friend Jacqui for lunch. She has got some awesome Christmas table decorating tips up her sleeve. She’s teamed up with the lovely florist Lee Rogers and I’m excited to see what they have created! There’s only one place to go for inspiration when it comes to styling and decor and that’s Jacqui’s fantastic blog: Stylelingual. I’m a big fan!

I’ll be bringing along this super easy and tasty Christmas appetiser:

chorizo and pistachio preserve with torn baguette and Camembert cheese…

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Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 pear
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • handful chopped pistachio and pine-nuts

method:

  • Roughly chop the apples and pear into small pieces
  • Add the spices, sugar and enough water to cover the fruit
  • Add a dash of red wine for good luck
  • Simmer gently on the stove until the fruit has softened
  • Chop the chorizo into small pieces and fry on a low heat, without any oil
  • Add the red wine, honey and nuts and cook for a few minutes
  • Add chorizo mix to the fruit and cook together for about an hour, or until it thickens to become like a jam.
  • Once cooled, spoon the mixture into a number of small jars and stick in the fridge
  • Grab a baguette, some soft cheese and your preserve and let the party begin!

from the garden

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It’s nearly Christmas, where has the time gone? I’m going away on holiday for a month and what I’m most worried about is who is going to water my little veggie garden when I go!

I harvested the last of my broccoli and when I saw it had sprouted flowers – I had an idea – a bunch of broccoli would make a beautiful flowery gift for a friend for her birthday, and the rest left over? A healthy crunchy to share with my housemates!

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ingredients:

  • one bunch (thin) long stem broccoli
  • 200g baby spinach and rocket mix
  • seeds of half a pomegranate
  • handful roasted almonds slivers
  • half a bunch of flat parsley and mint
  • punnet green olives
  • lemon

method:

  • blanch broccoli in salted water.
  • toss all ingredients together (cut the olives in half) and lastly scatter the pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds.
  • drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the zest and juice of half a lemon.