It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, decorations, champagne and nibbles

I have a confession to make. I am not too mad about Christmas. I like the lights and don’t get me wrong I do celebrate it every year but if left to my own devices I would probably get a bunch of good movies, a pile of good books and plenty of nice nibbly foods and be perfectly happy. Since there isn’t just me this is not an option and this year Christmas, and the Christmas planning has begun. There is a list for the food, Swedish food as well as the turkey, there is a list of all the dishes that needs to be cooked and when. After making these extensive lists, they are quite long, I decided that we needed Christmas decorations and there is something about glitter and fairy lights that just transforms the most boring spaces in to something very festive.

 

Xmas_Heart

 

Xmas_Candles

 

Xmas_Santas

 

Xmas_Window

 

Happy with my efforts all that decorating made me hungry and I felt a need for a glass of wine and something to nibble on. Said and done I invited friends around as I think food always tastes better shared! They agreed with me and brought a bottle of champagne, aren’t we in sync? I had been to Borough Market in London, a wonderful foodie destination, the only thing I would say is that it is way too easy to spend too much money there!

 

They had beautiful Christmas decorations up.

 

12Dec_BoroughMarket

 

There is a stall, I am so sorry I can’t remember the name but they have the most amazing salami. Comte cheese is one of my favourites and here they have a salami with Comte cheese in it. I must say it is nothing short of genius! It is a pure pleasure to eat and almost impossible to stop once you started.

 

Xmas_Salami

 

 

My year in the deep south in the USA gave me a taste for apricots as a condiment for the Christmas dinner. I haven’t made any for a very long time but this year I wanted to pickle some. I found a recipe scribbled down and I am unsure of the origin but here it is.

 

Hot pickled apricots

preparation time 5 minutes

cooking time approx 40 minutes

makes 4 medium jars

Ingredients

  • 500 gr or 17.6 oz dried apricots
  • 500 gr white wine vinegar
  • 500 gr brown sugar
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 dried chilli

 

Xmas-ApricotStarAnise&Chilli

 

 

Chop the chilli and place all of the ingredients in a pan. Let boil gently until the liquid starts thicken and the apricots are soft.

 

Xmas-AprictotCooking

 

Taste and if you are happy pour in to sterilized jars, place a lid on top and let stand for at least two weeks. The brown sugar makes the liquid dark but I love the mix with the vinegar and it will make a great present.

 

I got a whole smoked chicken at Borough Market and it was so good I had to share some and made canapés, the perfect sharing food.

 

Smoked chicken canapés

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 5-7 minutes 

oven 170C or 340F

serves 4 as a canapé, it makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ soft tortilla
  • ½ dl or 1/4 cup shredded smoked chicken
  • sliced leek
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp broccoli tops
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of liquid from the pickled apricots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • basil seeds
  • sea salt

Cut out 12 small rounds from the tortilla, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with basil seeds and sea salt before baking them until crisp in the oven.

 

Xmas_Rounds

 

I mixed the chicken, mayonnaise, finely sliced leek, the crushed garlic and the cubed yellow pepper. I cut the very top of the broccoli and sliced the avocado. When the rounds have cooled slightly add avocado, the chicken mix and garnish with the broccoli and the pickling liquid before serving.

 

Xmas_SmokedChickenCanapes

 

I bought a burrata, one of the most amazing cheeses ever. It has mozzarella as a shell on the outside and cream on the inside. It is rich, decadent, as my friend said “that stuff will clog up your arteries”, but what a way to go! All it needs is your best extra virgin olive oil and some grated lemon zest on top, grab a spoon and just enjoy.

 

Xmas_Burrata

 

Should you have any left for some reason, mix it in your mash potatoes and it will become wonderfully cheesy.

 

I had a few slices of pancetta and a beautiful blue cheese. The blue cheese is a mix of goats and cows milk, it has a tang and is just delicious. I used it to stuff some dates and it was a quick and lovely canapé.

 

09Dec_BlueCheese

 

Cheese stuffed dates

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 8-10 minutes 

oven 210C or 410F

serves 4 as a canapé, makes 5 but it is easy to make more

Ingredients

  • 5 dates
  • 5 slices of pancetta
  • blue cheese
  • celery

Remove the pit from the dates. Fill the inside with blue cheese.

 

09Dec_StuffedDate

 

Peel the celery stalks and cut in to the same size as the dates. Wrap the pancetta around the date and the celery and bake until the pancetta is crispy.

 

09Dec_RoastedDates

 

The canapés went very well with the champagne and it felt like a great way to kick start Christmas. I have to admit it was more fun that watching movies on your own and I have a feeling that it will be a good Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Comments
One Response to “It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, decorations, champagne and nibbles”
  1. Oh delicious nibbles. I just love your decorations, and totally agree food and wine is so much better when shared. Aren’t the holidays glorious!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: