I was kindly asked to take part in the Debenhams Dress Your Table For Christmas campaign and was given a voucher to spend in their online home and furniture shop on items to decorate my dining table ready for the Christmas season.
After many hours spent perusing the website I opted for the following:
Gold Bell Christmas Tree
2 of these Angel tea light holders, also in gold
Some festive red placemats and a ribbed red runner
I also bought 6 large wine glasses, which are lovely and chunky.
Thanks to Debenhams for letting me take part.
I am busy preparing some make ahead desserts for Christmas today including this no bake Choc Orange Cheesecake. Will be back later in the week with more festive recipes.
Posted by Beth Sachs at 10:07
A very naughty treat.... but oh so nice!
If you make this in a foil tray it's an ideal traybake to take to your childrens Christmas bake sale at school or to serve at a Christmas Party.
Chocolate Mallow Crunch Bars
by Beth Sachs December-5-2013
A naughty chocolately treat.
- 150g Dark Chocolate
- 150g Milk Chocolate
- 125g Unsalted butter
- 3 TBSP Golden Syrup
- 220g Digestive Biscuits, crushed
- 4 Crunchie Bars, crushed
- 3 heaped TBSP Mini Marshmallows
- 50g For the topping -White Chocolate, melted
- 50g Milk Chocolate, melted
Step 1: Use a foil tray or line a 20 x 30cm tin.Step 2: Break up the chocolate then place in pan with butter and syrup and melt on low heat.Step 3: Crush the biscuits and crunchie bars then add to the mix along with the marshmallows.Step 4: Press into try, chill then drizzle with the melted milk and white chocolate. Cut into squares when ready to eat.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 20 bars
On weekday mornings I need a quick and easy breakfast I can eat at my desk. I often turn to flapjack based bars as they tend to keep me full until lunchtime - my favourites being these Honey and Peanut Butter flapjacks. As I had a couple of black banana's to use and an intriguing packet of Baobab powder (thank you Eden Project) to experiment with I though I would develop a high energy Breakfast Bar, using a flapjack recipe as the base.
Baobab Tree's in Africa are known as the 'tree's of life' because their fruits contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They contain:
- Three times more calcium than milk
- Twice the Vitamin C of oranges
- Six times more antioxidants than blueberries
These bars turned out really well. The powder gives the flapjacks an extra fruity zing and next time I would be inclined to add some dried apricots to the mix too. The bars provide a high energy, nutritious breakfast for people on the run!
Banana and Baobab Breakfast Bars
by Beth Sachs November-6-2013
High energy and nutritious
- 150g Butter
- 50g Honey
- 50g Demerera Sugar
- 2 Black Banana's, mashed
- 250g Oats
- 25g Baobab Powder
Step 1: Line a 20cm square tim with baking paper and preheat oven to 190c.Step 2: Melt the butter, honey and sugar over a low heat then mix in the other ingredients. Press into tin and bake for 20 mins.Step 3: Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into bars.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12
Christmas Meal Planning has well and truely started in this house. I love pulling Nigella and Delia off the book shelf to help inspire me and this year I thought I would put together a list of my favourite festive recipes in a blog post. Some of the recipes are my own, some are from external websites and some are from books (I will include book and page number for you). There will be recipe ideas for the 'main event' but also recipes for the run up to the big day including freeze ahead meals, gifts and edible presents, sweet treats, buffets and 2 menu options for Christmas Eve. To be helpful I will also mark any recipes that can be frozen.
If you have any tried and trusted favourites then leave a link in the comments section and I will add it to the blog post.
Easy Mince Pies (F)
Star Studded Mince Pies (Nigella Christmas p186)
I love Christmas Eve, in fact I think I prefer it to Christmas Day. I really enjoy the build up and seeing the excitement on my children’s faces in anticipation of Father Christmas coming. Our day goes something like this……..
The kids go downstairs on Christmas Eve morning to find an Elf Hamper has appeared under the tree. The hamper contains new Pj’s, a Christmas DVD (whilst I get on with last minute preparations), Reindeer Food, a miniature bottle of Whisky or Baileys for the big man and a secret key as we don’t have a chimney. They also open their advent calendar and advent stockings.
We go for a long walk in the morning, dropping off any last minute cards and gifts around the village, coming back for a lunch of Chestnut and Bacon Soup with homemade bread rolls. After lunch the kids sit and watch the new DVD then at 4pm its time to walk over to Church for the Christmas Crib Service. All of the children dress up and the newest baby born in the village is Jesus. The service is done by candlelight and is magical.
Handily the village pub is almost next door to the Church so we pop in for a quick drink with the kids, family and friends then head back to our house for a Christmas Eve meal. This year there will be 9 of us. I tend to alternate what I prepare between the following two menu plans – this year it will be curry which I will make the day before.
Chip Shop Chicken Curry (double quantity (F)) with Rice, Naan Breads, Poppadum’s, Pakora’s and Onion Bhaji’s, Mango Chutney and Raita.
Dessert = Self Saucing Jaffa Pudding (in slow cooker) with Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream
Slow Cooker Gammon in Pineapple Juice served with Macaroni Cheese (double quantity (F)) and Buttered Peas
Dessert = Choc Orange No Bake Cheesecake (F)
After dinner the kids get in their new PJ’s, we track Santa on the laptop and put out the reindeer food and a drink and mince pie. The kids go off to bed then hubby and I sit down with a glass of wine and watch a bit of telly…..before Santa arrives
Christmas Day Breakfast
Christmas Morning Muffins (Nigella Christmas p214) (F)
The Main Event
Bacon wrapped Chipolatas
Gingerbread Stuffing (Nigella Christmas p124)
Parsnips with Parmesan (Delia Happy Christmas p193)
Christmas Sprouts (Nigella Christmas p132)
Cranberry Sauce and Bread Sauce
Boxing Day Buffet
Cold Turkey and Ham
Mini Quiches (F)
Christmas Coleslaw (Delia's Happy Christmas p93)
Selection of Cheeses with Biscuits
Dips and Crudites
Poinsettia (Nigella Christmas p3)
Christmas Puddini Bonbons (Nigella Christmas p247)
Chilli Jam (Nigella Christmas p241)
Freeze Ahead Meals
Chilli Con Carne (F)Curried Mince and Peas (F)
Lamb and Date Tagine (Nigella Christmas p72) (F)
What festive recipes do you make year after year?