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Maple Roasted Carrots with Pecans


Maple Roasted Carrots

These Maple Roasted Carrots with Pecans are the perfect side dish to your Christmas lunch. Just pop them into the oven with your potatoes whilst your Turkey is resting - and don't forget you can prep them the night before and stash them in the fridge. I love how the maple syrup makes the carrots go sticky and caramelise.... and the nuts give the dish a lovely contrasting crunch!

I'll let you into a little secret - If you've got any leftover they are really good in a wrap with hummus!

Maple Roasted Carrots


MAPLE ROASTED CARROTS WITH PECANS


Maple Roasted Carrots
Yield: 6 as part of a roastPin it

Maple Roasted Carrots with Pecans

Carrots roasted in maple syrup with pecan nuts.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients:

  • 1kg Chantenay Carrots, quartered
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 TBSP Maple Syrup - I used Amber Maple Syrup from We Love Maple
  • 25g Pecans, chopped

instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 200°c/ 180°fan.
  • Step 2: On a baking tray lay the carrots in a single layer, drizzle with oil and cover with a sheet of foil. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven.
  • Step 3: Take off the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  • Step 4: Take out of the oven then drizzle with the maple syrup and scatter over pecans. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.


MORE RECIPES

If you like the look of these maple roasted carrots why not try my creamed leeks?
Beth Sachs
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Parsley and Thyme Stuffing for Christmas


Parsley and Thyme Stuffing

There are a few vegetarians and pescatarians in our wider family so I always try and make a vegetarian friendly stuffing on Christmas Day (along with my favourite sausagemeat one of course!). This Thyme and Parsley stuffing recipe has been developed by the chefs at Schwartz and uses mainly store cupboard ingredients you will have to hand. I've put my own twist on it with the addition of some fruity dried cranberries, which adds colour and a sweet tang as well as some gently softened onion. These two ingredients work wonderfully with the herbs and ensures a tasty, robust stuffing that goes brilliantly with either turkey or whatever vegetarian option you are serving to your guests.

If you aren't making this recipe specifically for vegetarians you can use it to stuff the turkey itself, otherwise roll the mixture into balls or press into an oven proof dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Parsley and Thyme Stuffing


THYME AND PARSLEY STUFFING 


Parsley and Thyme Vegetarian Stuffing
Christmas
Yield: 6 as part of a roastPin it

Thyme and Parsley Stuffing

a vegetarian stuffing recipe using store cupboard ingredients including breadcrumbs, eggs, dried herbs and onion.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 40 mins

ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Schwartz Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 2 TSP Schwartz Thyme
  • 1/4 TSP Schwartz Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 TSP Schwartz Season All
  • 50g Butter melted
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 50g Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Egg
  • 225g Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°c.  In a small frying pan, soften the chopped onion for 5 minutes in a little oil. 
  • Step 2: Place all of the ingredients, including the onion, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Step 3: Use the stuffing to either stuff your Turkey, roll into balls or press into an oven proof dish and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.


MORE RECIPES

Why not take a look at my recipe index for hundreds of family friendly recipe idea's.
Beth Sachs
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Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies


Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

These happened by accident but my goodness I'm glad they did. I had a little bit of cranberry sauce leftover in a jar as well as half a packet of dried cranberries, so decided to develop this naughty chocolate brownie recipe full of festive flavour.

The brownies turned out moist and fudgy - helped by the cranberry sauce - and were gobbled up by hubby's work colleagues in minutes. The chopped nuts on top are optional but added a really lovely crunch. I'm going to be making some more for Boxing Day!

OTHER BROWNIES RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies from Jam and Clotted Cream
Chocolate Fudge Brownies from Jam and Clotted Cream
Triple Choc Brownies from Jam and Clotted Cream


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BROWNIES

Baking, Brownies
Baking
Baking
Yield: 12 barsPin it

Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

A moist fruity chocolate brownie using dried cranberries and cranberry sauce with a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts for added crunchiness.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 35 mins

ingredients:

  • 150g Dark Chooclate
  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 40g Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 50g Dried Cranberries
  • 100g White Chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 60g Cranberry Sauce
  • Handful of chopped hazelnuts for the top

instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c and line a 20 x 20cm tin with baking paper.
  • Step 2: In a large microwavable bowl melt the chocolate and butter  - I zap it for 20 seconds at a time so it doesn't overcook. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Step 3: In another bowl mix together the sugar, cocoa and flour then pour in the melted chocolate mix and stir to combine.
  • Step 4: Beat in the eggs then fold through the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. Pour into tin and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  • Step 5: Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool overnight before cutting into squares.

NOTES:

Calories and nutrition for 1 bar
calories
371
fat (grams)
23.3
sat. fat (grams)
14.4
carbs (grams)
37.5
protein (grams)
5.3
sugar (grams)
24.8


PIN THE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BROWNIES!

Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies
Beth Sachs
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Mincemeat Crumble Slices


Mincemeat Crumble Slices
I like Mince Pies but I don't love them - I've never been a massive fan of pastry if I'm honest. What I definitely do love however are these Mincemeat Crumble Slices. Moreish, buttery crumble sandwiching moist fruity mincemeat - yum!

You can make the crumble really quickly in a food processor but I prefer to rub in the butter and flour by hand. Once cooked and cooled I pop the whole tin in the fridge overnight to firm up, before cutting into large squares. A dollop of clotted cream on top is lovely, or you could reheat slices in the microwave and serve it as a warm pudding with custard.

Mincemeat Crumble Slices

TIPS FOR MAKING THE MINCEMEAT SLICE

  • Add some extra fruit into the mincemeat for added fruitiness - dried cranberries would be nice.
  • Stir some chopped nuts into the crumble mixture for added texture and taste.
  • Serve warm with custard for an easy dessert

OTHER MINCEMEAT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE


MINCEMEAT CRUMBLE SLICES

christmas, mincemeat
baking
Yield: 16 BarsPin it

Mincemeat Crumble Slices

prep time: 15 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 50 mins
A sweet festive crumble bar using Christmas mincemeat. A great alternative to Mince Pies.

ingredients:


  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 175g Butter, cubed and fridge cold
  • 50g Light Muscavado Sugar
  • 1 TSP Mixed Spice
  • 400g Jar of Mincemeat

instructions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°fan) and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, rub together the butter and flour until you get a breadcrumb type consistency. Stir in the sugar and mixed spice.
  3. Press half the mixture into the base of the tin then spread the jar of mincemeat over the top.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture on top and lightly press down.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares.



PIN THE MINCEMEAT CRUMBLE SLICES

Mincemeat Crumble Slices

MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes visit my recipe index which contains hundreds of frugal recipes divided into handy categories.

Don’t forget to follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest (it’s a great visual guide of my recipes) then pin my recipes to try.

Want to receive posts by email? Sign up in the sidebar!
Beth Sachs
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Meal Plan 14th - 20th December 2015


I NOW POST MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS ON THE JAM & CLOTTED CREAM FACEBOOK PAGE.

Last week of School - Hooray! We're counting down the days until Friday but before we get there we've got the School Christmas Concert, a birthday party, haircuts .... as well as lots of Christmas cooking to do. I've got more festive recipes on the blog this week starting with Mincemeat Crumble Slices tomorrow. Have a good week.

Monday 14th December
Leftover Roast

Tuesday 15th December
Chicken Stir Fry and Noodles

Wednesday 16th December
Macaroni Cheese

Thursday 17th December
Chicken Kievs, Sweet Potato Mash and Veg

Friday 18th December
Panini's, Coleslaw and Salad

Saturday 19th December
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice

Sunday 20th December
Leftover Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Beth Sachs
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Kitchen Design for Small Spaces


Kitchen

We  all covet a large and sociable kitchen diner but the reality is that sometimes it's a case of making the most of what we have. Since we moved house last year I'm now lucky enough to have a fairly big kitchen but for many people space is at a premium. I've recently been helping my Brother in Law design his new compact kitchen and I've learnt a lot in the process! If you are short of space and thinking about redesigning your small kitchen, here are my top tips to make sure diminutive doesn't mean dull.

Tip 1: Plan the layout and accessibility of your space first. U shape designs work particularly well in small kitchens and enables you to achieve the perfect working triangle with cooker, sink and fridge on opposite sides of the U. If your space is narrow and long, a double galley style kitchen will still enable that classic working triangle.

Tip 2: Use light and reflective materials where possible for your cabinets, worktops and shelves. White paint on the walls and ceiling is also a must. In our old house we utilised white hi gloss units to great effect - reflecting the light and making the room look instantly brighter and bigger.

Tip 3: Utilise the full height of the room making sure your wall cabinets go as high as possible...the only use for the space between the top of cabinets and the ceiling is collecting dust anyway!

Tip 4: Integrated appliances help to create that sleek clean look. Hide your dishwasher, washing machine, fridge and freezer behind clean lines.

Tip 5: Lighting can create the illusion of space too. Make sure the hob and work surfaces are well lit by small LED spotlights under wall hung cabinets in addition to bright LED ceiling lighting. Lighting on kick plates is also very effective.

Tip 6: Clear away the clutter. If there are too many items cluttering up the worktops consider clever solutions like wall mounted magnetic knife strips and rails to hang your most used utensils. You could even consider hanging pots and pans from the ceiling!

Do you have any tips to add?
Beth Sachs
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Bake Box Subscription


Bake Box Subscription

Bake Box is a brand new subscription gift which provides budding bakers with the tool kit and recipes to develop their baking talents. Bake Box is the first of its kind in the UK with each box containing 6 recipe cards and the tools needed to transform any cake into a show stopper.

Boxes are delivered bi-monthly (the first boxes are due for delivery in January 2016) and subscription gives you automatic access to the Bake Club Live website where you can check out Masterclass video's and bonus recipes. The Bake Box subscription is £14.99 every two months, with each box containing at least £40 of equipment.

I was sent a trial box recently which included a gingerbread mould and we'll be attempting to recreate a fantastic Gingerbread House this weekend. I'll let you know how we get on!

I was sent a trial Bake Box to review, all thoughts are my own.


Beth Sachs
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Festive Chocolate Truffles


Festive Chocolate Truffles

The kids and I made these truffles as Christmas presents for their school teachers the other day. We made a big batch of the truffle mixture then rolled them in a variety of different ingredients - cocoa, desiccated coconut and chopped nuts (thank you Whitworths for sending these to us to try) before packaging them up in festive boxes.

I wont lie, the kids will get very messy and this is from a person who absolutely cannot abide mess. In fact I got quite agitated watching the chaos unfold but I somehow managed to contain the urge to keep washing their hands and cleaning up behind them! They had a huge amount of fun though and that's what matters ...although I'm still finding desiccated coconut and chopped nuts in every crevice in my kitchen and probably will be for the next month.

Festive Chocolate Truffles


FESTIVE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES 


Festive Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate
Yield: Makes 50Pin it

Festive Chocolate Truffles

Rich Chocolate Truffles for Christmas
prep time: 20 minscook time: total time: 20 mins

ingredients:

  • 300g Dark Chocolate
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 50g Unsalted Butter
  • To decorate:
  • 25g Chopped Nuts
  • 25g Desiccated Coconut
  • 25g Cocoa

instructions

  • Step 1: Break up the chocolate and put into a large heatproof bowl.
  • Step 2: Put the cream and butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter melts and the the mixture reaches simmering point. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  • Step 3: Mix everything together until all the chocolate has been melted. Chill the mixture for 4 hours.
  • Step 4: Dip a melon baller (or just use a teaspoon) in hot water then roll the truffles into shape with the palms of your hands (make sure you coat your hands in sunflower oil before doing this).
  • Step 5: Coat the truffles in the topping of your choice. We used cocoa, desiccated coconut and chopped nuts.
  • Step 6: These keep in the fridge for 5 days (or you can freeze them).



Beth Sachs
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Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage


Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage

The festive season is now well and truly upon us and throughout December Waitrose are asking their social followers what #MakesChristmas for them. Whether it be opening presents, seeing family, listening to Christmas songs or eating that first mince pie, they are asking people to post their favourite festive moment on Twitter and Instagram, with one lucky person winning a Christmas Dinner for 12 people.

What #MakesChristmas for me is smelling those lovely heady Christmassy aroma's for the first time. Think cinnamon, clementines, cloves and ginger... and this year Waitrose have rather handily incorporated them into their Signature Spice mix.

Now, you probably already know I love getting ahead with my Christmas food preparations!  My freezer is already stashed with lots of festive treats like homemade mince pies, cheese straws and decadent desserts, but did you know you can make and freeze some of the traditional Christmas side dishes too? Freezing this Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage takes a load of pressure off on Christmas Day because all you need to do is pull it out of the freezer on Christmas Eve and reheat it in the microwave - making more room on the hob for those sprouts! I used the signature spice mix in the recipe and it filled the room with a lovely Christmassy scent. I might even try rubbing it on the gammon joint this year!

Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage


CHRISTMAS SPICED RED CABBAGE


Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage
Christmas
Yield: 6 as part of a roastPin it

Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage

A Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage recipe that can be made ahead and frozen.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 45 mins

ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP Oil
  • 1 Red Cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded
  • 1 finger size piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 Onions, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Waitrose Signature Spice Mix
  • 1 TBSP Mustard Seeds
  • 100g Light Brown Sugar
  • 150ml Red Wine Vinegar

instructions

  • Step 1: Heat oil in large lidded pan then fry the red cabbage, onions, ginger, spice mix and mustard seeds for 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the sugar and vinegar - stir well then put the lid on and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Take the lid off and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes until the cabbage is cooked. Cool and freeze if not eating straight away.


MORE RECIPES

Have a look at my recipe index for more Christmas recipes, helping you get prepared for the big day!

Disclosure: I was sent a pot of the spice mix, vouchers and a hamper for creating this recipe. All thoughts are my own.
Beth Sachs
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10 Minute Mushroom Stroganoff


10 Minute Mushroom Stroganoff

The rounds of Christmas disco's, parties and concerts have started this week. After school today we're off to a Christingle service at our local church and then a Brownies party later on for my eldest daughter! In busy times like this I love homecooked meals that can be made quickly and you wont find many meals as quick to make as this creamy mushroom stroganoff. It takes all of 10 minutes but is so tasty that people will genuinely think you've been slaving over a hot stove for hours.

If you wanted to make it more meaty, fry some thin strips of steak with the mushrooms and add another spoon of creme fraiche at the end. A sprinkling of chopped parsley would be a nice garnish but not for my kids!

10 Minute Mushroom Stroganoff


10 MINUTE MUSHROOM STROGANOFF


Mushroom Stroganoff
Yield: 2Pin it

10 Minute Mushroom Stroganoff

A quick and easy mushroom stroganoff made in 10 minutes.
prep time: 4 minscook time: 6 minstotal time: 10 mins

ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
  • 350g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
  • Rich Beef Stock Pot - I used Knorr
  • 4 TBSP Creme Fraiche

instructions

  • Step 1: Fry the onion, garlic and smoked paprika for 2 minutes.
  • Step 2: Turn the heat up and add the mushrooms, fry for a further 2 minutes
  • Step 3: Add the stock pot and creme fraiche, mix together. Allow to warm through then serve on a bed of rice.


MORE RECIPES

Take a look at my recipe index for hundreds of family friendly recipe ideas.
Beth Sachs
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John Lewis Christmas Elegance Afternoon Tea Hamper


John Lewis Christmas Elegance Afternoon Tea Hamper

I'm a bit smug. I've wrapped all of the Christmas presents before December...every single last one of them.  This is usually a job I don't particularly enjoy and tend to leave until the last minute, but this year I had a helper. My hubby, who wouldn't normally be seen within a mile of a roll of sellotape was enticed to help with the promise of treats from this wonderful Christmas Elegance Afternoon Tea Hamper.

We waited until the kids were in bed then crept around the house pulling out the presents from their various hiding places - I hope I remembered everything! We opened a bottle of chilled Prosecco from the hamper and sat down in front of the fire, glass in hand, nibbling on lots of lovely edible treats - the Macarons were a particular favourite. It was a lovely evening and helped get us into the Christmas spirit - so much so that I agreed to put the Christmas decorations up today! Wrapping understandably took longer than usual and the last of the wrapping may have been a little bit wonky thanks to the effects of the prosecco but the kids wont notice will they!


The hamper retails at £125 and contains the following products:

Rosato Vino Spumante
Prosecco Alessandro
Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Presse
Cartwright and Butler Strawberry and Raspberry Preserve
Handmade Marshmallows
Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate and Raspberry Biscuits
Honey and Almond Biscuits
Cheese Biscuits
House of Dorchester Milk Chocolate Bar
Macarons
Panettoncino
Genoa Cake
Chococo White Chocolate and Raspberry Slabs
Meringues
Loose Tea

Thank-you to John Lewis who sent the hamper - it made wrapping a whole lot easier this year! #JohnLewisChristmas.
Beth Sachs
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