DRINKS at home have always been a thing at Christmas. From the annual welcome for the neighbours, to a festive gathering for the girls. Or a couples night in, where entertaining in the house is the new going out.
THIS is easy peasy and looks impressive.
2 x 250g whole Camemberts
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
few small sprigs fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
Remove the wrappings from the cheeses and pop them into the lower halves of their boxes. Wrap each one with foil to protect the box, leaving the tops uncovered. Cut a circle in the rind on the top of each cheese and remove it, exposing the soft cheese underneath.
Tuck garlic slices and rosemary sprigs into the cheeses. Season with ground black pepper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, Gas 5 375F 190C for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is runny and the top is golden.
Serve with Italian grissini (breadsticks) or thin slices of baguette, toasted, for dipping.
EASY to make and tasty to eat!
2 x 200g packs mixed whole nuts without shells (cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp dried garlic powder good pinch dried red chilli flakes
1-2 tbsp golden syrup (to taste)
Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
Add the nuts and spices with the olive oil.
Stir to coat in the spice mix and heat gently.
Cook for a few moments over medium heat, till the nuts are browned and the spices cooked.
Add the golden syrup and stir through.
Spread the nuts out on a baking tray lined with parchment to cool. This will stop them sticking together as they cool.
Store in an snap top plastic box until ready to serve. Tumble into serving bowls.
2 tbsp olive oil knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and in chunks
2 tsp medium curry paste
750mls vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over low heat till translucent and soft. Trasnfer to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Add the butternut to the pan with an extra splash of oil, and cook for a few moments, till the edges are softening. Transfer to the saucepan.
Stir the vegetables over low heat and stir in the curry paste. Cook for a moment, stirring. Pour over the stock. Bring to bubbling and partially cover.
Simmer gently till the vegetables are tender. Season Puree smooth and check seasoning.
Add a little more stock if the soup needs to be thinned.
Pour into warmed expresso cups and decorate with snipped chives to serve.
THESE are no cook and allow you to run away with your taste combos! Feel free to mix and match.
Ingredients (Serves 4 — 4 pieces each)
Tomato, olive and feta:
2 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 pitted Kalamata olives
1 thick slices feta cheese, cut in 4 equal sized cubes
Date and Pancetta:
4 Medjool dates
4 thin slices smoked pancetta
Artichoke and olive:
4pieces artichoke hearts in oil, from a jar
4 Kalamata olives
Pancetta and Feta:
1 thick slice Feta cheese, cut in 4 equal sized cubes
4 slices smoked pancetta
Cut the feta into chunks.
For the tomato, olive and feta skewers: Thread the halved tomatoes onto cocktail Add an olive then a chunk of feta.
For the date skewers, carefully slit the dates without cutting right through and remove the stones.
Wrap each date in a thin slices of pancetta. Skewer onto cocktail stick.
For the artichoke skewers: thread the artichokes onto sticks and top with a black olive.
For the Feta and Pancetta: Wrap feta cheese cubes in the pancetta and skewer with cocktail sticks.
4 small shots cassis or blackcurrant cordial Prosecco to top up
4 blackberries to decorate
Pour a small shot of cassis or blackcurrant cordial into four champagne flutes Top up with Prosseco to serve.
4large measures Boyle’s Craft Irish Gin
4 normal measures
Fentiman’s Tonic Water to top up
4 lime slices to decorate
Fill four tall tumblers with ice cubes.
Pour a large measure of gin into each glass.
Halve limes and squeeze half into each glass.
Add 1 measure coconut water to each glass.
Top up with tonic water.
Add lime wedges to glasses and decorate with lime slices on the rims.
Serve with straws.
4 measures vodka
2 measures orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
4 squeezes lime juice
100mls cranberry juice twists of orange peel to decorate
Place the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake well then pour into four classic Martini glasses, or use Coupè glasses (like champagne saucers) Thread the orange peel in a twist onto cocktail sticks and balance on the top of each glass.
4 large measures vodka
tomato juice to top up
2 limes, halved
4 good dashes
Worcestershire sauce Tabasco Sauce to taste.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sticks celery to stir
Fill four tall tumblers with ice cubes to about two thirds of the way up the glass.
Add four large measures vodka Top up with tomato juice.
Add the juice of half a lime, a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and few drops of Tabasco sauce in each one.
Season with crunchy sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a celery stick stirrer.