Elouise Bauskis’s Christmas Favourites
Turkey and Vegetable Soup
We always have an organic, free-range turkey stuffed with loads of chestnuts, fresh herbs and some good quality organic sourdough breadcrumbs. After two days of feasting, a “carcass” remains that is excitedly made into a wonderful soup, slow cooked with loads of vegetables, herbs and organic vegetable stock. This is enjoyed for the next two days, and tastes even better on the second day, as the soup “matures” in flavour – just delicious! It’s the turkey that keeps on giving for days!
Using the bones this way, slow-cooked for many hours, releases lots of nourishing nutrients and provides a wealth of benefits to the gut and the body overall. Bones release anti-inflammatory and gut-healing proteins, healthy fats and an abundance of minerals just waiting to be absorbed! Bone broth also contains gelatin, which provides some of the “building blocks” of our cartilage, connective tissue and our gut. Make sure you only use organic bones for bone broth, as toxins are stored in bones.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
There’s nothing better than homemade cranberry sauce, and it’s SO easy to make! Store-bought cranberry sauce is packed with sugar, and seems so “artificial” in comparison to my homemade version. I add honey instead of sugar and some apple too. You can freeze any extra for later, or divide into jars and give as gifts to loved ones.
600g fresh cranberries (2 packs)
3 apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
1 cup of pineapple or orange juice
1 cup of filtered water
The juice and zest of 1 orange
4 tbsp honey (adjust to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1. Combine the washed cranberries, chopped apples, cinnamon stick, cup of juice and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Keep it on a medium heat, stirring continuously until the cranberries start to burst. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
3. Reduce it to a simmer and add the orange juice and zest, and honey. Simmer it gently for another 10-15 minutes and then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
4. Taste it towards the end of cooking to assess whether you need more sweetness.
5. Store in sterile jars, in the fridge for days, or freeze some for later.
Strawberry Cheesecake Santas
Sarah Sharpe’s Festive Treats
1. Clean and prepare strawberries by cutting off the stalks so they can be placed upside down.
2. Chop the tip off to become Santa's hat.
3. Mix half a pack of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of honey, or two tablespoons of icing sugar.
4. Place a dollop of cream cheese mix onto the base of the strawberry to become Santa's beard. Pop the top back on and add a small blob for the bobble on Santa's hat.
5. Using a cocktail stick or similar, add cream cheese "buttons" to the base of the strawberry.
6. Add decorative chocolate balls or similar for eyes and enjoy!
Rachel Bartholomew’s Favourite Winter Salad
Clementine, feta and winter leaf salad
If like me, you have an everlasting bowl of clementines over Christmas, this recipe is a great way to use some of them. It comes courtesy of BBC Good Food; adapted ever so slightly – I always leave the sugar out of the dressing. It works well as a Christmas day starter, a light Boxing Day lunch or a colourful platter on a festive buffet.
You will need:
For the salad:
6-8 seedless clementines (peeled and sliced whole)
2 heads red chicory
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and finely sliced
1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
200g feta cheese, cut into cubes
For the dressing:
Juice 1 clementine
Juice 1 lemon
4 tbsps olive oil
small handful parsley, finely chopped
1.Place all dressing ingredients in a jug, season and whisk until well combined. Stir the fresh parsley into the dressing.
2.Toss together the chicory, watercress, fennel and onion. Place in a salad bowl.
3.Place the slices of clementines on opposite sides of each plate. Add a pile of leaves in the middle and scatter over the feta cubes.
4.Drizzle dressing over salad, serve immediately and enjoy!
Melting Snowman Biscuits
Gemma Khoo’s Sweet Treats
My daughter's birthday is at the start of December so it's a good excuse to tuck into Christmas treats nice and early. She's just turned 2 and this year we made melting snowmen biscuits together for her nursery class. She loves helping out, though if she'd had her way each snowman would have had a good few extra M&M's! I got the idea from Pinterest and combined a couple of different recipes to get this one:
Ingredients for biscuits
250g butter softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1. Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine.
2. Sift over 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined.
3. Get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.
4. Roll out dough and use a circle cutter to cut out biscuits.
5. Bake at 180°C for 8-10 mins until golden brown.
6. Leave on rack to cool.
Ingredients for decorations
200g icing sugar
Tube black writing icing
1. Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture is runny but thick enough to coat a spoon.
2. Spoon icing onto each biscuit and add a marshmallow.
3. Stick two or three M&Ms on each biscuit to represent buttons.
4. Using the writing icing, pipe small blobs for the eyes and nose. Leave to set.