Category Archives: Christmas Fare

Food Monday ~ Christmas Cranberry Punch

Christmas Cranberry Punch

2 cups Cranberries
2 cups Water
1 cup Sugar
3 Lemons
2 pints Gingerale
Red and Green Cherries

Place the cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan and cook to a pulp, lift off the heat and cool slightly, then strain.
When cooled, add the lemon & lime juice plus 2 pints of Gingerale.
Add red and green cherries to decorate..
6 – 8 servings.

To add the Woo Hoo kick:

In a tall glass pour 25ml of vodka, a 1/4 peach schnapps and fill with the cranberry juice garnish with a wedge of fresh lime.

Food Monday ~ The Bishop

Please don’t report me to Paddy Anglican or Ian Poulton, they might write me off their Christmas card lists! 😉

The Bishop or Princely Hot Port

This is ideal for serving to cold and cheerful Carol Singers with warm Mince Pies. Do people go carol singing any more? I always thought of it as a great community builder and great fun.

A rather less intoxicating drink than hot whiskey that’s practically as delightful and just as historic. Dickens drank bowls of it…. well so we are told, I cannot say for sure since he was a few years ahead of me at school! 😉

Wash an orange, stud it with 16 to 18 cloves, put it in a baking dish, and place it in a preheated 350 ° oven. Roast until browned, 60 – 90 minutes, and set aside to cool.

Heat 1 bottle ruby port and 1 cup water to a simmer, stir in 2 oz sugar, a pinch each of grated ginger, freshly grated nutmeg, and allspice.

Cut the orange into quarters, add it (and any juices that have run out) to the port mixture, stir, and serve in small glasses.
For a little more bite, add 4 oz cognac.

Sing well!

Food Monday ~ Christmas recipes ~ revisited

The run up to Christmas is always a busy time in the kitchen as well as everywhere else. It might be the year that all the family decide to descend on you for the big day or one of those following. What will you give them for nibbles or dessert?

In order to help I have trawled back through my archives and listed below some links that I have posted over the years. I see I have been leaning towards the sweet stuff more than anything else. Ah well, as Mammy used to say: “A little of what you fancy, does you good”!

I have not included a recipe for cooking the Turkey. I have not cooked a full turkey for many years and at this stage if I were to do so, I’d probably trawl through some of my favourite Food Blogs to get up to date modern ideas.

Savoury Recipes

Honey Glazed Ham

Nut and Seed Loaf served with a Cranberry, Apple and Brandy Sauce

Smoked Salmon Roll

Mothers Pâté

Country Pâté

Christmas Red Cabbage

Port & Apricot Bacon Rolls

Lemon & Thyme Stuffing

Chestnut & Sausage-meat Stuffing


Christmas cake

Nana’s Christmas Pudding

Mincemeat for Mince Pies

Sweet Mince Squares

Chestnut Meringue Cake

Baked Cranberry Cheesecake

German Cheesecake

Cranberry stars

Cranberry & Chocolate Orange Florentines

Have you noticed a trend?  I am rather fond of Cranberries!


The Best Chocolate Truffles
Brandy Truffles
Chocolate Covered Orange Balls
Chocolate Orange Truffles


Orange Sorbet
Cream Cheese Penguins

Roasted Pepper Cookies a good match with Mothers Pâté

Nibbles with a Cheesy Crunch
Olive Cheese Balls
Colourful Crisps


Egg Nog
Mulled Claret

If you do click through to a particular recipe, I suggest you read the comments as well,  they have some great tips and suggestions from regular readers of my blog.

Food Monday ~ Orange Sorbet

Orange Sorbet
Serves 4

6 Oranges
1 Lemon
4ozs Icing Sugar

Squeeze the oranges and lemon to make just over 1 pint of juice.  Stir in the icing sugar and whisk until it dissolves.  Transfer to an ice-cream maker and freeze, or pour into a freezer tray.  Freeze to a slush, then transfer to a bowl and whisk well, or whiz in a food processor so that the sorbet becomes very light and fine grained.  Return to the tray and freeze until firm.  Transfer the sorbet to the fridge about 30 minutes or so before eating, to let it soften.

Food Monday ~ Party Food

The party season is upon us once more and this week I am giving you some ideas for party nibbles to go with drinks.

Now another little tip from long long ago. On party nights my mother always had a great big pot of soup ready and sitting on the stove. As the party quietened down and was drawing to a close the soup was warmed and mammy insisted on all drivers having a cup full. Soon all the guests were sipping away and warming up inside before heading out into the cold of the night.

During the year I gave you Roasted Pepper Cookies a good match with Mothers Pâté – OK so it contained liver.


Smoked Salmon Roll

2 tsps hot Horseradish cream
8ozs Smoked Salmon
8ozs Cream Cheese
4ozs unsalted butter
2 tblsps Lemon Juice
4 tblsps Single Cream

Put horseradish in a basin.Chop 2ozs of smoked salmon and add to the horseradish.Beat in the cheese, butter, lemon juice and cream.On greaseproof paper, lay out the remaining smoked salmon, overlapping to form a rectangle 10”x 4”.With wet hands shape the cheese mixture into a roll 10” long and place in the centre of the salmon.Fold the salmon edges around the cheese to enclose and roll tightly in the greaseproof paper.

To freeze: Place in plastic bag

To Use: Thaw for 1 hour then cut into ¾ inch slices.Put in the fridge until served (about 1½ hours)


Olive Cheese Balls

Yield 3 dozen.Preheat the oven to 200°C
8ozs Cheddar Cheese grated
5ozs Plain Flour
4ozs Butter melted
Pimento Stuffed olives
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Paprika.

Drain olives well. Mix cheese and flour until crumbly. Add butter and mix well with a fork. Mould 1 tsp of dough around each olive and shape into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet.Cover and chill for 1 hour or longer.Bake for 15 minutes serve hot.

Food Monday ~ Nana’s Christmas Pudding

Nana’s Christmas Pudding (No suet)
2x2pint Bowls greased well

8oz Butter
8oz Brown Sugar
2oz Plain Flour
¼ teaspoon each: Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Mixed Spice
8ozs Bread Crumbs
3 large Eggs
18oz Dried Fruit
1 large cooking Apple, chopped
2oz Nuts
3oz Candied Peel
2oz Cherries
1 grated carrot
Juice & Rind of 1 Orange
½ glass Spirits
Stout to moisten

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using your hands – part of the mystery of Christmas! Add the stout a little at a time to moisten the mixture. Finally stir ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda into a little milk last thing and add to the pudding mixture and mix well. Divide between the two bowls. Cover with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper and tie well. Place each bowl in a saucepan of boiling water making sure the water does not cover the bowls. Boil for 5 hours topping up the water level at intervals. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Boil 2 further hours before use. This second boiling can be done a week or so before Christmas and the pudding heated on the day.