What’s the tinsel all about? Golden lights are twinkling, brightening our darkening days as winter peels through falling leaves and icy panes. Jack Frost scatters his silvery might and all the while we welcome the festive season. In London Christmas is in full swing and decorations adorn the window shops. Christmas time equals big bucks and as shops tempt us with heart-warming interpretations of festive frivolities, let’s remember true joy is much closer to home, mmm in our kitchens perhaps?
Christmas is all about love and peace, family and friends, comfort and kindness, music that pulls on our heartstrings and wonderful smells that tinkle our taste buds and stir us deeply. Colours, bright, dazzle and delight, filling our hearts with warmth and light, oh Christmas is an awesome sight;-) And so much of our experiences are about flavour and spice, this time of year.
When I close my eyes and reflect on Christmas; I feel warm inside, I’m not certain what makes the difference between a happy Christmas and an empty one, though am sure the amount of love in our lives makes a massive difference. I love the colour and the thought that goes into decorations, though for me they’re peripheral and not Christmas at all really. I’m going to offer a slightly alternative platter over the next few weeks, though totally Festive and happily healthy I’m hoping these recipes will not only be delicious and merry, but restorative too. Touch your way through Yuletide, Feeling Food, enjoy warming textures and fragrances that majestically dance and brighten our bodies from the inside out, that is where truest beauty permeates.
Cooks go a bit cuckoo for Cranberries at Christmas time and I’m no exception. These ruby opulent berries bring brightness to sponges that are joyously light and full of melt in the mouth scrumptiousness.
Offering a delightful alternative to the dense and sickly sweet traditional puddings.
Special Tip – Feasts are a fantastic opportunity to enjoy rich foods, create balance by blending traditional choices with a few lighter ones, it’s the turkey that needs stuffing, not you.
Happy Thanks Giving
to all who are celebrating it today, especially my Aunt Kate, Uncle Pierce and lovely cousins Siobhan, Bridie and Bill;-)
It’s not the easiest time of year for some people, childhood innocence is tenderly mourned, as are those loved ones no-longer present. For anyone who feels like this, this recipe is my gift to you, and if you know someone who may feel like this too, it’s time to dust off your apron and make Christmas a truly happy one for those especially in need, bring joy to ALL hearts and may those you share it with know how lucky they are. I’ll say adieu for now, and leave you with a lovely old Indian saying,
“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.”
♡Mini Merry Berry Christmas Cakes♡
Butter 125g melted
Sweet Freedom/ if unavailable Maple Syrup 125g
Rice flour 125g
Cinnamon ½ tsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cranberry & Apple juice 200ml
Vanilla pod 1 slit and seeds scooped
Sweet freedom 60g, or fruit sugar if unavailable; Taste for your desired sweetness, cranberries vary in tartness, so you may add more towards the end of simmering.
PRE-HEAT oven to gas 4 180’.
MELT butter in a saucepan and transfer to a bowl.
WHISK in sweet freedom and eggs, until nice and frothy.
SIFT flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl.
POUR in milk and sweetened eggs until you have a smooth lump free batter.
BUTTER 6 heatproof ramekins or pots and scatter four cranberries into each one.
DIVIDE mix equally between the pots and wrap each one in foil.
PLACE in a large baking tray or casserole dish.
BOIL a kettle and pour in water so it reaches roughly an inch in the dish.
BAKE in the oven for 40 minutes and remove, leave for 10 to cool down.
PLACE remaining cranberries in a saucepan, with vanilla, sweet freedom and juice.
SIMMER for 15 minutes.
UNWRAP the mini merry cakes and pour over the lovely luscious berry sauce.
SUBLIME served with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt!