Tag Archives: Mince Pies

CarolCooks2…My weekly roundup of recipes, Christmas traditions and Trivia…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome to this weeks roundup…How are your Christmas preparations going? I am happy as my Christmas supplies have arrived, my sweet mincemeat and puddings are now made. My new oven is set up and ready to go so now I can bake some cakes … Not so many mod cons here…but I manage with a few improvisations and have surprised myself over the last few years as to how resourceful I have become…

Beef Bourguignon is an old family favourite and a lovely dish if you have a few friends around over the Christmas period it is a one-pot dish and cooks itself.

christmas Eve Supper

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/09/beef-bourguignon/

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Next up are some dessert recipes Bingsu which you may not have heard of before but which is a popular dessert here in Asia…A lovely dessert to share, Mango and sticky rice is almost iconic and can be found almost everywhere here and very nice the mango offsets the sweetness of the coconut rice, Fruit Salad ours is a bit more tropical due to living here but always a crowd pleaser and lastly, my all-time favourite dessert is Creme Brulee and this one has a slight twist a touch of chilli and some lime…

Bingsu

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/10/christmas-recipes-bingsu-sticky-rice-with-mango-creme-brulee-and-fresh-fruit-salad/

Mince Pies and Sausage rolls don’t need too much of an introduction for many and a firm favourite in this house…and yes I make my own sausage meat as I cannot purchase it here…

sausage rolls mince pies home made

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/11/christmas-recipes-mince-pies-and-puddings/

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Next, it is over to Sally’s for my last post until after the New Year and my second Christmas Menu which is a traditional one with a few twists… Sally, however, has her 12 days of Christmas posts and what a star she is… Not only is she promoting other authors and there are some great Christmas books to be had which would make lovely stocking fillers, but she is also promoting my recipes…Thank you, Sally xxx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/smorgasbord-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-carol-taylor-traditional-christmas-menu/

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I would not like to say how many Turkeys I have cooked …But we all have to start somewhere and I know it can be a pretty daunting task when it is your first Christmas Turkey…

Roast Turkey

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/13/how-to-cook-the-perfect-turkey/

I have now got two adorable pictures of two lovely children in Christmas Jumpers for this Fridays Christmas Traditions and Treats…I was hoping that more of you would send your pictures in of your Christmas finery be it jumpers, sweaters, socks or a beautifully decorated tree or house…So don’t be shy please send me some images xx

Christmas Treats and Traditions (1)

There is a mulled wine recipe, lots of trivia and traditions and until next week an empty jumper corner…Boo Hoo x

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/14/christmas-traditions-treats-and-a-little-trivia/

Next, it is young Hugh and he did hint at a Christmas jumper pic…hint hint… He has started his annual Christmas Charity appeal so please pop over and leave your link and share, Hugh will give you a mention in The New Year and some very lucky doggies will get some extra treats…

puppy-3191770_640

https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2018/12/13/2018-christmas-charity-appeal-help-me-raise-250-for-the-dogs-trust-by-leaving-me-links-to-your-blogs-and-books/

You all know I love chillies, don’t you? Well, my big boy sent me a bottle of vodka infused with Naga Chillies which are apparently the hottest chillies on the planet and not for the faint-hearted…Shot of the said vodka is not advised and apparently a little in Bloody Mary spices it up somewhat…

There are also some recipes for some tamer tipples…Like a  winter Sangria, Mulled Wine, Irish Cream, Limoncello and more xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/15/christmas-recipes-naga-vodka-bloody-mary-drinks-anyone/

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Before I go and just in case all that rich Christmas fare and overindulgence plays havoc with your digestive system a few hints and tips as I don’t know about you but a bad dose of indigestion is too painful…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/smorgasbord-health-column-heading-under-the-mistletoe-indigestion-reach-for-the-peppermint/

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I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas roundup of recipes, traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us xxx

christmas-cracker-3012548_640

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures,  Welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

Christmas Recipes…Mince Pies and Sausage Rolls.

sausage rolls mince pies home made

It’s that time of year when there is never enough hours in the day isn’t it or they are and because we have been dashing about frantically we are just too tired…

I always get my mince pies and sausage rolls made and store in the freezer uncooked and just take them out as required.

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust. But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep the pastry cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

 

If you haven’t made your sweet mincemeat yet then never fear the recipe is here

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting, I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get sausage meat here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

To make the sausage rolls just roll out your pastry take some sausage meat and roll it to form a sausage put the sausage meat on the pastry and roll. Just wet the edge slightly and either use a fork to make some holes in the top or as I do make a couple of slice on the top of the pasty as in the picture.. Cut into equal size pieces and put on a baking tray and then brush the top if the pastry with milk or an egg wash and pop in a preheated oven 200C for 15 mins then reduce the heat to 180C for another 10-15 minutes or until your pastry is golden…It also depends on the size of your sausage rolls.

sausage-rolls-pastry

Home made sausage rolls

Once cooked put on a cooling rack and then store in a lidded container.

Enjoy!

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

If you love this recipe please pin me xxx

Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Welcome to week 4 of Traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia…

Only 32 sleeps…Christmas always seems so far away and …explosion-147931_640

 

It gets real…..

There are many Christmas traditions practised  around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Last week I mentioned Gingerbread Houses and Robbie came up with not just one but six…Robbie is the Queen of cake decorations and also has some awesome Cook Books aided very ably I will say by her son, Michael… so without anymore twittering from me head over to Robbie’s and see what beautiful Gingerbread houses she has created…Thank you, Robbie x

robbies gingerbread house

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/baking-a-gingerbread-house-or-six/

I just love it when I get interaction with my posts it is so much more fun and personal isn’t it?

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Christmas Jumper Corner.

nicholas-201281_640

I really cannot believe out of all my readers no one has a Christmas Jumper that they want to share…So don’t be shy…

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Christmas Pudding is one of the mainstays of British Christmas traditions …it just would not be Christmas without the pudding! Now I know that and even here I have always made my Christmas pudding and there have been a few converts to this traditional Christmas fare…My Thai friends love it!

But forget I did until young Hugh from Hugh’s views and News...jogged my memory…Stir Up Sunday he said to me…and then it all came flooding back…Hugh’s blog is one I always pop over to if I have a query as he is the man with all the tips…Thank you, Hugh 🙂

After church and guess who was a choir girl?... Everyone congregated in the Church Hall and the ladies of the Women’s Institute made a huge batch of pudding mix and we all got to stir and make a wish then all the puddings they made were put in with the hampers they gave out for the old, poor and needy….So thank you, Hugh, for jogging this rusty old memory… I had forgotten.

Held on the last Sunday before the First Advent Sunday and that pudding mix had to be stirred from East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus. I wonder if that tradition is still carried on by those wonderful ladies of the Women’s Institute?

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Did you know?

“Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978?

Silent Night is also one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s. Although I love Michael Buble’s version I just love to listen to the Kings College Choir …

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Do you know?

Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

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I can’t go without giving you some recipes now some recipes can be made in advance which saves so much time on the day…So here they are tried and tested …

These are all recipes that you can make now and freeze for later… How many of you have tried Bread Sauce as when I made it here for our Christmas Dinners at Sugar Reef ( Our restaurant) I was surprised at how many people didn’t know what it was…It turns out that the sauce has been passed down through the generations for a good 500 years. A  culinary relic of the Middle Ages, one of the few remaining examples of the bread-thickened sauces, stews and soups that were once served at Christmas feasts, and other celebration dinners, across medieval Europe. Even Nigella couldn’t envisage a Christmas dinner without it…

https://blondieaka.com/2017/12/07/christmas-recipes-prepare-now-freeze-for-later/

Happy Cooking!

Thank you very much for reading this post and please you must have a Christmas Jumper picture and many thanks to Robbie and Hugh for their contributions 🙂 x

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

 

Christmas Recipes…Prepare now..Freeze for later…

 

christmas-1695531_1920The time is just flying by now it’s 7th December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet?preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

Mince pies and Sausage Rolls

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we???

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

stuffing-mix

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves.This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

 

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

pickled onions Dec 2017

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for today…..

Take care and have fun x

 

 

 

 

 

Have you made your Christmas pudding yet??

My oh, my is the time not flying now???

Time to make the puddings and mincemeat for Mince pies…

Christmas Pudding

This first recipe is gluten free..for all of my friends who have to eat gluten free for a diagnosed medical condition and it is delicious and quite frankly just as nice as my tried and tested recipe I always make..not much difference in taste.

So I am giving you both recipes one Gluten free and my tried and tested one which if you used gluten free breadcrumbs and flour would also be Gluten free..

Hopefully this year I will have proper rolls of wrapping paper as one’s son is in England and will be bringing some back for me…Yehhhh no juggling with those silly little rolls which are just enough to wrap a matchbox…I am not kidding!

 

 So here is the first recipe for a… Gluten FREE Christmas pudding… Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

100gm currants.

100gm sultanas.

100gm sour cherries.

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Grated zest and juice of half an Orange.

1tsp of mixed spice and cinnamon.

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

100ml of brandy..this is where my hand slipped…ha ha

180gm dark brown sugar

1 granny smith Apple( I can’t these) so used a new Zealand apple which is quite tart.

1 large carrot, grated.

250gm ground almonds.

50gm gluten free cornflour.

1tsp gluten free baking powder.

2 med free range eggs.

50ml vegetable oil( I use coconut oil)

plus extra for greasing.

2 tbsp black treacle.

This makes enough for a 2-pint pudding basin or two 1 pints.

To make:

In a large bowl put dried fruit, zest, and juice, spice, and brandy, stir to combine, cover and leave for 24hrs.

Then mix in sugar, apple, and carrot, add beaten eggs then stir in oil and treacle.

Lastly,  stir in dry ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Put mixture into a greased pudding basin it should be two-thirds full. Cover the top with a round of greaseproof paper the cover with pleated tin foil and secure with string.

You can now either sit the pudding in a saucepan on an upturned plate and fill the pan with boiling water about half way up the basin. Put the lid on and steam for 4 hours remembering to top up water as necessary.

I always use a steamer and in this case, it was my wicker rice steamer which the bowl sits in nicely over the pot of water.

If you have made a lot of puddings over the years like me  I think you find your own preferred method of steaming your puds.

Once steamed, cool and rewrap pudding and store in a cool, dry place. It is the fridge for me as too humid…I do miss my cool pantry…

To serve simmer or steam the pudding for 1-2 hrs, then invert onto a plate and flame the pud or serve with sauce, brandy butter or cream…

It’s cream all the way for me …and lots of it!

My second recipe is slightly different but adaptable to make gluten free and the one I make year after year….I could do it blindfold now…lol

So for all of you who want to get your Christmas Puddings made so they develop the lovely flavours then here is my tried and tested recipe….. 🙂

Ingredients:

300gm fresh white breadcrumbs ( I use brown)

100gm self-raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated

350gm raisins

100g mixed peel

50gm flaked almonds

250gm suet

225gm Demerara sugar

225gm sultanas

225gm currants

2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated

2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated

(shhhh)Wet ingredients

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 small wine glass of brandy  shhhhh and a tad more..ha ha

2 tbsp black treacle

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over a low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the match and viola a flaming pud 🙂

N.B. As I live in sunny climes then I store mine in the fridge as they ferment very quickly here and that’s not quite what we want.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to make wish 🙂

Just in case you missed it my turkey babies…  Down on the farm.…The turkeys are growing nicely so my Christmas dinner for the first time in two years will be ….Turkey!

The recipe for sweet mincemeat will follow maybe next week…lol…But you will get it ..If you can’t wait then it is here Sweet Mincemeat..the same recipe every year but tried and tested… family ones are the best…No nasties and made from scratch…

I hope by now you have forgiven me for using the dreaded C word…..But is creeping up and fast…. It is only 107 sleeps!!!

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..

Laughter aside ….My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be affected by Hurrican Irma we are all thinking and praying for your safety and well-being…Much love and prayers…

 

Christmas Recipes Part 2.

Mince pies

 

Hello everyone and how did your pudding making go have you done it yet?

Today I have some more favorites, Mince Pies now what Christmas be without them, Prawn Cocktail which I have made every year since for ever it’s like a tradition now so whatever new starter I come up with I still have to make that… and a wonderful home-made drink and those who know me well were wondering when I would slip that one in..ha ha…can’t think why…..Who likes Bailey’s? Well this is the closest you will get to it  and if you sip Bailey’s and then this….. hardly any difference whatsoever…..Lets get with it then……

Mince Pie Pastry.

I use half fat to flour so for example 8oz Flour and 4oz fat.

Ice cold water added tbsp at a time( amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

SAM_4080 Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my short crust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

Irish Cream:

Ingredients:

10 oz Irish Whiskey

1/2 pt whipping cream

1 can condensed milk.

2 eggs.

11/2 tbsp Chocolate syrup.

1/2 tbsp each of, Vanilla Extract, Coconut Extract, and Chocolate Extract.Home made Baileys

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice.

Now isn’t that easy? and …you can get  about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Baileys…yay……

Prawn Cocktail:

Ingredients: Serves 4.

500gm of prawns, peel and devein (saving a few to decorate glass)

Iceberg lettuce, 1 tomato, piece cucumber, slices of lemon/Lime.

To Make Sauce:

8tbsp good mayonnaise or make your own.

1tbsp Tomato ketchup.

2tsp horseradish sauce.

2tsp lemon juice.

Black pepper for taste.

Paprika.

Method:

Mix all ingredients except black pepper together, season with black pepper.Chill in fridge.

To serve: prawn cocktail

Shred iceberg lettuce or lettuce of your choice, thinly slice tomatoes and quarter, and finely diced cucumber.

Put iceberg lettuce in bottom of glass or serving dish, add diced cucumber and 3 pieces of tomato. Top with cocktail sauce, sprinkle with Paprika and garnish with prawn and twist of lemon. Enjoy.

Well, that’s it, for now, I am off to make some ham, it’s finished brining and now to cook…I so love home cooked ham…..

 

Until next keep smiling, be happy and stay safe..don’t get crushed in the Christmas rush….