Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin soup
Christmas is a time of eating.. no? So when we decided to invite 6 friends over for Christmas eve, I wanted to go all out, as usual. I prepared a 4 course meal which included : Butternut squash & Pumpkin Soup, Baked goat cheese with caramelized onions (the nights favorite), Stuffed Chicken with a side of baked potatoes, chestnuts with broccoli, and thyme infused honey carrots.. and lastly for dessert we had Chocolate caramel tarts.. and Christmas spiced muffins

Baked goat cheese with caramelized onions

Stuffed chicken, with potoatoes and veggies, with a berry sauce

Chocolate caramel tart

Christmas spice muffins

Friday, December 21, 2012

Its been a long time.. But Tis the season for baking

Home made mince pies

225g cold butter , diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
280g mincemeat
1 small egg
icing sugar , to dust

To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball - don't add liquid - and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon 280g mincemeat into the pies.
Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal - you don't need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).
Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Note: photos are unedited and uploaded from my ipad :) hoping id get a new laptop for xmas :D