Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Veggie Christmas 2013

Christmas is here!! Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year; the lights, the decorations, gift giving and of course...the FOOD!! Since Isaac and I met, our Christmas tradition every year is to spend Christmas Eve together and have our own version of Christmas, as we both spend Christmas Day with our families. I love this as we get to have all the lovely things about Christmas Day but in a much calmer way. We watch A Muppet's Christmas Carol, listen to lovely Christmas songs, exchange gifts and have a big (veggie) Christmas Dinner together. It's so special. 

So, as I have a bit of time I thought I'd share what we've been eating! We started the morning with pancakes! But not just any old pancakes, snowman pancakes!! (I really only made 2 snowmen and then made loads of regular pancakes). They're spelt pancakes with a dash of vanilla bean paste. With them I made orange, cinnamon and maple spiced Greek yogurt and a gorgeously glossy blueberry, apple and ginger compote. I also had lemon wedges and maple syrup on standby if we fancied. We were stuffed after!! 

We didn't have lunch, but I made some cinnamon popcorn to nibble on while watching A Muppet's Christmas Carol (our favourite Christmas film), however totally forgot to take a picture. Afterwards came the main event...Christmas Eve Dinner! This year I wanted to keep it simple, one main dish and 2 sides. I know it doesn't look like much but we have over half left over and couldn't finish the veg. I made gorgeous maple glazed carrots with toasted pecans and crispy roasted sweet potatoes with red onions, garlic and rosemary. And as the centrepiece, Torta di Risotto (risotto tart), stuffed with griddled courgette, aubergine and pepper. Absolutely delicious accompanied by a glass of Champagne and plenty to be enjoyed again tomorrow! 

To finish we couldn't not have mince pies! My homemade ones are again made with spelt flour and vegan-friendly. The perfect end to a wonderful Christmas Eve and a great start to Christmas day.

Merry Christmas! I hope this Christmas is the loveliest yet and is filled with love, laughter and scrumptious food.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nutella Chocolate Truffles

Christmas day is almost here! And what is even better than getting a gift? Giving one! Bought gifts are of course lovely, but there is something so nice about giving a gift you've made yourself, a little bit extra has gone into it. These will make a perfect Christmas gift (or a gift any time of the year) for someone you care about, and they take only take a few minutes to put together.


Start off by gently heating 120mls (1/2 cup) of double cream and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small sauce pan before pouring over 225g/8oz of good quality plain or dark chocolate snapped into chunks. After it's melted add 1/2 a cup of Nutella (about 4oz, a cup is easier to measure with I found) and mix until totally combined. Pour into an 8x8'' baking pan and put into the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. 

Once hard, using a melon baller, baby ice cream scoop or just a teaspoon and the palm of your hand form small round balls. Coat them in either nibbed almonds or hazelnuts or a good quality cocoa powder. This makes 34-36 good sized truffles. Keep them in the fridge until you're ready to give them to prevent them getting too soft and melting.

They look really cute in these small paper cases and have been given the taste test stamp of approval by Isaac. I'm sure everyone who receives these this year will be very pleased, if they have any room left for them after Christmas dinner that is!