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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I realise that I am totally out of season with this post, however you could easily cook these at anytime of year, they don’t have to be just for Christmas, I have grouped these four together because I cooked them like this, but also for a personal reason too. It was Christmas 2010 and it was our first Christmas with the girls, it was also our first Wedding Anniversary. I am incredibly sentimental…. To me all our firsts are a mile stone in my growth as a person and a wife. I am sure certain people would disagree with me, but my life has just begun. I owe a lot to my husband and he definitely doesn’t give himself enough credit, but I have experienced so many wonderful things because of him, in the past five years, my life has become full, if I was to get run over by a bus tomorrow I would die I happy woman, because everyday has been lived to it’s fullest, and whilst there is SO much left to do, that I want to do, I have not wasted anytime, I have seen so much and done so much that I can only feel blessed, and I owe all that to him. The girls are just an added extra bonus, loved as I love my own.

These following recipes are ones my mother used to make at Christmas and I wanted to try and recreate, that homey Christmas feel for the girls, that my mother used to make so special for me, after all it was OUR first as a family and I wanted desperately to make it one to remember forever!

Smoked Salmon Parcels

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
125g Philadelphia
3 tbsp double cream
2 tsp snipped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large slices smoked salmon
Four whole chives
125g mixed salad leaves
Toast to serve


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp French mustard
Pinch of sugar

  1. Put the first six ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. First, cut four pieces of cling film big enough to encase the salmon when rolled, place a slice of salmon flat on each piece of cling film, then divide the cream cheese mixture onto each slice of salmon. Roll or fold the salmon to seal the filling, tie each one with a whole chive, carefully wrap up the salmon parcel into the cling film and refrigerate until needed.
  3. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a jar with a tight lid and give it a good shake.
  4. Right before serving, toss together the salad and the dressing, then divide between four plates and serve with the salmon parcels and the toast.  

Oaty Stuffing Balls

500g pork sausage meat
1 onion finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
90g oatmeal
2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F). Place the sausage meat and onion into a bowl and season with salt and pepper, knead and mash together with your fingers (I wear gloves) until it is all well blended.
  2. Using your hands shape the mixture into 16 balls, they will be quite small. Next mix together the oatmeal and the dried herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste, then spread them out on a plate and roll your stuffing balls in the oaty mixture. (You could use breadcrumbs instead of the oats, I have used both, but prefer the oats)
  3. Place your ‘balls’ in a greased oven proof dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Bread Sauce

6 whole cloves
1 whole onion peeled
1 bay leaf
625 ml milk
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
60g butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Large pinch nutmeg
2 tbsp single cream
  1. Stick the cloves into the onion, and place into a saucepan with the bay leaf and milk, bring to a boil, remove from heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs and butter to the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf, season the sauce with salt and pepper, if needed, and the nutmeg. Stir in the cream just before serving.
Roast Duck

2.5kg Duck
1 orange
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
Few stalks of parsley
500ml water

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Remove any excess fat from the duck cavity and wipe dry with kitchen roll, cut the orange and lemon into ¼ and place into the bird, season inside and out with salt and pepper and truss.
  2. Put the bird into a deep casserole dish with the onion, parsley and the water, place on the lid and cook for an hour turning once or twice.
  3. Remove the duck from the dish and place the liquid to one side. Put the bird, breast side up onto a roasting rack, whack the heat up to 190˚C (375˚F) and roast for 10 minutes each side, until the bird is golden brown.
  4. While the duck is roasting make a sauce out of the retained liquid.

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