Simple recipes for a seasonal soirée

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Enjoy these festive drinks and nibbles and impress your guests with options for non-drinkers and vegetarians during the deliciously relaxed period from now until new year! Remember, edible glitter never goes amiss!

Mulled wine

The classic Christmas drink. Enjoy in high quantities and store in an airtight container to reheat.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oranges 
  • 300g caster sugar
  • One cup of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 bottles of red wine

Method:

  1. Use a potato peeler or a knife to peel the oranges. Then, cut them in half and juice into a small bowl.
  2. Put the orange peel and juice into a medium-sized pan and simmer over a very low heat. Add the sugar and water.
  3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and bay leaves. Stir and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Pour the wine into a large pan over a low heat. Add the spice mixture. Simmer and stir until the mulled wine is at your desired temperature.

Virgin julep

A delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic alternative for your guests. Remember to stir well so the cordial dissolves completely.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of elderflower cordial
  • 15 sprigs of mint
  • 3 sliced limes
  • Ice cubes

Method:

  1. Mix the ingredients and dilute to taste. Stir until fully combined.

Pigs and prunes in blankets 

A twist on the classic, you’ll be surprised with how tasty these are with the added ingredients. Tailor the amount of ingredients to the number of guests.

Ingredients:

  • Cocktail sausages
  • Pitted prunes
  • Streaky bacon rashers
  • Cocktails sticks
  • Chutney of your choice

Method:

  1. Cut each rasher of bacon in half. Wrap each piece around either a prune or a cocktail sausage and secure with a cocktail stick.
  2. Line two baking trays with parchment and place the prune rolls on one and the bacon rolls on the other. Heat the over to 200C or gas mark 6. Cook the prunes for 10-15 minutes and the sausages for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Serve with chutney.

Halloumi and cranberry toasts

A snack for your vegetarian friends. Should none be present you could add prosciutto or Parma ham to the recipe. Additionally, you could add homemade cranberry sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 200g Halloumi
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g Melba toast
  • 100g  Cranberry sauce

Method:

  1. Thinly slice the halloumi. Lightly toast the slices in a frying pan with the herbs and seasoning to taste, making sure they are golden brown on each side.
  2. Top each piece of melba toast with half a teaspoon of cranberry sauce and a slice of halloumi.
  3. Serve warm or cold.

Have a lovely new year! 

Image by Kelsey Chance via Unsplash

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