We are in the midst of Christkindlmarkt Season here in Munich… Markets dot the city, and light up these dark December days with stalls piled high with Christmas food… All of it far too tempting, and usually incredibly sweet. Marzipan comes in all shapes and sizes, as does traditional gingerbread and chocolate covered fruit, not to mention the plethora of “restorative” drinks available, good old Glühwein being at the top of the list…
But it is Christmas, let’s leave “healthy” until the New Year shall we?
As we are not “at home”, I go to great lengths to try to recreate an English Christmas, (which is sometimes easier said than done), so I find recipes like this Home Made Berry Packed Mince Meat from Amelie’s House invaluable – Christmas wouldn’t be an English Christmas without a mince-pie would it? If you are looking for a twist on the usual pastry version, then English Mum has delicious sounding Clementine and Mincemeat Pastry Cakey Mince Pies, and Home Made by Fleur has some Frangipane Topped Mini Mince Pies with Baileys Pastry that sound equally good.
If you missed Stir Up Sunday, I don’t think it’s too late to get your puddings and cakes made now – better late than never, surely? The Botanical Baker lets us in to her house to witness a wonderful family tradition of making the Christmas Pudding together, and Blue Kitchen Bakes has a step by step guide on how to make a big beautiful Christmas Cake. I love the sound of A Mummy Too’s very clever Christmas Pudding Muffins with a Spiced Rum Frosting, but if you totally can’t stand Christmas Pudding in any guise, then a good alternative might be a Christmas Crème Brulee from A Glutton’s Kitchen…?
Looking for something Christmassy from a little further afield? Fishfingers for Tea has something from my current neck of the woods – Stollen Muffins, and making a nice change from Glühwein, The Yum Blog has some Mulled Cider to ladel out… Elizabeth’s Kitchen has one of my personal favourites too – Swedish Pepperkaker.
I have noticed a real return to home-made gifts this year, and quite often a whole lot more love is put into something home-made anyway. Here are some of my particular favourites (not that I am hinting or anything!): – The Pink Whisk’s gorgeous looking Salted Caramels, I Heart Katie Cake’s Peppermint Marshmallows (and if you are not overly fond of marshmallows, then these are so pretty you could just decorate your house with them!), and What Would Nigella Do’s fabulously named Hootycreek Cookies, full of cranberries, white chocolate and pecans. A Trifle Rushed shows us how to make something really popular in the States at Christmas – Peppermint Bark. Looking to make some Gingerbread? Mari’s World has a great Gingerbread recipe that you can make gifts from or build a Hansel & Gretel house with…
Chutneys and Jams make perfect gifts too (as does an ultra strong chilli jam for those you’re not so fond of perhaps?!)… Ren Behan has a gorgeous looking Keep or Give Christmas Spiced Cranberry and Plum Chutney, and Franglais Kitchen has a Quince and Pomegranate Jam with Cinnamon, Cardoman and Star Anise, how Christmassy does that sound?
Panicking about the big show stopper itself? Pop over to Mama Cook, she has a fabulous Twelve Days of Christmas Guide to Christmas Dinner and beyond!!
And for that huge problem of turkey left overs? How about Feeding Boys and Fire-fighter’s great idea for Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Parcels with a Winter Slaw?
You can’t not have a bowl of trifle at some point over the festive season, so to round off, I will leave you with Broccolli and Rice Cakes child friendly Trifle, and finally a Grown Up version from Cook Sister - a truly delectable soundingChocolate Orange Trifle in a Glass….
I will be back in January with a Healthy Food edition to help with those New Years Resolutions (which is probably just as well after this lot!), so if you have any recipes that fit the bill, stick them down below please… In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas, and a very Happy New Year! See you in 2013!