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Food Round-up: Christmas dinner

Food Round-up: Christmas dinner

The countdown is well and truly on. I do not know about you, but as soon as December arrives I start to plan the all important Christmas dinner. What meat I am going to cook, how I am going to cook the vegetables, my timings, I plan everything. For me it is all part of the excitement of Christmas.

Cooking a Christmas dinner can be daunting especially if you are doing it for the first time. For this months food round-up I thought that I would give you all of the tips that you will need to create the perfect Christmas banquet. From starters to mains, from vegetables to puddings. It is all going to be covered in this post with the help of some of the best food bloggers from the UK.

December 2016 food round-up

Starters and Canapés

Christmas dinner is all about spending time together around the table and what better way to begin the meal that with a starter or some canapés.

Soup is always a winner and a dish that you can easily make in advance. Julie from Julie’s Family Kitchen’s Chinese 5 Spice Soup is a warming way to start the meal. The five spices of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, ginger and cloves will give this soup a hit of festive flavours.

If you would like to serve a dish that is a little more extravagant Mel from Le Coin de Mel has the perfect recipe. Her Mussels in Champagne Sauce will definitely impress your guests! The added champagne to this recipe really does make it something special.

Smoked salmon on Christmas day is a must and Clare from Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy has used it in her Smoked Salmon on Rye Bread. These little canapés are the perfect combination of salmon, cream cheese, lemon and dill topped on toasted rye bread.

Breadsticks and dips are another great way to start a meal and one that the kids will love. Vicki from The Free From Fairy’s Roast Carrot and Cumin Dip with Gluten-free Breadsticks will keep the kids coming back for more. Just be careful that the kids do not fill up on them!

Main Course

The centre piece of the Christmas dinner table has to be a traditional roast turkey. Last month I visited River Cottage with some fellow bloggers and learn about brining. I have practised brining with a chicken and you can find the recipe for how to brine on Hijacked By Twins. Simply substitute the chicken for a turkey and add some festive flavours of orange, cloves and cinnamon to give it a festive twist.

If you have got any vegetarian guests for Christmas dinner, or just simply fancy serving a vegetarian option, Angela from Only Crumbs Remain has the perfect recipe. Her Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash has been stuffed with shallots, sweet potatoes, chestnuts and beetroot before being topped with a pastry lid. 

Salmon is another great dish to have at Christmas and one that we love. Helen from Family Friends Food has the ideal salmon dish to serve. Her Salmon topped with Pine Nuts, Rosemary and Orange has a temptingly crunchy top and with the addition of the oranges it will have a lovely zesty tang to it and one that would go perfectly alongside the Christmas spiced brined turkey!

No Christmas dinner is complete without a ham. Jodie from Every Nook and Cranny makes a ham every year and her Pineapple and Chilli Ham will definitely please everyone. If you have any chilli fearing guests, then do not worry, this chilli serves as a seasoning while the sweetness from the pineapple juice leaves you with a rich, tender ham.

Side Dishes

As much as I love the centre piece of a Christmas dinner, I cannot help but get excited for the side dishes too. It is the perfect time to get creative and really make it a meal to remember.

Red cabbage is a must! Mandy from Sneaky Veg has created a Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage. The cabbage has been combined with grated apple, star anise, red onion, cloves, nutmeg and sherry vinegar. All of these flavours together will make a truly special red cabbage side dish!

Brussels sprouts are a must for Christmas dinner but I know that they are not always welcomed. But with my Bejewelled Brussels Sprouts they will be enjoyed by more. I have combined the Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, smoked bacon, red onion and cranberries. The caramelised red onion and cranberries give the sprouts some much needed sweetness and they are finished off with a scattering of fresh pomegranate seeds to make them truly irresistible! 

Most people will find that their oven top is full of pans so the make it easier Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie has shared her Easy Christmas Vegetable Traybake. This is a fantastic way to free up both hob space and time. By leaving the vegetables in the oven to roast you have more time to enjoy a glass of bubbly with your loved ones!

Super crunchy roast potatoes are an essential in our house and it can take some practice to perfect the crispy texture. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen has shared a great post where she shares her top tips on how to make the Perfect Roast Potatoes!

If you have any gluten intolerant guest or are just looking for a stuffing which is full of flavour Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist has the perfect dish for you! Her Gingerbread Stuffing is a recipe that has been inspired by Nigella but Kate has worked her magic to transform it into a gluten-free alternative. The combination of her ginger cake with the savoury ingredients make this stuffing sound simply amazing!

I adore cranberries and having a good cranberry sauce to accompany the turkey is a must. Jaqueline from Recipes Made Easy has made a super easy . After reading how easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce you will not go back to buying a jar, it will be homemade year after year!


If you have room for dessert after your Christmas banquet I have found some after dinner delights from the traditional pudding to lighter bites.

We love a good traditional Christmas Pudding and Nathalie from The Intolerant Gourmand has revamped the much loved pudding into an Allergy Safe Christmas Pudding. This pudding is gluten, dairy and nut free so regardless of any intolerance that you are catering for ,with this pudding everyone can enjoy!

I know that not everyone likes a Christmas pudding, I have a fussy child who does not like dried fruit but as soon as I saw Jenny from Mummy Mishaps Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake I knew that it would make an ideal second dessert. If I am completely honest, I know that I would be more than happy to devour a slice, or two!

If you are looking for a lighter dessert Claire from Foodie Quine has the answer. Her Brandy Snap Baskets with Mulled Fruit Compote look divine! The brandy snap baskets contain cinnamon and ginger which are a couple of spices which encompass the flavour of Christmas. Served with a scoop of ice cream and topped with a compote of mixed fruits, cinnamon, ginger and port you are sure to have a dessert full of festive flavours.

If you are watching what you eat over Christmas do not despair. Cliona from Basement Bakehouse has shared a healthier version of a mince pie with her Filo Pastry Mince Pies. The regular, buttery pastry has been replaced with a crunchy filo pastry that has been filled with delicious mincemeat. These are definitely on my to bake list!

If you are well and truly beaten after the main course you could sit back with a coffee and a small treat. Helen from Casa Costello’s Marzipan Puppy Chow would make a lovely sweet treat to nibble on. Despite being call puppy chow that are not for dogs! These moorish little treats will keep you coming back for more, so make plenty!

So there you have it. Some amazing recipes to help you make your Christmas dinner special!

I will be back with my next baking round-up after Christmas and it is going to be all about healthier bakes so keep an eye out of that. If you have any recipes that you would like to put forward simply pop over to Hijacked By Twins and add it to the linky.

Merry Christmas and hope that it is a delicious one!

About Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe

Kirsty is a busy mum of three children, two of which are twins, housewife and blogger at Kirsty specialises in family friendly recipes that can be easily made even when life is manic! Whether in the kitchen cooking a meal or baking a cake, it is Kirsty's favourite place to be. Living the the countryside means she can enjoy freshly grown produce and fresh eggs ready for all of her bakes! You can find Kirsty on Twitter (@k_phillipson) Instagram (hijackedbytwins) Pinterest (hijackedbytwins) and Facebook (hijackedbytwins)