Recipes – Christmas

Clementine and cranberry upside-down cake

Thumbnail image for Clementine and cranberry upside-down cake December 23, 2013

Regard the humble cranberry. Just like that plain Jane in your university history course who seemed to have nothing of any interest to share with the world, but who was actually a pole dancing rock climber in her spare time, the cranberry hides a multitude of facts and trivia beneath its rosy skin.  How many […]

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Chocolate chestnut fondant – a decadent Christmas dessert

Thumbnail image for Chocolate chestnut fondant – a decadent Christmas dessert December 23, 2012

The other day, a friend and fellow-blogger asked an open question of his readers:  do you collect mementos when you travel, and if so, what?  If you’d aked me that question 15 years ago, the answer would have been a resounding “YES! How much time do you have?” At various times over my teenage and 20-something years, […]

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Sous vide duck breasts with a charred orange & Cointreau sauce

Thumbnail image for Sous vide duck breasts with a charred orange & Cointreau sauce December 19, 2012

  Christmas traditions – they’re a funny old lot, aren’t they?  For a start, how did the idea of a snowy Christmas with frost on the windows and northern hemisphere pine trees become so pervasive that you see shops in countries like my native South Africa (where Christmas falls in the middle of summer) giving […]

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Easy cheesy Brussels sprout gratin

Thumbnail image for Easy cheesy Brussels sprout gratin December 14, 2012

  **STOP PRESS** The Randomizer.org has spoken and chosen the winner of the Bluebasil gourmet brownies giveaway – and the winner is EMMA  HOWARD! Congratulations, Emma – we will be in touch soon via e-mail to arrange for delivery of your prize! ** Over the summer, I spent a weekend in Paris and met up […]

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Pot-roast pheasant with pancetta, apples and a bread gravy

Thumbnail image for Pot-roast pheasant with pancetta, apples and a bread gravy November 29, 2012

  Who can tell me what the following sentence’s claim to fame might be?  “The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us.”  Points if you said that it provides a an example of sibilance – and bonus points if you pointed out that it is onomatopoeic.  But its true claim to fame […]

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Sautéed Brussels sprouts with caramelised garlic, lemon & chilli

Thumbnail image for Sautéed Brussels sprouts with caramelised garlic, lemon & chilli December 19, 2011

  One of the disadvantages of having our dining room in the conservatory at the back of the house is that there is no hiding your kitchen and your work-in-progress from your guests.  I am inevitably in the kitchen when guests arrive and they either pop in to say hi before returning to the lounge, or […]

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Christmas pudding semifreddo with cinnamon streusel and brandy sauce

Thumbnail image for Christmas pudding semifreddo with cinnamon streusel and brandy sauce December 15, 2011

  One of the things people often ask me at this time of year is what some proper South African Christmas traditions are. It’s at times like this when I am faced with the sudden urge to make up something totally outlandish, along the lines of “first, you have to feed the giraffes their customary mince pies, otherwise they […]

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