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A few Nibbles for New Years

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We did a One Night in Bethlehem activity at our chapel prior to Christmas.   We tried to serve all biblical or middle eastern foods . . .  finger foods, foods that would make great nibbles for the New Year's Eve Buffet table.

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I made this lovely feta dip, which was really delicious and tangy and so simple to make.  It is basically just feta cheese, olive oil, thyme and lemon zest and juice blitzed until smooth in the food processor or blender.   Very simple really.  

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It was absolutely wonderful!   It was nice served with vegetables for dipping and crackers for spreading.  You want something crisp to go with the smooth richeness of this dip.   It went down a real treat.  

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*Creamy Feta Dip*
Makes about 2 cups
Creamy, sharp and herby.   Goes well with toasted pita chips, raw vegetables, crackers.   Quick and easy to make. 

400g feta cheese (1 3/4 cups)
125ml of extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled
the finely grated zest of two unwaxed lemons
the juice of two lemons
fine sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
a few springs of fresh thyme 

To finish:
a drizzle of olive oil
a few thyme leaves  

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Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.  Cover and chill until needed.  Place into a serving bowl.  Drlzzle the top with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a few thyme leaves.  

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I also made these lovely little Lamb Kofta Meatballs.  Spicy and just wonderful served with some pita breads and Tzatziki for dipping.    You could fry them if you wanted to, but I just bake them in the oven because they brown nicely, evenly and as lamb is a rather fatty meat anyways it helps to cut down on some of that extra fat.

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*Kofta Meatballs*
Makes about 20
Moist and spicy.  Serve with some Tzatziki sauce for dipping.  (Your own or purchased) 

2 pounds lean ground lamb
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
1/2 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsely, finely chopped
1 TBS ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
fine sea salt and fine black pepper to taste 

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/gas mark 6.   Have ready several rimmed baking sheets.  Place the cumin, cinnamon and allspice into a dry frying pan.  Cook over medium heat until very fragrant.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Crumble the meat into a bowl.   Add the chopped onion, parsley and cooled spices.   Season with salt and pepper.  (If you wish you may cook a small bit of this in the frying pan and taste it to see if you have seasoned it correctly.)   Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them evenly spaced on the baking trays.  Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through.  Serve warm or at room temperature with sauce for dipping if desired.  

Note: These are also nice served hot and tucked into warm Pita Breads with some lettuce and sauce. 

Happy New Year!  Have fun and stay safe!
Marie Rayner
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Healthy Snacking for the new year

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I was recently sent a packet of these delicious Mrs Crimble's Mature Cheese & Onion oven baked Potato Bites to taste.   I can't show you what they look like as they were largely crumbs by the time they got pushed through my post box, but I can tell you what they taste like!  Delicious.Crisp and crunchy, satisfyingly so with a lovely mild cheese and onion flavour.

I don't know about you, but after all the feasting of the past few weeks I am  going to be trying to eat a bit healthier in the next few weeks, with lots of fruit and veg and when it comes to wanting a bit of an indulgence, a now and again snack like these Mrs Crimble's  Mature Cheese & Onion Potato Bites.

At only 90 calories a bag they help to keep the calories down and they are definitely tasty .  Oven baked (not fried) and gluten free they make a delicious alternative to all those high fat bags of crisps.

At present they are available at the Co-op at £1.79 for a multi pack of 4.
Marie Rayner
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Cheesy Bacon, Potato and Cabbage Gratin

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I just adore all the fresh local produce that we find in the shops at this time of year . . . lovely cabbages, red, white and savoy . . . beautiful carrots, and onions . . . potatoes, beetroot, parsnips, beans, cauliflower, leeks, etc.  There is no end to it all . . . that makes me a very happy camper.  I love to eat seasonally and everything tastes so very delicious when it's fresh and local.

I love to showcase these fabulous fresh ingredients in any way that I can and incorporate them into our meals on a regular basis.  I have to confess that you cannot get a much nicer bake . . . than a vegetable gratin . . .

This one that I am sharing with you today is especially nice . . . using  not only potatoes and onions . . . but cabbage and bacon as well . . .  and not one . . . but TWO lovely cheeses.


First a nice freshly  grated chunk of wonderful Parmesan cheese.  True Parmigiano-Reggiano has a beautiful complex flavor that goes very nicely in dishes like this.  It brings to the table a slightly nutty/fruity flavor along with a strong savory undertone . . . a wonderful addition.

Then there is an abundant amount of taleggio cheese, which is a washed rind and smear ripened Italian cheese with a strong aroma, but fruity mild taste.  It's beautiful melting qualities are perfectly showcased in this lovely dish.

Let's not forget the back bacon . . . which lends a light smokey flavor, which is quite delightful when enjoyed along side of the cheeses and those tender vegetables.


Mind you . . . there's not much that can't be beautifully enhanced with the addition of bacon and cheese don't you think???  Nom Nom!  A simple supper with complex and robust flavors.  I like that very much.

*Cheesy Bacon, Potato & Cabbage Gratin*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

Wholesome, hearty and delicious autumn fare.  A novel way of using autumn produce that will please the whole family.

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
185g back bacon, diced (6.5 ounces)
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
675g of savoy cabbage, trimmed, quartered and cut into a chunky dice (1 1/2 pounds)
55g freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
butter for buttering the  pan
225g of taleggio cheese, diced (8 ounces)


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.  Add the potato and bring back to the boil.  Cover and cook for exactly 5 minutes, or until just barely tender.  Drain well and then place in a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the bacon and fry until the bacon begins to color.  Lower the heat and add the onions, garlic, thyme and chili flakes.  Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.

Wash the cabbage pieces.  Tip a third of it into the pan while it is still wet.  Cook, stirring and adding more cabbage as it wilts in the pan, until you have added all of the cabbage and adding a bit of water as necessary to help keep the cabbage from sticking to the pan.  Once the cabbage is completely wilted, remove the pan from the heat and dump this mixture into the bowl with the potatoes.  Toss gently together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Tip in half of the Parmesan cheese.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a 9 inch square glass baking dish, at least 2 inches deep.

Layer half of the cabbage and potato mixture into the pan.  Dot with half of the taleggio cheese.  Cover with the remaining cabbage and potato mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining taleggio.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are piping hot and the cheese is bubbling and flecked golden brown.

A little pickle on the side and some buttered bread and we were in heaven . . . 
Marie Rayner
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Cream Palmiers

One thing that I love about food blogging is that it's not about me. It's not even about you . . . it's about the recipes and the food!

It's about being able to cook and taste some of the best and most indulgent foods ever . . . and exploring the culinary delights my adopted country has to offer me.

It's about stretching my skills . . . both in the kitchen and . . . behind the camera . . . and about making food that not only tastes delicious, but food that looks good.

It's about waking up every morning and making YOU believe that what I am presenting to you on this page is the absolute best thing ever . . .

and about making you want to go into your own kitchen and cook it for yourselves, because you have just got to taste it for real, and because I have inspired you to do it, and given you the confidence to believe that you can!

Your comments are like me winning the "X Factor of food" every day of my life, and I thank you for that. Here's to more deliciousness in 2014. Let's begin as we mean to go on.

Cream Palmiers . . . tasty little bites of fluffy crisp buttery pastry, filled with a soft cloud of sweetened whipped cream and sticky sweet strawberry jam. Kind of like a de-constructed jam tart . . . with puff pastry . . . and CREAM. A delicious teatime treat.

The only down side is they all have to be eaten on the day they are filled . . . so NOT a problem!

*Cream Palmiers*
Makes 8
Printable Recipe

Absolutely delightful on the tea tray!

225g (1/2 pound) of all butter puff pastry
1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (a scant 1/4 cup)
1 TBS icing sugar, sifted
400ml of double cream (1 3/4 cups)
a few drops of vanilla
2 TBS strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Slightly dampen a baking tray. Set aside.

Dust the work surface with half of the sugar. Roll the pastry out on the sugared surface to a rectangle 10 by 12 inches in size. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining half of the sugar. Gently press the sugar in with a rolling pin. Starting at the short sides, roll the pastry towards the middle from both edges into the centre until they meet. Press together gently. Cut across the rolls into 16 slices. Place onto the baking tray. Press down to flatten slightly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until crisp and golden, turning them over halfway through the baking time so that they caramelize equally on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Whip the cream along with the icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Sandwich together pairs of the palmiers with some of the whipped cream and some of the jam. Serve immediately.
Marie Rayner
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Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Cups


My very British Husband is quite fond of telling me that eating peanut butter and jam together is completely insane.  That didn't stop him from scarfing down three of these as soon as I had them finished though!  (Me thinks he is a bit of a porkie pie teller and that he secretly LOVES the combination as much as I do!)

Could it be that I have finally indoctrinated him to my wild and wooly North American ways????  Could it be that his veins are beginning to run a tiny bit  with peanut butter and jam???  I like to think so at any rate!  This is a combination I love soooo much!  It's that sweet and salty thing!


Today I decided to indulge it by making little peanut butter cookie cups.  I was going to make them snickers cups . . . but then I got sidelined by the Thames Jubilee Pageant and so I just filled them with jam before baking and then topped them with a quick buttercream icing.  I wanted to sit and watch all the fun!
(Oh my but it was fabulous!  I've never seen anything like it.  Everyone was turned out beautifully.  I thought Kate was just gorgeous, as always, and the Queen looked positively radiant!)


This is the type of thing I would positively make for Her Royal Majesty, did she ever chance to drop in for tea.  I would want to bake her something to with her cuppa that was ludicrously North American and what can be any more North American than Peanut Butter and Jam!!  (I don't think she'd enjoy porqupine . . . not really.)


Crisp peanut butter cookie cups . . . baked with a sweet dab of jam in the middle . . . then topped with a peanut butter flavoured butter cream frosting.  Oh so scrummishly moreishly decadently good!!  Bet YOU couldn't eat just one either!


*Peanut Butter and Jam Cookie Cups*
Makes about 36
Printable Recipe

Tasty little peanut butter cookie cups, filled with jam and baked until crispy and then topped with a peanutbutter flavoured buttercream icing when cool.  M-O-R-E-I-S-H!!

For the cookie cups:
280g of flour (2 cups)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
172g of unsalted butter at room temperature (3/4 cup)
135g of creamy peanut butter (3/4 cup)
96g of caster sugar (1/2 cup)
100g of soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
1 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla
seedless raspberry jam

For the frosting:
6 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
100g of icing sugar (3/4 cup) sifted
135g of creamy peanut butter (3/4 cup)
3 TBS heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Have ready several mini juffin tins.  Spray with some nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and peanut butter until thorougly combined.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Whisk together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.  Stir this in to make a soft dough.  Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Place one in each muffin cup.  Press in with the bottom of a rolling pin, or a pastry damper to make a shell.  Fill the centres with about 1/2 tsp of jam.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  They should be lightly golden brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove and set on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

To make the frosting, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.  Spoon or pipe a little dab of this frosting into the centre of each cookie cup to cover the jam.  Allow to set completely.

Alternately the cookie dough can be rolled into walnut sized balls and pressed flat with a fork on a lightly buttered baking tray.   You can then bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Put together with a layer of jam and a layer of the peanut butter flavoured buttercream!

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If you can eat just one, you're a better woman than I am!!


 In any case if you didn't want to go to the trouble of making these as cookie cups, you could just bake them as regular peanut butter cookies and then sandwich them together with some of the frosting and some jam!

Marie Rayner
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Parsnip Patties and Celebrations Brownies

Parsnips were not a vegetable we had very often if at all when I was growing up. My mother did not like them at all. In fact she tells a story of her father trying to tempt her to eat just a tiny piece of one in exchange for a piece of candy (when she was a child) and she hated them so much that she couldn't even be tempted with something that was only a very rare treat.

I remember her cooking them once when I was in my teen years. She pared and sliced them into coins and then fried them in butter until they were golden brown on both sides. Oh my but there were lovely. She had been wanting to see if her tastes had changed. Alas . . . they hadn't and so that was the only time we ever had the opportunity to taste them.

As an adult I have cooked them frequently for I love them. They are delicious in stews and soups . . . mashed with butter and cream, roasted, glazed . . . any way you cook or cut them, I find them most delicious. They are well one of my favourite vegetables.

With the holidays I had quite a few of them in the vegetable bin . . . parsnips love nothing more than to be roasted and glazed and served with a roast turkey or beef . . . or ham and pork. I always get in lots because they are my favourite side dish of the holidays.

I did get in rather a lot this year though . . . but no worries for today I had enough left to make these delicious Parsnip Patties. Oh my but they are some good.

Crispy and buttery on the outsides . . . creamy and mildly spiced with a delicate flavour and sweetness on the insides . . . such a pleasure to eat.

I like to make a Cranberry Mustard to eat with them. I just whisk together equal parts of a wild cranberry sauce and Dijon mustard. It is the perfect accompaniment.

Of course you can make them a lot smaller for appetizer sized servings, about the size of a one pound coin or silver dollar will do. You'd get quite a few of these and of course would need extra oil for frying.

They are easy to make ahead of time and then just reheat in the oven when you want them. If you like parsnips, you're going to love these!

*Parsnip Patties*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

Creamy and sweet on the insides, crunchy on the outsides. Delicious! I like to serve them with a Dijon Cranberry Mustard which I make by whisking together equal parts of a whole berry cranberry sauce and Dijon mustard.

8 to 10 parsnips, peeled and sliced into coins
1/2 tsp salt
boiling water
to finish:
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper
1 medium free range egg, beaten
1 1/2 ounces fine dried bread crumbs (about 1/3 cup)

more dried bread crumbs for rolling
oil and butter for frying
snipped parsley for garnish

Cook the parsnips in the boiling water with the 1/2 tsp of salt until tender. Drain and mash well. Allow to cool. Stir in the first lot of bread crumbs and all of the seasonings, along with the beaten egg. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill well.

Scoop the well chilled mixture out using a small handful and shape into patties. Coat with the additional bread crumbs.

Heat a few TBS of butter along with an equal amount of oil over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the parsnip patties and cook until golden brown on both sides. Drain and then serve hot along with some cranberry mustard. Delicious! Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Here is a little bit of tempting delicious for you today.   Celebrations Brownies.  A tasty way to use up some of those leftover Christmas chockies!


*Celebration Brownies*
Makes 15
Printable Recipe

Imagine a brownie so rich and gooey that you can’t help gasping with pleasure when you sink your teeth into one . . . now add the hidden surprise of your favourite chocolate candy bar deep inside it’s decadently rich, chocolaty depth . . . Yes, you have died and gone to heaven.

7 ounces butter (13.8 TBS)
3 ½ ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces (use really good quality, no less than 60% chocolate solids)
12 ounces dark soft brown sugar (1.69 cups)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces self raising flour (2 cups)
Pinch of salt
10 ¼ ounce box of Celebration** chocolates, or other chocolates of your choice (Imagine Maltesers dotting the middle or a lovely layer of thin chocolate After Eight mints)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Brush an 11 X 7 inch tin with melted butter and then life with greaseproof paper. Set aside.

Put the butter and the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering, but not boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate, mixing it in well.

Beat the eggs together with the vanilla and the pinch of salt. Stir this into the chocolate mixture, mixing it in well. Sift the flour and stir in until well combined.

Un wrap the chocolates.

Pour half of the chocolate batter into the prepared tin. Lay the chocolates evenly spaced carefully over the top of the batter, making sure that there will be at least one in each portion that is cut. Pour the remaining batter over top, ensuring that all the chocolates are completely covered.

Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 30 minutes until the top is crispy and glazed looking but the insides are still soft. Remove from the oven and to a rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

**Celebration chocolates are a mixture we can get over here of small miniature chocolate bars such as Milky Way, Bounty, Mars, Snickers, etc. If you can’t get those use any favourite chocolate of yours. Malted milk balls sprinkled over the layer work quite well, as do thin chocolate mints. Chunks of caramel bar work equally as well. Let your decadent foodie imagination run free!

Marie Rayner
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Amazing Leftovers

So here you are. It's boxing day and you have a whole fridge filled with leftovers. What to do . . . what to do . . .

I thought I would give you some tasty ideas this morning to help you use up some of those scrummy leftovers. Of course you could just have a reheat of the leftovers, but it's also nice to dress them up in a few different ways too!

Ham Leftovers:

We like to have ham, cut into thick slices and fried in butter along side of our fried eggs for a special boxing day breakfast. Just melt some butter and add the ham once it begins to sizzle. Cook until it begins to get crisp on the edges, flip over and repeat on the other side.

You can chop it up and add it to your favourite macaroni and cheese recipe, or to a pan of scallopped potatoes.

Combine it with some of the leftover turkey, and some of that Stilton in a tasty salad! 


*Ham and Mac Bake*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

This is a wonderful casserole that is not only very tasty, but also very easy on the budget as well. My children always loved it when they were growing up and it was something different to do with the ham that was leftover from Easter. I often buy a slap of ham at the shops so that I can make this as well.

1/2 pound of macaroni (1 2/3 cups)
1/4 cup butter (2 ounces)
1/4 cup flour (1.5 ounces)
2 TBS Dijon mustard
salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk (5ooml)
2 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham (about half a pound)
2 medium eating apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup soft bread crumbs (about 1 1/4 slices)
2 TBS butter melted

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until done, according to the packet directions. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute over low heat. Blend in the mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. In the meantime bring the milk just to the boil. (Just until bubbles appear around the edges) Slowly whisk the heated milk into the flour mixture, cooking and stirring it until thickened, smooth and bubbly. Stir in the cooked macaroni, ham and apple slices. Turn into a greased 2 litre casserole dish.

Toss the bread crumbs with the 2 TBS butter and sprinkle evenly over top of the casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

*Boxing Day Salad*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

100g bag of baby leaf salad greens (about 4 cups)
1 head of red chicory
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
100g of cooked turkey (1/4 pound)
100g of cooked ham (1/4 pound)
50g chopped toasted walnut pieces (1/4 cup)
2 ounces stilton cheese, crumbled
4 TBS reduced fat caesar salad dressing

Place the salad greens in a large shallow bowl. Break up the red chicory leaves and toss into the bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil Tear the turkey and ham into bits with two forks. combine in a bowl along with the walnut pieces and stilton cheese. Add the salad dressing and mix to combine. Pile this mixture on top of the salad leaves and serve.

It's delicious chopped and mixed with grated cheese and then stuffed into a nice big fluffy baked potato.

Turkey Leftovers:

Of course you can have a plain old turkey sandwich, but why not dress it up a bit and serve it open faced on a rustic piece of bread, topped with some leftover cranberry sauce, some of the leftover stuffing heated and crumbled on top of the cranberry, then the heated sliced turkey and some heated leftover gravy ladled over top. Delicious with a few sliced pickles and some potato crisps on the side!

My mom always made Turkey Pot pies, or Beef Pot pies. We loved them! You can follow the roughly outlined recipe below, which is only a rough guideline of what to do. You can adapt it to whatever it is you have in your fridge. If you are using beef, then use the leftover beef gravy of course!

*Turkey Pot Pie*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

2 mugs full of leftover turkey, chopped
2 mugs full of leftover cooked vegetables, chopped
(peas, carrots, corn) If you haven't got any, then you can
use 2 mugs of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
a handful of roasted potatoes, chopped
1 mug full of leftover turkey gravy
1 mug full of milk
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp summer savoury
salt and black pepper to taste
Pastry to cover
milk and beaten egg yolk

Mix together all the ingredients except for the pastry in a large bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Spread into a large round, or oval shallow casserole dish. Roll out your pastry to cover and place over top, venting to allow steam to escape. Brush with a bit of milk and beaten egg yolk. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes in an oven which has been preheated to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Serve warm.

I think one of the most popular things to do over here in the UK with the leftover turkey is to make a Turkey Curry, but how about Coronation Turkey Salad! Yummo!!

*Coronation Turkey*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS curry powder
1/2 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander and ground turmeric
125ml of coconut milk (1/2 cup)
125ml of chicken stock (1/2 cup)
200g of mayonnaise (about 1 cup)
425g of leftover turkey (1 pound)
2 TBS dessicated coconut, toasted in a dry pan until golden brown, then cooled
fresh coriander leaves to garnisn (optional)

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil, until lightly browned. Mix in the spices and let them sizzle for about a minute. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock. Let simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat until the mixture has reduced and you have a thick, creamy, spicy onion mixture in the pan. Allow to cool completely. Whisk in the mayonnaise. Cut the leftover turkey into cubes and place in a large bowl. Pour the curry mayonnaise over top and toss to mix. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut, and garnish with a few torn coriander leaves.

Serve with warmed Chapattis, sliced tomatoes, sliced onion and torn lettuce.   

This recipe below calls for leftover cooked chicken and stuffing, but it is equally as good with leftover turkey!


*Chicken and Stuffing Pie*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This may not look like much, but this is absolutly delicious!

2 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 TBS butter
8 ounces stuffing crumbs, or crushed croutons (2 cups)
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
pinch ground nutmeg
1 TBS parsley flakes
salt and black pepper to taste
1 large free range egg, beaten
375ml of warm chicken broth (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
To serve:
Creamed peas and carrots (optional)

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion and celery. Saute without colouring until soft, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 inch pie dish. Set aside.

Tip the bread crumbs into a bowl along with the sage, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg and parsley flakes. Mix together well. Stir in the broth, beaten egg and sauteed vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken. Mix well. Spread this mixture into the buttered pie dish.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until set and lightly browned.

Serve cut into wedges along with some creamed peas and carrots spooned over top if desired. A tossed salad goes very well with this. 


*Creamed Peas and Carrots*
Serves 4
Printable recipe

Delicous served over crackers, biscuits, toast, fish cakes or my tasty Chicken Stuffing Pie.

2 TBS butter
2 TBS plain flour
1 pint of milk
salt and pepper to taste
cooked peas and carrots to taste
(I like a larger ratio of sauce to veg, but some people like more veg than sauce)

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the vegetables and heat through. 

Deliciously different Barbequed Turkey Pizza, with a tangy barbeque cranberry sauced base!  


*Barbequed Turkey Pizza*
Makes 1 (12 inch) pizza
Printable Recipe

A delicious pizza that is perfect for using up some more of that leftover Christmas Turkey!

For the dough:
250ml warm water ( 1 cup)
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
13 ounced white bread flour ( 3 cups)

For the caramelized onions:
2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
a glug of olive oil
seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS balsamic vinegar

For the sauce:
4 fluid ounces of barbeque sauce
a dessertspoon of whole berry cranberry sauce

To Top:
8 ounces cubed cooked turkey breast (1/2 pound)
8 ounces mixed grated cheeses (mozzarella, gouda and cheddar)
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese 


Put the dough ingredients into your automatic breadmaker according to the directions for your particular breadmaker, following the dough cycle. In the meantime heat a bit of oil in a frying pan. Add the onions. Cook and stir over medium heat until they begin to wilt. Add some seasoning and the balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until golden and caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Once the dough cycle has completed on your machine, remove the dogh and punch down. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out to fit into your pizza pan leaving a bit of an overhang. Butter the pan with some white vegetable shortening. Sprinkle with some fine polenta or cornmeal if desired. Place the crust in the pan, and fold the edge over to make a lip. Stir together the barbecue sauce and cranberry sauce. Spread over the top of the crust. Top with the caramelized onions and chopped turkey breast. Sprinkle with the cheeses and Parmesan.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 5. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for about 15 minutes, then move it to the top rack and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Optional Topping additions:
Slivered green peppers
sweetcorn kernels
sliced mushrooms
chopped roasted green chillies 

Leftover Roast Beef??  

A tasty Cottage Pie with a Potato and Parsnip Mash Topping fits the bill perfectly!  


*Cottage Pie with Potato and Parsnip Mash Topping*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a delicious way of using up some of the leftovers from your Sunday Lunch. You can make this with fresh ground beef of course, but we love it made with chopped leftover roast beef. I also like to use any leftover cooked vegetables in the filling as well. Usually it's just peas and carrots, but sometimes there is some swede as well. Just make sure you chop your cooked carrots and or swede into roughly the same size as the peas. French beans chopped are also nice. You can use leftover gravy if you wish, but I normally don't have any leftover so have made my own sauce.

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into coins
1 spring of thyme
a knob of butter and a splash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
For the filling:
2 cups chopped leftover cooked roast beef
1 cup leftover cooked vegetables, chopped into small bits
2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 TBS plain flour
4 cups boiling water
3 to 4 beef bouillion cubes
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 heaped dessert spoon of tomato ketchup
1 TBS horseradish sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste 


Place the potatoes, parsnips and thyme into a saucepan of slightly salted water. Bring to the boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft, then drain well, discarding the stem from the thyme. Mash well, adding a knob of butter and some milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place the leftover roast and onions in a large skillet, with any beef drippings that you may have. If not you may need to use a bit of oil. Cook and stir until the onions are softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute or so until fragrant. Sprinkle with the flour and stir it in. Stir in the boiling water until the sauce thickens. Crumble the bouillion cubes in, stirring until they are completely melted. You may need the full 4 depending on how much of a beefy flavour you want. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, ketchup and horseradish sauce. Mix all in well. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into a shallow baking dish.

Spoon the parsnip mash over top in a rustic manner.

Bang into a pre-heated 200*C/400*F oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the mash is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before serving. Delicious!

Leftover Vegetables:

We can't be forgetting the leftover Christmas Veg!! I know we all buy in far more than we need, and then end up with it hanging about the fridge. Here's a few different recipes for some dishes using some of that leftover veg so it doesn't get all wilted and go to waste!

*Spicy Parsnip and Sprout Hash*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

800g of parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks (1 1/2 pounds)
300g of brussels sprouts, peeled and finely shredded (1/2 pound)
a large handful of frozen peas
the juice of 1/2 lemon
50g of butter (1/4 cup)
1 TBS cumin seeds
1 TBS garam masala
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1 bunch of coriander, chopped (reserve a few leaves to garnish)

Place the parsnips in a pan of cold water to cover. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt and bring to the boil. cook for 12 minutes. While the parsnips are cooking, blanch the sprouts in another pan of boiling water for about 3 minutes, until tender, adding the peas for the final minute. Drain all the vegetables well. Tip the drained parsnips back into the pan along with the lemon juice and half the butter. Mash roughly. Beat in the cooked sprouts, peas, cumin, garam masala, chili and coriander. Season to taste with some salt.

Heat the remaining butter in a medium sized non-stick skillet. When it begins to sizzle, tip in the parsnip mixture, pressing it down to form a flat cake. Cook, until it is browned underneat. Turn over carefully with a fish slice. (It may break up but that's ok) Continue cooking until crisp on this side as well. Keep flipping and turning until you have a nicely crisped cake. Slice out onto a heated plate. Garnish with the coriander leaves. Cut into wedges to serve.

*Roast Vegetables with Stilton and Chestnuts*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

3 TBS French Walnut oil
4 large parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
4 large red potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
4 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 large onions, peeled and cut into wedges
200g pack of peeled and ready to use chestnuts (1 cup)
(roughly chop)
the juice of one lime
sea sald and freshly ground black pepper
200g Creamy Blue Stilton cheese, crumbled (1/4 pound)

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark6. Place 2 TBS of the oil in a large roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Toss iin the prepared vegetables, giving them a stir to coat with the oil. Roast for one hour until tender, turning occasionally.Mix in the chopped chestnuts and cook for a further 10 minutes. Whisk together the lime juice, remaining TBS of oil and a bit of seasoning. Divide the roasted vegetables between 4 heated serving plates. Scatter with the crumbled stilton and drizzle with the lime dressing. Serve immediately.

Leftover mincemeat and cranberries??? 

 Why not a delicious Spicy Cranberry, Mincemeat and Almond Eve's Pudding!

Spicy Cranberry, Mincemeat and Almond Eve's Pudding*
Serves 4 to 6 depending on appetites
Printable Recipe

The perfect way to use up that half eaten jar of mincemeat lanquishing in the back of your refrigerator!

1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 TBS water
200g of mincemeat (a generous cup)
100g of cranberries, frozen or fresh (1 cup)
100g of butter (7/8 cup)
100g of golden caster sugar (1/2 cup)
2 large eggs, beaten
75g of self raising flour (2/3 cup)
25g of ground almonds (1/3 cup)
a small handful of flaked toasted almonds

Cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Have ready a shallow 11 by 7 baking dish. Set aside.

Place the apple in a pot with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the mincemeat and cranberries. Pour into the baking dish, leveling out.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour and stir in along with the almonds. Spread this mixture over top of the fruit in the baking dish. Level off and then sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is well risen and golden brown, and the fruit is bubbling beneath. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then, serve warm with some pouring cream. Delicious!

Leftover Christmas Pudding?

 How about a Christmas Pudding Trifle!

*Christmas Pudding Trifle*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A delicious trifle which consists of a lovely rich custard baked over top of some crumbled Christmas pudding until wobbly. Chilled and then covered with amaretti biscuits, brandy cream, flaked almonds and silver balls, this is probably one of the nicest trifles I've ever eaten . . .

300ml of milk (1 1/4 cups)
200ml of double cream (3/4 cup whipping cream)
freshly grated nutmeg
6 large free range egg yolks
70g caster sugar (about 1/3 cup)
Leftover Christmas pudding (It's up to you how much)
12 crisp amaretti biscuits
150ml of double cream (about 2/3 cup), whipped lightly with a dash of brandy
1 TBS Toasted Flaked almonds
Silver balls

Preheat the oven to 110*C/225*F/ gas mark 1/4. Place 6 200ml containers on a baking tray. Crumble some Christmas Pudding into the bottom of each. You can use as much as you want. I crumbled about 1 TBS of the stuff into each container, so that it was about 1/2 inch deep. Set aside.

Heat the milk and double cream together, along with a grating of nutmeg, just to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Whisk in the heated milk mixture, whisking constantly. Strain this mixture into the prepared pots, dividing it equally amongst them. Grate a little more nutmeg on top. Bake in the heatred oven for 30 to 40 minutes, just until set. The centre should still have a slight wobble. Remove from the oven. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Just before serving, whip the cream softly along with a dash of brandy, or brandy flavouring. Crumble 2 amaretti biscuits over top of each pudding, then top with some whipped brandy cream. Sprinkle some toasted almonds and silver balls over top of each and serve.

Marie Rayner
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