Five festive quick fixes so you can slow down and savour all those precious moments.
Make your table setting extra special with these quick and easy scented napkin toppers. Take a sprig of eucalyptus and a small stem of rosemary and tie together using a mini glass bauble with a piece of ribbon. We are now stocking a beautiful range of mini Nkuku baubles which are simply perfect for this idea.
Sticky sticky sticky sausages
Make sure you try one of these before you offer them to all your friends and as you turn your back to grab the next bottle of bubbles, they will be gone. Preheat the oven to 180-200°C, chop your favourite butcher’s chipolatas into 3 and place in an oven dish, cook for 20 minutes. Once browned add a good tablespoon of Linnels Farm Plum & Chilli Jelly and a good sprinkling of sesame seeds. Cook for a further 5 minutes until cooked through. Serve immediately.
Runny local honey – Northumberland Wildflower Summer Honey is good
Spreadable goats cheese
Small fresh sage leaves
I like to call these chicory boats and they make the perfect shaped vessel for a fuss-free canapé. They are extremely light and quick and make a perfect accompany to a glass of fizz. Simply take off the outer layers of the white chicory and separate each leaf on to a platter or large plate. Fill each leaf with a good spoon of a spreadable goat cheese and top with a few chopped pecans, a drizzle of local runny honey and finish with a small fresh sage leaf. It’s best to enjoy them straight away so they are crisp and fresh.
Mocktails for all
Not everyone can enjoy a strong cocktail but this mock-tail recipe makes you feel like you’re not missing out and you can have as many as you like.
25ml hazelnut syrup (Monin)
1 tablespoon lime juice
185ml soda water
Place your ice in a tall glass. Add the hazelnut syrup and lime juice then stir in the soda.
Nearly as good as a G&T
15ml ginger syrup (you can use the syrup from your jar of crystallised ginger)
15ml lemon juice
dash of Angostura bitters
185ml tonic water
Add the ice to your favourite Gin glass. Add the ginger syrup, lemon juice and a dash of bitters, then stir in the tonic.
Origami Paper Stars
Create a garland or use them as place settings. These delightful double-sided, five-pointed origami stars are made using Cambridge Imprint paper in a stunning range of colours. A lovely activity in front of the fire in the run up to Christmas. They also make a lovely gift.