Monday 30 December 2013

Foodie Friday On A Monday - What I Ate In December And LouLouLand Christmas Giveaway - Number 5 x

This probably has to go down as the latest foodie friday post yet but I hope that the end of the post will make up for it.

December - the month where we eat and drink to excess - I wouldn't say I've eaten and drank to excess this year but I certainly feel full of plumptious ness. This month it's been all about luxury and comfort food, starting with one of my favourite things -my mushroom stroganoff.

This wasn't just an ordinary mushroom stroganoff though, I pimped this one up with some red pepper, some red chilli and some Stilton which gave a real richness to the sauce.

Next up another one of my favourite comfort foods - cauliflower cheese - I love this stuff with a passion, it's warming, and soothing and I always feel better when I've eaten it.

I find cheese in general the ultimate comfort food I adore the stuff and this month I tried a few recipes from Nigella Christmas - this is by far one of my favourite Christmas recipe books. Whilst it contains every recipe you will ever need to make the perfect Christmas dinner it also contains quite a few recipes that you can use all year round including this.

Nigella's Triple Cheese And Onion Strata is probably one of  the most amazing thing I've eaten over the last year. It's basically a savoury bread pudding - line a baking dish with lots of stale bread, she suggest baguettes but I used a mixture of gluten free baguette and rolls, then pop some Parmesan (or pecorino) if your veggie, some mature cheddar and some mozzarella into a food processor along with some sour cream, some eggs, and a bunch of spring onions and zap together to make an eggy, cheese, cream sauce.Pour it over your bread squidge it down a bit and leave it for 24 hours preferably in the fridge but ours went in the porch. Then bake for half an hour to forty minutes till puffy and golden.

OMG amazing - this was so, so good and the reheated leftovers were even better - I will definitely make this again. There are a few ingredients but its really easy to make and great for using stale bread.

Another Nigella recipe that me and Mummy Lou tried for the first time this month - is her Chilli Jam (find her recipe here). We had quite a few homegrown red chillis so we gave this a go, chopping and deseeding the chillis is a pain literally - wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly -  I ended up with a burning nose!! - but this is so worth it. Don't get my wrong it's fiery but at the same time it's quite sweet - it's fab with ham or cold chicken according to Mummy Lou but I've been having it with cheese from one or our 3 cheese boards (don't ask!) and the combo is fantastic. We have some more chilli plants for next year and a stock of red thai chillis in the freezer so I can definitely us making some more of this.

In the run up to Christmas like everyone I seemed to be out and about pretty much everyday - for somebody that leaves the house maximum once a week this is a big deal so it was no surprise that me and the mother ship took in several tea and coffee stops pretty much every time we left the house. One of my best discoveries came in BB's Coffee Shop in a local Boundary Mill Stores.

This festive delight was called a Gluten Free Jap Cake - the name is a little odd but I've done a bit of research and they appear to be a now hard to find cross between a meringue and a macaroon, or macaroon. They are usually made with egg whites, sugar and either ground almonds or in this case hazelnuts. This thing was heaven in a mouthful with a little icing festive figure and a squirt of cream my gluten free fantasies were fulfilled. If anyone knows I can buy more or a successful recipe please let me know x

As well as the foodstuff we went to town on the festive coffee shop offerings - In Starbucks the Orange Mocha stole my heart from my traditional Toffee Nut Latte, so much so that I just had one in the entire month - I'm but a fickle beast.

In Costa there could only be one drink of choice - the White Chocolate Hot Chocolate - mmmm yummy and the glittery stars just make it - Does anyone know if they do this all year round? please say yes! -You can also see a bit of their fabulous Honeycomb Crunch Bar here too soooo good x

Sticking with the drink theme I thought I'd also show you two other beverages that I've been enjoying this month  and no it's not alcohol - I'm lucky if I've had 4 alcoholic drinks since the first of December #Lightweight :) - first up this

I thought it had gone for good when the circus themed bottles disappeared from the shelves but it's back as part of their Supreme range - mmm honeycomb - this is basically Crunchie bars in a bottle -Now all I need to do is find the Raspberry And White Chocolate variety.

This is something else that recently reappeared and something I definitely recommend you look in your supermarket fridges for - stick it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and you have hot chocolate that tastes like melted Galaxy insanely good. Not cheap but it's worth it - it also comes with marshmallows for a sprinkling that aren't vegetarian booo.

Okay we're nearly there now, we're nearly at the big day itself but first up a Christmas Eve tradition of mine and Mummy Lou's. At lunchtime we always have a ciabatta roll (now gluten free) filled with pesto sauce, mozarella, tomatoes and fresh basil - we usually make them in the morning and give the flavours a few hours to develop heaven.

This is usually followed by a homemade mince pie, with cream, clotted cream in this case yum before we had to more nibbles and mulled wine on Christmas Eve proper.

Christmas Day itself in my house doesn't start with any fancy breakfasts we just do normal brekkie and we don't have any starters we go straight to the main event Christmas dinner x I had Quorn Roast with veggie sausage and bacon pigs in blankets and homemade gluten free sage and onion stuffing.

This was followed by gluten free Christmas pudding, with custard and a touch of cream :)

I don't think I ate anything else bar a few chocolates and some candy floss on Christmas Day but by Boxing Day the food intake was ready to resume again with what I believe is called a french dip sandwich. This is a tradition of my dads that I carry on but obviously mine is a veggie version (he used pork) basically it's a sandwich with in my case Quorn Roast, veggie gravy and left over stuffing - yummy and something I always look forward to.

I've had a couple of proper meals but rather naughtily the rest of the time I've just been grazing -cheese, olives, crisps hummus, and dips

Crispy Marshmallow Treats  and M&S Macaroons (a little disappointing :()

and of course keeping with the honeycomb trend Nigella Lawson's Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars

Not forgetting the traditional and healthy Clementine x

I've really enjoyed doing my Foodie Friday posts over the last year or so and I know I have a lot of readers that read my blog specifically for them - so in this season of giving I thought I'd host a little giveaway for all of your foodies and wannabee foodies out there. One lucky winner will receive a set of 3 metal gingerbread man (okay person) cookie cutters

a set of four silicone cupcake cases

and an H&M Trust Me I'm A Baker Tea Towel - which is brand new and was just taken out of the packet to photograph :)

This little giveaway is open worldwide, All you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below before the 7th January for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks as per usual for reading, I know this was an epic post and Good Luck xx


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