When you think of Christmas what comes to mind first? Christmas trees? Presents? Family and friends? Well for us, it is food!

There is nothing better than a cosy night in with loved ones, sharing a meal or enjoying a sweet treat. So to help get you in the foodmas mood and hopefully give you some new ideas for the most traditional of meals, we have pulled together our festive food blog.

The build up! 

In the weeks before Christmas, we love baking and the Christmas cake is the perfect place to start. If you haven’t made one yet don’t worry, our amazing chocolate and fruit cake gives a modern scandi twist to a Christmas classic and you won’t need to soak your fruit for weeks.

Christmas cake with a twist…

Mince pies
are a great festive bake, easy to make, easy to store, even easier to eat and are a great way to get the little ones involved. If, however, you are looking for a sophisticated touch, why not try adding in a splash of Cointreau to enhance the citrusy flavours and give a little festive kick.

Another festive favourite is ginger bread. These spice filled biscuits look and taste great and make wonderful gifts. They can even be turned into lovely decorations for the Christmas tree, if they last that long of course.

Ginger Bread Cookies

If you want to try and make something with a continental twist this year, why not have a go at baking a stollen. This loaf cake is made from an enriched dough with candied fruits, nuts, and a marzipan core. Stollen is rich, light and the perfect accompaniment to a warm drink on a cold afternoon.

Festive Stollen

The Big Day Breakfast

Making every meal a feast at Christmas doesn’t mean it has to be heavy or over the top. It is more about taking the time to enjoy the food, company and your surroundings.

We have discussed our favourites for Christmas morning, within the Kitchen Craft office, and they range from smoked salmon savoury waffles and eggs benedict to toasted spiced fruit loaf.

If you want something a little healthier, after all there is a very big dinner still to come, then how about chai spiced winter oats. Winter spices, fresh fruit and warm oats are a great start to the day. 

The Big Day Dinner

This is the meal of the year! One fabulous family feast, full of food and fun to celebrate together. The table should be groaning under the weight of bowls, plates, platers and crackers, cracker hats are not optional!

A little something to start with…

Blueberry and Gin Cured Salmon

A surprising blend of ingredients that work together perfectly and give the salmon a beautiful purple colour. Serve the salmon with crème fraiche and a simple watercress salad. Alternatively, it would go well with dark rye bread and a sprig of fresh dill.

Make ahead mushroom soup

This delightfully earthy soup, finished with a swirl of sour cream and served with fresh warm split rolls and butter brings a warming start to the feast of all feasts. Being able to make this soup in advance can really help take the pressure off, not to mention free up space on the hob during those busy pre dinner cooking hours.

The Main Event!

The perfect Christmas turkey is the crowning glory for any Christmas table, but if you fancy trying something a little different we have a few suggestions.

For a fresh festive twist why not try adding citrus and herb notes, using our recipe for roast turkey with oranges, bay leaves, red onion and traditional gravy.

If you aren’t a fan of the traditional turkey, but are still after something a little special, then you have to try our marmalade and ginger glazed gammon. Sweet and sticky and if you do have any left overs (big if there!), this gammon is beautiful served cold as part of a buffet or in a sandwich.

For those of us wanting a smaller meal or wish to serve up individual portions, our recipe for duck legs with orange and cranberry sauce is the perfect dish.

Another traditional fare making a return to the Christmas table is fish. We are all used to salmon or prawns making an appearance over Christmas, as starters or canapes, but fish is now returning to the main menu. Our offering is a whole stuffed Christmas carp.

Super sides…

Every star needs their support act and these dishes will certainly help you bring out the best of your Christmas main. 

The must have accompaniment to turkey is cranberry sauce – it’s the law! We have a boozy filled recipe that you will love.

Bring your winter vegetables to life with some sweetness and a little kick from our honey and mustard glaze.

A fresh new way to serve up your brussles is roasted, with herbs, nuts and berries.

And top it all off with mushroom and prosecco gravy.

Room for pudding?

If you have any room left after the feast perhaps a little pudding? Go on, you know you want too!

Our favourite is of course the classic Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Packed full of rich fruit and nuts, a little bit goes a long way. Not forgetting of course to finish the pudding off in true festive style at the table, with a good glug of brandy and a quick flambé before serving.  It’s bound to get a cheer! 

If a rich fruit pudding seems a touch too heavy for you after such a feast, then a lighter, yet no less festive option is a Yule Log.  This one is especially good for you chocolate lovers out there.

Post-Christmas Parties and New Year Nibbles

Now that we have eaten enough in one meal to see us through till January, the remaining meals of the year will mainly consist of left overs and party nibbles (and all the chocolate we have been bought for Christmas)

So to help you out here are our top 10 nibbles for the Post-Christmas Parties

Fig and Red Onion Crostini

Winter Vegetable Crisps

Mini Brie Bites

Beef and Stilton Mini Pies 

Firecracker Wings 

Mini apple and pomegranate tartlets

Chocolate and Chestnut Torte

Berry Pork Pies 

Camembert with a Twist 

Chicken Liver Pate with Cranberry Sauce

After all of that we are stuffed!

Then again… Turkey sandwich anyone?