1. Pour the oil in to a roasting tray and pop it in to the oven (Gas Mark 6 or equivalent).
2. Cut each unpeeled potato in to 2 or 3 pieces.
3. Add the potato chunks in to a pan of water and put on to boil.
4. Once the potatoes are on a rolling boil, turn the heat down so the water is simmering. Leave the potatoes to cook for another 6-7 mins.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the potatoes. Pop the potatoes back in to the empty pan and add the lid. Shake the potatoes vigorously, hard enough to remove the potato skin (I love this method because it saves peeling them, thank you TikTok for the tip).
6. Carefully, take the hot oiled tray from the oven and add the potatoes in. They will sizzle as you add them. Turn the potatoes so they are evenly coated with oil.
7. Roast the potatoes for 20-25 mins then turn them over.
8. Roast them for a further 20-25 mins or until they achieve a golden brown colour.
9. Remove from the oven and place the roast potatoes on kitchen roll.
During the run up to Christmas I seen these everywhere! I found a semi circle silicon mould at the back of my cupboard so wanted to find out how difficult chocolate bombs are to make – turns out, they’re pretty easy.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
– silicon mould
– hot chocolate powder
– mini marshmallows
Step 1 – Melt the chocolate and, using a spoon, cover the mould. Pop it in to the freezer until the chocolate has fully set.
Step 2 – Once set, carefully pop the chocolate shells out of the mould.
Step 3 – Fill one half of the chocolate bomb with mini marshmallows and hot chocolate powder.
Step 4 – Melt the edges of the unfilled half by placing it on a warmed plate for a few seconds then pop it on to the filled half.
Step 5 – Allow the edges to set. Drizzle the chocolate bombs with melted chocolate and top with sprinkles.
Step 6 – Pop the chocolate bombs in to hot milk and enjoy!
Boxing Day. The morning after the day before. If your fridge is anything like mine, it’s currently full of plates and bowls of cooked food from Christmas Day lunch. Below are a few ideas to turn yesterday’s surplus in to today’s (and tomorrow’s!) tasty meals.
Whether you cook it from scratch or using a sauce from a jar, I think there’ll be a few households tucking in to this absolute classic today.
Surf & Turf Tacos
I’ve called these Surf & Turf because we have beef and prawns leftover but, when it comes to tacos, anything goes! Fry off sliced onions and peppers with herbs and spices then add in your meat. Serve in tortillas with salad, sour cream and guacamole.
Add shredded turkey to a simple ragù and serve with your choice of pasta. A firm family favourite among us.
Possibly the easiest meal to make with your leftovers. Pre-soak some pearl barley. Throw your veggies, gammon and pearl barley in to stock and bring to the boil. Season and serve with warm crusty bread. The ultimate comfort food.
Shredded turkey, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic and chilli powder – super easy, super tasty. Serve with rice or on top of nachos.
This is a good one to get the kids involved with. Top pizzas bases (or tortillas) with tomato purée, cheese and whatever else you fancy. Bung it in the oven until the base is crispy and the cheese has melted then enjoy.
If the thought of even turning the cooker on after yesterday fills you with dread, get a couple of slices of bread and make yourself the supreme snack – a sandwich!
I think we’ve all accepted Christmas 2020 is going to be a little bit different. Rather than dwell on what we’re missing out on, here’s a list of things we can still enjoy regardless of what rules are in place.
As temperatures start to drop, hunt out your hats, gloves & scarves and go for a seasonal stroll. National Trust have brilliant COVID secure measures in place with timed entries and one way systems (bookable entry slots are released every Friday for the following week).
I wonder how many more hours of video calls have been made throughout 2020 compared to last year. When we can’t see people face-to-face, video calling is definitely the next best thing.
5. Get Crafty
From wreaths to wrapping paper, hampers to snow globes. There’s something deeply satisfying about creating items yourself. Pinterest is full of ideas for homemade Christmas crafts. So, grab the ribbons & fake flowers and get the glue gun turned on.
6. Go Virtual
Most companies have had to adjust the way they operate this year and a lot have moved experiences on line. Quizzes, escape rooms, murder mystery nights, pantomimes – when we can’t have the usual Christmas night out, these are a good way to “meet up” and have a laugh (and you can do them in a PJ’s!). Last week we tried an online experience from https://thepanicroomonline.net and thoroughly enjoyed it.
7. Drive In Movie Experience
Get cosy in the car and enjoy a festive film. There’s a few Drive In Cinema Experiences popping up throughout the North East, a quick google will bring up any still with availability.
8. Games Night
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a game of monopoly, am I right? And now Evie & Harry are a little older, I don’t feel guilty playing to win! We also enjoy Cluedo, Articulate and Dobble. What are your favourite board games?
9. Keep Your Traditions
Whether its Elf On The Shelf or Christmas Eve Boxes, writing to Santa or making gingerbread houses – if you have any traditions, do them and go totally OTT with them all! If you don’t have any Christmas Customs, maybe this is the year to start one.
10. Enjoy a more relaxed pace and a less hectic December
Yes, we’ll miss seeing friends and family but the thought of not having to rush about with that feeling of panic does have a certain appeal. I’ll be fully embracing a quieter Christmas with these three 😊.
December is the ideal time of year to indulge in some special Christmas traditions and a North Pole Breakfast is a lovely way to welcome in the festive season.
You can combine this Christmas tradition with the dreaded Elf On The Shelf, many families start both of these on the same day as a way to welcome their mischievous festive friend back for another year.
Below are a few ideas for what to serve during your North Pole Breakfast – just remember, this is a special treat that only happens once a year so it isn’t going to be the healthiest but embrace and enjoy the blowout, it’s Christmas after all!
Pancakes, fruit, nuts, chocolate and squirty cream – guaranteed winner in our house. I tend to serve pancakes up as a Grazing Board and let everyone help themselves – maximum effect with minimal effort.
PULL-A-PART PUFF PASTRY NUTELLA CHRISTMAS TREE
Like a giant pain au chocolat – amazing!
DIPPY EGGS AND SPECIAL SHAPE SOLDIERS
One thing I’ve found out about dippy eggs is everyone has their own way of achieving them. I’m a 5-mins-in-to-boiling-water-and-hope-for-the-best kinda girl. Nine times out of ten it works but there is the occasional fail. For a North Pole Breakfast, I serve the dippy eggs with festive shapes cut out of toast.
Now, these do take time but they’re so worth it! Fresh out the oven and drizzled with water icing, these sweet bread rolls flavoured with the ultimate Christmas spice are absolutely devine!
INGREDIENTS – 450g Sausage Meat – 8 Rashers of Back Bacon – 1 Pack of Ready Made Puff Pastry – Egg Wash – Poppy Seeds
METHOD 1) Preheat your oven to Gas 6 or equivalent. 2) Unwrap the puff pastry. 3) Cut the pastry in half lengthways. 4) Lay 4 rashers of bacon down the middle of each pastry strip. 5) Split the sausage meat in two and add it on top of the bacon.
6) Roll the pastry tightly around the bacon and sausage meat. 7) Seal the edges with a little water and keep the join on the bottom of the rolls. 8) Cut each length in to 4 (or however many portions you want). 9) Place the sausage rolls on to a baking tray and brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. 10) Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.
I love these sausage rolls when they’re fresh out the oven but they’re just as tasty cold. I have mine with cranberry sauce while my husband and Harry prefer HP. What’s your sauce of choice when enjoying a sausage roll?