Monday, 31 December 2012

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Well here it is again, New Years Eve. Creeps up on you doesn't it?  Did you achieve what you wanted to this year?

2012 was another full and busy year for me.  I've continued to build on the new friendships I made last year, am still volunteering at school as much as possible, plodding along at work and life is generally quite chaotic. Lots of fun was had - we bought a VW campervan and had fun camping and going out for picnics in the van. Had a failed camping trip in a tent to Devon when the Jubilee bank holiday was biblical. I became an auntie again. Plenty more film "date nights" with lovely friend - Titanic 3D, Magic Mike, Step Up 4, Breaking Dawn, Pitch Perfect. Went to the beach, V Festival, Camp Bestival, Lollibop, Vanfest, the Paralympics, had a week in Tenerife followed by a week in Menorca. Saw The Killers live twice, went to see Panic at the Disco and Frank Turner. Shopping in Camden Market, trips to wildlife parks, lunching with friends, drunken nights out at the local, karaoke nights with the girls. Bought a Kindle and read more books in the past year than I have managed in the past three years put together.

2013 holds just as much promise. I am busier than ever with school events, a new direction at work and have a couple of holidays booked as well as scheduled camping trips and festival outings booked - and there will surely be others slipped in there. Already have first cinema date of 2013 planned (Les Mis) and have tickets for Disney on Ice, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Jimmy Carr and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I have house plans to be moving on with and lots of things bookmarked to cook and try out plus I want to finally get my family tree written out neatly. My daughter will go into junior school in September and my baby boy is moving on and rapidly growing up and wants to join Beavers this year. There's a lot going on.

I'm feeling good about the new year starting, I'm always filled with great anticipation and excitement for a new start. How was your 2012 and have you got exciting things planned for 2013?

Whatever your plans for 2013 and however you are spending this evening, I hope you have a great one!

Meal Planning Monday (31st December 2012)

Wow! The last #mealplanningmonday of 2012 is upon us and it's New Years Eve. I'm thinking that meal plans this week may again include lots of nibbles and leftovers? 

I hope you had a good Christmas and ate lots of yummy food! We basically grazed for a week which is perfect, I love eating like that but it's nearly time to knuckle down now and start with the proper meals again and I've been spending some time reacquainting myself with my cookbooks. This week however is going to be a bit hotch-potch though.

As it's New Years Eve we're eating out tonight. I have the benefit of live-in babysitters so for the first time in seven years Mr M and I are heading out for the evening to enjoy ourselves - nothing extravagant, just some good food and wine and a stagger home. New Years Day in our house is almost like Christmas Day - but without the presents. This year we're going to have Beef Wellington and Dauphinoise potatoes as well as a yummy pud before laying on the sofa with our food-babies and watching a film. Perfect day! Oddly we don't go back to work on the 2nd (I'm sure everyone else does...) so I think we'll have a last party tea in celebration before school and work starts back on the 3rd. I'm going to make a sausage casserole and a curry of some type for the end of the week but I don't know what yet, maybe butter chicken. The weekend? Man. The weekend is Mr M's birthday so we'll go out for dinner and I've also got a birthday party to host with a houseful of seven year old girls expected! Dinner that night may well be liquid.

How about you? What are you plans for this week? Are you getting a bit more back to normal? As always the Linky is below so please submit your blog posts. It's been a bit quiet over the past few weeks which is to be expected but I'm going to give #mealplanningmonday a big push in the New Year and maybe even get a new badge. Out with the old...

If you're new to #mealplanningmonday and you're not sure about anything, please feel free to ask but basically you write a blog post about your meal plans and enter it into the Linky below to share it with others. Please visit other peoples blogs and leave a comment. One of my new years blogging resolutions is going to be commenting more! I've become a little slack on this due to time but will try and make sure I get around more!

Look forward to reading your blog posts and seeing you all in 2013!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Film Review: The Dark Knight

Warner Bros recently sent me a copy of The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman film, to review. Now I am going to start by saying I am probably not their target market and probably not the best person to review the film either as Batman isn't really my thing - the last Batman film I saw had Kim Basinger in it - so it's fair to say I don't really know much about it or the backstory to the film.  However, I thought I'd give it a go as it had good reviews.

I checked out the synopsis first to see if I could find out what was going on first.  

"It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive  Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous  however, is the emergency of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane."

All pretty much clear as mud for a Batman novice like me!

What did I think? I can't say I enjoyed it much. Okay, I'm not going to deny that it was a good film and the special effects were pretty darned good but I felt at just under two and a half hours it dragged on a bit. Mr M however enjoyed watching it, although he too is not really into the Batman thing.  The best part of the film for me was Anne Hathaway who I thought gave a really good performance as Selina aka Catwoman.

As I have said, the Batman films have passed me by and this film left me wondering when it all became so dark as I'm still firmly remembering the TV series days of "KAPOW" "BAM" "POW" which is probably more where I am at!  It's given a 12 rating but would I let my 12 year old watch it? I'm not sure really as I don't have any experiences of 12 year olds but it just seems too much on the dark side for my liking.

If you like Batman and have enjoyed all the previous films, then there is no doubt that you'll enjoy this film, it goes without saying but as someone not particularly enthralled by the genre, I've not been converted!

The Dark Knight Rises is available now from Amazon.

With thanks to Warner Bros for providing this DVD for review.

Friday, 28 December 2012

When Santa came down the chimney...

...what did he bring you? Hope you got everything you wanted.

There was no one big thing I wanted this year so I asked Mr M and others Santa for an assortment of gifts. Here are some of the things I was treated to.

Philosophy Christmas Cooking Shower Gel, One Line A Day Memory Book,
Away We Glow set from Benefit Cosmetics, How to Bake by Paul Hollywood

Pretty 2013 diary, Magic Mike DVD, Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot jug,
She's So Jetset set from Benefit Cosmetics

Step Up 4 Miami Heat DVD, a brie baker, Cyberjammies PJs,
Jamies 15 Minute Meals
Glee Season 3 DVD, Knock Knock meal planning magnetic pad,
Sticky notes from Paperchase, Ferrero Rocher

I also got socks, slippers, perfume, a homemade food hamper from a close friend, some other cosmetics and toiletries, a bracelet, set of lip balms, more chocolate, way more sticky notes (I love them!), a few other bits & bobs and tons Amazon and Monsoon vouchers. 

I feel very spoilt indeed and loved all of my presents. I've already watched my new DVDs and eaten most of the Ferrero Rocher, have started writing in my memory book and have used sticky notes to make recipes in my new cookbooks which I can't wait to use! I'll be using my new "What to Eat" pad next #mealplanningmonday and have already started spending my Amazon vouchers on Kindle books.

I hope you all got very spoilt and if you've written a blog post about your Christmas presents, leave a comment below so I can take a look - I'm very nosy!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Crispy Honey and Mustard Parsnips

You can see from the above picture that on that plate is a rather small portion of parsnips. That would be because I seem to be the only member of the family that likes parsnips (and sprouts come to think of it). Christmas isn't Christmas without a parsnip, and in fact every time I cook them at Christmas I wonder why I don't have them more often. To me, they're just like a sweet roast potato but to everyone else they seem to be the food of the devil!

I've cooked my parsnips in various ways over the years but this recipe is definitely my favourite. They taste and amazing and crisp up wonderfully - nobody wants a soggy parsnip do they?  This recipe was adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe.

Crispy Honey & Mustard Parsnips


1kg parsnips, peeled and cut into batons
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
about 3 tsp clear honey


Boil the parsnips for around 5 mins, then drain well. Allow them to steam-dry for a couple of minutes. Mix the mustard powder with the flour and a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper and salt. Toss the parsnips in the mix, taking care to make sure they are completely covered, and shake off any excess.

Heat the oven to 220c/gas mark 7. Put the vegetable oil into a baking tray/roasting dish - to make sure you get crispy parsnips you need to not overcrowd them so if you have to, spread them out over two trays. Heat the oil for 5 mins before carefully scoop the parsnips into the fat and turn a few times. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. 

Remove from the oven and drizzle the honey over the hot parsnips and sprinkle a little sea salt over the top. Then serve!

Beautiful sweet and crispy Christmas parsnips. What's not to love?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Film Review: New Years Eve

I've been waiting to see New Year's Eve since it came out at the cinema last December. At the time for some reason me and friend couldn't get there (we go to see films together at least 1-2 times a month) and so it had escaped me until Warner Bros asked if I'd like a review copy.

The synopsis for New Year's Eve reads "New Year's Eve celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, with intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year" and I think that sums it up pretty well.

The first thing that hits you about this film is the sheer amount of household names that appear in this film. Let me throw a few names at you - Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Alyssa Milano, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Joey McIntyre, Hilary Swank, Ludacris, Matthew Broderick, Ryan Seacrest - even Mayor Bloomberg makes a cameo. It reads like a who's who and I am sure I have forgotten someone! Even Mr M was waiting to see who was going to pop up next.

The film itself follows several sub-plots, all centred around the Times Square ball drop, each of which have a loose connection to each other. Some of the plot-lines include a couple who have never met before trapped in a lift, a dying man, a woman trying to fulfil her wish-list in one day, a tense mother/daughter relationship, a race between two couples to have the first baby of 2012 and a guy trying to get back to New York to meet up with someone he met the previous New Year. 

If you enjoy a chick flick, then you'll probably enjoy this film. It's not really a film for men and okay, it's not going to win any awards for originality as it is a bit predictable but if you're looking for a feel good, seasonal film then this definitely ticks the boxes.  It's been compared to Love Actually but for me, it's more like Valentines Day - it doesn't really have the quick, dry British humour that Love Actually has and is a little bit more schmaltzy - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think Christmas needs a bit of schmaltz.

My favourite character is Sofia Vergara's Ava. I think that's because I have a complete girl-crush on her, plus her she's basically the same as her character Gloria in Modern Family.  Most of the lines she has are things that Gloria would say. Okay, so not very original but Gloria is a great character and so is Ava.

But the storyline I like best is the one between Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer, even if she is totally weird.  The friendship between young lad around town and older, somewhat kooky lady warmed the cockles.

Most of the story-lines are quite endearing and a couple of them may even move you to tears. The majority of characters are likeable, if not always completely believable however it has Jon Bon Jovi in it which is enough to make up any failings for me!

New Years Eve is out now and available to buy from Amazon.

With thanks to Warner Bros for providing this DVD for review.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday (24th December 2012)

Okay, so I am not just really late with Meal Planning Monday. Nope. I'm not just late, I totally forgot! Argh! In my defense  if there could be one, it's Christmas Eve and my day started with a 7.30am trip to Waitrose to beat the rush (which I managed by the way and was home by 8.30am).

This is going to be a brief post as I'm super busy prepping dinner for tomorrow so here's what we're having this week. Tonight is homemade sausage rolls, with potato salad, ham, coleslaw etc, tomorrow is the usual Turkey dinner, Boxing Day will be party food and leftovers, the day after we're having nachos and the day after that spaghetti bolognese. There's also more party food and pizza for the taking so that's us sorted really through the weekend.

It's not very exciting, but it's Christmas and I like it to be easy and love picky bits for tea. 

Hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow wherever you're spending it and I look forward to catching up with you next week for the last #mealplanningmonday of 2012!

Seasonal shopping with Sainsburys

As I mentioned a few weeks ago in a previous blog post, this winter I have been a Christmas Ambassador for Sainsbury's and they very kindly sent me some vouchers to spend on Christmas goodies.  As you'll see from that post I got to buying Christmas essentials early on but did a much bigger shop this week for the remainder of what I needed - aside from the fresh stuff, which frustratingly was all going out of date by Christmas Eve. 

Forgive me Sainsbury's for using retailers-whose-name-we-will-not-mention reusable bags
What did I buy? What didn't I would be the more prudent question. This little lot came to £150, there's a chance I went overboard. You want to see what is considered a Christmas essential in the M household? Okay, here goes.

The alcohol. Of course very much a necessity  Prosecco for Christmas morning, Jack Daniels for the mister and some cheeky Chambord for adding to the Prosecco. Both the Prosecco and Chambord were on offer so it would have been rude to leave them there. If you've not tried Chambord, you should. 

Part-baked petits pains and baguettes are a store-cupboard must-have at this time of year. They keep for months and are the perfect emergency item if you should run out of bread whilst the shops are closed.

Cheeses. Believe it or not this is just a fraction of the cheese currently being housed in my fridge and doesn't include the two really stinky Camemberts I bought and that have had to be housed in the camping fridge. We also have enough Cheddar to see out the end of our days and there's an assortment of Babybel/Cheese strings/Dippers for the taking too.

The Christmas ham. I cook one every year on Christmas Eve, as you may know from reading my blog.  For the past two years I have bought them from the butchers however I've gone back to the supermarket as I've found them better value and actually, better quality. It's not Christmas without all-you-can-eat ham.

That leads me on to copious amounts of ginger ale to cook said ham in! I'll be blogging the recipe some time next week after I've cooked it.

Sausagemeat for making my sausage rolls. The recipe I use calls for cumberland sausages  - it ends up taking quite a while to squeeze it all out of the skin, although it is quite satisfying but this sausagemeat with it's sage and onion caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a try instead. Will let you know how I get on!

Then there was the replacement peanuts for the ones I bought last time that we accidentally ate, blinis for Christmas morning, some rather tasty looking mince tarts that caught my eye and some bruschetta for topping with the leftover cheese bits.

I'd just like to say I have NO idea how these got into my trolley.
Of course there was lots of other things like *deep breath* disposable roasting trays (a must!), tea bags, clementines, lemonade, Vimto, soured cream, gravy granules, Pringles, cocktail gherkins (Mr M nearly vomited when he saw these, I loved them!), hash browns (for gutbuster breakfasts), Doritos, eggs by the dozen, smoked salmon, dips, vats of milk, creams of several varieties, bacon by the truckload and many many cocktail sausages. It all got quite expensive but I did take advantage of several 2 for 1's and 2 for £1 type offers. No, I didn't need TWO tubs of Pringles but they were on a BOGOF - what can you do?

Hope you all have a yummy festive food filled Christmas - and thank you to Sainsburys for helping me to gain some more weight over the festive period....

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wine tasting & Ferrero Rocher

I'm sure there are people with much stronger willpower than me, but I don't know many people that, when confronted with the offer of free wine AND chocolate, would actually turn it down so when the nice people at Ferrero Rocher asked if I wanted to receive a hamper of chocolate and wine my immediate answer was HELL YES.

I'm a lifelong fan of Ferrero Rocher, they are a Christmas necessity in my house following a tradition of always buying my mum a box for Christmas when I was younger (my dad used to make me rings out of the wrappers with the little sticker on top being the "diamond") and I seem to have passed this on to my daughter who actually put Ferrero Rocher on her letter to Father Christmas this year.

The box that arrived was rather impressive, containing way more chocolate than I had ever thought would be in there! There were three different types of Ferrero product - Raffaello by Ferrero which is a light coconut wafer with a creamy interior and a toasted almond centre, Ferrero Rond Noir which is a delicate wafer with smooth chocolate cream and a dark chocolate almond pearl in the centre and finally the Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher with it's crispy wafter and whole hazelnut enveloped in a rich layer of milk chocolate.

Ferrero Rocher partnered with the Masters of Wine at the London Wine Academy to help find the perfect wine matches for the chocolates. The Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher was paired with the spicy Croix Milhas Rivesaltes Ambre from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France whilst the Raffaello by Ferrero was matched with Martini Asti NV from Piedmont, Italy. I would agree both worked perfectly. Finally the Ferrero Rond Noir, which even as a dark chocolate lover were a little too much for me, was paired with a bottle of Dows Finest Reserve Port from Duero, Portugal. I've never really been a port lover so this wouldn't be my first choice but I can understand where they are coming from as the dark chocolate and hint of black cherry in the port are a combination that should work well.

I've never been an expert in wine-tasting or matching with food so was interested in some of the tips from the London Wine Academy. For instance I didn't know that wine needs to be at least as sweet as the food for a good match and whilst rose champagne and strawberries have often been cited as being a good match, they're not as the champagne is too dry. Apparently chocolate is a difficult food to match to wine because it clings to your taste buds and wines that pair well are often fortified. Sweet sparkling wines work well too apparently as the bubbles help to dislodge the chocolate and refresh your taste buds! (A good enough reason to open the sparkly stuff whilst eating chocolate if ever there was one!).

I'm still not going to profess to being an expert of wine-tasting or food & wine matching however I do think I am somewhat of an expert when it comes to tasting chocolate!  I enjoyed all the chocolates but for me, hands down, the favourite has got to be the Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher, they just cannot be beaten!

With thanks to Ferrero Rocher & the London Wine Academy.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A trip on the santa train

After looking at pricy tickets for pantomimes this year, we decided to do something a little different and take the children on a steam train where they also get to meet santa. My son loves trains and they both love Christmas so I thought it would be a good trip out for them.  

We're lucky where we live and there was quite a few places to choose from and in the end I settled on the Great Central Railway which runs from Loughborough to North Leicester.  We paid £19 per person to go on the "Santa Deluxe". The children were very excited when we arrived as we had told them we were going to B&Q - mean parents that we are - so they had no idea we were actually going on a fun trip for them.

We arrived at Loughborough Station with about 15-20 mins to spare - word of warning, on busy event days it's worth getting their early as it's all street parking, which is free but it was very full and we were only lucky in finding a space because someone pulled out of one in front of us.   When the train arrived we took our seats. There were Christmas crackers on the table which I thought was a nice touch and it wasn't long before warm mince pies and glasses of sherry were brought around, with chocolate chip cookies and Fruit Shoots for the little ones. They had a children's entertainer on board and of course, the big man himself Santa Claus (and he was a good one!) who had a present for every child as well as a big chocolate Santa. It wasn't a long train trip, probably about 40 mins in all but it was just about right. Any longer and the children may have got a bit restless.

It was all really well organised and all the staff were very helpful and friendly and the route through the countryside and over a large reservoir was nice. There's something very special about steam trains and it was definitely a bit different than going to the grotto in the local shopping centre. 

We thoroughly enjoyed it and I think we'll look at something similar next year but perhaps on a different route.

Has anyone else been on a Santa train?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Black Forest Bonanza

If I had to pick a flavour combination that I absolutely love it would be cherry and chocolate. Cherry and almond would come a close second but cherry and chocolate, specifically Black Forest, is probably the thing I find most irresistible. 

My love for Black Forest means I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. If I am at a cafe or a restaurant and there is something on the menu is called "Black Forest", there's no way I am leaving without having tried it. I had to resist every urge not to buy on of Heston's Black Forest Buche's at Waitrose the other day.  Black Forest cake comes from the German dessert Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte which basically means Black Forest cherry torte. Germany has never really appealed to me as a holiday destination but if it means I can eat Black Forest goodies by the truckload I may consider it in the future. 

This Christmas I've decided to make something Black Forest for dessert or a sweet treat. I'm vague because I have no idea what yet and I'm hoping to find some inspiration on the web over the next few days. Although I am now thinking I should go back and get Heston's Buche  (not a euphemism) as at £12 it was probably cheaper than what I will end up spending on ingredients. I already have kirsch though so I am good to go!

In case you're also a Black Forest lover, I am sharing some inspiration below. They all look yummy and I can't make my mind up what kind of thing I want to make, but at the moment, the truffle tart is looking like the front runner.

From top:

Black Forest Parfait from
Black Forest Truffle Tart from
Double Chocolate Black Forest Cake from
Black Forest Pancakes from
Black Forest Cupcakes from

Anyone else feeling hungry now?

I'm off to look for more inspiration for my Christmas dessert!

The images have all come via Pinterest. I have clicked through and visited the original websites, and I've tried very hard to credit the correct people so if anything is wrong please let me know and I will correct immediately.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Turkey Talk

You may have seen a giveaway I was running last week for a Forman and Field seasonal box, complete with turkey? Well I rather stupidly forgot that I was also going to be receiving a box and was therefore quite surprised when it arrived on my doorstep on Friday. With a weekend full of plans and activities I wondered just how I was going to manage to cook and eat a turkey.

The box I received contained the same items as the one I gave away, namely a Seldom Seen Farm turkey, Longman's Farm butter, Emmett's mild cure back bacon, Forman & Field Christmas Stuffing, selection of fresh herbs, an orange, 12 mince pies, Chapel Down Nectar Dessert Wine and 2 Knorr Chicken Gravy pots.

When Forman and Field sent me the box containing all the goodies they also sent me a recipe suggestion however it was clear that due to time constraints, things were going to have to get basic. So whilst I was out on Saturday morning, dear Mr M got hold of that big bird, slathered it in butter, covered it in bacon (which was delicious eaten cold and crispy later...) stuffed an orange up it's jacksy and cooked it good and proper. The idea was that as we were so busy all weekend we'd feast on it in every way we could!

Saturday we had a roast dinner - turkey, the Christmas stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, broccoli  cauliflower and carrots, cranberry sauce - all topped off nicely with the Knorr gravy pots that came in the box.

Sunday was a little more relaxed and I served up some of the leftover turkey with soft white baps, stuffing, more Knorr gravy and an essential - big fat chips! Delicious.

Monday? Well in a twist of fate, Pataks surprised me by sending me a jar of  their festive turkey curry cooking sauce and what says "Christmas leftovers" more than a turkey curry?

In between that there was of course, much picking of cold turkey and turkey sarnies with lots of mayo. It reminded me just how far you can stretch roast poultry and I must remember to try and not be wasteful in the future. In all honesty though, I feel a bit turkey-ed out now and contemplating changing my Waitrose order for next week! 

Thanks to Forman and Field for running the giveaway and sending me the seasonal boxes. I'm off to enjoy (another) mince pie!

Favourite Christmas recipes

Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite things to cook at Christmas. I make these every year without fail and as they are hidden deep in my archives, newer readers may not have seen these before.

Nigella's Cranberry & Soy Glazed Sausages

A recipe from Nigella Christmas, these are a Boxing Day must in our house. Really easy to put together and so very yum. Bit messy though!

Christmas Morning Muffins

I have tried to make these muffins a Christmas tradition and they small delicious. You can get most things ready the nigh before so they're easy to pop in the oven on Christmas morning and eat warm with lashings of butter and marmalade!

Gratin of Sprouts

I cannot believe how many sprout haters there are out there! This gratin though, it could perhaps change many peoples minds about sprouts. It's creamy, crunchy and delicious!

Ham in Coca Cola

The first time I made Nigella's Ham in Coca Cola I was a little underwhelmed, I think I was expecting something more. However after trying several other ways of boiling and glazing, I think this is my favourite and as it's a Christmas Eve tradition in our house now to cook a ham, this is the one I'll be doing this year.

Little Mince Pie Cakes

These Little Mince Pie Cakes from BBC Good Food are delicious and perfect for anyone who is perhaps not overly keen on a mince pie. They go down very well in our house I have to say!

Sausage Rolls

This is my favourite sausage roll recipe and it never disappoints. I love the parmesan on top and I think the sun-dried tomato really adds an extra bit of oomph!

I've got a fair amount of cooking planned in the next week so hopefully very soon I'll be able to tell you more about what I have been cooking this Christmas.  If you've got any fab Christmas recipes, let me know, and I'll come and check them out!