Tag Archives: cooking

#Blogmas Day 6: The Perfect Christmas Lunch

Since Oscar was born I have always hosted Christmas Day. I love having all of the family over and we always have a house of around 14 people. I am super organised and start planning Christmas Day in November and start buying drinks and things on my weekly shop to spread the cost a bit. Up until now we have always rotated each side of the family for actual lunch and then the rest of the family would join us in the afternoon. This year as we are in the new house we have space to have everyone for lunch, 12 of us and I can’t wait!

I always order my Turkey from Waitrose and pick it up on Christmas Eve. This year as there are twelve of us for lunch I have ordered two turkeys; one large and one medium. Luckily I have two ovens now to cook them in in our new house. Any leftover goes into my Mother in laws Turkey soup for Boxing Day anyway. I make sure my Turkey is ordered and I have my desired collection slot in November as soon as I get the email from Waitrose saying the slots are available.

A couple of days before Christmas I go to Marks and Spencer and buy all of the vegetables, a couple of ready made carrot and suede mashes, yorkshire puddings, ready prepped parsnips, pigs in blankets and the sausage meat.

I have already booked my Tesco delivery slot for the 23rd. Having it delivered this day means if there is something out of stock I have time still to grab what I need from the shops. From Tesco I get all the drinks, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, goose fat, maris piper potatoes plus all the other essentials I need to get us through the Christmas period.

I always bake a chocolate cake and my Mother in law brings the Christmas pud. I also do mince pies and brandy butter and Christmas cake for desserts.

On Christmas morning I get up early and prep the Turkey. On my first time cooking at Christmas I googled ‘best way to cook a Turkey’ and followed a Jamie Oliver step by step guide. I have done the same with my Turkey every year since and it always tastes amazing. I remove the giblets, place a large cooking apple and a large orange inside the Turkey, carefully without tearing the skin put a fine layer of butter between the bird and the skin, the lay strips of bacon on top of the bird and cook for the amount of time calculated by the weight of your turkey.

I then write out on a piece of paper all of the timings, when things need to be cooked and how long for so everything is ready at the same time. It’s actually really easy if your organised.

I cook everything in disposable bacofoil trays so afterwards it can all go in the bin and then its only plates, knives and forks in the dishwasher. I also clear up/wash up as I go along so there is minimal mess.

Our finished Christmas Dinner always consists of; Turkey, pigs in blankets, sausage meat, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, peas, carrots, white cabbage, carrot and suede mash and bread sauce and gravy. Its a good job we have big plates! As Oscar isn’t keen on Turkey yet I also cook a piece of gammon in a honey glaze for him.

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 2: Our Family Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas traditions start for us on the 1st of December when Oscar gets home from school and the fairies have brought our Christmas decorations. Our Christmas tree and decorations have always gone up on the 1st of December. When I was little my brother and I always woke up on the 1st to our tree and decorations and I can still remember just how amazing and magical that was and wanted to do the same for our boys. In their bedrooms they have snow globes and Christmas duvets and their stocking ready for the end of their beds on Christmas Eve.

When they wake up on the 1st the boys wake up and our two naughty Elves, Eddie and Ernie are back to stay with us until Christmas Eve and get up to lots of mischief. They bring Oscar and Archie a letter and come through the Elf door which must never be touched as the secret door leads back to Father Christmas so they can let him know how they are behaving. They always bring the boys their advent calender’s too. They each get a chocolate one and a toy one too.

On Monday we are going to see the big man himself at the Harrods Grotto. I always rush to book this in September/October as soon as I get my ‘You can book now’ email. We have been every Christmas since Oscar was born and I love getting the family photo taken every year. After we have been in the grotto Oscar and Archie always get to pick a Christmas tree decoration each and I always buy the Harrods Christmas Bear decoration too. We then walk around to Pizza Express for dinner. The boys love it and we get to see all of the Christmas lights around London on the drive home. Again this is something we did as children, going into London at Christmas to a big department store grotto.

We always put together and decorate a gingerbread house (I buy a kit) nearer to Christmas for everyone to enjoy on Christmas day. I buy loads of sweets and icing and we have great fun in the kitchen making our masterpiece. Its a really cheap and fun activity to do with the kids!

This year I have started a new tradition, a backwards advent. As Oscar is old enough to understand about charity and realises how lucky he is each day of advent we put something in our box each day, whether it be a toy, toiletries or food and on Christmas Eve we will take it to a food bank or charity collection for another family to enjoy at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we always go to Oscar and Archie’s godparents house and they make pork baps and we sing carols around the piano and the children all play and have a great time. They always have a fantastic 10 ft tree and its just such a lovely house full of Christmas cheer. This is why Oscar wanted to start playing the piano as our friends children had lessons and would play a song each. As Oscar has been having lessons this year he has been practising ‘Jingle Bells’ ready to play for everyone this year. He is really excited! We then go home, the boys bath and get into their pyjamas and then we leave a mince pie and a glass of milk for Father Christmas on their plates they made at a pottery cafe and a carrot outside for Rudolph and then off to bed.

Please comment and share with me your family Christmas traditions!

Merry Christmas!

 

Cooking Up A Mediterranean Feast With Oscar & My Little Piccolo

Over the past few months Archie (and I) have been enjoying the food pouches from My Little Piccolo. They are organic, full of goodness and super tasty too. I often have a cheeky raspberry and apple pouch as a snack between breakfast and lunch. Archie loves them squeezed into a bowl or he eats it straight from the pouch himself. Recently My Little Piccolo launched their Mediterranean goodness range which Oscar and Archie have both enjoyed.

The pouches are great for putting in your bag and when either of the boys want a quick healthy snack they have a pouch each. They love the fruit ones when we are out and about.

To celebrate the launch of the new Mediterranean goodness range being stocked in Asda stores, Asda and My Little Piccolo sent us a range of their delicious pouches and ingredients to make a family Mediterranean meal that Oscar could help me cook. We were also sent a fun suitcase full of goodies and Oscar’s very own chef’s hat.

We were given the Sweet Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti to make which Oscar enjoyed cooking so much and it tasted absolutely amazing! Take a look at the video below to see how we got on…..

Here is the recipe and I would love you to show me any photos or videos of your little ones cooking up a treat! Don’t forget to tag me in it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 200g of spaghetti
  • 100g of ricotta
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

Method:

  • In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and saute these until they are transparent (around 8 minutes). Add the chopped red pepper and carrot and cook for a further few minutes.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and a few twists of pepper and stir. Increase the heat slightly and let it bubble away for a few minutes, then reduce the heat.
  • Put on a large pan of water and bring it to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook until ‘al-dente’ which is around 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the ricotta and basil to the sauce and stir through.

 

We served it with a nice fresh salad and some garlic bread.

 

Disclaimer: We were provided with the ingredients for the purpose of this post. My views and opinions of the pouches are honest and my own.