The cooking Journal

Posts in '12 days of Christmas recipes'

Duck spring Rolls with a plum sauce
This crispy duck spring roll makes a perfect canape for Christmas Day! A sweet and tangy plum sauce is the perfect complement on the side or as a dip.
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Sweet & Sticky Ribs  
Slow cook these pork ribs so they're really tender then coat in an irresistibly sweet, sticky sauce! The combination of the bourbon and the gorgeous blend of spices is guaranteed to melt in your mouth.
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Chocolate dipped Festive flapjacks
This is a take on my very own granolas recipe now made festive with a decadent dipping of delicious and luxurious chocolate.  It is a wonderful Christmas treat using all of the festive ingredients we love. I also prepare some extra to give to friends and family as they make a wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gifts!
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Chicken Dhansak Curry
Don't let the spices in this curry put you off, it's much simpler than you think! The lentils are a great source of protein, and they provide a wonderful sauce when combined with the sweet and sour notes of the tamraind and jaggery! Garnish with some coriander, a dollop of yogurt and serve with pillowy rice, you will not be disappointed!
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Chicken, Bacon & Oregano Traybake With Garlic Roasties
This recipe  is so simple, but it is packed with flavour. We all know that when it comes to dinner time a fuss-free tray bake dish is the way to go.  When you are out to save some time and energy, nothing else beats an all-in-one-supper like this Chicken, Bacon and Potato Tray Bake.
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Hearty Quinoa and White Bean Chili
The weather has been cold of late so that means it's the perfect time for making a nice big pot of piping hot vegetable chili! And we have a super yummy recipe for you!It’s so simple to make but the result is a really flavourful and hearty meal. You can make it ahead of time and it’s great for meal prep and freezes well. It’s low in fat and high in protein for a deliciously well balanced meal.
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Winter Slaw with stilton
If your looking for something a little fresher this festive period why not try our festive winter slaw with Stilton! Crunchy red cabbage, fennel, apple and toasted walnuts are finished off with a sprinkling of blue cheese. 
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Cranberry and Oat Busicuits
These cookies are a fantastic alternative to the classic raisin and oat cookie. They are soft, chewy and oh-so-good. The spices and cranberries brings a Christmassy feel to them.
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Clementine Carrots
We've made the humble carrot a lot tastier this festive season! Cooked in clementine juice, honey and butter, these Chantenay carrots definitely deserve a space on your dinner table this Christmas Day. 
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Cranberry Orange & Port Mince Tarts with Brandy Butter
A Christmas classic with a boozy twist! If you want to get stuck into some Christmas baking this festive period, what better baked good to make then mince pies! Made super simple with ready rolled pastry and mincemeat filling, we've added a few more special ingredients to give it that unctuous taste! Pair it with the brandy butter and you'll be everyone's friend at Christmas!
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Spiced Marinated Lamb with a Winter Salad
This slow-cooked lamb recipe benefits from being marinated with a spicy rub overnight to give real depth of flavour.  The dressing is a classic that will pair with any number of meats or even great as a pasta sauce.  Of course the salad is always a crowd pleaser and is hugely versatile.   
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Sensational Sticky Toffee Pudding
A truly indulgent dessert! This sticky toffee pudding recipe certainly hits the sweet spot! When the weather is cold and cosy there's nothing better than a warming pudding that is going to satisfy my sweet cravings! The medjoola dates are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have health benefits. Studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation.


75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

180g medjoola dates, stones removed, finely chopped

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

75g golden caster sugar

75g light muscovado sugar

2 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten

180g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder


For the toffee sauce

125g unsalted butter

80g dark soft brown sugar

40g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

200ml double cream


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 2.5 litre ovenproof dish and set aside.

  2. Put the dates in a bowl and cover with 275ml hot water. Sprinkle in the bicarbonate of soda and set aside for 10 minutes. After ten minutes use a fork to slight mash them. Set aside once more.

  3. Beat the butter and sugars together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs, beating well between each addition.

  4. Sift over the flour and baking powder and fold in, then mix in the date mixture with its water. The mixture will be very wet but don’t worry. Pour into the greased dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until the sponge is just coming away from the sides of the dish.

  5. Meanwhile make the sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the sugars and vanilla, and then stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream and bring up to a vigorous simmer, then bubble for 5 minutes on a low temperature.

  6. Once the pudding is done, pour over the hot toffee sauce and serve in generous portions.


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