Connect with us

Food

Be the host with the most with these Fabulous (and fuss free!) drink and nibble combos

WE can’t all be as painstakingly perfect as the families in Christmas adverts when it comes to hosting parties. Knowing what to serve with what and how to make it look ‘artfully thrown together’ ta…

Published

on

WE can’t all be as painstakingly perfect as the families in Christmas adverts when it comes to hosting parties.

Knowing what to serve with what and how to make it look ‘artfully thrown together’ takes years of practice and experience.

Aldi 6

Yes we all know that white wine goes with fish and red wine with meat, but in an era of artisan cocktails in jam jars and canapes served on everything but a plate it’s a lot more complicated.

Not to worry though, we’ve teamed up with Aldi, who have two Good Housekeeping Awards, to show you how you can fake your way from domestic disaster to canape queen in an instant.

Everything here is already made up at Aldi, all you need to do is pick it up in store and pop it on a pretty plate,  and hey presto, you’ve got it nailed.

Fish n Fizz

Nothing says party time like a cold glass of fizz. This Christmas step away from the prosecco and head straight for the 2006 Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne, £19.99, for something sparkly and special.

It goes really well with seafood, which is great, because Aldi’s smoked salmon canapes, £2.99.

The light cream cheese and parsley mousse hand-wrapped with Scottish smoked salmon, or bite-sized blinis topped with a cream cheese with a hint of lemon mousse, garnished with strips of smoked Scottish salmon.  are the perfect start to Christmas day festivities or for passing around a party.

Smoked salmon canapes are sure to be popular at Christmas

Aldi 6 Smoked salmon canapes are sure to be popular at Christmas

Red and Veg

Traditionally we serve red wine with red meat, and it’s a delicious pairing we’ve been used to since the year dot. But, with 3 times more vegetarians and vegans in the UK now than there were 10 years ago it’s time to start thinking differently.

Aldi’s Argentinian Malbec, £6.29, works a treat with veggie dishes because of its fruity flavour. It goes great with all sorts of vegetarian main courses, and also nibbles like these mini goats cheese and roasted red pepper quiches, £1.39.

The specially selected mini quiches are available in a variety of flavours.

Choose from British Maple Bacon & Barber’s Coastal Cheddar Quiche Lorraine, Wiltshire Ham, West Country Cheddar & Leek or British Goats’ Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper.

These mini quiches are perfect for passing around at parties

Aldi 6 These mini quiches are perfect for passing around at parties

Cake and Bubbles

They say a party without a cake is just a meeting. Well, cake without bubbles just isn’t Christmas!

Throughout the festive period you’re bound to have friends and family pop in unexpected for a cuppa. Surprise and delight them by keeping this Exquisite Christmas Cake, £9.99 in the cupboard and serve them up a slice of this truly exquisite fruitcake with a glass of prosecco (£12.99 for a magnum of Ca’di Pietra Prosecco DOC). If you don’t need a magnum you can grab a bottle of Belletti Proseco Spumante DOC for just £5.79.  You could even have a go at making your own prosecco cocktails. Does anyone fancy a bellini?

It’s not Christmas without cake.

Aldi 6 It’s not Christmas without cake.

Cheese and Port

Is there a more classic combo than cheese and port? Christmas is a time for tradition and this isn’t one we ever want to break. Aldi’s Classic British Cheese Selection is just £4.49 and is the perfect partner to Maynard’s 10 Year Tawny Port, £9.99. Cheese and port are the natural conclusion to Christmas dinner and best served over board games and cards.

The cheese selection includes Cornish Brie, Long Clawson White Stilton & Blueberry, Belton Farm Mature Red Leicester, Shropshire Blue and Coastal Bite Mature Cheddar, so there’s something for everyone.

There’s no pairing quite like cheese and port

Aldi 6 There’s no pairing quite like cheese and port

Champagne and Pudding

No matter how many nibbles or courses you eat, there’s always room for pudding! These light, moist, bitsize Christmas puddings, £3.49, come in mulled wine or cherry kirsch flavour and are super sparkly so they’ll look great on a buffet table or canape tray. Serve  with Veuve Monsigny Brut Rose Champagne, £15.99, for the prettiest pair you ever did see.

Aldi 6

If you’re thinking of braving it and trying to make your own cocktails and festive nibbles you can find loads of recipes here.

Food

Happy Hanukkah 2017! Why is the Jewish festival known as Chanukah and why do we light candles?

HANUKKAH or Chanukah is a Jewish festival which is celebrated by lighting one candle a day for eight days. It’s already underway, but how did it first begin? Here’s everything you need …

Published

on

By

HANUKKAH or Chanukah is a Jewish festival which is celebrated by lighting one candle a day for eight days.

It’s already underway, but how did it first begin? Here’s everything you need to know…

 A Jewish family sits round the table to celebrate HanukkahGetty Images A Jewish family sits round the table to celebrate Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrated in either November or December.

This year the Festival of Lights began on the evening of Tuesday December 12 and ends of the evening of Wednesday December 20.

The holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev – the ninth month of the year on the Hebrew calendar.

Games are often played at Hanukkah, and the most common involves a dreidel (type of spinning top) and is a popular way of helping children to remember the great miracle.

 Jews observe the celebration by lighting one candle a day for eight daysAlamy Jews observe the celebration by lighting one candle a day for eight days

What is the history behind Hanukkah?

The word means ‘rededication’ and honours the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom more than 2,500 years ago.

It dates back to two centuries before the beginning of Christianity.

Legend has it the leaders of a Jewish rebel army called the Maccabees rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors.

King Antiochus had taken control of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and ordered an altar to Zeus to be built.

Judaism and circumcision was banned and pigs were sacrificed.

The Jewish uprising was led by Judah Maccabee and lasted three years until the Maccabees seized Jerusalem.

Judaism’s text the Talmud says only pure olive oil with the seal of the high priest can be used for the Hanukiah.

They wanted to rededicate the temple but could only one container enough for one day.

However, miraculously it stayed alight for eight days – the time needed to get hold of a new supply of kosher oil.

Why do Jews light candles at Hanukkah?

On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, a candle is lit in a menorah (candelabra) called a hanukkiyah.

While one legend says that the one container of oil stayed alight for eight days, another said that the uprising found eight iron spears and put candles in them, and used them for lighting up the temple.

The tradition is celebrated today, and the candles are typically lit left to right and placed in the front windows of houses.

 'Judith Beheading Holofernes' by CaravaggioAlamy ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’ by Caravaggio

Why is it sometimes called Chanukah?

In Hebrew, Hanukkah is pronounced with the letter ‘chet’ so it sounds like Chanukah.

The chet’s ‘ch’ sound is not enunciated like the ‘ch’ in child – and is more of  a guttural sound.

It can be spelt Chanukah or Hanukkah.

What is traditional Hanukkah food?

Jews traditionally eat fried foods to honour the miracle temple oil.

‘Sufganiyot’ are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugar.

They are from a yeast donut pastry mentioned in the Talmud.

 'Sufganiyot' are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugarGetty Images ‘Sufganiyot’ are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugar

Continue Reading

Food

How to cook turkey – size guide and how long it takes to defrost and cook your Christmas dinner in the oven

IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast. Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat o…

Published

on

By

IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast.

Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat once a year, it can be tricky to get it right.

 When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per personGetty Images When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per person

What size turkey do I need?

When picking the perfect turkey, you’re considering more than the roast dinner itself.

Part of the fun of Christmas is having enough leftovers for turkey sandwiches in the evening, and maybe a home-made curry or pie the next day.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to panic buy the biggest bird in the store.

This would be unnecessarily expensive and the bigger the bird, the longer it will take to cook.

The general rule of thumb is to allow 1lb, or 500g, per person.

Whole birds are the best value, but crowns are easier to carve – because the legs have already been removed.

 Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the birdGetty Images Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the bird

Is a 12lb bird big enough?

Yes, unless you are cooking for around 12 people.

For a group of six to eight, you’re recommended to buy an 8lb turkey – but some birds grow to much larger than that.

This farm in East Devon produced three 60lb turkeys in 2016. The enormous birds are eight times the average weight of baby born in the UK.

Continue Reading

Food

Get your carb fix thanks to Dean Edwards with a meat feast spaghetti pizza or spinach and ricotta stuffed shells

AS CHRISTMAS draws closer and the cold intensifies, don’t forget to get your carb fix to keep you going. Thanks to Dean Edwards, you need to look no further. Meat Feast Spaghetti Pizza Serves…

Published

on

By

AS CHRISTMAS draws closer and the cold intensifies, don’t forget to get your carb fix to keep you going.

Thanks to Dean Edwards, you need to look no further.

Meat Feast Spaghetti Pizza

Serves 4

Prep time 10 mins

Cooking time 30 mins

Cals 642/ Sat fat 20g

 Indulge in our meat feast spaghetti pizza this winterLara Holmes Indulge in our meat feast spaghetti pizza this winter

For the sauce

  • 1 red onion, very finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tsp sugar

For the base

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 60g Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the toppings

  • 1 x 125g mozzarella ball
  • 150g ready-grated mozzarella
  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4tbsp Nduja sausage or chorizo
  • 4tbsp mascarpone
  • Fresh basil, to serve

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas mark 6. Make the sauce by frying the onion and garlic in a splash of oil for 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and balsamic, then simmer for 5 mins until thickened. Season and add the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain, then place in a bowl with a little oil to stop it sticking. Cool slightly then stir in the Parmesan and eggs. Divide between two greased 8in spring-form cake tins and compress, bringing a little up the sides to form a crust.
  3. Spoon over the tomato sauce and spread evenly, then cover with the mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes and Nduja. Bake for 20 mins.
  4. Rest for a couple of mins then remove the pizzas from the tins, dot on the mascarpone and sprinkle over the basil.
Continue Reading

sports

Sports10 mins ago

Who is Elise Christie, why is the speed skater nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 and is she dating Liu Sandor Shaolin?

SPEED skater Elise Christie has been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. But who is the Team GB...

Sports10 mins ago

Christian Eriksen announces he is expecting a baby with girlfriend Sabrina Kvist Jensen

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN got over Spurs having their pants pulled down by Man City by spreading the news he’ll be changing...

Sports10 mins ago

Lewis Hamilton posts Michael Schumacher tribute on social media as he prays for Formula One legend to make full recovery

LEWIS HAMILTON has posted an emotional tribute to Michael Schumacher four years after the Formula One legend’s ski crash horror...

Sports11 mins ago

Manchester United star David de Gea left furious with Gareth Barry after ankle stamp during win over West Brom

DAVID DE GEA was left enraged with Gareth Barry after the West Brom midfielder appeared to stamp on his ankle....

Sports11 mins ago

Barcelona vs Deportivo LIVE SCORE: Latest updates from La Liga clash

DEPORTIVO sit just three points above the relegation zone and face a Barcelona side who have not lost in the...

Sports11 mins ago

Who is Lewis Hamilton’s mum? Publicity-shy Carmen Larbalestier seen celebrating with Mercedes star as he secured his fourth F1 world title

LEWIS HAMILTON’S mum has been something of an elusive figure throughout his career. While dad Anthony was regularly seen by...

Sports11 mins ago

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain defends Philippe Coutinho after Liverpool future and Barcelona interest is brought up in post-Bournemouth interview

LIVERPOOL star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dramatically stepped in for Philippe Coutinho when the Brazilian was questioned over his Anfield future by...

Sports12 mins ago

Gary Lineker trolls Alan Hansen over ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ line at SPOTY 2017

GARY LINEKER didn’t miss the opportunity to take a jibe at Alan Hansen at this year’s Sports Personality of the...

Sports12 mins ago

Watch the hilarious moment Mo Farah’s son has tantrum during his BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 speech

MO FARAH’S son stole the show at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards as he upstaged his dad...

Sports12 mins ago

SPOTY 2017 winner: What time will the winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 be announced tonight?

WITH so many great sporting achievements in 2017, the names which have arisen for the Sports Personality of the Year...

Trending