We all know that Christmas is a busy time of year, and although this year is looking to be different due to the current climate. We are still going to find that entertaining, or trying to find the time for dinner or something different when we have friends or family over. Assuming we are not in lockdown.
I have been looking at ways to help make things a little easier in the kitchen.
Founded in 1996 Charlie Bigham’s create delicious meals made with top quality ingredients. Taking the pressure off of you to create meals when time is hard to find.
I have tried a few of the meals and have not yet found one we did not like. Below is a few of the meals we have tried.
Chilli Con Carne
We have had this a couple of times now made with tender beef which is slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce. With kidney beans, black eyed beans and chillies. Served with Mexican rice.
A comfort dish made with tender minced lamb which is slow-cooked in red wine. Which is covered with creamy mash and a crunchy breadcrumb topping
Chicken Tikka Masala
A firm favourite in our house tender marinated chicken cooked in a spicy, creamy masala sauce. Topped with fresh Chilli and served with pilau rice.
There are plenty more meals in the Charlie Bigham’s range every one we have tried we have loved so far.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
If you need a pick me up or special breakfast Whole Earths Chocolate Peanut Butter is a must have for all peanut butter and hazelnut spread fans. What is better than combining the two.
How about dishing up a stack of pancakes for breakfast or brunch smothered in a lovely chocolate peanut butter spread and if you feel like making it healthy add a few slices of banana to it.
If you are in a position to be entertaining and looking for picky things to dish up to your guests. Or if you are looking for something a little different.
Kallo have rethought rice cakes by taking out the rice an introducing a new plant-based snacking range that is full of flavour. Made from peas and lentils Kallo Veggie cakes have been launched in two delicious flavours
- Beetroot & Balsamic
- Spinach & Pesto
Full of flavour these offer a nutritious snack that is low in fat and calories, high in protein and fibre and made with 100% natural ingredients.
OGG’s Mince Pies
Over the Christmas period it is always a great idea to have a box or two of mince pies in the cupboard. Great for putting out if you have unexpected guests drop in, or friends over for a coffee. OGG’s have are made using a vegan recipe.
The festive fancies are kind to the planet, animals and people. Each one handmade without any eggs or butter making them completely vegan-friendly.
Christmas is the time where we always offer a glass of wine or beer, before offering a tea or coffee. Fallen Brewing Co have a wide range of different beers. Situated in the old Kippen Railway Station with views towards The Trossachs and The South West Highlands. The range is made using only pure, soft Scottish mountain water and the best hops and malts from around the world. It includes the aptly named Local Motive, Chew Chew and much-loved Platform C
Spice Pots offer a range of different spice pots giving your the chance to make your own mouth watering curry at home. Including this Festive Food Survival Kit, which has 3 pots of curry spices and a recipe book to make some festive meals and treats.
I have recently written a review on the kit and tried one of the recipes, plus there is also a chance for you to win a Festive Food Survival Kit you can find out more here.
Christmas would not be Christmas without Opies, and this year they have three new products available
- Red Berries steeped in syrup infused with Pink Gin are the finest combination of redcurrants, raspberries and sour cherries infused with a delicious yet delicate pink gin. With back notes of juniper, the red berries effortlessly enhance a gin & tonic and are sublime in a boozy ice-cream sundae. Opies’ have also shared an inspired perfect party recipe for White Chocolate & Red Berries Tiramisu on the pack.
- Figs with Dark Rum will be a great gifting choice. Opies take the juiciest of figs and steep them in the finest Luxardo® dark rum which perfectly brings out rich, indulgent and slightly spicy tones. They work exceptionally well on a pavlova or can be used to upgrade a Dark & Stormy cocktail. For something more comforting, Opies suggest a boozy Fig & Ginger Pudding recipe on the pack.
- Apricots steeped in syrup infused with The Famous Grouse® Blended Scotch Whisky will be a gift of pure perfection. Carefully sourced, sweet apricots meld into the UK’s best-selling blended whisky* – The Famous Grouse®. Simply sublime! Why not use them in a Christmas Chocolate Trifle for the ultimate indulgence?
A perfect addition to any entertaining you will be doing to add that something special
One thing we always have on hand at Christmas is a mince pie. Whether it is a treat for ourselves or to hand to our guests. It is not Christmas without a mince pie or two
Fatherson Bakery have a lovely selection of festive treats including
- Traditional Mince Pies – A shortcrust pastry with a rich mincemeat filling & sweet snow topping.
- Luxury Mince Pies – Orange flavoured shortcrust pastry with a mincemeat filling and brandy.
- Mini Festive Cupcakes – 9 Mini festive cupcake platter
If you are entertaining over Christmas or you prefer a soft drink , Soda Folk have a range of sodas in a vaiety of flavours. Including
Or you can buy a mixed case of all the above.
Cider Is Wine
You did read that correctly. Cider has changed a lot from the cider we all know and love, and has moved to a more sophisticated drink. Cider Is Wine, ask you to forget the cider from our youth and discover a new cider that is sophisticated, elegant and delicious. Which has a place right next to any bottle of wine. If you are entertainin over Christmas why not serve up a bottle of Cider instead of the usual bottle of wine.
An exclusive dry, still vintage cider from the finest English cider apples using 100% freshly pressed juice, it’s matured for 6 months for flavours to fully develop, giving an elegance of style and depth of character which can be enjoyed in the same way as wine.
Cidentro Still Cider is gluten free, vegetarian and vegan friendly and only contains sulphites for freshness.
This cider co-ferment builds on a passion to raise the profile of cider as a wine alternative and combines winemaking techniques and grape bi-products with cider. Made from 100% not-from-concentrate fruit from a single vintage of Dabinett and dessert apples fermented over Bacchus wine yeast lees and aged on these lees for 9 months.
The style and presentation of the cider is designed to share with family, friends – and food! Complex and aromatic, this range of ciders is a prefect food complement.
Claim Iscider claims new territory for ice cider. An ice wine made from 100% Swedish apples, concentrated and elevated using the natural winter cold of northern Sweden. A true and original expression of the country, its apples and the family of ciders from which it was born.
White flowers on the nose and juicy, sweet, fresh acidity on the finish. Claim evokes lightness and light, spring and summer, in contrast to the flavours and scents of late autumn and winter apples associated with the company’s traditional ice cider.
Whilst holding true to the IsCider methodology, 100% fresh picked Swedish apples, this selection is a journey of discovery. IsCiders traditionally are rich and sweet, naturally produced, however Claim is a revelation. It reveals that delicacy and precision are things of beauty, which show themselves through the apple communicated by fermentation and the application of careful winemaking standards. Whilst this does not conform to the Quebec standards, it does write its own rule book, thus claiming new territory for IsCider.
This guide is a mix of gifted and non gifted items.
Have you seen my other great gift guides to help make Christmas a little easier this year