Frantic Festive Menu Planning

Thursday 13 December 2012
The big day is fast approaching so time to get up to speed with some Menu Planning. We'll have house guests for a week over the festivities so its meals for seven and although there will be extra pairs of hands to help in the kitchen I kinda need to know what we'll be eating when so I know what to buy, make ahead and freeze and most importantly remind myself what to take out of the freezer when!  So here goes...

Saturday - Crab, Smoked Haddock, Leek and Parmesan Tart.  
This is something I made at a Feast of Fish evening class I'm currently attending. The photo below is of the one I made in class which was swiftly demolished but I've forward planned with another larger one already in the freezer. Will serve with Pioneer Woman Potato Bundles.
Sunday - Beef Sauerkraut GoulashApple and Pear Crumble 
Have to do a German night following my trip to Munich. Recreating the goulash I made previously but just using beef this time. Not sure if I'll bother with the accompanying potato bread. Will see what my sous chefs think.
Another previously successful recipe for desert. Apple, Pear and Cinnamon Crumble with Hazelnut Praline Topping. Not German in any way shape or form. Will wash it down with some Gluhwein or Feuerzangenbowle.
Christmas Eve - Fish Pie, Brandy Snaps and Homemade Ice Cream
We're going to be making a Fish Pie with a crumble or potato topping at "Feast of Fish" class this week. I always do Fish Pie for Christmas Eve so will ensure that all my ingredients are fresh and pop it straight into the freezer. Have never done a savoury crumble topping before so will make that option. Desert is something I haven't made in a very long time but used to enjoy helping my Mum make. Brandy Snaps. I've got her to unearth the recipe from the Cordon Bleu Cookery Course.  This was a 72 part cookery magazine from the 1960's/70's. Will also dig out the ice cream maker but not sure what flavour(s) I'll do.
Christmas Day - Game Terrine, Turkey & Trimmings, Seven Cup Pudding
The Terrine is actually a Slimming World recipe that I have made for the last couple of years as our Christmas Day starter.  It can be prepared ahead which is a bonus. Contains pheasant, turkey and streaky bacon and is flavoured with juniper, brandy and pink peppercorns.
So to the Turkey. I haven't quite decided what I'm doing with it or where I'm getting it from. To be honest I like the actual accompaniments more than I like the bird itself. I'm planning on...
Whisky Neeps, Gratin of SproutsCranberry SaucePigs in Blankets, Roast and Mashed Tatties, Gravy, White Sauce, Bread Sauce, Honeyed Roast Parsnips, Pork Stuffing Balls, Oatmeal Stuffing. Have I missed anything?!
My mum makes the Christmas Pud every year. It's a 7 Cup pudding which much lighter version than the traditional one and we all love it. Even girl. Great with brandy butter and/or boozy cream. Every year I ask her to include charms. Every year she ignores me. Apparently it's already made and in her freezer. Sans charms I assume.

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins

1 cup currants
1 cup shredded suet
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir in the milk beaten egg and put into a well greased pudding bowl. Cover with greaseproof paper and tin foil and steam for 3-4 hours. Freezes well so can be made in advance and steamed again on the big day to reheat. 

Boxing Day - Nigella's Ham in Coke, Potatoes Dauphonoise, Turnip & Lentil Pie, Gingerbread House. 
I made Nigella's Ham in Coke for the first time last Christmas and we all loved it, so it's on the menu plan again accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes. An addition this year is turnip and lentil pie. This is a dish my Mum used to make and at the time I'm pretty sure me and my sister loathed it. Its from a Rose Elliot vegetarian cookbook of the 70's/80's.

A Gingerbread house on Boxing Day has also become "traditional" in the Foodie Quine household over the last few years.  My sister gets lumbered with helping the kids to create it on Christmas Eve so it can be demolished as boxing day pudding. I think she secretly enjoys it as much as they do. The basic house kit comes from Ikea. Flat pack of course. Last year we also had a giant gingerbread man husband brought home from Italy and I've bought a similar box of four from Costco this year.
Thursday - Persian Spiced Pulled Lamb, Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding
This is a new recipe to me. I normally go for Jamie Oliver's Pulled Pork. This pulled lamb one has been raved about on twitter by a couple of friends so when my Dad was given a whole leg of lamb by a fellow farmer I though it would be the ideal opportunity to try this out. Will probably serve with cous cous and flatbreads. The Bread and Butter Pudding is a new recipe too. I've been recommended two different ones so will probably do a combination of both. BBC Good Food and Jamie Oliver.

Friday - hopefully they'll all have gone by now and I can collapse in a heap with a takeaway and a large bottle of gin ;-)

Disclaimer - if you happen to be one of my aforementioned guests I reserve the right to change some or all of the above planned menu and to revert to takeaway and gin at any point in the proceedings.


  1. Ahhh but it is 'turnip and lentil pie' or 'swede and lentil pie'???

  2. I am so glad I will be there! And yes, there are no charms in the pudding - have you seen the price of them???/

  3. All looks pretty tasty to me! I'm rather glad I'll be there too!

  4. my mouth is watering as I read

  5. MMMmmmm going to try the Gratin of sprouts

  6. Your gingerbread house looks fab! Have a great Christmas x

  7. Its Neep and Lentil pie!

    I'm actually looking forward to the sprouts this year.

  8. The sprouts were divine, everyone loved them - thank you

  9. Glad to hear you enjoyed the Sprouts Nicks. We loved them too.


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