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Some of the best things I ate over the festive period

Some of the best things I ate over the festive period

As I type this my body is screaming out:

What is going on, give me food!

It’s not too impressed with the lighter lunches and lack of cheese, pudding and ferrero rocher.  My 9 year old just came up to me practically in tears begging for supper.  I did feed the lad some salmon, roast potatoes and peas a few hours ago.  It clearly wasn’t enough so I just had to whip up a bacon and cheese tortilla.  He came back saying it was great but could he have something else as he was STILL hungry.  I made him drink a large glass of water and told him he was probably just thirsty.  Wish me luck.

Ah, I love December.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a mental month.  We have 6 close family birthdays in the run up, which adds to the already crazy to do list as well as the cake list.  Everyone deserves a birthday cake.  I tried a new cheesecake recipe and it went down a treat.  It was a simple Cadbury’s recipe but I topped it with a flake instead of buttons.  This is a crowd pleaser so I will make it again.  Let me know if you give it a shot.

 

Chocolate cheesecake yum

As mentioned on my podcast last week, next on my list is a retro peach and marshmallow cheesecake.  I will let you know when I get round to making it.  But it is January so I don’t want to get too carried away, I have a lovely wee black dress that I can almost fit into.  Must stay strong.  Move more, eat less cheesecake.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if you dropped a size every time you ate a large bit of cheesecake?  And then if you ate too much and were looking a bit too frail, you could just eat a cheeseboard and that would help you to builk up a bit.  One can but dream.

mummy jojo wellness and parenting blogger

On the note of all things cheese, I was kindly sent some lovely parma ham and parmigiano reggiano, which excited both myself and the boss of the kitchen.  Yip, Bonnie my 11 year old daughter is the boss. We both love a caesar salad so the parmigiano reggiano was cracked open pretty fast.  I, I mean Bonnie, started by mixing together crushed garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.  I would stick in some anchovies too but they freak a lot of people out.  Bonnie and I are a bit freaked out by mayonnaise so I use creme fresh instead and it works a charm.  I will need to save my mayonnaise story for the next podcast, it’s a goodie.  Look out for episode 195.  Next, we mix in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper.  This dressing can be kept for a week in the fridge.  I love it so much I could happily eat it from the bowl, no crisps/carrot sticks needed.  But it’s great over salad or grilled meat, veggies or with chicken wings or on a chicken burger.  You could even stick some blue cheese in it and ranch it up.  I remember the first time I tried ranch dressing.  It was summer 2001, in Times Square, New York at the Planet Hollywood restaurant.  Our waiter was called Gabe and I fell in love, he was gay so I didn’t stand a chance but maaan he was amazing at his job.  The chicken wings arrived and then the ranch dip.  I fell in love twice that night.  Must get back to America soon.  It’s been way too long.

mummy jojo wellness and parenting blogger

We agreed that we call it Bonnie’s kitchen, yes she has the apron, as long as I can have a seafood bar.

Jojo's seafood bar

 

I served up some lovely smoked trout and prawn cocktails on the big day.  My Mum likes to remind me that Christmas is the only day of the year that she eats prawn cocktail.  No pressure then.  Can’t screw up that cocktail sauce.  She is not a fan of spice so I made sure there was plenty of tabasco on the table for those of us who like to live a bit on the wilder side.  Boy does it give it a nice wee lift.  I have served prawn cocktails with mini bloody/virgin mary’s before which were so good.

So, back to the cheese and ham.  I was inspired to come up with some lovely dishes, which Bonnie chose of course.  I cheated a bit and grabbed a brown butter hollandaise sauce to dribble over my asparagus wrapped in the lovely parma ham.  I used it on some poachers too.  Parma ham is a healthier alternative to bacon as it is lower in fat and sodium content.  I also used it to wrap some stuffing balls, guess you had to be there, this image isn’t filling me with much excitement either.  The asparagus photo was even worse.

parma ham dishes, scottish foodie

For stuffing, it’s all about the lemon zest and sage.  This year, Bonnie and I had a full on session with my Mum to properly learn some of her classic recipes.  We now have the official lowdown on homemade bread sauce, stuffing and cranberry sauce.  I may even share them here sometime.

I also love eating parma ham cold with cheese and bread.  It makes for a great open sandwich, all you need is some rocket, a nice dressing and a cheese of your choice.  You could squeeze in some chutney and a gherkin or pickled onion or 3 on top.  Drool.  Speaking of pickled onions, why not put a twist on the old classic cocktail stick?  You could stick some parma ham, a cheese cube of your choice and then the wee onion.  I did plan to do this over the festive period but ran out of time.

It would be rude to have such nice cheese in the fridge and not cook up a risotto.  In terms of toppings, I like to keep it simple.  Some of my faves – mushroom risotto, blue cheese and red grape risotto and seafood risotto.  Prawn risotto with smoked applewood cheese and fresh chilli is also damn good.  This chicken and sundried tomato one was requested and I do like to please.  It was heavenly.  The key for me when making it is taking lots of time over it.  Never stop stirring.  Start with butter, then go onto a nice white wine, then gradually add the stock.  Get some tunes on, have a wee dance and stir, stir, stir.  Some say it tastes even better the next day, that’s if you can be self controlled enough to wait that long.

I think Christmas dinner can taste even better the next day too.  I am not sure if that is because all the hard work is done and you just need to dish it up.  By the way???!!!! Deep breaths taken.  Apparently taking your Christmas tree down on BOXING DAY is a thing.  What?  I am confused.  I just don’t understand.  For one, are people not too busy eating leftovers and enjoying movies, going for a walk perhaps or building lego or something? I started taking one of the tree’s down last night and it felt a bit early.

I am ending this foodie post with one of my highlights.  The brussel sprouts.  This year, my bro was in charge and boy did he deliver.  The flavour was insane.  Heaven.

 

I think the roast potatoes with goose fat were a close 2nd. I can’t do turkey without Mum’s bread sauce.  I only hope head chef Bonnie and I can learn to do it to her standard.

 

I am going to try and get more creative with new, healthy recipes so watch this space.

Eat well, be kind to yourself and keep doing what you love.

You got this.

Jojo x

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