Christmas/New Year is always an incredibly busy time for me working in retail, so along with exhausting shifts and travelling back and forth between Manchester and Edinburgh, I’ve had to let the blogging go for a few months.
Every year I hope that I can run through my plan for all the tasty foods I aim to scoff over the festive period. Every year I run out of time. I figured instead of just not mentioning all the delicious eats, I would mention it late so that later this year when folk are looking for ideas I can be all smooth and whip out the link to what I ate last time round.
This year was my first Christmas spent with my lovely new Partner, Logan. He isn’t vegan or vegetarian but was totally happy to let me cook him a delicious animal free feast for Christmas day, especially as he was working for a few hours. I wanted to impress him, so I really went for it…starters, a big roast with all the trimmings, dessert and an epic cheeseboard.
I had a vague idea that I wanted cream cheese and pastry involved for some of my starters, so bought that in, but ended up making up the starters on the day. I usually hate doing this but it worked out so well!
First off I made some mini Filo Tarts, topped with Cream Cheese and Balsamic, Purple Sprouts. These were so simple, I just layered the filo, cut it into neat squares before spreading a little cream cheese on each one. I fried some tiny sprouts with shallots and garlic in a little oil, added some balsamic and then finished the pastries off with these. I baked them in an oven at 180 C for around 20 minutes, until browned and crisp. Finished them off with another drizzle of balsamic before serving.
The next starter I made was magical. I called these Chick’n Popper ‘n’ Pickle Parcels. It was super easy, I just layered up that filo and wrapped Farm Foods Chick’n Poppers and sliced pickles in the filo to make a small parcel. Stuck the pastry down by wetting my fingers and then baked at 180 C for 20 minutes. These probably could have done with a brush of olive oil, but otherwise they were perfect.
I served these with some pre-bought frozen Vegan Wontons and Follow Your Heart Blue Cheese Sauce.
The Main Course was a traditional Roast Dinner. Tofurkey was the main centre piece. It was pretty good though I do think I prefer either a homemade Wellington type thing or the VegiDeli roasts, this was a little dry despite me regularly basting it.
As I was in Scotland, I added some Macaroni Pies – these were simple, just my favourite mac n cheese wrapped in puff pastry.
Veggies included – Roast potatoes, Parsnips & Carrots roasted in butter & black pepper, Maple Mustard Brussel Sprouts, Mash Potato, Stuffing Balls, Pigs in Blankets and I added some extra Mac n Cheese because CARBS ARE LIFE.
We were so ridiculously full after this that we had to go and lie on our left sides for a while (a beautiful tip I learnt from my good chum Jenny Marie).
A few hours later we managed to tuck into some dessert, Chocolate Chestnut Torte. A favourite that I have made for Christmas before. It’s a super simple recipe and can be made well in advance if needed. Of course I left it last minute and stressed myself out on the day trying to get it to set on time.
It was well worth the stress though, it was beautiful, so creamy and rich. I love it!
The only sad part was that we did not have any belly space for a cheese board. I had invested a fair amount of cash into a decent cheese selection and I didn’t want to waste it and make ourselves feel sick, so I had to wait until December 30th before I could tuck in. It was torture but the end result was so so worth it. It’s the best cheese board I ever had.
I converted Logan’s coffee table into a cheeseboard by covering it in baking parchment, before unwrapping and placing all the cheeses, crackers, hummus and chutneys onto it. We then sat and ate cheese whilst watching Bad Girls for hours. It was heaven.
The cheeseboard consisted of the following
- Mouse’s Favourite Cream Cheese
- Nutcrafter Creamery Cheese with Chipotle
- Nutcrafter Creamery Cheese with Chives
- Volcanic Nutcrafter Creamery Cheese (with charcoal)
- Nutcrafter Creamery Cheese with Cranberries
- Mozzarisella Cream Cheese
- Vegusto Piquant
- Violife Blue
- Violife Cheddar
- Tesco Cheese with Crushed Peppercorns
- Onion Chutney
- A selection of crackers
It was epic and I was absolutely thrilled at how much Logan enjoyed it. I was surprised that the Tesco Peppercorn Cheese was his favourite, but he enjoyed most of them and said they tasted very similar to real cheese. Proud vegan right here. Finally our cheeses are more palatable to non vegans ❤
Overall, I had a really nice time over Christmas and New Year. Logan made me this amazing painting of Totoro, which was my all time favourite present.
We also spent a lovely day driving around the Coastal Trail with Vegan Bear on Boxing day, taking in gorgerous views and having the chilliest picnic ever because, well, we were in Scotland so we had to.
I hope you all day a lovely time over this festive period, whether you were with friends, family or whether you just like to ignore it all and spend it alone. Looking forward to another year of blogging ahead!