Hazelnut & Chocolate Stollen

This version of the traditional Christmas Stollen is absolutely delicious!

If you make just one thing this Christmas let it be this ‘Chocolate & Hazelnut Stollen’ bake filled with the colourful sweetness of cranberries, apricots, chocolate chips and the delicious blend of Christmas spices.

We enjoyed a slice of this warm with some delicious warmed spice apple juice. It’s so quick to pop on this delicious warming drink while you wait for the dough to rise and it makes the perfect accompaniment with a slice of Stollen by the fire. I have included the recipe below for you.

Spiced Apple Juice Recipe

4 liters of apple juice

1 sliced apple

1 handful of dried cranberries

2 cinnamon sticks or 4tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of ground cloves

2 tsp of allspice

Pour all of the juice into a huge pot, I love my huge cast iron pot for this with the lid. Add all the spices, apples and cranberries and adjust to your tastes. Simmer for an hr or so and leave on a low heat to serve all evening.

This lasted us a few nights but you could also half the recipe. Its also important to use good quality pressed apple juice instead of concentrate which tends to be too sweet.

Stollen Recipe

100g of dried cranberries

30g of chopped hazelnuts

50g of dried chopped apricots

200ml of warm apple juice (you can use the drink above too, it works really well just make sure its not too hot)

1tbsp of dried yeast

250g of strong white flour (an additional 50g when fruit is added)

2tsp of cinnamon

2tsp of allspice

1/2tsp of ground cloves

80g of chocolate chips

10g of coconut oil

2tbsp of icing sugar

100g of chocolate chips (for melting)

Soak the dried cranberries, hazelnuts and dried apricots in 100ml of hot water and set aside (you can increase the quantities of fruit if you prefer it sweeter).

Add the warm apple juice to a small jug and sprinkle in the dried yeast. Stir gently and set aside to bubble and activate for 15-20mins.

Add the flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and coconut oil and mix together. I use the dough hook on my kitchen aid for creating the dough but you can, as described in this recipe, knead by hand.

Once the yeast has been left to activate add it into the flour and spices in the bowl. Mix together to create a smooth dough, adjusting the flour or adding a little water if necessary. You should have a relatively non sticky dough which can be handled without feeling too sticky in your hands. If its too sticky add a little extra flour.

Remove the dough from the bowl for kneading. Add a little vegetable oil to your hands to reduce sticking whilst kneading. Knead for 10 minutes until completely smooth and pliable.

Place in a bowl which has been lightly oiled and cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise somewhere warm for one hour.

Remove from the bowl again. Drain the soaked dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips and add to the dough. You might need some additional flour at this point so that the dough doesn’t become sticky due to the extra moisture. Knead for a further 10mins.

Leave to rise again for another hour in the same warm place.

Shape into a rounded loaf shape and bake at 180oc for 30-40minutes or until lightly brown and when tapped on the bottom it should sound hollow.

Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack for around half an hour.

Add the icing sugar into a small bowl with a little water to create a thick but runny paste. You can either paste this onto the whole top of the loaf and finish with a dusting of icing sugar or you can drizzle it as I have in the image above.

Melt the chocolate and drizzle across the loaf. Sprinkle with some additional chopped hazelnuts and slice to serve.

Enjoy!

Christmas Nibble Board

Christmas nibbles…ah!…so many happy memories of our family nibble platters at Christmas time!

I’ve seen many a delicious plate of nibbles in my day, from the excitement of my Mum and Dad bringing out our faves at Christmas to visiting Grandma and Grandad at Hogmany and feasting on scrummy hot nibbles all night when we were wee and then to us as parents ourselves bringing out warm plates of nibbles to our own excited kids!

There’s been many a happy memory around food in our household at Christmas young and old.

I made this somewhat healthier version of a nibble platter to feed the kids the day we collected the Christmas tree, because who has time to prepare huge meals when your all singing Christmas songs and decorating the tree with twinkling lights.

I used fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade crumbly feta almond cheese, sticky mango and sweet chilli sausage bowls and mushroom based sausage rolls. Yummy!

It’s super easy to prepare and assemble and you can of course vary the ingredients loads.

Ingredients

Sliced fruit and vegetables of choice

Vegetarian/vegan sausages

Vegetarian/vegan sausage rolls

Crispbreads for spreading

Crisps

Mango chutney

Sesame seeds

Sweet Chilli sauce

Chopped Spring onions

Cranberry sauce

Black olives

Sun dried tomatoes

Almond Feta Ingredients

2 cups of whole almonds

1 shallot or half a red onion chopped

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 lemon

1-2tbsp of plain yogurt (I used coconut) (optional)

Salt & pepper

Almond Feta Recipe

Soak the almonds in boiling hot water in a bowl for a couple of hours and peel off the skins. Pop the peeled almonds into the blender. Add the chopped onion or shallot, garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, yogurt if using, salt and pepper.

Blend in a high powered blender until completely smooth and taste, adjusting the seasonings as necessary. Add a little water if necessary too. You should have a really thick ‘stick to the spoon’ paste texture.

Lay out a muslin flat on the counter and spoon out the almond mixture onto the muslin. Wrap up into a tight ball and squeeze out the excess liquid over the sink. Tie a knot and hang into a jug, place in the fridge over night. If you don’t have time just squeeze out as much liquid as possible and then shape into a ball. Place in a glass dish and bake at 160 for 30mins or until golden and crispy on the outside.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped herbs, sun dried tomatoes or olives etc. Serve with thin crispbreads or oatcakes.

Sticky Sausages Recipe

Cook the vegetarian sausages on a medium heat in the oven. Split into two bowls, coat one batch in mango chutney and the other in sweet chilli sauce. Serve in two small bowls, sprinkle sesame seeds over the mango sausages and spring onions over the sweet chilli ones.

Lay the cheese and sausages out on a chopping board and display the sliced vegetables all around the bowls to make it all look pretty and edible.

Enjoy!

Spicy Bean & Vegetable Curry

This is my fave spicy curry recipe and it’s so quick and easy to make. I love the blend of freshly grated tomatoes, spices and chillies to make the sauce and the fluffy basmati base soaking up all of the delicious flavours. I have made this recipe spicy as I like hot food but you can adjust it to your tastes by adjusting the chilli quantity.

I love to serve my curry up with some fermented foods, pickles, sauces etc. These are great for dipping any additional elements like poppadoms and naan bread in. In this recipe I have used the fermented ‘Tumeric and Black Pepper Kimchi’. It’s the perfect addition to this dish for taste and of course for the numerous health benefits that fermented foods may have.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients

4 tbsp of Coconut Oil

1tsp of mustard seeds

1 tsp of cumin seeds

a pinch of asafetida

6 medium tomatoes grated (or blend in a small blender)

1/2 tsp of tumeric powder

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of ground cumin

3 fresh sliced hot green chillies (adjust for more or less heat!)

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

1 tsp of grated fresh ginger

1 tsp of sugar

1 tsp of salt

2 tsp of coconut oil

A selection of sliced fresh vegetables

A tin of beans of choice, kidney beans work really well!

Heat the coconut oil on a medium heat in a large flat pan, I use my large flat cast iron casserole pan. Once the oil has melted add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida. When the mustard seeds start popping add in the fresh tomatoes. Stir, then add in the tumeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, chillies, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. Leave simmering on a low heat.

Heat up the coconut oil in another pan and add in the sliced vegetables, beans and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Season and then add into the simmering curry sauce. Cook gently for 20 minutes and serve with freshly cooked basmati rice. I use my pressure cooker settings for fluffy white basmati rice, a rice cooker works well too.

Serve up with pickles, sauces, breads and poppadom. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe you can add your email below to be kept up to date with the release of future delicious recipes!

Love Angie x

Christmas Tree Wholemeal Spelt Rolls

These fluffy rolls are perfect served alongside the ‘Creamy mushroom & chestnut pate’. Serve them freshly baked, warm out of the oven and pour the drizzle over just as your about to eat them. Delicious!

Recipe – Creamy Mushroom & Chestnut Pate

Ingredients

2tbsp of dried yeast

750ml warm almond milk

50g of coconut oil

950g of wholemeal spelt flour

2tsp of salt

1/2 finely chopped red onion

2 finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup of olive oil

Finely chopped rosemary (or other chopped herbs)

Mix the yeast, warm almond milk and coconut oil together in a large bowl and leave for 15mins. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Stir together until a dough forms, adding a little extra flour or milk to create a non sticky dough. I love to use the dough hook on my kitchen aid to form the dough and for the kneading but hands work just as well.

Remove and knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise for one hour in a warm place.

Tip the dough back out onto the floured work surface and knead it again. Split the dough in half and keep splitting until you have around 26 small pieces.

Place some of them out onto a greased baking tray in the shape of your choice. I decided on a Christmas tree shape. Leave to rise again for 20minutes.

Bake at 200oc for 20-25mins. Meanwhile fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a gentle heat until soft. Set aside for drizzling.

Remove rolls and add the drizzle to serve. Best enjoyed immediately. Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom & Chestnut Pate

Creamy homemade pate and biscuits during the festive season is an absolute must in our family home. I’ve been craving a meaty alternative for a few years now and decided this year to create this recipe for a creamy meat free pate that we could enjoy as an alternative to our traditional choices.

I spread it thickly on my wholemeal spelt Christmas tree rolls and topped it off with some finely chopped apples, beetroots and red onion as a sweet garnish. It’s so simple but absolutely delicious and is enough to impress any pate loving guests this festive season.

The recipe for the wholemeal spelt rolls is linked below. The rolls are topped with a finely chopped red onion and garlic olive oil drizzle and a sprinkle of fresh herbs to finish. They are extra scrummy fresh out of the oven!

Recipe Link – Wholemeal Spelt Rolls

This pate hits the spot with all its earthy goodness and works really well with the sweetness of the finely chopped apple, beetroot and red onion. It can be eaten on its own with bread but I would recommend the topping as it is so delicious and pretty in colour too!

The pate is topped and sealed with melted coconut oil, coloured with a pinch of tumeric for that authentic pate look. It’s the perfect addition to any Christmas spread.

Ingredients

Pate

2 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tbsp of olive oil

300g of sliced chestnut mushrooms

3 chopped cloves of garlic

1/2 sliced red onion

100g of cooked chestnuts

Soy or oat cream (to thin to desired consistency)

Salt and pepper

Topping

1 finely chopped apple

2 cooked beetroots finely chopped

1 red onion finely chopped

Coconut Oil Seal

2-4tbsp of coconut oil

Tumeric

Melt the coconut oil and add the olive oil in a frying pan. I love using my large rustic cast iron frying pan for this. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, red onion and cook through for a few minutes until cooked and soft. Add the cooked chestnuts and warm through.

Add all of the cooked ingredients into a blender. Add a tbsp of soy or oat cream and blend. Add in more cream to blend to your desired consistency. I like a smooth pate but it can be eaten coarse also. Fill your pate dish with the smooth pate.

Melt an additional 2-4tbsp of coconut oil in a small pan (the quantity depends on the surface size of your dish). Add a pinch or two of tumeric powder to the melted oil and mix through. Pour over the pate in the dish to create a seal and refrigerate until it is solid on the top. I popped my dish in the freezer to speed up the process.

Serve chilled with a bowl of the finely chopped apple, beetroot and red onion on the side. Spread your rolls or other bread with the pate and top with the chopped apple, beetroot and red onion. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cinnamon Spiced Pancakes

I made these delicious chocolate pancakes with the delicious Pacari (details below) hot chocolate and cinnamon blend which was kindly gifted to me earlier this year by them to experiment with in recipes. Its delicious and in my opinion is a very good quality cacao for baking and hot chocolate.

I topped off these pancakes with chopped pears, seeds and nuts but you could use a variety of toppings of your choice.

They are dairy and egg free and yet still delicious! I love making a batter or cake type recipe without eggs as it means I can lick all the spoons and thats the best bit. Right? Yum yum!

The recipe is super easy and great for a lazy Sunday brunch or breakfast with the kids! They loved it of course and enjoyed it with a drizzle of date syrup. It would also make a delicious Christmas breakfast!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour

3tbsp of cacao powder (I used Pacari’s Cinnamon blend)

2tsp of baking powder

1/2tsp of salt

1 cup of almond milk

1tbsp of melted coconut oil

3 tbsp of agave or maple syrup

1tsp of vanilla

A small handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Fruit, nuts and seeds for the topping

Drizzle – agave, maple syrup etc.

Whisk all the ingredients together adding in more flour or milk to create a thick batter. Melt a tiny amount of coconut oil on a pancake pan and spoon on a tbsp or two to make the desired size of pancake. Sprinkle on a few chocolate chips if using.

Flip once tiny bubbles appear and cook for another minute or so on the other side. Drizzle with maple syrup or date syrup and top with chopped fruit, nuts and seeds of choice. Enjoy!

Check out Pacari’s top quality chocolate products at the link below. They are also fairly traded which is important to me. πŸ™‚

Pacari website – https://home.pacarichocolates.uk/

Moroccan Chickpea and Spinach Stew

I love the textures of this Moroccan spiced dish! The silky spinach, chunky butternut squash and chickpeas cooked in a delicious spicy tomato based sauce. It’s absolutely divine and works well with the cous cous and additional peas to soak up the flavours.

Ingredients

8 tomatoes

Olive oil

2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 chopped onions

3 chopped cloves of garlic

1 stick of celery finely chopped

1tsp of tumeric or freshly grated

1tsp of cinnamon

1tsp of chilli

2 handfuls of chopped butternut squash (I used frozen)

8 cubes of frozen spinach

A handful of red lentils

1 tin of chickpeas (400g)

A bunch of coriander

1lt of vegetable stock

2 cups of cous cous

1 cup of peas

Salt & pepper

Start with the tomatoes, cut in half and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a medium heat for 30mins until soft. Blend into a puree and set aside for the sauce.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, I like to use my medium cast iron oven proof pot. Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices and cook gently stirring through the flavours.

Add the vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, vegetable stock and tomato sauce (made previously). Season with salt and pepper and the coriander and slow cook on a low heat for at least 30mins. I like to finish it off in the oven for 20mins.

Boil 3 cups of water in a separate pan and add the frozen peas, cook for a few minutes. Add in the cous cous, season with salt, take off the heat and add a lid to the pan. Leave for 10mins to finish the cooking process.

Serve the stew over the top of the cous cous and sprinkle with some additional coriander.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Kale & Walnut Pasta

We love pasta in this house and this comforting cheesy dish is a favourite family meal in the colder months. I have used delicious garden fresh kale, runner beans and spelt spinach pasta. Its a comforting but healthy dish!

The recipe can also be made dairy free by using olive oil and dairy free cheese.

You could also use spinach instead of kale and mix up the green vegetables a bit to create a variety of different meals. The walnuts add additional healthy fats and crunch but pine nuts would work well too.

I have used oat cream for the sauce because it is my fave cream but you can also use plain single cream for this recipe too.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with this dish!

Ingredients

2 tbsp of butter or olive oil

2 handfuls of chopped fresh kale

2 cloves of chopped garlic

2 small cartons of Oatly oat cream (about 2 cups) or single dairy cream

Grated cheddar cheese (about 2 handfuls)

Nutmeg (about 1tsp)

S & P

Pasta

Green beans or other green vegetables

Gently heat the butter or oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic. Stir in the chopped kale and cook lightly for around 5-10 minutes.

Add the pasta to boiling water with the chopped green vegetables, I used runner beans because that’s what was in season at the time but use whatever you fancy here, green beans or broccoli also work well.

Add the oat cream to the sauce and heat gently. Add in the grated cheddar, around two handfuls, but please use more or less if you prefer. It really does depend how cheesy you like it. My kids like a cheesy pasta and if it means they will eat more green vegetables then I am happy with that.

Heat the cheesy creamy sauce until all the cheese has melted. Add the walnuts and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.

Drain the pasta and vegetables and add to the cheesy sauce, mix through and serve.

My kids like to add extra Parmesan to the top but I prefer it without. A green salad on the side goes really well too with some cucumber, tomatoes and other salad items.

Enjoy! x

Apricot Chicken & Spinach Pilaf

This delicious one pot slow cooker wonder is so easy and quick to throw together. The chicken and rice go really well with the fragrant spices, sweet apricots and velvety super green spinach. I dolloped a tablespoon of fresh live yoghurt on the top and it worked really well. Plates were empty so I’m guessing it was a hit with the kids!

I like to use chicken thigh meat because I think it has better flavour, especially from an organic chicken. You could also use chicken breast if you prefer but the breast does create a slightly drier texture. I also like to use the unsulphured dried apricots which are darker in colour and sometimes brown rice for this recipe.

You will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients

1 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee

1 finely chopped onion

4 chopped garlic cloves

2tsp of cumin seeds

2 tsp of ground coriander

2 tsp of tumeric

1 cinnamon stick

A small handful of chopped dried apricots

1 1/4 cups of basmati

3 chopped up chicken breasts or 6 chopped up thighs

700ml of vegetable stock

3 cubes of frozen spinach

Live yoghurt to serve

Set the slow cooker to high (2 -3hrs cooking time) or low (4-5 hrs cooking time) depending on the length of time you have to cook the meal. I like to prep my meals late morning or around lunchtime so that everything is ready for dinner around 5pm.

Add the coconut oil or ghee to the slow cooker and let it melt. Add in the onion, garlic, spices and chopped apricots and give it a stir around to coat everything evenly.

Add the chopped up chicken meat into the rice mixture and stir evenly to coat in the spices, apricots and rice. Add in the hot stock, frozen spinach cubes and stir once more.

Pop the lid on and leave to cook for the required time as above – high setting (2 -3hrs) or low setting (4-5hrs).

Serve with fresh greens or other seasonal vegetables and add a dollop of live yoghurt on top to serve.

Autumn Fall Cookbooks My Faves!

I love cook books! I love the photographs, the graphics and even the smell of a good book, lol! I thought I would share my fave family cook books that I bring out in the Autumn Fall season to stay warm and to keep the family nourished! I hope you find some inspiration here in this video for your own family.

There are links at the bottom of the page where you can buy the books from Amazon, (they are affiliated links and I should probably notify you that I might earn 10p or so if you click it lol!!!!) If you have an independent book shop, order them in there and support small local business instead!

With love x


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