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canapés and cocktails: simple party food ideas with domu.

Party season is fully upon us and I can't think of a better reason to whip up some canapés on posh serveware. The best thing about having pretty plates and boards is that you can make something super simple into something rather fancy in an instant. The friendly lot at Domu sent me a few of their latest serveware pieces to get creative with this season - just in time for New Year's Eve! I made a spicy chipotle king prawn cocktail and asparagus, soft cheese and Parma ham wraps as well as some mango and orange fizz to celebrate the occasion. Cheers!

the golden hour: golden turmeric milk from yogi tea®

With a sense of great passion, Yogi Tea are committed to bringing great quality, authentic and organic teas to the modern market. Pioneers of herbal and spiced teas for over forty years, their ethos is, “Feel good, be good, do good.” 

I was invited to try their Turmeric Chai, an exciting new product coming to the shelves in January 2018. I’ve heard amazing things about turmeric, particularly health benefits, so I couldn’t wait to try. Plus, the chai element means that it’s packed with soothing and comforting spices such as cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger. As leading specialists in chai blends, Yogi Tea certainly know their stuff. 

parmesan and pesto filo parcels.

Whether you're hosting a festive party or you're in charge of Christmas dinner on the big day, these super simple filo parcels are perfect for nibbles, canapés and starters alike. Featuring Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as fresh pesto created from the renowned cheese, these cheesy bites bring together the winning combination of basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil within delectably crisp filo pastry.

Hailed the King of all the Cheeses, it's one of the world’s oldest products with exclusive P.D.O. status. It can only be truly made particular areas of Italy, just where it has been made for over 900 years. That's some commitment! In particular I made these ones ahead for a festive catch up amongst foodie friends. I sampled a few fresh (it was hard to resist) and then warmed the others through when my guests arrived - which went well if I say so myself. Here's how to make ahead these must-have festive morsels...

christmas not-so-pudding doughnuts.

Don't like Christmas pudding all that much? Me neither. If you're more of a chocoholic when it comes to the festive season (or any time of the year...) then these may answer your Christmas wishes all at once. These baked, chocolatey doughnuts are made from a simple cocoa infused sponge and finished with icing and marzipan. All the chocolate. All the festive. Less of the dried fruit.

winter vegetable stew with comté cheese dumplings.

Could it really be Christmas without cheese? With the festive season approaching, I’m loving homemade one pots, seasonal vegetables and curling up with a bowl of comforting stew. This Winter inspired root vegetable stew features not only Brussels sprouts, but a twist on classic dumplings.

Made better with Comté, the delicious cheesy dumplings are the perfect topping for this Winter warmer. Handcrafted an amazing 365 days a year in France, each Comté cheese wheel has its own unique character. The diverse flavours mean it can work in so many dishes - from risottos to bread and salads to gratins.

Fluffy on the inside with a moreish, crunchy topping, with that extra cheesy treat. The French artisan cheese has a slightly nutty and salty flavour which adds a real extra dimension to the dish.

parmesan, parsnip and brussels sprout gratin.

Add festive side dish to add to your repertoire; a beautifully golden gratin featuring Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, creamy parsnips and Brussels sprouts. Finished with crispy bacon lardons and breadcrumbs, this is a must-have for Christmas spread come December 25th. Parmigiano Reggiano has a striking saltiness that makes it perfect to add a new dimension of flavour and texture to gratins, as well as a natural seasoning. 

Known as the King of Cheeses, it's one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago. It has an exclusive P.D.O. protection, ensuring it can only be truly made in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River. Everyone will be a fan of Brussels sprouts this season once they've tried them with indulgent Parmesan cheese, a crunchy topping and scatterings of smoked lardons. Here's how...

#allwrappedup with ao.

Last week I went down to London for lovely Christmassy evening hosted by ao and Hotpoint. With likeminded lifestyle, homeware and food bloggers, we were fully immersed in the festive spirit and spoilt with fantastic food and gifting ideas. From creating our own edible gifts to gift wrapping tips, we were invited to embrace all things Christmas - complete with a full roast dinner!

cranberry & white chocolate cookies.

Another cosy Christmas recipe just waiting to be enjoyed with your afternoon cuppa. Perfect as an edible gifting idea, a festive bake for the tin or treat to take into the office. These cranberry and white chocolate cookies can be really easy mixed up in one bowl too. With Christmassy cranberry combined with a hint of orange zest and chunks of sweet white chocolate, these cookies are a real crowdpleaser with minimum washing up. (Pstt, and they don't take long to make either...)

cinnamon mince pies.

A twist on the traditional mince pie recipe, I've bended the rules slightly to include of my favourite festive spices. So I wasn't much of a fan of mince pies growing up, but I think I've acquired a taste in recent years of homemade ones. In particular, where they feature a little festive twist. Last year I made Bakewell tart inspired mince pies and Christmas pudding brownies. This is - cinnamon mince pies! The cinnamon is mixed in with the sweet shortcrust pastry and they're topped with cinnamon sugar for good measure. Ho ho ho...

nutella macarons.

Macarons have got to be one of my favourite things to make. And let's face it, who isn't fond of Nutella? That pretty much sums up how these Nutella macarons came about. Made using a French macaron recipe and lashings of your favourite hazelnut spread, these little delights are gluten free and super indulgent.