Regular readers will know I am a *little bit* obsessed with storage containers. I know, sad but true. But they’re just so practical. And varied in shape. And with interesting little sections and snap-on lids. Who needs the Tiffany diamond department when you’ve got Robert Dyas’ plasticware section??
Recently the lovely folks at Joseph Joseph caught wind of my love of storage containers and sent me this beautiful nest of coloured containers to test. Well, obviously I love them. They don’t only look stylish, they work really well. The lids are colour coordinated with the container part via a little coloured dot so there’s no risk of mixing them up, and for those who are tight on space, the lids snap together for almost-flat storage, and the containers stack inside each other, making for a neat and tidy cupboard.
The containers are air-tight with silicone seals, see-through (handy) and über stylish. Look!
So it’s bye-bye to the sad old Tupperwares inherited from my mother, and the shambolic cupboard full of plastic boxes with missing lids (or never the right lid…), and hello storage heaven… The corner cupboard in my kitchen has never looked so smart. At £40, it’s the perfect Christmas gift for any stylish foodie!
Disclaimer: I was sent the Joseph Joseph Nest Storage 6-piece container set for free to try out.
We hosted Christmas this year. Cor, it’s hard work. And I didn’t even cook the Christmas Day lunch; my lovely husband was in charge of proceedings! But before we even reached the dizzy heights of Christmas Day itself, about three hundred other things happened: the turkey was duly ordered, the tree was lavishly decorated (the children’s help meant we had a lot of bauble clustering), the presents were chosen, bought and wrapped, a Belgian Christmas market was visited, and various Christmas ‘do’s’ were attended and staggered home from. All quite knackering, but great fun. Ho ho ho.
With Christmas over, my thoughts turn to 2014. What’s in store for the blog? Well, 2013 has been quite incredible on that front, with lots of new readers, followers, supporters and comments. Meeting new blogger friends and catching up with old ones at Mumsnet BlogFest was a highlight. All these things really spur me on, and so I intend to carry on sharing useful tidbits of advice, anecdotes, recipes, gadgets and kitchen equipment all designed to help make life in the kitchen a bit easier when you have small people to tend to at the same time. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But we’re all in it together, and I hope you enjoy what you read here and on Twitter and see on my Pinterest boards.
So, in a bid to actually achieve something beyond eating 4 mince pies a day during this funny ‘in between Christmas and New Year’ period, I wanted to share 6 things I’ve learned this Christmas:
- You can never have too many mince pies (see above)
- Leaving out a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Father Christmas and a carrot for the reindeer is a wonderful Christmas moment for children
- When it comes to the turkey, go Rolls Royce*
- Family matters
- TV doesn’t (what actually happened in that Downton episode anyway?)
- Packet bread sauce is for wimps
*We had a Kelly Bronze which came in a special box with a meat thermometer (!); wasn’t cheap, tasted delicious.
Season’s Greetings, folks!
Look what Santa’s got in his sleigh! It wouldn’t be a party in our house without these biscuits. They are perfect with a glass of white wine (or two) and just the thing for any Christmas do. I make a batch whenever we are entertaining, be it a grown-up party or a kids’ one – they are universally adored.
They are deliciously cheesy and savoury, and the semolina lends them a fine crisp texture and extra bite. They are so easy to make, that once you’ve got your ingredients together all you really need to be capable of doing is pressing the button on your food processor. Ta da!
Warning – they are melt-in-the-mouth delicious and very moreish.
Makes about 30–40 biscuits
100g butter, very soft
85g self-raising flour
75g parmesan, grated
A good pinch of dry mustard powder
Salt and pepper
Pistachio nuts to top them with
What to do
- Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C Fan).
- Use the grater function on your food processor to grate the parmesan (takes seconds). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the nuts, to the food processor. Work together until combined to a soft dough.
- Remove the dough, and roll into a big ball. Roll the dough into small balls about 3–4cm in diameter and flatten each ball between the palms of your hands. (They are quite rich, so I usually make them smaller rather than larger.) Lay each biscuit on a greased baking tray.
- Top each biscuit with a pistachio nut. Walnut pieces, peanuts pinenuts and poppy seeds work really well, too.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for approx. 12 minutes until pale golden brown. Keep an eye on them – you don’t want them to burn. Cool on a wire rack and serve cold. Try not to eat the lot before your guests arrive.
Preparing ahead: they freeze brilliantly, just defrost them – you don’t even need to reheat them or anything. They can also be made up to a week in advance and kept in airtight container. Alternatively, make the dough in advance, freeze it, defrost it overnight in the fridge and make them when it suits you.