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With Christmas just 1 more sleep away and friends and family to entertain, the festive season can be quite stressful, with a constant stream of beverages and food to provide it can all get a bit much, but with these 2 fail safe recipes your guests will think you are a domestic goddess, while you can sit back and enjoy the festivities.
Merry Mulled Wine
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1 bottle of red wine
2 (5cm) cinnamon sticks
1 dessertspoon whole cloves
1 dessertspoon whole allspice
1 large piece orange rind (avoid the pith)
1 large piece lemon rind (avoid the pith)
4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon Dried Culinary Lavender
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the red wine, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, culinary lavender, lemon rind and orange rind. Heat gently, but don’t bring to the boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and once dissolved, taste to see if you’d like to add more.
Keep hot on medium to low heat for 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse the wine. Serve your mulled wine hot in glasses or mugs.
(Recipe Source http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mulledwine_8156)
Smoked Salmon and Pancetta Crostini Canapés
12 small slices bread, cut from a baguette or ficelle
5 tbsp olive oil
6 slices pancetta
200g smoked salmon
200ml crème fraîche
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground
12 whole chives, snipped into 25cm (1in) lengths, to garnish
The bread slices can be baked up to 2 hours ahead. The crème fraîche mixture can be made 24 hours in advance. Assemble the bruschetta just before serving.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) Preheat the grill on its highest setting. Brush each side of the bread slices with olive oil, place them on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove and leave to cool.
Grill the pancetta for a few minutes until crisp on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon into thin strips about 2cm (3/4in) wide.
Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard, capers, 1tsp of lemon zest and 1tsp of juice; season to taste with black pepper.
Place the bread slices on a serving plate, divide the crème fraîche mixture between the slices, and top with strips of smoked salmon, pieces of pancetta and chives to garnish.
These are just a couple of the fabulous, quick, stress free festive drinks and nibbles options that you can try that will ensure your Christmas is as relaxing as possible.