Christmas is such a fun yet hectic time and it is all to easy to get overwhelmed with to-do lists (I know this all too well!).  I have tried to help myself over the years by getting a few things made ahead and stashed away in the freezer and would refer you to some of the tips in my November 2013 post.   I’ve been a bit slow to follow my own advice this year but my Christmas day potatoes are par boiled and waiting for us in the icy depths of the freezer shortly to be followed by some Cheese Gougeres (November 2016) and Cheese Sables (December 2013) which are so handy to be able to whip out and serve with drinks along with the Spiced Cherries in Bacon (November 2013) you see in the picture above.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Buche de Noel (December 2014) and I do find it difficult to deviate from my Tiramisu version which we usually have for lunch on Christmas Eve – light yet rich enough to be a treat, creamy and boozy – it is delicious and, I promise, so easy.

A Chocolate Peppermint Tart would definitely not go amiss (December 2014) or perhaps a Chocolate Pudding Cake (December 2012) which you could make today and freeze if that makes life easier for you.

It is not just puddings around here and we won’t go more than a couple of days without a crunchy, fresh salad gracing the May table – two favourites at this time of the year are, appropriately enough my Christmas Salad (September 2013) – an absolute winner with cold meats or cheese, crunchy and full of flavour.  My other can’t-do-without salad right now is Celeriac Remoulade (January 2016) – this funny looking vegetable is pretty underrated but this salad is a knock out.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without mincemeat making an appearance and I find these Oaty Mincemeat Shortbreads (December 2015) the most delicious and easiest version of mince pies. A matter of minutes to rustle up a tray of them and they usually take about the same length of time to disappear.

I feel I’ve neglected these pages over the last few months due to a lot of building work and decorating going on.  I intend to be back in full force with an array of delicious, everyday family food to excite you with.  Happy Christmas and here’s to a fabulous New Year.