Christmas Cooking Inspiration
Parental Choice has asked Families Magazine for some ideas for getting the kids cooking this Christmas. Claire Winter has discovered three great recipes.
The festive season is a great time to get cooking in the kitchen. Families has talked to chefs, food influencers and readers across the country to give us the best ideas on what to cook with the children this Christmas.
Festive Dark Chocolate and Berry Vegan Muffins
Jessica Prescott author of Vegan Goodness says that baking is always her favourite thing to do at this time of year. “My son Louie loves helping me in the kitchen and I feel that getting him involved is a great way for him to connect with food and the process of turning raw ingredients into delicious creations.”
“Because he is still little, we stick mostly with baking for now. Muffins are a great one – I measure out all of the ingredients and get him to line the muffin tray with little paper cups, and then he adds the ingredients to a bowl one by one and we both have a turn at mixing. These muffins are great for Christmas time, especially if you roll them in dehydrated raspberry powder to give them a festive hue.”
To make decadent dark chocolate and berry muffins:
Heat the oven to 180°C
Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups
Combine 250ml of soy milk, 1tsp of apple cider vinegar, 1tsp of pure vanilla extract, 2 tsps of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil in one bowl
Sift 125g of spelt flour, 60g of millet flour, 100g of sugar, 1tsp of baking powder and 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda into another bowl and then add 200g of frozen berries and 100g of dark, vegan chocolate. Roughly combine
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the wet ingredients until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and sprinkle with the toppings, some extra dark chocolate and 3tbs of puffed quinoa
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, cool on a wire tray and then tuck into your delicious vegan treat!
Vegan Goodness: Feasts by Jessica Prescott (Hardie Grant, £15) is available to buy on Amazon.
Turkey or Chicken Curry
Award winning Indian food expert, Sarah Ali Choudhury, suggests making a simple curry, which is tasty, nutritious and easy to make. This is a great dish to cook with the kids on Boxing Day.
To make the curry:
Add 300g of chicken or turkey breast to a bowl with 2 finely chopped small shallots, 2 plum tomatoes cut into quarters, 1 spoon of garlic paste, 1 spoon of ginger paste, ½ tsp of salt, 1tbsp of mixed curry power and ¼ tsp of turmeric powder. Make sure the chicken or turkey is fully covered
Next, add 2 tbsp. of sunflower oil to a wok or pan and when it’s hot add all of the ingredients, stirring thoroughly
Cook for 3 minutes and then add ½ pint of water and cook for a further ten minutes
The water should be reduced and the chicken cooked thoroughly
Chop up some fresh coriander to garnish the curry and you are now ready to serve it
The curry would be delicious with some rice or Naan bread. You can find more recipes at Sarah’s website sarahalichoudhury.com.
White Chocolate dipped Ginger Biscuits
These delicious ginger biscuits from mylittlepiccolo.com are great on their own with a cuppa, or dipped in white chocolate, and are a fabulous to make with children or wrap up as a present. For a less sweet biscuit, you can make them with half the sugar – they don’t stay as crisp as long, but are still just as delicious! Tip: Make double the dough and freeze half for another time, or just make double quantity as they disappear pretty quickly!
In a mixing bowl, whisk 340g of flour, 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda, a pinch of salt, 3 level tsps. of ginger, 1tsp of cinnamon and 1/4tsp of nutmeg. Set aside
Either in a mixer or by hand, cream together 100g of butter and 130g of light brown sugar until light and creamy
Mix in one egg and combine
With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until you have a dough
Cover bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F during the last 10 minutes of chilling
For a smooth top to the biscuits, roll out the dough to around ½ inch thick and cut circles out with a cookie cutter. For a more rustic ‘ginger nut’ top, scoop out a dessert spoon of mixture from the bowl and shape into a ball, transfer to the baking sheet and, spacing around 2 inches apart, flatten tops slightly
Bake for around 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown
Transfer to a wire rack to cool
In a microwave safe bowl, melt 100g of white chocolate in the microwave, in 10 second intervals until melted. Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate mixture then run bottom of cookie slightly along edge of bowl to remove excess, then return to Silpat or parchment paper to set at room temperature.
If you are feeling artistic you could also pipe on a holly leaf. Yummy!
We asked Families readers what festive cooking they like to do:
Chessy says, “We love making Christmas spiced biscuits! We got the recipe from a magazine years ago. It’s now become a tradition and my twin girls would declare Christmas a disaster if we didn’t make them. They also love decorating them. We make lots and give them as teacher presents, or as a Christmas Day treat/thank you to those on duty where we live. We also keep stacks for ourselves too!
Another vote for biscuits from Sarah, “Last year we made Christmas biscuits for all the neighbours – the girls loved it!”
While Jackie says, “I make homemade cranberry sauce with my boys, it’s the perfect accompaniment for turkey on Christmas day!”
Julia enjoys making festive treats. “We love to make fun, meringue snowmen. The look great and taste pretty good too.”
Sara enjoys baking too. “My son loves making gingerbread, we try and hang them on the Christmas tree but they never last long enough!”
Cass loves making traditional Christmas treats. “We make mince pies and Christmas cake! We make mince pies the way my grandmother taught me when I was a kid and we start making the Christmas cake in October!”
By Claire Winter firstname.lastname@example.org or see her website clairewinter.info
This article appeared in the November/December issue of Families Magazine.