We are at home for Christmas, not just Christmas Day itself but all of the school holidays and as Big Welsh will be recovering from a ligament reconstruction operation and wont be any use hobbling around on crutches I will be fully in charge in the kitchen. Bliss! People will be popping in as soon as the school bell signifies the end of term and the house will be full of food, ingredients, laughter and cheer.
I like it when friends pop in unannounced and don't get into a panic as there's always something to feed them with. I don't tend to measure things out as I use what I have in the house so it's up to you and what you've got in for your portion sizes.
Here are a few of my fail safe and easy entertaining canapé suggestions:-
Peanut Satay - so easy, just remember not to let it dry out
Simply soften onions and garlic in a saucepan, add in peanut butter, honey and chilli to taste. Keep stirring and add in water to avoid it drying out. One tip is not to test it straight from the saucepan as it will be boiling! Fabulous with cocktail sausages, chicken bits on sticks, prawns, anything!
Cottage cheese dip - I add dried chilli flakes in but you could add anything in.
Tomato Dip/Marinade/Sauce - multi functional yumness
Soften onions and garlic in garlic butter or chilli oil, then add tomatoes (chopped fresh or tinned), honey, Tabasco/dried chilli/fresh chilli and Worcestershire Sauce. Mix up and add to taste. Ideal as a warm dip with tortilla crisps, as a sauce for enchilladas, topping for burgers. The list is endless.
Smoked Salmon Dip
We always have smoked salmon in the fridge over Christmas. It's so versatile and moreish, but sadly doesn't stay long in the fridge! Just incase you have any left over give it a quick whizz in your kitchen whizzer or chop up finely, mix it up with some crème fraîche/soft cheese, chopped dill or chives, lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with a bowl of cruditees or some warmed pitta bread.
Whizz drained chickpeas together with lemon juice, garlic gloves, water, olive oil and cumin, adding in any extra flavours you have to hand paprika, sun dried tomatoes, chillis - whatever! Serve with warmed pitta and crudités.
Spice cupboard dip
Mix crème fraîche/soft cheese/mascarpone/natural yogurt with whatever grabs your fancy chilli powder/sweet chilli jelly/curry powder. Serve with crunchy raw cauliflower and carrot batons.
Honey & Mustard Dip
As easy as that! Honey and wholegrain mustard, served warm or cold. Drizzle over cocktail sausages or pour into a bowl to prod your sausages into.
Of course these recipes aren't just for Christmas, so enjoy them any time of the year! I do!