My Grandad on my Dad’s side was famous for making a sherry trifle with so much sherry in it that after one bowlful you weren’t really fit to drive home. I’d guess I’d never really thought about it, but my Grandad’s sherry trifle is really the only time I have ever eaten a sherry soaked sponge, I mean, when else would you?? When I was making this reduced calorie sherry trifle with SPLENDA® then, and tasted the bottom sponge layer, I was back in their neat and tidy semi, slipping about on the parquet floor, getting the spoons from the sideboard in the dining room.
I made this Christmas sherry trifle to take to my breastfeeding group Christmas party this weekend. Although none of us have had our boobs anywhere near a baby for years, we still manage to remember to meet up most months for dinner. It’s a very special group of friends.
The trifle though stirred up some people’s not so positive trifle memories.
‘I’m not really a fan of all the jelly and tinned fruit,’ said my friend Helen, trying to be polite but looking a bit appalled at the prospect.
‘Don’t worry,’ I reassured her, ‘this is a very sophisticated trifle.’
And it really is. View Post
I don’t miss much as a freelancer. I don’t miss having to be at an office by 9am every morning, I don’t miss being told what to do by people who I can’t help but feel are essentially stupider than me, and I don’t miss the politics of who said what to who.
I DO miss the office Christmas parties though. Free food, free drinks, photocopying each other’s bits. (Okay, so I never did that, but it’s always what happens in films.) It’s FUN. It’s the one time of the year when everyone gets that war time spirit and bands together, like ‘you know what? It might be awful here, but we’ve got each other! I love you guys!’
When I get invited to Christmas blogger events then, I’m all over them like a hungry kitten with a can of tuna. You know that bit at the end, where a kitten is so desperate for the last scraps that they’re licking the tin until it’s sliding around the floor? That was me at the thought of the Iceland Christmas event I went to last Saturday.
I was extra excited because I already KNOW how ace Iceland’s Christmas range is. I’ve been working with them for around six months now and I’m sure you’re bored of me telling you over and over how impressed I’ve been with the quality of the food, but what can I say? It’s ALL TRUE. View Post
A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the FoodSaver Fresh preservation system. Remember? The cool vacuum packing system that keeps your food fresh up to twice as long?
Well, having shown you how it works, I’m now going to tell you if it works
(Except it’s not really, because I’m assuming you don’t get to be the world’s number one vacuum sealing system without actually being good at it*.)
The first thing to note is that although in my original post I loved the idea of using the FoodSaver Fresh bags to turn all my food into funky looking space food, we have actually used the canisters much more than the bags. The main advantage of the canisters is that you can reuse them again and again. I expect you could wash the bags and reuse them if you really wanted to, but it’s trickier. Fragile things keep their shape better in the canisters too. (Top tip – don’t try to vacuum seal a malt loaf in a FoodSaver Fresh bag.)
So, does the FoodSaver Fresh preservation system actually work?
Let’s start with a simple example – avocados.
I love avocados, but I wouldn’t want to eat a whole one at once. Belle does not like avocados, unless I mush them up and pretend it’s guacamole that I bought in a tub in Sainsbury’s. (I know.) So what happens is that I eat half an avocado, wrap up the other half in cling film in the fridge, and then a couple of days later I throw it away because it has turned black.
Well, not any more. I conducted a FoodSaver Fresh experiment, cutting in half an avocado and wrapping one half in cling film and vacuum sealing the other half in a FoodSaver Fresh bag.
This week I popped my 2017 mince pie cherry.
To be honest, this is pretty late in the year for me to be starting on the festive themed snacks. Come to think of it, I’ve not even had a glass of mulled wine yet. Honestly, what’s the matter with me? The more I hear people complaining about Christmas songs playing in shops the more I want to crack out Slade and whip up an eggnog, so you’d think I’d be onto chocolate yule logs at least by now.
You can probably imagine then that my arm didn’t take a great deal of twisting when Iceland asked if I fancied hosting an elegant Christmas party to showcase their luxury foods range. Plus, having been up to London to for a preview of Iceland’s Christmas food earlier in the year, (in a heatwave), I already knew how tasty their luxury range is.
Festive no brainer really.
It got me thinking though about what makes a good Christmas party – how do you put on an impressive party over the festive season? What’s the secret?
I’m slightly strange in that although I love GOING to parties, now I’m at the age where I own decent carpets/am pretty lazy, I’m not massively keen on HOSTING parties. Ditto Christmas – I’ll happily turn up anywhere with a sack of pressies and a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream, but please don’t make me baste anything. (Thinking about it, perhaps that’s not so strange really.)
Christmas parties then. Here’s what I think you need:
Oh look! The Christmas wreath has ACCIDENTALLY fallen out of the cupboard and hung itself on the front door, even though it’s only November. What a shame!
One of my favourite things about my new house is that it has a fire place in the living room. It’s not for the open fire – I’ve had to stick a cushion up the chimney as an anti-cat climbing measure – it’s so that I have a mantelpiece to decorate at Christmas with festive twigs and snow globes and what not.
If you’re hosting a Christmas party this year and want to impress your guests then you MUST have good decorations.
Last year I discovered the joy that is vacuum packing a duvet. I’m a woman of simple pleasures, one of which, it turns out, is watching all the air get sucked out of bedding.
IMAGINE MY DELIGHT then, when I realised you could do it to food too!
The idea behind the FoodSaver Fresh preservation system is simple – keep food fresh for longer and so spend less on shopping and throw less food away. As someone who hates food waste, and will eat out of date yogurt rather than put it in the bin, you can see the appeal.
You can use your FoodSaver Fresh for anything where you want to keep fresh food fresher for longer, whether it’s that second half of your avocado in the fridge, or baking supplies in the cupboard. Air is the enemy of freshness, so the FoodSaver Fresh locks out air and moisture, meaning your food doesn’t spoil as quickly.
The FoodSaver Fresh preservation system has two elements. First up you have the machine itself, which I’m guessing is essentially a mini hoover. It’s a nifty size, and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space on the worktop: View Post
In association with Princes
So go on, tell me, what did you think of my overnight slippy peach pancakes?
I mean presumably as soon as you saw the post this week you whipped up a batch ready for breakfast the next day? Good. Glad to hear it.
In case your tinned fruit stocks are running low, and you’re getting worried about your next batch, then I’ve teamed up with Princes again today to offer you a super cool prize – a week’s shopping at Morrisons and a Princes tinned fruit hamper! Specifically, the lucky winner will get an £80 Morrisons voucher, plus a selection of 14 different tins of Princes tinned fruit, which you’ll know from my pancake recipe post counts towards your five a day. Tinned fruit is packed fresh at source, and helps to cut down on waste – no more festering bananas in the fruit bowl for you.
And then THIS can be your breakfast every day:
They were REALLY good.
If you’d like to win an £80 Morrisons voucher and hamper of Princes tinned fruit then it couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is complete as many of the entries in the widget below as possible. The more you do, the greater your chances of getting to go to Morrisons, supermarket sweep style.
The competition will close at 11.59pm on 1st December 2017 and is open to UK residents only. Full T&Cs apply.