Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Dinner Came Early

So after all the stress of coursework and an exam, my housemates and I were finally allowed some free time to enjoy the fact that it was December, though we only had one day of term left to go. But we made it home from campus (after a yummy lunch and celebratory end of term glass of wine with a friend for me) and I popped our chicken in the oven. Sacrilege, I know, but the turkeys just didn't look that appetizing and our chicken was gorgeous. We did have far too much fun doing our Christmas food shop in Sainsbury's; have a look at our shopping trolley here.
Our Christmas Table

We popped open a bottle of prosecco, between the three of us we had reason for celebrating! We also mulled our own wine to go with dinner, the house had a gorgeous smell of Christmas all afternoon, evening, and the next morning!
Hot mulled wine. Or vin chaud as I like to call it!
It's easy nowadays to go in to the supermarket and buy a bottle of prepackaged mulled wine, and even easier to the pour this in to a mug and pop it in the microwave. (We did this a few years ago with friends at the stables and came to the conclusion that the Tesco one was one of the best!) But DIY is just so much better, ours was lovely and not exactly any more effort.

Mulled Wine
  • 2 bottles of wine (we went for the cheap stuff!)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 200ml brandy (I had this left after making my Christmas pudding, it needed to be put to use!
  • About 8/10 cloves (I think)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 200g sugar
Mulling away
Stud the cloves in to the orange, I stabbed it a few times with a knife as well, pop everything in the pan and heat it up. Don't let it boil, as the alcohol will burn off and the wine will evaporate. Enjoy!

Our starter was duck and orange paté on toast. It wasn't beautifully presented (i.e. we turned it straight out of its packaging on to a plate and tucked it), but it was enjoyable. It kept us satisfied while we waited with The Holiday on in the background.
It tasted better than it looks!
So we roasted our chicken, we had roast potatoes and parsnips, sage & onion stuffing, wrapped the pigs in their blankets, made some yorkshire puddings, prepped swede and carrots for swede and carrot mash and chopped up the broccoli. 
We wrapped them up warm
Mr Chicken in the oven
Then while everything was happily bubbling away, we did presents :) I put both of mine to good use almost immediately - a spinning tealight holder (minus tealight, but it still made a pretty table decoration), and a potato ricer which made mashing swedes and carrots far easier (and fun!).
An exciting pre-Christmas pile!
We sat down to a scrummy dinner, and were very proud of ourselves for timing it so well. Especially as we do only have the one oven so somehow managed to fit everything in with some meticulous planning.
We made our table as Christmassy as possible... basically we bought crackers!
Crackers were a must. Hannah and I picked the fun ones - who wants boring paper clips or silly magic tricks which still never make sense? We got racing santas. Even if we got bored of the race track which was also provided after two rather poor races, firing them across the kitchen at each other ensured plenty of after dinner fun.
They got road rage...
Pudding? Oh yes! We didn't tuck in to my Christmas pudding thankfully, that it well and truly waiting until Christmas, but we did put together a chocolate log, the cheats way with a pre-bought chocolate roll and tub of icing, though it was assembled beautifully and still tasted great.
We all got stuck in!
Our finished product
Plus, all that food meant that I took a fantastic lunch on to campus the next day, popped it in the microwave and Sophie and I reenacted 'Christmas day' take two in Trent Café on campus!


  1. At first I thought the pigs in the blanket were peppermint sticks, which would have also been really cool. This looked like a lot of fun for you and your suitemates. I love chocolate logs (and vanilla logs) and yours looks really yummy.


    1. It was great fun thanks :) The log was good, as was the icing straight from the tub..!

  2. I love making mulled wine (I really want it now but have none in the house!!) I love having lots of friends over for christmas but we do it so many times I hate turkey but christmas, perhaps we should do chicken instead!
    Cornelia - Ineffable Beauty

    1. I always want mulled wine at this time of year, I had been craving it so much in the run up to our dinner! Yes, do chicken when you're bored of turkey, we just couldn't be bothered with a turkey and decided chicken would be easier :)

  3. this is SUCH a nice thing to do with your housemates! cooking & eating together is my favourite way to spend time with people :)
    the hobbit kitchen x

    1. Me too! It's far more sociable than when we are all rushing around trying to multitask cooking dinner with about five other things every evening!! x


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