A Nigella-esque Christmas party (recipe 72: poinsettias and recipe 73: cranberry glazed sausages)

December 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Posted in baking | Leave a comment
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When it comes to throwing a party – I’m mostly a fan of dinner parties – but every once in a while I feel the urge to open my doors a little more widely – broadcast the invite and see who turns up. This year, as I am not cooking Christmas lunch, the civilised Christmas Eve supper with Richard and Ailsa or any other set-piece meal – I thought instead I would attempt a drinks party. I like the run up to Christmas – and always find it slightly odd that in the last couple of days before Christmas my diary seems to empty out as people head out of London… but I am not going anywhere…. so thought I would gather up those who remained and spend an evening of chat with a few drinks and nibbles.

I know when most people throw drinks parties they focus on canapes and savoury nibbles – but I also wanted to do some baking for the event – so I made some gingerbread muffins (which to me are the smell of Christmas), some vanilla cutout biscuits (quite pleased with my piping skills on those!) and some Christmas chocolate cookies (thanks to my lovely sister-in-law Kate, who bought me some suitably festive sprinkles following my failure to buy any in time last year)

But the party was also an excuse to make a drink that my friend, Ali, (who is the queen of Christmas) introduced me to earlier in December…. and it was so delicious I thought it would be great to be able to offer people something more thrilling than just a glass of wine. It is a simple cocktail called a poinsettia and I think if gingerbread muffins smell of Christmas – I think this is the drink of Christmas (as I am not a huge fan of mulled wine!). And because it is so yummy – I shall share the directions with you…

Poinsettia (from Nigella’s Christmas)

  1. Find a big jug
  2. Put 500ml of chilled cranberry juice and 125ml of Cointreau (or Grand Marnier or triple sec) into the jug
  3. Add a bottle of prosecco.
  4. POUR and ENJOY

Cranberry glazed sausages

I also made some cocktail sausages – it’s not really a party without sausages… and I used the recipe from Nigella’s Christmas (again – it is the text-book for the season!) which involves cranberry sauce, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, sugar, lime juice and clementine juice. The sausages were cooked in the sauce for about 50 minutes and got coated in that rather delicious mix and were very more-ish (and the leftovers made a delicious sausage sandwich for lunch today!). Although I have to confess that marinade didn’t reduce down as much as it should because I cooked them in a deep sided roasting tin – I think it would have been better to use a shallower baking tray.

So all in all – a good evening – I did my best to swan around looking glamorous, hopefully managing to be a generous host (a la Nigella) and generally we all had fun!

Happy Christmas!

(and this is my entry into the Forever Nigella blogging event hosted by MaisonCupcake)

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