The Party Season
The party season is upon us and it’s time for those glorious velvet and sequined numbers to hit the Xmas dance floor once more. Every year young ladies who really shouldn’t ,squeeze themselves into seriously short sparkly numbers and older ladies who should definitely know better, go out without sleeves. Granted you need to simulate overhead clapping or writing on an imaginary blackboard furiously to fully gauge the extent of the flapping bingo wing but an older girl still knows. The bingo wings of the over Forties are the equivalent of the chubby Twenty something’s knees and always make me stare. I do have both unfortunate conditions but would never expose them in the flesh, Xmas or not. My Xmas body definitely should be well wrapped up through all festive activities (preferably with duct tape), but I do admire the devil may care attitude of the scantily clad podgy partygoer,they probably have way more fun than me even if they are bl…y freezing. But whether you’re a Last Christmas or Fairy Tale of New York kind of person it matters not, tis the season of gorging and guzzling for all on the party circuit and in that I feel no shame. In fact I revel in it, it’s like being pregnant all over again, obviously not the drinking part but most definitely the eating part. I find that I simply cannot pass a Vol au Vent or Sausage Roll without reaching out a chubby hand to gather more, no matter how much I have piled high on my party plate. To make matters worse, the more I have to drink the more I don’t care what I look like when I’m eating and you know how tricky some of those finger foods can be. Wouldn’t it be good to have a little hold up screen on a stick to hide one’s Canape eating modesty. I could probably shove twice as much in…. Perhaps I shall make one of my own, I could put a moustache on it ….but i digress… Hosts seem more generous, more committed to ensuring that everyone eats and drinks more than their fill at Xmas and I have always been very easily led, so when it is my turn to welcome people into my home and spread the Xmas spirit wide and deep I do all in my power to ensure that my table is groaning with Festive Fayre, Crisps, Dips, Canapes and the odd pickled Reindeer. Indeed I am on the look out constantly throughout the year for ingenious recipes for easy catering for the masses. I like to apply my prepare ahead motto as much as possible as I am now useless at multitasking and anxiety is like a rat up a drainpipe. I also, most selfishly I know, want to mingle whilst filling my face with Food and Wine free of anxious thoughts of juggling timings and so forth. So I make simple, easy to assemble but tasty food that can be put on plates half an hour before the door bell goes and the chubby naked knees and swinging upper arms arrive. Easy make ahead canapes are a must. These mini Yorkies are perfect, they can be made ahead and filled with any tasty combo. I’ve made Roast Beef and Smoked Salmon here as it has enabled me to double up on the Horseradish Cream Cheese, just call me Shortcut Sue. They can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until needed-a brilliant way to get ahead.
I have purchased a mini muffin roasting tin (Sainsburys) which has been perfect for these canape recipes and bite sized Yorkies.The following quantity makes about 30.
- 4 eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 150g of plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
I just put all ingredients in the food processor and whizz till smooth but usual recipes say that you should whisk eggs and flour together before adding the milk and whisking again. Put a small amount of sunflower oil in each muffin space and heat for at least 15 mins at 220 C. If the tray is not hot enough the Yorkshires will not rise. After the 15 mins be quick and fill the muffin tray, each one about half way up. Bake for 15 mins ish-keep a close eye on them but don’t open the oven door until baked. Cool on a wire tray. Fill with toppings.
Fillings – Quality Roast Beef- Quality Smoked Salmon
Cream cheese mixed to taste with Horseradish Sauce. I used about 150g of Cream Cheese and a teaspoon of Horseradish but it completely depends on how strong your Horseradish is. I put about 1/2 a teaspoon of the mix in each pudding.
I make these also in the mini muffin tray.
- 250g self raising flour
- 150g mature cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 50g butter melted
- 1 egg
- 250 ml of milk
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together separately first and then stir together to combine.Do not over mix.Fill each muffin space about 3/4 full.Bake in pre heated oven at 200 C for about 15 mins.Cool on a wire tray.
Sticky Sausages on a Stick
- mini chipolata sausages (30)
- 2 tbsp cranberry Sauce
- 2 tbsp honey.
- Bake sausages at 190 C until starting to brown.
- Mix together honey and cranberry sauce.
- Pour over and coat sausages well.
- Bake until brown.
- Push cocktail sticks into each sausage for an easy application to party face, no screen required.