The house is stuffed with food, but how can you use turkey and all your other festive fare for your baby?
Sauté 50g (2oz) chopped onion in 1tbsp vegetable oil until softened, add 350g (12oz) peeled, chopped sweet potato, and half an apple, also peeled and chopped. Pour over 250ml (9fl oz) unsalted chicken stock or water, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add 50g (2oz) chopped, cooked turkey and purée in a blender. Cut cooked sprouts into quarters and purée with a little cream, melted butter and a pinch of nutmeg.
For great finger food, take some thinly sliced ham, spread with cream cheese and roll up like a cigar. Or cut parsnips into 1cm (½in) wedges and parboil for 2 minutes. Toss in a little sunflower oil, place on a greased baking tray and roast at 200°C, 180ºC fan oven, 400ºF, gas 6 for 30 minutes. Baste with a little honey for the last 10 minutes.
For oriental turkey wraps, tear 250g (9oz) dark turkey meat into strips and arrange on a baking tray. Spread with a little plum sauce, sprinkle with a few drops of sesame oil and grill for 5 minutes until browned.
Mix 4tbsp mayonnaise with 1½tsp soy sauce. Stir in the shredded turkey, 100g (4oz) peeled cucumber and sliced spring onions.
Heat four tortillas for a few seconds in a microwave, or dry-fry in a pan, place the filling at one end and roll up.
The secret to getting your child to eat salad is to find an irresistible dressing. This one’s magic, and works just as well on rice, chicken and pasta, or as a dip with raw vegetables. Make up a large batch and keep it in a bottle in the fridge.
For the dressing…
What to do…
To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth.
Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, cook the carrot and beans in a steamer for about 5 minutes or until tender.
Drain the pasta and mix it together with the French beans, carrot, sweetcorn, turkey and cherry tomatoes. Toss with 100ml (4fl oz) of the salad dressing.
This is one of my favourite cookie recipes, and makes for a soft and chewy texture. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and they’re good for you, too. For a more festive touch, you could make them with cranberries instead of raisins. They’re also ideal for lunchboxes, because they provide a good source of long-lasting energy.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan oven , 350°F, gas 4.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Divide the mixture evenly into 14 walnut-sized balls and flatten them down a little onto the baking tray with your hand.
Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re lightly golden. The cookies will be soft when they first come out the oven, but will harden a little when they cool.
For the frosting…
Simmer the dates in the water for 10 minutes until very soft, and the water has been absorbed. Cool for 10 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan oven, 350°F, gas 4.
Melt the butter and stir in the sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in the dates, milk, egg and vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mix in the raisins.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spoon in enough mix to half-fill each case on the muffin tray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until risen and slightly firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla (if using). Gradually beat in the icing sugar. Spread over the muffins and sprinkle with orange zest, if using.
These biscuits taste fantastic and you can cut them into any shape you fancy. Stars are particularly nice, as you can make a hole in the cookies, thread a ribbon through them and hang them on the tree.
If you don’t want to make your own icing, use writing icing (mini tubes of coloured icing), which you can buy at the supermarket.
For the Royal Icing
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan oven, 350°F, gas 4.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices.
Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pan until dissolved, stirring frequently, then allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Stir the syrup mixture and milk into the dry ingredients. Form into a ball, cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 3mm (⅛in) thick and cut out star shapes using cookie cutters. Use a straw to make a hole in each one if you want to hang them on the tree.
Place the shapes on the baking sheets and put in the oven for8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Leave for a few minutes to firm up and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the royal icing, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice, then add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Pipe snowflake designs and decorate with edible silver balls. Thread ribbon through the holes in the biscuits to hang on the tree.
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk