Season’s Eatings from Annabel Karmel
Santa Claus is coming to town… and he’ll need to refuel! It’s no secret that he’s partial to a mince pie (or two) to help him on his merry way, but don’t forget that Christmas can also be a great time to add a little adventure to the family menu.
The festive season is such an enchanting time for children, with lots of new experiences and a constant sense of excitement in the air. So, if you have a fussy eater on your hands (and trust me, I’ve been there - I know how you feel) why not use a bit of this festive feel-good factor to introduce new foods and cook-up some alternative fun and festive recipes worthy of a present stop off.
CHEESE & CHERRY TOMATO CHRISTMAS TREE
The most simple of Christmas party showstoppers! Because, let’s face it, the holiday season is busy enough without having to worry about lengthy food prep. Plus, your very own mini elves will love to be put in charge of decorating this tasty Christmas tree.
Prep: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 Christmas tree
2 boxes of cherry tomatoes
Cheddar cheese, cut into 3 cm squares
Cheddar cheese, cut into a star
Twiglets to make the base of the tree
A bunch of small basil leaves to decorate the tree
1. Start with the base of the tree assembling a row of 3cm square shaped pieces of cheddar
2. Create the second layer of the tree with cherry tomatoes
3. Alternate each layer with cherry tomatoes and cheese until you create a Christmas tree shape
4. Add some twiglets at the bottom of the tree to create the base Place the star shaped piece of Cheddar at the top of the tree
5. Decorate the tree with small bunches of basil leaves.
RUDOLPH BAKED POTATOES
Ho-ho-ho! Tis’ the season to transform jacket potatoes into Rudolph. Perfect at keeping the kids happy at dinner time, plus, they contain hidden broccoli for extra green goodness.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Makes: 2 Rudolph potatoes
2 baking potatoes
50g broccoli florets
A knob of butter
2 tbsp milk
25g mature cheddar cheese, grated
20g cooked turkey finely diced
2 cherry tomatoes
Cake décor edible eyes (from Tesco)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan. Prick the potatoes and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
2. Cut a hole at the top of the potatoes. Remove the top and scoop out most of the potato. Mash the scooped out potato in a bowl with the butter and the milk.
3. Cook the broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and finely chop. Add to the potato with the cheese and turkey, mix well and season to taste. Spoon back into the potato shells.
4. To decorate, break the pretzels into pieces and insert into the potato to make the antlers. Insert a cocktail stick into a tomato. Add to the potato to make the nose. Finish off by adding the edible eyes.
*Be careful to remove the cocktail sticks for little ones before tucking in.
NORTH POLE PENGUINS
These chilly chocolate coated penguins are almost too cute to eat. A great dessert alternative, particularly for those family members who are inclined to beeline for Santa’s fireside favourites over fruit!
Prep: 20-30 minutes (excluding freezing time)
Cook: 2-5 minutes
Makes: 6 banana penguins
150g dark chocolate chips
18 orange M&Ms
White ready to roll icing
Chocolate icing pen
1. Peel 3 bananas and cut each in half. Place in the freezer.
2. Melt the dark chocolate into a bowl over a pan of simmering water until runny. Leave to cool slightly.
3. To make the penguin’s eyes, roll out small balls using ready to roll icing. Pipe the pupils onto the eye using a chocolate icing pen.
4. Once completely frozen, remove the bananas from the freezer and peel.
5. Dunk the top half of the banana into the melted chocolate, gently rolling so you get a longer coating on the back. Dunk the bottom of the banana in the chocolate to create the feet.
6. Carefully stick on the eyes and do the same with the M&Ms for the nose and two for the feet.
Place back in the freezer briefly to set and then serve
For lots more recipe inspiration look no further than Annabel’s Baby & Toddler Recipe App- new and updated with over 200 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features, this is the handiest of apps for tasty, nutritious mealtimes (and clean plates)! Available via the app store or visit www.annabelkarmel.com for more information.