Our Verdict – Nigella Lawson’s Christmas

Anna: I love Nigella for things like Christmas because you know the recipes are going to work and she gives you all the information you need to make yummy food for lots of people, really easily.

Kirstin: We are already planning 2015’s Christmas menu around some of the recipes I cooked from this.

Anna: Which were your favourite recipes?

Kirstin: The pork was absolutely out of this world. None of us talked as we ate because we were all so stunned at the delicious flavours.

Anna: Both times I have done Christmas dinner in the past, I have used Nigella recipes from Feast and the meals have been fantastic and really easy to cook. She is the Delia of our age.

“Nigella Lawson’s Christmas” 
Overall Grade (A- F): Kirstin: A. Anna: A
Best recipes: Kirstin: The Pork. Anna: That poinsettia cocktail.
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: A. I loved the vintage 80s feel of this book.             
Any disasters? No
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf! Anna: Bookshelf.
                                                                                                                                                       

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Our Verdict – Nigella Lawson’s Christmas

“Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork with Rubied Gravy” from “Nigella Christmas”

Tom: This is basically pig, wrapped in pig, stuffed with pig. I love it!

Kirstin: Thank you for all of your help with the knots and stuffing.

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Tom: This was a fantastic recipe and I’d love to have it at other times of the year.

Ella: I’ll never porchetta it.

Kirstin: Those cranberries in the stuffing were sublime. And I don’t even usually like that kind of thing. Super easy. Super yum. Maybe we should have it for Christmas next year!

Ella: It was berry good.

“Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork with Rubied Gravy” from “Nigella Christmas”

Canapes and a cocktail from “Nigella Christmas”

Anna: It’s a long time since we ladies got together. And what would be more fitting than Christmas canapes and cocktails from our Nigella?

Kirstin: Indeed. And what a feast we had!

Anna: It was all so quick and easy to make.

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Kirstin: We made the double-blue crostini, chilli cheese crostini, smoked-salmon soda breads, cranberry and soy glazed cocktail sausages, Maureen made the Christmas biscuits and I made the Christmas rocky road. And we had the poinsettia cocktail to wash it all down with.

Anna: I loved the salmon.

Kirstin: Even without the dill?

Anna: Yes. The dill would have given it an extra dimension, but it was still delicious without it being there. And did you see how quickly those sausages were polished off once we took them out of the oven?

Kirstin: Well remembered.

Anna: I liked the dips a lot but the tortilla chips got soggy quite quickly.

Kirstin: I’m not sure they count as crostini to be honest. But hey ho.

Anna: I think if they were on a different base. They might have worked better as a dip with the chips.

Kirstin: I loved the cocktail. I’m already talking about making it for Christmas.

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Anna: Good thing that bottle didn’t smash when you dropped it.

Kirstin: Yes, I am a bit clumsy at the best of times.

Anna: So, same place. Same ladies. Next month?

Kirstin: I do hope so!

Canapes and a cocktail from “Nigella Christmas”

“Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake” from “Nigella Christmas”

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This cake looks impressive, but frankly it’s all about the pan*.

(Now I’ve got an earworm of “It’s All About That Bass” in my head. I will soldier on, regardless.)

In the cookbook, Nigella uses the Christmas tree Nordicware pan. As I didn’t have that one, I chose between the other two I do have– a castle and this one, which is actually a rose shape but looks like a iceberg when viewed from the side with icing sugar for snow and Monty the Penguin (or his cousin) on the summit.

It was another Book Club triumph. Everyone was impressed, but like I said, it comes down to the pan. The recipe itself was very easy to do and I will definitely be making it again before December is over.

“Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake” from “Nigella Christmas”

“Tiramisu Layer Cake” from “Nigella Christmas”

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Kirstin: Oh my goodness. This is just an amazing recipe. I have to admit I did too many layers when I made it because the page turn in the recipe is just at the point before she says to stop and my fingers were a little messy when layering up this cake so I couldn’t turn the page. But it made no difference as far as I could tell to the end result. Just delicious. I will definitely be making this again. And I don’t think the leftovers will last long either…I might just have to go and sample them now, just to see how the cake is a day later, in the name of science you understand.

“Tiramisu Layer Cake” from “Nigella Christmas”

Cookbook of the Month, December 2014 “Nigella Christmas”

Maureen: It’s Christmas!

Kirstin: I am very excited about this book. i think we will be stepping back into early 1990s.

Maureen:  I like and admire her attitude to Christmas, where more is more and everyone is welcome.

Kirstin: Bring it on!

Maureen: I’m going to try to make some more of his bake goods for Christmas.

Kirstin: Good for you.

Maureen: The operative word there is try. You know how December gets. I’ve had book since 2008, and used it every Christmas since, but paging through it as we plan the month I found things that I hadn’t made yet and really want to try. It all sounds good.

Kirstin: It’s just happy food, isn’t it?

Maureen: Christmas with Nigella. What could be better.

Cookbook of the Month, December 2014 “Nigella Christmas”