Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Feast with Friends

Today's activity on our countdown to Christmas garland was to have a Christmas meal with friends. However, as most of our friends have young children or babies, it was best to be flexible on times and format, so we decided to have a "pop-in when you can" afternoon savoury and sweet buffet, instead of a formal sit-down meal.

On the menu, we had:
- Mozzarella snowmen
- Olive and cream cheese penguins
- Orange melon stars*
- Smoked salmon with dill cream cheese on gluten-free cottage cheese pancakes*
- Homemade mini chipolata sausage rolls*
- Brazilian pao de queijo (gluten-free cheese bread rolls)*
- Cranberries, walnut, blue cheese and mandarin salad
- Santa hat strawberry jellies*
- Rudolph chocolate cupcakes**
- White chocolate and cranberries panettone**
- Stained glass window cookies**
And for drinks:
- Mulled wine
- Spiced apple drink
- Scrumptious hot chocolate
From left to right and top to bottom: White chocolate and cranberries panettone,  Rudolph chocolate cupcakes, penguins and snowmen, Santa hat jellies, melon stars, salad and pao de queijo, smoked salmon canapes, Rudolph cupcakes, stained glass window cookies
* All these were made by me today and I don't have a link for a recipe, so I have put some instructions below. The orange melon stars were made from slices of melon cut out with a small star cookie cutter. The smoked salmon canapes used the following gluten-free pancake recipe, which made enough blinis/pancakes for a 300g pack of smoked salmon:
2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups oat bran
7 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Heat coconut oil (or your choice of frying oil) in a frying pan, place spoonfuls of batter in the pan and cook until bubbles appear, then flip over and cook 2 minutes more on the other side.
I mixed 3 tbsp cream cheese and 3 tbsp quark with 1 tsp horseradish, the grated zest of half a lemon and 2 tbsp chopped dill and spread this on the pancakes once they had cooled down. I then placed a small amount of smoked salmon on top.
Ju helped putting the dill and lemon decoration on the smoked salmon canapes and made the spiced apple drink.

Ju puts the final touches to the smoked salmon canapes
The sausage rolls were made by rolling chipolatas inside a rolled out rectangle of puff pastry, cutting the roll into mini-sausage rolls and baking those in the oven at 200 degrees C for 40 minutes.

The Brazilian cheese bread rolls (pao de queijo) were from a mix which I got in the health food shop. All you have to do is add egg, oil and cheese, and then bake for 25 minutes; no need to leave them to rise as they don't contain yeast. I made mine with half cheddar and half mozzarella. So yummy.

For the Santa hat jellies, I started by making strawberry jellies in little silicone cupcake cases. When they were set, I piped on a mixture of cream cheese, vanilla extract and icing sugar in a circle on top, placed a strawberry with the top cut off upside down onto it to make the hat and piped a bauble of cream cheese on top. These were a real hit with the very little ones.

** I made the Rudolph chocolate cupcakes, white chocolate and cranberries panettone and the stained glass window cookies yesterday, so check out yesterday's blog entry (towards the end of the page) to get all the recipe links and tips.

It was lovely to share all this food and drink with our friends, and there was lots of playing and running around for the little ones. On the downside, the mozzarella snowmen and penguins looked so cute that it was difficult to find the heart to eat them.



  1. Amazing looking buffet, I have just added a glutten free Christmas Ckae I just invented, do take a look if you are stikll after gluten free things

  2. What a brilliant selection! It has such a sense of fun but still looks really tasty. Thanks so much for linking up to my Festive Food Blog Hop. I hope you enjoyed some of the other recipes.

    1. Thank you! Do you think you would be able to change the picture in my linky icon thing on the blog hop? I couldn't get it to select the right one (the collage one of all the different foods). That would be ace! Thanks again, great idea to have a festive food blog hop, love it!