'Tis the season and all that...

One of the things I love about the festive season is the food, obviously! This year in particular I've made a concentrated effort to do all things festive for the week leading up to Christmas despite being in work right up until the 21st. From using wintery flavours in spiced sauces to woody herbs in mains, I've been doing it all.

When I think festive the first thing that comes to mind is clementines, cranberries and all things mulled, ask JB on the other hand and your answer will be rich, luxurious and everything wrapped in bacon HAHA. I'm going to talk you through a few of mine and JB's favourite festive eats that I truly believe would work really well all year round quite honestly. 

Now surely you can not go through the festive season without coming across poultry of some kind. One of my favourites is chicken because it has a great flavour and is super versatile. 

I season this one in a food bag to obviously avoid giving myself more washing up.  I throw in some fresh sprigs of thyme, lemon juice, a garlic bulb cut in half and a little bit of chilli for some warmth along with some cracked black pepper. 

These leg portions are a great bet, they take a good 45mins, uncovered in a hot oven but the flavour from cooking them as a whole quarter is immense and well worth the additional time. 

There's no carb accompaniment to a meal that JB loves more than potato so obviously they have to play a part at some point in the year. I used Maris Pipers that I boiled until they were soft then left to cool and steam with the lid on for 15 minutes.

All bets are definitely off around the festive season so I add a healthy tablespoon of cream cheese, butter and a splash of double cream to the potatoes before mashing them. To finish off the potatoes I put in a couple of drops of truffle oil just to make them feel that little bit more luxurious.

I serve the whole thing with buttered leeks cooked low and slow to prevent them being discoloured but make sure they were lovely and soft. Then top off with a healthy glug of gravy. Well you have to don't you?

Obviously one of my festive faves would have to be a dessert, hellooo, sweet tooth over here remember. This time round, it's a clementine panna cotta with citrus sable biscuits, spiced berries and a clementine jelly. It is definitely Christmas on a plate I feel.

I use all parts of the clementine for this, I love the contrast of colour that the rind gives compared to the cleanliness of the pure white panna cotta. I used the juice of the clementines in the panna cotta as well as to make the jelly domes and I put some of the pulp in there as well.

With my love for frozen berries I just made sure to pick up a pack with cranberries in as well. I sprinkled the berries with cinnamon, nutmeg and drop a couple of cloves in before heating gently to incorporate the flavours. I make sure not to stir the pan but just to swirl gently as I tried to keep the berries pretty whole.

Hopefully I've given you a few ideas of some great festive eats. Enjoy the holiday season guys! x