Welcoming December!

It’s December! I don’t know how we got here so quickly but although this month is pretty exhausting I do love everything it has to offer. Christmas lights, Christmas parties, all the sparkle and festive cheer and of course the food. So I thought I’d share my best December recipes with you, in case you want to add a little Scandi twist to your celebrations. We have glögg (Swedish mulled wine), two recipes for gingerbread, lots of recipes with saffron, the best rocky road and so much more!

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But let’s start with a little cocktail! I made this clementine prosecco drink with rosemary last year for the book club Christmas dinner and it was a real hit! It’s festive and in my opinon the best way to start a Christmas drinks party!

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Another favourite are these mini Jansson’s temptationsIt’s a classic Swedish Christmas dish with grated potatoes and onion, cream and anchovies. I know it sounds weird but you got to try it if you even remotely like dauphinoise potatoes. It’s compulsory (in a big dish) at every Christmas smorgasbord and every family have their own version of it. This is how my mamma makes it and it is of course the BEST!

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Does making your own gingerbread seem daunting? Then this recipe is for you! It’s quick to mix together in a pan and after it’s chilled in the fridge over night all you do is cut it and bake it. No rolling, no cookie cutters needed. And they’re so so yummy! And highly addictive!

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But if you’re itching to use your cookie cutters (I am, love my little collection of traditional – and other – shapes!) then this is the best recipe to use. They’re quite subtle in flavour but absolutely delicious and the dough holds up really well. I have noticed though that it’s easier to use on some surfaces than others so try your way. And make sure you chill it in the fridge overnight!

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Another super traditional Swedish Christmas biscuit are these crispy almond biscuits that we fill with cream and jam. Again I have the best recipe for you (thanks to mamma again!) that never fails or sticks to the mould. They’re called mandelmussla (almond mussle or clam) in Swedish which is just the cutest name!

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Next I’m going to share some saffron recipes! It’s probably because of the saffron buns we eat at Lucia that makes us associate this lovely spice with the festive season, but I love anything saffron, like this cake with white chocolate for example! So nice (and easy to make!)!

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I also love this saffron cheesecake, which you can either serve whole or in little bites like I’ve done here!

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And of course this lovely golden saffron pannacotta!

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Moving on to the proper sweets, this rocky road with honeycomb is one of the best you can make. It’s super easy (just be careful with the honeycomb – or use a Crunchie bar or store-bought honeycomb) and really fun to make!

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And these toffees are amazing too! You need a good thermometer but other than that’s it’s super easy! And the toffees are silky and yummy; definitely worth making and they make lovely little gifts too!

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If you want to make your own mulled cider or Swedish glögg, you’ll find the recipes here!

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I thought I’d give you my favourite weeknight supper recipe too, while we’re at it. And it’s this kale soup with frikadeller (pork quenelles). It’s warming, wintery and obviously good for you with all that kale!

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But let’s finish this little peek into the archives with a lovely Christmas dessert; my Winter pavlova with clementine curd, clementines and pomegranate! It’s absolutely delicious and a lovely way to finish off any festive meal!

Christmas party, steak lunch and a country weekend

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The second week of December was very busy and great fun! The office Christmas party was on the Monday night, at Smith & Wollensky as usual, and really nice.

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And then the rest of the week followed in a similar pattern.

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On the Tuesday it was one of my colleague’s birthday so a group of girls went out for a nice lunch with steak and champagne at Flatiron. Wednesday night started with work drinks and after that I went to a lovely event at Tate Britain.

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Thursday night was calmer and spent at home packing for the weekend. Because on Friday night we had a Christmas dinner in London (with turkey!) and afterwards we drove to the countryside to spend the weekend there.

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It was Christmas carols in the village church, lovely dinners and time sat in front of the fire and on the Sunday we went out for a lovely dinner with entertainment before driving back to London again.

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The week was pretty full on (avoid parties on Mondays if you can, is my advice) but great fun, and although it’s tiring I try to prepare myself that the three weeks in December that I spend in London and the UK are always full on like this.