Festive food inspiration

There are some incredible Christmas songs out there (most of which can be found on the Love Actually soundtrack), new socks are a real treat, people generally seem in a better mood in December and inbox activity starts to wind down. However, as nice as all of that may be, everyone knows the best part of Christmas is the food. Everyone has their own highlights, but a special mention goes out to Ferrero Rochers that, wrapped in golden jackets, look down from their tinsel covered pedestal and laugh at all the drab year-round chocolates; bread sauce, which puzzlingly no one eats at any point during the year other than at Christmas (creamy carbs, what’s not to love?) and cranberry sauce, the sweet and sharp wingman that makes everything else taste better.

The BlytheRay team shared their ultimate festive recipes so that you can make the king of all bread sauces (courtesy of Alastair) and cure the brandy-fuelled hangover with the tried and tested bloody Mary à la Alice:

Alastair’s Christmas Stuffing:

1lb tin of chestnut puree

1.5lb pork sausage

1lb cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely chopped

1 medium onion

1 beaten egg

Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients (except the egg) together, once combined add the egg to bind it all together. Cook at 200C for 40mins.

His legendary bread sauce:

1 onion studded with 4-5 cloves, cut onion in half

0.5ltr milk

Nutmeg powder

Salt & pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

1 loaf white bread, remove crusts and cube the bread


Add milk, nutmeg, onion, salt & pepper, and bay leaves to a pot a simmer slowly. Once ready to eat remove the onion and bay leaves, add a knob of butter and mix, add the cubed bread to the mixture and mix in slowly.

Alice’s Bloody Mary (usually by the jug for Christmas heads on boxing day):

1ltr tomato juice (Big Tom is juice of choice in the McLaren household)
Juice of half a lemon (plus slices for garnishing)
1 tsp horseradish
100ml of vodka (or more, or less, depending on how strong you want it)
5-7 dashes Tabasco
4-5 dashes Lea Perrins

Combine all in a jug with lots of ice. Serve with lemon slices and sticks of celery (and some cornichons on toothpicks if you’re feeling fancy).

Naomi’s tomato chutney:

1.8kg of tomatoes
1 large red onion
6 mild red chillies
450g caster sugar
300ml malt vinegar

Halve and chop the peeled tomatoes. Put in a large pan with all their juices with the red onion, red chillies, caster sugar, and 1tbsp salt, bring to the boil, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 1½ hours, then add the malt vinegar and bring back to the boil. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and pulpy and you can see the base of the pan when you draw a spoon through it.

Matt swears by this Jamie Oliver Toad in the Hole recipe:


Two gingerbread fanatics, Maddy and Sarah, would highly recommend these recipes:



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