Girl Versus Food

Reviews, recipes and thoughts from a Scottish food blogger

Tag: Christmas

12 Ways to feel festive in Edinburgh 2016

  1. The spectacular Street of Light is back for 2016 and this time it can be found on George Street. Between the 21st of November and the 24th of December there will be a twice nightly shows where the lights will synchronize to the music of local choirs and bands. This is a free event but you need to book your tickets in advance here http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/whats-on/street-of-light#calendar-11-2016

    Last year's Street of Light

    Last year’s Street of Light

  1. Sample some festive cocktails. How about a Hot Buttered Rum containing dark rum, muscovado, butter and cinnamon? Try Dine on Cambridge Street which has a great selection of Christmas cocktails starting at £7.50
  2. The Signet Library is one of the most beautiful venues in Edinburgh and it’s also one of the top places for afternoon tea. A Festive Afternoon Tea in this glamorous setting includes mini game pies, turkey club sandwiches and coconut snowballs http://www.thesignetlibrary.co.uk/news-events/festive-afternoon-tea/afternoon tea
  3. Get wrapped up and take to the circular ice rink in St Andrews Square. Tickets from £5.
  4. Try something a bit different to the usual Christmas night out. Yuletide Games is new for 2016 and involves your group moving through a series of fun rooms where you will play mini golf, take part in a sensory game show and race mini buggies http://yuletidegames.co.uk/
  5. Dinner, cocktails and a classic Christmas film… sounds like a perfect night! Every Monday in December, Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Bar are offering the chance to enjoy festive cocktails, a three course meal and a feel-good movie like ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ in their very own micro cinema http://www.harveynichols.com/news/2015/08/26/movies-shakers/?restaurant=edinburgh-dining
  6. He’s behind you! It’s not Christmas without a panto. Jack and The Beanstalk is on at The Kings Theatre this year http://www.edtheatres.com/jack
  7. Dine in the Grill Room of The Dome on George Street and enjoy the view of one Edinburgh’s most famous Christmas trees. http://www.thedomeedinburgh.com/christmas/IMG_0412
  8. There are two fabulous Christmas markets to choose from. This year the Scottish Market will be in West George Street, next door to the Street of Light, and will showcase some of the best gifts, food and drink that Scotland has to offer including local gin and craft beer. The Scottish Market runs from 26th November – 24th December. Opening hours are Monday – Thursday12pm -10pm and Friday – Sunday 10am – 10pm.   The European Market is located in East Princes Street Gardens from 19th November until 7th January and has over 140 stalls from Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Belgium. From bratwurst and Glüwein to handcrafted jewellery, Christmas ornaments and carved wooden gifts, there’s lots of goodies to try and take home. The market is open between 10am and 10pm daily.scottish-market
  1. Foodies Christmas Festival brings Scotland’s top chefs and award-winning producers to Edinburgh for a fabulous festive feast. The show takes places between 25th and 27th November at the EICC http://www.foodiesfestival.com/xmas-edinburgh/
  1. Want to brush up on your Christmas cookery? The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School have a range of classes from Christmas baking to sessions demonstrating the perfect canapes http://www.entcs.co.uk/calendar
  1. Do something fun for charity and burn off a few of those mince pies – The Christmas Charity Festival takes place over the 3rd and 4th of December in Inverleith Park. You can take part in a range of events from the Santa Parade to the Tinsel Walk http://www.christmascharityfestival.com/

Food Gifts Part 2: Shimmering Santa Vodka and Bramble Gin

Seeing as it’s the season of goodwill, I’m giving you a 2 for 1 in this post. A BOGOF from Girl Versus Food! Read on for my two flavoured spirit recipes which make fantastic homemade gifts.

My Shimmering Santa Vodka tastes like Christmas with cranberries, clementine zest and cinnamon. The perfect winter warmer.

My Bramble Gin isn’t strictly festive, but anyone you give this to will think all their Christmases have come at once! It’s inspired by my favourite cocktail; the Bramble and is made with blackberries, lemon zest and vanilla.

You don’t have to use premium spirits to make these but I would recommend steering clear of the cheap and nasty stuff otherwise you will taste it in the finished product.

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SHIMMERING SANTA VODKA INGREDIENTS
500ml vodka
100g of dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 5 clementines
1tsp edible gold glitter

BRAMBLE GIN INGREDIENTS
500ml gin
250g of frozen blackberries
Zest of 2 lemons
1 vanilla pod, sliced open

METHOD (same for both recipes)
1. Pour the alcohol into plastic storage container with an airtight lid.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and put the lid on.
3. Leave for one week, giving it a little shake each day.
4. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug.
5. Sterilise some pretty bottles, I like the Kilner flip top bottles. To sterilise you can use a dishwasher on a high setting. I don’t have a dishwasher so I washed the bottles with hot soapy water and then covered loosely with tin foil and placed in the oven for 30 mins at 170C
6. Pour into the sterilised bottles and decorate with a ribbon and label.
7. For the shimmering vodka add your edible glitter.

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Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards

Food Gifts Part 1: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

This peanut butter chocolate fudge tastes so good that it almost hurts to give it away, but believe me the recipient will feel very, very special.

I’ve made lots of variants of this fudge recipe which is adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s. Some of my other favourites have been White Chocolate, Baileys, Choc Orange and Real Rum & Raisin. The only limit for flavours is your imagination! It always turns out great and is easier than most fudge recipes as you don’t need to mess about with sugar thermometers. It literally takes twenty minutes from start to finish. In fact, the hardest part is washing up the pan at the end but I’m sure you could bribe someone to do this for you in exchange for a few squares!

INGREDIENTS
70g butter plus extra for greasing
300g soft light brown sugar
125g evaporated milk
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
225g marshmallows
300g milk chocolate broken into squares
100g Reese’s peanut butter cups cut into small pieces

METHOD
1. Put the butter, sugar, peanut butter and evaporated milk in a pan over a low heat. Stir frequently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Add the marshmallows and turn the heat up to medium. Let the fudge boil for 5 minutes, stirring once a minute to prevent the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Meanwhile, grease a 20cm square cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
4. Take the pan off the heat and add the broken up chocolate. Leave for one minute, then stir the mixture well.
5. Stir in most of the chopped Reese’s cups, keeping a couple of handfuls back.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and scatter over the remainder of the peanut butter cups.
7. Once cooled, transfer to the fridge to set properly. After a few hours you can remove from the tin and cut into squares. You can put the fudge in clear cellophane and tie with a pretty ribbon.

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