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Bits and bobs: its been full on food and I guess that's set to continue. Highlights this week have been the Chaine des Rotiseurs Christmas dinner and a family cooking party with kids cooking real food. Its nice to go a bit over the top and mess around with foie gras lollipops, venison fillet in red wine & chocolate sauce and make silly sounding parsnip and white chocolate ice cream which I have to say tasted really good.  From all sophisticated to really good comfort food with kids:little Gloria tipping the Martini into the beetroot risotto with gusto, Matei redecorating the wall with his energetic and devoted stirring, smashing the spatchcocked chicken to make it "roadrunner" style and hand made crumble.

The  hit this week with the team cooking crews has been the Italian Christmas Chocolate, Nut & Orange cake and 
 sold a fair few too... here is the recipe on my blog: Ithnkthereforeijam 
 if you want to try it at home.  This weekend I'll be making Slow Roast Duck legs in red wine sauce with redcurrant jelly as a special served with celeriac mash and serving some apple and mincemeat christmassy crumble with this clever little brandy sauce. Naughty but nice indeed.

Recipe Zone: Craving some custard but cant be bothered to make a creme Anglaise? Worried about the eggs separating and ending up with 'eggy mess"? A quick and easy brandy sauce in the same vein as Rum sauce does the trick and is not so rich but is plenty alcoholic. Pour over an apple and mincemeat crumble like I am doing!  Put 75g and 60g plain flour in a sauce pan and cook until softly golden. Add 600ml of 3.5% milk or thin 1.5% milk and a bit more butter (vegans can use soya milk here). Add 50g sugar. Bring to the boil and whisk it vigorously so no lumps form.  Slug in at least 3 tablespoons of brandy (I add about 5) to taste once it has thickened as you dont want that precious alcohol evaporating off.

Wine Notes:
Christmas Eve  Les Jamelles Eve: Enjoy some canapes with us including mince pies of course!. Monica will be here to showcase the award winning Les Jamelles  range. 
Wine of the Month : continues Bacanta Merlot 2009 from Crama Girboiu up in Cotesti - perfectly smooth and rounded its our December wine of the month. (Spend more than 300 Ron on dinner and bag one for home).

Wine School 2015 Heads Up! 
We kick off on January 16th with a whisky tasting with Richard Fox and a Haggis Supper and on 20th January an interesting "New World Vs Old World" class led by Rob Marshall.

Gift Bags: 3 Jars of hand made jams and sauces with a bottle of quality wine.
"Some Like it Hot": Corcova Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot & Harissa, Chilli Jam, Tomato & Aubergine Chutney 110 Ron

"Sweetness & White": Corcova Chardonnay& Strawberry & Lime, Blueberry Mojito, Fragrant Vanilla Plum (or any choice from our jam range) 110 Ron
3 Jars of jam or sauce in a single gift bag 70 Ron

Christmas Day Buffet Lunch
Its a proper roast of course, but the buffet format means that you can have second helpings just like at home except there is no washing up, unlike at home! 175 Ron Children age 6-14 75 Ron. Click here for the full and filling menu! Bookings only.


Christmas Food, Jams & Chutneys
The Christmas elves have been hard at work already here baking mince pies and icing Christmas cakes. personally I like the dark and sticky gingerbread and that chocolate nut cake...but thats me! Please can you send in your orders by Monday 22nd to make sure they are all done and dusted by Christmas Eve and you can collect and have a little mince pie with us. Click here to see the Food for Home lists and click here for the cakes and pies.

have a peaceful and joyous festive season

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