Fancy a little something on the side?

stilton scones

If you’re like me and are in for a busy day this Christmas you will look forward to waving the last of the crowd off, putting your feet up and catching up on who’s wedding went off with a bang and who snuffed it on the soaps! Trouble is after the cooking, the present unwrapping and the clearing up, the nibbles start to nag (even though I’ve consumed enough food to last me to February!).

My Stilton & Rosemary Scones are perfect for this time of day and if you’re very organised you could make them a couple of days before the 25th and keep in an air tight container. They are the perfect partner for my homemade chutney (this chutney is so easy, once you’ve made it you will never buy another jar!).

This delicious duo is excellent with a glass of your favourite red and what better way to end the craziest day of the year, indulge and enjoy!

Quick Caramelised Onion, Port & Cranberry Chutney

  • 5 onions finely sliced
  • 3tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp dried cranberries
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Soak the cranberries in the port.
  2. Fry the onions in 1tbsp olive oil allowing to brown and caramelise.
  3. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper & port-soaked cranberries & cook out for a further 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by three quarters.

Stilton & Rosemary Scones

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 25g butter
  • 75g Stilton cheese
  • 1tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 large egg & a little milk
  1. Combine flour, baking powder & salt.
  2. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix in the Stilton and rosemary.
  4. Mix in the egg and a little milk, enough to create a sticky dough.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 2cm thick.
  6. Cut shape with a biscuit cutter.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven (200c fan) for 8 mins.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack.

Are your pets safe in your home this Christmas?

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s a time for tinsel & trees, mince pies & puddings, it’s a truly special season and one to be enjoyed by all. To ensure your home has a magical Christmas follow our safety tips to ensure your furry friends have a great time too!

Chocolate, raisins, liquorice and nuts are a definite this time of year in my house but I always make sure they are stored safely, these are just a few foods that are potentially fatal to your pet. It’s always best to avoid feeding human food and feed them food that is formulated just for them, and remember to store their treats in a secure jar so they can’t overeat if they find them! If you do suspect your little Freddie may have been a naughty boy and found the chocolate coins that Santa left, call your vet immediately who will be able to advise the best course of action.

I expect your halls are decked with boughs of Holly, but did you know that Holly is poisonous for dogs and Mistletoe & Poinsettia’s are fatal for cats? I still decorate my home with festive flora but make sure it’s out of reach! There’s some great artificial alternatives on the market now, so if you’re worried and have curious pets (and children!) in your home it may be worth investing.

Another fabulous artificial purchase is the tree! Real Christmas trees are mildly toxic to some animals and oils can be an irritant to eyes and sensitive skin, pine needles may also get stuck in paws so it really is best to avoid. Artificial trees have come on leaps and bounds since I was a kid, you can actually avoid the sparse silver wired versions and opt for a Canadian Spruce! Lights, tinsel and baubles make great toys for puppies but these are obviously chewing hazards so make sure you don’t leave them alone when you are out partying or you may come home to a scene that represents World War II.

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