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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

Chocolate Christmas Hamper

A Traditional and Rustic Christmas Hamper

Christmas Hamper for a Cook

Christmas Hamper of hot and cold drinks

Christmas Hamper for a Tea Lover

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Christmas Hampers 2011

On this page:

Chocolate Christmas Hamper

A Traditional and Rustic Christmas Hamper

Christmas Hamper for a Cook

Christmas Hamper of hot and cold drinks

Christmas Hamper for a Tea Lover

Chocolate Christmas Hamper

christmas hamper It’s the time for treats and sweets. We know that chocolate, in small doses, is a health food. OK, so you might be over-indulging around the festive season but choose some good quality chocolate and spoil yourself or those you love.

Most kids love chocolate but they are seldom interested in anything other than quantity. An adult chocoholic will crave variety, texture and taste. A bar of chocolate can be a solitary indulgence: a square or two after all the gifts are wrapped or once the tree is decorated – a few moments of quiet pleasure and some Divine Chocolate with Ginger and Orange.

You might get some guilt pangs along with the hunger pangs, so Divine also offer some individually-wrapped discs of chocolate for your nearest and dearest as well as for Santa’s Little Helpers. These are ideal sweets to go in the bottom of the stocking (an old-fashioned tradition) to munch on while one opens that much-anticipated pile of prezzies.
Divine Chocolate and Peppermint Discs

Divine Chocolate and Raspberry Discs

After Dinner Mints are another delicious temptation from Divine. They make the classic accompaniment to liqueurs and coffee at the end of the Christmas meal – mint for digestion and crisp cracking dark chocolate just for pleasure. Take my advice and served them chilled; I have always hated chocolates that bend.

Prestat chocolates are a treat. The packaging reminds one of Victorian Christmases of flickering log fires, a real tree and exceptional chocolates from a box with a royal crest on it. Prestat has held a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen for over 35 years. In 1999, Prestat was appointed a second Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in her centenary year. A Royal Warrant is a mark of service, quality of produce and outstanding value. It is only awarded to companies that consistently provide excellence.

Not all chocolate is solid. What could be nicer than some steaming hot drinking chocolate while one listens to the wind blowing and perhaps watching a few snowflakes falling? Some people sprinkle the top of their mugs with mini Marshmallows which slowly melt into a sweet floating thick sauce, but Steenbergs needs no garnishing. The smart black caddie will be a welcome gift for any lover of fine chocolate. Vanilla, organic cardamom powder, organic allspice and organic cloves add that festive note.

There will doubtless be plenty of sideboards groaning under the weight of cake over the Christmas period; delightful, but it does rather linger. Honeybuns are one of my favourite purveyors of all things cakey, and their Chocolate Mini Brownies are gluten-free and individually wrapped. They make a great gift for a single friend or family member – a treat that remains fresh and moist.

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A Traditional and Rustic Christmas Hamper

christmas hamper A hamper can be designed and tailored to appeal to anybody. We are very often slaves to the stove during the holiday period, so it’s good to have some ready-prepared high-end foods on hand to lighten the culinary load.

These are some of the best-quality foods available online. Order them all, and box them to send to someone with a diserning palate, or buy them for yourself to enjoy over the holiday. These are traditional products that will revive memories of earlier Christmases before we had the luxury of internet.

Free Range Chicken and Sage Soup from Look What We Found. Ideal with some crusty bread for a Boxing Day supper. Just heat and enjoy.

Venison Stew with Apricot and Juniper could be Christmas dinner for anyone alone. Rich and chunky with a dark and thick gravy.

Sharpham Park Oat Cakes are made with spelt but these biscuits don’t taste like worthy health foods. They can be enjoyed by all the family and go well with cheese and paté for a light snack after the excesses of the festive feasts.

Sharpham Park Shortbread is made with spelt but has all the crumbly richness of the traditional Scottish teatime treats. Moreish, but it’s the season for spoiling oneself.

Peter’s Yard Crispbread has all the charm of an artisan cracker – and this is one to eat rather than pull. The quality is evident before you crunch into your first round of crispbread. There are refill packs to keep that attractive tin full.

Dickinson & Morris Pork Pies remind us why these traditional pies became so popular. The hotwater crust pastry is just as delicious as the well-seasoned filling. These Melton Mowbray pies are some of the best available.

Epicure Duck Fat and Epicure Goose Fat add great flavour to potatoes or any roast vegetables. The duck fat can be used to comfit those leftover duck legs. Fry some bread in this fat to create the best-ever croutons to garnish soups or warm salads.

Castle MacLellan Luxury Patés will likely become a Christmas tradition. Vegetarian, fish or meat, all of them are delicious and you’ll have late-night New Year nibbles ready in moments.

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Christmas Hamper for a Cook

christmas hamper Delia Smith has presented a Christmas cake for Waitrose for the last couple of years. It’s an “almost” ready-to-cook concept which will appeal to those who want to make the special cake at home but don’t have time for the weighing. The ingredients, measured and ready to use, include dried fruit with brandy, soft dark brown sugar, flour, chopped almonds, black treacle, and mixed spice. Just add your own eggs, butter, orange and lemon zests to the dry ingredients, mix everything together and bake. “This, the original classic Christmas cake, is possibly my most popular recipe ever,” says Delia. Finish off the Christmas cake by adding your own marzipan, icing and cake decorations.

The Christmas pudding is iconic. It’s sung about and written about and is thoroughly traditional. Figgy’s Puddings are award winners and it’s easy to see why. One eats with one’s eyes, and Figgy’s offer attractive ceramic bowls and cloths to add that old-fashioned charm before the pudding is even cooked. They are handmade by a family in Devon, using ten-year-old Somerset Cider Brandy and award-winning Port Stout. That care shows: I hate to say it but they are better than I can make.

Steenberg's have a good reputation for quality and their Fairtrade organic spices in mini versions packed in a red box with snowflakes is a lovely gift for any home cook. The four spices in this box are Fairtrade organic whole cloves, Fairtrade organic nutmeg, Fairtrade organic 4-colour pepper and Fairtrade organic ground cinnamon – all those warming spices that one craves when real snow is falling and some mulled wine is what’s needed.

Lakeland is a name known to all serious cooks. Their range of kitchen goods and utensils is outstanding. It’s a shop in which to linger. The catalogue is to dream over and gift vouchers are to hint at to anybody who even suggests that they have no idea what to buy you this year.

Snowflakes just shout “Christmas” and Lakeland have a set of five of snowflake cookie cutters, all different, so you can make and decorate strikingly beautiful biscuits with your favourite cookie recipe, just a little white icing and a deftly placed silver ball or two.

A Kransekake for Christmas and other celebrations is traditional ...OK, well perhaps not in Britain. It’s a traditional Scandinavian cookie tree, made with a delicious almond-based recipe. It has a chewy texture when baked – a cross between a cake and a cookie. You will need the special pans to create all the rings that will form this amazing centrepiece. It’s relatively easy to do and will delight your guests.

So the Kransekake might be a bit advanced for the kids, but the holidays are an ideal time to introduce the younger members of the family to a bit of baking. Lakeland has a kit that will add instant festive fun to your regular fairy cakes and cupcakes. The kit includes 6 each of Reindeer, Santa, Stocking and Tree cake decorations, and 24 Christmas-themed paper cases in 2 designs.

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Christmas Hamper of hot and cold drinks and cakes

Christmas isn’t all about eating rich food. A nice cuppa tea in the morning starts the day off on the right foot, but how about something a bit different from your regular brew. Steenberg have a caddy of organic Christmas tea. It’s black leaves blended with spices including organic cinnamon, organic cloves, organic cardamom, organic ginger, organic vanilla and organic orange peel. Refined and distinctive.

christmas hamper Steenberg’s drinking chocolate could be the end to a perfect Christmas day. The smart black caddie makes this warming drink a welcome gift for any lover of fine chocolate. Vanilla, organic cardamom powder, organic allspice and organic cloves give extra flavour notes.

Steenberg’s Organic Mulled Wine Sugar is a festive addition to Steenberg's range of Fairtrade organic flavoured sugars and mulling wine products. This sugar is a blend of festive spices - organic Fairtrade cinnamon, organic Fairtrade nutmeg, organic allspice, organic Fairtrade clove, and Fairtrade cane sugar from Paraguay. Just add wine and water or orange juice to create a stylish start to your Yule party.

Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka is one of the most original and popular Polish vodkas. Sometimes it is called vodka with grass, because of its unique ingredient - bison grass. The Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka story starts in the Bialowieza Forest in North East Poland, where the bison grass grows, the flavour ingredient unique to Zubrowka. Bison grass is picked by hand at the height of summer, dried and the extract is added to rye spirit, produced at the Bialystok distillery. Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka can only be made in Poland at this particular distillery. This is a vodka for the connoisseur.

Lillet is a French aperitif and a blend of Bordeaux wines and citrus liqueur. It should be served chilled on ice with a slice of orange, lemon or lime or as a cocktail with champagne. Nothing better to go along with nibbles before Christmas dinner. It’s available from several leading department stores and it’s well worth seeking out both the red and white varieties.

Tea Party in a Purse Stocking Filler (with Cranberry and Pecan Flapjacks) is a versatile little gift with a couple of teabags along with the cakes. A must-have for a well-balanced Christmas morning ...and if you are the one making the morning cuppa then you should have the chef’s perk of a neat square of cake from Honeybuns – one of my favourite bakers. The purse could double as a pencil case.

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Christmas Hamper for a Tea Lover

christmas hamper It’s a time of indulgence and excess. We overdo it at Christmas so it’s good to find a little time for a nice sit-down and a cuppa. Tea is the ultimate reviver. Coffee is for those who want a trendy belt of caffeine and a quick ride round the block on a Vespa. Tea just refreshes and gently perks one up, ready for a bit more gift wrapping.

It’s not just the drink that’s important. We enjoy the theatre of tea-making. A good pot is essential and classy tea deserves a glassy pot. You can watch your tea infuse through the glass strainer or try one of the stylish tea blooms available from specialists and watch it swell into a beautiful flower.

A tea cosy is an essential part of that aforementioned pouring tradition. Yes, these things really will keep your pot hot. There is nothing nastier than tepid tea so enjoy your favourite Organic Christmas tea piping hot with the aid of this classic blue and white-striped cosy from Cornishware. Made from heavy-duty material and fully washable, this will last for years.

Tea Party in a Purse Stocking Filler (with Cranberry and Pecan Flapjacks) is a versatile little gift with a couple of Dorset teabags along with the cakes. Nothing nicer on a cold Christmas morning.

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