Food connoisseurs know that there are three things needed in order to get a sumptuous meal from market to table. We’re here to share some tips with you so you can cook up a storm and impress your nearest and dearest this holiday season.
The 3 step guide to cooking up a storm & having a merry time:
Here at ShopandBox, we have some pretty serious food fanatics on our team. One much loved quick tip is how the right condiment can spice up a meal beautifully without breaking the bank! Think gourmet pink pepper, first-pressed virgin olive oil to drizzle onto your freshly baked bread, exotic relishes and chutneys.
Domaine de l’Oulivie Olive Puree with Pine Nuts & Almond
A unique blend of olives, pine nuts and almond makes this puree a fantastic pre-dinner spread for your canapés. Bursting in flavour, these pureed olives hail from the largest olive farm in Combaillaux, France. The farm has been in existence since 1958, and is famous for its impressive range of olive foodstuff and beauty products. They also specialize in interesting blends of olive oil – citrus, vanilla, mint and truffle blended olive oil.
Price: 4.00 Euros for 90g + Add to wishlist
Murray River Pink Salt
Use these high-quality gourmet Australian salt flakes to subtly flavour any dish that you are thinking of creating. Mild and naturally peachy-pink! Ideal for cooking and also as a finishing salt. Comes from the pure underground saline waters of the Australian Murray-Darling basin.
Price: $9.95 AUD for 250g + Add to wishlist
Mrs Bridges Mango Chutney with Lime and Ginger
This chutney is a fabulous accompaniment to welcome cheese and crackers. It is both sweet and spicy and the combination of mango, lime and ginger works well to satisfy those who like non-traditional chutneys. It is also pocket-friendly at 3 pounds and less per bottle. Other flavours you might want to try are Chilli, Chipotle and Bean Chutney, as well as Beetroot and Orange Chutney.
Price: 2.65 Pounds for 200g + Add to wishlist
Ah this is probably something you all already know, but didn’t quite realize the importance of. You don’t have to be Jamie Oliver in order to justify having the best cookware in town. Thankfully, we did some research and found the best chef knives, pots and pans that are both reasonable and gathered many positive reviews!
Shun Sora Ultimate Utility Knife 6″
You won’t regret buying this Made in Japan knife that is ultra versatile. Use it for paring your fruits, or for chopping and slicing or even for spreading butter/jam or cutting sandwiches. An all-rounder, multi-functional art piece that should be part of your kitchen collection.
Price: $69.95 USD + Add to wishlist
Jamie Oliver 6 Piece Hanging Tool Set
This stainless steel set includes every single kitchen accessory you need to stir and scoop your way to a successful meal! Includes a serving spoon, slotted spoon, slotted turner, slotted fish slice, ladle and tongs. Doesn’t hurt that it’ll look good hanging off your kitchen wall either.
Price: 41.78 Pounds (Usual Price 72.99 Pounds) + Add to wishlist
All Clad Masterchef 2 Stainless Steel 8″ Fry Pan
Sear, scramble and fry in this versatile pan. Brushed aluminum exterior with stainless steel interior. Stay-cool handles so you don’t burn your paws. Made in the USA.
Price: $84.95 USD + Add to wishlist
(3) Tableware & Decor
We all have an inner Martha Stewart in us, and we love how simple touches such as pretty plates, candles, and glassware can make even the most boring meal look extremely appetizing. Not a dirty trick we swear, you’re still going to be judged on your cooking but we thought we’ll share some tips on how to butter up someone’s palette before they’ve even had a bite!
Nest Fragrances – Grapefruit Classic Candle
Get your guests in the mood from the moment they step into your house with a gentle infusion of scent. We highly recommend this pink pomelo grapefruit scent, it smells so delicious, you’ll be tempted to eat it. These candles are made with extremely high-grade wax and have a burn time of 50hrs, long enough to flicker away till the last guest leaves.
Price: $30.95 USD (Usual Price $34 USD) + Add to wishlist
Lenox Simply Fine Chirp 4 Piece Place Setting
Lovely place-settings instantly dress up your table, giving it a luxurious feel. Buy this pretty fine-bone china set with a beautiful pattern that features bold splashes of teal and watercolour birds. USA made and best of all, after the party is over, it can be chucked into the dishwasher. Also oven and microwave safe. An extensive collection of matching platters and plates are also available so you can keep on adding on to this heirloom collection.
Price: $84.99 USD (Usual Price $143 USD) + Add to wishlist
Sagaform Rocking Whiskey Glasses, Set of 6
These whisky glasses add an element of excitement and fun to any table setting. The rock away without spilling a drop, very handy for the slightly tipsy guest 🙂 I also love the idea of using these glasses to serve a shot of cold gazpacho soup as an appetizer.
Price: $19.95 USD + Add to wishlist
Recipe Sharing Time:
To end this blog post, we thought we’ll share a drool-worthy Christmas recipe with you. Make this dessert to end your night on a sweet sweet high!
Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle with Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
YIELD: 8-10 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
COOK TIME: 1 HOUR
8 oz. pomegranate juice
12 oz. fresh cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3 Tb. raspberry liqueur
For the Gingerbread:
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark molasses
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ cup AP flour
½ cup hot water
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
For the Pumpkin Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 small pomegranate, arils removed
Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Place all the ingredients for the cranberry sauce in the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat a little and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken. The sauce should be a thin jelly consistency that will thicken when it chills. Remove from heat and place in the fridge.
For the gingerbread, grease an 8 X 8 baking dish and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, molasses, egg, spices and salt together until smooth. Slowly add the flour and whisk until well combined.
Heat ½ cup tap water until it’s hot to the touch. Mix the baking soda into the hot water, then slowly whisk the water into the batter. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.
Once cooled flip out of the pan and cut into 1 inch cubes.
For the pumpkin cream, whip 1 cup of heavy cream with an electric mixer. Set the whipped cream aside, and using a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar and pumpkin pie spice together until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the bowl and gently beat the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
Once the cranberry sauce has chilled, start layering the gingerbread trifle: 1/3 cake cubes on the bottom, 1/3 pumpkin cream, half the cranberry sauce. Repeat. On the top, place the last 1/3 of gingerbread cubes and top with the last of the pumpkin cream. Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils. You should have 3 layers of cake, 3 layers of cream, and 2 layers of cranberry.
QUICKIE VERSION: The holidays can be crazy! Make this even faster by buying gingerbread cake at a bakery and GOOD pre-made cranberry sauce from a gourmet grocery store. Make the pumpkin cream and layer as directed.
Recipe courtesy of A Spicy Perspective