Festive fare – Canapés.

We all know how stressful hosting can get, especially this time of year, I’m going to make it my mission to take the pressure off and make it a little easier for you. Everybody loves canapés at a party,it’s a great ice breaker for something different to talk about, and when you’ve been waiting ages for the food, because the host decided to try out a new recipe and the tension is high in the air because hangry, canapés seems to save the day. 

With this post i’d like to show you a few ideas, some rather different to the norm and some old trusty ideas we rely on that never gets old. I was lucky enough to get a copy of a rather elusive Delicious Australia December issue recently, there are so many recipes I need to try out(of course, giving myself ample time to perfect before Christmas) one of my favourite recipes in the issue, is a Jamie Oliver recipe for Brioche Mince pies. The change from the usual mince pies, is quite refreshing. The brioche as a vehicle for the fruit mince is perfect as a sweet textured little hollowed bun, the creme patissiere adds a lovely smooth velvety contrast the sharp mince needs. The fruit mince I made, I deviated from the store bought stuff and made my own, using chopped Pink Lady Apples, Medjool dates and Cranberries, with of course the usual Christmassy spices to spruce it way up. The recipe can be found in the issue or in Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook, called “Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook” 
For the Grana Padano cheese sticks and pinwheels, I got my hands on some store bought Pastry (because life is far too short to make your own for canapés guys!) my theme for these canapés is a little effort coupled with minimal fuss(if that makes sense) cut the pastry into strips brush with eggwash sprinkle over grated cheese, twist (for the sticks)and brush with egg, for the pinwheels repeat, but roll up into a wheel brush with eggwash and sprinkle both with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 mins until golden and crisp. 
For the baked fig and cranberry Camembert, I spotted some lush seasonal figs at my local deli that I couldn’t resist to take home with me. I scored the top of the Camembert in a cross cross pattern, this makes the cheese ooze out, and the flavours of the honey, fig and cranberries really infuse the cheese with more flavour. Drizzle over honey a quarter fig with a few dried a cranberries. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 180 degrees. Serve warm with the cheese sticks and pinwheels and relish in the complements of being a a complete domestic goddess! 
A few tips for hosting: 
-never make a recipe for the first time whilst hosting, practice makes perfect! 

-keep guests fed with plenty of little canapés to keep the wolf at bay

-prepare a few carafes of homemade iced tea or watermelon juice that you can spike with some gin or vodka. 

-keep it simple yet stylish, add a little sparkle with decor on the table by spray painting pine cones and if you can make your own wreaths before the time, get the kids to help if you like. 

-lastly, enjoy every second of having all your loved ones in one room, life gets a little crazy sometimes so much so that we are all guilty of not taking the time out for each other. 

If you’re taking a social media/blog hiatus during the festive season, in that case, enjoy every moment making new memories with your loved ones and be safe on the roads if you’re traveling. 
Happy holidays! 

Dominique x

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