Luxury home-made mincemeat

Jars of home-made mincemeat | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #ChristmasFood

Many people don’t like thinking about Christmas until the beginning of December – I know I don’t! However, there are a few things that need to be prepared well in advance for them to be at their peak for the big day. Christmas cake, sloe gin, piccalilli  and home-made mincemeat are just a few.

Home-made mincemeat mixture | H is for Home

I’m very fussy about my mincemeat; I don’t like it to be overly citrusy – so, very little orange or lemon zest & juice and no mixed candied peel. In addition, it needs to be veggie – so can only contain vegetarian suet. The only way to ensure it tastes the way I like it is to make it myself. A very easy job and well worthwhile. It works out much cheaper than the cost of ‘luxury’ jars of the stuff in supermarkets. Once made, potted up and put away correctly, it stores unopened for years!

Home-made mincemeat mixture being decanted into jars | H is for Home

Save my luxury home-made mincemeat recipe to Pinterest!

Luxury home-made mincemeat
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz currants
  2. 200g/7oz raisins
  3. 200g/7oz sultanas
  4. 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
  5. 100g/3½oz figs, roughly chopped
  6. 100g/3½oz prunes, roughly chopped
  7. 30g/1oz blanched almonds*, roughly chopped
  8. 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely diced
  9. 300g/10½oz muscovado sugar
  10. 200g/7oz vegetable suet
  11. zest & juice of 1 lemon
  12. 3tsp mixed spice
  13. ½tsp cinnamon
  14. ¼tsp nutmeg
  15. 6tbsp rum or brandy
  16. 100g/3½oz butter, cubedHome-made mincemeat ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients except the alcohol into a large saucepan over a low heat
  2. Stir to ensure the contents are well combined and the suet and butter have melted (about 10 minutes)
  3. Allow to cool completely before stirring in the alcohol
  4. Decant into sterilised jam jars - gently bang the bottom of each jar to fit as much of the mincemeat in as possible.
  5. Seal the jars immediately and store for at least a month before use
Notes
  1. *To blanch almonds, put them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 1-2 minutes before draining through a sieve. Pat them dry on some kitchen paper or clean tea towel. You can quickly get the skin off one by one by pinching the broader, rounded end of the nut
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Tasty treats from Webbox

Collection of treats from Webbox from their natural and Christmas ranges | H is for Home

When it comes to most things H is for Home, Fudge shows little or no interest in proceedings. However, the arrival of a box of tasty treats from Webbox, meant that he suddenly wanted to get involved!

Fudge enjoying some of his treats from Webbox | H is for Home

We started by asking for his feedback on their premium fresh chicken with garden vegetables. He was too busy eating to talk, but we got the distinct impression that he approved. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients  – easily digestible protein, vegetables, beneficial herbs, mineral rich seaweed and slow-release carbohydrate energy in the form of brown rice – a complete food that provides just about everything required for a well-balanced diet.

Fudge enjoying some of his treats from Webbox | H is for Home

A sample of the little snacks followed. The flavour combinations are very exciting – for example, the healthy treat bars – chicken with pea & blueberries and chicken with duck & cranberry. Something a bit out of the ordinary for our canine cousins. Delicious was the verdict again!

Collection of treats from Webbox from their Christmas range | H is for Home

We’ve held some of Fudge’s hamper back so he has something to enjoy on Christmas Day. He’s got a three bird roast turkey kibble, pork chipolatas and ‘pigs in blanket’ treats too. A glass of wine and he’ll be sorted!

It never ceases to amaze us the speed at which Fudge can demolish a bowl of food. You’d think we starve him, but we can guarantee that’s far from the case. We always get the, “is there any more please?” look. Thanks to Webbox there’ll indeed be more to follow in the coming days!

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Get their look: Laid back kitchen diner

Laid back kitchen dinercredit

What a laid back kitchen diner! The space belongs to Dee Campling, Instagram doyenne and co-founder of the myhomevibe hashtag.

It has a natural Scandi feel – very modern, yet homely too.

You can imagine her family sitting here having their breakfast, the kids doing their homework or the grown-ups sharing a bottle of wine after the young ones have gone to bed. A space for all the family!

  1. 45” handmade jute macramé hanging basket pot holder
  2. 300mm silver disco mirror ball
  3. Samsung The Frame Art Mode ultra HD TV
  4. Stendig wall calendar
  5. Charles and Ray Eames DAW chair by Vitra
  6. Euphorbia Ingens cactus
  7. Seagrass basket
  8. BJURSTA oak veneer extendable table

Get their look: Laid back kitchen diner | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Silas Seandel

Mosaic of Silas Seandel artworks and furniture | H is for Home

Silas Seandel (b. 1932) is an American sculptor and furniture designer who works mainly in metals such as steel, bronze, brass and copper. He has a huge catalogue of work in the Brutalist style, I imagine they’d look equally stunning in a mid-century modern home, vintage industrial loft apartment or minimalist hotel lobby.

In searching for an image of Seandel on the web, I came across the one below on the CNN website. In 2012, the designer’s Manhattan studio was an unfortunate casualty of Hurricane Sandy. If you look closely at the wall to the right of the open doors, you can see the tide line of where the water level reached. According to Seandel:

The surge came in and broke through the door, and knocked me down… it threw me and thousands of pounds of steel, and bronze, and sheets, all the way to the back door.

Portrait of Silas Seandelcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Invaluable

Price Points: Heated throws

Selection of heated throws | H is for Home

In an earlier Price Points post we compared a trio of electric blankets. Sometimes you want warming up before you actually go to bed. This is where heated throws come into the spotlight.

Working from home like we do, I spend hours at a time sitting at a computer. In the colder months, instead of turning the heating on to warm up the entire house, or going to the lengths of getting the wood-burner started, simply clicking on a throw is a better option. Not only does it get you warm quicker, it’s cheap to run – one model claims to cost as little as a penny a day.

The three that we’ve short-listed are all around the same dimensions – double bed blanket size. They’re also all machined washable (essential if you’re a snacker and tip tea down yourself like I do!). All these heated throws look as though they’d do a decent job of keeping you warm. However, I think the faux Alaskan husky example would be so snuggly and soft – like curling up with a real husky… without any of the doggy smell!

  1. Luxurious monogram heated electric throw/overblanket, large size, 180cm x 130cm: £34.99, eBay
  2. Homefront electric heated throw / over blanket in chocolate (160 x 120cm) easy to use digital control – machine washable – ultra soft, cosy finish: £44.95, Amazon
  3. Dreamland Relaxwell deluxe faux fur heated throw, Alaskan husky: £99.99, John Lewis

Cakes & Bakes: Pear Galette

Home-made pear galette with ice cream | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #dessert #pastry

This week, we’ve watched the first in Rick Stein’s new series, Rick Stein’s Road To Mexico. His first port of call was California where he met up with Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse. While there, one of her chefs was filmed making a rhubarb galette – it looked amazing. It’s no longer rhubarb season, so I’ve made a pear galette instead.

Sweet galette pastry | H is for Home

I much prefer rustic, unfussy food like this to haute cusine with all its foams, purées and the like. A galette is just the kind of rustic dessert I crave on a cold autumn evening. A circle of sweet pastry covered with in-season fruit and roughly folded in on itself, free-form.

Cored pears | H is for Home

Instead of a pear galette (or rhubarb), you could make one with stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots. How about apple & pecan, fig, blueberry or cherry?

Sliced pears tossed in Demerara sugar | H is for Home Laying sliced pears on pastry round | H is for Home

A savoury galette with autumn & winter vegetables is also a great idea; carrots, beetroot, caramelised onion… with cheeses and/or herbs – the variations are endless!

Pear galette brushed with melted butter | H is for Home

It’s such an easy, versatile dish to prepare and cook – pastry with whatever meat, veg or fruit that you have to hand.

Sliced home-made pear galette | H is for Home
Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest!

Pear Galette
Serves 8
For the pastry
  1. 320g/11oz plain flour
  2. 2tbsp caster sugar
  3. ¼tsp salt
  4. 115ml/4fl oz cold butter, cubed
  5. 4tbsp cold water
For the filling
  1. 2 dessert pears
  2. 3tbsp Demerara sugar
  3. 2tbsp fine semolina
  4. 25g/1oz flaked almonds
  5. 2tbsp melted butterHome-made pear galette ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar and salt
  2. Using a food processor (on pulse) or hand pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the butter is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces
  3. Add the cold water all at once
  4. Pulse until it begins to come together
  5. Empty the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
  6. Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film
  7. Flatten the dough into a disk inside the cling film and chill in the fridge for at ½ to 1 hour
  8. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
For the filling
  1. Core & evenly slice the pears and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  2. Sprinkle over 2tbsp of the Demerara sugar and toss to cover the pear slices evenly
To finish
  1. Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper of at least 35½2 (14"2)
  2. Roll the dough out between the two sheets into a 30cm (12") circle
  3. Slide the dough on to a baking tray
  4. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the semolina evenly over the top of the dough
  5. Lay the slices of pear on to the top of the dough in a circle - leaving a 2cm/¾" gap from the edge. Make the slices slightly overlap and ensure you cover the entire surface
  6. Sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of the Demerara sugar and the flaked almonds
  7. Fold the edge of the pastry over, making sure you overlap it on to itself as you go around
  8. Brush the melted butter over the crust edge
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
  10. Slide the parchment with the galette on to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming
Notes
  1. Serve warm with cream or ice cream
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/