Weekend Wonderings

I’m having some neighbours over for a Christmas party this afternoon.  Obviously, the most important part of a Christmas party is the menu.

Mulled Wine

I’m going with Delia’s recipe.    I like’d the sound of Jamie’s, but then Jamie ruined it by asking me to make a syrup.  Sod off, Jamie.  Mulled wine should involve whacking in two bottles of red, chopping up fruit, throwing in some fancy spices, and turning the heat on low.

The mulled wine that never was from Jamie’s website.  Syprup, schmyrup.

Mince Pies

I haven’t made these, I’ve bought them.  I still harbour an irrational fear of making pastry.  We have a plate of normal ones and a plate of fancy-dan Heston-style ones from Waitrose.  I’ll be pushing the normal ones.


These are cinnamony-sugary cookies that are the easiest thing to bake in the world.  It is actually impossible to get these wrong – you can only end up with buttery, cinnamony goodness.  The recipe is from Tea With Bea (which I still laud as my favourite baking book of all time).

Pear and Frangipane Tart

Again from Tea With Bea, this involves poaching pears (easy, except you stand over the pan wanting to drink the sauce, which is alcoholic), making frangipane (again easy, butter, ground almonds, a few other bits, go) and a ready-made pastry case (ssshhh, DON’T TELL BEA).

Bourbon banoffee cheesecake

I have made cheesecake before from this book. It was the most incredible thing ever.  Mine is supposed to look something like the below (I’m ad-libbing on two of the recipes). I assure you, it will not.  I have, however, sampled some of the filling and nearly had an apoplexy, so almighty was it.  The topping involves bananas, booze and pecans (the latter at Mr K’s request).  (PS – I promise we aren’t being sponsored by Bea’s of Bloomsbury, even though it might seem like it.  I wish he were, though.  Hiiii Bea!  I’m your biggest fan.  We ate your cake at our wedding.)


Right, Kasparian.  You have three hours to assemble various toppings, bust out the slow cooker for the mulled wine, and make your home fit for 25.  Stop typing (and fawning), start cooking.  (Mr K can do the hoovering).  Happy Sunday, one and all.




Categories: Weekend Wonderings, Written By Anna
8 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Lexie
    Posted December 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Sounds glorious, have a good one! X

  2. Emily
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I know the syrup sounds a faff, but it makes it more boozy as you burn off less of the alcohol in the wine – JO’s is my best recipe after much testing (hic…) Hope you had a wonderful party

  3. Posted December 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    SNICKERDOODLES, YES. I had no concept of these until I was frantically flicking through Nigella’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ (which I’m afraid I will have to laud as MY favourite baking book of all time), saw the recipe, thought ‘they look easy’ and gave them a go. A-MA-ZING.

    And agree totally about mulled wine. Syrup, FGS. Come on, Jamie, stop messing with us.

  4. Beth
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Hope you had a fab party Anna. Ridiculous that this should be my first comment in ages but I know it sounds like a syrupy faff but mulled wine the Jamie way is so worth it. Have never looked back. Seriously.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Beth, I’m afraid the only way to settle this is to have a mulled wine-off.

      • Beth
        Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        You’re on! X

  5. ChirstyMac
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    A day or two late (have been down due to illness so using that as my excuse) but had to comment to say that Anna K, you are a Goddess.

    Catering for 25 whilst (what is it now) 38-odd weeks pregnant? let alone a menu choice of such triumph or even KNOWING 25 of your neighbours (I know 2 of mine and not well enough for any threshold-crossing)
    Pastry and mulling syrup be damned, you are an inspiration, lady. X

    I shall now also be attempting to discover what a snickerdoodle is. Best. Name. Ever.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Chirsty, this made me laugh like a drain. To reassure you, a lot of those 25 are kids, who don’t even like fancy cake and just go straight for the crisps and tesco yule log, and not all of the neighbours showed in the end, we ended up with about 15, a far more manageable number!

      And I’m 35 weeks, which I assure you is far more amenable to baking than 38 is likely to be!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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