A list of things that can be made for Christmas that taste better than shop boought

(104 Posts)
bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 20:35:26

I need a list of things I can make before Christmas that are worth the effort and taste better than shop bought.

So what do you all think about:

Christmas Pud - always make my own but wondering if shop is actually nicer.
Chutneys - any really good recipes you would recommend?
Bread sauce
Cranberry sauce
Pickled onions
Yule log - worth the effort
Christmas cake - Link to a good recipe?
Mince pies - do you buy the pastry? The mincemeat? Or make it all?

Do you think these are better when you make them yourself? Have you given up making anything and now shop buy as its easier/tastes better?

Anything else which is better HM than bought in a shop?

We buy a good Christmas pudding.
I am thinking of buying a plain cake this year and decorating it myself having priced up the cost of making my own last year and realising just how much it actually cost shock.
I buy pastry for mince pies, and the mincemeat. But I spoon the mincemeat into a pan and gently warm it while adding brandy and cherries before I put it in the pies.
Home made stuffing is much nicer than bought.

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 20:50:20

Ooh yes stuffing - forgot that! I made my own for the first time last year. Was definitely worth the effort.

I agree about the cost of the cake, added to the cost of the Christmas pud and it is a lot of money.

I do like the tradition of making it every year with the dc though which is why I keep on doing it.

I buy a packet of the Sainsburys Taste the Difference Mini Mince Pies (has to be the mini, the bigger ones have too much mincemeat) . I can make mincepies but they never seem to work when I need them to. hmm

Cake- always nicer to make your own. Store cakes seem too dry and dark. I buy flour and sugar from Costco. Get the nuts and fruit each week, you won't notice the price (as much grin )
Marzipan - Delia recipe (I use Amaretto) . Much softer and more almondy

Cupcakes for the DC. I can be sure they are fresh especially the butter

Bread Sauce - doddle to make and much nicer.

Roast potato - I've had the Aunt Bessie ones once <<shudder>>

Christmas Pudding- we don't eat it. I made a syrup pudding last year.
Might try Sticky Toffee Pudding

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 21:29:18

Do you make normal cupcakes and decorate them all Christmassy 70isaLimit? Or you have a Christmas cupcake recipe?

No one really likes Marzipan in this house. The dc might like a HM one though. I might try that this year, how long does it keep for?

YY to homemade roasties with the luxury of goose fat at Christmas .. Mmmmm.

Thus time of year - make chutney! There are some real bargains to be had in greengrocers and farmer's marks as we reach the peak of the late summer glut. I've just make piccalilli and a lovely beetroot and apple chutney. Worked out as less then a pound per 1lb jar and tastes lovely!

Very smug...grin

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 21:35:09

I'm going to make Chutneys this weekend now I know I don't need Kilner jars or special paper.

Did you use lots of ingredients onlyfortonight? I need recipes that don't involve spending lots!

DowntonTrout Wed 11-Sep-13 21:36:59

I make the Cheeky Chilli Chutney ( shhh Jamie Oliver recipe )

And chunky Piccalilli. Both get better the longer you keep them.

I also make a chicken liver pâté and a ham hock terrine a few days before.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 11-Sep-13 21:40:17

Definitely make the bread sauce. SO much nicer.

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 21:43:13

Mince pies - dead easy to make the pastry - it's the filling that you buy from the shops

Agree that home made cake is better - always do the good housekeeping recipe or Delia with more alcohol and its grea

Cranberry sauce is also better IMO the day it is made as its bloody easy and looks fabulous the first day - after the first day it just looks like ordinary jam or store bought

Bread sauce - again, stupidly easy, stupidly tasty

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 21:48:00

I will miss pate this Christmas - am pg. Not sure where I stand on terraine though.

Will have to remember that for next year. Is HM pate nicer?

Will google those recipes for the Chutney and Picaalili.

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 21:50:41

Just realised my cake has alcohol in it! Can I still eat it? I normally feed it as well, I won't be able to do that this year will I?

Can I even light the pudding with Brandy?

Its going to be a tough Christmas this year!

Pickled onions - definitely, miles better than any shop bought.

Mince pies - a different beast, I like bought ones but also homemade. Bit like comparing oven chips with chips from the chip shop. I made mincemeat last year and it was very easy and very lovely, also made pastry, as I had acquired a food processor, previously I used bought.

Christmas pudding - I don't like it, so can't comment.

Bread sauce - don't like that either, but my mum makes it and brings it to dinner at our house. Never tasted shop bought.

Stuffing - much nicer homemade.

bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 21:59:02

I have problems with pastry. I can never get it even so I end up with different thicknesses that cook at different rates. It a nightmare that only I seem to encounter.

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 22:02:22

bymoonlight - I do normal cupcake sponge cakes then a swirl of green icing (tree) decorated with tiny Smarties (baubles) .
Christmas flavoured would be too new and fangled for my DC grin

JustBecauseICan Thu 12-Sep-13 17:02:37

Delia's traditional classic Christmas cake is the cake.

I am always a bit scathing about Delia's prissy "slice a cherry tomato into 4 perfectly measured slices" approach, but that cake is just sublime.

I tried Nigella's 3 yrs ago and it was bloody weird. Like a chocolate, fruity, gloopy stodge. Never again.

For shortcrust pastry I always use the old fashioned Be-ro flour all in one pastry recipe. It's fab.

chocolate and fruit have no place together in a christmas cake

<<gavel>>

This is amazing. I made it for my FIL for Christmas this year and got rave reviews. Dead easy to make:

http://shelinapermalloo.com/recipes/details/mango-chilli-chutney

LoganMummy Thu 12-Sep-13 20:29:40

Great thread, thanks!

LegoCaltrops Thu 12-Sep-13 20:35:57

I made a kilo of pickled shallots last week. we're giving about half away as presents, but keeping the rest. I am a vinegar addict...

I'm making Christmas cake (just for general eating/to take a chunk round when we visit, as in our house there are only DH, me & DD who is 16m.)

Making fudge, mead & green tomato chutney (if I have time before they ripen too much) for presents. I also knit so there may be scarves/jumpers/hats for the kids.

I may also make sausage rolls. Half pork mince, half butchers sausage meat for the filling.

bymoonlight Thu 12-Sep-13 20:54:59

Thanks for all the recipe links.

Mango chutney looks lovely!

Can't believe I forgot sausage rolls! Never heard of making them with pork mince before, is it a lot nicer Lego.

I will stick with Delias cake I think!

70's - my dds would enjoy decorating Christmas tree cupcakes, great idea!

LoganMummy Thu 12-Sep-13 21:21:07

Lego - can you share your ingedientd for your pickled onions please?

Zeeky Thu 12-Sep-13 21:33:57

Homemade mince pies are soooo much nicer than bought ones. I usually make the pastry (using orange jest & juice which is divine) and use shop bought mincemeat, but this this I'm thinking of trying to make my own mincemeat to see if it's worth the effort.

Jams and chutneys are definitely worth doing.

I also make homemade liqueurs - blackberry gin, rhubarb schnapps, plum brandy etc. I don't drink them myself, but they go down well with DH and as gifts.

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