Impress friends and family with your own fabulous Christmas canapés this year. Jesmond food blogger Anna Hedworth has a platter of treats with the definite wow factor. KATHARINE CAPOCCI has the details
FOOD blogger Anna Hedworth has pulled together a platter of tasty looking Christmas canapés for readers. With friends and family dropping in in the run-up to Christmas, it’s all too easy to go into panic mode and spend a small fortune on shop-bought nibbles.
Which is why Anna’s put together a few choice bites, that not only look the business, but are easy to recreate for home cooks and taste terrific too.
An architect and designer by day, Anna, from Jesmond, Newcastle, is passionate about food and drink.
She works for Xsite Architecture in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley and is currently involved in a restaurant and cinema project, which she describes as a perfect combination of her interests. Her dad is barrister Toby Hedworth QC, who is head of Trinity Chambers in Newcastle.
Away from work, when the 33-year-old isn’t talking all things foodie in her blog, The Grazer, she’s either at the stove creating dishes, or tweeting on the subject of food.
As well as championing local producers on her blog, which attracts over 6,000 hits a month, Anna offers tips on how to make traditional artisan products, like bacon and sourdough. When we speak she is pickling herrings for a supper club event at the weekend, new monthly gatherings for Graze lovers.
On the subject of Christmas nibbles, she says: “Those picky bits to hand round when people arrive are always a tricky one. You don’t want to spend hours or a fortune on canapés so I’ve put together a few that I find easy and quick but will make you look like the perfect host.”
Christmas consists of a smorgasbord of treats in her house, by all accounts. “I have a little tradition of pre-Christmas Eve supper, then lunch out on Christmas Eve, people calling round for canapés, Christmas day lunch, family parties, friends with open houses, lazy breakfasts... eating, eating and more eating, with occasional sleeping when meal times allow!”
She adds: “Every year I invite people for Twixmas, a lunch for friends and family between Christmas and new year, that has extended to 40 before, but may be a little bit more low key this year.
“This is the feast that I look forward to the most. Full of canapés, terrines, pies, hams and pickles. Things that can be made in advance are perfect, so it keeps my stress levels somewhere near normal.
“A slice of terrine with some rich fruity chutney on a snowy day surrounded by friends and family and an obligatory glass of wine is what I look forward to.”
Anna has in the past organised a couple of Graze food fairs with local food and drink producers. She also has her own allotment in Jesmond.
CHICORY WITH TOASTED WALNUTS, STILTON AND HONEY (Makes 20)
3 chicory heads
50g toasted walnuts
Honey to drizzle
These are ridiculously easy, and I think may actually be my favourite canapé.
Simply divide up the leaves of a head of red chicory, toast off some walnuts in a dry pan then add to the chicory 'cups'.
Crumble over the Stilton evenly between each leaf and then drizzle each with about half a teaspoon of honey.
The crunchy toasted nuts and the sharp chicory are delicious with the creamy cheese and sweet honey.
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