HELLO MY CHERUBS.
Today, I bring to you one of my favourite ever blog posts to photograph… because, you guessed it, the subject matter was my one true love, food.
And not just any food – CHRISTMAS FOOD. Can I get a whoop whoop?
So, for anyone who has been reading my blog in the past few months – you will know that I recently started a love affair with Iceland (the supermarket not the country – although I would LOVEE to go there asap). I went for to a day of cooking school with them back in September and it was absolutely brilliant. Totally opened my eyes up to the power of frozen food, and how incredible the value and quality of produce form Iceland is.
When I was asked to collaborate with Iceland again, to try out some of their Luxury Christmas food, I jumped at the chance.
I have been really, really ill recently – and haven’t actually left my flat in 2 weeks, but I am fully on the mend now. So to celebrate feeling more human, I decided that I would hold a tiny weeny dinner party for Alex, myself and one of my best friends. This way I could socialise but still not have to brave the freezing cold weather!
SO I hopped on the bus down to Iceland yesterday afternoon and bought all the food I would need for my miniature soirée.
Did I get carried away buying food for 3 people. Yes. Do I regret any of the food decisions I made? Absolutely not. Did we all over eat and feel as full as people do on Christmas Day – yes probably. But it was so worth it.
I purchased a 3 course meal, choosing all the Luxury items – because – treat yo self. First thing that went into the basket were Mince Pies – obviously. And then I headed over to the famous Iceland freezers. I bought so much food, the only thing I wish I had purchased that I didn’t was the frozen sushi – I am still YET to try it, but I wouldn’t have been able to serve it to one of my guests – but I am 100% going back to get it.
Here is a menu of what I purchased:
Smoked Salmon Snowflake Terrine (£5)
Brie & Cranberry Pastry Crowns (£2)
For the Main Course:
Beef Wellington (£15)
Bacon wrapped Asparagus (£3)
Then for puddddding:
Mince Pies (£1.89)
West country Salted Fudge Cheesecakes (£2)
Sicilian Lemon Tartlets (£2)
So that what was in my shopping bag – plus some star napkins (essential) and some chocolate christmas tree ice creams – also essential for this weekend in front of the TV.
Later that evening it was cooking time.
This was probably my favourite part of the entire experience. It was SO SO easy to get dinner ready. I couldn’t actually believe it.
As everything is frozen – it was simply a ‘what time does it go in the over’ game. Everything was cooked at the same temperature. Everything went on the same baking tray. It was like I was a domestic goddess with absolutely MINIMAL effort. I could have prepared this entire dinner party whilst having wet nails. AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING.
Normally I get myself in a bit of a fluster when I am making EVERYTHING from scratch. The kitchen looks like a bombsight, everything is ready at different times so some things are cold whilst others are still in the over (I know I know I need some practice). But this was so easy. I just popped everything in. And hey presto, I was calm, collected and happily chatting with my friend whilst waiting for everything to work its magic in the over.
We started off with our delicious smoked salmon terrine (- and yes – it did make me happy that it was in the shape of a snowflake – its the little things) and the brie and cranberry parcels.
I literally could of eaten 100 of each of these. They were so good. The terrine just needed to defrost at room temperature for 2 hours and then it was good to serve and the parcels took 25 mins in the oven from frozen. And they were AMAZING. Who knew defrosted brie would be so scrummy.
Next up was Beef Wellington. Now – I was in the mega good books with this one – this is Alex’s favourite meal. I think it is actually his “what would be your last meal on earth be” meal. So he was thrilled at my choice.
I, on the other hand, have never had a Beef Wellington, ever. Whenever you see them on a menu in a restaurant, they are either so expensive or to share between 2 people – so I never ordered one. And I am NOT skilled enough to cook one myself, but I couldn’t wait to try it.
I wish that I had lied and said I made it from scratch – because it was sublime and I wanted to take all the credit. It serves 4 people and was a relative bargain at £15. The pastry was crisp, the meat was perfectly cooked and the filling was dreamy. It recommends to defrost for 24 hours in the fridge before cooking – which obviously I didn’t have time to do as I bought it 5 hours before cooking it. I cooked it straight from frozen and it was absolutely perfect.
To accompany the Beef Wellington, I picked up some asparagus wrapped in bacon. These required the most effort to cook… but we are still talking like no effort. You fry for a minute or so and then pop them in the over to bake for 10 mins. EASY PEASY ASPARAGUS SQUEEZY.
Licked the plates clean and then it was time for dessert and a cup of tea.
We ploughed our way through a whole box of mince pies (wasn’t hard to do) and then we shared the cheesecake and lemon tartlets. These lemon tartlets are SO so so SO amazing. I think they are prize winning lemon tartlets if I remember correctly!
I still can’t believe how easy it was to throw such an impressive dinner party with minimal effort. I would feel MORE than comfortable to host 20 people for dinner using all Iceland produce.
And as for value – my entire meal, (including the napkins) cost £32. Half of that was the beef welly.
I really enjoyed this whole experience, trying and testing all the food, plus it was a dream to photograph and play hostess.
I recommend heading to your local Iceland (or ordering online) to try some of the Christmas Party food or any of their meals. They have so many incredible meals, such as the Beef Wellington but also Rock Lobster Thermidor (another item I will be picking up for dinner next week).
The food went down a treat with everyone – including Alex who is the biggest food snob (and especially Beef Wellington snob).
Please do let me know if you try any of their Christmas Luxury products – I would love to hear what you think!
Thank you so much Iceland for collaborating with me and for providing the most incredible food in your supermarkets!
This post was writing in collaboration with Iceland but all opinions are completely my own.