Return of the Hairies!

I’m so excited about Christmas food, I can’t quite get a grip on myself. Every day I look at image after image of delicious mince pies, beautifully decorated cakes, canapes oozing with cheese, mouth-watering turkeys… I just want to eat it all.

And I’m loving all the Christmas cooking specials on TV at the moment. I settled myself in front of the TV last night to watch Jamie Oliver at home Christmas special. He made a fantastic version of mince pies using filo pastry, while arguing with his mentor and friend, Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo. While he was filling his pastry with mincemeat, Gennaro was trying to get Jamie to add black pepper. ‘I don’t want to,’ Jamie replied. ‘It’ll add spice!’ Gennaro insisted. ‘I don’t want to,’ Jamie said stubbornly. I love it when two chefs lock horns in the kitchen because they’re both so passionate about food.

And there’s another Christmas TV treat coming up this week. The Hairy Bakers are back with their Christmas special this Thursday, 8pm on BBC2. I think Si and Dave are just brilliant. Their recipes are easy to follow and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for festive food. I know they’re doing mince pies, turkey and ham pies and a chestnut and apple soup I’d love to try, as well as giant cheese straws and Christmas cookies. Hairy Baker Dave has also filled in our Christmas questionnaire, so you can read all his festive food tips and ideas in advance.

But if you just can’t wait for inspiration to strike, have a look at our ownChristmas recipes, including Woman’s Weekly’s best Christmas dishes.