Turkey & Leek pie


This pie is a must-have at Christmas in our house. Over the years we have developed a tradition whereby we have Christmas dinner No.1 which is the traditional turkey, ham, potatoes roasted in goose fat, stuffing, veg, pigs in blankets and gravy, on St Stephens Day we have Christmas dinner No. 2  which is more or less the same with freshly cooked roast potatoes and different veg  which I enjoy even more than dinner on Christmas Day! ) and then we have Christmas dinner No.3 which is the Turkey Pie. My adult children now insist that we stick to this routine and no matter what they have on they all manage to be here for these 3 dinners ! It is a nice way to extend Christmas to be honest and for us all to have dinner together. The pie in particular is a really nice change and a great way to use up leftover cooked meat – any mixture of turkey and / or ham can be used and of course this pie can be made anytime with cooked chicken. Happy Christmas to you all and happy cooking in 2018! x


Serves 4-6

Approx. 30 minutes prep & 45 minutes in the oven


50g butter plus extra for greasing
1 onion sliced
1 large leek, trimmed & sliced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
250ml chicken stock
100ml cream
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
900g cooked turkey cut into chunks(or mixture of ham, turkey or chicken)
200/225g ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


How to make it!

  • Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
  • Heat the butter in a sauté pan
  • Add the onion, garlic, leek and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously
  • Gradually pour the stock into the pan followed by the cream, stirring until smooth after each addition
  • Add the bay leaf, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the parsley, season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • Cover the sauce with a buttered circle of non-stick parchment paper to prevent a skin forming
  • Place the cooked turkey / meat in a 1.75L (3 pint) pie dish and ladle over the sauce
  • Stir gently to combine.
  • Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm/¼cm on a lightly floured surface to fit the top of the pie dish making sure that it is large enough to hang over the edges like a ‘blanket’.
  • Place the pastry lid on top of the pie, trimming it down to fit and brush around the edges with a little water to help it stick, then press down along the sides to seal.
  • Cut a small slit in the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape
  • Cut out a few decorative pastry leaves to put in the centre of the pastry lid.(optional)
  • Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is nicely puffed up and golden brown.

Serve with some creamy mashed potato and enjoy!


Christmas Mocktail

Christmas cocktail

This simple, beautiful non-alcoholic cocktail is one of our family favourites, we have it every Christmas  – it is light, refreshing and delicious, perfect for Christmas Day (or any day).  I am sure that Santa would love this drink left out for him to quench his thirst on a busy Christmas Eve, it doesn’t contain any alcohol so there is no issue with drinking and driving! There are no fancy ingredients or measurements needed and kids love making it. They can easily follow the instructions below.

  • Make some freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Pour it into a blender
  • Whack in some fresh strawberries
  • Whizz until completely blended and until you are happy with the colour
  • Taste it and add a little sugar if it needs it
  • Chill in the fridge and give it a stir before pouring into glasses (it tends to separate if left for a while)

If you want to ‘frost’ the top of the glasses to create that gorgeous Christmassy look just whisk an egg white lightly and  dip the glass in caster sugar.

Happy Christmas to you all and thank you for all your support, ‘likes’ and comments. I really appreciate them all.

Mini Chocolate Christmas Pudding

Chocolate Xmas pud

This is a recipe from Darina Allen’s Easy Entertaining cookbook, a cook I admire and trust and whose books will always be in my cookbook library.  They are a cinch to make and a delicious, easy alternative to Christmas pudding for dessert as they are light, perfectly sized, take just 6 minutes in the oven and can be prepared in advance. What’s not to love about that!   Continue reading

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men 2

These cookies are worth baking for the smell alone that will fill your house while they are in the oven. There is nothing like the scent of cinnamon and ginger to put you right in the Christmas mood. They are easy and fun to make and have a lovely crisp texture and gingery taste. I tested these out successfully on my Spanish classmates, on some of my swimming friends (yes they ate them at breakfast!) and also at a Book Club gathering and I promised everyone I would share the recipe. Everyone adores Gingerbread Men so they would make a great homemade Christmas gift. The mixture is made in a food processor so the only real work is in the rolling and cutting out and of course the decoration (which is the real fun bit!). They are great for children to make too as very little can go wrong with them. You can have lots of fun decorating them with icing sugar, silver or gold balls, raisins or edible gold or silver dust.

Continue reading