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Newsletter: Christmas with ckbk – everything you need to prepare for the main event 🎄

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Christmas lunch sorted

No matter how many office parties or meetups with friends and family the coming weeks hold, Christmas Day itself is central to the holiday season. And for the cook of the household that can mean a lot of work and expectation. Tip one: delegate. Tip two: take your time to look through the wealth of Christmas recipes and resources on ckbk to make your Christmas lunch a pleasure to cook and eat.

Turkey is the centrepiece of choice for many – you’ll have no problems with Gary Rhodes as your guide. Try his Traditional Roast Turkey with Sage, Lemon and Chestnut Stuffing and all the Trimmings.
There are plenty of alternatives if you don’t feel like turkey, including many traditional ideas that pre-date the current preference for the giant bird. Explore our collection of recipes for a Victorian Christmas to find Glazed Goose with Special Stuffing, or Roast Beef. And we have a whole host of Vegetarian and Vegan Christmas Mains to Savor. Try Mushroom, Sage & Onion Wellington, or Whole Roast Cauliflower in a Spicy Tomato Sauce, as your centrepiece.

If you want to explore beyond the usual British dishes, Italy has a rich culinary tradition for this time of year.

Take a look at our collection for an Italian Christmas – find Porchetta with Wilted Arugula & Warm Dates, Spiced Umbrian Cake (Panpepato) and more.
We do, of course, have lots of recipes for Christmas Pudding. But we also have a whole collection of Christmas Desserts: Beyond Christmas Pudding. Try a Cream Puff Tree with White Chocolate, or a Hazelnut Meringue Log with Frangelico Cream & Caramel.
Few things are more Christmas-y than a mince pie. Josceline Dimbleby’s Mince Pies De Luxe, enhanced with orange zest, are a true classic and we have an extra sweet treat for you – a few words from Josceline herself.

Looking for further festive options – don't forget ckbk has a dedicated Christmas Bookshelf and more than 2000 searchable Christmas recipes.
Find all 90+ recipes from Josceline Dimbleby's Cooking for Christmas
Pictured above: Pomegranate-Infused Roast Turkey Braise from Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij

Some early Christmas (cookbook) presents

We’ve got a couple of crackers for you, newly added to ckbk. If holiday downtime baking is your thing, Making Dough is here just in time.
Author Russell van Kraayenburg is a self-proclaimed food nerd. In Making Dough he explores the complex art of patisserie. Deconstructing his subject into twelve well-explained basic doughs, thirty toppings, glazes and fillings, he ensures you can now make the full delicious pastry shop of treats at home with confidence. Recipes include lots of good things for the festive season. Try Apple Tart Layer Cake, Maple Braided Danishes, or Cinnamon Twists.
Catering to the increasing number of us who are alcohol free, with no compromise on fun for the party season, we bring you Free Spirit Cocktails: 40 Non-alcoholic Drink Recipes. New York city based cocktail blogger Camille Wilson, brings taste and enthusiasm to this selection of drinks fit to grace any party. Try a Gingerbread Martini, or a showstopping Pom Bomb.

Ingredient spotlight: walnuts

The quintessential Christmas nut, joining the clementine in the toe of stockings across the land, the walnut is grown in temperate regions. One of a family of trees that includes the pecan, walnuts have been gathered and eaten since pre-historic times.

Walnuts can be eaten green, but as unripe walnuts are very sour, they are mostly pickled, or preserved. Half-ripe walnuts are a great Middle Eastern delicacy preserved in syrup. Walnuts are of particular culinary importance in France, where individual varieties are named and prized, and where fine walnut oil can be found.
Walnut oil makes a particularly fine salad dressing with nothing more than white wine vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper. The creamy, slightly bitter flesh of walnuts is an asset to dishes from many cuisines. They have a great affinity with blue cheese – try this Pizza with Gorgonzola, Walnuts, Truffle Honey and Radicchio. This Austrian Walnut Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream is a wonderful take on a much-loved classic.
Find these and ten other great walnut recipes in our collection of 12 Ways With Walnuts.

6 of the best cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a cupcake? Individual and hand-held, they are perfect for the party season. With National Cupcake Day on December 15, it’s time to start baking!

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

from Cupcakes for Kids by Rosie Anness and Cortina Butler

Christmas Cupcakes

from Cupcakes for Kids by Rosie Anness and Cortina Butler

Cherry Red Velvet Cupcakes

from Crazy Sweet Creations
by Ann Reardon

Caramelised White Chocolate & Maple Honeycomb Cupcakes

from Bad Girl Bakery by Jeni Iannetta

Not-Nog Cupcakes

from Sweet Vegan Treats by Hannah Kaminsky

Candy Cane Cupcakes

from New York Christmas by Lisa Neishlag and Lars Wentrup
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