yet more canapés!

Yet more canapés!


“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase.

I can just feel the start of Christmas fever entering my brain – for me this equals too many things to think about at the same time and the knowledge that the juggling act will only get more complicated as we near the big day – why oh why do we put ourselves through this?  Cards, presents, menus, parties, trees – you name it – it’s all there.  So the inevitable lists are the only way to cope.  Problem is, the things on the lists come into my mind when I can’t write them down – aaaaargh!
This morning while trying to ignore the fact that, unlike Shaun, I do not have the body of someone years younger than me (couldn’t walk after my spin class last night), my mind as always turned to food which is fairly typical whatever I might be doing!  And so to continue my theme of canapés – Dips sprang to mind!  Dips are a fantastic solution to party food – these recipes all use my Chilli Jam but all have very different personalities.  Serve with crisps or crudités (depending on how healthy you feel) or you could make some oven toasted pitta bread (thank you Jane Cazalet!) Drizzle your pitta with rapeseed oil, sprinkle with salt and toast in a hot oven.  Easy and delicious!


Frog’s Quacamole

Simply mash 4 very ripe avocados along with a healthy, well shook glug of Auntie Frog’s Lime & Chilli Dressing. Serve in your prettiest bowl garnished with coriander leaves. A great dip with crisps, a fantastic accompaniment to chilli or on toasted sourdough bread.


Chilli Jam and Cream Cheese Dip – just mix! And add a few chopped herbs of your choosing!


Smokey Hummus

Smokey Hummus


Recipe gratefully received from Intredpid Veggie Food Blogger, Lisa of A Restaurant at Home Blog

I’ve used lots of S&M oils, some I bought having been introduced to them at a food festival and some they sent me because I harangued them with blog and recipe ideas until they let me, informally, try, test and tell them (and sometimes you) about what I created. So far I’ve liked them all and use them regularly. So I was particularly excited to see what could be done with the rapeseed oils.

I am currently trying the garlic and smoked varieties and thought why use two oils when you can use three, so for this recipe the chilli oil plays a role too (as I had some in the cupboard). So, starting simple (there is more to come to the recipe pages…if S&M want it!), here is my recipe for Smokey hummus (also guaranteed to keep vampires, and garlic haters, away).

Makes enough for two with pitta, crudités or whatever you want to dunk in it – just double up the ingredients depending on how many you are feeding.


1 X 400g tin of chickpeas (drained, reserving the water to help thicken the hummus, and rinsed. Keep a few chickpeas aside for garnishing later)
1 X tablespoon of tahini (adjust according to taste, it can also be left out for sesame allergy sufferers)
1/2 teaspoon of crushed sea salt (again, adjust to your liking taste buddies!)
1 X garlic clove (good and crushed)
Juice of one lemon (have a spare to hand in case you want to add more)
1 tablespoon of S&M smoked rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of S&M garlic rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of a mix of chopped coriander/parsley leaves (omit coriander if you don’t like it)
Paprika (optional)
Chilli oil for drizzling (optional)

Most importantly, taste as you go along! You might want to start gently on the lemon and add as needed, or you might want more or less salt…Don’t want it too garlicky? Leave out the clove. Not a chilli fan? Don’t use the oil or paprika. It’s your hummus, your call…part of the beauty of such a simple recipe is you can play about with the ingredients and it will always turn out well. I promise.

1. Combine the oils
2. Place the drained chickpeas in a food processor or blender along with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt and about half of the reserved water from the can.
3. Set the processor in motion and slowly add the combined oils in a smooth, steady stream until you have a smooth consistency, adding more of the reserved can liquid if needed. (Note, I sometimes make the whole lot by hand depending on whether I want a smooth or chunky hummus so if you prefer you can do all of this in a bowl with a potato masher and a spoon; just add the oils slowly and combine well until you have the desired consistency.)
4. Transfer to your serving dish and then garnish as you see fit. I drizzle with the chilli oil (you can use normal olive oil but extra virgin is best if you do), scatter the herbs over the top (feel free to stick some in with the mashing/blending stage too if you like), sprinkle some paprika all over (to add even more flavour and colour) and, if you’ve gone for a smooth hummus, scatter a few whole chick peas over the top, if you saved any.

And that’s it. Serve with warm flatbreads or pitta, vegetable sticks or tortilla chips. Or maybe use in wraps and sandwiches, on jacket potatoes, over hot chips, in salads (works as an alternative to mayo in coleslaw)…or just stick your spoon in. Your hummus, your call.


This is the end of our second week of blogs and we hope you are finding them useful! I hope the canapés go down well!  Next week’s blogs will give you recipes for a starter, main and dessert to help with that all important Christmas planning!
See you next week.

10th December 2015