I've been running around all over the place doing book signings and whatnot since September and the time has just raced past. So, I don't know about you, but it's come as a bit of a shock to find that Christmas is almost upon us. It's not that I've been in denial - you know me, the more fairy lights and seasonal spirit the better - but I must declare I am not quite prepared.
To rectify that, we at nigella.com have, to the soundtrack of carols and the scent of Holiday-fragranced candles as we work, exuberantly Christmasified the site. It is now fully loaded with festive recipes and we are ready to cook up a seasonal storm. Some of these recipes are old favourites, but then this is absolutely a time for tradition and my own Christmas ritual relies on them. So, you will find my Christmas Morning Muffins, Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake (which happens to be gluten-free), Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake (pictured above), Star-Topped Mince Pies, Edible Christmas Tree Decorations, Christmas Rocky Road, Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake, Christmas Chocolate Cookies, Yule Log, Ultimate Christmas Pudding and Eggnog Cream.
And that's just the sweet stuff!
We've also got both my Ham in Coca Cola and Ginger-Glazed Ham, both of which are just divine with the Spiced Peaches. And of course, there just has to be my Spiced and Super-Juicy Roast Turkey - a recipe that has changed my Christmasses irrevocably for the better, and I hope will do likewise for yours - with Gingerbread Stuffing and Redder Than Red Cranberry Sauce. Veggie diners are not left out, either, as I have a splendiferous Roast Stuffed Pumpkin with Gingery Tomato Sauce.
And since it's Christmas, it seems only right to give the present of a few new recipes too. So there's my Christmas Cup cocktail and the deliriously delicious innovation of some Salted Caramel Brandy Butter - and yes, that is what I said! I've raided Nigellissima, too, for some Italian-inspired Christmas treats. I urge you to reconsider the seasonal sprout, and go for the Hearty Wholewheat Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Cheese and Potato (an excellent way of absorbing excess alcohol, I should add) and Parmesan Shortbreads are just what you need to be nibbling on while you're drinking! And my Panettone Stuffing Squares rethink the Christmas canape too. If you want to ring the changes, there is Turkey Breast Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Marsala-Steeped Cranberries, which looks and tastes spectacular and is reassuringly easy to cook and carve. My Fig and Olive Chutney is a great accompaniment to cold cuts or cheese and makes for a lovely gift, too.
But I couldn't just end there: this is after all the season of glorious indulgence, so I had to give you my utterly ravishing but easy and no-cook Italian Christmas Pudding Cake and, of course, a little seasonal jollity in the form of my Chocolate Salame, both of which can be seen in all their glory below. Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Happy Holidays and here's to cooking and eating our way into a fantastic new year!