Our Christmas Market Ritual….

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…so nearly didn’t happen this year: we only got Coco’s passport last Wednesday afternoon prior to our Thursday 6.30am departure after much begging and pleading and very nearly some tears! 10 hours later, a lot of traffic jams and two “poo-namis” we eventually arrived in Germany.

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Unfortunately Lentil picked up a chest infection just before we left and didn’t have much of an appetite, but I managed to entice him with the following quick and easy recipes. There isn’t much to them at all so they are great if you’re using someone else’s kitchen too.

Two potato mash

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This is a good weaning dish or some nice comforting winter food for unwell little toddlers. Serve with their favourite meat, fish or just some veg.  I just added some carrots and kohlrabi on this occasion.  Makes about 4 portions.

The what:
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
5g unsalted butter
3/4 cup milk
pepper to season (optional)

The how:
Prepare the potatoes
Bring some water to the boil in a pot; add the potatoes; bring back to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until soft.
Then add the butter to the potatoes and mash the potatoes using a handheld blender, adding the milk slowly. This gives a really smooth finish. Season with pepper (optional)

Pasta with champignons and ham

You can also make this recipe in a flash, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas markets and a nice hot Gluwein!

Makes 2- 4 portions

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The what:

5g unsalted butter
about 25g pasta per portion
6 button mushrooms, sliced
2 slices prosciutto or ham, cut into small cubes. You can also use bacon or pancetta: just cook it first in it’s own fat, place on kitchen paper to remove any excess fat before adding to the mushrooms and peas.

a handful of frozen peas

4 tbsp creme fraiche

The how:

Boil the kettle and pour the boiling water into a pot for the pasta. Add the pasta, bring back to the boil and then simmer with the lid off.  Fresh pasta takes about 3 minutes, but dried can take 15-20 minutes.  Check individual packaging for instructions.

Add the unsalted butter, ham, mushrooms and peas to a heated pot and cook on medium heat for around 8 minutes.  Then lower the heat, stir in the creme fraiche and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring regularly so the creme fraiche doesn’t start to bubble too much.

You can either serve on top of the pasta or you can stir it into the mushroom mixture and then serve.

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