If you’re planning a meal with your housemates this year, why not have a peek at our suggestions for an easy-to-make, delicious Christmas dinner!

Starter

Mozzarella Bites and Cranberry Sauce

Drain 8 mozzarella balls well on kitchen paper and toss in a handful of flour. Beat one egg in a mixing bowl, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and mix 4 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of parsley.

Dip the floured mozzarella balls into the beaten eggs and then the breadcrumbs, making sure they’re completely covered.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a pan on a high heat and fry the cheese bites for 1 minute until crisp and golden (alternatively, use a deep fat fryer). Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with cranberry sauce.

Main

Stuffed chicken breast with glazed carrots, honey roast parsnips and ‘cheats’ roast potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 200c. Roughly cut 12 baby new potatoes in half and add to a pan of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepare some ready-made stuffing. Slice two-thirds of the way through two chicken breasts, place a handful of the stuffing in the middle of each then close the meat together again (use toothpicks to hold it together). Rub olive oil and seasoning into the chicken and place on a roasting tray in the oven for 45 minutes.

Peel 3 parsnips, snip the ends away and slice length ways. Add to a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and rub in some honey and mustard before adding to the oven with the chicken.

By now, your potatoes should be fairly soft. Drain them and leave to dry for a few minutes before adding some olive oil and shaking the colander to loosen them a little. Return to the frying pan and let them sizzle away on a high heat for about five minutes. Meanwhile, add 8 chantenay carrots to a saucepan of boiling water, with a teaspoon of sugar thrown in. Now, take a potato masher and press down the potatoes gently until the skin splits. Sprinkle over chopped garlic, rosemary, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Reduce the heat a little and leave to crisp, shaking every so often.

About ten minutes before everything’s done, cook your choice of boiled green vegetable (I’d opt for peas or sprouts with this).

Serve everything with gravy.

Dessert

Chocolate Liquor Mousse

(You can easily leave the amaretto out of this recipe and it’ll still taste just as good!)

Melt 150g dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, seperate 4 eggs. Add 50g caster sugar to the yolks and beat until smooth. With a tiny pinch of salt, whisk the whites until they form soft peaks. In a third bowl beat 150ml cream until whipped.

Take the melted chocolate off the heat and add a few shots of amaretto (I’d use no more than 3 or 4). Mix a tablespoon of cocoa powder into your bowl of yolks, then tip in the cream and mix again. First fold in the melted chocolate and then the egg whites until the colour evens out. Divide between separate glasses and chill for two hours.

Before serving, you can add toppings to your liking – shaved chocolate, berries or even half a Cadburys flake can really liven it up.

Christmas drinks

Christmas Spirit Cocktail

Put a bottle of tequila in the freezer for an hour. Fill shot glasses with pomegranate seeds, and pour iced tequila over the top for a refreshing, rosy-coloured Christmas spirit!

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