Port & Wensleydale with Cranberries

When the busy build up for the Christmas season seems to take away your days in the blink of an eye. When the endless round of shopping, cleaning, cooking and (for some) working over the Christmas season seems to consume your waking hours and all of your energy. The early morning awakening with excited children, desperate to see if Santa has made his visit, not to mention the preparation that goes into cooking the gargantuan proportioned dinner that we all seem to indulge in. No sooner is the ‘big day’ over with than preparation begins to herald the start of the New Year. Whether its preparing for a party at home, or getting ready to join friends and loved ones, or very simply having a quiet night at home surrounded by those closest to you.

We all seem to eat more of the things that we would only ever eat once a year, like chocolate for breakfast perhaps, or pâté, chutney, and Stilton.

This year I was kindly sent a bottle of Aldi Fletcher’s Fine Ruby Port and a truckle of their Wensleydale with cranberries to try. These have been expertly paired by Master of Wines, Sarah Jane Evans. With all the hubbub of Christmas and the New Year, as well as me working over the festive period, we decided to leave our treat until everything had settled down and we could sit peacefully together and really enjoy it.
So, with yesterday being my husband’s birthday, the wax was peeled back, the crackers brought out, the cork was popped and the glasses were filled. We put our feet up, put a DVD on & sat together to finally relax, bring in 2014 and to toast the year ahead.

We are partial to a glass of Port in this house but had never tried Aldi’s before.  We found it to be a dark ruby in colour and compliments the colour of the cranberries. The rich, smooth flavour of the Port is a perfect match to the creamy, crumbly Wensleydale. I would thoroughly recommend a bottle of this, and at £6.29 it can more than hold its own against the more expensive brands. The cheese is flavourful, creamy & crumbly. It’s certainly one that should adorn your cheese board, at any time of the year!

To 2014 and the year ahead. May it be a healthy & happy one for you all. Cheers!
The bottle of Port and the truckle of cheese were sent to me free of charge from Aldi’s PR company. I was not under obligation to either publish a post or to provide a favourable review of them.

Yule Log Birthday Bundt

My hubby celebrates his birthday on 3rd January, and although I know this is after Christmas, I’d bought a new Nordic Ware Yule Log baking tin half price in the Lakeland sale, so just had to try it out today to make his cake, didn’t I?

I used the basic bundt cake recipe from Rachel McGrath (aka Dolly Bakes), but added 1/2 tsp of orange oil in with the yoghurt & vanilla to give it an added element.
If you’re careful to take the time to properly butter and flour the tin, as you can see here:

Then your cake will turn out a dream with not a crumb left sticking to the sides, as you can clearly see.

For a simple decoration (he doesn’t ‘do’ fussy cakes), I simply sprinkled it with a bit of icing sugar. I just wonder if it’ll last until his birthday on Friday or whether some (or indeed all) of it will have gone by then.