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Home Made Treats For Christmas Gifts Tutorial

by | Made, Recipes


Jane Collins

JaneCollinsFoodStylist (61 of 75)

As a young apprentice chef I was taught that the food was always the carrier for the “sauce”. I truly believe that to be correct. If you get the sauce right then the dish is usually spectacular! I still make many sauces, dressings, pesto and gravies from my little black book of recipes from those days.

I also believe that if you cook with a little love and give something of yourself in your cooking especially at Christmas, this is handed over to the recipient and they too will pass on the love (and the oohs and aahs will be yours…)

Try these little bundles of love this Christmas and the memories will last longer than Christmas lunch.



2 tbsps olive oil

2 eshallots, finely chopped

1 litre tomato passata

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsps mustard powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

2 or 3 fresh bay leaves

JaneCollinsFoodStylist (51 of 75)JaneCollinsFoodStylist (55 of 75)


1. Heat oil in a deep frypan over medium high heat. Add eschallots. Stir for two to three minutes until softened and fragrant. Add tomato passata, sugar and remaining ingredients.

2. Reduce heat till low and cook for 10-15 minutes till slightly thickened.

While still hot spoon into sterilized jars.  Tightly seal lids. Cool completely and refrigerate until giving as a gift.

*To quickly sterilize jars, wash in the dish washer. Or boil in a large deep saucepan of water  for five to six minutes, Dry completely in a 150c oven.


JaneCollinsFoodStylist (49 of 75)


3 whole heads of garlic, seperated

1 bunch sage

1/2 bunch thyme

2 or 3 stalks fresh rosemary

sea salt

750 ml olive oil

JaneCollinsFoodStylist (8 of 75)


1. Place garlic, half the herbs, salt and oil into a deep saucepan or frypan and cook over a medium – low heat for 15 – 20 minutes.

2. Allow to cool slightly. Spoon garlic pods into jars and add remaining fresh herbs, pour in oil to completely cover the garlic.

3. Package up with a spoon and your good to go. Makes approx 3 x  500ml jars


JaneCollinsFoodStylist (68 of 75)


200g dark chocolate, broken up into pieces

1 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts


1.Melt chocolate over a double boiler, for three to four minutes until chocolate is smooth.  Line a tray with baking paper. Spread chocolate onto prepared tray and smooth.

JaneCollinsFoodStylist (36 of 75)JaneCollinsFoodStylist (73 of 75)

2. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, place in the fridge to firm up for ten minutes. When firm cut into strips or triangles.

3. Wrap in organic, non-bleached baking paper and secure with a peg or a piece of string . Add a gift tag. Refrigerate till needed in warm weather.

Images by Helen Coetzee

Recipes and styling by Jane Collins from sizzleandswirl


Swirl divider

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a delicious and heartfelt way to say “Happy Christmas”; I’d love to try the chocolate bark!

Etsy Roundup – Porcelain Flower Necklaces

by | Etsy Roundup, Made


Polka Dot Bride


Porcelain Flower Necklaces

  1. Porcelain roses necklace from Most Beautiful People 2. Necklace of creamy cold porcelain flowers from Cold Porcelaine 3. Silver pendant necklace from MaaP Studio 4. Campanula flower necklace from Cold Porcelaine 5. White fired porcelain necklace from MaaP Studio 6. Spring coloured porcelain necklace from Vesna Beadz

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Which means Polka Dot Bride receives a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link. As with everything on Polka Dot Bride, we only make sure we include products we love!

Cocktail Friday – Emporium Hotel’s Smoked Rosemary & Olive Martini

by | Cocktail Friday, Made


Ms Chinoiserie

Rosemary Martini

As the holidays draw closer, this Cocktail Friday, the smooth and sophisticated Smoked Rosemary and Olive Martini from Emporium Hotel is starting our festive celebrations in full swing!


50ml Gin Mare
10ml Noily Prat Dry Vermouth
1 basil leaf
1 rosemary sprig
2 olives


Prepare garnish first. On a plate, ignite and torch a rosemary sprig. Add basil leaf, vermouth and gin to the bottom of a mixing glass.  Add ice to the mix and stir to dilute. Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with olives skewered onto the rosemary sprig.

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