In the midst of recipe cards and packing up for Christmas IRL, I realised Guac doesn’t actually look that Christmassy right now!
It probably has something to do with the fact I’ve been planning, shooting and working on Christmas recipes since September, when I started putting together some ideas for a vegan Christmas dinner for Cook Vegan, and a festive party food supplement for Vegan Life. I’ve talked about these plenty over on my Instagram, but with deadlines galore, drinks, ice skating and parents to work around, there hasn’t been time until now to share them on here…
So this lunchtime, on a quick break from other freelance work, I snapped a few photos from home in York, where my Mum has been decorating like a beast all week (yes, those are Brussels sprouts on her homemade wreath, no, I don’t know either). And it finally felt like the right time to share these bad boys...
Here are the mags I worked on for December! It might be a little late now, but you can pick up these two magazines in most WHSmith and bigger supermarkets, and it’s so brill to see my work in them- I can’t tell you!
I worked with Cook Vegan throughout 2016 on recipes for their magazine- I’ve been doing about six recipes per issue (you can catch the final one in their January and February issue out in a few weeks). Sometimes I'd shoot them with my friend Will Eckersley if we had time, sometimes just me! Thankfully for the Christmas shoot, we had a few days to get everything nailed, but it is tricky when you need all of those dishes ready at once! I cooked all these recipes in the morning, Will shot them all while we had decent daylight, and then a load of mates kept (mysteriously) popping by to help us eat it all! It was so much fun to work on a proper vegan equivalent to a huge Christmas dinner, and then getting to have some killer leftovers in the middle of October. I think it's clear why I might not be feeling the novelty of it now!
Then, as you may have seen in October, I travelled up north to my parents’ to shoot 20 recipes for Vegan Life’s party food supplement. My parents were so good at letting me take over their house - I had to cook and shoot all the recipes in 1.5 days- I’m still not sure how I managed it! It was above and beyond the hardest thing I’ve done this year, but being able to flick through a little supplement and spot a load of my own recipes is such a great feeling.
I am super chuffed with how these recipes came out, and I think the supplement would be worth buying if you just like the idea of making party food. A lot of them you could definitely use year-round- just swap around some of the festive ingredients for more seasonal things. I've always, always had a major soft spot for party food (my death row meal is always a buffet that I'm left alone with), so it was so much fun coming up with a load of vegan options to try. And yes, I did manage to test them on the rest of my family (vegetarian) and our friend, builder and omnivore, Chris, who got into the habit of arriving to work with my leftover potato cakes and bhajis, so I think they'd definitely work with a crowd!
Anyway, enough nattering! I’m meant to be signing off! Here’s to a wonderful holiday period for you- I hope you get some R&R and TLC, and I’ll see you all next week, when I’ll be prepping my FAVE time of the year for Guac- ROUND UPS AND HIGHLIGHTS.
Take care and thanks for stopping by once again,
p.s. In case you were wondering, I'm not cooking Christmas dinner this year as I'm having a year off kitchen duties, so I haven't been practising as many dishes as I usually would. However, you can find a load of advice about cooking vegan recipes over Christmas below (including the infamous curry menu from 2015), or comment/ tweet/ email me if you need extra advice.