Food & Drink | Posted 16 Dec 2015

The most wonderful time of the year is soon upon us and with it, comes the usual traditions - cheesy Christmas carols, cheating at Charades, wishing for snow that never comes, and of course, the standard turkey dinner. But this year if you fancy doing things differently, browse below a few ways to spice the menu up a bit, or even a lot.

Christmas Turkey

Stuff the Turkey

Some say that Christmas Day is supposed to be comfortingly predictable, and the menu is supposed to be reassuringly unchanged, after all, that’s part of the charm. So if you fancy something different, but the idea of taking the big bird off the table is just inconceivable, here’s a way to shake things up teeny weeny bit, with a twist on the usual stuffing.

Brioche and Mushroom Stuffing

The sweetness of Brioche with the warmth and earthiness of mushrooms is a combination that rivals the usual sage and onion stuffing any day. Check out this easy recipe from and see what all the fuss is about.

Chorizo and Chestnut Stuffing

Give your stuffing some oomph with a bit of spicy Spanish sausage, and together with the sweetness of chestnut this unusual combination is mouth-wateringly delicious. We’re pretty sure this recipe from Good Housekeeping will fire things up on Christmas Day.

Apple and onion stuffin’ muffin

These mini savoury muffins are adorably different - they can be made separately the night before and served warm or at room temperature. Either way you’ll have guests ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ when you bring them to the table. We’re so glad we stumbled across this brilliant recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray on Food Network

Swap the Turkey

Beef WellingtonBeef Wellington by cyclonebill/CCYB (Image size may been modified)

If you’d rather eat your own hat than have yet another dry Turkey for Christmas, we have some alternatives that’ll save the day…and your hat.

Goose – the Cratchits had it on Christmas Day in Dickens’ Christmas Carol, so really, Goose is as traditional as it gets. It’s a fattier, juicier bird and goose fat is just perfect for making the best roast spuds you’ve ever had. If you’re feeling a little nervous about trying something new, this simple Jamie Oliver recipe will guide you step by step.

Suckling pig - okay so you probably can’t cram a whole pig in your oven like the Tudors did but get yourself down to the Butcher’s and order a nice juicy Pork roll ready stuffed with herbs and sausage meat, and you can have yourself a feast fit for a Tudor King. This recipe from BBC Good Food is bursting with flavour and gives you great tips on getting your crackling just right.

Beef Wellington – Tucking into a beautifully cooked Beef Wellington would make any Christmas feel special, and bets are on, you won’t be getting any complaints about the lack of the usual Turkey. It takes a bit of extra effort but you can prepare a lot of it the night before. We bring you this recipe from Gordon Ramsay, the master himself.

Sprouts are not the only veg

There are a hundred ways to dress up the humble sprout but let’s face it, for some it’ll always be just a small weird cabbage. There’s no need to kick poor sprout off the table at Christmas but you can always add a ‘side less ordinary’, for those long-suffering guests.

Mulled red cabbage with clementines

Red cabbage is great for adding a bit of colour to the table, and can be sweetened in all sorts of ways – brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, apple juice and more. This recipe from BBC Good Fooduses Christmassy clementines to sweeten this versatile veggie.

Kale with Christmassy nutmeg

Renowned Masterchef judge Michell Roux Junior is not a fan of the sprout himself and instead prefers Kale for Christmas. This under-rated vegetable has a rich earthy taste and with Michel Junior’s recipe you’ll be wondering why you didn’t put it on the menu sooner.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

As veggies go Broccoli is always a safe bet, even kids quite like it. This recipe from Taste of Home is so quick and easy to prepare you can pop it in the oven just before dinner, while the meat is resting.

Party nibbles

Tis the season for friends to pop over (uninvited, with zero warning) to wish you a merry Christmas. And in keeping with the Christmas spirit you’ll want to offer them a tipple or two and a nibble or three. So here’s some deliciously different, super easy canapé ideas that you can rustle up at a moment’s notice.

Beetroot and salmon bites

When it comes to serving party canapés, they say looks matter just as much as taste. These beetroot and salmon bites look pretty as a picture, taste delicious, and you’ll see from this Good House Keeping recipe, they take no time at all!

Cream cheese and cranberry dip

Cranberry is an absolute favourite at Christmas time and you’re bound to have some in the cupboard if guests pop in unexpectedly. This delish dip recipe from Julie’s Eats and Treatsis ready quicker than you can say, oh what a lovely surprise to see you!

Baked Brie and Pecans

Cheese is one of those guilty pleasures you allow yourself to indulge in at Christmas, and guests will happily gorge on this melt in the mouth treat. This recipe from Martha Stewart, takes no effort at all and the pecans add a little something different

Let us do Christmas for you

Here’s a way to do Christmas very differently indeed. How about you don’t slave over a hot stove, you put your feet up and let us do the cooking for you? At Jurys Inn our delicious Christmas menus are now available, why not have a quick peek - and just imagine what it would be like to have a totally and utterly stress-free Christmas?

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