One of the nicest things about Christmas has to be all the ‘naughty but nice’ nibbles we get to enjoy.  The shops have plenty to choose from, but I really like to make my own, and there are plenty of options that are quick an easy – here are two of my favorites;

Satsumas in brandy


  • 1kg satsumas peeled
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 450ml brandy
  • Optional – Star Anise & Cinnamon Sticks


  1. Pack the satsumas into clean sterilised jars, layering with sugar as you go and pushing the star anise & cinnamon sticks in around them (If using).  Leave at least 3cm at the top of the jar.
  2. Pour in the brandy, tapping the side of the jar to remove any air pockets.
  3. Seal the jars, shake well and store in a dark cupboard for up to 1 month.
  4. Serve cold from the jar, or heated gently in a saucepan with cream.

Fruitcake Truffles
Whilst whipping up your Christmas Cake, why not make a little extra and use it for this fabulous recipe.


  • 6oz / 175g squares of semisweet chocolate (50-70% dark)
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter – softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or Grand Marnier
  • 6oz crumbled fruit cake
  • 40oz / 115g castor sugar


  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate, cream, and butter until blended and smooth.
  2. Stir in liqueur and fruitcake crumbs; chill for 2 hours or until firm.
  3. Shape into 1” balls and chill for at least 20 minutes. Before serving, roll in icing sugar or cocoa powder and chill for 20 minutes.

In season at this time of year:

Vegetables; Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Red Cabbage, Sweed, Turnips

Fruit & Nuts; Apples (Egremont, Russet, Blenheim Orange, Orleans Reinette), Chestnuts, Clementines, Cranberries, Pears, Satsumas, Tangerines

Meat: Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Pheasant, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon

Fish & Seafood: Brill, Clams, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters (Native & Rock), Plaice, Scallops, Sea Bass, Turbot

Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.

This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of SE22 magazine.