- Christmas Gift Ideas

A Few Short Weeks

Week five, and the halls are being decked ready to welcome friends and relatives. Today, we extend your repertoire of dips and finger food further still. Enjoy these tips, recipes and gift ideas to get your festive fortnight off to a wonderful start.


Dipping Deliciously


Think colour, think texture, think taste and you have the perfect sharing platter of biscuits and crudités.

Now all you need are the dips:

Mango Chutney & Sour Cream

You can buy sour cream with all sorts of herbs already chopped into it. But, if you crush a few cumin seeds and fennel seeds, stir the powder into the cream with 3 or 4 spoonfuls of our Spiced Mango Chutney – wow – it’s so good, particularly served with mini poppadoms!

Beetroot Relish with Tarragon & Horseradish

This tickles all the taste buds. Just play with the combinations until you strike the right chord. Our Beetroot Relish has earthy shards of beetroot, steeped in a syrupy red wine sauce. Add a little Creamed Horseradish Sauce for gentle heat. And balance the two with freshly chopped tarragon leaves.

Bloody Mary Ketchup & Real Mayonnaise

This is the simplest combo but possibly the tastiest. Use our Real Mayonnaise as the base, adding the extraordinary flavours of our Bloody Mary Ketchup until your frown becomes a beaming smile.


Finger Food - Party with Pride


Dip, fill, dollop – Stokes, Sauces for Food Lovers, offers so many quirky ways to add depth, dimension and taste to all manner of finger food.

Stokes Devils on Horseback

Resident Chef, Andy, has created a number of festive recipes including this – HERE. His recipe uses sweet and succulent Medjool dates. They have a moreish natural sweetness that goes perfectly well with creamy blue Stilton and the relative tartness of our Fig Relish.

Cranberry & Brie Pastry Star:

Time to test your  imagination and pastry skills. Pop a brie in the middle of a baking sheet. Cover with a pastry roll. Cut and twist the ‘stars’ with a dollop of Cranberry Sauce in each. Brush with yolk and bake.

What a wonderful centrepiece!

All you need is Stokes in the cupboard, and a little inspiration:

Gruyère & Smoked Salmon Tartlets:

Again, Andy’s recipe for these tartlets can be followed – HERE.

Finish these with the punchy fruit of our Cranberry Sauce for a well-balanced offering your guests will adore.


Bold flavours combine with exquisite textures to tantalise guest taste buds – Yum.

Win smiles with these Mini Beef Yorkshire Puddings with Creamed Horseradish Sauce:

Ours is gentle, deliciously smooth Creamed Horseradish Sauce using English horseradish and fresh cream, that lets you enjoy its full flavour without bringing tears to your eyes – or upstaging your tender, sweet, roast beef.

That’s all for now. There’ll be more next week.


Sausage Rolls - the food of friendship


Sausage meat, rolled pastry, and a plate on which to pass them round.

If you don’t make your own already, this year, have a go at making them yourself. Own those smiles you put on guests’ faces, and share the pure joy of loving great food.

Let Resident Chef, Andy take you through one of his creations HERE:


British Charcuterie - for platters that matter


What IS Charcuterie?

‘Char’ means flesh, and ‘cuite’ is old French word for ‘cooked’. Charcute stems from the French noun ‘Charcuter’ which means ‘to butcher’. However, charcuterie describes prepared pork of all sorts: bacon, ham, salami, sausage, terrines, pate, confit and more.

Buy British.

Our departure from the EU has actually become one of the main catalysts for the rise of British Charcuterie. That, and the spiralling growth to support anything remotely ‘artisanal’ and ‘local’.

Supermarkets are catching on fast, stocking British meats, cheeses and charcuterie. Farm Shops are way ahead of the race – it’s not just British, it’s local.

That’s Boxing Day sorted !

For more on British Cheese, click HERE.


Some Like it Hot - Gift Deliciously


Here’s how hot a Habanero Chilli heats:

The habanero pepper ranges from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units, pairing it with its very close relative, the scotch bonnet pepper. In terms of eating heat, that’s around 76 times hotter than an average jalapeño.

It is the habanero’s heat, flavour, and floral aroma that makes it the perfect ingredient in Habanero HOT Sauce:

  • Pigs in Blankets with Sweet Chilli Sauce (Mild)
  • Habanero Buffalo Wings (HOT)
  • Cheese and Chilli Ketchup Loaded Fries (Medium)


Habanero Hot Sauce

Hot, fermented Habanero chillies balance intense depth with a subtle fruity finish, in this 2 Star Great Taste Award Winner.

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Made with red chillies and red peppers our Sweet Chilli Sauce overflows with the vitality of the orient.

Chilli Ketchup

A twist on the best – savour the rich tomato taste and then feel the heat of the spices kicking in.


The winning combo for those who like it HOT.

Great British Cheddar - Gifts to Relish


Our Cheeseboard Collection could help you decide and / or make the perfect gift for the cheese lovers in your life.

Cheddar is the quintessential British cheese,” says Jen Grimstone-Jones of Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop. “It is often the first cheese that we experience as children, and it has that comforting taste of home appeal.”

Cheddar represents a massive 50% of all cheese sales in the UK and is often the centrepiece of the cheeseboard.

The burning question now is – what pickle, relish or chutney to have with it.


“The Cheddar Gorge contains caves which were used by local farmers to keep their milk cool. Legend has it that a milk maid left a bucket of milk in the caves for too long and it coagulated to form an early version of cheese,” Jen says.


[Our thanks to Jen, Speciality Food.]

Christmas Shopping - The Farm Shop


If you’re planning festive celebrations with show-stopping nibbles & drinks; exciting platters of British charcuterie & cheese; distinctive meats & roast joints; all wrapped in charming light shows of decorations and colour themes to leave guests in awe – then take a trip to your local Farm Shop.

This is one of the nicest times of the year to visit your Farm Shop. Most make a magical effort to display so many snacking, sharing, dining and decorative ideas to make your Christmas a special one.

And, so many offer a good selection of Stokes jars of delicious joy.


This link will help you find your local (or not so local) Farm Shops, and everything you’ll need for very special ‘local’ Christmas fayre – HERE.

So, deck your shelves with jars so tasty …

…tral la la la laaaa, tra lal la laaaa.