Your self-catering cottage is booked for Christmas… but what are you feasting on?


Are you ready for the frenzy of festive entertainment? Luckily, we have some super quick, yet divine dishes by the food writer, teacher and caterer, The Needy Greedy all of which can be prepped in advance so you can enjoy quality time with the nearest and dearest. 

These recipes were filmed at Finchcocks Oast, in Goudhurst, a wonderfully spacious holiday home sleeping up to 42 guests – certainly the ideal celebration house for Christmas entertaining. The Needy Greedy has shared her favourite Christmas Canapés which are simple yet impressive little bites that go hand in hand with the festive period.

So, pour yourself a flute of Kent’s finest sparkling wine and try out these Christmas food ideas with the full recipes below.

Whipped Feta & Hot Honey Dip With Kent Crisps

Here is an extraordinarily good dip for you. Once you have tried it, you will be making it time and time again. It can all be made in advance. Paired with the incredibly delicious Kent Crisps – we used sea salt and they were perfect for scooping up the taste sensation.


For the Hot Honey:

2 tsp chilli flakes

150g runny honey

1tsp of apple cider vinegar

For the Whipped Feta:

100g Feta

160g Greek Yoghurt

60g Cream Cheese

To serve:

200g Sea Salt Kent Crisps


Warm the honey, chili flakes and vinegar in a pan allow to come to a gentle simmer but do not let boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Don’t let it boil or it will be too thick! Then sieve, you can retain the sticky chilli flakes to use as decoration. Allow to cool.

Crumble the Feta and put it in a bowl with the Greek Yoghurt. Beat them with an electric beater until smooth, then beat in the cream cheese. Pile the whipped feta on a plate and drizzle over a third to half the hot honey. Serve with crisps. 

You may need to redrizzle the honey halfway through as everyone scoops it up!



Sweet & Spicy Pecans

These little beauties are perfect to have with drinks, add to a hearty salad or as a gorgeous homemade gift. Just 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes in the oven and you are left with a sweet spicy sticky nut that is totally addictive.


150g pecans

30g maple syrup

15g brown sugar

10ml of groundnut oil or another flavourless oil

Pinch of cayenne (quantity will depend on your fondness for heat!)

A teaspoon of chili flakes (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment. Mix all the ingredients except the nuts in a large bowl to form a sticky syrup. Add in the nuts and coat well with all the sticky spicy sauce. Pour onto the lined baking sheet and pop into the oven for 15 mins. Ideally, give them a stir every 5 minutes to make sure they are cooking evenly. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Dates Stuffed With Goats Cheese, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

A simple, pretty and utterly delicious canapé. These decadent Medjool dates take moments to prepare, but are so tasty and look beautiful. The Medjool date is the king of dates in both taste and size, with a chewy caramel flavour that goes so well with the lemony goat’s cheese and crunchy nuts. You can prepare in plenty of time ahead, at least a couple of hours. Best served at room temperature.


Serves 4 approx as part of a canape selection

10 Medjool dates

3 tbsp of creamy goat cheese

2 tbsp shelled pistachios – roughly chopped

A few pomegranate seeds*

Tiny mint leaves to decorate


Slit the dates open, but don’t cut completely all the way through. Remove the stone. Take a teaspoon of goat’s cheese and stuff the date. Sprinkle over the pistachios, carefully place a few pomegranate seeds on the cheese, and add a few little springs of mint.

*Top tip –  use frozen pomegranate seeds for this. As you only need a few there’s no need to waste. Defrost on a plate with some kitchen roll.


Smoked Salmon Mousse On Cucumber

Last but not least is another delicious, easy, pretty canapé recipe for Christmas celebrations or a summer feast. Light as air lemony salmon mousse on cool cucumber. The mousse can be made the day before, and the cucumber cut a day ahead and stored in the fridge. Assemble up to a couple of hours before and refrigerate.


100g smoked salmon

50g cream cheese

Juice of half a lemon

50ml whipping or double cream

A tablespoon of dill – plus extra for garnish

1 cucumber

Lemon zest to decorate


Pop the salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice and dill in a mixer. Add black pepper and blitz. Whip the cream until thick, then fold into the salmon mix. Put in a piping bag (or you can use a teaspoon, it will taste the same). Slice the cucumber about 1.5cm thick. Pipe or spread over salmon mix.

Fridge until needed and garnish with some lemon zest, dill and black pepper.

For more tasty recipes to enjoy in your self-catering holiday home, see our blog post on Summer Recipes with The Needy Greedy, or Nigel Barden’s Kent Feast.