Tag Archives: Christmas

No bake eggnog balls – an easy last minute Christmas dessert

21 Dec

eggnog-balls-a-quick-and-easy-christmas-recipe

Last Christmas, I discovered eggnog. You so thought I was going to write… `I gave you my heart`, didn`t you? Or am I the only Wham! Fan in the house? #surelyNot

I digress… as summer in Sydney is usually 35C we are more likely to drink juice or champagne (or both…) rather than a heavy, custard-type beverage.

But I love baking with eggnog. The slight rummy taste and notes of nutmeg make it such a festive concoction that every year, come December 1, I am stalking my local supermarkets for the first appearance on the shelf. Continue reading

Rum and raisin Christmas spirit cake

18 Dec

christmas-spirit-rum-raisin-cake

I am not a fan of fruit cake. There, I said it. I know it is a tradition, especially at Christmas time, but I find fruit cake heavy and cloying and overbearing. I once made a Christmas cake from scratch, spending the GDP of a small nation on pricey dried and glace fruit. It went pretty much untouched on Christmas Day, and after storing in the pantry for a month or so I ended up throwing it out.

Never again. Continue reading

The perfect Christmas Day salad: macadamia, salmon and Asian cabbage

14 Dec

salmon-macadamia-salad

The weather is warming up here in Sydney, which means picnics and barbecues are the mainstays of eating. We Sydney-siders love a chance to eat in the great outdoors, whether its on a towel at the beach, on a friend`s verandah or in the park. Summer is when Sydney is at its showy-off best: hot days, blue skies, balmy nights when the sun takes forever to set, festivals, long days at the beach…

Reading this, you wouldn’t actually realize that summer is my least favourite season. The heat and I are enemies. I only have to look out the window on a summer day and I am burnt. My Anglo Celtic skin demands broad-brimmed hats, long sleeves, SPF 50-plus and shade. Give me a shady spot with a tall glass of something cool and spiked and a slightly breeze and I am happy.

The best part about summer is eating fresh, healthy food. As a pescetarian of some 25 years it is the perfect opportunity to indulge in salad with a protein hit.

This salad is the perfect meal or side dish for Christmas Day – it has crunch, luxury items like macadamia nuts, greenery, and some protein. It takes minutes to throw together but looks and tastes amazing.

It would also be a perfect Boxing Day meal, an ideal antidote to the previous day`s eatfest.

I recommend assembling this salad right before serving so it doesn’t wilt – you really want the crunch of the cabbage leaves. This salad serves 4 so feel free to multiply it to serve the number of guests on Christmas Day. I always serve salad dressing on the side rather than pouring it over.

GATHER:

One Chinese cabbage (wombok) shredded finely

Two packets hot smoked salmon, roughly broken up – I prefer the pepper fillets

One bunch flat leaf parsely, leaves removed and stems discarded

300 grams roasted macadamias

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

dressing:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

christmas-day-salad-with-salmon-and-macadamias

LET`S GET TO IT:

Place all ingredients, except the dressing, in large salad bowl and toss. Serve with dressing on the side.

Dressing: place all ingredients into a glass jar with screw top lid and shake until combined. Place in glass serving jug. If making dressing in advance remove from fridge about 20 minutes before serving.

salmon-macadamia-salad

 

 

 

Christmas peanut butter cookies

10 Dec

christmas-blossom-cookies

Christmas in Sydney is a hot and humid affair. There`s none of the snow and ice skating and roasting things by a roaring fire. Here it is a swim after a cold seafood lunch and trying to avoid the flies and sunburn. Continue reading

Sweet and salty Christmas popcorn

7 Dec

sweet-salty-christmas-popcorn

Regular readers will know that popcorn is one of my very fav foods. I am somewhat obsessed with it – I even named my mini schnauzer after it! I have an air popper machine at home and it gets quite the work out. If I am out and see popcorn for sale I buy it. I have even been known to go to the movies, buy popcorn, and leave.

Usually I just have salt and butter – mmmm, butter – but this morning I was thinking of how I could `Christmas-ize` popcorn. A quick pre-school-drop-off trip to the supermarket later and I had some M&Ms and a plan.

In Australia the array of Christmas confectionary is very poor compared to what my friends in the US have. You can buy single colour M&Ms here but they are tricky to find. I bought a pack of mini M&Ms and set Miss9 to work, segregating all the reds and greens. I also bought a pack of mint M&MS which were mainly green, with a few whites. I am trying to think of a Christmassy way of using these.

This fun and easy Christmas snack is a cinch to make. Please do not use microwave popcorn. It is coated in so many very weird chemicals and it tastes like a bucket of chlorine.

I found this recipe on the fabulous Two Sisters Crafting website, which is packed with so many cool recipes. I just reduced the quantities. Check it out: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/

This recipe makes heaps and is perfect for sharing at Christmas picnics, BBQs and school Christmas gatherings, which is where this batch is destined to end up. I also think Santa would love a dish of sweet and salty Christmas popcorn to eat on Christmas Eve.

My pro-tip: wash the saucepan the instant you have finished making this recipe – you do not want melted marshmallow congealing on your pan. Trust me on this.

GATHER:

6 cups popped popcorn

freshly ground sea salt

3 cups of white marshmallows

45 grams butter, diced

1 cup red and green M&Ms or Skittles

popcornsanta

Here`s Popcorn the mini schnauzer looking unimpressed at her Santa photo 2016 🙂 She hated having her photo with Santa but look how cute she is! Squee! 🙂

LET`S GET TO IT:

Spread cooked popcorn on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and remove any unpopped kernels.

In a large pan over low heat melt together the butter and marshmallows. Stir constantly. It will become a really sticky, weird science-experiment texture but continue on. When it is 90 per cent melted turn off heat and keep stirring until there are no lumps of marshmallow left.

Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn, then use a fork or tongs to stir popcorn to coat as much as possible. Sprinkle over the M&Ms, and stick some to the marshmallow sauce. Grind over the sea salt to taste.

Set aside to cool then break into chunks to serve.

sweet-and-salty-christmas-popcorn

No churn rum and raisin ice cream

29 Dec

rum raisin chocolate ice cream

I love an easy, no churn ice cream recipe! Even if you are living in a part of the world currently covered in snow and frost, I promise you that your guests would be thrilled to be served a bowl of home made chocolate, rum and raising ice cream.  Continue reading

Donna Hay easy shortbread

24 Dec

shortbread recipe - the hungry mum

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this recipe yet! I have made this shortbread for every Christmas for years and years and have always had perfect results. Continue reading