Christmas musings

custardIt’s been four days since Christmas and I’ve finally worked up the energy to write a blog post. I love the laziness that the Christmas period engenders. Abundant leftovers means that dinners are cobbled together, time off work means that everyone is socialising, and said socialising and leftovers leaves people feeling pooped.

window

This is just a little recap of all things Christmas-related, and a hint of things to come.

In the lead up to Christmas I made dad’s famous Christmas pudding with him (it’s a yearly tradition), you can find the recipe here.

slice

I also experienced some Swedish Christmas cooking and attended a Swedish Christmas eve party, which was delicious!

uncooked

jam

caramel

I also dropped (and broke) my computer at the same time that I was busy baking up a Christmas storm. I didn’t get to post all of my Christmas recipes as a result, but will save them for another time.

I had a recipe card done up for me by house.com.au, and am very excited about it! I hope to continue working with House in the future.

Christmas day was held at my family’s home; Norman was very festive, there was food galore, we had a Christmas tree inside, and one decorated outside as well.

sausage

shameless selfie

lollies

Mum made a gorgeous mango and lychee salad and I promise that I’ll steal the recipe from her before Summer ends.

mango

I consumed far too much of the glorious Christmas pudding that we’d made, and found one of Simone Walsh’s adorable pudding coins in my piece!!

merry coin

The final winner of my teapot competition has been in touch, and all will be sent off tomorrow! The other three winners were announced here, but Gemma had a busy Christmas period and accepted her teapot only recently.

redGemma won the red teapot because of her enthusiastic response – she associated the colour red with my nurses uniform – I love my career, would never do anything else! My granny shopping trolley that I had to purchase at the good food and wine show, you gotta love it for helping carry shopping up 6 flights of stairs!!!
My Harrods Christmas bauble, has set the theme for this year’s decs #obsessedbychristmas”

Christmas time is a big deal in my family, and I love sharing my recipes, decorations and experiences with my readers. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Watermelon salad and Christmas smells

aboveWhen I was younger my brothers and cousins used to have competitions to see who could spit their watermelon seeds the furthest. We’d line up on Nan and Pop’s balcony in Nambucca, still in our swimmers from the morning’s beach adventures, and launch the tiny little black rockets towards a particularly large gum tree about 100 metres away.

Christmas day was never far away when these competitions took place. The house would be full of delicious Christmas smells; salt-laden-seaside air, cherries, ham, tea, and tinsel.

Barbecued sweet potato salad and Summer

My family barbecue all year round. I once told the Boy that you could barbecue anything…he didn’t believe me. My original claim may have been slightly hyperbolic, I don’t think it was completely off the mark! You can barbecue starters, mains and desserts, you just have to know how!
plateBarbecuing the vegetables in this recipe gives them a subtle charred, smokey flavour and contrasts the freshness of the lime beautifully. As the Australian weather warms up, this is a great way to treat yourself to a little taste of Summer.

Orange and Kidney Bean Salad

At the moment I am completely obsessed with kidney beans. It really wasn’t until this year that I saw their beauty – they’re delightful additions to an amazing range of foods, and they’re good for you!

They can pad out taco meat, make up your pattie or be eaten by themselves. Kidney beans are cannily adaptable, but often overlooked. As the blog progresses I’ll try and showcase some more bean-driven recipes. There are other types of bean, I’m not just restricting this to kidney beans – get excited!!

In last night’s post there was a salad accompanying the lasagne – this salad is easy to throw together and looks amazing!

Orange and kidney bean saladIMG_4213

  • 60ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 oranges
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • ½ red onion
  • 120g feta
  • 420g can red kidney beans

Combine oil and red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. I like my dressing tangy, so I put a generous 3 tablespoons in – you may wish to put in two tablespoons and test it before adding the third.

IMG_4228

Carefully slice off the rind of your orange, then slice the orange thinly.* Finely slice the red onion, cube the feta and rinse the beans.

Place all ingredients on a plate and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing and serve!salad

rind

* The rind from the orange is really pretty, but it’s also useful! If you’ve got time, cut some of it up really finely to make into orange icing (recipe soon!), add coarse sugar to it and make a facial scrub or soak it in vinegar to make a natural cleaning product.