I’ve been sitting here, wondering which to blog 10 things about – 10 reasons I love Christmas in summer, 10 reasons I love Christmas in winter, or 10 Christmas Traditions I’d like my son to grow up with. I could probably also come up with 10 reasons I dislike the Christmas season, but that doesn’t seem to really be in the spirit of Christmas.
Even though I was born and raised here in Australia, and grew up with summer Christmas, which included trips to the beach, BBQs beach-side, staying in our swimmers all day and swimming between meals, there is just something so magical about a winter Christmas. The smells of cinnamon, the wood log fires, the hot chocolate with marshmallows, the snow, if you’re lucky enough to live in regions where it snows. It’s cozy, it’s warming, it’s romantic and magical. But in a time of Facebook, where I can see how bloody cold it is for friends of mine in the other hemisphere, I’m so happy to be able to sit outside, enjoy a cold drink, go for a swim or a BBQ or a picnic…I guess you can’t have it both ways, you just have to be grateful you have it, and enjoy it any which way you can.
Anyway instead of raving about one or the other, I decided I’ll share with you 10 foods that will be on our menu for Christmas Dinner.
1. Ambrosia Salad. AKA Christmas Salad. AKA The Marshmallow Salad. I posted the recipe last Monday as part of Kate’s Menu Monday.
2. Cabbage and Crunchy Noodle Salad. Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim shared this recipe back in September.
3. A Garden Salad. I am in charge of this one. But I am one of those people who put EVERYTHING in my garden salad, including but not limited to feta cheese, tomato, avocado, capsicum (green AND red if I have it), red onion, carrot, beetroot, and will provide 2 dressings, fat free Italian, or balsamic vinaigrette.
4. Curried Eggs. AKA Devilled Eggs. AKA The Eggs. Who doesn’t love a good curried egg? I can tell you there are at least 3 of us in our family who will pinch the last one right out from under your nose if you’re not quick enough. We may, if you’re lucky, ask if anyone wants it, but we’ll be asking as it’s on it’s way from the plate to our mouth. Hope my baby sister makes enough to go around!
5. Roast Chicken courtesy of Woolworths. They really do make the yummiest roast chickens. I tried to make my own, but it just wasn’t the same. For 11 adults and 1 child, I’m guessing I’ll need about 3 chickens?
6. Leg of Ham off The Bone. Not much to say about this one, I’m not a huge lover of ham, but most of the family seems to love it.
7. Roast Vegetable Dish. These are purely to off-set the Ambrosia Salad and 3 deserts we’ll be stuffing our face with. At least we can say we had vegetables too.
8. Gingernut Cream Log. This is such an EASY and YUMMY dessert! And if you’ve never had it, you’re really missing out! All you need is some cream, whipped, and a packet (or 4) of Ginger Nut biscuits (or chocolate ripple biscuits if you like). Sandwich the cream between the biscuits, then spread over the outside, cover (carefully) and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight if possible). Dust with cocoa or sprinkle choc chips on top to serve. I could eat a whole one in one sitting!
9. Pavlova. The Aussie dessert staple. I have to admit, I’m a cheat when it comes to pavlova. I usually make one from one of those pavlova eggs you can buy from the store. One year I even bought a BOXED pavlova! But I don’t think anything can beat a from-scratch pay with lots of yummy fruit and a dollop of cream. Check out taste.com.au for this recipe.
10. Cheesecake. A while ago a friend of mine shared a delicious raspberry, white choc cheesecake recipe with me that was so easy to make, and tasted just divine. Now, I’m going to share it with you!
250g plain sweet biscuits (I use Nice) 1 cup marscapone cheese
125g melted butter 3 eggs beaten lightly
1/4 cup (60ml) cream 1 tblspn cornflower
100g white chocolate 1/2 cup caster sugar
250g cream cheese
450g fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, any works!)
Blend or process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer into large bowl, stir in butter. Press mixture over base and side of 24cm tin. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 130deg fan forced. Place cream and chocolate in saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth. Cool 5 minutes.
Beat cream cheese & caster sugar w/ electric mixer until smooth. Add marscapone cheese. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in chocolate mix and corn flour. Place tin on tray and pour in mix. Add 150g berries to the top, and bake 55 minutes. Cool in oven with door open, refrigerate overnight. Decorate with remaining berries and icing sugar and watch them salivate!
Wherever you are, whoever you are sharing Christmas with, and whatever is going to be on your table, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2012. If we have happiness and health, the rest will fall into place.