A Christmas Review

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The internet issues were even worse yesterday so the promised post did not eventuate.

I think that I will remember Christmas 2016 as the one that seemed to revolve almost entirely around food.  We had numerous members of family around at different times over the Christmas and New Year period so feeding everyone seemed like a constant merry-go-round.  However, I must say that it is one that I enjoy.

As always, the Christmas Day menu was a mixture of some tried and true favourites along with some more recent additions to my repertoire.  I was catering for 9 adults and 3 children with a few restrictions due to allergies and intolerances.  The menu was gluten-free, nut free and no seafood or kiwifruit.

Here is what we ate:


Pineapple and ginger cocktails
Grilled asparagus and proscuitto-wrapped haloumi


Cold chicken curry and rice
Cold roast beef with quinoa stuffing


Quinoa tabouli
Mango and avocado salad
Potato salad
Tomato and pomegranate salad
Grated carrot, grated cheese


Ice-cream Christmas pudding
Meringue roulade with raspberries


Chocolate brownies
White Christmas

Everything turned out well.  We had plenty of food but we did not over-indulge to an excessive extent.  The highlights for me were the quinoa stuffing for the beef as well as the desserts.  I had a general idea of how I wanted to make the stuffing so just made it up as I went along until I had the right flavour and texture.  My daughter the roulade as she had last year.  It is relatively simply but oh so luscious!  I Christmas pudding was a reprise of a similar one I made about 30 years ago.  This time I soaked the fruit (in orange juice as it is not cooked) before stirring it through the softened ice-cream along with some mixed spice.  I also added 23 sixpences which added an element of fun for the kids – big and little!

Unfortunately, I was busy preparing, cooking and eating food so completely forgot to take any photos.  You will just have to imagine how good it all looked and tasted.


Planning For Christmas

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It is a little over 7 weeks until Christmas so it is time I at least gave some thought to plans for the festive season.

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This year we will be at home for Christmas and most of the family will be joining us with some coming from interstate and overseas.  It is a few years since we have been at home for Christmas Day as the last 3 years have included 2 Christmases in Melbourne and another at the beach.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to be together and share a meal on Christmas Day.  That is the essence of Christmas for me.  I expect there will be fun times and other meals to share during the extended break at that time.

I will most likely be catering for 9 adults and 3 children (9, 7 and 6).  There are food allergies/preferences to consider so there will be no gluten, seafood, nuts, roast pork or kiwifruit.  I will have to put my thinking cap on as I like to come up with some new things to try as well as tried and true favourites.

We tend to keep the gift-giving modest and low-key as most of us do not really need more ‘stuff’ in our lives.  I try to include experience gifts for our grandchildren as they will remember those far more readily than another pile of toys.

What do your Christmas preparations include?


Project 333 – Christmas Shopping


While the rest of Melbourne was creating shopping mayhem in the CBD (or so it seemed), I sauntered down to my favourite shop in Bridge Road, Richmond.  I had planned to fit in some clothes shopping during this trip and here is what I found.

3 camisoles in my base colours of red, white and black.

Black spotted blouse with pintucked front in a fine 100% cotton fabric.  I am looking forward to wearing this with a black skirt.

Sleeveless top
Black/white 100% cotton top.  I also bought the same style in navy/white.  These will be perfect with skirts and shorts.

Dress and jacket
Finally, a dress and jacket.  The black dress is sleeveless and fitted.  The cropped jacket has 3/4 sleeves and is lined.

As always, the pieces were bought to mix and match with my existing wardrobe.  I can already see many possibilities for these new additions.  I will be looking at culling a couple of my older fitted t-shirt tops and generally reviewing my wardrobe to make sure that I am getting the best use from the clothes that I love.

Buoyed by the success of my clothes shopping expedition, I then headed into the city ad braved the crowds to buy a new handbag but more about that another day.

Tomorrow it will be back to earth when I need to buy the food to make a simple Christmas lunch for 4 people.  I have a rough idea but will be heading to the markets to see what is in season and catches my eye so that will be my guide.  I will share more about my Christmas menu with you tomorrow.