Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all had a great day spent eating and relaxing with your friends and family.
I have been fortunate enough to have a number of Christmas gatherings over the last week and have been busy baking of course. Today, I thought I would share some pictures!
A group of high school friends gathered one afternoon and we spent a number of hours making our way through a high tea we prepared while catching up on what everyone has been up to for the last year. My contributions included a basic slice, chocolate cheesecake cupcakes and chocolate caramels. These indulgent treats were balanced out by sandwiches, cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and strawberries. A friend also made wine jellies (I know!) so I might just have to get the recipe for those and share it here.
Over the last few days I have also prepared a casual dessert table, made dairy free chocolate cream pie, chocolate cupcakes and neenish tarts (my sisters favourite – she is up visiting at the moment!). I love this time of year, lots of baking and cooking and eating 🙂
For those of you on holidays, enjoy the rest of your time off! I’ll be posting some recipes in the next week or so (any requests?)
I have just returned from an excellent few days holiday in Auckland. I used to live up there, so it is always good to go back and visit old friends – and did I mention there are some pretty amazing eateries up there?! My husband and I enjoyed gelato at the Takapuna Beach Cafe (AMAZING – lemon curd is my favourite although the salted caramel runs a close second), delicious tarts, donuts and cakes at Little and Friday, and topped it all off with dessert at Euro.
We had an awesome meal at Euro – lots of seafood – and managed to share two desserts to finish off the meal. We (well me…) chose the warm chocolate pudding and the pavlova, and were not disappointed. The pavlova was hands down the best I have ever had, and the chocolate pudding made me want to up my game for Christmas dessert!
Pictures below – have a great rest of the week,
This steamer tastes like sitting at my mom’s kitchen table making gingerbread men!
The only time of year that I notice I’m an ex-pat is during Christmas. And that’s mostly because: 1) It’s summer in New Zealand and there isn’t a hint of snow and 2) there isn’t any eggnog anywhere. I can’t do anything about the snow, but my mom sure helped me out with the eggnog situation! She emailed me this recipe and it is perfect!
I decided that with just over a week to Christmas to go, it is the perfect night for an eggnog and a Christmas movie. (It also might be an excuse just to buy another miniature bottle of alcohol. I wish I could high five the person who started bottling tiny amounts of alcohol and selling it. I never drink rum, so buying a big bottle is a waste. This is the exact amount and needed…and it’s cute!)
This recipe is from the December 2012 issue of Canadian Living magazine.
2 cups of milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp rum extract
1/4 cup bourbon or dark rum (optional)
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming and bubbles are forming on the outside. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add around half the milk to the egg mixture very slowly, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan and cook for around 3 minutes. The mixture should lightly coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the vanilla, run extract and booze.
Pour into 3 normal sized mugs, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Cheers, Rosie 🙂
Today I got woken up by the courier because a package arrived today from Canada, full of Christmas presents from my family! So it is time to stop procrastinating and decorate my Christmas tree, so they have somewhere to sit (taunting me) until the 25th!
I have cranked the Christmas music and decided I needed something festive to drink. Enter this super easy mulled wine recipe. Most recipes make you heat the spices and wine for at least an hour to get everything to infuse. This one cooks the sugar and spices together first to create a spice syrup, which the wine is then mixed into. And it’s delicious, if a little sweet. Next time I will cut back the sugar to 100g from the original 150g and see what happens!
I am ready to start decorating!
*Note: I used the cheapest bottle of red wine I could find. It cost me $6. I can imagine that a higher quality wine, might yield an even more delicious drink.
Recipe from: http://adelineandlumiere.com/2012/08/07/best-ever-spiced-mulled-wine/#
750ml red wine
150g castor sugar (*UPDATE: 75g of sugar works perfectly and isn’t too sweet)
1/2 cup orange juice
peel of one lemon
peel of one orange
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh nutmeg
pinch of ginger
Place everything but the wine in a large pot. Add a splash of wine to ensure that the sugar is covered by liquid. Cook on a medium heat for around 5minutes until you have a thick, and slightly spicy syrup. Pour in the rest of the wine and turn down the heat, to prevent boiling. Stir the syrup and wine together and heat for 5minutes until the wine is hot. Taste. The flavours will be stronger the longer the wine is heated. So if it needs a little longer, leave it to heat further.
Strain and serve. I used a china tea cup because my mom always said everything tastes better out of china and I always listen to her 😉
Enjoy, Rosie 🙂
I was lucky enough to spend my Tuesday night catching up with some friends who I had not seen for nearly a year! A great evening was spent chatting and laughing and of couse enjoying some tasty food.
I had about an hour to put everything together. For starters I went with a snack board: cheese, crackers, hummus, beer sticks and nuts. A nice way to get things started.
The main course was nachos, one of my favourite dinners. I served it up ‘help yourself’ style, with guacamole, sour cream and grated mozarella for toppings.
I used chipotle sauce in the nachos (as well as onion, chili, garlic, mince, capsicums, a jar of pasta sauce, a can of beans and some secret herbs and spices) and I was really happy with how the end flavour turned out. There was also leftovers which will make for a quick and easy dinner tonight!
To finish off the meal I served a dessert platter which had chocolate covered prunes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate strawberries (courtesy of the bulk bins at New World) and my home made chocolate truffles (AKA chocolate balls of goodness…..). There was also some fresh pineapple on the side which helped balance out the rich chocolate items.
All in all it was a great meal, made even better by having fantastic friends to share it with. I am looking forward to many more dinners throughout the holiday season.
What do you like to serve when you have guests?
Have a great rest of the week,
One “problem” I have with living alone is that baking sucks because there is never anyone else to help me eat it. If I have a sucky day at work and want a slice of chocolate cake, I have to make an entire cake with only myself around to indulge. And because I had a sucky day, there is never stopping at once slice.
Enter the magic of single serving sweets. Like this chocolate mug cake. I’ll admit it isn’t the best cake I’ve ever sampled. But it is delicious and chocolatey and checks all the bad day food boxes!
This recipe is slightly adapted from Chocolate Cover Katie (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/06/one-minute-chocolate-cake/)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2-3 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients together really well in a mug. Add the wet ingredients and stir. Microwave 30-40 seconds and eat straight from the mug like a savage.
Cheers, Rosie 🙂
I love strawberries. They are the epitome of summer for me, and when they are in season I can’t get enough. I must confess that I have probably eaten a kilo of them in three days. That is a lot of servings of fruit! Most of that kilo have been devoured in the form of strawberry pie. I got the recipe from How Sweet Eats and instead of making individual pies, i made one large one.
To begin, roughly chop 1 kilogram of the sweetest and most flavoursome strawberries you can find and place them in a baking dish. Sprinkle over 1 T flour, 2 T sugar and a pinch of salt then mix to coat all of the strawberries.
Roll out some puff pastry and place over the baking dish. Coat this with an egg wash (1 lightly beaten egg) and place into a 200 degree C oven for about 30 minutes. Don’t stray too far from the kitchen as the top layer of the pastry can brown quite quickly. Alternatively you can cook the pastry and strawberries separately, but I only have one rack in my oven (terrible right?!) so I took the risk and cooked them together and was still happy with the results (translation – this did not last 24 hours in our house…..)
This dish is ideal to make now, while strawberries are reasonably priced, or if you are lucky enough to have a bountiful strawberry crop!
Happy Sunday everyone,