Christmas-recipes

Criminally Easy Christmas Recipes For Lazy Ass Girls

Ridiculously easy. Ridiculously delicious.

December 22, 2016

16 Last Minute Christmas Recipes For Unorganized People

Forgot you were meant to bring a Christmas dish? 

December 24, 2015

9 Lazy Girl Treats To Bake This Christmas Eve

Can’t be bothered? Try these zero effort recipes.

December 23, 2015

The Cutest Mini Christmas Puddings You’ll Ever Make

Shake things up with these non-traditional Christmas puds.

December 11, 2015

13 Boozy Cocktails That’ll Help You Survive Christmas

Eat, drink and [try to] be merry. 

December 2, 2015

3 Easy Entertaining Recipes

The Lazy Hostess Babe Scott shares her favourite easy finger food recipes – plus they’re a great way to use up leftovers (your guests will never know!).

Excerpt from The Lazy Hostess by Babe Scott. Published by Random House, RRP $29.95.

Jumping Jalapeños 

Makes 24

12 fresh jalapeño peppers, cut in half
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
12 thin slices streaky bacon, cut in half crosswise

1. Place toothpicks in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 15 minutes to prevent them from burning.

2. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Cut stems off peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs.

4. Fill each pepper half with cream cheese. Wrap each pepper half in a half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

5. Arrange on the baking sheet, seam side down. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, flip, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through.

You can assemble these the day before the party and keep them in the fridge, covered. Bake them just before the party.

entertaining2

Paris Stilton Crostinis

Makes 24

1 long baguette
Olive oil
80g (2 tbsp) apricot jam
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
24 dried figs, coarsely chopped
250g cream cheese, softened
110g Stilton
60g pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut baguette into ó cm slices and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Brush the top of the crostinis with oil and bake for around 10 minutes until they are lightly toasted.

3. In a small saucepan, stir apricot jam and vinegar over low heat until blended. Stir in figs and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat.

4. Mix cream cheese and Stilton with a fork or in a blender.

5. Spread a generous layer of cheese mixture on the crostinis. Top with 1 heaped teaspoon fig mixture and ó teaspoon chopped pecans.

6. Bake 3 to 5 minutes in the oven.

You can prepare these the morning of the party and bake just before your guests arrive. Serve warm.

Tip: An easier but still yummy option is simply to spread fig jam on a crostini. Put some blue cheese on top and serve cold.

entertaining3

Bourbon Beef Sliders

Makes 24

680g minced beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
120ml bourbon
250ml barbecue sauce
1/2 jar (200g) jalapeño slices
6 hamburger buns

1. Season beef with salt and pepper and form into 24 small patties.

2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the patties and cook until just about done in the middle: approximately 3 to 4 minutes each side. Remove the patties from the pan and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and return the pan to the stove.

3. Add diced onions to the frying pan and stir to cook: about 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat before pouring in the bourbon (so it doesn’t catch fire).

4. Return to the heat and stir, reducing the bourbon by half: about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce and jalapeño slices.

5. Reduce heat to low and place the patties in the bourbon barbecue sauce to simmer, turning to coat, for a few minutes to absorb the flavour.

6. Flatten the hamburger buns with a rolling pin and cut each into four pieces. Place each patty on a piece of bun, spoon on some sauce and top with another piece of bun.

You will need to cook these just before the party. Serve warm.

Tip: You can use turkey or chicken if you don’t want to use beef.

What are your go-to finger food recipes?

December 24, 2013

Maple Christmas Truffles Recipe

These luscious maple-infused chocolate truffles are easy to whip up and look so impressive on the Christmas table. Serve after dinner with coffee or cocktails.

Ingredients

100ml milk
¼ cup ground Gloria Jean’s Coffees Maple Whole Beans
500g dark chocolate, chopped
250ml cream
50g butter
1 heaped tbsp glucose
70g cocoa

Method

1. Bring milk and coffee to a simmer in a saucepan. Strain through a coffee filter or clean tea towel.

2. Melt 500 grams of chocolate and place in a large bowl.

3. Bring coffee-infused milk, cream, butter and glucose to the boil and pour over chocolate. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny.

4. Allow to set in the fridge until well chilled.

5. Cover a tray with the cocoa.

6. Use a teaspoon to shape into small balls and place on the tray.

7. Gently shake the tray so that truffles roll around and become covered in cocoa.

8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

What are you cooking for Christmas? Share your Christmas menu in the comments!

December 24, 2013

Macadamia Christmas Cookies Recipe

Make a batch of these macadamia Christmas cookies and watch them disappear as soon as they hit the table. Filled with yummy Christmas flavours of craisins, berries, white chocolate and crunchy macadamias, the whole family will love this festive cookie recipe.

Makes 16-18

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup macadamias, roasted
1/2 cup dried craisins
8 strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
1 cup blueberries

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C, fan-forced.

2. Using an electric beater, beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until thick and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat until combined.

3. Fold through the flour and baking powder, then add the white chocolate, macadamias, craisins and berries to form a chunky mixture.

4. Place 1 heaped tablespoonful of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays and gently press down to flatten slightly. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Note: these cookies are best eaten on the day as they soften as each day goes by because of the fresh berries. They still taste great but just a bit more cake like.

December 20, 2013

Macadamia Christmas Ham Recipe

This macadamia-crusted ham will be the centrepiece of your Christmas table (you may want to get a bigger ham as everyone will want seconds!).

Serves 12

Ingredients

7-8kg leg of ham on the bone
1/2 cup ginger marmalade
100g brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup macadamia butter*
1/4 cup Davidson Plum chili sauce (or sweet chilli sauce) 150g macadamias, finely chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C, fan-forced. Position an oven shelf in the lowest position and remove all the other shelves.

2. Use a small sharp knife to cut around the ham shank (end of the leg) in a zigzag pattern 10cm from the end. Carefully remove the skin from the ham in 1 piece by running the knife and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Place the ham in a baking dish lined with several layers of non-stick baking paper.

3. Combine the marmalade, sugar, mustard, macadamia butter and chilli sauce in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the marmalade melts. Brush the ham with half the marmalade glaze to evenly coat. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Press the macadamias firmly onto the ham and brush with remaining glaze. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to rest before carving.

*Macadamia butter is available at some farmers markets, specialty stores or it is easy to make your own, see the recipe at australian-macadamias.org

What are you cooking for Christmas this year?

December 18, 2013

5 DIY Gift Ideas They’ll Really Love

So often in the frantic pre-Christmas chaos we can get caught up in the ‘spirit of giving’ and end up shelling out for some socks and scented candles that no one really wants. So why not get your Martha Stewart on and add a personal touch to the festivities by making your own gifts. We’ve found five ideas that are ideal DIYs for the time poor, or those on a tight budget. They’ll create the homemade touch this Christmas, without having to learn to crochet, cook or craft.

Seasonal gin
Not only is this super quick and easy to do, it looks great, and being a bit boozy – is a sure winner. All you need in a bottle of middle range gin (which are all on sale at this time of year), frozen cranberries, a cinnamon stick, a couple of oranges, some sugar, a big jar and some little ones (old coffee jars work well). Fill about a fifth of your big jar with frozen cranberries and add the cinnamon stick. Then with a potato peeler, peel ribbons of rind from your oranges and place in the jar too. Dissolve a few heaped tablespoons of sugar in the gin, and pour into the jar before topping up with the remaining alcohol. Leave to soak in a cool dark place for a few weeks. Just before Christmas, sieve your mixture and decant into smaller jars. Look for individual gift jars that are between 300-400 ml; as most bottles of gin are 700ml this means you can easily make a few gifts from the one bottle. Add the rind and a few berries into the individual jars for decoration and add a label or ribbon to finish it off. Come Christmas day, it’s a beautiful liquor to drink with lemonade.

Fabric-covered diary or notebook
For anyone super-organised or a bit arty, a diary or notebook is always a popular choice. Individualise the gift by making a creative covering. All you need is a notebook, a measure of fabric, strong double-sided sticky tape and whatever other crafty touches you like (ribbons and buttons are always good embellishments – but remember to get some fabric glue). Lay out your book on top of the fabric and measure around it, adding a 2cm boarder and cut. Then add the double-sided sticky tape about the inside covers along the boarder. Much like laminating school books, fold the fabric over and attach to the sticky tape. Voila, a personalised notebook.

Flowerpot
A living gift is a sweet and homely present that will keep on giving for as long as the new owner keeps it watered. Buy a small plant, such as a herb or flower and plant in a basket or even large mug. Decorate with a Christmas ribbon and you have yourself an unusual, homemade gift. Chives and basil work perfectly for anyone that loves to do some cooking, otherwise, Peace Lilies or orchids make stunning homewares.

‘Homemade’ mince pies
Mince pies are a Christmas tradition, but making them from scratch is a Herculean task that I’m sure not even Nigella actually does, and in the immortal words of the internet, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’. Luckily, you can get the homemade feel, without having to torture yourself making pastry or fruit mince. Buy a few sheets of sweet, shortcrust pastry and some nice fruit mince – which helpfully, is sold almost everywhere at this time of year. Defrost the pastry slightly so it softens and cut out circles to fit your muffin tin. Add a dollop of the mincemeat (the fruit), and cut out and pop on a pastry lid. You can get decorative with the lid, using star shapes, lattice or the traditional full-flat cover. Brush over a little egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, then bake. It could not be easier! Little tip, if you want to add an extra kick to this Christmas treat, add a splash of brandy to the fruit mince and serve with cream. You’ll be everyone’s favourite.

Brandy marmalade
This one is a tad more fiddly, but super impressive and definitely worth it. Thinly slice about four large oranges and a couple of lemons (rind included), cover with about five cups of water, glad-wrap and leave to soak overnight. In the morning, heat the fruit mix in a heavy bottomed saucepan on high until the rind is tender. Add warmed sugar (about one kilo) and stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes. To check it’s ready, add a dollop to a cold (refrigerated) plate, then return to the fridge for five minutes. If after that five minutes it’s runny, it’s not quite ready, but if you push it with your finger and it wrinkles, you’re set! Remove from the heat and add a hearty splash of brandy then distribute evenly into sterilised jars (remember, hot marmalade into hot jars or cold into cold jars).

What are your favourite DIY Christmas gifts to make and receive?

Kate H Jones is a lifestyle and pop culture writer at Clavicle Capitalism.

December 16, 2013

Easy English Fruit Cake Recipe

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own Christmas fruit cake but been too intimated, this is the recipe for you, from Sheraton on the Park’s Head Chef David Watson. Simply marinate fruit and nuts, then let the batter sit overnight and you’re ready to bake. This Christmas fruit cake recipe is not dense like the fruit cakes you’re used to, but lovely and light and ideal served with homemade custard or ice cream.

Ingredients

150 gm almonds, cut in half
200 gm dried apricots
100 gm pistachio
100 gm macadamias
250 gm raisin
250 gm sultanas
150 gm dried fig
100 gm dates
250 gm black currants
200 gm red wine
150 gm green apple peeled and diced
30 gm honey
250 gm brown sugar
200 gm eggs
250 gm unsalted butter yellow
300 gm flour
2.5 gm baking powder
2.5 gm mixed spice powder
2.5 gm cinnamon powder

Method

1. Mix the apples with all the dried fruits and nuts. Soak overnight with red wine.

2. Melt the butter, then add to all the remaining ingredients and the marinated fruit and nuts and refrigerate overnight.

3. Bake in your desired cake mold at 175C for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the cake. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean but moist.

Fruit cake? Pavlova? What’s your favourite Christmas dessert?

December 13, 2013

Matt Moran’s Citrus-Cured Salmon Recipe

Save this recipe for Christmas: celebrity chef Matt Moran shares an elegant summer entrée of citrus-cured Yarra Valley salmon with caviar and baby beetroot from his show Paddock to Plate. Curing your own salmon is really straightforward, and is sure to impress guests around your table.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 small side of salmon (about 900g), belly trimmed
150 g white sugar
100 g table salt
20 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
20 coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
1 lemon rind, finely grated on a microplane
1 lime rind, finely grated on a microplane
1 orange rind, finely grated on a microplane
½ cup dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons white sugar
3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
500 ml water
8 baby beetroot, small tender leaves trimmed and reserved

To serve
2 oranges, segmented
Handful of endive leaves
Crème fraiche
50 g Yarra Valley salmon caviar
Juice of ½ lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Mix sugar, salt, crushed peppercorns and coriander seeds, citrus rinds and half the dill in a bowl to combine well. Spread half the curing mixture in the base of a tray large enough to fit the salmon snugly. Place salmon, skin-side down, in tray, then spread remaining curing mixture over the flesh, rubbing in as you go. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to cure (you’ll need to cure for at least 12 hours for a light cure and up to 24 hours for a more intense cure).

2. To cook the baby beetroot, stir the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and then bring to the boil. Add the beetroot and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. To check if ready, pierce with a skewer, then set aside to cool in the liquid. Drain beetroot and peel (use disposable gloves if you want to avoid stained hands), cut into halves and set aside.

3. Rinse curing mixture off the salmon under cold running water, pat dry thoroughly with absorbent paper. Remove pin-bones with fish tweezers, then spread mustard over salmon flesh with the back of a spoon. Scatter remaining dill over and press to cover.

4. To slice the salmon, starting at one end of the salmon fillet, cut straight down through the flesh with a thin sharp knife until you hit the skin, slicing at 2mm intervals (don’t cut all the way through, the flesh should still be attached to the skin). To remove the skin, cut down through the first incision then slice between the skin and the flesh, keeping your knife flat and cutting along to remove the skin in a single piece (discard skin).

5. To serve: arrange six or seven salmon slices on serving plates, divide beetroot among plates and scatter the orange segments, endive and baby beetroot leaves over the top. Dollop with crème fraiche and salmon caviar, then squeeze the lemon over the top, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and serve.

Paddock to Plate airs on Wednesdays at 8.30pm, The Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel.

November 19, 2013

Christmas Recipe Ideas: Peppermint Truffles

Get the kids involved on Christmas morning making these irresistible peppermint chocolate truffles to serve with coffee or a glass of eggnog.

Ingredients

250g pure cream (not thickened cream)

275g dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g butter

20ml (1tbs) Queen Natural Peppermint Extract

crushed pistachio nuts

cocoa powder

Method

1. Pour cream into a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add all chocolate and stir until melted and combined.
Add butter, stir until melted. Add peppermint essence, stir until combined.

3. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4. Line a tray with baking paper. Place spoonfuls of chocolate mixture on tray.

5. Dust your hands with crushed pistachio nuts or cocoa powder, and gently form spoonfuls into balls. Roll each ball in either nuts or cocoa powder.Refrigerate until firm. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

What’s on your Christmas menu?

December 24, 2012

Christmas Cocktail: Lychee And Mint Muddle

This refreshing lychee cocktail has so many uses: try it with canapés, as the base of a fruit punch, in a frappe or as a mocktail without the sparkling wine!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp honey or caster sugar

20 fresh lychees, peeled and deseeded

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup of ice

750ml bottle of sparking wine, or lemonade for mocktails

Method:

Blend honey/sugar, 10 lychees with mint leaves and ice. Place into a large jug and top with sparkling wine (or lemonade if using). Halve remaining lychees and add to the mix. Serve in chilled glasses.

To make a frappe, place honey/sugar, 15 lychees, mint and 2 cups of ice in a blender for 1 minutes. Pour into a large jug and top with lemonade or sparkling wine.

What’s your favourite cocktail to serve at Christmas?

December 23, 2011

How To Match Christmas Food With Wine

So you’ve stocked the fridge with bubbly and someone’s brought a bottle of rose, and hold on, Aunty Mary will only drink Shiraz. How do you match Christmas food and wine? Easy, just follow our dish-by-dish pairing guide.

 

Canapés

Most finger foods go well with sparkling wine or Champagne. Our tip? Have a few extra bottles of bubbly in the ice bucket as it always goes down quicker than you plan.

Seafood

Try a refreshing riesling or sauvignon blanc.

Creamy pasta and chicken

Verdelho or viognier have lovely textures that match white meat and cream-based entrees.

Christmas ham

A buttery chardonnay that’s not too heavy on the oak is a great partner for sweet, succulent ham.

Roast pork or turducken

Merlot or tempranillo pair well with roasted white meat.

Roast beef

Open up a bottle of Shiraz before the meal and let this heavy hitter breathe, then sit back and enjoy the feast!

Vegetarian dishes and salads

Rose is amazing with summer vegetables, herbs and stir-fried greens.

Christmas pudding

Young ports aren’t as cloying as more mature vintages, but still allow you to relish the sumptuous fruit and spice flavours of traditional pudding.

Cheese plate

Gewürztraminer has lovely aromatics that pair beautifully with the richness of cheese.

Pavlova and summer desserts

A dry Champagne goes hand-in-hand with summer fruit, light pastries and pavlova.

December 22, 2011

Posh Pork Scratchings

Celebrity chef Justin North shows us a delicious way to use up leftover pork skin. These posh pork scratchings make a wonderfully crispy snack to serve alongside drinks this Christmas.

Ingredients 500g pork skin 4 Tbsp SAXA cooking salt Cooking oil Method 1. Score pork skin with a sharp knife about 2/3 of the way through the skin. Then rub skin with the salt. Store uncovered in the fridge overnight. 2. Wipe off the excess salt and place between two heavy trays and bake in oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven before the skin becomes crisp. 3. Allow to cool slightly then slice with the score into strips. 4. Deep fry skin at 200°C in cooking oil until light, crunchy and puffy. Sprinkle with a little SAXA cooking salt and serve. Try Justin’s recipe for Pork Roast with Perfect Crackling!

December 22, 2011