Dec 11, 2012

My Christmas Playlist. Cooking From the Fridge and the Fruit Bowl.

Okay.  I think I'm finally on the same page as the rest of the world.  It's two weeks until Christmas and the walls of SSG Manor are shaking to the sounds of my favourite Christmas music.

No prizes for guessing that Michael Buble's Christmas album makes up the bulk of my Christmas play list.
Rod Stewart's album just got downloaded from iTunes this morning.

And last but not least, Mariah Carey's cover of All I Want for Christmas also made the cut.  It was exhausting work trying to put the play list together.  iTunes has gone and changed its format and if the new version isn't a textbook example of The Devil's Work then I don't know what it.

Unfortunately, I'm the only person in the neighbourhood who's loving my choice of music.  I'm typing away to not only Rod Stewart but also the loud protests of next door's dog and car alarm...

Equally controversial is the weather right now in Sydney.  What's going on, summer?  Why are all us morning walkers and iTuners having to wear fleece hoodies on top of our T shirts?  The cooler weather has seen me spending a lot of time in the kitchen today, trying to give new life to odds and ends from the fridge and the fruit bowl.

Starting with these apples that were on their last legs.  I decided to turn them into stewed apples to have for breakfast using this recipe.

There's nothing like cooking with cinnamon and nutmeg at this time of the year.  The recipe called for a  stewing syrup to be made from 1/2 cup each of brown and white sugar as well as water, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Scales - $20 or so from Costco.  Battery operated and weigh in both US and metric,

The above ingredients are added to 4 tablespoons of butter which is around 56.7g of butter.  64g is as close as I could get things.  Today's cooking session was the perfect opportunity to debut my digital kitchen scales.  How embarrassing that it's taken me 5 years of having my own kitchen to get around to buying a set of scales!  I'm usually a cups, packets and spoons kind of cook.  Exclusive use of those measurements is a major selection criteria for me when deciding to buy cook books.  I do believe that these scales have opened up a whole new range of recipes to me.

It was very satisfying peeling and chopping the apples.  7 cups is meant to be around 6 apples.  I used Fujis but I think Granny Smiths work better if you're buying apples specifically to stew.

I channelled Donna Hay for a moment as I melted my butter by using the silicon spoonula I received at that Christmas book signing function the other week.  The spoon is a good width and shape for stirring and combining.

To the melted butter I added the rest of the syrup ingredients and simmered them until they thickened.  The scent of sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg together wafted festively through the kitchen all morning.

After half an hour or so, I was the proud owner of a pot full of deliciously stewed apple.  I added some sultanas to the apples.  This recipe makes a caramel flavoured apple that is probably too decadent for everyday breakfast at any other time of the year but is perfect at Christmastime with a bit of yoghurt.

Today's other little project involved these unlikely partners from the fridge - apple sauce and light sour cream.  As you can see, I finished off both containers.  Another couple of empties for the recycling bin and more space in the fridge for festive goodies...

My anaemic Kermit green salad dressing.  It still tasted pretty darn good though.

Would you believe you can make a salad dressing from applesauce and sour cream?  And what's more that it could be called something as witty as Green With Envy?  My effort today wasn't as green as it should be on account of my using parsley flakes instead of fresh parsley.

But it was envy inducing all the same.

I'm addicted to hard boiled eggs and par boiled broccoli in my salads these days.  Don't worry, I  never get the boiling times for either confused.
How could a dressing based so heavily on fat free and low fat ingredients give such kick to a salad?

I'm putting it down to the addition of cumin and chilli flakes.  There is a tablespoon of mayonnaise and some parmesan involved as well but the uniqueness of this dressing comes from the cumin and chilli.

Well, that's all the news from me today.  My new Christmas play list has inspired me to put up a few decorations this afternoon.

Bye for now.


  1. Thanks for confirming for me that I shouldn't bother updating my itunes - I'm sure eventually it will force me to but lately I just keep hitting ignore, will continue to do so! Took me long enough to figure it out when I first installed it, hehe!

  2. Love the sound of caramelly stewed apples , but the link doesn't work !?

  3. Hi Penny

    Just fixed it.

    SSG xxx

  4. WOW-that is amazing service ! You're a sweetheart ; thank you very much !

  5. Love that MB Christmas album, it's the loveliest. Very festive indeed. Humming along to it in the ads of some droning tv show myself tonight. The stewed apples peaked my interest, but that salad dressing, well THAT is something else.


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