Dec 26, 2015

Christmas 2015. Happy Days Indeed.

In the immortal words of Adele, 'hello from the other side'.

We were off to a good start when I managed to beat my little elf to the tree on Christmas morning to play Santa.

It's been the most joyous Christmas I could have asked for this year.  Full of everything I wanted it to be.  My parents flew in to join my brother, sister in law and I.  We celebrated the first Christmas of one nephew and received live photo updates of my other nephew's celebrations in Singapore.  There was an embarrassment of food made and selected with love.  And I also hosted a guest who would otherwise have been alone for Christmas Day this year.  That's pretty close to perfect in my book.  Oh, and the weather was even pleasant enough for an evening walk before bed.  Happy days indeed.

It's even involved a little treadmill time to give all those festive kilojoules something to do.

A little time to centre myself before that final attack on the shops Christmas Eve.

I've adapted so easily to this Christmas break business.  Was Christmas Eve really only on Thursday?  And today Saturday?

Christmas Eve was all about the dessert.  I started at the crack of dawn with the jelly layers for my trifle.  It has to be Aeroplane jelly for me and I only like to use red coloured jellies.

Some might daub their sponge roll layers with straight sherry but I like to add a couple of tablespoons of jam as well.  Heating both over a low flame helps dissolve the jam into your wine.

Next up is the precision art of arranging the sponge roll slices around the inside of the trifle bowl.  This is my $10 Kmart one that survived being pitched over the front gate.

Long story short, I like to pour cooled but not set jelly over the sponge and fruit layers and allow each to set in the bowl before adding the next.  I did a separate layer of canned pear in one jelly and peaches in the next.  I went from darkest coloured jelly (port wine) at the bottom to lightest (strawberry) at the top but the ombre effect really wasn't that obvious at the end of the day.  

 Over the top of the last jelly layer went some jam roll painted in more of the sherry and jam mixture.  And then the custard.  I added a little whipped thickened cream into the custard.  And into the thickened cream, I add about 50g of finely grated white chocolate.  Because it's Christmas. Over the custard went the rest of the whipped cream.

This is a non boozed up baby trifle I made for Toddler SSG.  Instead of sherry, I used some of the syrup from the fruit to moisten the sponge roll layer.

And here are the mother and child trifles chilling out on Christmas Eve in the fridge.  Along with the champagne.  And the rum balls.

And then it was Christmas Day.  And we started as we meant to continue.  With superior food and lots of family love.

My Aunty was Christmasing in Perth this year but she was with us in spirit by way of her famous shortbread.  The chocolate cake is Fat Mum Slim's epic recipe, dressed for the season in red and white icing candy canes.

Smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche on blinis for breakfast with a mimosa, what more could ask for at breakfast?  I'll be straight with you, they weren't home made blinis but were lovingly microwaved straight out of the packet.  I added a little lemon juice, zest, chopped dill and some mustard to the creme fraiche.

And then it was time to get down to get lunch started.  If you ever have trouble with cutting your Hasselback potatoes too deeply, place metal skewers on either side of your potato halves to prevent your knife from going too deep.  A handy tip from the Woolworths instore magazine.

A handy tip from me is to do all your Christmas lunch roasting and baking in disposable foil trays.

And here was our spread for lunch.

The cheese platter was epic as well, if I do say so myself.  There's something about a good wedge of cheese on a cracker of some sort that does wonders for a conversation, don't you think?  Or perhaps its the wine that goes with the cheese and crackers, who knows?

Dessert number one were Sally's mocha cheesecake brownies.

Which required this much chocolate and they were, accordingly, delicious.

And this is how the trifle looked when it got fully dressed with berries and can of passionfuit pulp.  Of the two desserts on offer, the trifle ended up being the more popular and went home with our guests in little care packages.

No matter how much I eat for Christmas breakfast and lunch, there's always room for an earlyish dinner / late afternoon tea.  Which in my case was a second go at the cheese plate and some more of that festive chocolate cake.

I wasn't feeling as rusty as I feared I would this morning.  Must have been because all that food yesterday was made with love....

But seeing the Bake Bar open and ready for business on a detour on my way home was a sight for sore eyes none the less.

I do love a festive family morning coffee and pastry run.

Braved the Boxing Day sales today!  At not one but two shopping-opolises.

Went all fancy for a new bottle of make up brush cleaner.

It's a spray on called Brush With Success and is $24 for an 150ml bottle.

The rest of my shopping was all related to Toddler SSG's threenager party that's coming up in a few weeks.  Big W's Party Shops are The Source for all things party related.  I'm going all DIY again this year (as I always do).  I have a theme and I have a menu.  It's unlikely to go to plan but it's going to be a memorable morning all the same.

Do you have any good ideas for party games that newly three year olds might like to play?


  1. I am so glad you had such a lovely Xmas xxx

  2. Happy happy Christmas! your festive season sounds wonderful xxx


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