Christmas Planning & Recipe Ideas Countdown

arwen

It’s almost here – again! How on earth did that happen?

So obviously you are wanting to plan for food for the big day & any celebrations with family & friends leading up to Christmas 🙂 So I bring to you some inspiration & ideas to get you through this crazy busy time 😉

The Festive Flavours Cookbook & Chip is really great with some really good ideas for making your own gifts too like flavoured salts or spice rubs or flavoured sugars.

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The Festive Flavours Cookbook is one of 4 books currently available to purchase in a book bundle saving you money. There are also lots of other great gifts available from the Thermomix online shop.

One of my favourite recipes from the Festive Flavour Book is  the Pork & Chicken Terrine & I am definitely making that again – it was really delicious, it has cranberries & pistachios in it too.Terrine

Our family love my Thermie green avocado dip & this year I will be making the warm roasted cauliflower hummus from Dani Valent Cooking – speaking of which, wouldn’t a subscription to this site be a great gift for Christmas – there are already over 40 recipe videos available (index here) with a new one added each week, Dani Valent also has a Christmas ebook available to purchase for $15 or it’s free to her subscribers. See some of her recipes on my post called my addiction to Dani Valent Cooking 🙂 I am almost certain we will be having the Basque Cheesecake on Christmas day too!!

Also don’t forget about the recipe platform now called Cookidoo – what a great way to plan out your dishes for the festive season – if you haven’t signed up yet it is really easy to use with a great shopping list feature too. Here is the link to sign up to Cookidoo & you will get 1 free recipe collection when you sign up.

I am having a fun countdown on my social media pages sharing a different recipe idea each day – I hope you enjoy it & get some great ideas to use for your special day 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone!!

Day 1 recipe is my friend Kelly’s Dutch Spice Speculaas recipe here

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Day 2: Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet for Cocktails or Mocktails

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

 

Day 3 Thermie Green Avocado Dip This is one of the best dips ever – even if I do say so myself, put it on your Christmas & or entertaining menu this season or maybe just put it in your mouth!! Your taste buds will thank you 😉

The Best Avocado Dip

The Best Avocado Dip

Day 4: I introduce to you the “Cheesecake” You can put as many or as little layers as you like of your favourite cheeses & I have included a layer of my favourite fruitcake to eat with cheddar cheese. You have to trust me on this it is seriously good – I also made some apple paste to go on my “cheese cake” because I’m all out of my homemade quince paste. I was also toying with the idea of making rounds of homemade crackers to put in between the cake layers so when you dismantle the “cheesecake” you could break the big cracker into a few pieces to serve with the cheese too.

cheesecake

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Day 5 inspiration is Smolt’s Lemon Curd  You can give it as gifts or serve it on or with your christmas desserts – Like pavlova with fresh berries!!

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Day 6: Black Forest Trifle is another family favourite YUM!!

Black Forrest Trifle

Black Forrest Trifle

Day 7: Southern Stars White Christmas Custard – Coconut, White Chocolate, Frangelico & Vanilla Bean – our Thermomix team created this recipe for a custard challenge last Christmas & it is very delicious 🙂

Vanilla Custard

Day 8: My Fruit Mince Surprise – it’s got rhubarb in it!! YUM! You can do so much with this delicious stuff – Add some fruit mince to some cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip, stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard. Use fruit mince with thick custard or whipped cream as a profiterole filling, or use in fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls.

fruit-mince

Fruit Mince Surprise
Author: 
Recipe type: Christmas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Use Fruit Mince in profiteroles mixed with cream or thick custard, fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls. Add some Fruit Mince to cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip. Stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard.
Ingredients
  • 1 orange zest
  • 500 g apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • 200g chopped rhubarb
  • 100 g dates dried
  • 80 g craisins
  • 100 g currants
  • 15 g fresh ginger piece chopped/ minced
  • 60 g flaked almonds
  • Juice 2 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Brandy (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place orange zest, dates and fresh ginger into mixing bowl and mince for 20
  2. sec/speed 9.
  3. Add apples and chop 4-6 sec/speed 6.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except brandy and cook for 35 min/Varoma/
  5. /speed 1. Cool slightly,remove the bay leaves & stir in cointreau or brandy, set aside
  6. until ready to use.

 

Christmas Profiterole

Christmas Profiterole – serving suggestion for my Special Fruit Mince

 

Day 9: Ellie’s Turducken. Yes it’s a chicken in a duck in a turkey!!

 

Day 10: Spiced Cherry Brioche from the Festive Flavours Cookbook – you can put any of your favourite fillings in 🙂 spiced-cherry-brioche-3

Day 11: Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits make up a few batches of this & store in the freezer in log ready to slice & bake when unexpected guests arrived or an attack of the munchies! Perfect with a glass of bubbles!

Sarah's Cheese Biscuits

Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits

The Agrarian Experience

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The Agrarian Experience is something I have wanted to do for years, so when a group of girls put in for our friend Charlie to go as a special gift for her special birthday I just knew I had to go along just to make sure she had a good time 😉

The Agrarian Kitchen is located about 45 mins drive from Hobart. It was a beautiful sunny day & the drive there was very nice – we were both so excited.

We were off to a good start to our day with cake & coffee on arrival 🙂 The dining room had 2 massive book shelves filled to the brim with cookbooks, so I felt right at home.

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Next we had a tour & taste of the garden, starting with herbs.

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We got to see the animals too 🙂

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We had each been given a basket & clippers to pick the food as we toured through the garden.

 

Our classroom for the afternoon 🙂

 

Charlie & I choose the oyster blade dish to make – So Rodney showed us how to trim & cut the meat. Ours didn’t look quite as good as his, but it still tasted great!

Charred spring onions – only a few moments before had been picked from the garden.

 

Chickpea Saffrito

 

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We learnt how to roll out the pastry & each made our own pie for dessert – one of the couples had made the sweet shortcrust pastry by hand & the delicious rhubarb & elderflower filling. It may have got a bit competitive to see who was going to make the best looking pie 🙂

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Then we all rolled out the pasta dough & made our own ravioli, filled with homemade ricotta.

Goats curd

 

After our big day – it was finally time to serve up our first course 🙂

 

And they have Ridgeline Pottery too!

 

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And some Stefano Lubiana wine too!!

 

Time to cook our marinated oyster blade YUM!!

 

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WOW!! What an amazing day, we absolutely loved it all. It was such a relaxing day & so much delicious fun, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I look forward to trying another class again soon. Thanks so much to Rodney & Séverine for an awesome Agrarian Experience.

Thermomix Balls or Squares

It’s super easy to throw together some bliss balls or protein balls with a Thermomix, myself I just can’t be bothered rolling the balls so I normally press the mixture into a tray or rectangular silicon moulds – I did roll balls for these photos with the help of my nephew. We made a nut free balls that my sister makes for their school lunches, apricot & coconut balls & the classic Choc Date Balls with almonds.

ALI’S NUT FREE CHOC BALLS

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Nut Free Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
You can make balls or squares, if you don't have quite enough of one of the seeds sesame seeds are a good addition or you can add anything really like chia seeds or goji berries too.
Ingredients
  • 250 grams sunflower seeds
  • 50 grams Pepita Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 grams water
  • 300 grams dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • Desiccated or Shredded Coconut
Instructions
  1. Process sunflower & pepita seeds for 5 secs on speed 10, place this mix to one side.
  2. Put dates & water into the TM bowl & cook 2 mins 100 degrees speed 2.
  3. Add vanilla, raw cacao powder & reserved seeds & process for 5 secs on speed 6.
  4. Roll into balls & roll each ball in coconut.

 

APRICOT & COCONUT BALLS

Apricot balls styled & rolled by my nephew

Another great apricot & coconut recipe are these Apricot Squares – you press the mixture into a tray & if you are in a rush into the freezer to set it quickly & then it is really easy to just slice into bar or square shapes, one of my customers also drizzles hers with white chocolate 🙂

CHOC DATE BALLS

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NOTE: Styling Balls can be a challenge here is a pic from our Prep Prop Style & Shoot Workshop & below links to some of JJ’s Ball recipes.

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Try JJ’s Lemon Macadamia & Coconut Raw Truffles or her Raw Choc Chip Cookie Dough Truffles. Even truffles is a fancier name than balls & makes it sound a bit more posh 🙂

 

 

 

Green Eggs & Ham Fritatta

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Yes the name of this recipe is a link to one of my favourite childhood books by Dr Suess. After eating this fritatta I’m sure you would say you like to eat green eggs & ham (or bacon) anywhere. This is a recipe that is just in my brain & you can use any vegetables or any cheese, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, great for lunch boxes too – See my live face book video of me making the dish here. I’d love to know any of your variations, I sometimes make a fritata with smoked salmon as well .

 

Green Eggs & Ham Fritatta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9 serves
 
Very easy to vary with different veggies 🙂
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato roughly cubed (no need to peel)
  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100g spinach or silver beet leaves
  • 8 eggs
  • 250g cream or greek yoghurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 200g feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to 180 degrees & in your baking dish roast your sweet potato, onion & bacon rashers, you don't want to over cook the bacon & the sweet potato should be just cooked through.
  2. Place garlic & parsley into the TM bowl & chop for 2 secs speed 7. Add the spinach & chop roughly for 3 secs speed 5.5 - you may need to use your spatula to help push all the leaves into the blades.
  3. Add the eggs, cream & salt & pepper & mix for 5 secs speed 4. Spread the mixture over the roasted sweet potato & bacon. Crumble over the feta cheese & return to the oven to bake for approx 20 mins or until golden.

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

I grow rhubarb, I don’t do anything to it it just grows – that’s my favourite kind of gardening!! Maybe it grows so well because I got the original plant from my green thumb Mum? Anyway I have so much of it I am always on the hunt for a good rhubarb recipe either sweet or savoury, and I will upload more of my favourite rhubarb recipes soon – however this Rhubarb Crumble Muffin recipe is a regular because it is so easy & we normally have all the ingredients available. Watch me make them in my live facebook video.

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rhubarb-muffins

Mini Rhubarb Muffins without the crumble topping

 

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 Muffins
 
You can replace some or all of the rhubarb with apple if you wish.
Ingredients
  • 12 portion(s)
  • Rhubarb Muffins
  • 220 grams Spelt Flour (white or whole), Or plain white flour or ½ of each
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 120 grams Rapdura Sugar, Or normal sugar
  • 150 grams trimmed rhubarb
  • 100 grams buttermilk, Or plain yoghurt or milk
  • 60 grams coconut oil, Or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • Optional Crumble Topping
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, or hazelnuts
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Place rhubarb into TM bowl 1 sec speed 6. Scrape out of the bowl & set aside. No need to clean the bowl.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients & sugar & process for 5 secs speed 5.
  4. Add flour & baking powder & rhubarb process 3 secs on speed 5 till just incorporated.
  5. Scrape mixture into paper muffins cases.
  6. Make optional topping as per below if you want to.
  7. Sprinkle with optional crumble topping if desired. (No need to clean the bowl after making the muffin mixture- place all the crumble topping ingredients into the TM bowl [locked] & turbo a couple of times, you still want them still a bit chunky. Sprinkle a little on top of each of each muffin.)
  8. Bake for 20 mins until golden & cooked through.