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THE WORLD'S EASIEST CHRISTMAS


To help you spend more time with your loved ones, I've created this series of easy recipes that should cover all areas of your Christmas day food needs.


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1/6 - CHEESE BALL

Cheese balls were very popular back in the seventies and eighties – and for good reason. They are the ultimate party snack and are so easy to prepare, especially this fuss-free version. Serve with your favourite crackers or bread.


Ingredients:

1 x 250g (8.8oz) tub cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup finely grated cheese

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup chopped nuts, seeds or dried fruit (my favourites: pumpkin seeds and pine nuts)


Method:

  • Place all ingredients, except the nuts/seeds/dried fruit, in a bowl and mix together until well blended.

  • Shape into a ball, then roll in the chopped nuts, seeds or fruit.

  • Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 0


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2/6 - BOILED CHRISTMAS CAKE

If you’re after an easy one-pot, rich and delicious fruit cake then this is the recipe for you. It can be made well ahead of time or the day before you need it.


Ingredients:

1 kg mixed fruit

250g butter, cut into 1cm (½ inch) cubes

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup rum, sherry, brandy, or orange juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour

2 tsp mixed spice


Method:

Place the fruit, butter, brown sugar, alcohol or orange juice and vanilla into a large pot. Bring to the boil then gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the fruit is plump and the mixture is syrupy.

Allow to cool for one hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F) and grease and line a 20cm (8inch) square or round cake tin.

Add the eggs and mix until well combined.

Sift in the flour and mixed spice and mix until well combined.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin.

To store the cake - wrap in baking paper and then in tin foil and put it in an airtight container.

It will keep for up to 4 weeks.


Serves: 16

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus cooling time (1 hour)

Cooking Time: 1 hour


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3/6 - MELTING POTATOES

Whenever I make this recipe, I have to make extra as I can’t resist a second helping. They are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.


Ingredients:

1 kg potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, rosemary or thyme

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1 cup chicken stock

2 tsp crushed garlic


Method:

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).

Peel the potatoes then slice off the ends. Cut into 2-3 cm thick slices and place in a large bowl.

Add the oil, butter, herbs and salt and pepper.

Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

Tip into a large baking tray and arrange in a single layer.

Bake for 15 minutes then turn the potatoes and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the garlic and chicken stock.

Remove the dish from the oven and pour the stock and garlic over the potatoes.

Place back in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the potatoes have absorbed the liquid and are crisp and golden.


Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour


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4/6 - THROW TOGETHER PAVLOVA

This no fuss, fail proof pavlova will make anyone look like a star in the kitchen. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl all at once and beat! It's that simple.

Note - do not use eggs that are too fresh and make sure they are at room temperature.


Ingredients:

4 egg whites

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp boiling water


Method:

Preheat oven to 140°C (285°F) and grease and line a baking tray.

Place all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and beat with an electric beater on high speed until thick and glossy (about 10 minutes).

Spoon mixture onto prepared tray and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes reduce oven temperature to 130°C (265°F) and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Turn oven off and allow to cool in oven for at least an hour.

Top with whipped cream and berries.


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour


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5/6 - GLAZED HAM


Whenever there is glazed ham on the menu you know there’s something worth celebrating and for me, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without one. It’s an easy way to feed a crowd and there are always leftovers to enjoy over the coming days. There are many glazes out there but this is my favorite one from Annabel Langbein that I've been using for years.


Ingredients:

1 leg of ham


Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup rum or pineapple juice


Method:

Remove your ham from the fridge about one hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius.

• Remove the skin from your ham. Using a sharp knife cut through the skin at the knuckle end of the leg and around the sides.

Slide your knife between the skin and the fat then gently run your fingers from side to side slowly easing the skin off leaving the fat intact.

• Score the ham. Using a sharp knife make incisions about 2-3 cm apart in a diagonal pattern all over the surface making sure you only cut into the fat and not into the meat. Place the ham into a roasting dish.

• (Glaze) Place brown sugar, maple syrup, and rum or pineapple juice into a small bowl and mix until well combined.

Press whole cloves into the meat at the cross-section of the diagonals.

Spread over half the glaze, then place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and spread over the remaining glaze and place a cup of water into the base of the roasting dish to avoid the glaze from burning and to keep the ham from drying out.

Place the ham back into the oven and cook for a further 30-40 minutes, basting the ham every 10 minutes or so, until the ham is brown and golden.


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6/6 - APPLE, CRANBERRY AND WALNUT COLESLAW

Take a bag of store brought coleslaw to a whole new level by adding some crunch and sweetness. Of course, you can chop up your own cabbage and carrots if you prefer.


Ingredients:

Coleslaw

1 450g (16oz) bag coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)

1 apple, peeled and grated

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 spring onions, chopped


Dressing

¾ cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup runny honey

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste


Method:

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw ingredients.

Place the dressing ingredients in a jug and mix.

Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and mix well to combine.

Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.


NOTE - If you are making this ahead of time don’t add the apple until ready to serve. Otherwise, the coleslaw will be watery.


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 0

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