#Christmassy #canapes

Made these delicious canapés for Christmas Day but would be lovely anytime.

Bought these delicious Pastry shells from Simon Johnson, purveyors of fine foods in Sydney and filled them with a mixture of soft goats cheese, marscapone and sour cream with some finely chopped spring onion to give it a savoury zing.

The pastry shells are flaky and light, unlike many store-bought versions. Highly recommended for savoury or sweet fillings.

Topped with yummy gravalax from Peninsula Seafoods who are the best seafood suppliers on the Mornington Peninsula and topped with red “caviar” and finely sliced green tops of the spring onion.

Looked great and tasted great

Savoury gravalax and red caviar pastry shells

#Christmas #pavlova

In my book, the best pavlova has a crispy, crunchy outer and a pillowy soft marshmallows centre.

Our Christmas Pavlova this year ticked all those boxes and more with delicious ripe mango, berries, juicy passionfruit, and a topping made of sweet whipped cream and marscapone .

Absolutely delicious, thank you Ashley!

Christmas Pavlova 2021
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside:Christmas Pavlova

A #true #Christmas #wreath …ala Tomato, Bocconcini, Basil & spinach salad

Served with a side of poached salmon ..

Sprinkled with salt and black pepper, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar..

Simple, effective and delicious!


#Christmas Day Menu and #Recipe Links

These are the recipes for our family Christmas favourites.

After years of rifling through handwritten notes and writing and rewriting lists of ingredients, I think I have finally recorded all the recipes on the blog.

This year our daughter Julia and her partner Ben will be recreating these recipes without us up in Townsville, while we will be making them with our Melbourne family. So whilst we will be apart, we will be united by the menu!

We brine the Turkey overnight so a new bucket is always on the shopping list we started doing this about 10 years ago and it really does make for a scrumptious, juicy Turkey.

Here’s the recipe for the Best Turkey is a Brined Turkey

I do need to still document the process of cooking the Turkey better which I will do this year, along with the gravy and potato salad recipes, but hopefully this will be a reference for us and you for the future. And I think a good Pavlova recipe is a much needed addition still required.

Anyway, hope you get some ideas from or try our family recipes.

First course: We vary the starters with Seafood like fresh or grilled prawns and/or bugs with tartare and/or seafood sauce (mayonnaise, tomato and Tabasco mix) and lots of fresh lemon. Last year we had a delicious Roast peach salad with prosciutto, spinach and bocconcini…or some years we have had a more formal plated starter like Pan-fried scallops.

Pan fried scallops on bed of pea puree

More recently Annie’s Festive Duck roll has become a favourite, and this year Annie will be on hand to make it!

Annie’s Festive Duck Roll

Festive Duck roll with pistachios and cherries

Main course:

We always want potato salad leftovers and to eat with the Christmas ham, so we make both roasted vegetables and potato salad. That way there are roast vegees to have with Turkey and gravy too.

We don’t always make the same salads which leaves some room for new ideas and dessert depends on who is making it. I haven’t decided if we’ll have a Christmas cake this year but if we do it’s usually a lighter fruit cake or some store-bought Christmas pudding?

Glazed Christmas Ham

Roast Turkey with homemade stuffing The stuffing can be used in a Turkey buff roll or in a whole Turkey. We are going the whole “hog” and getting a whole Turkey this year. Makes for great Boxing Day leftovers.

Roast turkey with traditional family stuffing

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Potato salad

Roast vegetables with thyme: pumpkin, eschallots and potatoes

A green vegetable salad like: Brussels sprout and broccolini salad

Orange date pistachio salad

Homemade gravy (with the pan juices from the Turkey)

Dessert: Dessert depends on who is making it! It has ranged from traditional Pavlova to pannetone ice cream sandwiches amd ice cream cakes! I think it’s Pav and berries this year!

Pavlova with fresh berries

Nigella’s Christmas cake made with a jar of Nutella!?

#Christmas #Cranberry #sauce

This Nigella inspired Christmas Cranberry sauce is better than any you will buy but is delicious and looks stunningly red and tastes of Christmas. Perfect with the Turkey.

Homemade cranberry sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes cooking time: 15-20 minutes


  • 350g dried cranberries
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry liquer or cherry brandy or equivalent of blood orange juice if you don’t have red liquer
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 100ml water plus some extra


1. Put all the ingredients in a small deep saucepan

2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until cranberries burst. Add more water here if needed.

3. Best to take it off the heat before all the liquid is gone, as it will thicken when cooled.

4. Give it a good mix before serving as it will clump up if you have made in advance.

5. Leftovers should stay out of the fridge as it will harden too much. You can always loosen it up by heating again with a bit of water if you need the next day.

#Christmas #Ham #Glaze

Christmas lunch and leftovers would not be Christmas without a delicious glazed ham.

This is my late Friend Annie’s recipe which our family have been using now for more than 20 years. It’s simple and easy but imparts delicious cloves, sweetness to the ham.

Prep time: 20 minutes cooking time: 1 hour +/-


  • Half a leg of Ham on the bone (about 4-5kgs)
  • 500ml pineapple juice
  • 500g brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 3 tablespoons seeded mustard
  • Packet of cloves
  • 1 large foil oven baking tin


1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius

2. Make syrup by mixing pineapple juice, sherry and brown sugar…mix well to dissolve sugar as much as possible.

3. remove skin from ham and take off excess fat.

4. Cross-hatch ham by making thin continuous “cuts” vertically and horizontally to create intersections in which to place cloves. don’t cut too deep as cloves will fall out. So make cuts shallower than the length of a clove. (Don’t know how else to describe this!)

5. Rub seeded mustard over ham trying to coat evenly.

6. Place cloves into intersections pressing them into the ham so they stay in when the meat expands away from the cloves.

7. Place in foil tin and cook for 20 minutes before basting with syrup, baste again after another 30 minutes. Cook for total of an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes for a larger size ham.

8. Allow to cool for at least an hour before slicing and enjoying. We make it late on Christmas Eve and then eat the next day.

Tie a ribbon around the end to make your ham truly festive!