Christmas baking

I am starting to think about what to make for christmas, it’s less than a month away & with a couple of bakers in the house its sure to be fun! I am thinking of some baked goodies for Zachie’s kinder teachers, what else do you give someone you don’t really know that well??

I am thinking a combination of recipes would be helpful, a few tried & true recipes to make for parties etc. Some sweet things & some ideas of new things to have for christmas lunch. Happy to do requests too.

So perhaps a list is the best place to start:

Almond shortbread

Lemon shortbread

Gingerbread men

Mo’s orange & sultana slice

Pannattone trifle for Christmas day

Tartlets sweet & savoury



I could go on & on, let me know if you have any requests as well.



Grocery Shopping

We’re having some folks over for dinner tonight, a dear friend has come home for a holiday & we’re meeting her boyfriend for the first time, so we thought we’d do a tajine, but Hubby said, let’s have a BBQ, I went to get some steak from the halal butcher. All good so far, then headed to Woolworths to get mushrooms, sour cream etc for the mushroom sauce to go with the steak.

Some kipfler potatoes, feta for the salad and some lettuce. Some of you may know that usually I buy our vegies from either the Preston Market or Aldi… well OH MY GOODNESS!!!! $10.99 a kg for button mushrooms – bloomin daylight robbery! I think the most I’ve paid for them recently is about $8.99 a kg or less.

I couldn’t believe it.. I have definitely jumped well and truly on the Aldi bandwagon and I don’t think I will be getting off any time soon. Never mind that I am saving heaps of money and getting a lot more bang for my buck, but the vast majority of things ARE Australian made! Not so at Woolies, Select biscuits that were supposedly marked down to $1.99 are normally priced at that & they’re made in Canada… Happy to support the world economy too, but the argument that Aldi doesn’t have Australian products just isn’t true.

Now I am not into bagging supermarkets as they obviously provide a service and good produce etc, Woolies for the most part has a fantastic selection which you do pay for. I just wish they would be honest about prices & don’t try to scam the general public, just like free range organic eggs at Coles for $9.00 a doz is ridiculous! I figure the $$$ are better in our pockets than those of the big supermarket chains!

Simple Sushi

Well this is definitely one to get your kids onto. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make sushi or california rolls as the larger ones are known here. Zachie & I went to the supermarket and bought Sushi rice, one of those bamboo mats you use to roll up the sushi, some nori paper and the vinegar that you use to flavour the rice.

We already had tuna, cucumber, carrots, avocado etc to use as fillings so we were all set to have a go – now the first attempt I have to say was very impressive. I did undercook the rice slightly, but it was okay, there is certainly a reason they call it sticky rice.

So I simply followed the recipe on the packet of rice, which pretty much says to cook a cup of rice in 375 mls of water, you have to rinse the rice first, bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 mins then let it sit for 10 mins.

Then transfer it to a plate and add about 3 tbsp of sushi vinegar, stir it around & fan it so it cools down as quickly as possible. Once it’s cold/cool then you’re good to go ahead and use it.

I mixed a tin of plain tuna with some mayonnaise, julienne some cucumbers & carrots, you could also add capsicum & sliced up some avocado.

Just spread the rice over the nori paper to within 2 cms of one edge and right to all the other edges, put your toppings on and roll up. It really is that simple, Zachie had a great time making it & eating it as well!

Definitely something to add to your repertoire if you & your family love sushi!