Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4 Giveaway: Cookbooks, Cookbooks, Cookbooks

Day 4 Giveaway: Improve your shelf-esteem with some uber delightful cookbooks to boost your collection. Kitchen Coquette(of course), Heston at Home, Buon Ricardo, and some other seriously delightful titles. To win: Tell us your Christmas Day Menu (not the ham and turkey) the sides, the non-traditional twists your family adds to the day. Comment here and good luck. 


  1. It is all about the pink eye spuds and beans,
    Gorgeous plates of greens,
    And the summer fruit,
    All seasonal foods that are beaut.

  2. We do all the usual turkey/ham/christmas pudding business, but some how, over the years my family accrued a load of wierd little traditions: bananas wrapped in bacon, a plate of halva, a Terry's chocolate orange, bowls of brazil nuts, a tin of Quality Streets chocoaltes - stuff like that. No one can remember why and we don't eat any of these things at any other time, but it wouldn't be Christmas without all these bits and pieces.

  3. Well.... we enjoy asparagus with a burnt butter & lemony sauce (tempers the turkey & ham nicely); along with a scoop each of 'Turkish' rice again with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice; and my very favourite 'cranberry, apple and mixed leaf' salad. This is adds a refreshing twist to our special meal on what is usually a very hot day. ;)

  4. To accompany the spread of seafood, we continue our family tradition of a couple of brandy alexanders, the favourite potato salad made from new potatoes harvested that morning, tomatoes, basil and balsamic. This year we'll add a Vietnamese slaw featuring green papaya, Christmas cupcakes and loads of mangoes, peaches and nectarines. A feast indeed!

  5. We have the traditional turkey with stuffing and gravy and then piles of vegetables: peas, carrots, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, all with bread sauce and cranberry jelly. Top it all off with plum pudding and brandy cream. All homemade - all very yummy!

  6. Christmas morning - always ice cream. What other day can you get away with that? Lunch...always cold...I mean, we live in the tropics...who's going to want to eat a hot meal, let alone cook one? Always "special" type salads....walnut, mango, avocado etc salad, tabouli (OK,'s special when *I* make it.). We get a real, local butcher cured ham, and some prawns. The only actual cooking I do is making fresh breadrolls....I get the dough done the night before, so it's just a quick cook in the oven on the day. And dessert? Ice cream plum pudding, with a chocolate ganache type sauce.

    We usually do some sort of semi frozen alcoholic makes relatives so much easier to deal with. And then tea....well, who needs tea after that lot. Get it yourself.

  7. It's Sicilian sides for us...rice balls, breaded eggplant and zucchini, fennel salad and fresh Italian bread. The main dish is always spedini and braciole. Dessert is usually a huge platter of Italian cookies and milk...or liqueurs for the grown-ups. ;)

  8. My mum's family always does a Christmas breakfast. We have fruit and pancakes (yum!) and waffles and toast- the traditional breakfast foods, although not necessarily traditional to Christmas- but we also have meringues, chilli cheese biscuits and chinese rice crackers. And this year, I'm going to bake something. Perhaps it will be the boyfriend's famous florentine recipe, or perhaps it will be my favourites- gingerbread ducks! (Note: does not contain real duck.)

  9. Saukeraut, dill cucumbers and dark rye sour dough bread. A touch of European acidity to balance the richness of the meat.

  10. A few of our Christmas lunch attendees are vegetarian so it is always fun to see the interesting ways of reinventing traditional dishes to make them vego friendly. Nut roast, lots of roast veggies and delicious fresh salads are featured.

  11. My Christmas Day Menu is still in the making.. It will probably spend it with other expats at one of those orphan's picnics in the park.. but the day might be something like this..

    Sleep in until brunch

    Wake up with habitual Earl Grey tea + soymilk + honey..

    Then give it a little….start on some bubbly while preparing lunch/brunch

    For the picnic.. if there's a bbq then
    summer vegetable skewers with raspberry balsamic glaze

    for portable goods..

    cheesy quinoa balls
    lots of dips.. roasted vege/beetroot/garlic hummus, white beans.. rosemary etc.

    and lots of sweets to impress..

    mini pavalova towers with strawberries
    banana chocolate cake with coconut and raspberry icing for vegans
    coconut, date, cacoa balls for gluten/sugar free

    and of course..

    Gin and tonic

    oh.. and ...
    zucchini flower, caramelised red onion and goat's curd tart and..
    sticky roasted pumpkin and chickpea dumplings with smoked aioli and cumin salt!

  12. Our sides depend on the weather.

    A warmer Christmas Day brings egg and potato salad, devilled eggs, spicy avocado and chicken salad, chefs salad, fattoush salad and of course my homemade mango salsa goes beautifully with the ham. Dessert is an ice cream that I've left out to melt a bit and then mixed cranberries, crushed violet crumble, a little brandy, berries and almonds through it before putting in a nice shaped bowl and refreezing. We let the kids drink coke on Christmas Day, which they love because it's one of the few occasions they get it.

    A cool Christmas Day brings roast pork and turkey breast to the table. It's in good company with brussel sprouts sauteed with bacon, sesame honey carrots, beetroot and feta stacks and of course roast potatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin that have been roasted in a little garlic oil and seasoning.