Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year! Welcome 2013!

Well Happy New Year.
I'm resolving to post more regularly in 2013. What happens when I get busy is I tend to fall back on tried and true dishes which means I end up with not that much that I think is exciting to post.
I will try harder.
Today is a gorgeous summer day in Sydney.
Dinner here inclueds a few favourites including:
Slow cooker bbq ribs
Creamed Spinach
We're also having corn and potatoes with sour cream.
My lovely daughter got a waffle maker for Christmas so she's on dessert.
We're ahving waffles with homemade triple berry ice-cream I made a few days ago to use up the last of the leftover Christmas berries.
It's a pretty yummy way to start 2013.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cranberry vodka

I am not a woman in possession of a fine estate as Austen might say but I am a woman in posession of several bottles of vokda. How I came to have these is a long and elaborate story that sounds somewhat more interesting when one actually has vodka in hand, but not entirely fasciating even then.
My husband and I have made a few flavoured vodkas over the years including my favourite - vanilla - and his peppercorn. He likes it in a Bloody Mary because he swears that is how they make it at Harry's Bar in Paris.
Many years ago (before GPS and the internet and google) we spent hours searching the streets of Paris so he could take me to this bar, where he had been before because like Hemingway and Sartre he was rather fond of it.
Anyway after seeing some cranberry vodka on Pinterest I decided to try and make my own. All the versions I found used fresh cranberries which are elusive here in Sydney so we used craisins.
Cranberry vodka
1 packet of craisins
1 bottle of vodka (with about 1/4 removed).
1. Step 1 pour the crasins into the vodka bottle.
2. Step 2 - Wait.
Our vodka has now bee steeping for 3 days...and it tastes delish! Check out the colour.
You could either drink as is or strain and remove the fruit.
Here's a shot of the three flavours. That black pepper vodka has an amazing colour and is very spicy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas preparation

Gosh this blog has been negrelcted of late. I have been so busy that my cooking has been much more a collection of old favourites than new adventures.
It does so help to have recipes you can fall back on. Last weekend I went to a friend's booklaunch where I was helping with the food. Mid-week she announced she was having 90 guests.
So bright and early Sudnay morning I was up making four zucchini slices. Simple, economical and delicious.
Sometimes in December you don't have time to re-invent the wheel.
We're hosting our annual Christmas drinks again this year. I worry people will be bored with the same old thing but it appears not. My head count is at about sixty.
This year's menu has a similar structure as last...
People bring finger food and I make some too...I'd like to make something different this year but it could well be the usual fare of zucchini slice, smoked salmon canapes and 7-layer dip.
Baked ham and rolls
Sausage sizzle for the kids
Crockpot meatball and spagetti for the kids (I can pre-make the meatballs and throw them in the crockpot with sauce a few hours out). I like to pre-cook short pasta and have it cold for parties. By the time the kids add the meatballs their food is hot but not mouth-scorchingly so.
My husband's bbq paella
MYO sundae bar
Christmas itself we're hosting lunch for my husband's family and I think that is twenty-four.
I've already made sure all the non-food items are covered such as chairs, table cloths, cutlery, crockery so that in the week before I can concentrate on the food itself.
The menu is done and anything I can get ahead such as condiments, chips and snacks have already been purchased.
I'll be back to post more on the preparatio later.