drinks

Fruit smoothies

green smoothie with red cherry - perfect for Christmas!Just for fun, make some Christmas themed fruit smoothies 🙂

Made cold, they can be very refreshing (and are a lot healthier than soft drinks and energy drinks!) and I’d prefer one to an eggnog any day 🙂

It can even be a nice drink to leave out for Santa – although if it is a warm night, maybe leave it in the fridge with a note to tell Santa to help himself!

If making one for a baby or toddler, it can effectively be their meal and you can add a bit of formula powder to add nutrients if you feel the need (personally, I think adding some banana is enough to give then plenty of vitamins and minerals).

A Christmas fruit smoothie

2 bananas
6 – 12 strawberries
2 kiwi fruit
sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt (fruit yoghurt tastes nice but adds sugar)
500 ml milk

Quick version:

Put everything into a jug and use a blender to mash and mix it up.

Pour into two cups (or more smaller serves for kids) and drink.

Christmas version:

Put bananas, yoghurt, cinnamon and milk into a jug and blend.

Add strawberries and kiwi fruit blend on a low-speed but leave some small pieces of fruit ( to show the Christmassy red and green 🙂 ).

Pour into cups and serve.

Anyone for tea?

I came across this recipe and enjoyed the flavour so much I am making packets of it as Christmas gifts. And my kids are making some this weekend to give their teachers and activity leaders as gifts, too.

Spicy orange tea

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
14 whole cloves
3 tablespoons dried orange peel (I dehydrated my own after the kids ate a pile of oranges!)
10 whole black peppercorns
11 tablespoons loose black tea leaves (You could try green tea, too, or mix them together)

Put it all together in an air tight container

Leave it for a week

Boil some water

put one spoon of tea mix per person into teapot

add appropriate amount of water

steep for 2 – 5 minutes

pour into cups and enjoy!

 

Remember to label the packets you give as gifts, including instructions of use. Kids can decorate the labels to make them personal and unique gifts.

Maybe leave some out ready for Santa to have a nice cup (as long as he’s willing to boil the kettle himself!) while he puts presents into stockings for you!

Champagne Punch without a kick

There’s nothing like holding a glass of something sparkly while celebrating family at Christmas, a new year approaching or a beautiful summer evening. But not everyone is able or willing to drink alcohol (kids, pregnant women, drivers, etc).

S here is one solution – make a mock champagne punch without the alcohol!

Simply mix the following in a jug or carafe then pour into 16 (preferably chilled!) champagne flutes.

1.5 litre sparkling mineral water
1.5 litre dry ginger ale
1.2 litre white grape juice

Make sure everything is cold when you mix them and you get a refreshing cold drink that is perfect for a summer Christmas treat.

Mulled Wine & Fruit Cake

Mulled wine just has such a beautiful flavour and a warm, happy feeling that I can’t resist this recipe each Christmas although it does seem to fit a cold Christmas more (by name that is, it tastes great in summer, to!)

You need:

125g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
450g sultanas (or 400g plus 50g dates, chopped)
250g dried cranberries
450g crushed pineapple
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons mulled wine

Put the mulled wine, butter, suagr, dried fruit & pineapple in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add baking soda then simmer & stir for about 5 minutes.

Allow to cool before mixing in everything else.

Pour into a cake tin (silicon one works well I’ve found) then bake at 180C for about 60minutes. Cook for up to another hour at 150C when it is firm to touch.

If it gets too brown as it cooks, cover with foil.

Cool in tin then enjoy. Serves about 24 people at a party or about two serves each in my family if we have it for dessert…

* Mulled wine can be bought in some places apparently, but it’s easy to make. If you need some quickly for this recipe, just heat some red wine gently with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and (preferably) lemon rind. what ever’s left over is lovely to drink under a Christmas Tree 🙂

Glogg (a Danish drink)

Along with Æbleskiver, the Danes usually drink Gløgg (which is very much like the mulled wine I’ve had on skiing trips.) Not sure if you could keep it hot enough for Santa, but I’m sure he’d enjoy it!

Personally, I think this suits a Christmas in July celebration better than on December 25 for Australia. Mulled wine on Christmas eve

Gløgg

ingredients:

250ml water 

4 Tablespoons of white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

3 or 4 cloves

5 or 6 cardamon seed pods, peeled

small piece of ginger, peeled

peel & juice of 1 lemon

peel & juice of 1 orange

1 bottle of red wine

90 gram dried fruit (without glace cherries)

60 grams blanched almonds, chopped

0.25 cup of port, rum, brandy, vodka, or similar

 

method:

Boil cinnamon, sugar, cloves, cardamon, ginger and peel in the water for about 10 minutes*. Remove the peel and spices.

Mix in the juices, fruit and nuts and heat to almost boiling. Take off the stove and mix in the wine.

The port/rum gets mixed in just before serving, but that should be pretty much straight away anyway to drink it hot.

 

* For a stronger flavour, leave the spices & peels water to sit overnight.

 

* Image courtesy of Oleksandr Prokopenko (123rf)

Share your Christmas story
Instagram