recipe

Delicious Christmas flummery – a summer treat!

I remember eating fruit flummery as a child – it was sooo good! Smooth and tasty and cold, my cousins, brother and I ate all we could get our hands on!

It was at all our family occasions in summer, although I don’t actually remember it on Christmas Day…

Most of the time, we ate home-made plum flummery – and I’m going to have to search for that recipe, too. But here is an easier version for the whole family (again, inspired by recipes that are good for toddlers and babies as requested by Vida 🙂 )

Do you have a special dessert memory from your childhood, too?

Red & green Flummery

250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened evaporated milk
1 packet (85 g) red jelly crystals
1 cup of boiling water
2 kiwi fruit
bunch green grapes

Chill the milk for at least an hour.

Mix jelly and water in a bowl then put into fridge until it is about half set.

Pour milk in to a large bowl and whip until light and fluffy.

Keep beating the milk and slowly pour in the half-set jelly until all is blended.

Put into fridge to set.

Slice kiwi fruit and grapes and arrange on top of the set flummery to serve.

Lots of red cherries on top instead of the kiwi and grapes is delicious, too, if you are happy with a red dessert instead of red and green!

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.

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.

Toddler’s Christmas dessert

This is a variation of a simple dessert I have made for all my kids while they were toddlers – and they all still love it actually!

Vida_Ilevares – I hope your toddler enjoys this one 🙂

This quantity is feeds a toddler and an adult or two small adult serves. For older people, I’d probably count this recipe as suitable for 1 adult or 2 kids as a dessert so multiply it as required!

Baked Christmas Custard

red and green fruit with baked custard for dessert

Green grapes, red cherries and baked custard – healthy and yummy!

1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
2 drops vanilla essence
cinnamon
1 or 2 tablespoon dried cranberries {or  use 6 – 10 fresh cherries, pitted and sliced}
6 – 10 grapes, pitted and sliced

Put the milk in a microwave proof bowl and cook for 1 minute on high – if you can’t see tiny bubbles around the edge, try another 5 -10 seconds. You don’t want the milk to boil.

Whisk the sugar and essence with the egg.

Pour a little of the hot milk in with the egg and mix.

Pour egg mix into milk bowl, stirring as you go. Mix in the dried cranberries.

Sprinkle with some cinnamon (I use nutmeg most of the year, but cinnamon is more Christmassy!)

Cook on a medium setting for 2 minutes.

If not set, cook for another 30 seconds.

Serve in a bowl with sliced grapes (and cherries if you use them). Obviously, cut the fruit to a size suitable for the age of your child – halving them is enough for older kids.

My two and four-year olds love watching the custard change from runny to set so I let them help by sprinkling on the cinnamon, adding the cranberries and serving the fruit – the rest is a bit tricky for little people.

Christmas fruit muffins

Yummy muffins that have red dots to look Christmassy and fruit mince to taste Christmassy – easy to make, nice to leave out for Santa or offer guests or just send to school in lunch boxes.

They take about 20 minutes to make plus cooking time so fit into our busy family life 🙂

For fun, you can ice them in red icing with chopped green spearmint leaves on top or in white icing with coconut sprinkled over the tope for a snow look.

Ingredients

Serves: 24Christmas fruit muffins for Santa

220g self-raising flour, sifted

100g castor sugar

1 large egg

100ml sunflower oil

75ml milk

60g each good quality white and milk/dark chocolate, chopped

1 heaped tablespoon good quality fruit mince (dried fruit works but doesn’t give such good results)

60g fresh (or dried) cranberries (make sure you drain them if use a tin or jar – I haven’t tried this but you’d risk a very wet mix)

To make:

Preheat the oven to 190C and prepare muffin trays or patty pans.

Mix the flour and sugar.

Beat egg, oil and milk.

Pour wet ingredients in with flour and sugar, and stir gently.

Add the yummy things – sorry, add the chocolate, fruit mince and cranberries.

Stir gently to not break up the fruit or get tough muffins.

Put mix into muffin pans and bake for about 20 minutes. Cooked when golden brown.

Put onto a wire rack but nice to serve them warm, too (gooey chocolate, yum!) with a scoop of ice-cream.

Making vanilla wreaths as teacher’s gifts

I like getting my children to give gifts to teachers, etc – and I prefer them to be involved in the gifts somehow. I’m also conscious that most teachers probably get too many candles and soaps as it is.

So last year, my kids make some vanilla wreaths and balls for their teachers – the recipe below made about 30 of each which we shared between 9 paper plates and wrapped in cellophane, tied with red ribbon and given as gifts the next day.

Before you assume 9 teachers is a lot, I included one for each of my children’s class and instrument teachers, plus the lollypop lady, school librarian and the school cleaner (an under appreciated man!)

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

250g butter, softened

145g smart sugar (or 290g castor sugar)*

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon baking powder

600g plain flour

PLUS

About 320g smart icing sugar *

6 – 8 tablespoons fresh orange juice (the bottled stuff is too sweet for my liking)

15 mint leaves (the lolly variety!)

About 90 red smarties or equivalent lolly (useful if you’re used to eating the red ones last! Sorry, old ad jingles stick in my head!)

Packet of 100s and 1000s or mini lollies of some sort

Method

Cream butter and sugar

Add eggs and vanilla; combine well

Add flour and baking powder; mix into a dough

Roll out dough to about 5mm thick – it’s a bit sticky so I use sheets of baking paper on either side. I also do it in batches as there’s a lot of dough!

Cut out large circles – circle biscuit cutter or a mug will do the trick

Cut a smaller circle out of each biscuit – use a smaller circle cutter or a glass

Put the rings (wreaths) and circles (Christmas balls) ont greased or lined biscuit trays

Put full trays into the fridge while you continue rolling and cutting and all dough is used up (rework the scraps back in each time)

Place trays in pre-heated 180° oven for 8 – 10 minutes – biscuits should be a lightly golden-brown on the top

Cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the trays onto a wire rack

When completely cool, decorate as wreaths or Christmas balls.

Vanilla Wreaths

Slice the mint leaves through the middle (so they become thinner but have the same shape as they started with)

Mix the icing sugar and orange juice in batches

Ice the top of the wreaths – I let it drip down the sides but you could ice the sides properly if you wanted to

Stick two leaf halves onto the biscuit to form the holly leaves

Dab some left over icing onto 3 smarties and stick them onto the leaves as holly berries – repeat for the other biscuits!

Christmas balls

Mix the icing sugar with some orange juice and a drop or red or green food colouring. If you have time, it’s really nice to use two colours, but one or none will work fine!

Spread icing onto the smaller circle biscuits – making some half red and half green is fun

Sprinkle 100s and 1000s over the top

 

 

* I tend to use smart sugar for everything now – you need half as much so the food is lower GI and it’s made from Australian cane sugar. If you can’t get it, castor sugar or normal icing sugar works just as well.

Yummy kids’ star biscuits

On Friday, I came across a recipe for Kids Sar Biscuits which looked tasty and easy.

So yesterday, I made the biscuits with my two and four year olds.

uncooked star and tree shaped biscuits on a tray

Ready to be cooked…

It was easy enough for them to manage – I had the butter very soft, almost melted, so it was easy for the kids to mix in the sugar.

The hardest part was containing their excitement to cut out even numbers of big/small shapes to be able to pair them later, so I just gave up and let them use whichever star and tree cutters they wanted to!

My four year old was a bit surprised when I put some biscuits on a plate to serve – “But we made them for Christmas!”

We will be making them again, and possibly to leave out for Santa

Star and Christmas tree biscutis cooling on a tray

All cooked and waiting to be eaten!

Santa’s recipes

girl Christmas cookingSanta understands that it can take a very long time for Christmas Eve to actually arrive when you’re little so after he signs his letters Love Santa he turns the page over and writes a bit more.

Back in 2009, this is part of what Santa wrote on the back of some letters:

I travel a lot on Christmas Eve and it is really special when I arrive to find something made by children just for me. These apricot balls are very yummy – and if you make enough, you could wrap some in cellophane to give as gifts as well as leaving some for me!

You will need: 400g condensed milk, 250g Marie biscuits, 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 1 cup chopped dried apricots, ¾ cup chopped pecan or cashew nuts (optional)

What to do:

Mix everything together.

Roll into balls

Roll the balls in extra coconut, sprinkles or sesame seeds if you want

Put the balls in the fridge to set – you can even freeze them!

These apricot balls are very yummy so why not try them while you’re waiting for Santa and his letter to arrive? If you have made anything Santa has suggested, let us know how it turned out!

And don’t forget to look for many Christmas recipe ideas here in our blog!

* Photo courtesy of 123rf

Edible snowflakes

Ok, they aren’t part of an Aussie Christmas, but snowflakes do have a traditional Xmas feel and these ones are quite yummy 🙂

To make 60 snowflakes…

Sanat's cabin in Canada!

A white Christmas in Canada has snowflakes – Aussies need edible snowflakes!

2 cup icing sugar
5.5 cups plain flour
250 g butter
2 eggs
2.5 tsp vanilla essence

get eggs to room temperature.
Cube butter and put back in fridge
mix flour and 1.5 cup sugar together then add butter.
Blend until you get a mixture looking like fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in eggs and vanilla essence until a dough forms.
Knead dough until lower surface is smooth.
Push dough into two circles about 20 cm across and wrap in grease-proof paper. Put in fridge for an hour or so – should be firm to touch.
roll out dough until about 5mm thick – sticks less if you put it between sheets of baking paper.
If you can find a snowflake cutter, now is when to use it! If not, use a star cutter and a knife to adjust it or try a Christmas tree cutter (instead of snowflakes or join two together for a snowflake-ish look).
Put trays of biscuits into fridge for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat over to 180 Celsius and prepare baking trays (grease or use baking paper).
bake for about 10 minutes
cool completely on trays then dust with icing sugar to enhance the snow feeling.

 

Peppernuts

These are a traditional Xmas treat in Germany and they quite pretty in a nice bowl on the Xmas table or wrapped up as a small gift. They keep for at least a month (so you can make them before Christmas Eve!) & go well with coffee.

This recipe makes about 200 of them – halve it if you’re not making gifts as well.

Peppernuts
120g butter
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup water
2.5 tsp finely grated lemon rind
4 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp allspice or cinnamon
Icing sugar

Combine sugar, syrup & water in pan but don’t let it boil until sugar dissolved . Then boil. Remove from heat & add butter & soda.

Cool to lukewarm. Stir in egg, lemon rind, flour & spice. Put dough in fridge for a few hours or overnight.

On lightly floured board, roll dough into sausages about 3mm thick. Cut into 3mm slices. Place on lightly greased oven trays. Bake at 180C for about 12 minutes.

Cool on wire rack, dust with sifted icing sugar.

Store in air tight container.

Snacks for Santa

Boomers pulling Santa's sleighSanta’s sleigh is packed, the reindeer and boomers are rested, Santa has checked his list twice, the elves are checking the load is secure – Santa is almost ready to leave the North Pole and head Down Under!!!!!!!

How about you – are you ready for Santa’s visit? Have you prepared a snack and drink for him, and put out something for the boomers?

Santa is VERY BUSY tonight, after months of preparing, so he really appreciates you leaving a snack near your stockings. And I believe that by making it yourself, you help build up Santa’s magic supply so he can get down (and up) small chimneys and find the right stocking for all his gifts.

If you need ideas for making a snack for Santa, try our recipes , article or look at any letters you have received from Santa. Or share your favourite ideas and recipes with us.

I hope you’ve been good and are excited, because Santa arrives in only a few hours!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Pudding

We had some delicious Christmas pudding last night, made by our friend’s Mum. She made it ‘properly’ – soaking the fruit for weeks beforehand (in Port in this case).

This pudding was mostly fruit and was about the moistest and yummiest pudding I’ve ever tasted. If I can get the recipe and am allowed, I will share it here too.

Anybody else had some good pudding yet this year?

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