Christmas Wrap-In My Kitchen & of course, the Gingerbread House.

Well I’d have to say this has been the loveliest and most ‘Christmassey’ Christmas in quite a long time. We held our now traditional backyard Christmas Eve gathering of friends and family, it was a little cool but not so bad that we couldn’t stay outside. Such a relaxing evening and I get a kick out of planning and preparing food for the night.

I try to make things that are simple but have just a little wow factor when served. This year we had potato and pea samosa from the lovely Sandra’s blog Please Pass The Recipe. They are made using spelt flour for the pastry and were an absolute hit. Didn’t remember to get a pic of the inside, but trust me, they were delicious!

We also had the “If I don’t make them the family will kill me” Annabel Langbein Pakora. For the recipe click here. These are also vegetarian and are made with besan (chick pea) flour and beer batter, for the filling I used cauliflower, peas, pumpkin and zucchini then served with a simple Indian style mint dipping sauce. Once a year I bring out my little el-cheapo deep fryer for these, it then goes back into to cupboard for another year.

Then there were the mussels with nam prik (Thai chilli dipping sauce) and topped with  cucumber salsa. Last year I made Turkish Stuffed Mussels and my poor dodgy hands took weeks to recover from the pain of opening the mussels. These were easy peasy, the recipe is from Annabel Langbein’s Simple Pleasures cook book.There was a couple of huge platters of assorted breads, dukkah, antipasto, dried fruits and cheeses. This is some of the breads including  potato and roasted garlic focaccia, pizza filled baguettes, plain baguettes and an olive parmesan batard.I made yet again Celia’s Tupperware Meatballs. These are from the River Cottage Cookbook and I love the seasoning and spices, served purely with greek yoghurt sprinkled over. Winner! By the time I got back from grabbing my camera, they were gone. These are great as they can be made ahead then frozen and just reheated in the oven. This pic is from a previous time I made them but they were cooked in a tomato sauce as a main meal then.I had planned to serve chicken tikka kebabs too, but the food intake had slowed down so I left these and we had them Boxing Day along with some left over pakora mix that I cooked on the  griddle. No where near as nice as the deep fried version but ok.







Christmas Day was lovely, beautiful weather, very relaxed and all but my daughter in law were there for lunch. She joined us soon after lunch so the whole family were together which is a first for a while. Lunch was hosted by my son and his partner and they did a great job. I did take a bit of a contribution to lunch………….he lives only 10 minutes away so no problem  transporting, put it down as meat resting time.

Roast turkey, roast pork, roast potatoes, plum pudding, tomato and onion layered bake, gingerbread house, gravy, brandy sauce.

The turkey was stuffed with crumbs made from my bread, capsicum, thyme, 2 eggs & salt and pepper. So easy, so delicious, we cooked the turkey and pork in the Weber at home. I’d made gravy from roasted bones and veg a few days before, stored it in a milk bottle and reheated it at Cameron & Graham’s place.We sat outside under the shade of the trees, ate, drank too much and of course there was the gingerbread house to demolish (see below). My mind had been tossing a couple of ideas around as to its demise and it went reasonably well. We probably could have gotten a bit more mileage and a few more cracks but it is what it is.I received a pack of these beautiful beeswax wraps from my D.I.L as my Kris Kringle gift. They work really well and as a bonus they are made by a local business. Little Bumbles have a range of plastic free shopping and storage items and they are beautifully presented. Love their catchphrase! Another local item I have In My Kitchen is a jar of Grandmas Delights Tomato Chutney. I cannot believe I actually ran out of both my sauce and tomato relish. I cannot remember how many years it would be since I bought sauce, but its been a long, long time. I refuse to buy that crappy, plastic bottle, mega factory made stuff, so was thrilled that our local IGA stock this. Was good, not as good as mine of course, but definitely good.

And now we close the year, the post and In My Kitchen for 2017 with the now famous annual demolition of the Gingerbread house. Very “straaylan’ to use the iconic Hills hoist as the  moving mechanism and the weapon my son used to ‘hack’ the house is his Japanese Samurai sword (demo only) which he bought back from Japan when he was an exchange student. Once again it proved a little upsetting for little Charlie, but I imagine in a few years he’ll be coming up with his own ideas on how to do the demo. There are views from 2 different angles here just to make sure you don’t miss a thing! Thanks to Sherry from over at Sherry’s Picking for her linking up of bloggers and thanks to everyone who shares their posts or takes the time to read ours. Happy New Year everyone.


18 Replies to “Christmas Wrap-In My Kitchen & of course, the Gingerbread House.”

  1. You have so many advantages over a white Christmas! And your mix of foods from around the world is amazing — I see South Asian (including Thai and Indian and maybe more), Italian, British/Australian, Middle-eastern (at least the Dukkah), and maybe more.

    best… mae at


  2. Great round up. I love the look of those pakoras and Sandra’s samosas are on the list to do. Sounds like you had a veritable feast. Those beeswax wraps look interesting (and pretty). How well do they work? Happy New Year!


    1. Hi Debi, loving the wraps, I just rub my hands over them to often slight and take shape of container. So far working really well but I shouldn’t really have used them on smoked trout! Do try those samosa, wonderful. A lovely 2018 to you. Cheers.


  3. Oh my gosh – that gingerbread house demolition is hilarious! I completely forgot to get a photo of our Christmas pudding this year (it’s only my 4th or 5th attempt at it). Happy 2018!


  4. I feel the similarly about this Christmas just gone… possibly because you & I both had the time to participate we haven’t had in other years. We put the Christmas tree up in early December, did an Advemt calendar… and were home to enjoy it, plus lesiurely Christmas food prep.
    So happy you shared the link to the meatballs. Our post-Christmas leftovers cravings were for hamburgers-at-home. I bought the mince yesterday, read your post and made up the mix this morning happy to see red wine among the ingredients… one of our Christmas lunch guests left the better part of a bottle, but I rarely drink it in summer.
    So pleased to see your sourdough bread baking school taking off ♡


    1. Thanks Dale, relaxing Christmases are so much better. I (we) love those meatballs and Sandra’s samosa were a huge hit. I always feel like I have a little part of my blogging world with me when I include dishes from fellow blogging friends. Bread is getting just a bit ridiculous, need to rein it in a bit!


  5. What a lovely Christmas day, the food looks and sounds marvelous. I love your gbh demolition tradition! But, poor gbh – though clearly stout hearted it didn’t stand a chance, against a samurai warrior – i’m with the little fella:)


    1. Thanks Jan, the gbh demo just gets more ridiculous every year. Started off with little kids just punching it to get lollies. Well, the little kids grew up! Maybe the little fella can bring some sense back into it.


  6. it looks like you had a delicious and happy Xmas break. thanks for joining in again this month. i am just back from melbourne where it was damn hot! very warm up here too, back in sunny brisbane. have a great 2018! cheers sherry x


  7. What an incredibly delicious looking Christmas!! All those flavors of the world sound wonderful and have my mouth watering. Always fun watching the gingerbread house being demolished! Happy New Year!


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