Christmas Food Pt 2

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

So back into it. Two sauces down, two to go. Well that was the plan. After cooking some caramelised onions the other night I decided to go with them instead of tomato sauce.

Caramelised Onions (sourced from

Makes 4 cups (original recipe was 1 cup)

  • 8 tbs olive oil
  • 12 large red or brown onions, sliced
  • 8 tbs brown sugar
  • 4-8 tbs balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a large frypan over low heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook very slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from catching. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up, as you don’t want the onions to burn.
  2. When onions are softened and tinged golden, add sugar and balsamic – this will start the caramelisation process. Cook onion over low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Use immediately, or store in the fridge, in a sterilised jar or plastic container, and use when required.

and the last was a sweet Caramel.

Caramel Sauce (sourced from

Makes 8 cups (original recipe was for 2 cups)

  • 160g butter (say margarine but we only ever have butter in the house)
  • 4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 x 375ml Carnation light & creamy evaporated milk
  • 500g marshmallows

Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 minute. Pour evaporated milk into mixture and stir until well combined. Add marshmallows and stir until marshmallows melt. Pour into a serving jug and set aside to cool slightly.

I’ll take a break from the foodie posts for a couple of days and be back later with some ideas for presents.

A day late

but our Christmas tree is up. Mainly purple & silver this year (with a gold star… need a new one)

Miss K had a ball ‘helping’ put decorations on the tree. Now I just need to keep her away from it so she stops taking the decorations off!

IMG_0372 IMG_0374 IMG_0376

IMG_0377 IMG_0379 IMG_0380

and our tree for 2011


Christmas Food Pt 1

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

I’m lucky that none of my family read my blog. Why? Because it means I can share stuff with you all and they won’t know. *giggle*  Not that I would you know but I can share what I’m getting them all for Christmas

This year hubby and I decided that we’d be doing a mostly homemade Christmas this year. So I’m creating a gift basket for the parents & siblings. Lots of yummy goodies. And I thought, in the spirit of the season, I’d share the recipes with you all. You know, in case you decide you want to try them for yourself. Sharing and all

I started with the first of four sauces I’m making (2 sweet & 2 savoury)

Mint Sauce (sourced from

Makes 4 cups (original recipe was for 1 cup)

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • finely chopped fresh mint leaves (I used a BIG bunch)

Place vinegar, sugar and cold water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add mint. Stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Bottle.

Note: I did add a few extras, like a couple of teaspoons of mint jelly. I also topped the bottles up with a little extra cider vinegar/water.

next up I did a sweet – chocolate (yum)

Chocolate Sauce (sourced from

Makes 6 cups (original recipe was for 1 1/2 cups)

  • 740ml thickened cream, at room temperature
  • 800g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 220g brown sugar
  1. Quarter fill a medium saucepan with water and place a large heatproof bowl over the top. The bowl should fit snugly in the pan with its base reaching halfway into the pan. If the base of the bowl touches the water, the chocolate may overheat and become grainy. If the bowl does touch the water, remove the bowl and tip a little of the water out. Remove the bowl and place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce heat to low so the water is barely simmering.
  2. Place the cream, chocolate and sugar in the heatproof bowl. It is important to use good-quality dark chocolate as this will affect the flavour of the sauce (you can also use good-quality cooking chocolate). Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water, and heat, stirring often with a metal or wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes or until chocolate almost melts. If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure it’s clean. It is a good idea to keep separate wooden spoons for sweet and savoury cooking, as the wood can absorb the flavours of the food it comes in contact with.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until all the chocolate melts. (See microwave tip.) There will be enough residual heat in the bowl for the chocolate to finish melting. This also ensures the chocolate doesn’t overheat.
  4. Serve the chocolate sauce warm or transfer to a clean, dry airtight jar or container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. Serve at room temperature or warm (see reheating instructions). Use a clean metal spoon each time you remove the chocolate sauce from the container to prevent mould forming.
  5. Microwave reheating: Place the sauce in a microwave-safe container and heat a single portion on Medium/500watts/50% for 20-40 seconds or until warmed through. If reheating the whole quantity, cook on Medium/500watts/50% for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.
  6. I’ll be back in a couple of days with my next 2 sauces. And soon I’ll be sharing some present ideas

A Christmas Meme

  1. Found on Lisa’s blog – Life as we know it.

  2. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
    Hot chocolate. with marshmallows. And a candy cane
    Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them. When we were young they had the same paper as the ones from mum and dad. I must remember as Miss K gets older to wrap them in different paper.
    Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Coloured lights. and just on the tree.
    Do you hang mistletoe? No.
    When do you put your decorations up? Usually on the 1st December. Or if I do the tree at Mum & Dad’s it’s the first weekend in December.
    What is your favourite holiday dish? Um, anything with turkey. I love turkey at Christmas.
    Favourite Holiday memory as a child? Eating way too much, playing backyard cricket with the cousins. Lots of family together.
    When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly don’t remember
    Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No. We get up early and open then on Christmas morning.
    How do you decorate your Christmas tree? It’s a bit of a mish mash of decorations and tinsel.
    Snow! Love it or Dread it? I would love snow on Christmas day, just once.
    Can you ice skate? Never tried it. I can rollerblade and have been told it’s similar.
    Do you remember your favourite gift? My doll house made by Dad. I’ve still got it and plan on doing it up and giving it to Miss K.
    What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with family and friends.
    What is your favourite Holiday Dessert? chocolate mousse pie. I’ll have to blog the recipes one day. It’s so yummy. Chocolate and raspberries & red tulip after dinner mints (if you can ever find them)
    What is your favourite holiday tradition? Breakfast at Mum & Dad’s. Croissants, ham off the bone, pineapple and cheese.
    What tops your tree? A gold star
    Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving. I love making gifts for family & friends
    What is your favourite Christmas Song? 

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Have to be decent ones, not the cheap ones.
Favourite Christmas Show? Showing how much of a geek I am – the Doctor Who Christmas special
Saddest Christmas Song?  Do you know I can’t think of one.

I’d love to see your answers.

Getting your Christmas craft on

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to create stuff. I love pretty much anything crafty.

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the Christmas craft classes floating around the net at the moment.

Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas


I did my first Journal Your Christmas (or JYC) last year & I loved it. Every year, JYC includes daily prompts from the 1st of December to the 6th of January, the twelfth day of Christmas. AND as with every class at Shimelle’s, once you take a class you have access forever & can take part in future versions of the class. Starts 1st December

Kim Archer’s Handmade Christmas


This one is new to me this year. It’s six days of ‘fabulous Christmas-y step by step projects’. Keep an eye out for me sharing what I make after the class. Starts 25th November

Big Picture Classes – 12 Days of Christmas

Not one I’ve done but sounds interesting – 12 days of projects with different Big Picture Classes teachers. Starts 13th December

and then there’s the many sites out there listing homemade gifts. Here’s a few of my favourites.

101 Days of Christmas
Crafty Christmas (hmm this site is a bit of a distraction lol – lots of cute links to printables)
2011 DIY Gift Guide

and then there is sooooo much on Pinterest!

My Christmas pins
Pinterest Christmas search

The C word

Today I got today there are about 7 weeks til the dreaded C word. Yup, that’s right 41 sleeps until Christmas!!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a range of Christmassy posts with you. Some will be gift ideas, some will be crafts and of course there will be food!

To get us started I thought I’d share with you all a site that has helped me over the last 2 Christmases to be a little more organised (& not doing the shopping all in the last week before Christmas) – Organized Christmas

Organized Christmas is an American site so it is focused around their seasonal happenings and holidays (like Thanksgiving) but it’s pretty easy to adapt to wherever you live. I’ve been working through the Christmas Countdown which is a six week Christmas organising plan. The site also has the Rudolf Club (on the 25th of each month “take a few moments to plan some simple tasks for the month ahead, in order to get ready for Christmas Day with plenty of time to spare”), the Housework Holiday Plan and the Holiday Grand Plan.

OrganizedChristmas.Com – Get Organized For Christmas!

What are you doing to get organised for Christmas?

100 days til Christmas

(well it was actually yesterday but I was busy)
OMG really? It can’t be that close already can it?

This year I’m aiming to try and be a bit more organised. Last year I had all the pressies bought weeks before Christmas and it felt great. This year I hope to do the same, especially as we’re having an early Christmas with the in-laws.

This year I’m going to be following along with List Plan It’s 100 Days to Christmas

(I’ll most likely still use Organized Christmas like last year too)

Are you organised for Christmas or do you leave things til the last minute?