hazelnut pretzel brownies

sunglasses because it's hot
Christmas, in Australia, is about the heat. It’s currently wavering around 40°C today, which is epically ridiculous, especially when you have to work in a kitchen. Yuck.

However, I love a summer Christmas. A long summer holiday with presents, time to read all those books you received from your family. What could be better? It’s true that a traditional roasted dinner can be a bit much, but a summer Christmas is also a great excuse to get expensive seafood and fresh summer fruit, all in the name of celebration. I have never known a white Christmas, although I would love to someday. For now I will enjoy bare feet and air conditioning. Continue reading

pfeffernusse

pfeffernusse

The rush of people suddenly in every retail outlet is something that you have to contend with around Christmas time. Even in the cafes and restaurants, because of course all those shoppers have to eat. And if you are a combination of the two – a cafe which also sells Christmas cakes and mince tarts etc. – you’re probably going to be busy around this festive season.

Oh well. It’ll all be over soon. Just a few more days and then it’s Christmas! A busy time, but also a reminder of what hope we have. A time for reflection and gratitude for what life has brought us this year. Just don’t get crushed in the rush of people buying last-minute Christmas gifts, hey. Continue reading

viennese almond crescents

almond crescents

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet how awesome Christmas crafts are. I love homemade decorations, and I love making decorations. At the moment, we have a glass sliding door full of pretty snowflakes; paper bunting in the living room; burnt gingerbread snowflakes and trees hanging from one wall; lyrics and pipe cleaner stars on another wall; and much pretty paper chain.

It’s gorgeous. Continue reading

lebkuchen spice cookies

hearts and pom poms

Today is the project for awesome and I know I’ve already talked about how Christmas is for charity but seriously, guys, this is the time of year when it is oh so obvious who has and who has not.  Continue reading

macarons

Macarons are in, now, right? Those little French meringue based biscuits with creamy fillings inside, they’re everywhere. Big ones. Eensy little ones. Flavours from vanilla to chocolate to pistachio to bubblegum and creme brulee. Vegemite macarons, for Pete’s sake!

la belle miette

Macarons are delicious. Macarons are also expensive, especially if you go to a fancy little French place like La Belle Miette for your macarons (or are lucky enough to have someone treat you to some for your birthday.)

chocolate and vanilla

This is why you should make your macarons. I know the macaron is billed as a very difficult little cookie. However, with practice, a good eye and an excellent scale, you should be right. Especially during the holidays, when you have so much free time.

pb'n'j

I use Bravetart’s recipe and fill mostly using differently flavoured buttercreams. You may also want to check out eat.live.travel.write and the excellent step-by-step photography there, or Bravetart’s macaron myths and commandments.

close up

stained glass biscuits

baked

Pretty, simple and delicious. And they make great decorations.

It’s a short post today because I had a PARTY on last night(yay! party!) so I’m just going to say that Christmas is about friends and family and celebration. It’s about food and presents and love and joy and hope. Peace and determination and perseverance, too. (even when you feel like a failure because you’ve already missed two posts in your month of posting).

cut it out

pre baking

Christmas is about being human. As human as human is. All the pains and sorrows and joys and delights of being human, the entirety of the journey that man takes in discovering God and Creation and fellow human. Christmas is about the gift of giving and the gift of recieving. Christmas is about love.

hung

Merry Christmas. Continue reading

nutmeg maple syrup butter cookies

all stacked up

We’re going to the end of the universe.

(Don’t blink.)

what's in there?

Yes, I’m watching Doctor Who. Something about this lanky converse-wearing pseudo-Scottish time traveller has me hooked. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s his irrepressible energy. Perhaps it’s the hilarious and yet also strangely endearing alien life-forms that the writers have thought up. Perhaps it’s the idea that somewhere out there, a man in a blue box could be looking for a new companion. And that companion could be me.  Continue reading

checkerboard cookies

 

stacked and fell

And another late post. Since I’ve gotten home I’ve been working and it’s been hot. I’ve been watching Doctor Who and not doing much else at all. Like a holiday from my holiday. It’s been much more difficult to get up early now that I’m back in Melbourne (and I have to say that the work Christmas dinner didn’t help with that AT ALL.)

I think it's what you call "mise en place"

But time moves on (quickly, quickly!) and so must we, and although it’s holidays for some, others of us still have to work. But we make time for play, too, and our house is having a Christmas party this weekend.

Cue massive freak out.

Cookies, cupcakes, mini quiches. Vodka, bourbon, gin. Dishes, dishes, dishes. Party party party! Continue reading