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Category Archives: Christmas

Roast Crown of Pork with Apple & Sage Stuffing

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An awesome Roast … made this to celebrate hubby’s birthday … the apple & sage stuffing is awesome and wrapping the crown of pork with bacon keeps the chops succulently moist ….I served up with some pan-roasted asparagus ❤

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I bought a very small crown of pork …the butcher here had left the ribs very long …I’d much prefer it to be short …I used about 6 slices of bacon … you will need more slices if you are roasting a bigger crown

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I used only 2 slices of bread, cut into 1″ squares (partly because the crown of roast I bought is very small and partly … spread evenly on a baking pan … you can more slices if the crown you are stuffing is bigger …please note that recipe below is for a small crown of pork with about 10 chops so please increase recipe accordingly if your crown of pork is bigger

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Bake the bread squares in a 180° C pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes until slightly toasted … set aside

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..other ingredients needed for the stuffing : finely chopped onion, finely chopped celery and wedges of Granny Smith apples

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Fresh herbs you will need … fresh parsley, fresh chives, fresh thyme and fresh sage

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…all fresh herbs all chopped + sugar, grated nutmeg, pepper, ground cinnamon ..

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Cook onion & celery in heated skillet with butter over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 mins, until soften …

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Stir in apples, sugar, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and cinnamon …

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Stir to mix well …

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Reduce heat to low, then cook covered, stirring now and again, until apples are tender… about 15 minutes

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Stir in bread squares, parsley, and chives …remove from flame and set aside …

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Wrap tips of rib bones with foil to prevent burning …sprinkle roast inside and out with salt and pepper and put in a large flameproof roasting pan….

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…then wrap meat below bones with overlapping bacon strips… securing with toothpicks if necessary …

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…Mound stuffing in cavity….

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When roast is done, lift it out of roasting tin and stand it aside, loosely covered with foil, for 15 – 20 minutes and …

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…make the sauce …skim fat off surface .. place pan over a burner… add water, then deglaze pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits….pour through a fine sieve into a saucepan, discarding solids …

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…add the apple jelly and any juices accumulated from the resting crown of pro .., then simmer sauce, whisking occasionally and skimming any fat that rises, until jelly is melted, about 4 minutes….season with salt and pepper then pour into a sauce boat to serve with the roast

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Remove foil from resting roast and carve into chops by cutting between ribs … the apple & sage stuffing goes absolutely superbly with the yummy 🐷 chops 👍👍👍

RECIPE

Ingredients :  for the stuffing

  •  2 slices firm white sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery including some leaves
  • 2 large tart apples such as Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  •  2 – 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage or ½ Tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or ¼ tea dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

                        : for the roast

  • 1 crown roast of pork (the crown I used was about 10 chops in it)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp  black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon

                         : for the sauce

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tbsp apple jelly or red-current jelly

Methods:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Make the Stuffing : 
  • Spread bread squares in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and bake in middle of oven until dry and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes …  leave oven on (for roast) and set toasted bread squares aside to cool
  • Cook onion and celery in butter in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened … 4 to 5 minutes
  • Stir in apples, sugar, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and cinnamon …reduce heat to low then cook, covered, stirring until apples are tender, about 10 minutes…then stir in bread squares, parsley, and chives … remove from burner and set aside
  • Make the Roast :
  • Set oven rack in lower third of oven
  • Sprinkle roast inside and out with salt and pepper and put in a large flameproof roasting pan and mound stuffing in cavity
  • Wrap tips of rib bones with foil to prevent burning, then wrap meat below bones with overlapping bacon strips, securing them with wooden toothpicks, if necessary
  • Roast pork in middle of oven, covering stuffing loosely with foil after 15 minutes and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 70°C when inserted 2 inches into center of meat (do not touch bones), 2 to 2¼ hours total
  • Transfer roast to a carving board or platter and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 to 20 minutes (temperature of meat will rise to 75°C; meat will be slightly pink)
  • Make Sauce :
  • Skim fat from pan drippings.. place pan across a burner and add water, then deglaze pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits then pour through a fine sieve into a saucepan, discarding solids
  • Add jelly and any juices accumulated on carving board, then simmer sauce, whisking occasionally and skimming any fat that rises, until jelly is melted, about 2-3 minutes … season with salt and pepper
  • Remove all foil from roast and carve into chops by cutting between ribs … serve up with vegetables/sides of your choice 🍴🍷

 

 

Old English Trifle

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Ain’t it a beauty? Don’t you just hate to wanna stick that serving spoon into it 😉  This is probably the best loved of English cold puddings , the trifle has a long and distinguished history, related to the Tipsy Cake.

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I use home baked Jam Swiss Roll but you can also use Ladyfinger Sponge/Italian Sponge Fingers

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…slice Jam Swiss Roll into 1cm slices and line base and sides of a large glass serving bowl …I love to use a clear, see through glass bowl to show off the lovely spirals of the sponge … looks like a Charlotte Pudding/Cake in the making ya 😉

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Sprinkle about ¼ cup of sherry allover the Jam Swiss Roll  … in the background, you can see bowl of strawberry jelly that has just begun to set …

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….pour partly set jelly over sponge tools, refrigerate until jelly is set …

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Meanwhile, make your custard … you can make from scratch or like me, make it by blending custard powder and sugar with a little of the milk in a pan ….

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…stir in remaining milk ….

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…stir over heat until custard boils … keep stiring …

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…stir until custard thickens …remove from heat, stir in essence …

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…cover with cling film and leave aside to cool

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Now, start to assemble the layers of your trifle … layer peaches over jelly …

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…seen here, in between the peach layers, I added mixed fruits and also mandarin oranges as well because I’m making a super-size glass bowl of it …

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…now, pour in the custard …

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…top with whipped cream, refrigerate and then just before serving up, decorate with grated chocolate or chocolate rice and fresh fruits/strawberries

RECIPE

Ingredients:

100g packet strawberry jelly crystals

300g jam sponge roll

¼ cup sherry

425g can sliced peaches, drained

300ml carton thickened cream, whipped

for the Custard :

2 Tbsp custard powder

2 Tbsp castor sugar

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

Methods:

  • Make jelly according to directions on packet, refrigerate until jelly is just beginning to set
  • Cut sponge roll into 1cm slices, place over base and around side of large glass serving bowl, sprinkle with sherry
  • Pour partly set jelly over sponge roll, refrigerate until jelly is set
  • Meanwhile, make the custard by blending custard powder and sugar with a little of the milk in a pan then stir in remaining milk … stir over heat until custard boils and thickens … remove from heat, stir in essence then cover with cling film … set aside for it to cool
  • Place peaches over jelly (+ any other fruits you may be adding on), spread evenly with custard and top with whipped cream …refrigerate
  • Just before serving up, decorate by grating some chocolate allover the cream top and  with fresh fruits, e.g. strawberries, if desired

Cranberry-Orange Turkey

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An incredibly easy to put together meal … and extremely tasty way of enjoying your turkey, too … when I served this up for dinner, hubby said “Wow! It’s Christmas allover again!” 😉

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I used turkey drumsticks/legs … it’s huge so 1 drumstick per person is plenty!

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You will need 14 or 16 oz can of whole berry cranberry sauce … I added a handful of dried cranberries, too since I have plenty of those 🙂

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Add 1 cup store bought bottled French Dressing to the whole berry cranberry sauce

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Grate the rind of one orange and then squeeze the orange and add the rind & ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice to the cranberry sauce & French dressing

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Now, add in 1 oz (half a packet) of onion soup mix

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This is optional and may be omitted if you are on a low-salt diet … otherwise, add ½ tsp seasoned salt

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Mix the marinade well and pour over the turkey drumsticks

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Marinade the turkey drumsticks, covered in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight

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Baked, uncovered for about 50 – 60 mins until turkey drumsticks are tender and serve up on it’s own with some steamed vegetables or with some steamed rice or even mashed potatoes

RECIPE

Ingredients :

4 – 6 turkey drumsticks/legs 

1  14 – 16 oz can 
whole cranberry sauce




1   cup 
bottled French salad dressing




grated orange rind of 1 orange

½ cup freshly squeezed 
orange juice




  1 oz 
onion soup mix (½ of a 2 oz pack)

½ tsp 
seasoned salt




Methods :

  1. Lightly coat a 13x9x2-inch (3-quart rectangular) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Arrange turkey drumsticks in bottom of prepared baking dishh and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cranberry sauce, salad dressing, orange juice, onion soup mix and seasoned salt, stir to mix well
  4. Evenly pour marinade sauce over turkey legs 
  5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight
  6. Bake, uncovered, in a 180ºC oven for 50 – 60 minutes until turkey drumsticks are tender
  7. Serve up with some steamed vegetables or if you prefer, serve up with some steamed rice or mashed potatoes to mob up the awesome, tasty gravy 

Red Waldorf / Velvet Cake (2)

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I actually used the same Red Waldorf (Velvet) Cake recipe I posted a while back but I kinda adjusted some of the ingredients because I find measuring with ‘cup’ is not as accurate as going by weight and I got to weighing by estimation and am pleasantly pleased with the success this cake turned out …light, moist & melt in the mouth with each bite … so, I reckoned I better blog it before I forgot the adjustments I made to the recipe 😉

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This time because I baked it for Valentine’s Day, I used a heart-shaped cake tin … greased & dusted with some flour

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Stir together 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 oz red food colouring

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This is how the mixture of the cocoa powder mixed with the red colouring looks … lovely red mixture!

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In a large mixing bowl, cream/beat 113g (1/2 cup) shortening (I use butter) at medium speed for about 30 seconds

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Add 1 – 1½ cups (I used just about 1 cup) sugar + 1 tsp vanilla essence to the creamed shortening and beat until well combined … then add 2 eggs, 1 at a time and beat until well combined

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Beat in the cocoa mixture …

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This is how it looks after the cocoa mixture is mixed with the creamed sugar, eggs & shortening … a beautiful red batter

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You will need 280g (2¼cups) sifted cake flour or 250g (2 cups) sifted all purpose flour… alternately with buttermilk/sour milk, fold sifted flour into mixture until combined

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…alternately with flour, fold in buttermilk / sour milk just until combined … you will need total 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk / sour milk … if you don’t have buttermilk then make sour milk by adding 1 Tbsp in a measuring cup and top up with milk to make 250ml (1 cup) … let stand for 5 minutes before using

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Awesomely beautiful red batter … now, mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1 tsp vinegar and mix into the batter

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Pour batter into prepared tin and bake in a 180°C preheated oven for between 30 mins to 45 minutes depending on size of your pan as well as oven you used … my oven is temperamental so I often just go by own estimation towards the end and cake is done with a skewer inserted into the middle of cake comes out clean or when I lightly press cake with my finger cake springs back 🙂

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See how temperamental my oven is? I set it at 175°C and top of my cake actually cracked half-way through baking!  Anyway, when cake is done, remove from oven and set it atop a wire rack to cool in tin for 10 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool totally on wire rack before you ice it

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Meanwhile, prepare 1 or ½ recipe of either Creamy Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting … I used ½ recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake … I normally don’t ice cakes for ourselves as we prefer our cakes plain but since it’s Valentine’s Day, I decided to do a simple icing on it ❤

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I actually turned top of cake down to let the cake cool so that I can flatten the top a little … I don’t want it totally flat as a heart looks nicer a little rounded at the top 😉

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Ta-da! The iced cake just in time for our Valentine’s Day after dinner dessert 😉

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I can never get enough of admiring the rich, romantic red colour of the cake and it looks even more awesome when iced with the white creamy frosting!

Roast Turkey with Lemon, Parsley and Garlic

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Over the years, I’ve tried many a recipes and this is just about the best recipe I love most …awesome golden bird yet juicy & flavourful … we luuuuurve it and this recipe is à la Gordon Ramsay … one of me favourite Chef!

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THE Turkey this Christmas 2013 … a self-basting birdie 🙂

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Put butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper …

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… add the olive oil … mix well ….

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… add in the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley … mix well to combine ..

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Remove giblets from turkey cavity … season the cavity well with salt & pepper …

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…stuff the turkey cavity with onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 bay leaves

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With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both needs of the bird …make sure to keep skin intact … repeat with the skin down the legs, too

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Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin … from the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered and insert the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts

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Place bird in a large roasting pan, breast side up and spread the rest of the butter allover the skin ….

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The awesome looking bird after roasting in a hot oven for 15 mins … you can now see through the skin at the bay leaves 😉

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Baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist … I had extra bacon so I laid it atop allover the birdie … lol

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…beautiful, succulent Roast Turkey served up with all the stuffings & accompaniments surrounding it on a platter … remember! rest the turkey for a couple of hours … as it relaxes, the juices are re-absorbed making the meat succulent, tender and easier to carve 🙂

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Anti-Pasti Platter

Anti-Pasti Platter
Anti-Pasti Platter I served up one Christmas