Tag: Christmas
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Christmas Festivities

Happy New Year!  We have had such a festive time since my last post, celebrating Christmas and New Year with both of our families in beautiful places.

We drove to the north of Tasmania to enjoy a pre-Christmas lunch with my family, on the farm.  It felt delicious being surrounded by everyone who had migrated home for this time of year (my sister Cath from exploring Europe for six months and Robby from Castlemaine).

The kids swam in the pool, were spoilt by their grandmother and enjoyed freshly picked raspberries from her garden.  As always, I enjoyed a little too much of my sister-in-law’s fab Rocky Road!  I just can’t stop at one piece.

Rocky Road

Sisters

Returning to Hobart, preparations began for our boating trip away.  The boat was finally packed for a week full of adventures with food, clothing and Christmas presents.  We left early on the 23rd December to Stewart’s Bay where smooth waters allowed an enjoyable four-hour trip, and we arrived to the solitude of white sand and blue waters.

Nick’s family arrived the next day (by boat and car) and the days morphed into time at the beach, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, laying in the sun, eating, drinking champagne, opening presents, talking and just relaxing.

Poppy was overwhelmed with how Santa actually delivered a bike to her on the boat.  We were too!  It must have had something to do with the platter left out for the busy man and his reindeer on Christmas eve, consisting of carrots, biscuits and a Cascade Draught!

It was lovely to celebrate Christmas whilst being away on the boat and being surrounded by a gorgeous family in a such a stunning setting.  Xxx

Goodbye HobartCape RaoulStewart's BayStewart's BayHoliday modeMercuryStewart's BayLittle FishPickled PrawnsSanta's SnacksPoppy's new bikeChristmas BubblesThe Pink FlamingoWillPaddle Board LoveBeach CousinsChristmas BubblesHamMore seafoodMoetFrench ChampagneTrifleRainy day pick upRainy Boxking DayBuzz LightyearBeach detailStewart's Bay LodgeNick, James and meBBQSaladsSister-in-LawsLittle PiratesDay trip to Crescent BeachPoppy & RubyPoppy driving the dinghyLarniCape RaoulCape RaoulCape RaoulCape RaoulHobartChecking out the action Princes Street Wharf

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like …

Christmas

Christmas!

I love this time of year.  Even though it is a very busy time, I love the anticipation of the end of the year and celebrating with family and friends.  I have been busy at work trying to finalise the academic year before I enjoy a break over the summer holidays.  Invitations are coming in thick and fast for Christmas functions, family nights, parties and get-togethers with friends.  Christmas decorations are popping up throughout the city and … at home!

We dragged out the dusty old box from under the house today containing the ‘fake’ Christmas tree we bought off Gumtree many years ago.  Poppy decorated it for hours within an inch of a …. bauble.  I must say, as I type this I can see the twinkling lights out of the corner of my eye, and the house feels very festive indeed.

Christmas Christmas Christmas

Yesterday we were in the city and ‘popped’ into the opening of the new Myer Hobart.  I can’t actually say ‘popped in’ because it was more like a line up!  I am not sure what I was thinking!  James was in the pram and I was dodging all the other Mum’s and their prams, plus hundreds of interested folk, keen to lay an eye on ‘their’ new department store, after the devastating fire of the original building in 2007.

Bursting into the retail space just prior to Christmas, the new store looked very sharp and … Christmasy!  A retailers delight.

Myer Hobart Myer Hobart Myer Hobart Myer Hobart Myer HobartMyer Hobart

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Giant Pavlova ♥

Bay of Fires SparklingNick and I love entertaining but unfortunately haven’t found our hosting groove much this year.  Last weekend however, we broke out from our boring Saturday-night routine of watching Scott & Bailey and had friends over for several nights in succession.  We are on a roll now … just in time for the festive season!

I made this Giant Pavlova which is one of my favourite desserts for a dinner party.  It is out of my go-to recipe book at the moment Delicious. Love to Cook.

DeliciousThe dessert is called ‘divine chaos’.  The idea is to put the pavlova in the centre of the table, give everyone a spoon and let them go for it!  It works a treat every time.

Giant Pavlova with Berries & Salted Caramel

6 egg whites

350g caster sugar

1tbs white balsamic vinegar

1tbs cornflour, sifted

1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar, sifted

600ml thickened cream

500g mixed berries

1 quantity of salted caramel sauce (see below)

  • Preheat oven to 150°C.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 3-4 minutes on high-speed to soft peaks.
  • Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next, whisking until mixture is glossy.
  • Reduce speed to low, then add balsamic, cornflour and icing sugar, beating to combine.
  • Spread mixture over the baking paper in a round or oblong shape, making a slight indent in the centre.
  • Reduce oven to 130°C and bake meringue for 1 hour.  Turn off oven and leave for 1-2 hours until cooled completely.
  • Remove from oven and place on a platter or serving board.
  • To serve, whisk cream to soft peaks, then spread over the centre of the meringue base.  Scatter over the berries and drizzle with salted caramel.

Salted Caramel Sauce

2.5 cups (330g) of caster sugar

1/2 cup (125ml) water

  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Increase heat to medium and cook, without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush, for 10 minutes until a golden caramel forms.
  • Remove from heat, then immediately pour in cream (be careful, as mixture will bubble then seize).
  • Return pan to stove over a low heat, add sea salt and cook sauce, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Pavlova

Pavlova

Pavlova

Pavlova

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer

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Christmas Skirt

Poppy's Skirt

As per her request, I have made Poppy another skirt for Christmas!  She can be camouflaged with our presents under the tree.  All things ‘spotty’!

Christmas Presents

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