Saturday 18 November 2023

Festive Foodies

I grabbed a couple of books from the Christmas display in the library last week. Donna Hay is the Australian equivalent of Martha Stewart - cooking plus lifestyle. And Brontë Aurell is the lovely woman who runs ScandiKitchen in London
DH had loads of recipes for main courses - interesting to read, but not much that I'd want to prepare for our Yuletide feasts. And quantities were for larger numbers, as you'd expect. Not much use to the two of us. However, in her dessert section, there were some ideas I liked. Four which used crushed up candy canes. 
Candy canes are pink and sweet and often greatly reduced straight after Christmas. Donna crushes them and uses them almost like a substitute for praline. 
Crushed canes, bourbon biscuits, and cream make truffles, coated in chocolate. 
Canes, crumbled brownie and ice cream make a loaf to slice for a fancy pudding. 
Canes, white chocolate, butter and shortbread melt together for chocolate bars. 
Canes with milk, cream and melted ice cream becomes a festive milk shake
The other ideas involve ice cream, pandoro and pannetone loaves. She hollows out the loaves and fills the inside with ice cream. One she covers with meringue like a Baked Alaska. The hollowed out "innards" become a trifle. And gingerbread men sandwich a slice of ice cream to make a fun ice cream sandwich [an idea for the grandchildren] 
Brontë's book has lots more recipes which I could see myself making. Scandinavian bread recipes, small cakes and biscuits. She also has an excellent section explaining popular Scandi ingredients [eg lingonberries, cardamom, buttermilk] and giving tips for substitutes
And I learned another word... Kringle.. I'd heard Americans referring to Santa as Kris Kringle, but I didn't realise that Kringle is a Scandi word for pretzel. And this dessert is a sweet flaky pastry filled with dried fruit, marzipan and nuts. 
Brontë also has lots of information about Scandi Christmas traditions. 
Both books were an easy read, with clear illustrations, and well written recipes. I liked the way that both books offered some fresh ideas for salads and side dishes. And good ideas for turning store cupboard ingredients into something more interesting. I'd expected a bit more "lifestyle" stuff from DH - if you have Disney+ you can watch her Xmas shows which do give tips for presentation and table setting. But I suppose she is in Oz, where they have sunshine not snow at Yuletide. 
But I need to stop reading and get on with Christmas tasks! 


  1. Christmas baking season is almost upon us, isn't it? But, first, there's Thanksgiving, so that's what I'm focusing on this week. :)

  2. I enjoy reading those kind of books but as it will be the two of us for Christmas I won’t be doing anything too fancy. It really is just a roast dinner for us and our favourite meals come from the leftovers in the days following. Catriona

    1. Christmas leftovers are among my most favourite meals

  3. Strangely your post didn't come through on my list today, and I wondered if you werent well. Then I found you had posted! The books look interesting.

  4. It's Thanksgiving first here, too so I'll be cooking ve veggies and baking pies. My favorite leftover is a turkey sandwich with a thin slice of cornbread stuffing and a thin slice of jellied cranberry sauce. Bliss on two slices of bread!


  5. Christmas cookbooks are some of my favourite reads. I'll see if our library has either of the two you mentioned. Perfect timing for the upcoming "Stir Up Sunday". Kris Kringle originally from the Americans mis-pronouncement of the German word Christkindl, Christ Child. :)

    1. That's interesting to know! Kx

    2. Another word fact to store away 🎅🎅🎅

  6. Thank you PP for explaining Kris Kringle to me that makes more sense that Santa being a pretzel!


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