This year I was feeling a little in the spirit, so I did some holiday baking before to share around.
Hilarious Fudge: I had a bag of old Dandies to use up and Panda Without Cookies suggested making fudge with them. I didn't have any recipes in my books for this, so I Googled around and found this recipe. I didn't have any frozen rhubarb, so I used frozen raspberries, which was probably a mistake as this fudge never really set very well and having sloppy raspberries in it made it even sloppier! I took this to a picnic and it totally melted, so I ended up reshaping it and freezing it. It was delicious, but a complete disaster in terms of presentation! I also used almonds instead of cashews.
Norah's Lemon-Lemon Cookies from Isa Does It: I made these for a friend, and of course sampled a few. To be honest, I would prefer this as a single lemon cookie - the extra lemon comes from a coconut-oil containing glaze that does not float my boat. But as I was giving these to a friend I made them as is. I left a naked cookie for me and this was great. I would make these again but decorate just with some sugar crystals and lemon zest, I think. The recipe says to scoop out 2 tablespoons (about 30mL) of dough per cookie, but I used a 20mL Australian tablespoon for each one and didn't get as many as the recipe stated. I made a half batch and with 20mL scoops it made 9 cookies instead of 12. I used Nuttelex in the dough instead of icky coconut oil. I also only made 1/4 batch of the glaze for 1/2 recipe of cookies and it was more than enough.
Rating: :) for cookies, :/ for glaze
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with Chocolate Chips from Isa Does it: This recipe is meant to have white chocolate chips in it but I hate white chocolate so I used regular semi-sweet. This was a really yummy recipe! It is meant to make 24 cookies and says to use walnut sized scoops of dough. I clearly still do not know how big a walnut is because I got 37 cookies instead. But as I was giving them out as gifts to work colleagues that meant there was lots to go around. These are great.
Lemon Biscotti from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats: On Boxing Day I was going over to my friend Sarah's house for dinner and to watch the Christmas episode of Doctor Who (I really enjoyed the episode). Sarah makes amazing dinners, and I offered to bring the sweets. She is gluten free, so I thought I'd finally try my hand at these biscotti. They were very easy to make. I made a half batch, so I just had one log to shape, bake, cut and bake again. I got a bit confused about cutting the loaf on the diagonal, so I ended up cutting them a little too thick. But a few minutes longer in the oven and they went nice a crunchy. The recipe says that it is best to eat these a few hours after cooling, so I made them that morning. I would agree with this, because by the time dinner was done and we were eating them they had started to go a little soft again.
For Christmas Eve my parents traditionally get some poor dead prawns to eat, but they delayed that this year until my brother gets home (he gets home tomorrow!), so I made dinner for everyone. I had planned to make some vegan crab cakes and some salad, but for some reason we were so full still at dinner time that I just made the salad.
Corn, Red Bean, and Blueberry Salad with Mango Dressing from Quick-Fix Vegan: This super refreshing salad was so tasty! The only thing would be next time I would use more mango - mango chunks in salad are the best! For the dressing I squeezed the mid-section of the mango after slicing off the cheeks to get the juice and puree required. I served this with some very yummy baked potato and chive bread from the supermarket.
Christmas Day dawned and I went for a walk and had a green smoothie for breakfast, which maybe isn't totally in the spirit but was what I felt like. Afterwards we opened presents (I got some new DVDs, books, cookbooks and a Cruelty Free Shop Gourmet Feast Hamper), and then it was on to making lunch.
Warm Mushroom Salad with Cranberries from Appetite for Reduction: I have been wanting to make this for a holiday dish for a couple of years, and this was the year. I have never seen fresh chanterelle mushrooms here, so I ended up using a blend of swiss brown and oyster. I also couldn't find mache greens, so I used a small bag of green leaf lettuces and a few handfuls of baby spinach (Isa suggests rocket, but I prefer spinach). The greens are tossed with a lovely, tangy Creamy Horseradish Dressing and sweetened dried cranberries, which was a great combination.
Rating: Salad :), Dressing :)
Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Cumin-Coriander Tahini from Oh She Glows: Oh She Glows in a new book for me, but one I have been enjoying. I love roasted carrots at Christmas, and this sounded like a good one. I couldn't find rainbow carrots, and I was a little confused about how big the carrots were meant to be. She said you can use regular carrots but there is no way they would have cooked through in the time. I used two bunches of cute orange Dutch Carrots and two full-sized purple carrots cut into quarters for some colour. The sauce was great, but thickens up very quickly, so I tried to thin it before drizzling with some hot water but it might have been a bit too hot and it separated. Still tasted great though!
I went super simple for the roast this year, and just got a little Sanitarium Vegie Roast. It's nothing fancy, but still pretty good. I didn't use the horrible orange rosemary-mint glaze, but just rubbed with some olive oil and tamari. Served with cranberry sauce of course. I have recently found a new source of frozen cranberries, but I had a jar of cranberry sauce in the cupboard that needed using.
And I always make Dreena Burton's Potato Squashers from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, I've blogged about them a few times before. Christmas nearly got cancelled after my dad got big potatoes instead of small potatoes, but I ended up cutting them in half and baking cut side down and then continuing with the recipe. They were still good, but not quite as awesome as they were missing the second crispy side.
I had for dinner what I was planning on having for breakfast before my green smoothie urge struck. Ideal Crumb is a new business in Brisbane that has started supplying vegan croissants to The Green Edge. I had been in the week before to buy some as my family normally eats croissants for breakfast on Christmas Day, and popped them in the freezer. They defrosted and reheated great! I sliced them, filled them with slices of Tofurkey Smoked Ham and Tofutti Cheese Slices and reheated them in the oven for about ten minutes. Amazing!
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
The only time I subject my cats to dress ups is at Christmas (though I do have some inflatable unicorn horns that will one day be adorable!). Dim Sim cunningly spent the day lying in front of the window in the sun room, so her photos this year have a very glaring background! I couldn't close the blinds without her running off.
Sahara was a little more in the spirit, mainly because I snuck up on her while she was having a serious post-prandial snooze after lunch. Look at that cheeky little face.