Tag Archive for: Christmas

How to Candy a Whole Orange

28 Nov
November 28, 2013

Did you miss out on one of Heston Blumenthal’s hidden orange puddings this year?  No need to panic and no need to pick one up on Ebay for an obnoxious amount.  If you really would like to have one on the table for Christmas Day, there is still time to secure one at a reasonable price.  The catch is, you will have to make it for yourself, and trust me, it isn’t that difficult.

Whole Candied OrangeTo create a pudding hiding a candied orange is a two-part process.  Firstly you will need to candy an orange.

It’s not that hard, if you can simmer water, you can candy an orange.  Belly Rumble’s HQ has been busy testing the waters to create the perfect candied orange for your pudding.  It’s easy, but as I just said you will need some time up your sleeve.  It will take you eight days to candy an orange using my method. Read more →


Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Soup Shots with Spicy Crab

15 Jan
January 15, 2013

Summer in Australia is hot, don’t let anybody tell you differently.  It’s also the time that we Aussies love to entertain.  Long BBQ’s at home, accompanied with cooling beverages, lasting until the heat of the day is put to bed by the arrival of evening.  Our hot Summer days do cry out for BBQs, but cooling dishes for entertaining are also an essential requisite for any serious home cooks’ repertoire.

Another recipe that I am not 100% sure when I nabbed it from, maybe Delicious?  I made these for Christmas Day 2012, but they are perfect for any entertaining occasion.  I made them as shots, but you could prepare larger versions as a cool entree to start a Summer dinner party.

Not sure if you like chilled soup?  Quite a few people are put off by the idea.  This is a great recipe to make and see if chilled soup is for you.  This recipe is full of flavour and the crab gives you the required texture to add some interest for your palate. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: 5 Easy Uses for Fruit Mince

24 Dec
December 24, 2012

Firstly it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the Wonderful Pistachio Giveaway.  Congratulations Brad Iverson.  I will be in contact with you shortly.

One more sleep and Christmas will be here.  Time has flown and I can’t believe how quickly it has crept up on us.  Did it creep up on you too?  Here are five festive ways to use fruit mince.  All very quick and easy.  You can use your own fruit mince, I did make some earlier this month.  Alternatively grab a jar from the supermarket, either way, quick and easy festivity at your finger tips.  Perfect for that last minute baking. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Spekulatius Torte

21 Dec
December 21, 2012

I experiment in the kitchen all the time, I can’t help myself.  I’m always tweaking recipes, adding this, taking away that, using different flavours.  One of my favourite recipes is one that was handed down to me by my mother, Biscotten Torte.  She does not claim fame to its invention, and we aren’t sure where the recipe was originally sourced.  All I know is that when I make it the boys go bonkers, they love it.

I have never played around with this recipe.  I have thought on the odd occasion of how I could make it more ‘Christmassy’, but never went any further than that.  That is, until I was seeking out Spekulatius cookies for Christmas.  Having Spekulatius in the pantry at Christmas time is a tradition in our household.  Come to think of it, they are always bought, never made.  May have to change that next year.

As I picked up the packet of Spekulatius to purchase, a giant light bulb appeared on top of my head, bells went off, an idea was born.  Why not use Spekulatius in my Biscotten Torte?  With that thought I picked up another packet and added it to my shopping basket.

Spekulatius were an obvious substitution in the original recipe.  The cookies are rich in spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom.  The filling of the torte is almond, and I feel a perfect match with those flavours.

I was right, the Spekulatius worked perfectly.  I did add an extra layer of filling to the torte, to  give a denser texture than the original.  The filling is slightly different, but all the key ingredients are there. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Fruit Mince (Peel Free)

18 Dec
December 18, 2012

Why is the mixture inhabiting within a mince pie called fruit mince?  The ingredients that make up fruit mince don’t include minced meat.  The fruit itself is finely chopped,  not put through a mincer.  Why is it not called mixed spiced fruit or similar?

Our modern day fruit mince may not include meat, but traditionally it did.  Mince pies, as we know them in Australia, are British in origins.  They can be traced back to the 13th Century when European crusaders returned from the Holy Land and brought back with them middle Eastern cooking methods.  Originally mince pies had a mixture of minced meat, suet, various dried fruits and spices.  The use of mutton was common, but also veal, goose or even beef tongue. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Gingerbread Biscuits

17 Dec
December 17, 2012

When my home fills with the smell of baking gingerbread cookies, I know Christmas has arrived.  Of course in my household the cookies disappear as quickly as they are baked.  Therefore I tend to put off baking until a few days before Christmas.  The ones in these pictures have been greedily devoured already and we still have a week to go until Christmas.  Looks like I will be busily baking more.

I like to use treacle as well as golden syrup to give more depth to the flavour of the biscuits.  The addition of allspice brings a little more ‘Christmas’ to their taste.  Use your favourite cookie cutters and decorate as you desire. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Baked Stuffed Onions with Parmesan Cream

11 Dec
December 11, 2012

I cut this recipe out of the paper years ago.  It looks like it came from the Sydney Morning Herald, but not 100% sure on that, and I have no idea of who the chef of the original recipe is.

These onions have become a family favourite and have been made at Christmas time over the past few years.  A big thank you to whomever the original chef was, as this recipe is a winner.

There onions are rich and hearty.  They go perfectly with a roasted Christmas dinner.  As they are stuffed, they are just that little more special as well.  We also indulge on these in winter with a roast as Christmas is only once a year, and these onions deserve to be eaten more than once. Read more →

Christmas Recipe: Festive Sausage Rolls

09 Dec
December 9, 2012

Amongst the sophisticated hors d’oeuvres that may grace your Christmas table, it is always nice to have something for the kids.  The only thing that really makes these sausage rolls festive is the use of cranberry sauce in the filling.  I feel it is enough of a ‘Christmas’ ingredient to slide these in to my Christmas recipes, just.

As easy as this recipe is, the sage and cranberry sauce does take the humble sausage roll to a new level.   The beauty of this recipe is the sausage rolls can be made in advance and frozen once they have been assembled.  If not used for Christmas day, they really are great to have on hand in the freezer to pop in the oven when unexpected guests pay a visit.  Trust me, big kids will devour these just as quickly as the little ones. Read more →

Merry Christmas! Belly Rumbles Christmas Eve Eats & Rambles.

24 Dec
December 24, 2011

My regular readers over the years will know that Christmas Eve is a pretty special time for me.  You could say I celebrate Christmas twice.  Once traditionally, due to my Latvian heritage, on Christmas Eve.  Then again on Christmas Day.

This year has been a bit of a strange one for me.  I have felt a little displaced to be honest.  Mum and Dad have moved up to Sunny Queensland, and it was not on the cards this year to be up there for Christmas Eve.  Plus they decided to go on a cruise.  So we will celebrate together, on their return, on the 29th of December.

Until my Grandmother passed away we celebrated Christmas Eve with relatives.  It was one massive get together, which I loved.  Unfortunately over the years we have all gone our separate ways and celebrate differently.  I will be quite honest, I miss those get togethers.

So this year I was thrown for a major loop.  To speak frankly, it was a case of “what the fuck am I going to do?”.  It was just the three of us, not that there is anything wrong with that, but that isn’t how I have spent Christmas Eve for the past 42 years of my life.

There was one major option that sprang to my mind.  No traditional meal.  Head to the pub and watch a mates band, Spurs for Jesus, at their annual Christmas Eve bash?  Something I have never been able to do in the past.  A new tradition?  Couldn’t do it, as much as I enjoy their music and the antics of Rev K D Twang, just not Christmas Eve to me.

So what do to do , what to do?

As a lot of you would know, we lost an incredible woman this year, my mother in law, Yvonne.   Why not invite my Father in law (FIL) over to have a special meal with us, stay the night and share in tired Christmas morning present giving?  Yes, a plan was born.

As I type this, Mac is watching Ocean’s 13 on the projector while I try to sort out which snore is Sally’s and which is my FIL’s, coming from the lounge.  So all in all it has been a good evening.

How did we chow down for Christmas Eve?  Let me share with you.  Pictures do speak louder than words.

To start we had a good old fashioned prawn cocktail, topped with roe and chives.  Chopped prawns were mixed through a zesty cocktail sauce, with a larger one on the side for pizzazz.  To accompany that we had oysters with gin and lemon dressing, from my oysters three ways recipes.

The main event, was butterflied turkey filled with stuffing of pistachios, cranberries and prosciutto.  I placed a generous amount of  butter which had been mixed with orange zest and thyme under the skin.  Oh wow, so so moist and tasty!

To accompany, potatoes and sweet potatoes, which had been roasted with duck fat.  Yes people, duck fat potatoes! 

Beans with almonds and butter.  Hmm butter and fat seems to be a major theme of this meal.  Oh well, we can diet tomorrow.  Actually we can’t.  Off to my brother and sis in laws for Christmas Day lunch.

Also one of my favourite, and must have, Christmas Eve dishes, red cabbage.

Dessert was a simple affair of freshly baked Portuguese style festive tarts.  Light and flaky puff pastry tart filled custard and a dollop of fruit mince.  Topped with almonds and a dusting of icing sugar.  They were better than I thought they would be, Mac ate three!

Wishing you all a very merry and safe Christmas.  Filled with festive food and the ones you love.

After a massive day it is time for bed.   Just need to put some cookies out for Santa and a Portuguese tart for Rudolph.  I always imagined Rudolph to be a foodie, why, not sure.  With that nose, one would think he would be a wine connoisseur.

Massive hugs, merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sara xxx

Christmas Eve & Day, the Belly Rumbles way :)

26 Dec
December 26, 2010

Merry  Christmas everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas day filled with family, friends, food, love and joy.

This Christmas has been a bit of a strange one for me.  All my good intentions and plans were shot to pieces when I came down with a rotten virus.  I have been extremely sick for 2 weeks, continuous coughing and feeling like the living dead.  They thought I had whooping cough and I was quarantined until the results came back.  They were negative, but to be honest, made no difference, I still felt horrid.  No sleep due to coughing makes for one very emotional shell of a girl.

I am still coughing and I have actually lost my voice, but I will get better.  So being hit by this horrid thing really threw my plans out the window.

All my planned Christmas baking did not happen, did not have the strength or energy.

I missed out on my soon to be sister-in-law’s hens night, as I felt like death and at that stage had no idea of how contagious I was (was still under quarantine).  That was the last wedding present I wanted to give to her, the wedding is on the 28th December.

My best bud, Ms Lily, was heading overseas for an epic 2 month trip.  Our planned Christmas lunch was cancelled and proper, goodbyes of have fun, enjoy etc did not happen. Read more →