I’m sad looking at my calendar thinking to myself where has the year gone? Is Christmas really just around the corner? The years seem to go by quicker and quicker but with Christmas being one of my favourite times of year for delicious food and spending time with friends and family, I’m certainly not complaining!
I usually begin planning my Christmas menu around this time to give myself ample time to get everything sorted and together and help feel like I’m on top of things so when the silly season arrives I’m cool, calm and collected (most of the time). I generally tend to stick to the same menu with turkey, ham and a classic Christmas pud (click here to read my blog from last year with great recipes on all of those). Though I don’t think I’m quite ready to depart from my beloved Lemon and Thyme Turkey and Clove-Studded Ham, I thought why not try a more unique pudding this year? So, I was inspired to take a look at the delicious desserts other cultures enjoy around Christmas.
Upon having gander through the internet and various food magazines I found great recipes for egg nog from Britain, yule log cake (a delicious chocolate-on-chocolate log-shaped cake) from France and Pannetone from Italy, but I couldn’t go past Jamie Oliver’s recipe for an Italian Christmas Tiramisu. When making it I decided to add my own special touch with the addition of Vanilla Extract and some Ground Cinnamon because who goes better with chocolate and orange than cinnamon? I’ve already done a test run before the big day and let me tell you it was absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious and even got a big stamp of approval from my kids so, I thought I have to share the recipe with you all. Click Here to check it out.
It’s around this time that I also like to begin getting my present buying done again to avoid the mad rush in December and make things a little easier on my back pocket. Every year we accumulate more and more ‘things’ and with such a big emphasis on sustainability at the moment, I was inspired to try something a little different this year and make some of my gifts. Plus, it’s not only a great way to keep costs down during such a lavish time of year but such a great personal touch to show the people you love you really care and went to a lot of effort for them. So, if you too are up for a more budget-friendly, sustainable Christmas this year why not give this a go yourself? Here are some ideas I’ve come up with for homemade Chrissy presents.
*Click the title names to check out the recipes.
Homemade Eggplant Kasundi– I just love this recipe and am never without a jar in my fridge. It’s excellent for serving as a condiment alongside curries, grilled meats and even with scrambled eggs on toast in the morning. Serve this in an airtight jar with some beautiful Christmas ribbon around it and I’m sure whomever you gift this to will absolutely love it!
Christmas Aniseed Cookies– The unusual sweet and spicy taste of these cookies just tastes like Christmas to me. I’ve made these at Christmas religiously for years now and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. For a great presentation idea and fitting in with the sustainability theme try going to some op shops to find some of the beautiful old metal biscuit tins. Simply line the tin with baking paper or some kind of Christmas tissue paper and place the cookies inside, a great two-in-one present. If you can’t find any tins just get some clear wrapping plastic and bundle them up with a bright red ribbon.
Chai Flavoured Cupcakes– These cupcakes are the epitome of sugar, spice and all things nice. With the sweetness of cupcakes and the spice of our People’s Chai spice blend, these are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon mug of chai. A great way to wind down and take some time for you in the Christmas period. These not only taste great but look so beautiful too, making them an ideal and very personal Christmas gift.
Preserved Lemons– These are must for any Moroccan food fans you know! The salty lemony tang of them is a great accompaniment for meats, veggies and curries. These are little flavour pocket rockets and great for having on stand-by in the fridge any time you need a flavour-packed condiment. Get some beautiful recycled jars from the op shop, sterilize and place the lemons inside before sealing. Tie some twine around them in a bow with a cinnamon stick for an interesting rustic-looking present.
Spiced Orange and Ginger Curd– This spiced curd is smooth, creamy and zesty in all the right ways. This curd is so versatile and is great to have on stand-by for dessert in a flash. Layer in between fluffy sponge cakes and top with whipped cream and fresh orange zest. Or, simply spread lashings of this smooth golden curd on toast for a decadent afternoon treat. If you’re giving this as a present, best to make double as we’re sure you’re going to want to some all to yourself.
Sweet, Spicy, Salty Nuts – There’s only one word to sum these nuts up: Moreish! These really are sweet, spicy and salty all at the same time and the spices in them just remind me instantly of Christmas. They’re great to have just in bowls around the house for snacking around the festive season and an excellent snack to have when having some Christmas drinks with friends. To give them as a gift I like to put them in small tins or jars and wrap ribbon around them. The smell when baking these in the oven will fill your house with the smells of Christmas for the whole season.
There are my top Christmas gifting ideas for a more sustainable Christmas this year. Be sure to check out our Tips and Tricks for Making Christmas Cooking a Breeze blog form last year, it’s filled with so many great pointers and recipes.
If you make anything from our site be sure to upload it onto social media and tag us, we love seeing what you create!