Monday, December 22, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Darkside Style

My dream Christmas theme is sandwiched somewhere between Nightmare Before Christmas and a Las Vegas casino. Well actually that's my year round dream decor. Glitz, glamour and above all gaudy with a touch of the sinister thrown in.

I completed my Christmas shopping for the immediate family today, everybody else on my gift list will be sorted out sometime before Christmas Eve or after Boxing Day. The family's presents all came from stores that gift wrapped, yeah one less job for me to do.

I've had a full on cooking binge, with a drinkies night on Friday night. May I say I can recommend highly the Poinsettia from Nigella Christmas (also in the Nigella Christmas Feast in the latest Australian Women's Weekly). Also from Nigella Christmas, the Chilli Cheese Crostini is wonderful with the Mexicana flavoured Dorito's, it's a little bland without anything highly flavoured to dollop it on. And the Peanut Butter Cups are wonderful, but then I am mad about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and this is as close to home made version as you can get.
I also made the Wasabi Crab Cakes, or Not-Wasabi Crab Cakes, I substituted English mustard for the wasabi as Nigella suggested (no one likes wasabi according to my mother), and lemon juice for the rice wine vinegar. Then instead of frying them, my mother thought we should bake them, they kind of came out dry, and not at all crispy and I really didn't like the flavour the mustard gave them.

I made the Cocktail Sausages from Express, they were an absolute winner, think chipolata's in a honey-soy marinade. One I am not pleased with is the Party Popcorn from Express, the popcorn popped alright and then I tried to make up the buttery spice mix to pour over. I ended up with what reminded me in appearance and smell of curry paste.
Tried remaking it, just mixing the dried spice mix up and shoggiling like mad, but most of it sat at the bottom. Oh well shelved till a future date when I have patience to fiddle with it some.
Also from Express and what I do like is Curry in a Hurry, what I didn't like was the chicken cacciatore.

My new addition to my Christmas decoration line up is a jaunty looking tiger wearing a Santa hat. I like tigers and I like hats. It's win-win. I haven't got my tree out, put none of my cards up, aside from the tiger I am still in two minds as to whether I shall have Christmas at my house or not this year. Tinsel on anything, decorations hung on the tree are all fair game as far as the Daft White Cat is concerned, so too any fresh flowers or potted plants I try to keep.

The only thing safe is the tree itself and the string of lights I have on it. Maybe the DWC likes a minimalist Christmas theme?

Tomorrow we are having another knitting coven meeting, I am in two minds about going, I could go, or I could stay home and start constructing a reasonably sized bunker for the DWC and I to lurk in.
The now infamous scarf, will once again get an outing if I go out. Will it be done by New Year, possibly, if I can make the time to sit long enough to work on it. Fortunately I think my search is over, turned my entire home upside down in search of my "good" black skirt which I adore, asked my mother twice if I'd left it at her house at all, no no no, so searching again through all my clothes, when you own as much black as I do finding a particular piece is like seeking a needle in a haystack. My mother found it at her house.
Then there was the now complete searches for Christmas decorations and for my copy of Forever Summer.

Anyway my final thought on Christmas Twisted Sister Part 1 and Part 2.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The scarf is almost finished, thanks to Lady Deathwatch I have an idea on a shrug to start, it looks simple enough for even me to complete in a timely fashion, i.e. for when the warm weather well and truly starts here in my part of the world.

As most people are aware it's December, yes it's that time of year again. Good will to all mankind and all that other baloney. Bah! Is all I have to say to that. Bah!

However despite saying that, I have been putting the carols on, flicking through my ever growing pile of Christmas magazines and books, it grows every year.
As much as I despise this time of year, as much as I loathe it with every fibre of my being, I can not resist the opportunity for cooking too much food.
Food is just one of my major obsessions, of which I have many, long time readers will be familiar with my others.
New to this year's menus, I tried Christmas Chocolate Biscuits, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies both from the new Nigella Christmas. And at long last I made the Maple Pepper Pecans from Nigella Express. One minor substitution I swapped out the cayenne for paprika in the pecans to road test them at that level, and I'm really not sure how other people feel about really hot things.
But they've passed my Mother's test, she was sampling them in the kitchen while no one was looking.

There's still a whole plethora of things from Nigella Christmas I'm keen to try and a number of them have made it onto lists, the Cranberry Studded Mincemeat (after the Vanilla Rhubarb mincemeat from Feast was vetoed by my mother, not enough people in the family can eat rhubarb, the fact I like it is beside the point) and Christmas Wreaths look like goers.
But the tried and tested Apricot and Almond White Christmas is back again this year, I love both apricots and almonds, and well I like some White Christmas, it's kind of like fruit cake, it can be hard to find a good one.

A reliable source (my Mother, so always right) informs me Nigella's Express was on the ABC last night! I missed it but with any luck my father has recorded it, we think last night was the first episode. I'm hoping so, I have been eagerly anticipating this series, I have seen little snippets courtesy of You Tube.