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Posts Tagged ‘easy recipe’

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

Coming from the Philippines where adorning  homes with Christmas decorations has become a national pastime that begins in September, my first impression was that Australians weren’t very keen on Christmas.  I couldn’t get used to Santa in a body suit, trading turtlenecks for singlets, or a “white Christmas” referring to spending time in Bondi beach.

Jenni's Berry Pie

Jenni's Simple Berry Pie

It’s taken almost five years but the Aussie Christmas has certainly grown on me. This year we spent Christmas day at my Aunt Jenni’s house in Canberra.  I meant to share these pictures with you sooner but it’s taken me awhile to rouse myself from the food induced coma brought about by the eating binge over Christmas.

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Queso de Bola Spread

Queso de Bola Spread

Because the holiday season is already so stressful, there are some things that you should never do in December.

Getting married is one of them.

This of course is from first hand experience when eight years ago, three days after Christmas, I said “I do.”  When I got engaged my then fiancé said “pick a date” and there was no doubt in my mind that we would get married around the Christmas holidays.  I had visions of a string quartet playing Christmas carols at the wedding reception, pointsettias hanging around the ballroom and because my Mom was taking care of the catering, I asked for a Holiday themed menu including glazed hams and roast turkeys.

The stress started as early as September when the dressmaker told me that because I wanted a beaded dress, whatever my current weight was then was what my weight had to be at my wedding.  There was no room to put on any holiday weight as this would mean major adjustments to the dress.

It was hard to enjoy engagement parties and holiday get togethers when every time I’d want to stuff myself silly I’d envision a little bubble over my head and inside was the dressmaker shaking his head saying “Tsk… tsk… I told you not to eat so much!”

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Beef ribs with chorizo

Beef ribs with chorizo

They say, necessity is the mother of invention.

These last few weeks, I would say that moving is the mother of improvisation. As we countdown to moving homes, I find myself limited as to what I can cook because I’ve either packed something away or I’m trying to use up miscellaneous ingredients that have been hiding in my freezer or pantry.  I had some friends over for dinner a while back and I discovered some chorizos and beef ribs hibernating in my freezer and an almost empty tin of paprika and decided that I would make a Spanish inspired beef stew.

I mentioned in a previous post that I learned to brown tough cuts of meat in the oven rather than frying over the stove top – after trying it again for this recipe I have to say, this is definitely my preferred method – it’s less messier and healthier because some of the fat is rendered from the meat using this technique.

I love the beef and chorizo combination – this is dish is so hearty and so easy to put together.  Many stews taste better the next day as all the flavours develop overnight…I wish I could say the same for this dish – I suspect it would, but I wouldn’t know as we finished it in one sitting.

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