Sunday, December 15, 2013

Clothesline decorating

How much fun is Christmas?! It's a great excuse to get everyone together to celebrate the ups and downs of the year. I know there are lots of bah humbugs out there who curse the frantic festive catch ups in the lead up to Christmas, but I revel in them.

I indulged in the merriment of the season gathered my Melbourne family for lazy Saturday drinks at my place. I am so grateful for my little support network over here. I haven't made many friends from scratch, but rather borrowed from my existing friends' pool of friends. Sharing is caring, right?!

Well, we all know I love a nibbles platter or two so experimented with a few Michelle Bridges canapé options and some serious sangria - red and white.

Fun fun fun! My laptop is flat so I can't link to recipes right now but stay tuned for these guilt free treats that I'll share tomorrow.

Ps. My housemate is caving, she even helped put up the decorations. I can be very persuasive when I try ... and I find bribery works!
Update: Links to recipes below
Beetroot and goats cheese tarts (my own little concoction)
  • Puff pastry rounds (a scone cutter is about the right size for mini muffin tins)
  • Beetroot relish (hello Beerenberg!)
  • Goats cheese
  • Fresh mint
  1. Cut out the puff pastry rounds and line mini muffin tins (spray tin with non stick oil first)
  2. Prick the bottom of each pastry round with a fork
  3. Fill each cup with a small dollop (not quite a teaspoon) of beetroot relish (do not go overboard otherwise it will spill over)
  4. Top with a sprinkle of goats cheese (about half a teaspoon)
  5. Cook in a preheated oven at 180C until puffed and golden
  6. Cool in tray until easy to handle and then transfer to wire rack
  7. Sprinkle with torn mint leaves and serve
  • 1g Olive oil spray        
  • 2 1/3 slices Wholemeal mountain bread (58g)
  • 250g Cooked lean chicken breast, diced
  • 2 stalks Celery stalk (40g), finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Chives (6g), finely chopped  
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (6g), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons Lemon zest (5g), finely grated        
  • 2 tablespoons Low-fat natural yoghurt (40g)        
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (40g)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly spray 20 holes of a 24 hole mini muffin tin with oil. Cut each full piece of mountain bread into 9 even squares. Cut the 1/3 bread into 3 squares. Press into prepared holes, to form a shell. Spray lightly with oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, combine chicken, celery, chives, parsley, lemon zest, yoghurt and mayonnaise in a medium size bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon of chicken filling into each tart shell (you will have one extra shell).
  • 1 baguette sourdough (80g), cut into 20 slices
  • 1g Olive oil spray
  • 2 teaspoons Olive oil (10g)
  • 1 cloves Garlic (3g), crushed
  • 1 cups drained cannellini beans (173g), drained and rinsed        
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice (10g)        
  • 1 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (3g), chopped        
  • 2 tablespoons Chives (6g), chopped        
  • 150g Lean beef fillets        
  • 5 teaspoons Sundried tomato pesto (25g)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place baguette slices on tray and spray lightly with oil. Bake for 10 minutes, turning once during cooking, until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add beans and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds more. Add lemon juice, parsley and half the chives.Transfer to a food processor and process to a rough puree. Add 1-2 tablespoons hot water if too thick. Set aside to cool.
  3. Spray a small frying pan with oil and heat over high heat. Cook steak for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 20 thin slices.
  4. To serve, spread some white bean puree over each crostini. Top with a slice of beef and a small dollop of pesto. Serve immediately, scattered with remaining chives.


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