Oh my! It certainly has been a while since my last post. I’m not going to make any excuses. I have been way too distracted (and lazy!) to update this blog of mine. And boy, is there a lot of catching up to do!
The distraction came in the form of my parents and sister who came to visit us from Australia. My brother had already been staying with us. It was the first time we had all been together for about a year and a half.
I’m not going to bore you with all the ins and outs of how busy we have been and all the stuff we have been doing, because I am sure you just want the highlights. Let me start by saying that I had SO many recipes to share over Christmas but I was having too much fun in the kitchen with Mum to take any photos. Our kitchen here in Manchester may be tiny, but we certainly gave it a work out over the silly season.
Instead of doing a HUGE Christmas Eve dinner like we usually do (we settled for PRETTY DARN BIG this year), we spread Christmas out over about a week and ate constantly the entire time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for about five days was an event.
Let me give you a quick run down of the highlights…
Honey and Mustard Glazed ham:
One of the best we’ve ever made and the most delicious. Mum and I bought the most amazing gammon from my trusty butcher here in Didsbury. Boiled, glazed and baked to perfection. It looked so beautiful studded with cloves and glossy with honey mustard glaze. I am kicking myself that I didn’t get a photo. We adapted the recipe from this recipe from Gordon Ramsey.
The most amazing drink to sip on in the middle of Winter. Kristian couldn’t get enough of it. Perfectly spiked with whiskey and spiced up with vanilla and nutmeg, it was like a warm hug in a glass. I love an Aussie Summer Christmas, but we have definitely been missing out on the eggnog!
We made a few adjustments to this recipe from Jamie Oliver. Instead of Rum we used the most incredible Whiskey that Kristian and I picked up in Scotland last year. We also omitted the egg whites.
Gingerbread, Banana and Maple Pavlova
We came up with this invention, as we wanted a little bit of Oz in England with some traditional ‘White Christmas’ touches. A crunchy meringue topped with chantilly cream, gluten free gingerbread (see below), slices of banana and drizzled with maple syrup. Yes, please!
Gluten Free Gingerbread
One word- sublime. Again, we had to fight Kristian away before he ate it all! A much more traditional ‘bready’ type gingerbread. You never would have guessed it was gluten free. We have made this a few times now. I have included the recipe below because Gingerbread shouldn’t be eaten just at Christmas time- it’s too good! January Gingerbread for all, I say! The Chia seeds through it are simply amazing. If you can get your hands on some I would highly recommended it. You can go without and it is still extremely delicious. We wrapped up our little Gingerbread men and gave them as little Christmas gifts to neighbours and work colleagues. We also used them to decorate our Christmas table. Very delicious decorations indeed!
Honourable Christmas mentions go to the most amazing goose fat roast potatoes and a spaghetti marinara with the plumpest scallops you ever did see!
In all honesty, since my Mum has been here, everyday feels like Christmas. We have had the best time planning meals, scouring every food market in Manchester for the best ingredients and cooking up a storm. It has been amazing!!!
For now, I will leave you with the Gluten Free Gingerbread recipe. Stay tuned for more Mia Lanina recipes and travel updates soon!
Gluten Free Gingerbread
100g dark brown sugar
150g golden syrup
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons rosewater
100g gluten free plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g almond meal
2 tablespoons chia seeds*
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
175g gluten free icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon warm water
Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan forced. Grease and line a 35cm by 25cm tin with baking paper.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, golden syrup, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and rosewater. Cook until sugar is melted and all ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs and mix well to combine.
In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking soda and almond meal. Fold this flour mixture, as well as the chia seeds, with the wet ingredients. It will be a thin, liquid batter. Pour into the prepared tin and cook for 20-30 minutes or until it is risen and firm. Be careful not to over cook as it is better slightly sticky.
While cooling, whisk the lemon juice into the icing sugar and then gradually add the water.
Once the gingerbread is cooled, use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the large slab of gingerbread. Decorate the gingerbread with the icing and leave to set. Gingerbread will last up to a week in an airtight container, if you can resist them that is!
Slightly adapted from a recipe at jamieoliver.com