What’s cooking at Zamamabakes house on Christmas Day?

The fact that we are only 4 days out from Christmas, I thought what better way to sign off on 2013 then to give you a little insight into a Christmas hosted by the Zamamabakes household.
This year we are doing things a little simpler (I think??).
Zagrandma (my Mum) always comes to join me in my kitchen on the day of Christmas eve, we play Christmas carols, dance around and do lots of Christmas cooking together. Its busy and lots of work but we love it. We usually manage to fit a festive drink in there somewhere too.

We will have a variety of guests Christmas day including Zagrandma, Zanan’s, Zapop’s, Zaaunt’s, Zauncles, Zachick, Zacousins.
Like most we make Christmas lunch our main meal of the day and for lunch I am expecting 8 adults plus 3 Zakidlets!! 2 Years ago we had 24 for lunch, it was hectic but lots of fun.

Tradition is to have a cold buffet of salads, ham, prawns, chicken and whatever other meats we decide to have sometimes turkey, sometimes pork it just depends on how complicated and time-consuming we want to make things ha ha. All the dining guests usually get delegated a dish or 2 to bring along which works out perfectly giving us a great selection of food to enjoy!

Zakidlets usually start their day with a ‘sometimes breakfast’ of Coco Pop’s, note the SOMETIMES!!!! They love them for a treat. I am also planning to surprise them with some fresh fruit candy canes made with real strawberries and banana’s.

Our guests will start to arrive around Mid-Morning which will hopefully give us enough time to get the house respectable after a morning of Santa Claus Surprises!!

This is our basic line up of food for the day,
Starters:
Cheese platter, including an amazing cheese ball (courtesy of Zagreatunclejim).
A few savoury snacks including a serve of my ‘Nuts and Bolts’ to nibble on.
I am hoping to make a serve of the delicious looking Prosciutto and bocconcini skewers pictured below. I found the idea here at taste.com.

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A glass of bubbles is a must and always goes down a treat in the lead up to lunch.

For Main the plan is:

Fresh cooked prawns
Chicken (this year I am trying a smoked chicken from our local butcher, he does his own smoking). Zagrandma is going to bake up a chicken roll (the ones you get at the supermarket with the stuffing inside)
Maybe a Roast Pork with apples and cider see recipe here, will just depend on whether or not time permits.
Christmas Ham (you can’t do Christmas without ham)

Salads and Sides
Roast Pumpkin Rocket Salad (I have not done a post on this recipe yet, sorry 😦 so stay tuned for it in my early Blog posts in 2014)
Potato salad being made by Zaauntkayla see recipe here
Wombok crunchy noodle salad (you’ll find the recipe on the back of a pack of Chang’s refried noodles) being made by Zabeautiful Aimee.
Cherry tomato, cucumber and green bean salad see recipe here
Beetroot Salad (Baby spinach leaves, tinned baby beets drained, feta crumbled, creamy garlic dressing from the supermarket, topped with chopped walnuts)
Fried Rice (ZaPop’s specialty, he even puts twiggy sticks in it)
Seafood Salad (Zaunclebrad’s favourite, he has this task)

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Dessert (Yum)

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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Tart recipe here.

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Persian Love Cake (delegated to Zabeautiful Aimee) recipe here.

Zagrandma is making a Lemon Meringue Cheesecake (one of my favourites) I’ll post recipe 2014.

A nice fresh fruit platter is always a good option to have on hand.

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Then you just have to have a selection of yummy treats to snack on in case you’re still hungry!!!! Rocky Road, Truffles, White Christmas, Chocolate caramel balls, Christmas Jellies (I get these at the kids Christmas Tableau and freeze til Christmas). Zagrandma always makes a delicious Christmas cake which goes perfectly with a cup of tea.

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I think that is just about everything covered!!! The added benefit of an indulgent Christmas feast is eating the leftovers for a few days after Christmas. I’ll be sure to give you a report of how things go in a few weeks time, NEXT YEAR!!!!

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For now I would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my beautiful reader’s. I wish you all a very safe and enjoyable festive season.

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Zapuppydog sends his best Christmas wishes too!!!

Until 2014

Zamamabakes xxxx

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The Gift Of Giving

Christmas time should be a special time for everyone but the reality is there are a lot of people who go without at Christmas.
Zadada and I are always trying to explain to Zakidlets especially the older 2 how fortunate they are to have a safe, happy and comfortable home to live in. Being so young, I understand its hard for little people to comprehend much more than if they feel hungry or sad let alone considering how someone else might be feeling. That’s when I thought about a way I might be able to involve Zakidlets in a little project that would hopefully give them some better insight into the needs of others and that giving gifts can be more important and rewarding then receiving gifts, (I think it will take quite some time for them to fully understand this concept, I can only try).
As most of you already know I held a cake stall at a local Handmade Christmas Market last weekend and I promised I would donate any profits to local Christmas charities. I decided on 2 separate charities one being ‘Operation Santa’ which is run through Target department stores in partnership with Uniting Care. You have the choice of either purchasing a gift of your choice or donating a gift card. The second Charity was the St Vincent de Paul Society. You can donate non-perishable Christmas fare which is included in Christmas hampers getting distributed to local families in need.
So come Monday this week we set to work, shopping for gifts and Christmas fare.
We started with the 2 gifts, I let Blake and Ella do the looking and suggesting then we all collaborated and finalised the purchases. I think they did a really great job with their selections.

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We then payed for our purchases and headed for Target to attach and fill out the appropriate gift tags.

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A lovely sales assistant by the name of Joseph collected our gifts for ‘Operation Santa’ and happily obliged to have his picture taken with Zakidlets!! Thank you so much Joseph!!

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Moving on we headed across to the supermarket to shop for our hamper contributions. Again I asked Blake and Ella for their input on what they thought should go into someone’s house at Christmas time. You may notice there is a box of Coco Pop’s in both trollies, the suggestion of breakfast cereal came up and I asked what cereal they would want to eat on Christmas day? Can you guess what their response was? In the Zamamabakes household Coco Pops are a ‘sometimes’ food (we only have them for special occasions like holiday’s, birthday brekkies and of course Christmas brekkies!!). One box was purchased separately for us the other was included in the ‘Hamper’ collection.

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I think these 2 little people really enjoyed their shopping experiences.

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This is what we ended up with. I know it looks a little on the party, sugary side of things but it is Christmas after all, I can assure you we had some real food in their too.

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On Tuesday after School 4 of us (poor Zadada was at work) arrived at St Vincent de Paul to deliver our hamper contributions.

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We were introduced to a lovely lady Bernadette and we handed our bundle over to her. Bernadette happily obliged to have her photo taken too.
I guess no visit is complete at Vinnies without making a personal purchase or 3. Blake asked if he could go and look at the toy section, the girls were one step behind. They all found an item they wanted to take home. I struck a deal with them, agreeing to make the purchases on condition that when we arrived home they had to find me some toys of their own I could take back the next day to donate. They happily obliged.

It was only yesterday that Blake commented he would love to see the little boys face on Christmas morning that gets the gift we donated to ‘Operation Santa’. That’s what the gift of giving is all about!!

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to my Zamamabakes Cake Stall last weekend. Together we have made a small positive difference in someone’s Christmas experience.

Until next time…..
Zamamambakes.