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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Zamamabakes is going to Market Part 2

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Part 2 begins with this moist, misty morning which provided comfortable conditions in my kitchen for making Chocolate Truffles and Vienna Cream icing. All this is in preparation for the stall I am having at The Handmade Xmas Market this Sunday at Crystal Creek, for more details see here.
I have a list of tasks that I am working through, hopefully by Sunday Morning the list will have been successfully completed and I will be all ready for my planned 8am set up.

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How I wish my kitchen could always look this tidy! The reality is we are family of 5 and the kitchen rarely looks like this, but I love my kitchen and thought I should present it tidy for its online debut!
I snapped this picture after yesterday’s breakfast clean up.

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Just back tracking a little here, this was our Coles Supermarket visit on Wednesday to buy the remaining ingredients required for my ‘Market’ baking projects. We did this after I had finished work and done School pickup but before we collected Alani from day care (3 kidlets in the supermarket I only do when I absolutely have to!!!). I also did my usual weekly fruit shop from the fantastic Tweed Fruit Exchange. Then off home it was to unpack, make dinner, lunches, bath children, I won’t go on with the list, you would all know the things you have to do after a days work. It gives me comfort knowing there are many of us doing the same thing at the same time every school or work day!

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Once Zakidlets were in bed I made up a batch of my Rocky Road for the recipe see here. Then it was off to bed.

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Jumping back to yesterday now.
Morning!(comes around too quickly for my liking). Zadada took the kids to school on his way to work, giving me a full day at home which I greatly appreciate, especially when I work my 3 day week.
One clean Kitchen, washing hung, a general house tidy up and I was ready to start making truffles, the ones you see pictured here are gingerbread truffles which is an adaption of the Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffle Recipe see here.
I used ginger nut biscuits and white chocolate melts as alternate ingredients.

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The little gadget you see me using to dip the truffles is exactly that a truffle dipper (well that’s what I call it) I recently purchased it from my local kitchen shop Mallam House. I love it.

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In between all this creating there is a little person that requires my attention Miss Alani. Needless to say there is a fair bit of stopping and starting that goes on to keep her happy but that’s what parenthood is all about. This was one of those moments, I stopped what I was doing as she had asked me to play ‘Barbie’s with her. Today I met Woody and Jelly, great names for barbie doll’s don’t you think?

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Once Alani was down for her nap I finished off the Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles I was making and made the Vienna Cream Icing see recipe here, ready for the cupcakes I’m baking on Saturday.
Note: I freeze my Vienna Cream Icing in airtight containers when I need to, it always defrosts perfectly, ready to be put on the cake/s.

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This was the end result after truffles set in the fridge.

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A picture of the kitchen, post cooking clean up.

I wanted to let you all know that any profits I make at the market on Sunday I will be donating to local Christmas charities in the Murwillumbah area. I thought it would be a good little Project to include Zakidlets in. Stay tuned for a Blog post on that later next week.

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I have had many people ask me where I find the time for projects like this and blogging in general. For a project like this (the market) I have the white board you see above, helps me to see where I am heading most of the time!!! I’m slowly learning it’s all about good time management which I am not very good at, but since starting blogging 6 months ago I am gradually starting to establish a bit of a routine. One which incorporates My family as the first priority, paid work as the second and blogging/baking/creating as the 3rd. Zadada and I are very fortunate to have 2 fantastic sets of Grandparents close by as well as a great bunch of Aunts and Uncles.
I am extremely grateful for the amazing, supportive husband I have (that’s why I married him). He is a fantastic hands on Daddy and he is an extremely patient man, tolerating my ‘Mummy lose it moments’, reassuring me things are not as bad as the Mummy moment presents. He is my rock and I love him dearly!

I know it’s a busy time of year but if you do have a spare part of the Day this Sunday come along to the Market, and say ‘hi’. I would love to see you. My stall is inside the Old Church House. It will be pink and pretty!!!

The Details
Date: Sunday 15/12/2013
Location: ‘The Old Church’, 1003 Numinbah Rd, Crystal Creek, NSW
Time: 10am-3pm

Stay tuned for Part 3 of ‘Zamama goes to Market’. Hopefully I’ll get it to you on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Busy times ahead but fun!!!

Until then,
Zamamabakes!!!

Dark Chocolate Tim Tam truffles

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If you like chocolate then you are in the right place.
It’s that time of year where lots of us are baking for School Christmas parties, neighbourhood get togethers, gifts for teachers, you name it there is usually always a good reason to be baking especially at Christmas!!
I have been wanting to make truffles at Christmas for the last couple of years but just never seem to have got around to it?
After seeing posts on Facebook and pins on Pinterest I decided to adapt my own version of a truffle. Zadada and I don’t mind a bit of dark chocolate as a little after dinner treat, that’s how I came up with the ‘Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles’.

INGREDIENTS
250g block Philadelphia cream cheese softened a little (just take out of fridge 1 hour before using)
2 x 200g pkts Dark Chocolate Tim Tams
125g Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
300g Dark Chocolate
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METHOD
1 Process all biscuits in a food processor until very fine.
2 Add Philadelphia cream cheese and process until well combined. Mixture will look a little like children’s Play Dough but a little rougher in texture.
3 Roll mixture into a ball sized to your liking. Bite size worked well for me I used a heaped teaspoon as my guide. Place rolled balls onto baking paper lined trays. Pop balls into fridge for about 20 mins especially if it’s summer where you live. Once you have melted the chocolate in the next step get them out ready for dipping.

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4 Melt chocolate ( I use the good old-fashioned method for melting chocolate, see here)
5 Secure balls on a skewer or fork ready for dipping in chocolate. I found spooning the chocolate over the balls in conjunction with dipping a good way to ensure good chocolate coverage. Let excess chocolate drain as best you can and place coated ball back on baking paper lined tray.
6 Decorate truffles with whatever your heart desires. I used shredded coconut and Coles brand edible white pearls.
7 Place in refrigerator to set, then transfer to an airtight container and continue storing in the fridge until they disappear.

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Extra Options
As you can see from the picture below I did a little bit of experimenting.
When my mixture was at the Play Dough stage I halved mixture placing 2nd half into another bowl. I then added a Jaffa twist by Squeezing the juice of 1/4 of orange and adding 1 teaspoon of fine orange zest. You may need to knead it through a little. I added some shredded coconut on top. I also had a bit of fun with some white chocolate on the Jaffa flavoured truffles. It’s all pretty much up to your imagination.
You could experiment with all the different flavours of Tim tam biscuits and hey why just limit it to Tim Tams the biscuit aisle at the supermarket has lots of inspiration on offer.
What ever you choose to do just have fun with it and enjoy!!!!

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