Tag: Christmas

Fruit Balls – Delicious for Christmas



fruit balls









This recipe is from a friend I met in Moranbah.  Her daughter Lisa and my daughter Kate were best friends at primary school and we became friends as a result.  I don’t know where she got this recipe from, but it is absolutely delicious.  Thanks Sally.

Aileen’s Pies

Source & History

My mother sent me a recipe for Pork Tortieres which are French-Canadian meat pies that can be eaten either hot or cold. I have been using this as the basis for the filling that I put into the pies that I make every year at Christmas-time. About the only change that I have made is to the meat that I use (see Note). And, of course, I only serve them hot! Because what Australian wants to eat a cold pie?

We have these with mini quiches and sausage rolls on Christmas Eve.


  • I use frozen shortcrust pastry for the bases and puff pastry for the lids.
  • I cook these in a muffin tin and this year, I used baking paper ‘muffin wraps’ (you can get them in the supermarket) and didn’t have to grease the pan.
  • I usually double this recipe.
  • I use either all beef mince or half beef mince and half pork mince. I have also been known to use the pork/veal mince that they sell in the supermarket.


Mini Quiches

Source & History

This might be the closest to an ‘original’ recipe that I contribute to this collection. I wanted to make little one-bite quiches and couldn’t find a recipe that did exactly what I wanted, so after a few sessions of trial-and-error, this is what I came up with. We have these on Christmas Eve every year along with Sausage Rolls and pies.


  • Your egg mixture should resemble one that you would use for scrambled eggs or French toast.
  • I put only a little salt in the egg mixture (because I’mm using bacon which is already salty) and lots of freshly ground pepper
  • I have been using the puff pastry sheets with lower fat content for the last few years (and low fat cheese).
  • I always use short-cut bacon to reduce fat content.
  • The pan I use has holes with an upper diameter of 6cm.
  • I freeze these after they are cooked and just warm them up when I want them, however they are nicer freshly cooked. I haven’t figured out how to freeze them uncooked – you’d need to freeze them in the baking trays and then take them out after they were frozen to store them (unless you have lots of room in your freezer).


Glazed Ham

Source & History

This is a recipe from the old hard-cover Women’s Weekly Cookbook (my copy has fallen apart & disappeared). This is what it looked like.

WW Cookbook


I have used this recipe to glaze my Christmas ham for many years  (Leah & Ben have been using it too).


  • For the last few years I have been de-boning my ham before I glaze it. It makes it easy to slice once it’s cooked. 
  • I like to use the 1/2 of the ham from the hip end of the leg rather than the half with the long leg bone.



Sausage Rolls

Source & History

This is from the Women’s Weekly’s Cooking Class Cookbook. I usually make these once a year – at Christmas. We have sausage rolls, pies & mini quiches for dinner on Christmas Eve.


  • I usually double this and use the packaged sausage mince from the supermarket.
  • The last few years I have been using the lower fat version of the puff pastry (no one has complained).

Christmas Cookies

Source & History

This is the Sugar Cookie recipe from the Five Roses Cookbook. The Five Roses Cookbook was published by the Five Roses Flour company in Canada and, when I was growing up, was THE cookbook to give beginners. My copy is much worse for wear but I believe that it is no longer published and is, therefore, irreplaceable.

Some years ago we started making these as Christmas cookies, cutting them into Christmas shapes and decorating with coloured sugar. They were more popular at our house than the richer, fancier Christmas treats.


Source & History

This is from the Women’s Weekly Biscuits & Slices book. They have ended up being a Christmas treat, we rarely make them at any other time of the year.


  • We usually double this recipe.
  • I often forget to fold in the icing sugar – it doesn’t seem to matter, no one has ever complained.
  • We usually use regular white sugar not castor sugar.
  • You can colour the mixture during the 15min beating time if you want coloured meringues.


Leith’s Shortbread Biscuits

Source & History

This recipe is from a friend from Mackay (the same one the brownie recipe came from). We (Leah has taken over this job for the last few years) use it to make special Christmas shortbread every year. We use the biscuit press and create trees, wreaths, & stars which we decorate with silver balls & red and green glacé cherries.


  • I usually double this recipe.
  • I always use REAL butter when I make these.
  • if the dough is too soft & sticky, add a little more flour. Whether this happens can depend on the flour you are using and/or the weather (especially if you are in North Queensland in November/December).

Kitchen Wisdom

To clean burnt saucepans, fill with cold water + 1 tbsp of baking soda, bring to the boil slowly, remove from the stove and wash in soapy water. Repeat if necessary.

You can also leave the saucepan sitting outside in the sun for a few days, then wash it in soapy water – this works quite well.


Plain Scones

Source & History

This is another recipe from the Day to Day Cookery book. The cinnamon rolls are a quick & relatively easy way to get something similar to cinnamon buns which were a favourite when I was a kid. I could never get buns to taste the same as they do at home, and they take so long! We sometimes have them for breakfast on Christmas Day.