Christmas eats and Happy New Year

This year’s Christmas celebrations involved brunch at home and dinner with some of our Buddhist friends.

My sister got a smoked ham from work, which I baked with a honey/mustard/orange juice glaze. We had it with a light salad consisting of rocket, radishes, cucumber, fennel and avocado, simply dressed with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and sage salt. We paired brunch with a nice sparkling shiraz.

Ham and salad

The main reason the salad was light was to counter-balance not one but two desserts (!). I made paleo panettone (recipe here) which I baked in a muffin tray because I didn’t have a proper tin. It didn’t taste like panettone and it wasn’t as light as the photo in the recipe suggests, but it was delicious, particularly with a good square of Pepe Saya butter on top.

Paleo panettone muffin and Pepe Saya butter

Dessert number two was paleo Christmas puddings (recipe here) with custard (recipe here). For the puddings I used Macro organic dried fruit, which is not full of sugar like the regular stuff, in particular the dried apricots. As a result, the puddings were on the tart side, and not cloyingly sweet. They were very dense, too, due to the almond meal. For the custard I used almond milk and tapioca flour. It didn’t taste like regular custard, but was nice.

Paleo custard and Christmas puddings

Paleo Christmas pudding with custard

We arrived at the Buddhist celebration mid-afternoon. Our hosts had family and friends for lunch, and they were having drinks when we arrived. They had prepared a feast that included amazing food, such as prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, cured salmon with sour cream and caviar, eggplant dip with chorizo, pâté with cranberry sauce, prawns, scallops, ham, chicken skewers, chicken wings, pork belly with honey and soy sauce, sausages + prunes wrapped in bacon, etc. Food was plentiful and amazing. I certainly ate much more than what I should have but I enjoyed every single bite.

As usual we had a New Years Course at the Buddhist centre with plenty of food, drinks and of course meditation.

Looking back, 2013 wasn’t a particularly dramatic or eventful year. My major achievement was to survive second year in uni (while working 23+ hours per week and keeping the blog alive). But it wasn’t as boring as it sounds! For example, I did some N=1 experimentation with my training (Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit and Crossfit-type training) and nutrition (Bulletproof coffee for breakfast, Bulletproof protein fasting). Tried a few therapies to deal with shoulder/neck pain (acupuncture, osteopathy). Became an Australian citizen. Was delighted to find more real food/paleo eating options popping up in Sydney (Thr1ve, Real Food Connection, Eat Me Primal, Paleo Cafe).

Hope you had a wonderful 2013 and here’s for an even better 2014!

6 thoughts on “Christmas eats and Happy New Year

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