Have you noticed how busy the shops have become? Wow, those car parking spots are as rare as hen's teeth at this time of the year!
We turned up at one of our local shopping centres today and generally, every other day, this carpark is always easy to get a parking spot, but not today. I can see why this season quickly changes from the season of peace to the season of chaos!
Many people love this season...and want to create so many great memories..that's why they are so busy doing all they can to make it a memorable time for all - I think that is lovely and well done.
So in honour of these people I want to include a couple of 'go to' recipes for those unexpected guests or the extra family members who turn up for Christmas lunch but you knew nothing about their coming!!
One of my all time favourites is my Lamb & Feta Triangles. They are tasty and are good for freezing ahead of time so you can easily just pull them out and put them into the oven once thawed, will have your visitors singing your praises.
Lamb & Feta Triangles
1 kg lamb mince
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sumac
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt & pepper, to taste
1 packet filo pastry from refrigerated section
1/2 cup olive oil
1. In a bowl, combine mince, feta, mint, spices, eggs, salt & pepper.
2. Place filo on your bench, cut in half lengthways. Brush one half with oil and fold in half length ways. Brush with more oil. Place a spoonful of mince mixture on one end. Fold opposite corner to form a triangle and continue this pattern until you reach the end. Brush with a little oil. Repeat.
3. At this stage you can put on a lined tray and place covered with plastic wrap in the freezer.
4. Pull out of freezer and allow to defrost. Bake in moderately hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm.
My next all time favourite and 'go to' recipe is this Cambodian-Style Coconut Cake that goes perfectly with fresh summer fruits! Easy to make and freezes beautifully..so you can be ready for those unexpected guests!
Cambodian-style Coconut Cake
2 Cups all purpose flour
½ Cup melted butter
½ Cup coconut milk
¼ Cup fresh or frozen unsweeted, shredded coconut
1½ Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
½ Teaspoon baking powder
¼ Teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven at 325 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg, one at a time. Mix well. Add vanilla, baking powder, salt and coconut milk.
3. Fold in flour and coconut. Pour into oiled cake tin. Bake in moderate oven for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool before turning out onto a serving plate.
So...'tis the season of peace...and I hope these recipes help and remember...enjoy the journey!