Welcome back! I hope ya’ll had many delicious moments during the break.
To kick off a new year of blogging, I thought it would only make sense to firstly conclude 2008 with my family Christmas dinner.
It was a little chaotic at the start, with me doing too many things at once; whipping up the meringue, cutting and peeling vegetables, wrapping the last minute presents and more. But once the vegetables were sliced, fruits were cut up and meringues were baking, everything started to fall into place. Phew!
We started with some dips and crackers, then a giant seafood platter. I tried really hard not to over-cook this year. The following fed 7 adults and 1 kid… we had a few prawns leftover, as well as half the mashed potato and half the salad. I think I did fairly well!

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - seafood platter, smoked salmon, prawns, oysters, lobster and wedges
Seafood platter with smoked salmon, shaved Spanish onion, dill and capers, prawns with 3 dipping sauces, fresh oysters with lime, lobsters and spicy wedges

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - meringues in the oven
Meringues baking in oven

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - berrylicious fruit salad for the pavlova
Berries for the pavlova -strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit and passionfrut

I forgot to photograph the wagyu which we bought from Vic’s Meat, but it’s marbling was delectable! We chargrilled these eggplants, sweet potatoes and asparagus on the side. These were simply prepared with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cracked pepper.

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - vegetables for grilling; eggplant, sweet potato and asparagus
Vegetables for chargrilling

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - mixed green salad with dill, cucumber, haloumi cheese, anchovy stuffed olives, cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing
Mixed green salad with dill, cucumber, haloumi cheese, anchovy stuffed olives, cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing

The baby carrots were caramelised with a combination of butter, brown sugar and parsley.

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - caramelized carrots
Caramelised carrots

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - rosemary mashed potato
Rosemary mashed potato

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - coal and flame ready for chargrilling wagyu steaks and vegetables
Charcoal and flame

Mini Pavlovas
Meringues are simple to bake and require minimal ingredients.
8 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups of caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon cornflower
2 teaspoon white vinegar
Fruit and double cream to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C, whip up the egg whites and until stiff peaks form.
  2. Slowly (spoon by spoon) add sugar while continuously beating the egg whites.
  3. Once sugar has dissolved, all remaining ingredients and combine well.
  4. Spoon onto baking paper into required sizes / shapes and bake for 90 minutes or until crisp.
  5. Leave them in the oven with the door ajar to allow cooling.
  6. Serve with fruit (I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, passionfruit and kiwifruit) and double cream.

Family Christmas 2008 dinner at JENIUS residence - homemade pavlova

Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydneyโ€™s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • WOW that pavlova topping is delish!

  • Yum! It all looks so delicious, the carrots and salad especially so! About how many meringues did that recipe make?

  • That bowl of fruit just looks absolutely delicious – I could sit there and eat it just by itself! I love the entire Christmas food spread – your family definitely had some good food to celebrate with!

  • Hi Lisa, it made about 8 small ones. And by small I refer to the circumference of a CD. My sister thought these should have been classified as large ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi, my name’s Adam. That seafood platter looks great! I have some Christmas Lunch photos of my own if you want to check them out. http://anarcist.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/christmas-day

  • That giant seafood platter looks awesommmee but you have to ask, is one lobster really enough ๐Ÿ˜‰ hee hee

  • hahaha… well spotted FFichiban! there was another plate with 3 more lobsters… lol, we had 1/2 each since it was so big ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yum. It all looks great. Well done ๐Ÿ™‚ I love pavlova at Christmas – it’s the perfect dessert for summer.

  • Wow – good looking feast Jen! Those carrots look amazing!