Sydney Smiles

Sydney Smiles: December 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Cookie Saga

Little did I know but in the land of Oz, Christmas cookie cutters are in a clear shortage.  I didn't find this out until I finally ventured out to buy all the needed utensils and ingredients.  Two days ago, while shopping in Target, I came across a tub full of cookie cutters (that someone had clearly put on a shelf where it did not belong.)  I picked it up and examined it. There were all kinds of random cookie cutters in there - I distinctly remember a bunny.  I thought, "Oh well, I will just buy 'Christmas' cookie cutters. I don't need all these extras." So, I put the tub down in full confidence I could easily find myself some Christmas cookie cutters.  As it turns out, Australians aren't really that into Christmas cookies.  I keep hearing mumbles about Christmas pudding, as if that could replace my Christmas cookies?!?!

Don't worry folks, I'm savvy enough to make do.  After searching six stores I came up with a compromise I could live with.  I purchased; stars, hearts, circles, and kangaroo cut outs.  I could have done with some more Christmassy decorating sprinkles, but beggars can't be choosers.  Sometimes you've just got to suck it up - and tell yourself - it's good enough!

I'll be making traditional Christmas sugar cookies as well as gingerbread/ninjabread men.  While I am making the sugar cookies from scratch (go me!) I will be making my gingerbread/ninjabread men from a mix.  The box conveniently has a sticker on it saying, "make me for Christmas" so I am assuming gingerbread men are also not a traditional Aussie Christmas treat.

Anywho, I've mixed the dough for both cookies and have them chilling in the refrigerator.  I should go about my business rolling, cutting, baking, cooling, and decorating them before I can declare this Christmas cookie mission finished.  Hopefully, I will post some more pics of the cookie progression and final product.  Until then, Merry Christmas.

Sugar Cookie Dough Ready to be Chilled
Thanks for that Sticker. I'd never have known gingerbread men were for Xmas without your help. =P Hmm... I've just noticed they call them "Gingerbread Man Cookies" Weird.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Very Aussie Thanksgiving

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving 2010 has come and gone.  I worked on the actual day, but it's not as bad as it sounds.  My place of work, even though we work hard, is really committed to making things fun.  So they decided to have a nice little "Thanksgiving Lunch" for me on the day.  My friend made paper turkey hats for everyone to wear - they were pretty hilarious! (As you can see from the above photo) I really appreciated everyone's efforts to make the day special for me.

I think the key to enjoying the holidays abroad is to celebrate it anyway! Obviously things are gonna be sad if you just sit around and don't acknowledge the holiday.  You'll be so busy thinking about your friends and family back home celebrating - you won't be able to help getting down in the dumps.

As Thanksgiving approached I was really missing my family and sad that I would not be home for the holiday. So I decided to celebrate, and by celebrate I mean cook a full Thanksgiving feast, and invite a few friends over to enjoy it with me.

I was really nervous about cooking a turkey, as I had never before attempted such an demanding cooking "adventure."  I fretted about whether or not I should even attempt it.  I'm glad I decided to go ahead and host Thanksgiving dinner.  A couple of my friends came over early and were a great help in creating a lovely Thanksgiving feast.  The turkey came out great.  It was nice and juicy.  I tend to think that it turned out so well because I bought a self basting turkey, in addition to the Australian fan grill oven setting.  I know nothing about cooking but I think it is just better for cooking turkeys.  Yep, that is my theory and I am sticking to it.

Recently, after my successful Thanksgiving dinner party, I have really been inspired to cook more.  I am in the habit of taking the easy way out. Fast food. Ready made frozen food. Basically, anything that is easy!  I really want to put a stop to that.  My new plan to cook real meals much more often, and take the leftovers into work, so I am not wasting so much money buying my lunch everyday.

Well, as it happens, I have just cooked some chicken and baked potatoes and I hear them calling my name.  So it's time to go and eat.  Thanks for stopping by.  (Sidenote: I bought a whole chicken spiced and ready to cook for $6 bucks at Coles. I think I am saving money already)