Christmas is Coming

 

I ran into my friend and colleague Miguel Maestre at lunch at Ormeggio  last Saturday

Welcome,
Do you have mixed feelings with the approach of Christmas? It can be a challenging season for many (including me). The best thing we can do is be prepared – whether that is because you are hosting family and friends, or whether you need to put some things in place so you don’t feel sad. I need to cover off both.

I am, however, enjoying being in two choirs now and will be singing under the Christmas tree in Sydney’s Martin Place from 6 – 8pm this coming Sunday 10 December for With One Voice.  There are choirs there every night in the leadup to Christmas. Next weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I am singing in Carols at the House with the Sydney Philharmonia Christmas Choir at the Sydney Opera House. Rehearsals are full on but the music is wonderful. It is keeping me very busy.

On Saturday morning 9 December, around 9.40am AEDT I am cooking on Weekend Today on the 9 Network to encourage people to hold BarbeCUREs to support Cure Cancer and important life-saving cancer research. It’s simple, just invite friends and famly to gather for a barbecue and ask them to donate. This year the funds will specifically go towards research into childhood sarcoma.

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by Kirstie Bedford for her podcast, set up with travel writer Belinda Jackson, The World Awaits, subtitled Travel Tales to Inspire your Wanderlust. I spoke extensively about food, travel, the joy of going off-the-beaten-track with tours such as my upcoming ones to Puglia and Morocco. My interview is 20 minutes in and you can listen on Apple or Spotify or via the website.

In some great news, Tasting Success, the female chef mentoring program which I co-founded in 2007 and am Patron of was the recipient of the 2023 Best Innovation Training Initiative Award at the Tourism, Training Australia President’s Dinner. It is a wonderful accolade as this year we rolled it out across NSW and are hoping for funding to do so again next year.

Next week I will cover lots of last minute Christmas tips and tricks in what will probably be my last newsletter for the year – though it may not be!

REMEMBER
Anyone who books either of my tours – to Puglia or Morocco between now and 14 December will receive  a copy of Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece cookbook and DVD AND Just Add Spice cookbook and Moveable Feast DVD or $150 worth of my bakeware range

As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

 

The award for Tasting Success

Recipes of the week

BURNT CARROT SALAD
A stunning salad as a starter, side or vego main
GET MY RECIPE HERE
RICOTTA TORTE
This is a stunning Pugliese dessert. Why not come with me to Puglia?
GET MY RECIPE HERE

In the Kitchen with Lyndey

 

Here’s a fast and fabulous recipe for Moroccan Lamb Briouats. Click on the photo or here to see the short video. The written recipe is here.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Some Christmas Cheer

My Mum’s Christmas Cake

Have you made a Christmas cake yet?  This week a few strangers have come up and commented on My Mum’s Christmas cake and how they have been making it successfully for years. I first spoke about it on radio in 1987 or 1988 on radio 2UE in the days when I had to ask listeners to send in a stamped, self-addressed envelope. We had 487! Since then I have published it in many places and it is far more accessible. There is a lovely story behind it which you can read on the link to the recipe. However, you might prefer to make small cakes so here are some choices. It’s not too late.

Here are some options.
My Mum’s Christmas Cake
Little Christmas Cakes with Eggnog Butter Cream
Little Christmas Cakes with Royal Icing

Little Fruit Cakes –
these are very easy and don’t need to be made way in advance.

Are you a ham lover? I am. I’ll be getting mine next week, but you may care to read my Christmas ham – tips and tricks. I wrote this a few years ago but it’s timeless – and I am renowned for my glazed ham on the bone.

Things to Do and Share

WONKA High Tea at the Shangri-La Sydney

– AROUND AUSTRALIA –

– CHRISTMAS MARKETS –

The 8 Best Christmas Markets in Sydney
London’s Christmas Markets
12 Festive Christmas Markets To Discover Around Melbourne In 2023

Adelaide’s Christmas Festival
21 Brisbane Christmas Markets
The Best Christmas Markets Around Perth
Christmas Markets and Fairs in Hobart

– TO WATCH IN THE USA –

Many of my TV series are streaming around the world. If you google my name and any of my 9 TV series you’ll often find something in your region. My Taste of Australia is currently screening on Apple in the USA.

– TO COOK –

Leiths School of Food & Wine Christmas Pudding recipe and some key tips.

– IN SYDNEY –

To co-incide with the release of the film WONKA in cinemas from December 14, Shangri-la Sydney is presenting a whimsical WONKA HIGH TEA BUFFET from 9 – 17 December in the Grand Ballroom. Seating times are 11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm. $64 per child (3 – 11) and $84 per adult or adult evening sessions from 9 – 15 December from 5 – 7pm at $99 including an arrival beverage.

Moroccan Culinary Tour



Spices on display in the souk

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.
Inclusions

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Testimonial: 
“Such a wonderful way to experience Morocco! Lyndey is an exceptional tour host and our guides and drivers were first class. It was a memorable tour filled with unique experiences.
Debra and Neil, September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L: beautiful mosaics everywhere and R: carpets and rugs to tempt you

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024



Making burrata in Puglia – a hands-on experience

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

Testimonial
“I was lucky enough to join Lyndey on her Puglia tour of 2022.  I thoroughly enjoyed my gastronomic tour through southern Italy.  We had knowledgeable, delightful guides who took us to the most  interesting and charming places at only locals would know.  We not only sampled the delicious produce of the regions we visited, but a door was opened to the history of the places we visited that was fascinating.  I certainly would recommend a tour with Lyndey, so much fun!”
Di Abrams

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: See this olive tree, over 3,000 years old at Masseria Brancati and R: a traditional dish of orecchiette with broccoli raab