Christmas Newsletter

Getting into the festive spirit. This is a still from a video I shot for my Fun with Wine Series on social media talking about sparkling wine and champagne for Christmas. Keep an eye out for it next week.


Can you believe the year is nearly over? Whatever that means for you, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hannukah, or any other religious observance, or merely enjoy the more secular festive season, I hope you have a wonderful and happy time. My daughter and family arrive from Singapore on Christmas morning. It is my granddaughter’s 6th birthday (I am making the cake and my talented great niece is decorating it) and we will have 19 family members here from late afternoon for some birthday fun and then Christmas dinner. I am so looking forward to it. We share the load with providing the food and drinks and after Lucy and her family were isolated last year with Covid, I am so keen for my grandchildren to meet all their second cousins in person. We love extended family.

When I was young, from early in December when I returned home from school Mum would invariably be playing Christmas carols on the record player, decorations and Christmas ornaments would be out and a huge number of cards from friends around the world would be strung up. I have Christmas music on in the background as I write this. My favourite CD is one from The Australian Girls’ Choir when my daughter was leader.

Christmas can also be a very difficult time for some of us for many reasons. For those of us who have lost family or friends, this newsletter from Good Grief might help Christmas will be fun but first, we have to get there! including my latest offering in our collaboration Comfort food for Grief.

Meanwhile, I have popped the Mindfood article about dealing with loss on my website. I will also be cooking Crisp Pork Belly with a very Christmassy Spiced Cranberry and Apple Relish on the Morning Show on Channel 7 on 22 December. It is usually on sometime after 10.30 am but things can change with live TV – keep your eye out for that.

The wonderful Handel’s Messiah with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in the Sydney Opera House.

I have been so lucky to be able to enjoy a number of live performances beginning with Handel’s Messiah, with all the wonderful new acoustics in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. Both my niece and a close friend were in the chorus so it was extra special. It was such beautiful music, especially the Hallelujah chorus. Sunday night was the 19th annual Christmas Carols with the most incredible orchestra and soloists conducted by a friend of mine at Holy Family Maroubra.

There was a fun Sail Away party for Oceania’s ‘re-inspired’ Regatta and Wednesday night found me at The Wasp at Kings Cross Theatre. It is a gripping, yet incredibly humorous thriller by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm which explores how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences and to what lengths some people are willing to go to in order to come to terms with them. It is directed by the second Blair Milan Scholarship winner, Becks Blake, and produced by Jessica Pantano, who won the Blair Milan Touring Prize some years ago. The acting from Cara Whitehouse and Jessica Bell is superb and entirely convincing. Little wonder it received an excellent review in The Sydney Morning Herald. It’s only on until Saturday but is well worth getting a last-minute ticket if you can.

This will be my last newsletter until w/c 9th of January as I will be delightfully busy with grandchildren. I’ll be posting a blog on What to do with leftovers after Christmas so please keep up-to-date with me on Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. With thanks to my delightful reader who advised me that My Mum’s Christmas Cake worked out perfectly substituting gluten-free flour!

May you and yours have a happy, relaxing and delicious time – Lyndey x

The glorious sight of Oceania’s Regatta, just prior to Sail Away in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Recipes of the week



Lovely finger food for entertaining.


A fabulous seasonal stonefruit tart.

In the kitchen with Lyndey


Thai Salad Lettuce bites in 1 minute

More finger food for entertaining or as an entree. You can use any type of mince.
The printed recipe is here.
If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

Christmas Recipes

Christmas Zabaglione Semi-Freddo.

Here’s a selection of entertaining recipes. (But if you’re over it here are Good Food’s 50 most popular recipes of 2022 – so far)

Finger Food
Smoked duck with Christmas spiced pickled cherries
Prawn tostadas with chipotle mayo
Smashed broad bean, mint & feta on tortilla chips
Almond gazpacho & seared scallops

I find Christmas hams really good value as you can feed so many people and they are perenially popular.
Read my Christmas ham – tips and tricks blog.
Here is my recipe for Honey glazed ham with mustard fruits and cranberry relish.
The Women’s Weekly shows How to carve a Christmas ham.

Grilled salmon on lemongrass skewers
Smoked trout mousse with cucumber salad
Roast salmon fillets with salsa verde, potato and rocket salad and heirloom tomato salad
Snapper in a salt crust with gremolata

Roast turkey with Italian sausage seasoning and vegetablesThis recipe includes step-by-step how to carve the turkey and a lovely reduction sauce.

As an alternative, in our family, we have been keeping the heat out of the kitchen and cooking our turkeys on the BBQ for years. Not this year but here’s how to do it: For a gas BBQ, place the turkey in a strong foil disposable tray in the centre of the BBQ with the two outermost burners set to medium (on a 4 burner BBQ) and close the lid. Allow 20 minutes per 400g for unstuffed, and 25 minutes per 400g for stuffed turkey. We cover ours with the ham skin to baste as it cooks.
Roast beef rib with spiced salt and anchovy and parsley béarnaise
Here’s my Crackling Christmas roast pork – step-by-step guide

Cauliflower Shawarma with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts and Rose
Pumpkin, Leek & Spinach Frittata
My Ultimate Mushroom Risotto

Green Shakshuka

Frozen Christmas pudding
Sago Christmas pudding with custard and brandy butterThis is very easy and perfect if you’ve left it all to the last minute as it is best made on the day you eat it.
Christmas zabaglione semi-freddo (pictured above)
White chocolate mascarpone mousse with berries in sparkling shiraz syrup
Raspberry ripple nougat parfait

Christmas tips & tricks

Many of us are unsure of how much food to allow when we are catering for larger numbers than usual. This chart should help.

Sydney Seafood School shares How to Plan the Perfect Seafood Spread for Christmas with recipes galore as well.
Leith’s School of Food and Wine has Our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Cooking, cleverly broken up into sections including Vegetarian and Vegan Christmas Recipes
From Broadsheet Sweet and Tender: how to choose the best ham

and How to buy, cook and serve the best turkey at Christmas
Straight to the Source has a Festive Gift Guide and Holiday Recipe Inspiration

Food & Drink Destinations has their favourite Vegetarian Air Fryer Recipes
Miele shares 12 days of Christmas recipes and videos

What’s On & Where to Go

Le Jolly Market: Bringing the magic of French Christmas to Sydney Custom House (Free Entry) until Wednesday 21st of December, enjoy French Christmas nights at Le Jolly Market while you shop, wine & dine in front of Customs House. Friday 16th 4 – 11pm, Saturday/Sunday 12 – 10pm, Monday to Wednesday 4 – 10pm. More information here.

Australian Traveller reveals 14 incredible ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve
and 11 of Australia’s best summer beach towns

The Best Places to Eat & Drink in West Gippsland

You might also like the Australian Visitor Centres App, available for free download from the App Store or Google Play. Lots of info starting with the location of over 400 accredited Visitor Information Centres across Australia. Whether you are seeking must do attractions, galleries, bush walks and nature-based experiences, in search of fishing spots, the nearest golf course or great dining options, there’s a wealth of information and special deals. For those touring or caravanning through regional Australia the app also provides road warnings, locates your nearest petrol or EV charging stations, ATMs, campgrounds and dump points, hospitals, public showers, laundromats and the list goes on. Plan your trip with downloadable offline maps or get the latest info from the nearest Visitor Information Centre when you arrive at your next destination.

Magical Morocco

Would you like to join me for experiences like the above? Then let me know when might suit you to join a hosted tour – late October 2023 or April/May 2024? No obligation just seeking expressions of interest.

What Will 2023 Bring?