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Happy New Year everyone! A bit of a late blog post in this case as I have been half way across the world with limited access to Internet but very easy access to food and ice cream, (not so good for the waist line!) This was my second Christmas in Sydney and a completely different experience to the first. Five years ago I spent my Christmas morning in a hostel with 2 of my best friends. We had a great morning together but I did feel homesick and it’s a very strange feeling to see Christmas decorations up in places with the sunlight beaming onto them. I never imagined I’d come back to Australia again and never thought I’d see the day where all my family would be together for Christmas on the other side of the world! We did Christmas a little differently this year and it was really one of the loveliest days. As we had all spent so much on flights we decided to only spend $5 on each other for a Christmas present. I received cat hand warmers from my mum (bought back home) in contrast to a summer dress (from my brother and his fiancé) which definitely came in handy. We all woke up at different times, some of us went to mass, I went out of curiosity to see if the Australians do mass any different (answer no, a slightly shorter service and more casual dress but pretty much the same!) which was followed by a beautiful walk from Clovelly beach to Bondi beach. It was a beautiful sunny day with hardly any clouds in the sky. My dad put his feet in the sea for the first time in his life and my brothers and I spent the morning diving into waves and in my case getting burnt (I never learn!) It was definitely the most active Christmas morning I have spent with more highlights to come such as our Christmas meal. For our lunch we had a bbq with sausages, burgers, salmon, crusty buns and delicious salads consisting of a sweet potato and feta, and an avocado and green bean salad. My sisters friend, Fiona brought over a delicious rice and cranberry salad with a beautiful soy, lime and ginger dressing. Then for dessert we had a home made chocolate salted caramel tart with my mums traditional boozy trifle followed by lots of wine and baileys. There was no tv this year (well a little sport in the background for my dad) but just constant chatting, joke telling and sharing stories. Fi’s Brown Rice, cranberry and bean salad with soy, lime and ginger dressing Ingredients
- 300g brown basmati rice
- 200g frozen soya beans, defrosted
- 1 cucumber, spiraled
- 50g pine kernals/pine nuts
- 100g cranberries
- small bunch spring onions, sliced
- small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp fresh root ginger, peeled, finely diced
- 1 red chilli, diced, deseeded
- Roast the pine kernals in a pan, without oil, until golden and leave to one side.
- Cook the rice following pack instructions and 3 mins before it’s done, add the soya beans. Drain and cool under cold running water.
- Meanwhile, fold the cucumber, spring onions, coriander and cranberries into the rice. In a separate bowl, mix the lime zest and juice, chilli, ginger and soy, then pour over the rice before serving.
Simple yet delicious, I will definitely be making Fiona’s recipe again and is perfect for dinner occasions. Happy New Year everyone, hope this one is full of laughs, love and moments to remember.