A Lazy Lady’s Guide to Christmas

How to impress the in-laws with very little effort


Ah, Christmas. The time of year in Australia when we strive as a nation to ignore the strange conundrum of wiping away sweat as we listen to songs about snowdrifts.

Every weekend in the lead up to Christmas – and beyond into the warm stretch of January and February – are picnics and barbeques with friends and family. You have to bring something, right?

Yeah, you could be that guy and bring a packet of Coles sausages or a box of Favourites… if you want to be boring.

Or you could be that guy that slaved over a hot oven to bring a plate of home made shortbread biscuits and mince pies…if you want your house to be 1000°c that night when you’re trying to sleep.

Nuh-uh, I’m not dealing with that bullshit this year. So here are some deceptively simple (but impressive looking) ideas to help make you a cool, worry free and very welcome guest this summer.


“Can you bring a salad?”

Summer salsa salad



  • Corriander (a whooooole lot of it)
  • White wine vinegar (a slosh)
  • Olive oil (another slosh)
  • Dijon mustard (a big tablespoon)
  • Minced garlic (and another big tablespoon)


  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeño chili
  • Spring onions (1/2-1 bunch)
  • Mixed cherry tomatoes (a packet or two)

For the dressing:

Put everything in a blender and hit go. That’s it. Then put it in a jar to add just before serving.

For the salsa:

Chop everything into teeny pieces and mix together, adding more or less of each item to suit your tastes. If you’re adding less avocado because you don’t like avocado (cough, cough, Emily), then consult your doctor because you’re clearly unwell.

To serve:

Add a big spoonful or two of the dressing and mix together. To take this salad to the next level you can add some shredded chicken (pre-cooked from the deli counter, no oven use here!).


“Just bring a little something to share”

Fancy Carrots


  • Dutch carrots
  • Butter
  • Thyme
  • Goats cheese
  • Slivered almonds

Cooking the carrots

In a large saucepan melt some butter slowly with a few springs of thyme. While that’s happening, scrub up your carrots and cut off the tops of the greenery – leave a teeny bit of the stalk on, and don’t cut off the little curly ends.

Once the butter is warmed through, turn up the heat a little and add your carrots. You want them to simmer away in the thyme infused butter for five-ten minutes. Enough that they cook through and go a little charred on the outside, but you want them to retain a bit of crunch.


To serve:

Stir the warm carrots through with some extra thyme and a good dollop of creamy goats cheese. Sprinkle over some slivered almonds and hey presto you’re done! This is the perfect side dish to bring to a family lunch – it only takes about 15mins to make, is as good cold as it is hot, and will make you seem like a fancy son of a gun (no one needs to know it was so simple shhh).


“Can you bring something sweet?”

THE EASY OPTION: Cherry and apple jelly cups


Using the same recipe from our Forbidden Forrest dessert first make the Clear Sour Apple jelly and half fill some pretty clear shot glasses, and set. Then make the Sour Cherry jelly recipe and pour it on top. Voila – a tray full of the prettiest little jellies you ever did see! You can follow this recipe using any flavours you like, but the red cherry does give a lovely Christmassy colour. Pop in some tiny plastic spoons just before you take them around the party.

“Can you bring something sweet?”



What’s better than very little effort? Absolutely no effort at all! We are blessed to have some of the freshest and most delicious fruit available to us at summertime – don’t gild the lily, just pour some cherries into a nice bowl and bring it along to any barbie. They’ll be guaranteed to be gobbled up before you go.


“Come on over – we’re having drinks on the rooftop”



  • A bottle of Pimms
  • A bottle or two of ginger beer (or lemonade)
  • Fresh fruit to add – whatever you have available.
    • Cucumber
    • Oranges
    • Limes
    • Mint leaves
    • Strawberries

To serve

Half fill a large jug with ice cubes and an assortment of fruit. Fill the jug a third of the way up with Pimms then top off with ginger beer. Stir with a chop stick and serve – keep the chopstick in the jug as it will help you hold back the fruit as you pour.

“Come on over – we’re having drinks on the rooftop”



Filled a chilled glass with some ice cold sloe gin (keep a bottle in the fridge) and add a thin slice of a juicy orange, then drink with relish.


One Comment Add yours

  1. louise klug says:

    ah! simples 😉


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