My Advent Calendar – 23 Dec – A day in the kitchen

in #christmas3 years ago

Another beautiful summer’s day in the capital city. Nah, just kidding. Our summer is as unsettled as our spring, and today dawned overcast and very windy. By 9am, the rain had kicked in. But since I’m spending the day in the kitchen, including the trial run of our Xmas dinner, that’s actually quite nice.


10am – a new flavour of smoothie

Along with eating keto, I space my meals carefully, eating at 10am, 3pm and 8pm (ish!), with no snacks in between. I’ve been enjoying the gingerbread I made a lot, so want to try a gingerbread smoothie.

So I mixed together the spices from the gingerbread in a small bowl – 2 teaspoons ginger powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and ½ teaspoon vanilla powder. I actually mixed up two little bowls, as I’m making more gingerbread later. Then when I made my smoothie, I put in half a teaspoon of the mix. That was very subtle, so another ¼ went in. Still too subtle, so another ¼ teaspoon.

Here’s what went in:

• About 1.5 cups of base – for me, that was 1 cup water, 3 frozen cubes of coconut cream, 1 teaspoon hemp oil and 1 Tablespoon MCT oil. Most people would probably go for milk, yoghurt or nut milk
• 1 egg yolk – usually I use the whole egg, but today I wanted the white for another recipe
• Protein powder – I use bone broth protein, but it can be any kind
• 1 teaspoon spice mix
• 2 teaspoons lakanto – or your whole food sweetener of choice

I didn’t add any fruit as I wanted to see how the spices tasted, but did have a couple of fresh strawberries afterwards. If you’re not watching your carbs, I think banana, cooked pumpkin or avocado would all work well with it.

The vanilla powder didn’t blend in well, so I must get some essence. If I do this again, I would leave out the vanilla powder and just add a few drops of essence.

Breakfast (Steemit) time

While enjoying my drink I had a quick skim down my Steemit feed. I didn’t get to many as one of the ones I picked was @kayclarity’s version of O Holy Night and by the time I’d listened to that, breakfast time was just about over. I did manage to squeeze in three other posts – from @meesterboom, @adammillwardart and @johnjgeddes. Everybody else will have to wait.

Before I get back to “making some magic in the kitchen”, some things to do:
• Make a list on the kitchen whiteboard of everything I want to do today, so nothing gets forgotten.
• Fill up my 5 day container of supplements
• Clean up the breakfast dishes
• And choose some music!

Since I just quoted you the words from a Harry Chapin song called “Dirt Gets Under the Fingernails”, let’s start with that.

Next job was to freeze a new tin of coconut cream, as I’d used the last today, so that went into the freezer.


More spiced nuts

Since there was an egg white lying about, the recipe using that came up next. I got the spices I like when in town on Friday, so made another batch of spiced nuts. Savoury this time, using:

• 1 egg white
• 1 tsp water
• ¾ teaspoon wheat free tamari
• 1 tsp coconut syrup
• 2 tsp Jonathan’s Moroccan spice mix (turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, cinnamon & ginger and NOTHING else)
• 3 cups macadamias

For the How-to’s – see this post

I’ve settled on some old Rolling Stones for the next music selection. Here’s one from my CD.

Gingerbread again

So… when I made the gingerbread the other day, the bits I like best were the thicker lumps that I threw together from the leftovers that I couldn’t be bothered rolling out again. So I decided to make another batch, and just roll it into a log, then slice it.

The spices were already measured, so that got made up next, rolled up in baking paper and into the fridge.


Choc brownie stars

Since there are a few of us in the family who are trying to eat whole food / low carb / low sugar, I’m taking some sugar free baking for Boxing Day. So for this recipe, I made up the choc brownie recipe I posted about here, filled up 12 star shaped silicon muffin cups with about half of it, and put the rest in a smaller glass tray than usual. Each star had a chunk of sugar free choc poked into the top, and a few were stirred into the tray. Cooking time was 15 mins.


Time to change the CD, and let’s have some Bowie from the same era.

Back to the gingerbread.

Out of the fridge, sliced up, and laid out on a tray. Some of these are going to a friend for Xmas, and as I was poking little choc bits into the tops of them, I decided they were a bit big and cut most of them in half. Apart from that, same process as the other day.


Macadamia keto muffins

I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s getting late and there is still heaps to tell you, so this can wait for another day, if anyone is interested. But basically a low carb, high fat mini muffin. This time I poked a frozen blueberry into each one, which unfortunately sunk right to the bottom.


Note on the silicon baking trays

I love these things, so much easier to get things out of them. BUT… keto baking is very soft, and I’m finding the easiest way to get them out is to wait till they’ve cooled, freeze them still in the cups, then peel the cups off. Today, since both sets of muffins won’t be needed till Boxing Day, I took them out of the pans, and straight into a plastic ziplock bag and back in the freezer. I’ll take them out Wednesday morning and by the time we get to Nev’s they’ll be defrosted and fresh as a daisy.

Unlike me. The sun has come out again, the oven has been on constantly, and I’ve been on my feet for a couple of hours. Now that everything is out of the oven, I’m going for a nice lie down in a cool room for 10 minutes.

Lunch time

I’m back and time to eat. On Friday night I brought home some fresh fish for dinner, and extra for marinating. That’s been marinating in lemon juice for a day and a half now, and is nicely ready. I had some coconut milk left over from the keto muffin recipe, so I drained off the lemon juice and mixed that in. I also had half a kohl rabi in the fridge, so peeled that and cut it up small to add some texture and crunch.

Time to get back to it, and for a change of pace, I chose Dido – the No Angel album. I shut the kitchen door to spare Frot the experience of listening to me warbling along to every song.

I want to put some owl shaped chocolates with the gingerbread for my friend. This is easy. Just melt a bar of dark cherry chocolate in a double boiler – aka a bowl over a pan of hot water. Then into the owl shaped molds.

Since my mind was on chocolate, I got thinking about the lime and ginger chocs I made a while back. I haven’t been back on chocolate since my water fast at the start of November, and damn it, I want chocolate at Xmas. But I can at least make it sugar free. This mix went into the 3 other chocolate molds I have – smiley faces, paw prints and other animals. Then all four trays went into our downstairs freezer to set solid before taking them out of the molds.

Then straight into jars and into the fridge. That is the drawback with melting and reshaping choc – unless you’re a cheffy type and know how to temper chocolate properly (and I don’t) it will be much more melty afterwards.

Time for a change of pace

We got a new raspberry Pi recently and haven’t had chance to get it set up, so want to do that before we get too flogged for the day. That was a bit more time consuming than we thought, and by the time that was finished it was ready to start on the last batch of cooking for the day.

Keith Urban is my choice for the last music of the day.

Trial run of the turkey mini loaves and cranberry sauce

First of all, I wanted to whip up a batch of mayonnaise as an handy dressing for a number of things over the next few days. I’m sure you all know how to make mayo, but if not, I’ll go over that another time.

Right, cranberry sauce. I found some keto recipes, and decided a ¼ mix of one of them would be ample. So into a small pan went:

• 85gm frozen cranberries
• ¼ cup water
• 4 Tbs lakanto (monkfruit & erythritol blend) that I had blitzed in a grinder to make finer
• And a little grating of orange zest

Simmer for 10-15 minutes and whaddya know, out came a pretty good flavoured and textured sauce. I forgot to take a photo till after we’d scoffed most of it, but here’s what’s left.


While that was simmering away I mixed up the turkey meatloaf ingredients:

• 400gm turkey mince
• About 1/4 large red onion, diced up
• 1 beaten egg
• 1 teaspoon of Jonathan’s very handy spice mix
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• And instead of breadcrumbs, ¼ cup ground almonds

Spooned into the twelve star shaped cups, cooked at 175C for 15 mins. Then turned them all over and took the cups off, so the bottoms could dry out a little (another 5 mins).

Again, I forgot to take a photo till there were only four left. The shape isn’t very defined, so I will need to be a bit more careful to push the mix right into the points of the stars.

But we were happy with the flavour and texture. The only change I’ll make for Tuesday is a little bit less spice for Mama Frot.


By that time it was 9.30 and time to write this post! Ah Sunday, a day of rest…

Maybe tomorrow will be cruisey… Bahahahaha…


Day 1 – Carol singing with the NZ Symphony Orchestra
Day 2 – Kilbirnie Santa Parade
Day 3 – Posting overseas Xmas cards & a Xmas themed exercise class
Day 4 – Last minute book buying
Day 5 – Last choir rehearsal for the year
Day 6 – Choosing gifts for the Xmas game
Day 7 – Xmas lunch with my exercise class
Day 8 – Xmas spiced nuts
Day 9 – Xmas tree time
Day 10 – Last arthritis class for the year, and a sugar free brownie recipe
Day 11 – A choir performance
Day 12 – Taking marinated chicken wings to the choir Xmas party
Day 13 – The NZ local xmas cards & some e-cards
Day 14 – Planning the Xmas menus and best dessert ever
Day 15 – Making gluten & sugar free Xmas cakes
Day 16 – Xmas dinner with the Possums
Day 17 – Cranberry smoothie & other nourishing Festive breakfasts
Day 18 – Green Eggs & Ham
Day 19 – Gingerbread men
Day 20 – Stop, breathe and plan
Day 21 – Starting our stay-cation
Day 22 – Wrapping the presents

Thanks for reading

Top pic from Pixabay, rest by me.

Follow me for more health, nutrition, food, lifestyle and recipe posts. For an archive of 2016 & 2017 posts, by category, see my last post of 2017.

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Lots of good cooking, Deb. I could use some of those star brownies. 😊
I’m be away to my sister’s over Christmas and not on Steemit for a few days.
🌲 Wishing you a wonderful Christmas. 🎅

Have a lovely time with your sister, and see you when you get back. xx

Wow i was exhausted reading that, you are very efficient in the kitchen. If you have a spare weekend you can come teach me in my kitchen :)

It would take me all weekend just to get there! We'll have to do virtual teaching!

Merry Ho Ho Ho!

Wow, that's a lot of cooking! I need to go to the kitchen myself, but for now I'm enjoying my afternoon coffee and your wonderful selection of music!

I hope you enjoyed your coffee, and the music, and still got everything done!

Wow! I am speechless...
This here is the whole pack of goodies let loose. I am salivating on this one.

Regards always,

Possibly it was a bit over the top? Lots of tasty morsels to enjoy!

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There's a bit of everything in here! I like the brownie stars. Will have to try them. I made Thai Turkey balls this morning, they are very yummy!

Ooh, they do sound good. What went in those?

A dead simple one, finely chopped onion, garlic and some home made green Thai curry paste which is mostly coriander, lemongrass and galangal. Fried then added to Turkey mine and shaped into little balls. They were lovely!

Mm, they do sound very tasty!

They were, had them today!!

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Holy Jesus that is a shit load - I'm glad I just licked out the bowls and listened to The Stones!

Now check out this - the coolest Stones video of them all!

That is my favourite Stones song!

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