Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Years Eve

Well, everyone - even old boring people such as myself - feels the need to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

I was fortunate to be in Australia. It's the first Christmas I've had there since 2007, when Mum was still alive. Christmas is a time for families, so I won't put any of those photos up on the blog. It was a nice day though, and big thanks to Megan for organising and hosting it!
Chris at the beach, before it got to 41 degrees and we all hid inside
In contrast, New Years Eve seems to be a time for friends. Brie and Steve generously invited us to spend a few days with them at a beach house in South Gippsland. It was wonderful to spend the time with Brie and Sarah - two of my best friends from campus days. It was also great to meet their partners, and for them to meet mine! Everyone got along amazingly well.
Aah, the serenity
Brie issued a Masterchef challenge that each of us girls was to prepare one course for our New Years Eve feast. Please excuse me if the photos are not great - even a fabulous camera does not make up for drinking alcohol since 11am on a burning hot day!

Brie went first, with an entrĂ©e of delicious smoked chicken risotto inside roast pumpkin rings.
Sarah went next, and created some wonderful vegan curry dishes. There was curried cauliflower and potato. And dhal. And a cashew curry, which we all agreed was AMAZING. Even Chris, a staunch meat-eater, really enjoyed it.
I could eat this forever
My dessert was the least spectacular, both in terms of looks and technical skill. It didn't stop Uman having seconds though, so I'll provide you with the ingredient list (I would hardly say 'recipe', as there isn't any technique involved!). From the Blue Cookbook, of course.
Tastes better than it looks
Ambrosia Salad:
1 tin mandarin pieces (drained)
1 tin Morello cherries (drained)
1 tin pineapple pieces (your choice of syrup or juice, but drain them)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tin/cup cream (use reduced fat, or don't. Up to you.)
1 cup sour cream (as per the cream)
1 packet of tiny marshmallows (must be the tiny ones, find them in the baking section)

Stir, leave in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Yep, that's it! I believe the recipe comes from when Mum lived in the States, and I think it's a Southern dish. Brie assures me that it is actually considered a *salad* there, and would thus be served with dinner. Personally, if it has marshmallow in it, I would only eat it for dessert.

Oh, then there were cocktails.
Made by Brie and Steve
And fancy straws.
With party poppers
It was a great couple of days. Couldn't imagine anything better for New Years Eve!


  1. Oh, America. Your definition of a salad frightens me greatly... And also reminds me of the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Lily gets taught to make Marshall's family's famous seven layer salad. Which includes a layer of gummi bears, and a layer of funions. And which has the layers separated by mayonnaise... *shudder*

  2. (for the record, I think that sounds like an awesome dessert. It's just the idea of having it as a main course that's frightening!!)

  3. What the heck is a 'funion'? I don't think anything called a salad should contain gelatin or added sugar...

    It is an awesome dessert. The marshmallows go all foamy and delicious. Also, it is mostly made from tins, and could be 'cooked' by a three year old.

  4. I think a "funion" is a deep-fried onion ring type snack, but don't quote me on that. Seems like a more legitimate addition to a salad than gummi bears, anyhow!

    I'm fairly certain I've seen a more salady version of Ambrosia but I can't remember where. It definitely involved grapes, and I'm pretty sure it also involved apple, carrot and celery. Think a cross between a waldorf salad and a coleslaw that has sultanas in it. Not quite so bad, and no marshmallows in sight!

  5. Courtesy of Wikipedia (spelling fail on my part the first time): "Funyuns is the brand name of an onion-flavored[1] corn snack introduced in 1969. While consisting primarily of cornmeal, Funyuns are ring-shaped, alluding to the shape and texture of fried onion rings. They are a product of the Frito-Lay company.[1] They were named "Funyuns" by University of North Texas professor and copywriter Jim Albright after it was discovered that the first choice of name for the product, "OnYums", had already been taken"

  6. Based on that definition, I don't even think Funyuns should exist, let alone go into salads!

    I think both ambrosia and Waldorf salads (actually, maybe all salads?) lend themselves well to modification. That is *usually* a good thing :-)


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