Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

A very Merry Christmas 2011!

Katie’s Beef Wellington

Roast Loin of Pork with Apple, Apricot and Pistachio Nut Stuffing

Creamy Pecorino and Parmesan Macaroni Bake with Salami, Roast Tomatoes and Chilli

Garlic Butter Roast Chicken with Lemon, Macadamia Nut and Bacon Stuffing

Roast Chicken with Mushroom, Walnut, White Truffle and Sausage Meat Stuffing

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips with Nutmeg, Garlic and Honey

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Broccolini, Bacon and Pine Nuts

Baby Yellow Squash with Chilli, Red Onion and Garlic Pangrattato

Mum’s Amazing Roast Potatoes

Baby Carrots with Fennel, Thyme, Honey and White Wine

Hot Smoked Salmon Paté; Peach, Apple, Chilli Chutney; Sour Rhubarb Paste for Cheese

A selection of cheese and meats given to me by the one and only, fab gourmand and all-round great guy Andy Arnfield of my fave Sydney foodie store; The Gourmet Grocer. Deservedly so, Andy’s online business is doing a roaring trade, he’ll deliver all or any of his shops products anywhere in Australia or further afield. Andy also stocks a full range of Phillippa’s baked goods, this is a bakery based in Melbourne who recently sent me an amazing hamper choc-full of the most incredible baked Xmas goodies – mince pies, gingerbread, cakes and pies.

This year I’m stockpiling a few bottles of my fave Logan wines. I’ve loved this family-run, boutique winery (which are based in Mudgee, NSW using grapes grown in Orange, NSW) ever since I laid eyes on their amazingly designed labels and brand about 4 years ago (the design co. actually had each varieties leaves and flowers embroidered by hand and then photographed for the labels). Their varied wine range is superb and compliments any meal or food occasion. They have a wine club and you can order online.

Ali’s Pavlova with Christmas Berries and White Chocolate Cream

Mini Raspberry and Chocolate Ganache Meringue Kisses


A great find for the warm Sydney Summer months (if it ever would arrive!!) - Pure Pops are a hand-crafted ice pop company based in Sydney. Supplying a great range of fun flavoured fruit popsicles and highlighting the best seasonal fresh fruit on offer, Pure Pops contain no artificial flavours, preservatives or stabilisers, resulting in a delicious pure icy treat and are a perfect addition to parties, weddings and special events, Pure Pops also offer customised flavours and popsicle sticks.

Homemade Granola Bars made with what is, without a doubt, THE best muesli on the Aussie market, I am eating this stuff by the bucket-load at the moment ~ The Unexpected Guest topped off with a thick layer of my new sweetie find and current addiction (not good for bikini season in Oz!) ~ Conscious Chocolate.

All images © Katie Quinn Davies 2011

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! Hold that thought – where on earth has this year gone to?!? And more to the point where is Summer in Sydney???! For the first time in Oz I feel I’m back home in Ireland and having a cosy, heaters-and-jumpers-on-style Christmas… I really do hope the sun starts to shine and the temps start to rise as in exactly 7 sleeps time my sister, her hubby and their fab 8 year old daughter, my niece; Erika will be setting foot in Sydney ~ after the 1,867 hour flight from Ireland ;) I am really looking forward to their visit and taking a bit of time away including a week away in Queensland,  from what has been a crazy hectic year for me work-wise and included a full-on, yet fully enjoyable few months of solidly working on my book. I can’t believe it will be going to print in early April, then before we know it it’ll be October and it’ll be on sale!! Woohooo! :)

I decided, due to not having a lot of free time to go mad, like I did last year with the massive 495 pager Xmas post (!?) to this year keep things a little more ‘low-key’. I have included a few recipes which I often cook myself as these days I personally will rarely cook a massive turkey at Xmas, opting generally for other meats such as lamb or pork or sometimes just a really nice piece of fillet beef. Often at Xmas I love to organise a range of smaller plates which we’d graze on over the day as opposed to eat one huge meal.

This year I will be spending Christmas Day with my husband Mick ~ just the two of us and I will cook a beautiful organic, free-range chicken stuffed with my Lemon, Macadamia Nut and Organic Boks bacon stuffing. The bird itself gets slathered all over in a fab garlic and lemon butter and I’ll serve it with a load of super crunchy ‘Mum’s Roast Potatoes’ and a few sides – all the recipes for which I’ve included in this post. For a casual lunch I’m going to cook up a few prawns from my last post in November as the great thing with these guys is you can cook them and they still taste great eaten hot or cold so again, a great one for nibbling on through-out the day so they too are great for a BBQ where you need to feed a load of people who are coming and going throughout the day.

Dessert will be borrowed this year from my friend and co-worker Ali Irvine, Ali and I have worked together for the past year on Real Living Magazine. Ali ~ a freelance food editor is an amazing cook and has an incredible talent for pairing flavours. This month I asked her to supply me with a recipe for a good, easy and simple Xmas dessert and she’s delivered a gem. This pavlova is fantastic and provided me with some of the best looking, plump and pillowy meringues I have every made. I gave it a test run this week and it was a fantastic success. I decided to turn the recipe into one large pavlova for the shoot, keep in mind you can easily make this as individual meringues as per Ali’s recipe and I look forward to being able to prepare this dessert 90% on Xmas Eve leaving me with very little to do for sweets on the 25th.

A few weeks ago I was sent a package in the post by a company in Bangalow in NSW ~ The Unexpected Guest is a company who specialise in producing two of the most amazing mueslis I have ever tasted. For breakfast, I am normally a toast and Vegemite and a mug of instant coffee sort of gal, but since Adam from the company sent me down a few bags of their product I am utterly hooked. Adam and his fiancee Juniper formed a boutique breakfast company focused on creating the most delicious breakfast experiences around. All their products are certified organic and use the best quality ingredients they can source. Adam sent me a granola style toasted muesli which is naturally sweetened and called: ‘Granuesli’ (seemingly Sanitarium trademarked granola in 1920!) and also a gluten free muesli which uses yummy maple roasted almonds along with a host of other fantastic ingredients. Adam and Juniper started the company two years ago in their kitchen in Bondi. Juniper is Canadian and had made the granola for years and through friends popping round and taking a bag home, orders started to flow and the word got out. It wasn’t long before Juniper started producing to a number of retailers and cafe’s within the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. They had always used organic ingredients but as the company grew they decided they wanted to certify the products and therefore started looking for a certified organic commercial kitchen which is what brought them to the north coast. Two years later they are now nationwide and servicing aprox 150 retailers.

I really found this product top-notch and after munching on many bowls during shoots here at the studio over the past month, I figured it might be good to try out a recipe for homemade granola bars which I could take on location shoots to beat the munchies. So I used the Granuesli (which is crunchy and crisp) and mixed it with the gluten free muesli, combined the two with organic Aussie honey and topped the lot off with a good dollop of melted chocolate – in this case with a few bars of melted ‘Conscious Chocolate’ – which is a recent find of mine and my new addiction for late night sugar cravings… although in this case it is actually sugar-free as they use ‘agave nectar’. The bars have a crumblier, softer ~ almost silky and fudge-like. Flavour-wise it is really well balanced between sweet and bitter and overall just tastes really clean and very good quality. Also you find – even with only 6 little squares per bar, you’ll eat maybe max. 2 squares and feel you’ve had enough and it’s a case more-so of less is more, quality over quantity etc… If you are living in Oz Conscious Choc. will deliver Nationwide.

On a final note, I was pondering a few weeks or so ago about what I would cook for the Xmas post and when on one of my trips to the supermarket, I wondered how much the post would cost me all up for groceries. It got me thinking about the unfortunate and at times, inevitable amount of waste which happens at food shoots. I try to use the food after the shoots where I can, and or use food to share with friends/dinner parties etc., but unfortunately in this photo business when it comes to food, some of it does get thrown in the bin at the end of the shoot due to over handling and such. This year I felt it a good idea to cut back on the amount of recipes I was planning to feature and instead of going OTT with a load of ideas, to take a few hundred dollars from the blog food budget and give it to a homeless shelter here in Sydney and also to the RSPCA ~ both these organisations and charities need all the support they can year-round, however it is always especially hard for them at this time of the year and they are two organisations I always like to give to when I can.

Uncannily this brings me to another company I stumbled across a few days ago – run by an Aussie DJ Ben Korbel, The Philanthropic Foodie is an innovative philanthropic think tank based in Sydney. They conjure creative ways to embrace inspired culture while raising awareness and funds for community minded projects. Their maiden voyage fuses Sydney’s cult food personalities and establishments with Australian Of the Year nominee Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets. The coolest gift this Summer, The Philanthropic Foodie‘s inimitable offering sources products from only award winning cult Sydney restaurants, delis and bakeries, not traditionally available in hamper format. These brands include Bourke Street Bakery, Christine Manfield, Gelato Messina, Simon Johnson, Campos and more. Their vision is to simply offer inspiring products, value for money and a karmic offset by donating all profits to Sydney charity Youth Off The Streets. What with Summer now here (almost!) and all the various outdoor Sydney Summer activities like the outdoor cinema, NYE picnics etc this is great, conscious-lead company to grab a hamper or picnic full of foodie goodies – starting from $75, they will also courier Nationwide.

I will end by wishing everyone a very, very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. Thank you again for all the amazing support over the past 12 months and for following of What Katie ate in 2012. I look forward to, and wish you all a jam-packed, super happy, prosperous, productive and successful 2012.

Katie :-) x

83 Responses to “A very Merry Christmas 2011!”

  1. December 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

    lovely photos!

  2. December 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    These photos are amazing! Gorgeous! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!!

  3. December 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Every single dish you are presenting us is amazing, Katie! The roast loin of pork, Mum’s potatoes and the apple,chili chutney are particularly appealing to me. Can’t wait for the recipes!

    Yes, the idea of all that food going to waste is preposterous when there are so many people in the world who are not able to afford a simple meal. Good for you for giving back to charity. We should all be doing that.

    Merry Christmas Katie!! All the best to you and your family!

  4. December 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    As always, lovely lovely photos! Merry Christmas to you Katie!

  5. December 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    You know, it’s just not fair to have recipes that sound this delicious with photos that look this good. :) Wishing you a very happy holiday! (I’m wondering how long my mouth will remain wide-open from the view of that Wellington.)

  6. December 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Everything looks so yummy and just beautiful! Can’t wait for the recipes!!! Merry Christmas…

  7. December 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    your photos are really great and i love them! You’re so talented. Merry christmas!

  8. December 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you everyone, I really am so sorry for the delay on the recipes, I know how frustrating it is, Blogger drove me barmy today and in the past few hours in particular. I will have them all up tomorrow in 1 downloadable PDF doc. Thanks.

  9. December 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Yummy photos! :D

  10. December 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Your food and photos look so amazing! Merry Christmas and cannot wait to see what’s on the blog in 2012 :)

  11. December 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks Katie! What a beautiful Christmas post with delicious dishes. Loved reading your blog post for the end of the year, thanks for letting us all know about what great produce and products are out there. I am thoroughly looking forward to your book release! Merry Christmas to you too! x

  12. December 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    You take amazing pictures….found you through Pinterest. Cant wait for the recipe for those potatoes…sounds and looks too good to e true!!

  13. December 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm


  14. December 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Happy Holidays to you as well!

    Thanks for all the ideas and for including words about the less fortunate. The world’s big economies is crumbling, I am sure a lot of people will feel it this Christmas.

  15. December 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I have only had the experience working with shooting food with Nikole Herriott and I do notice a lot of waste in food in food shoots, but your lovely shots inspire us all to make better food for ourselves.
    I have always wanted to try a beef wellington! Can’t wait to see the recipe!

  16. December 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Your photos never fail to make me hungry. Gorgeous!

  17. December 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hello from Italy!
    Just to say hello.
    Your style and your amazing photos are ABSOLUTELY poetic and artistic.
    Merry Christmas

  18. December 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Wow. All this food looks so amazing! Great photos, beautiful food. Happy Holidays!

  19. December 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Katie amaaaazing photos.Do you blog at all about photography at all?? We are heading to Bangalow after xmas, will seek out that muesli

  20. December 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Gorgeous photos and super tasty food! Have a magical holidays and a Merry Christmas!:)
    Lots of greetings!:)

  21. December 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Great pictures and great X’mas plan! Wishing you great holidays! ;)

  22. December 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Wow…what a feast. I would love to try each one please! Gorgeous photography and looking forward to the recipes, I think that pav has my name on it.

    Merry Christmas,

  23. December 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Your photography is stunning! Food porn at its best :D

  24. December 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Merry Christmas and a very delicious New Year to you! xx

  25. December 23, 2011 at 1:19 am

    oh my GOODNESS this is one huge, amazing post- definitely not ‘low key’ if you ask me! everything looks stunning. And since I’m in charge of making our Christmas lunch this year, I think I might copy you and do that lovely chicken- it looks so goood. Definitely also trying those potatoes and granola bars. Beautiful photos!
    Merry Christmas Katie!

  26. December 23, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Beautiful food inspiration and photos as always. This weather is reminding me of Irish Christmastime too, I’m really enjoying it :) Hope you have a lovely time with your family and that the weather improves :-)

  27. December 23, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Wow – this is an amazing spread Katie! I can’t wait to try out the pavlova recipe and that garlic butter chicken – oh my lordy! A fabulous array for recipes and new foodie finds. Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing!

  28. December 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Excellent pictures! Thank You!

  29. December 23, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Wow ! I’m impressed ! it’s gorgeous !
    Joyeux Noël ♥

  30. December 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    How did you find time to produce so many marvelous dishes?! ;) Christmas greetings from Poland :)
    Margotka – ILLUCUCINA

  31. December 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    You photos are absolutely stunning. I’m seething with photo and food jealousy (in a good way).

  32. Hallie
    December 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Oh Katie, perfection as usual! I’ll be running to the kitchen shortly to try out some of these delicious recipes, thanks for sharing. And Happy Christmas to you and your family!

  33. December 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Beautiful, as always! I LOVE your blog.

  34. December 24, 2011 at 8:35 am

    lovely photos like ever!!
    i wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year!
    see you next year!

  35. Sini
    December 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Lovely photos and delicious sounding recipes! I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and all the best for the coming year 2012!

  36. December 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Beautiful photos and the recipes sound delish! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you!

  37. December 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Merry Christmas !!! have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  38. December 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    hi Katie – gorgeous photos. you are amazing. and i have to send the biggest THANK YOU your way as my husband loves pork but I don’t eat it and didnt know how to cook it but i used your recipe today with the apricot and pistachio stuffing and it turned out perfectly and everyone loved it including my lovely man. so thanks so much and I hope you’ve had wonderful day. how good was the weather!
    cheers Fiona

  39. December 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Amazingly appetizing photos as usual :) I hope you have a Merry Christmas Katie!

  40. December 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Your food and photos look so amazing!

  41. Hannah L
    December 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Stunning. Makes me want to do yesterday all over again!

  42. December 26, 2011 at 12:44 am

    A mouthwatering post with pictures and recipes to match… thank you so much Katie, Merry Christmas!

  43. December 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

    amazing food

  44. December 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Amazing pictures and the food. Yum yum and yum!!!

  45. December 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Dear Katie,

    Thank you for writing this amazing blog, and sharing your pictures, recipes and massive know how with us readers.

    Have a good, restful and rejuvenating holiday! May 2012 bring only amazing things!

  46. December 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Hello Katie :) Just found your blog!
    Going to follow you from now on!

    Wow I’m a newbie to food blogging and your photos are AMAZING! Love how it’s all nicely plated and good use of props! I’m still learning!

    Seems like you had a great Xmas!

    Hope you have an even better New Years!

    Happy Holidays :D

  47. December 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Whaou so much food everything look delighfull :)

  48. December 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Hi ~ I just found your blog through Decor De Provence!! It is fantastic. Your pictures are stunning. I will be following you. Now I am very hungry!


  49. December 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I just found your delightful blog. The food and photos are so wonderful! I plan to go back through your posts slowly to take in and savor each one. I have added your blog to my blogroll. So happy to “meet” you. Have a wonderful New Year!

  50. December 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Beatiful photos!
    Happy New Year, darling!


  51. January 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Hi from the other side of the world, Slovenia (Europe). Katie, I youst love your blog…the photos are great and very inspiring to me. I do food photography too. Best wishes in 2012 from me!

  52. January 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Your photography absolutely rocks. I am blown away…and then, the food looks amazing too. Art, food, no calories! Love.
    Happy New Year!

  53. January 3, 2012 at 1:25 am

    I want to eat EVERYTHING! Beautiful photographs & the Beef Wellington looks incredible. Happy New Year Katie!

  54. Anonymous
    January 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Your photography is absolutely amazing!

  55. January 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    hi i just discovered your blog! amazing pics and recipes, just love how you put it all together! i know i’m late to the party, but could i borrow a picture or two and give you a mention on my blog?


    hope you’ve had a lovely holiday and happy new year.

    happy cooking!

  56. January 4, 2012 at 1:18 am

    beautiful pictures, wonderful recipe. i’ll be sure to try it out!

  57. January 4, 2012 at 5:25 am

    What amazing food photography! Your are super creative. Food is made beautiful with you. Happy new year!

  58. January 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

    HI Katie,

    Just had to drop by and tell you what a fan I am of your food photography.. Incredible work. Love the styling, colours and light and you make it all look so easy. I know it is not.. Wishing you a fab 2012.. Carla

  59. January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Goodness, gracious, I a drooling over this post!
    Your photos are gorgeous, and my gosh the food looks so so good! Love this post, and all the others I’ve scrolled through today. Hope your new year is super!

  60. January 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Absolutely incredible photos. I can’t wait to explore your blog more!

  61. January 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Amazing! As always! x

  62. January 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Your photography and blog are just so inspiring! What editing program do you use? These pictures make me hungry! :) )


  63. January 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    hello, good new year!
    your video, the one beautiful, mirific, enlightning… where is it?! I liked it on vimeo, but now it’s gone.. none of the staff has it uploaded there.. no trace of it?

  64. January 11, 2012 at 1:36 am

    All this food looks amazing!

  65. January 11, 2012 at 1:36 am

    All this food looks amazing!

  66. January 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Oh gawd! These photos are gorgeous!!! Looking at them, I feel transported to another time and place!

  67. January 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Looks like you’ve had a delicious and fun way to celebrate your Christmas season there. Anyway I hope this 2012 year will be a great year for all of us hear.

  68. January 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Everything is looking so delicious but except the sweets I love the macaroni and the potatoes of your mum. Yummy recipies I will definitely try most of them.
    Greets list your apartment for olympics

  69. January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    There is so much here to rave about, but I love Beef Wellington and will definitely plan to have this one soon. I need to hone my skills so we can have it when guests come over.

  70. Anonymous
    January 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Your granola bars look amazing – can we get the recipe?

  71. January 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Oh my gawd, Katie! Your pictures are so amazing! Wow, wow, wow! Thanks for sharing all the delicious looking meals with us, you are a true inspiration, and I don’t say that often. :D

  72. January 21, 2012 at 4:49 am

    It all looks absolutely delicious! I am so excited that I found your blog!

  73. January 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

    What a great article! love your food pics :)

  74. January 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Love your photos.

  75. January 29, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I’m quite pleased with the ifonrmation in this post.nice and useful!
    thank you!

  76. February 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    What a great blog!

  77. Ingababinga
    February 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I love cookbooks and purchasing a cookbook requires a minimum of one recipe that knocks my socks off before consideration. Five or more is a jackpot. I like stories and background as to what is to be eaten, where and why. Unless there is a critical piece of novelty about the book, I will not purchase a book without photos. Photos require an artistic quality, beauty, or essence of what is being presented and must be accompanied by appropriate typeset and paper.

  78. February 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I have gained a lot of knowledge by reading your post. It is really a wonderful blog endow with a lot of knowledge for readers who wants to know about the subject matter. Thank you very much.
    Academic Writing

  79. February 22, 2012 at 11:34 am
  80. Delphine
    February 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Wow, this post is a masterpiece!

  81. May 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    A very Merry Christmas 2011!
    Wonderful! Can I merely say what a relief to uncover someone who essentially knows what they’re speaking about on the internet?

  82. May 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Great post I must say, Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward for more information on this issue.

  83. samar
    November 30, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Amazing shots and looks so delice! Is it possible to get the recipe for the following “Creamy Pecorino and Parmesan Macaroni Bake with Salami, Roast Tomatoes and Chilli” as I can’t seem to be able to pull it up, no option to click on it!
    Thank you!

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