Monday, December 24th, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!!

I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve!  How did that happen? Literally a second ago it was Sept 26th and I was toasting a glass of the good bubbly stuff to celebrate my book going on sale…

Well it is December 24th here in Sydney anyway and it’s a stinker today, 30˚C and humid ~ a condition I still find somewhat odd being Irish in Oz at Christmas. Christmas to me for 30 years equated to chilly days, trudging around the shops in woolly hats and scarves and lots of cosy pints in Dublin city centre pubs ~ well at least in my late teens onwards… ;) I do really miss Christmas in Dublin and in fact I was due to head back ‘home’ this year to spend Xmas but alas due to some personal issues which popped up we have decided to push the trip back a few months to next June or so.

I’ll be honest too though, I am starting to really love the Aussie Christmas in the warm weather, I know it’s a concept a lot of people back home can’t grasp and it does change your perspective of Christmas a little ~ aka I still love all the decorations and social side to Christmas but I guess it’s made me a little less materialistic – in so far I mean I tend to focus less on going mad spending oodles of money on copious amounts of gifts for people, and prefer to focus on entertaining for friends and throwing outdoor get-togethers, BBQs and dinners in an attempt to take advantage of the amazing warm weather. I think too it’s because it does feel a lot less Christmassy to some one not originally from Oz at this time of the year so I focus more on the fact it’s Summer and I want to get out into the gorgeous weather. However to Aussies who haven’t experienced a Northern hemisphere Christmas, it’s as Christmassy and you can get out there right now in the shops and such :)

This year I was supposed to be spending Christmas at home with Mick and one or two guests and I wanted to come up with a menu which would be light and easy to prepare, hence the below listed Trout recipe with fennel salad and minted potatoes and 2 wickedly non-healthy indulgent desserts to follow. Ok, the fig one isn’t too bad on the calorie scale but the chocolate cake is let’s face it is not going to help you greatly in ‘the getting into those skinny jeans scenario’ on Boxing Day.. ;)

Plans have changed slightly since I started devising this menu plan and I am now spending the day at my sister-in-laws with about 18 others which will be great, and it’ll be really nice ~ I’ll be honest to not do the cooking for a change. It doesn’t happen a lot for me, so when I can get it, I grab it with both hands!

The past year has been an amazing one for me, I still pinch myself at times when I see the WKA book in a book store. Yesterday I was in David Jones ~ Sydney’s equivalent to the likes of Selfridges in the UK or Harvey Nichols or Saks Fifth Ave in the US. and my book was No. 1 on their Top 10 books! I was thrilled and totally surprised, a lump-in-the-throat moment, it was so cool to see it sitting there with a big No. 1 underneath it. I was delighted and so grateful. It only seems like yesterday I was offered the book deal, but it was over two years ago now – crazy! Time is flying by so quickly.

I am really looking forward to the new year 2013, knowing that WKA Book is going to be published in not only as it is currently in AUZ, NZ, US and Canada, UK, Ireland and France, but now too: Norway, Italy, Holland and Germany. How exciting and very humbling. I hope too other countries will follow ~ especially for all you readers from the likes of Poland, Brazil, South Africa in particular who are always asking me if you’ll get your own version. Hopefully you will and I’ll keep you posted if anything does happen in those countries int he coming months.

Next year I have a very exciting project in the pipeline, details of which I’ll write about in the early months of 2013, so January is a month for me which will now be focused a lot on this new project and I have some great people coming on board too as contributors to WKA such as upcoming pastry chef star Julia Taylor. Julia was the runner up in this year’s Australian Masterchef show and was amazing at producing the most incredible cakes and desserts. In January Julia’s going to work with me to produce a new ‘sweets and cakes’ section on WKA. Her first story will feature in late Jan. I ‘ll also have a great launch post up in early Feb to celebrate the book (finally!) going on sale int he UK and Ireland, it’ll feature a lot of blog readers who are UK and Irish Ex-pats living here in Sydney and possibly from further afield around Australia. The UK book looks amazing! It’s actually a little chunkier than the Aussie version and I love it. It’s been printed beautifully and I am so proud to know it’ll be on sale all over my homeland and the UK as of from late Feb which is really only 9 weeks away.

I want to say a big thanks to all of you who continue to read What Katie Ate and who post comments giving feedback and your thoughts, it’s the comments and words which keep me going so please always feel encouraged to write to me on the blog and post your thoughts and ideas.

On an end note, I wish you all an incredible Christmas 2012 and an amazing, prosperous and peaceful 2013.

I hope you enjoy all the new recipes below and if you have any comments or questions don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment boxes below and I’ll do my best to replay as soon as I can.

See you in the new year!!

Much luv

Katie x

Fresh Prawn Crostini with Caper, Green Olive and Goat’s Cheese Paste, Baby Peas and Lemon Oil ~ Recipe here

Lobster Crostini with Buttery Tomato and Champagne Sauce, Fresh Dill
~ Recipe here

Mint and Watercress Soup with Garden Peas and Pecans, Sour Cream and Proscuitto
~ Recipe here

Poached Ocean Trout with Tarragon, Lemon and Champagne Sauce ~ Recipe here.
Served with Minted Baby Potatoes ~ Recipe Here

Fennel, Apple, Radish and Watercress Salad with Soft Boiled Egg, Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing 
~ Recipe here

Pomegranate Roast Chicken with Cherry, Nut, Orange and Herb Stuffing ~ Recipe here

Roasted Fig Tart with Orange Blossom, Cinnamon and Mint Cream filling. Crushed Hazelnuts ~ Recipe here

Black Forest Style Xmas Berry Gateaux ~ Recipe here

46 Responses to “Merry Christmas 2012!!!”

  1. December 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I’m with you. I think it’s still September. Waaaah, we’re getting old. Time is flying. I’ve GOT to try the Black Forest Gateaux, as well. xo

    • Katie
      December 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks Katie, tell me about it, I can’t believe how quickly this year went by, it only seems like yesterday my sister and her family were coming out from Ireland… Let me know how you go if you make the cake! x

  2. Radosveta Shopova
    December 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Dear Katie, absolute delight for all sense. Please note that when trying to open recipes server does not respond. Can’t wait to try sweets above, please help in getting recipe info. Wishing you wonderful Holidays!!!

    • Katie
      December 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Hi! Thanks so much and for pointing out about the links, WP seems to go a little odd from time to time, I’ve looked at it and think they’re all working now – at least they should be. Let me know if you have anymore issues! Thanks and Merry Christmas! Katie

  3. December 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Congratulations on a remarkable year, so well deserved. You continue to inspire me (blogger) and I cant wait to get your book here in South Africa. I have ordered it, and got a brief look at it the other day on a shoot I worked on as the food editor had a copy.
    A very Merry Xmas to you.

    • Katie
      December 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      A very Merry Xmas to you too Sam, thanks for your lovely words and I hope you enjoy the book. Katie x

  4. December 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations! They are so inspiring.
    I asked for you book for Christmas this year, so exciting!
    All the best to you, and can’t wait to see what 2013 bring.


  5. December 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Congrats on your book’s success!! :) I can`t wait to hear about more projects you have up your sleeves.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. December 25, 2012 at 12:52 am

    That black forest cake is calling my name!!! Wowza!!! Seriously amazing!

  7. December 25, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I actually know what you mean regarding Christmas in warm weather. I was brought up in Mexico City, and while it is not summer here it is still 25 or so degrees! (And it definitely still felt Christmasy) Having lived subsequently for a decade in the UK, and this being my first Christmas back home in recent years it is still a ‘schock’ that it is so warm out.

    And I am not surprised your book was in no1. I HAD to have it shipped to Mexico despite the shipping costing more than the book itself- and it did not disappoint!

    Merry Christmas!

  8. December 25, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Looking forward to having the italian version of WKA book, this Christmas I bought th Us version, hope to understand the recipes ;)
    A very Merry Chrystmas xxx

  9. kerstin
    December 26, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Incredible! My first day on pinterest, one of the first pictures I saw and it’s fantastic! We live very close to the black forest and this cake does not really look like a traditional Schwarzwälderkirschtorte – but much, much better, I immediately fell in love with it! Great style!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. December 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Congratulations on the success of your book! It’s such a stunner, a huge inspiration, really. I’m spending Christmas in the US South and welcome the warm weather instead of the snow they’re having back home. It’ll be tough to pile on the layers again when we leave! Hope you had a very merry day.

  11. December 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Merry Christmas to you too! Absolutely gorgeous spread, hope you had a lovely Christmas! x

  12. December 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Merry Christmas! I love your blog and the decadent ideas! Thank you for sharing the love!

  13. December 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I got a copy of your book in this last week of December! Such a fantastic inspiration. Can’t wait to finish it. Merry Christmas!

  14. Julie
    December 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Being scottish and living in Brisbane from 2000 onwards I completely understand the lack of ‘christmas” feeling but… you know… a Camilla kaftan and some lounging around the pool while i skyped the family in the UK was kind of cool!!! I agree it’s less about the presents and more about the celebration of sharing food with friends.

  15. Sylvia
    December 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I think you’ve just posted up my dream Christmas day menu! I’ll have to give the trout a try in the new year as I am a bit of a trout fanatic :)
    My sister brought me your lovely book for my Christmas present, I absolutely love it, and it will give me many hours of pleasure in the kitchen in the coming weeks :)

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas. I was going to do Christmas at my house this year too but it was changed at the last minute and decided it best I enjoy not cooking for the day also – I came down with a flu the week before so it worked out for the best after all as I could not even look at food for a few days, but glad to report I am well on the mend now. Happy New Year!

  16. December 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I just received your gorgeous cookbook for Christmas. I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful books I’ve come across. I’ve already made your florentines and cannot wait to cook it from cover to cover! So THANK YOU!

    • Katie
      December 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Oooh! Wonderful to hear! :) You were brave going with the Florentines as they can be a little tricky and I think it’ll take some people an attempt or two to get the timing right. They are fab once you get the hang of them, I find it virtually impossible not to gobble up all the left over mixture when you’ve cut out the circles ;)

      • December 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

        I have to admit I was a bit time poor and didn’t dry the fresh cherries but did come across incaberries and popped those in with orange blossom water instead of amaretto. Will definitely buy a box of cherries next time. And the cut offs are just as delicious dipped in chocolate!

  17. Rowena
    December 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Merry Christmas Katie.
    I was lucky enough to receive a copy of your book in my stocking – it is amazing!!
    I love it. You are very talented.
    I can’t wait to start cooking!!

    • Katie
      December 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much Rowena, such lovely words, I so appreciate it. Enjoy the cooking :)

  18. December 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm


    These are great recipes, thanks Katie. I have to say that since purchasing your book and reading/inhaling every page it’s inspired me to start cooking again after always saying ‘I’m too busy’ cause of my biz.

    Thank you and have a happy and prosperous new year

    P.S I LOVE your pics. Love them!

  19. December 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Merry end of 2012 and wish you very much continued success with the books in 2013! Your recipes and photography are always so inspiring :) Thanks for sharing them! Your book is on my wishlist :)

  20. December 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Katie, Just bought your book today (full price, too!0 and I can hardly breathe. Beautiful.

    • Katie
      December 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Go you! What a gorgeous compliment.
      Thanks so much ;) xxx

  21. Sini
    December 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I got your book a few days before Christmas (thanks to Amazon!). On Christmas Day I read it from cover to cover sitting on the couch drinking mulled wine. I love it. It’s divine. The look, the recipes, the stories. You’ve done such a great job! I’m proud of you.

    I wish you all the best for the coming year.

    Greetings from Finland,

  22. Trish
    December 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    My husband gave me your beautiful cookbook for Christmas, and we’ve had two wonderful family dinners from it already–the lemon chicken and the chorizo and potato salad. I can’t wait to whip up some apple, ginger, and cranberry cocktails for New Year’s Eve! So thrilled to have discovered your blog and your lovely book.

  23. Debbi
    December 31, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I just received your book from Amazon! I absolutely love everything about it! Even the typeface feels like grandma’s recipe cards!

    On the second page it show you taking a picture. What is that black stuff you used as a background and bottom? It almost looks like a painted, blackish, canvas? Is it wood? I loved that extra touch showing you taking the pics!

  24. December 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    oh wow!
    oh wow!
    oh wow!
    Everything looks so delicious, i dont know where to start….

  25. January 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    A little late to the party here, but congrats on the book’s success.

    That Pomegranate Chicken looks sinful!

  26. Monique
    January 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm


    Used my newly purchased book of yours yesterday to create a New Years Day feast for nine, the eight hour lamb was divine, as were the persian fetta and cannellini crostini and chorizo, rocket & potato salad.

    A happy new year of eating and cooking to all!

  27. January 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I received your cookbook as a christmas gift this year. So lovely and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your beautiful art.

  28. Billie
    January 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I finally bought your book! 5 shops later (it was sold out everywhere)! Soooo excited it looks amazing! Can’t wait for your second… and third… and fourth books. Please don’t stop cooking and blogging – I’ve made a few of your recipes now and they are just dam right amazing! X

    • Katie
      January 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Fantastic!!! What great feedback – thank you so much!! xx

  29. January 5, 2013 at 4:15 am

    I received your book for Christmas because I told my Son to buy it for me. I have read it from cover to cover and have made Mick’s Fettuccine with Shrimp. I love the book so much that I have it offered as a give-away on my blog to one lucky winner. You are an inspiration. Thank you Katie.

  30. January 5, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Oh my, that last shot makes me wish it was Christmas all over again!

  31. January 6, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Congratulations on your book! What tremendous talent you have. All the best for a very rewarding 2013 ahead :)

  32. January 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Wow…what an amazing Christmas spread…it all looks divine! :-)

  33. January 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    What an amazing feast! Christmas in Dublin is lovely, I’ve been lucky enough to make it back every year since I left, but at least in June you’ll get to enjoy Dublin’s bizarre but nice attempt at cafe culture!

  34. January 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Everything on this page (well, the whole site, really) is amazing! If I had to make an order of things… the first place would be awarded to that incredibly pretty roasted fig tart (agree??) very closely followed by the gateaux, and then just everything else. Delicious!

  35. January 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm


    I LOVE everything you ate! You are such an inspiration!

  36. January 20, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Hi Katie,
    Everything looks so wonderfull and delicious!
    I never used one of your receipes before. But next week I’ll have my birthday party with six good friends. Planninf to try out few of your receipes.
    Question: can you advise about the chicken whether I can use filets and make chicken rolls with the pommegranate filling?
    I hope you have suggestions. Thanks in advance!
    Anna, from The Netherlands

  37. February 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Your photography is absolutely stunning and delicate and gorgeous. I have to say that out of ALL the photographers and food photographers that I come across, your work is unique. I am rarely impressed and your work knocks me over every time. Congratulations on the publishing of your book (a little belated, I know) and I look forward to more of your fantastic work in the future!

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