A Food & Travel Blog

New Cookbooks for Christmas – Get These on Your List Now!

06/12/2019 | By

There is no world in which there’s such a thing as too many cookbooks – the foodie in your life will love getting some new cookbooks for Christmas!

New cookbooks for Christmas, Fairytale Baking

Foodies must be the easiest people in the world to buy gifts for – nothing makes us happier than a new cookbook for Christmas. Like I said, it’s never too early to start your Christmas list.


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Pistachio Ice Cream

09/12/2016 | By

My pistachio ice cream is the perfect shade of green for the Christmas dessert selection. Use my pistachio paste recipe to whip this up quickly at home.

home made pistachio ice cream

A couple of weeks back I shared my recipe for pistachio paste with you. 


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Christmas Treats – Orange and Fennel Processor Shortbread

11/12/2015 | By

This Orange and Fennel Processor Shortbread is another very quick and delicious recipe to add to your Christmas repertoire.

Orange and Fennel shortbread

There’s only 14 more sleeps to go until the big day and kitchens all around the world are humming. 


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Rosewater and Pistachio Marshmallows

28/11/2014 | By

Rosewater & Pistachio Marshmallows

Rosewater & Pistachio Marshmallows

 Okay – it’s now officially less than a month until Christmas. I’m often not the most organised person and, in years past, I have had the excuse of kids school commitments to fall back on when the season has snuck up on me, but not any more.


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December In My Kitchen & a Christmas Recipe for Cheery Cherry Chutney

18/12/2012 | By

Well, my lovelies, I’m really going for broke with a third “In My Kitchen” post in as many months.  This is all the brainchild of Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and if you wander over there you can check out what my friends have in their kitchens this month too!  As I’m running out of time to post before the break and because I really wanted to share this with you, I’m also including a recipe from my kitchen – just scroll down to the end of the post for it.

When my US friend Dianne Jacob arrived here last month to speak at our conference, she bought me a lovely surprise – a goodie bag of treats that she thought I might not find here in Australia.  Among them were these two Microplanes.  These laser-cut and wickedly sharp graters are an absolute must-have for any serious cook and I did not have either of these models.  In fact, I hadn’t even seen the large grater in the stores here so they were both a welcome addition to my gadget drawer.  I already had the bandaids – and it was just as well, as I needed them after the first time I used this gift.

Dianne included in her gift a container of  dried “plumcots”.  These are plums which have been crossed with apricots.  I’ve never seen them here at all and am wondering if there is a whole new crop out there that we could be growing.  They are quite delicious and I’m looking forward to trying them out in my next chicken tagine dish.

I’ll put my hand up here and admit to being afraid of these big boys.  They are dried Ancho Chillis and were also a gift from Dianne.  I know that the larger the chilli, the milder the taste, but I’m still intimidated.  If anyone has any suggestions for me to use them – safely – I’m all ears.

We had some friends over for a few drinks the other day and David and Kath brought me this glorious bunch of Lemon Balm and Kangaroo Paw.  It is still gracing the bookshelf and perfuming the air – thanks, guys.

It is cherry season here in the Adelaide Hills and we can pick them by the bucket-load at the moment.  If you are a local, just look for the signs on the side of the roads and support your local growers.  When you’ve got your bucket full of cherries try this little treat out – my Christmas Cheery Cherry Chutney.  Like most of my cooking, it is easy to prepare (although I suggest you invest in a cherry stoner), is the perfect accompaniment for the season and a delicious way to tart up all of those left-over meats.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Christmas Cheery Cherry Chutney

Course: Condiment
Author: Amanda McInerney of Lambs Ears and Honey


  • 1 kg pitted fresh cherries
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 2 level Tbsp powdered ginger
  • 2 level Tbsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2-3/4 whole nutmeg freshly grated


  • Place all ingredients in heavy based saucepan, cover, place over medium heat and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until soft and thickened.
  • Remove cinnamon stick, cool, store in clean jars in the fridge.


I love ginger, so used quite a lot - you might want to tone that down, depending upon your personal preferences.


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Christmas Comes to Adelaide Central Market – Some of my Favourites of the Season

14/12/2012 | By

Once again I’m unsure as to how it has happened, but December is rushing past me at a breakneck pace and I’m pretty sure I’m on a collision course with Christmas which is going to end fairly unpleasantly if I don’t pull my finger out.  With that in mind, yesterday I took myself down the hill to the Adelaide Central Market and at least made an effort to wrap my head around the impending food binge.  I had a bit of a wander around looking for some specialties of the season and thought I might share a few of them here with you.

I don’t know about you, but Christmas isn’t Christmas here without a huge lump of ham on the bone taking up vast amounts of space in the fridge and appearing at every possible ingesting opportunity for a week or two. (Never store your ham in the plastic. Wrap it in a tea towel or an old pillowcase turned inside out which has been dipped in acidulated water – 4 cups water: 2 tbsp vinegar- and  thoroughly wrung out, changing every day or two.)  We are particularly spoiled for choice in this department at the Adelaide Central Market and I am struggling to choose between two especially.

Barbara Knoll at Barossa Fine Foods ,of course, has their splendid award-winning ham but did you know it also comes in a delicious orange glaze all ready for you to bake.

Sometimes timing is just everything in this world, isn’t it?  Such was the case when I popped in on Tony O’Connell of O’Connell’s Meats just as they were pulling out this magnificent haul of double-smoked hams from the smoker.  Tony will be using these in a carving demo at the Adelaide Central Market stage on Friday (14th Dec.) afternoon and the smell is guaranteed to drive you wild.

Poultry is another protein that will be on our table on the big day and I’ve opted for one of Saskia Beer‘s fine birds boned and stuffed, from Feast Fine Foods.  A goose is one of the more traditional birds to eat at this time of year in Europe, but not so much here.  If you fancy changing your traditions around a bit you can pick up a splendid goose from Marino Meats at $19.95 per kilo and then toddle over to Lucia’s and buy some French goose fat with which to baste it.

For those who want to stick with the traditional poultry, but only have a few to feed or simply can’t face the idea of a whole bird the lovely Frank, at Vegas Poultry , has the perfect alternative – free-range turkey chops!  Sling them on the barbecue and you’re done!

Edible centre-pieces hold quite an attraction for me and this cake-pop Christmas cake can certainly make dessert a much simpler affair.  You’ll find these at The Providore and they can be made as simple – or as huge – as you want.  Too easy!

A couple of foodie-type gifts caught my eye, too.

These gorgeous blue and white ceramic pots of imported artisan Stilton available from Say Cheese are sure to make the cheese-lover in your life very happy indeed. And for last minute, emergency gifts how about a big bag of white chocolate rocky road from The Providore?


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