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Tag: Christmas

The Pink Pornstar

Hello.  Hi.  Welcome to the post that will probably get the most search engine hits ever.  And also the highest number of people leaving bitterly disappointed. 

Just so we’re clear?  It’s a cocktail.  

If you’ve come here for ANYTHING except a martini? 

Then this is not for you. 

Don’t even stay around to comment on how upset you are.  Just form an orderly queue at the door and leave.  Quietly. 

And delete your search engine history. 

Pink Pornstar2

Okay, so now that all the perverts are gone lets talk about the Pornstar Martini.  Vanilla Vodka.  Passionfruit Liqueur.  Lime. Passionfruit.  With some sparkling wine on the side.

It’s the best!  Which is why I don’t understand how it took me so long to taste one!  I had my first Pornstar Martini  in London this year!  Which is kind of appropriate because that’s where they were invented back in 2002 by Douglas Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge which is again appropriate because that’s where I was staying. Knightsbridge not the bar!  Despite all this synchronicity I had my first Pornstar Martini at an All Bar One in the West End.  Thank you Monica for the introduction to what has become my favourite cocktail.


Pink Pornstar3


I knew right from the start that I wanted to blog this drink!  It is just soooo good!  Sweet from the vanilla vodka, tangy from the passionfruit and lime, with a crisp finish from the sparkling wine!  It’s also very festive so perfect for the season.  What am I  saying?  It’s good at anytime!

For a classic Pornstar Martini look no further than the ever reliable Difford’s Guide.  

For a RFFMT’s take?  Keep reading!  And don’t for one second think that this take only came about because…ahem…”someone”  forgot they had planned to make this and bought pink sparkling wine instead of Prosecco!   

The main change I made in creating the Pink Pornstar was that because sparkling rosé is sweeter than normal sparkling wine I had to counter that sweetness somehow. That was easy enough to do simply by omitting the simple syrup from the original recipe and adding a little bit of vanilla paste into the shaker!  Here’s the recipe:

The Pink Pornstar
Serves 1
A delicious and pretty cocktail!
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  1. 60 ml Vanilla Vodka
  2. 1 1/2 passionfruit
  3. 15 ml Passoa Passionfruit Liqueur
  4. 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 60 ml Sparkling Rose
  7. Ice
  1. Add a large handful of ice into your cocktail shaker.
  2. Add thee vanilla vodka, the seeds and pulp from 1 passionfruit, the Passoa, lime juice and vanilla extract.
  3. Shake, shake shake. You need to get this nice and cold!
  4. Strain and pour into your cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with the 1/2 passionfruit.
  6. Serve alongside a glass of sparkling rose.
  7. Enjoy!
  1. If you do not have vanilla vodka, Difford's tells you how to make it.
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times
So, given that the Pink Pornstar is really a drink of three parts, how exactly are you supposed to drink it?

Anyway you like but here are some options:

The Pink Pornstar Purist

Keeps the elements separate.

  • First eats the passionfruit garnish.
  • Then drinks the sparkling.
  • Then the Martini.

The reverse purist does the same but swaps the order of the sparkling and the martini.

Pornstar Martini 5

The Mambo 5 Pink Pornstar Picker

Remember that Lou Bega song from back in the day?  It’s in my mind at the mo because we are doing it in my dance class.  Well the chorus of that song goes:

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

The Mambo #5 Pink Pornstar Picker similarly repeats this actions until the drink is gone:

A little bit of passionfruit at first

A little bit of sparkling for the thirst

A little bit of ‘tini for the burst….


The burst? That’s the worst!  Let’s move very swiftly away and pretend that never happened!  The final type?

The Pink Pornstar Punchster

Combines everything in the one glass so they can have a bit of everything all together.  This is my favorite way of drinking it but I would love to hear if you think differently!

Okay all that remains now is to say best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful festive season! 

And beware the creepy Santas.


Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath

Still looking for a quick and easy dessert to make for Christmas Day?  Look no further than my Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath!  It’s also as pretty as a picture and delicious to  boot!

Choc Ripple Christmas WreathMaking this could not be easier.  Get a pack of plain chocolate biscuits, whip up some cream.  Add a hefty splash of booze – I chose amaretto but you could use limoncello or Baileys or Kirsch, whatever you have or like.  Add a large spoonful of icing sugar into the cream and stir through.

Then sandwich your biscuits together with the cream mixture and shape into a wreath. 

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath2Don’t worry too much about getting the shape perfect at first.  Once you have the general shape you can push the biscuits together to make a neater circle.  Then cover the top and sides with the remaining cream mixture.

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath3Pop this into the fridge for a few hours to set.  Then decorate – I used cherries, blueberries, strawberries and mint leaves.

Choc Ripple Christmas WreathWow!  Has anyone else felt that 2016 was a tumultuous year?  I am so glad to be coming to the end of it.  I am exhausted and looking forward to the break.  No work for me until 6 January so I have a lot of time for some much required r&r.

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath
A quick, easy and delicious festive dessert.
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  1. 1 pack plain chocolate biscuits
  2. 500ml thickened cream
  3. 1 tbsp icing sugar
  4. 1 tbsp Amaretto or liqueur of your choice
  5. Cherries, berries and mint leaves to decorate
  1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and beat until firm peaks form. Add the Amaretto and icing sugar and fold through.
  2. Spread each biscuit with approximately 2 teaspoons of the cream and sandwich together. Form into a wreath shape.
  3. Cover with the remaining cream and place in the fridge to set for four hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, garnish with cherries, berries and mint leaves.
Adapted from Woolworth's Christmas Leaflet 2015
Adapted from Woolworth's Christmas Leaflet 2015
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Wishing you all the very best for the Festive Season!  I hope it’s wonderful however you choose to celebrate. 

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Bourbon Brigade Pudding

Coming back to Melbourne in winter after a tropical holiday has been a shock to the system.  I’m not sure if it is the cold or getting back onto germ-laden public transport but I have come down with a whopper of a cold.  Sore throat, blocked nose, and a head that feels like it is about to explode.  When I have not been in bed this weekend, I have been craving comfort food and what better way to rally one’s flagging spirits than with a Brigade Pudding.  And not just any Brigade Pudding but a Bourbon laced Brigade Pudding!  Because alcohol kills germs right?

Brigade Pudding 3To quote The Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”. Such was the case with the recipe for Brigade Pudding.  There I was flicking feebly through the A-Z of Cooking, trying to muster the energy to get out of bed / the house / my sense of lethargy.  And to quote Marcy Playground (who knew illness would bring out my musical side, or maybe it was those weeks of Balinese cover bands).

“And then there it  was, Like double cherry pie, Yeah there it was, Like disco superfly, ”

Right in the  sweet spot of L (Leave it to Cook) in the A-Z of Cooking, Brigade Pudding.

Definitely what I needed!

Brigade Pudding 4Not even the Lemon Pond Pudding debacle of last year was going to stop me from making the Brigade Pudding.  Yes, the number of suet puddings I have made  to date is 1 and the number of failures I have had making suet puddings is also 1 but due to that disaster and a yet untouched bottle of fruit mince from a Christmas hamper I also had all the ingredients for the Brigade Pudding in the house.  No need to shop!  Yay to making food in one’s pyjamas! Yay to comfort food!  Yay to The A-Z of Cooking providing just what you need!

Brigade Pudding 1I am not sure which Brigade, if any, the Brigade Pudding was named after.  I did some cursory research but please see above for head that feels like it is about to explode.  What I can tell you is that it consists of layers of  apple and fruit mince sandwiched together by layers of suet pastry and then steamed to pudding perfection.  I added a little Trans Atlantic twist to my Brigade Pudding by adding in a good splash of bourbon into some warmed golden syrup to help give that  lovely shiny glaze and also allowed my apple and fruit mince to soak in another good splash of bourbon whilst the pastry chilled in the fridge.

Brigade Pudding RecipeThe verdict?  The Fussiest Eater in the World who grew up with stodgy British suet puddings loved it!  My opinion was not quite so positive.  Personally, I found the suet pastry  a bit heavy going.  I would have preferred the apple, fruit and bourbon mix with a lighter sponge pudding. He also liked it as is,  whilst I really thought it needed a little something-something to go with it.  Custard would have been super but we didn’t have any.  What we did have some was some of Sabrina Ghayour’s Pistachio, Honey and Orange Blossom Ice Cream which gave it just the lift I felt it needed.  Pudding perfection!  I also love that combination of hot pudding and cold ice cream! So good.

Bourbon Brigade Pudding
Serves 6
A lovely old fashioned British Pudding. Perfect comfort food for a winter night!
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For The Pastry
  1. 200g self raising flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 100g shredded suet or butter
  4. water
For The Filling
  1. 4 tbsp golden syrup
  2. 1/4 cup bourbon
  3. 200g mincemeat
  4. 3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, grated
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the suet or butter. Rub in well then add enough water to make a soft dough. Leave this to chill in the fridge for around an hour.
  2. Put the golden syrup in a small pan and gently heat with half the bourbon. Set aside.
  3. Take your pudding bowl and place it on a piece of baking paper, small side down. Trace around the bowl and cut the paper to size. Then, turn it over so the widest part of the bowl is on the papder. Cut three circles this size. You will now have one small circle and three large. Trim two of the large circles down so you now have four circles of varying sizes.
  4. Mix the mincemeat, the apples and the rest of the bourbon and allow to sit for half an hour so the flavours can develop.
  5. Grease the pudding bowl and our the golden syrup & bourbon mixture into the bottom, swirl around so it coats the sides.
  6. Now, roll pastry out thinly. Using your paper circles as templates, cut four circles from the pastry. Place the smallest in the pudding bowl and top with a third of the apple and mincemeat mixture. Repeat until all the apple is mixture is used, topping with the largest circle of pastry.
  7. Cover the basin with greased paper and foil tied on with string.
  8. Steam over boiling water for 2.5 hours.
  9. Serve with custard or ice cream.
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking, 1977
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking, 1977
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Have a wonderful week! 

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Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge

Hello world, here’s a song that we’re singin’
Come on, get happy
A whole lotta lovin’ is what we’ll be bringin’
We’ll make you happy”

 – The Partridge Family

Hello World,
What I’m bringing today is  a Christmas Cocktail called The Partridge.
To make you happy.

The PartridgeUnlike his blue friend, currently residing on the Christmas tree, my little Partridge looks like a bit of a bruiser!  Which is quite appropriate seeing as it’s namesake also has some bite in its…well, not bark but cheep? Tweet?  What noise does a partridge make???  What I”m trying to say, in the most convoluted way possible is that with white vermouth, triple sec and whiskey making up the layers, The Partridge is all killer, no filler.

Blue Bird Christmas Ornament
The three layers in The Partridge were slightly easier to see with the naked eye but the triple sec on the white vermouth was not highly noticeable.  Even so, I think the gold band of whiskey across the top is very pretty. And I am like a child when it comes to layered cocktails.  It’s my form of marvel!
The flavours in the Partridge worked nicely together.  It was a bit smoky from the whiskey, herby and sweet from the vermouth and citrussy from the triple sec. 
The Partridge2I actually found it a bit too strong and had to drop a couple of ice cubes in the glass to dilute it down a bit before I could really enjoy it. 
Having said that though, I think the weather may have had something to do with it. I made, and drank, The Partridge in the middle of one of the hottest spells Melbourne has had.  It was over 40 degrees on the day I made it (that’s 100 to you folks in the States) which was way too hot to be drinking some thing this potent. 
I think this would be perfect sipped by a warm fire with snow falling outside – it could certainly warm the cockles of the coldest heart!  I almost want it to be winter again so I can taste this in what I think would be it’s element!
Now, just in case you are wondering if I have a pear tree for my partridge the answer is yes/no /maybe.
I bought a pear which I was going to use to garnish The Partridge and then promptly forgot all about it.  Enter the A-Z of Cooking which has a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.
Happy Days!!!!
Pickling Pears
I always take a salad and the desserts to my mum’s for Christmas.  The Christmas Pudding was bought and taken round there  weeks ago.  Earlier today I made a white chocolate and raspberry Tim Tam Cheesecake (stay tuned for that) and my plan was to also make the Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.  However, the pear I had was totally tasteless.  So I am currently pickling it.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then again, I could be delirious.  It’s 8:15pm and my phone is telling me it’s 33°C outside.  Which could have also lead to….
I really wanted to have ginger in the pickling mix but had none in the house.  I have already been to the supermarket twice today, I refuse to go back for round three of Christmas Eve parking and queues in 30+ heat so instead of sugar and ginger and water with the vinegar, I am using ginger beer.
Pickling Pears2
Eeekkkk…..This could either be a total fiasco.If I post some pictures of our lunch and you see a big bowl of what looks like plain lettuce with some lonely specks of blue cheese you’ll know!
And instead of a Christmas Carol to leave you on, here is another Partridge inspired treat for your ears!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!  I hope you’ve all been not too naughty so Santa leaves you exactly what you want!  Personally, I am leaving a Treasury of Great Recipes shaped space under my tree…fingers crossed!
Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge

Christmas Cocktail – The Partridge


  • 1 Oz White Vermouth
  • 1 Oz Triple Sec
  • 2.5 Oz Whiskey


  • Put all the cocktail ingredients in the right order : White Vermouth, Triple Sec, Whiskey. Pour the Triple Sec and the Whiskey slowly over the back of a spoon to preserve the layers.
  • Served in an old-fashioned glass.


Recipe from

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Cranberry Party Salad

If Christmas has an official fruit, to my mind it would have to be the cranberry.  We smother our turkey in it, serve it up with some brie for an oh so yummy canapé and knock it back by the bucketful in Christmas inspired cocktails. 

If retro cooking had an official dish, it would have to be the jellied salad.

And if these two met at a party and got a little tipsy on a few too many festive sherries and had their very own love child?  It would look  a little like this:

Cranberry Party Salad
Cranberry Party Salad

 And you know what?  If there’s any rationale for hiding your love children in the attic?  The Cranberry Party Salad from Salads For All Seasons could well be it. 

I wasn’t the worst thing I made this year.  Oh, no, that is a dead heat tie between the Paleo Muesli and the Paleo bread…

Sprouted Seed Bread
Sprouted Seed Bread

 It wasn’t awful like these, it was just way too sweet for my taste to have as a savoury dish.  It’s a problem I have in general with Cranberry sauce.  Sometimes it feels as if someone snuck up whilst I wasn’t looking and smeared my turkey with jam. To me, the thing, the whole raison d’etre of the cran is the tang.

Cranberry Party Salad2
Cranberry Party Salad2

 I was also a little disappointed that the fruit and nuts and…yep ok…spoilers ahead…celery…floated to the top which became the bottom once I turned it out.  Then I looked at the picture in the book and it looks like her fruit is all chunked at the bottom too.

Original Cranberry Party Salad
Original Cranberry Party Salad

 Also, look at her terracotta water cooler in the background.  And look at my Kris Kringle present this year…we do the one where you can steal gifts and believe me, there was nothing coming between me and this baby.  Sadly, I stole it off one of the nicest people in the world.  And she really wanted it because she had stolen it from one of the boys.  Caitlin, if you read this, I’m sorrynotsorry. 

Kris Kringle 2014
Kris Kringle 2014

 I am seriously a couple of oddly placed copper moulds away from having that retro kitchen!!!  That woman also has weirdly large man hands like me too.  And that blue salad?  Will be made. I promise.  I have to see how that particular combination of ingredients becomes blue…we will find out together in 2015.   I may even wear a badly fitting blue dress and have my water cooler in the background for some happysnaps.

Cranberry Party Salad Crackers
Cranberry Party Salad Crackers

Rosemary says this is to be served with light meats and poultry.  But how?  You have to remember that this type of dish is most definitely not in any kind of ancestral memory I have.  Well, having said that, I did ask my mother WEEKS ago to give me the recipe for a salmon and jello type thing she used to make.  Which, I have STILL not got.  Someone’s game needs to be lifted….

Given the spread between chunky at the bottom and clear at the top, it seemed sensible to slice it.  To my mind that just looked way too weird on the plate.  In the end, I treated it like a cranberry sauce and ate it on crackers with ham and cheese.

Cranberry Party Salad and Cheese
Cranberry Party Salad and Cheese


Cranberry Party Salad and Ham
Cranberry Party Salad and Ham

 Huh…it doesn’t look too bad in the photos and, in all honesty, this wasn’t awful….just waaaaaayyyy to sweet for my taste.  And I tarted it up by adding fresh cranberries into the mix….

Leave this one with me.  I’m going to ponder it over the next 12 months and next year, I’m going to bring you the best cranberry party salad ever!!!

Cranberry Party Salad Recipe
Cranberry Party Salad Recipe

Any suggestions, you know where to send ’em.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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