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A Little Christmas Beach Break and Cherry-Infused Vodka

Hi lovelies!

It is roasting hot here in our part of Australia, and it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly Christmas when I’m watering my gardens and getting sunburned.

I do miss the snow and pine trees of my childhood, but I’m learning to love the uniqueness of a warm Christmas.

Last night my friend Jackie took me to Carols in the Park – a wonderful local tradition that I absolutely loved. Carting a picnic basket and lawn chairs we joined hundreds of others at Leslie Park in Warwick, finding a spot on the grass where we could see the stage. We sipped coffee and nibbled on crackers topped with Camembert and Jackie’s homemade quince paste, visiting happily as we watched the performers bustle around getting ready for their turn on stage.

As night fell and the sweltering heat of the day was replaced by cool evening breezes, we listened to local talent strut their stuff and belt out Christmas carols, joining in whenever the mood took us. How I loved hearing hundreds of voices raised in a jaunty version of Jingle Bells as little kids waved glo sticks and danced madly in the grass. It was a great evening and truly put me in the Christmas spirit.

After a wild month of doctor visits and tests, deadlines and end of term busyness, Bear and I are heading to the coast for a much-needed break.

We are so excited to see our dear friend Elizabeth for good visits, jaunts to foodie shops, and a nighttime tour of Brisbane Christmas Lights.

We will also get to recreate one of our very first dates at Main Beach, Queensland with brunch at Milan on Main (I’ve been dreaming of their smoked trout crepes with balsamic reduction for two years!). I’m really looking forward to a leisurely meal with my man and time in the sun, walking barefoot in the sand and letting those warm ocean wave crash over me.

In preparation for leaving I’ve been doing a bit of Christmas preparation so I don’t have to stress about it when I’m back home.

I made cranberry white chocolate scones (recipe later this week!) and some lovely pickled heirloom beets. My favorite thing thus far is cherry-infused vodka for Christmas toasts or just a cheery evening tipple.

The color is so gorgeous and I can’t wait to use the boozy fruit in something scrumptious like a dark chocolate cherry tart. πŸ™‚

What is your favorite Christmas treat?

Cherry-Infused Vodka

Ingredients:

1 bottle good quality vodka
1-2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 Tbsp raw or granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Sterilize one mason jar or other bottle.
  2. Fill with fresh cherries.
  3. Sprinkle sugar over cherries.
  4. Pour vodka over cherries and sugar.
  5. Seal and shake gently to dissolve sugar.
  6. Let rest in cool, dark place 3-5 days, shaking once a day to make sure sugar dissolves completely.
  7. Strain and use fruit over ice cream or another dessert.
  8. Store cherry-infused vodka in freezer until ready to use.

 




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Jamie - ha ha ha when your favorite Christmas treat involves summer, hot-weather fruit! I love it! And wowee that cherry-infused vodka (or is it vodka-infused cherries?) looks amazing and I need to remember to come back for the recipe when cherries are in season here next summer. Enjoy your balmy Christmas, darling! It looks like you are πŸ™‚

Cathy - That cherry infused vodka looks lovely. I have really fond memories Krista of Carols by Candlelight in Australia. For the past two weekends on Saturday morning there have been carols playing in the main street here in Seaford (which has made it feel really Christmasy for me, even though it is cold!). I’m so pleased to hear that you are enjoying yourself and getting some time to relax with Bear πŸ™‚ My favourite Xmas treat from the past would have to be christmas cake (my mum usually makes one), current one is probably mince pies πŸ™‚

Andrea and John - I do miss the beaches in Australia – have a wonderful rest! =)

Krista - Isn’t that craziness, @71eb07213759ab4e5611e1dd9f1df8a7:disqus ? Still trying to wrap my head around this Christmas in summer thing. πŸ™‚ I am pretty darn happy about the beach in December though. πŸ™‚

Krista - Bear just brought home a mince slice the other day and it was delicious, @wanderingsheila:disqus ! I’m guessing mince pies would be very close to it? I’m so glad you like the Carols by Candlelight too. πŸ™‚ Such a lovely, lovely community feel to it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thanks so much, Andrea! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to it so much. πŸ™‚

mlle paradis - sounds like a great xmas so far! nothing wrong looking at all with that cherry vodka. martha stewart would have to say: “it’s a good thing”! have a great break!

Lisa - I think my favorite Christmas treat is now cherry infused vodka!! It looks and sounds amazing..even though I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol lol Gorgeous beach photos. I keep forgetting that Christmas is ‘summer’ down under. I’m a sucker for snowy, cold holidays..so not sure I could get used to it..although, like I mentioned..it is beautiful! So cute that you and your man recreated your first date there! xoxo

Christine - Yummm about the vodka! It must be tough adjusting to a hot Christmas on the beach, but someone’s got to do it! πŸ˜‰

Budget Jan - That cherry infused vodka photo is just so delicious I had to pin it. Love your photography. Have a happy holiday and Christmas.

Krista - It IS a good thing, Paradis! πŸ™‚

Krista - I’m a lightweight too, @twitter-278132737:disqus ! πŸ™‚ Learned that the hard way. πŸ™‚ xoxo

Krista - It’s a trial, @christineinspain:disqus , but I try to grin and bear it. πŸ˜‰

Krista - Thank you so much, @cf9509787f49c8b33d499022bd5145eb:disqus πŸ™‚ So glad you liked it! I hope to taste test it in just a few days. πŸ™‚ Happiest of Christmases to you too XO

Hogga - That sounds delicious!

Jeanne @ CookSister - Oooh, that vodka looks amazing! I have some cranberries in the fridge that are about to become spiced cranberry vodka ;o) Great minds think alike! Incredibly jealous of your time at the beach – I feel as if I am getting withdrawal symptoms!! πŸ˜‰

Ulysses S. Rant - I’m guessing you’re still getting used to the combination of “Christmas” and “summer” down there. Well, I hope you enjoy it!

Krista - I’m sure working on it, @UlyssesSRant:disqus πŸ™‚ The beach this week made it MUCH easier. πŸ˜‰

Krista - Oh yum!! Spiced cranberry vodka sounds amazing, @76b7f5617f998f38e3daf83409eb82fb:disqus I do hope you’ll blog about it so I can try your recipe. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, @c9ec678f7b9efe392f0d6b7a09166a9b:disqus πŸ™‚

Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Lovely to see some sunshine since it’s our shortest day here! I really like the sound of cherry infused vodka and it looks a very festive colour too.

Krista - I’m so glad I could bring you a bit of sunshine, @8ad969ae2b50941bfc3b6b1ccec43999:disqus πŸ™‚ A very happy Christmas to you!

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