It’s the festive season of Christmas! Please let this month stay for longer because I don’t want it to end so soon.
This year, we spent the first few days of Christmas in Perth, Australia. The atmosphere there wasn’t very Christmasy, but at least we were in a great place filled with fun, lots of sunshine, lots of wind, and loads of friendly Australians. The eight days went by very quickly because we were having a lot of adventures and fun. The little boy definitely enjoyed himself as well, absorbing in a different culture and learning different things everyday. I am so glad nothing went wrong during the trip (except for a missing red water bottle and a lost pullover) and that the entire trip happened smoothly.
The activities in Perth will be deeply etched in my memory – the colours of the setting sun and the expansive Pinnacles desert; the shades of blue from the vast oceans and the incoming tidal waves; the flavours of barbequed sausages (with some grains of desert sand) for dinner in the middle of a desert, the awesome pasta (though not the most authentic) to satisfy end of day cravings; the friendly greetings and smiles from everywhere (train stations, hotel reception, children’s bookshop, taxi drivers who narrate stories and entertain kids and offer water on a hot day, passionate and warm zookeepers at Caversham, kid-friendly tour guides at the prison and the submarine etc). I don’t think I could have asked for more. Maybe except for a starry night out at the desert the next time we visit again!
In terms of food though, Perth doesn’t offer much distinction from their other western counterparts. It’s mostly fish and chips, seafood, pasta, etc. So it’s really down to luck whether a restaurant chef can make nice food or not. We didn’t even see anything Kangaroo or crocodiles on offer in any menus. But that’s okay. We love what we ate there including the junk food, M&Ms, chips and sparkling water.
Back in Singapore, it’s time to start preparing for Christmas and the parties that are coming up. This Italian almond cookie looks great, tastes great, and also is an attempt to finish up the almond in my cupboard. It was quite popular with the boys at home, so I’m going to make it again next time!
- Ground almond: 2 cups
- Caster sugar: 1/2 cup
- Lemon zest: 2 tsp
- Almond extract: 3 drops
- Salt: a pinch
- Dried cherry: 1/2 cup, chopped
- Egg white: 2 + 1
- Preheat oven at 190 degrees Celsius.
- Combine ground almond, caster sugar, lemon zest, almond extract & salt. Whisk till even.
- Stir in dried cherries. Set aside.
- Beat 2 egg whites for 1.5 min till soft peaks form. Fold egg white into almond mixture.
- Separately beat the last egg white with a fork till foamy. Scoop 1 tbsp of almond mixture & shape it into a ball. Coat it in the egg white, followed by the almond flakes. Press firmly.
- Place on baking paper. Repeat for the rest of the almond mixture.
- Bake 10-12min till golden brown. Leave to cool for 15min.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
10 – 12 medium-sized cookies