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Christmas Celebrations & Nursing

Posted Dec 29 2009 12:00am
I forgot to tell you in my last post that earlier this month, after four years of hard work and study that I have completed my Bachelor of Nursing degree! It’s been a long journey for me, and it still doesn’t feel real that it’s over with, and that I’m actually a registered nurse.

I am on holidays until the beginning of February when I will start my new job, I’m super excited but also extremely nervous because I will be working in a hospital that I’ve never worked in before, and I won’t have the safety net of being a student anymore. Anyhow I’m sure you will be hearing about it once I start, until then, its all relaxing for me!

Heres a photo of two of the lovely ladies I had placement with and me (right) on our final day of placement.

Joylene, SeongHee, Me

When I first started my degree, Mikey bought me the nurse bear on the left, she sat and watched me throughout my studies, now that I've finished he bought me the graduate bear on the right, I dont collect beanie bears, but I think theyr'e super cute!

Christmas for me was super busy! We started on Christmas Eve because my mum's side of the family is German, and thats when they have always celebrated.

Christmas Eve Dinner
We went to my aunties small farm and had a lovely dinner, I forgot to take photos of the outside, but you can probably see all the gum trees through the window in the photo below. They also had a real christmas tree...a mini one.

My mum's family are all meat eaters, so it was left to me to cook veggie food.

Firstly I made mini vegetable pies , the only change I made to my original recipe was to add 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast powder to give it a bit of a cheesy flavour.

I also decided to try something new and make vol au vents.

I found a cheese and asparagus recipe from here and worked with it to make my own version, so some of my ingredients and directions are different to the original. These were yummy and easy to prepare, the perfect finger food really.

Cheese and Asparagus Vol Au Vents

1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 tsp margarine
2 tbsp plain flour
300 ml milk (I used rice milk)
1 heaped teaspn veggie stock powder
1 teaspn dried mixed herbs
1-2 tblespn nutritional yeast flakes (in place of cheese)
Vol Au Vent cases (I bought mine from Coles)

1. Chop asparagus into 1cm pieces, put into microwave safe bowl, cover with water, and cook on high for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Arrange the vol au vent cases on an oven proof tray.
3. To prepare the Cheese sauce, melt the margarine in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until the mixture is smooth. Cook slowly for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and add the liquid (milk & stock), at first add only a small amount of liquid to make a paste, then gradually add the remaining amount, stir until smooth. Return to heat and stir until boiling. Reduce the heat, add the nutritional yeast flakes, and stir for 1 minute, then season with salt, pepper, herbs.
4. Mix softened asparagus pieces into the sauce, and then spoon mixture into vol au vent cases until each is full.
5. Bake in preheated oven until heated through.

I made mine earlier in the day and then heated them through just before serving, they may even be made the day before and refrigerated until use.

I also made gingerbread cupcakes , I used the same recipe as in my previous post except used half the amount of treakle and more spices. Instead of making normal sized cupcakes, I decided to make mini cupcakes, they turned out really cute...

I also made passionfruit melting moments from a recipe I found in the December issue of Woolworths magazine. They turned out soooo delicious, super soft, just the perfect amount of passionfruit flavour and really simple to make. I would certainly reccomend giving these a go for yourself!

Passionfruit Melting Moments

250g margarine
½ C icing sugar
1 ½ C plain flour
½ C custard powder

Filling60g margarine
½ C icing sugar
1 tbsp passionfruit pulp

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Use electric beaters to beat butter until soft, then add icing sugar and beat butter until soft, then add icing sugar and beat until combined.
2. Mix in flour and custard powder using a butter knife, then gather the dough into a ball (don’t over handle the dough or the biscuits will be tough). Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place onto the prepared trays. Use a fork to flatten, first one way, then at right angles to make a crisscross pattern.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned underneath. Cool completely on wire racks.
4. To make filling: Use electric beaters to beat together butter, icing sugar and passionfruit pulp. Ensure the filling is thick enough, or else it will seep out the sides. Spread filling onto one biscuit, and sandwich with another. Repeat to make about 30 filled biscuits.
5. Can be stored in a n airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 3 days.

Christmas Day Morning

Christmas day morning was spent at my house with Mikey, my parents and granny. Everyone gave and recieved way too many pressies, but we had lots of fun. We were so lucky to have perfect warm 26 degree weather during the day!

Here is our tree surrounded by pressies...

So, would you like to see some of the pressies I recieved? Im guessing you would...

Firstly from my lovely friend Hillness, I recieved this pretty, delicious book High Tea in The Garden. She remembered that I had commented on it in one of my posts a few months ago, so I was super excied to recieve it. I cant wait to have a proper look through the recipes and lovely photos of camellias, cakes and teacups. Thanks again Hillness :)

My mum gave me this little birdcage (not for a real bird), I plan to put a plant inside. I love its antique look.

...and the small pink crystal and perfume bottle...

...this pretty bag with black and white spots and frills...

Mikey gave me my favourite perfume 'Lovely', and mum gave me a tin filled with recipe cards complete with a music CD to set the mood for cooking sweet treats.

From Mikey, the New Moon soundtrack and True blood book.

I recieved lots more, including a massage voucher which I can't wait to put to use :)

What did you recieve for christmas?

Christmas Day Lunch

After breakfast Mikey and I headed to his parents house to have lunch with his family, I took along my veggie pies, vol au vents, melting moments and cupcakes, and also had a plate of different veggies which was really yummy.

We spent the day being followed around by Mikeys cute three year old cousin Caitlin.

Me, Caitlin, Mikey

Mikey's family has a huggge christmas tree...

Christmas Day Dinner

Later in the day we headed back to my house for christmas dinner with my parents, by this time we were already super full from all the food we had eaten in the last 24 hours, but just managed to fit in a little more.

We had a BBQ with loadssss of veggies and salad, and my mum cooked prawns for her and Mikey.

After dinner mum gave our dog Jazz her christmas present, it was a couple of bones wrapped in christmas paper. Its the cutest thing to watch her open it.

And we put a christmas hat on Tiger...

...and Jazz, she finished off the uneaten veggies...

Mikey bought me a Spongebob christmas top which I wore to dinner, and he wore his Grinch christmas top. These tops are lots of fun, and I think it will become a christmas tradition to pull them out each christmas.

I hope your christmas was lots of fun with family and friends too.

Tomorrow night is new years, so I hope your all ready to step into 2010!

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