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Book Review – The 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook by AWW

Published by Akilah Brooking

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In the well-loved style that has made Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks popular in homes around Australia, The 12 Days of Christmas (ACP Books, 2010) offers readers a range of easy to follow recipes with dishes suitable for enjoying meals with family and friends over the holiday season.

The 12 Days of Christmas

With recipes divided into 13 chapters tailored to suit a range of typical Australian Christmas holiday activities, The 12 Days of Christmas offers recipes to suit a range of skill levels, tastes and budgets.

Starting with a traditional European Christmas Eve feast including recipes for Turkey with Forcemeat Stuffing, Roast Pork with Cranberry Sauce, a range of side dishes and an Irish Pudding Cake, The 12 Days of Christmas goes on in following chapters to include recipes suitable for both large family meals, casual picnics and relaxed snacks by the pool. Each chapter is headed by a line from the well-known Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas.


Recipes cover a range of cultures and dining experiences suitable for the warm summer weather usually experienced for the Australian Christmas, with the suggestions for Christmas Day particularly suited to be served either hot or cold as desired.

Chapters include:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • Picnic Food
  • Road Trip
  • Barbecue and Pool
  • Easy Entertaining
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Breakfast
  • A Day at the Cricket
  • Beach and Boat

Dishes range from traditional hams and roasts to light sandwiches, wraps and frittatas ideal for using up Christmas leftovers. There are recipes to suit all tastes and budgets with simple Berry and Yoghurt Muffins, Chicken Fried Rice and Bean Salad with Basil Dressing through to Quail Eggs with Dukkah and Terrine De Campagne.

There are a range of meat and vegetarian dishes, side dishes, desserts, snacks, drinks, dressings and sauces suited to the produce and ingredients available during the summer months in Australia, making The 12 Days of Christmas ideal for general summer home meals and entertaining.

Each recipe features a clear list of ingredients, step by step instructions, an indication of preparation and cooking times, number of servings and general cooking tips. Recipes are accompanied by a colour photograph of the completed dish.

Celebrating Christmas in Australia

Interspersed with the recipe chapters, The 12 Days of Christmas offers readers brief tips on creating a festive atmosphere with notes on enhancing the gift of giving, creating natural harmony and setting a festive tableau. These are merely a side note to the recipes themselves.

The 12 Days of Christmas is as much a recipe book for entertaining during the Australian summer as it is a collection of Christmas dishes. Featuring a delicious range of recipes, it is sure to be a handy reference for any home cook looking to prepare meals over the Christmas holiday season.

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