A guide to easy holiday recipes

Peach punch. Photo: Jennifer Soo.
Peach punch. Photo: Jennifer Soo.

Stuck for ideas? Here are some easy holiday recipes to keep you satisfied over the summer. 

Peach punch 


  • 150ml peach puree (2-3 large peaches).
  • 1 whole peach, extra, cut into wedges.
  • 1/4 cup peach liqueur.
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier.
  • 1/2 cup white rum.
  • 1/4 cup dark rum.
  • 1/2 cup apple juice.
  • 750ml Australian sparkling wine.


Combine the peach puree, peach wedges, liqueurs, rums and apple juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, pour into a large jug or punch bowl, add the chilled bubbly and stir. Garnish with more peachwedges (optional).

Barszcz – Beetroot soup


  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 6 medium beetroot, peeled, grated
  • 60ml vodka
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or one tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • white pepper and salt, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Strain the beetroot and set aside. Combine half the beetroot juice and stock and bring to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for an hour.

Add the remaining beetroot, lemon juice, vodka, sugar, chives and seasonings.

Serve hot with boiled potatoes and chopped dill for garnish.

Potato bake


  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 300ml sour cream
  • 1 packet dry French onion soup
  • 1-2 cups grated tasty cheese

Optional: add some chopped spring onion to the cream mix or add some bacon layers


Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Grease a baking dish with canola cooking spray or a little butter.

Clean potatoes well and slice thinly leaving skin on.

In a mixing bowl mix sour cream and French onion soup mix until well combined.

Layer potatoes and sour cream mixture in baking dish starting with potatoes on the bottom, until all used up.

Top with grated cheese or layer cheese through.

Bake for about an hour. Time varies in different ovens. Check by poking through the potatoes to see if they are soft... If they are, it's ready!

Custard Tart


  • 140g butter, chilled and diced
  • 250g plain flour
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • For the custard
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 1 strip lemon zest
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar


To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg and milk and bring together to form a dough.

On a floured surface, roll the pastry out and line it on a 20cm tart tin, leaving a bit of pastry hanging over the edge. Chill for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas. Line the tart tin with baking beans/rice etc, bake for 20 mins, then remove the beans/rice and continue to cook for 20 mins until the base is biscuit-like. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 140C/120C fan/gas.

Bring the cream, milk, vanilla pod, lemon zest and nutmeg to boil. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then pour the hot milk and cream over, beating as you go. Strain custard into a jug, allow to settle for a few mins, then skim off any froth.

Carefully pour the custard into the tart case and bake for 40 mins or until just set with the very slightest wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven, trim the pastry edges off and leave to cool completely. Top with cinnamon and/or nutmeg! 

Booze bombs


  • 300g Bourneville or dark cooking chocolate
  • 100 ml (6.5TBS) golden syrup
  • 75ml (5tsp) brandy
  • 100 ml (6.5) whisky or dark rum
  • 200gm Marie biscuits finely chopped
  • 200 gm pecan nuts processed until finely chopped but not ground.
  • Icing sugar


Combine all the ingredients except the icing sugar in a mixing bowl and blend well.

Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls

Pack on trays and refrigerate until hardened.

Booze Bombs keep in fridge for 3 weeks.  (if you don’t eat them all!)

No bake Yule tide log


  • One packet of chocolate ripple biscuits
  • One container of thickened cream 
  • Chocolate flake and mint leaf lollies to decorate


Whip cream.

Spread on base of cake plate tray.

Join biscuits together with cream and sit the on the cream on the plate to create a log-style effect.

Coat the biscuit log with remaining cream.

Decorate with flake and mint leave.

Put in fridge to set.

Serve in slices.

Edible fruit Christmas wreath


  • 1x foam wreath shape
  • Toothpicks
  • 3 packets of strawberries
  • 1kg green grapes
  • 1-2 packets blueberries
  • 20 cherries

* You can use other fruit combinations - but make sure you choose fruit that will hold together and won't discolour if cut. Watermelon works well!


Rinse and thoroughly dry all fruit.

Insert tooth picks randomly around the wreath. Leave around 1cm sticking up. You don’t need to totally fill the wreath - aim for 20-30 toothpicks to start with.

Starting with the largest fruit (strawberries if you are using them), stick the fruit onto the toothpicks around the wreath and continue until the wreath is full!

Punch with some extra punch


  • 850g of tinned fruit salad (diced pears, diced peaches, whole grapes, pineapple pieces)
  • 400ml of vodka (but you can use Malibu for a coconutty flavour)
  • 2L of Passiona soft drink
  • 2L of Lemonade/Solo

If you want a bit of tang to this, you can also throw in some pineapple juice, or, as crazy as it sounds, some ginger beer.

And if you want a dash of something else, throw in a bottle of champagne, or Passion Pop, depending on your budget.


Empty the fruit in a large punch bowl, including all the juice, and pour in the vodka. Cover and leave to soak for a few hours, occasionally giving it a stir.

Just before serving, add the soft drinks and anything else you want to the mix, along with a stack of ice and stir well.

Beware that the fruit packs the most punch (ha) in this recipe, so make sure you keep stirring when serving. You don’t want to get a cup full of just fruit...