Are you ready to host Christmas Day in your beautiful new Hotondo Home? We’ve got some great quick and easy recipes to help you out so you can impress your family and friends with your cooking as well as wowing them as they gather in your stunning new kitchen with some tried and true Hotondo Homes Christmas favourites!

Lamb Pilaf

This is the perfect slow cooker recipe you can make ahead of time for Christmas Day, leaving you free to get your other dishes prepped and into the oven before your guests arrive. You’ll just need to heat it up and plate it right before everyone takes a seat at the dining table. This pilaf is also perfect for warm weather because it’s not too heavy, but still rich in flavour thanks to the lamb!.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm pieces OR 1kg of lamb shanks
1 large brown onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons chilli powder (I omitted the chilli powder for fussy, small child reasons)
3 cups chicken stock
1 bunch silverbeet, trimmed and chopped
400 grams canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
100 grams raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander

Heat half the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and cook the lamb in batches until it is browned all over. Transfer to the slow cooker when done.
Heat remaining oil in saucepan and cook the garlic and onions, stirring occasionally for five minutes or until fragrant.
Add the ground spices and cook for another minute.
Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil.
Transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for seven hours.
Stir in rice and chickpeas, and place the silverbeet on top at hour seven and cook on high for a further fifty minutes until the rice is soft.
Use a fork to stir the silverbeet through the pilaf.
Serve topped with pine nuts raisins and fresh coriander.
Serves 6


A firm family favourite, these delicious treats are kid-friendly and can be made a few days before Christmas so that all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge on Christmas Day to serve as an after dinner treat! These are also perfect to make each year with the kids, and a lovely holiday tradition to start with your little ones as they help you make a batch to give out in treat bags to family and friends during the festive season!

1 packet of milk arrowroot biscuits
1 x 395 gram tin of sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa, sifted
Two cups of desiccated coconut, set aside
1 teaspoon of rum (optional)

Crush the milk arrowroot biscuits in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Sift in the cocoa and mix.
Pour in the condensed milk and mix until all the dry ingredients are combined.
(add the optional teaspoon of rum now for a more grown up flavour!)
Pour the desiccated coconut into a container. Roll teaspoons of the biscuit mix into balls and roll in the coconut, then place them in a container.
Continue until all the biscuit mix has been rolled into balls, then place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Makes about 20.

The rumballs will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Watermelon Christmas Trees and Kiwi Fruit Stars

This is perhaps the easiest post-lunch refreshing treat you’ll ever make! Perfect for hot summer days, and always a winner with kids, watermelon Christmas trees and kiwi fruit stars will take you no more than fifteen minutes to cut, plate and serve!

Ingredients & Materials
One large watermelon wedge
2 or 3 kiwi fruit
1 medium Christmas tree cookie cutter
1 small star cookie cutter
Additional fruit to decorate (cherries, berries, honeydew melon)

Slice watermelon in triangular slices that are larger than the cookie cutter.
Place the cookie cutter over the watermelon slice with the rind base lined up with the cookie cutter base.
Press down to cut the Christmas tree shape and place on a platter with the tree top ends meeting in the centre.
Peel kiwi fruit and slice in 1 cm thick slices.
Press star cookie cutter down and cut out star shapes.
Place on platter around the watermelon.
Add additional fruit to decorate – any red or green fruit will tie in nicely with the Christmas theme.

Cut ahead of time and keep in the fridge until needed.

Cannoli with Cinnamon Ricotta Filling

This dessert is perfect as a light alternative to heavier Christmas cakes and puddings, and very easy to prepare in the morning on Christmas Day. The soft ricotta mixed with the sweetness of sugar, lemon or orange zest and a hint of cinnamon will leave your guests indulging in more than one of these irresistible sweet treats!

Ingredients & Materials
12 x Premade cannoli shells (available from European delicatessens)
750 grams of ricotta cheese
40 grams of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon or orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional icing sugar
Piping bag

Combine the ricotta, icing sugar, cinnamon and zest in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Fill the piping bag with the cream mixture, snip the end off and gently pipe the cannoli shells full of the ricotta filling, ensuring the piping is spread from one end of the shell to the other.
Once you’ve piped filling into all the shells, arrange them on a plate and sprinkle icing sugar over the tops right before serving.

We hope these delicious dessert recipes help with your meal prep in the lead up to Christmas Day, and that the celebrations in your new Hotondo home are beautiful memories that are better than you ever imagined. From everyone at Hotondo Homes, we wish you a very merry Christmas, and a happy and safe new year!

For more home design and interior inspiration ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

If you’ve been waiting all year to host Christmas in your beautiful new Hotondo home and show off that stunning new kitchen, elegant dining area, and enjoy relaxing in your living space with family and friends, we’re here to help. We’ve got some tried and true dessert recipes from some of our very own Hotondo team members that you can make ahead of time to help with your celebrations for Christmas Day!

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Shortbread


Who doesn’t love shortbread? It’s perfect to enjoy with a cuppa as you put your feet up and relax after a long day of celebrating. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make a couple of days in advance! This recipe serves ten people approximately.

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Icing sugar mixture, to dust (optional)


Chocolate Ripple Cake Wreath


A twist on an old favourite, this is another dessert you can make the day before you need to serve it, and just save the decorating for the day of your celebration! This yummy dessert serves approximately twelve people.

2 x packets of chocolate ripple biscuits
500g thickened cream for whipping
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Chocolate cream biscuits
Peppermint balls
Mint leaf lollies


Clootie Dumpling (Cloth Dumpling)

This is a Scottish recipe that takes a little TLC to create, so allow some time a few days before you want to serve it to create this delicious pudding! Serves approximately twenty people.

500g self raising flour – for mixture
1 cup suet
1 cup sugar
500g mix of currants and sultanas (any ratio of your choosing)
25g mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Treacle for taste (however no more than ½ cup)
Milk (up to 1 cup if needed)
Preferred alcohol of choice (that goes well with fruit – sherry, whisky, Drambuie, etc)
Some extra flour
Boiling water (from the kettle)

Calico sheet – you’ll need approximately 50cm2
2 large mixing bowls
1 large stock pot
Strong rubber band
Mixing spoon


Tobler-Tastic Cheesecake

Cheesecake is always a winning dessert especially on a hot Christmas day, and this one combines some amazing flavours. It serves approximately ten people and best of all, it’s no-bake!

1 ½ cups chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed to crumbs
100g melted butter
500g cream cheese, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water
200g milk chocolate Toblerone, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup thickened cream, softly whipped
1 punnet raspberries pureed and sieved into 2 tablepsoons, combined with 2 tablespoons icing sugar
Toblerone shavings, for decoration
Extra raspberries for decoration


Note that you can substitute strawberries and it still tastes delicious!

Ausukes (Little Ears)

Best eaten when made or day of making

Ingredients and equipment
500g plain flour
2 sachets dried yeast
2 eggs
125g butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup luke warm water
½ cup milk (if necessary)
Canola oil for frying

1 large baking bowl (china or ceramic)
1 large frying pan
Paper towel
Serving plate or bowl
Rolling pin

Note: in order for the mixture to rise, please keep ingredients warm.
This reciple makes about 48.

We hope these delicious dessert recipes help with your meal prep in the lead up to Christmas Day, and that the celebrations in your new Hotondo home are beautiful memories you and your family will treasure for years to come. From everyone at Hotondo Homes, we wish you a very merry Christmas, and a happy and safe new year!

For more home design and interior inspiration ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Create a stunning Christmas home this festive season with a few of our top tips. You don’t need to do a lot to create an amazing atmosphere!


Oh Christmas tree!

There are many alternatives to the traditional tree to help you create the perfect look for your Christmas home. We love this tiny Bonsai tree below. If you are looking for seeking something more traditional, try and stick to only one or two coloured decorations to create a theme for your tree. Don’t be afraid to step away from red or green either – pink, lime green and purple are just a few colours that have popped up over the years! Remember, different styled and shaped decorations help add some character to your tree and makes it look less ‘uniform’ and a lot more jolly!
Christmas homeChristmas home


Deck the halls or table!

A centrepiece need not be expensive! A few beautiful candles tied together with a Christmas ribbon can add an instant touch of the festive season to your table. Pinecones are another popular addition. Spray paint them gold, or use them along with your candles to create a larger piece!
Your dining set need not be extensive either. A red tablecloth with matching napkins combined with your regular, neutral dining set, tied in with the centrepiece can make more than enough of an impact in your Christmas home!
Christmas homeChristmas home Christmas home

All I want for Christmas is a beautiful Christmas wreath!

We have two methods to hang your Christmas wreath this season without creating holes from nails in your door.

Command hooks

Command hooks allow you to hang a hook on your door without the risk or ruining the paint job. Simply stick it on the door, and remove once Christmas is over!

Ribbon or string

Thread your ribbon – or light coloured string if you are trying to hide it – through your Christmas wreath and bring it up and over the door, right through to the other side. Adhere in place with tack, and voila, you have a wreath without banging a hole into your front door!

Christmas home


Carols by Christmas Lights!

Finish off your home with some stunning Christmas lights! You don’t need to go as full out as this home, trying lighting the pathway to your door or lining your eaves only with a few lights. First impressions count!

Christmas home

Christmas time can be an expensive time of year due to parties, buying gifts for friends and family, the cost of food and alcohol and going on holidays.

It’s often a time when people find themselves under financial pressure, sometimes resulting in debt carrying over to the New Year.

While Christmas can be expensive, there are definitely some easy ways to save during this busy and often stressful time of year.



Buying presents for friends and family is often the most expensive part of Christmas, therefore it’s worth thinking outside the box and coming up with some ways to cut back on costs.

Don’t be afraid to sit down with family and friends and discuss the issue of presents. Decide with some friends not to buy each other gifts this year or set a reasonable price to spend that both of you can afford.

When it comes to extended family, consider organising a Kris Kringle or Secret Santa. Not only is this a fun and exciting way to give gifts, but it will save you having to buy numerous gifts for your entire family.

In the spirit of embracing a season of simplicity, you can also consider making handmade gifts for friends and family. This is an inexpensive and sentimental way of giving gifts at Christmas.

Food & alcohol


Buying food and alcohol for Christmas day can be extremely expensive, especially if you have a large family.

Start planning early and write yourself a list of everything you need to buy. Keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts. Be sure to shop around and consider buying your groceries from discount supermarkets such as Aldi. Check out some of their Christmas offerings here.

It’s easy to buy and cook too much food on Christmas day. To avoid this, plan ahead and know exactly how many people you have to cater for. Also look into purchasing your alcohol online prior to Christmas. This will give you the opportunity to take advantage of special online offers.


saving for christmas

If you want to earn some extra money over the holiday period consider getting a holiday job.

Another way of earning some extra money before Christmas is to clear out old goods and sell them at the local market. You can make a few hundred dollars (or more) by selling old clothes, toys, video games and gadgets.

The month of December can be an incredibly busy time in the lead up to Christmas.

It’s often a time full of events, Christmas parties, catch-ups before the New Year, buying presents for loved ones, cooking and more. As a result, it’s often hard to find the time to get organised and do everything you need to do.

Whether it’s traditional, modern, a BBQ, picnic or a buffet you have on Christmas, be sure to get organised early to save last minute mayhem.

Write yourself a Christmas checklist and make sure it’s all ticked off before December 25.

Here are some things to write on your checklist to help you get organised this year:

  1. Have your Christmas cards ready to send out early
  2. Decorate your tree at the start of December
  3. Order your ham, turkey and seafood well in advance
  4. Consider doing a Kris Kringle or Secret Santa so you don’t have to buy numerous gifts
  5. Write a gift list and determine your budget
  6. Consider online shopping for certain presents
  7. Purchase non-perishable food items a few weeks before Christmas
  8. Set the table a few days before Christmas
  9. Take stock of your pantry and baking staples to ensure you don’t run out
  10. Buy batteries in advance for children’s toys
  11. Wrap gifts as you buy them
  12. Prepare the food you can freeze a week before
  13. Delegate some of the cooking to your family and get the kids involved
  14. Buy a few spare gifts (wine, candle or shortbread) in case someone pops in with an unexpected gift for you
  15. Make sure your bar is well-stocked prior to the big day
  16. Make a party calendar for the month of December to ensure you don’t run out of time to get organised
  17. If you’re going on holidays soon after Christmas start packing early

Deck the halls (and your home) in Christmas trimmings this year.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about everything from Christmas lights, how to cook the perfect turkey, buying your loved ones meaningful gifts and feeling festive.

Christmas time is about family, friends, yummy food and giving gifts. It’s also about decorating your home!

While there are many different ways to decorate your home this Christmas, we give you some stress-free, inexpensive ways to enjoy your home this Christmas.

Christmas tree


Your Christmas tree is often the centrepiece of your home during the month of December. Therefore it’s important to decorate it with meaningful decorations.

If you can, position your tree in your front window. This will allow people from the outside to see your tree lit up at night time as they walk or drive past.

When decorating your tree be sure to hang your lights first, that way you do not have to do it in and around hanging decorations.

If you’re not going to have a real tree this year, consider some of these reasonably priced trees here.

Wrapping the presents under your tree in a creative way is also an easy way to add a Christmas touch to your home.

Homemade decorations


Adorning your tree with homemade decorations is a sentimental and often inexpensive way of decorating your tree. You can use things like felt, sequins, cardboard and even pasta pieces to create special DIY ornaments. Check out some creative ideas here.

Your homemade decorations don’t just have to hang on your tree. You can use them as small gifts to friends and family, wrapping adornments for other presents or store them as keepsakes for years to come.

Be sure to get the kids involved too!

Outdoor ideas


The outside of your home can easily reflect your Christmas cheer just as easily as the inside of your home can during the month of December. Consider using an outdoor wreath for your front door, outdoor Christmas lights or even a small display in your garden or on your front porch.



There are many different ways you can include some Christmas décor throughout your home.

This could include a garland hanging from your staircase or mantelpiece, small ornaments on your dining table, Christmas holly in your vases or themed pillows on your lounge suite or bed.

Check out some home décor decorations here.


Images sourced from Pinterest.

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