Tag Archives: Australia

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits It is so rare that the military inspires excellent food – but that’s exactly what happened with Australia and New Zealand’s Anzac biscuits. These rolled oat cookies were developed during World War I when mothers, wives, sisters, and friends wanted to send a delicious treat to their men in the military.

Even its name – Anzac – comes from the Australia New Zealand Army Corps.

Because of this close association, the Australian government closely monitors the use of name and the cookies are often manufactured and sold as a fundraiser for veterans.

Fortunately, the cookies are delicious and travel well so bake up a batch for your far-flung friends and relatives!

Get the recipe from Cooking Clarified here. We’ll be posting more holiday cookies from around the world as we count down to Hannukah and Christmas.

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International Food for Your All-American Cookout


Pavlova photo courtesy of http://www.kiwibaking.com

American Independence Day – also known as the Fourth of July – is one of the biggest barbecue holidays of the year.

This year, you can freshen up your party menu by incorporating cuisines from around the world. Not only will it give your guests some new flavors to enjoy but it will also permit everyone to celebrate one of the greatest things about our country: that we welcome all people here from around the world.

1. German Potato Salad

More than 17% of Americans report themselves as having some German ancestry, which is the largest self-reported ancestral group. Odds are, if you’re hosting a barbecue for the 4th of July, at least some of your guests are German-Americans. Here’s a Food Network recipe for German Potato Salad to help you celebrate.

2. Tandoori Chicken

Try something new on the grill with this recipe for Tandoori Chicken. You can adjust the seasonings to make it more – or less – spicy without sacrificing the amazing flavor.

3. Korean Barbecue

There’s nothing like barbecued spare ribs on the 4th of July, so tuck your napkin into your collar and get ready to get messy with this Korean Barbecue recipe from Epicurious.com. As of the 2000 Census, there are more than one million Korean-Americans in the United States.

4. Mexican Salad with Avocado Dressing

Fresh and delicious, this salad would go beautifully with whatever else you’re serving at your celebration. It’s also a great way to honor Mexican-Americans, whose numbers have increased 58% between the 1990 and 2000 Census.

5. Austalia/New Zealand’s Pavlova

Not only is this a beautiful-looking dessert, it’s also light after a heavy meal of barbecued foods. It uses fresh strawberries, but if you want to re-create the American flag, go ahead and dot in some blueberries to give the dish our traditional red, white, and blue look.

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Have an Aussie New Year!

Weather permitting, consider celebrating the new year the way they do in Australia: with picnics, camping, and lots of fresh air.

Even if your climate isn’t conducive to a December camp-out, try moving the outdoors inside by ushering in the new year with an indoor picnic.

Set up a blanket on the living room floor, hand out flashlights and turn out the lights.

Take turns sharing your favorite thing about 2010 and what you’re looking forward to in 2011.

You can also recreate your favorite picnic foods inside for added fun.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a Wii or other video game system, maybe play some sporty games as a family to remind each other that the winter – which seems interminable – will end.

And if you’re the kind of family that just loves winter sports, get out there and enjoy them together as a great way to start the new year in a happy and healthy way.


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Cookies 19: Chocolate Oat Cookies

Australia’s chocolate oat cookies are not only festive and easy to make, they also travel extremely well.

If you’re baking cookies to send to friends or family far away, these cookies may be just the thing for you.

Here’s a recipe for Anzac biscuits – also known as Australian chocolate oat cookies -from Allrecipes.com. These cookies are also widely made in New Zealand.

Chocolate Oat Cookies


  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets. Mix quick oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, and ginger in a bowl. With your fingers, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in boiling water. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and stir in the golden syrup to combine. Pour in the dissolved baking soda, and pour the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir lightly until just combined; drop by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.


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Christmas Carol Redux

I know you’ve been humming along to Christmas songs as you bound through the grocery and department stores trying to make a holiday happen.

But what do those songs mean? Here’s some vintage KidCulture posts (from last Christmas) explaining some of my favorite carols. Let me know if it clears up the mysteries for you.

12 Days of Confusing – and International – Christmas Carols

I have loved to sing Christmas carols since I was a little kid but I confess a few songs have always mystified me.  I’ve done a little research to explain some of the more perplexing lyrics.  Along the way, I’ve also learned a lot about Christmas carols and their origins.  Starting tomorrow, I will help clarify one carol – or lyric – each day as we countdown to Christmas on December 25.

Day One:  What in the World is Wassailing?

Wassail can actually mean a toast, a revel, or a hot, spiced punch.  It hails from an Old English phrase:  “waes hael” which means “be well.”  The lord of the manor would offer this toast and the crowd would reply, “drink and be healthy.”

Day Two:  Bring on That Figgy Pudding

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” was always an interesting carol in my opinion.  In what other carol is there such a blatant demand for a treat?  But what really perplexed me was the demand for figgy pudding, particularly after I saw a picture of it.  Read the song and see for yourself.

Day Three:  Troll the Ancient Yuletide Carol

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s quite a mental picture, but unfortunately it’s incorrect.  This lyric comes from “Deck the Halls” and is pretty popular during the Christmas season.

Day Four:  Play That Pagan Music

In my research on Christmas carols, it’s been interesting to discover what an influence pagan – or pre-Christian – traditions had on the music we know and enjoy today.  I’ve already written about the pre-Christian influence on “Deck the Halls” but it turns out that all Christmas carols derive from the pre-Christian tradition of a ring-dance, which were festive dances with singing and musical instruments.

Day Five:  Latin Yule

I admit, I feel pretty cool when I sing Christmas carols in other languages – like I’ve accomplished something!  “Adeste Fideles” is one of my favorites and not just because it’s in Latin.

Day Six:  Les Chansons de Noël

Although it is not religious, “Petit Papa Noël” or “Little Santa Claus,” is the most popular carol in France.  Here is the first verse and a translation.

Day Seven:  Silent Night Around the World

Did you know that “Silent Night,” which was written in German as “Stille Nacht” has been translated into more than 300 languages, including Swahili and Maori?  Check it out here.

Day Eight:  Kangaroo Carols

Can you imagine celebrating Christmas during the summer?  That would make it kind of hard to really enjoy singing “Winter Wonderland,” wouldn’t it?

Australians have adapted the holiday to suit their climate.  Here’s the Australian version of “Jingle Bells.”

Day Nine:  Three Ships Stump Me

I admit it, “I Saw Three Ships” has me stumped.  Try as I might, I could not find anyone who knew what this song was about.  To the best of my knowledge, it’s a British song from the Victorian era and that’s the best I could do.  If you know, feel free to chime in!

Day Ten:  Grooving With a Bohemian King

Turns out good King Wenceslas was a pretty cool guy.  He was the King of Bohemia, which today is the Czech Republic.  Raised by his grandmother, a devout Christian, he became king after overthrowing his mother who was acting as regent for Wenceslas because he was underage.

Day Eleven:  Kings on a Mission

I never really connected with the story of the three kings, or magi, until I began to travel outside the United States.  When you consider how difficult it is to travel – even in the 21st century – I  think it gives you a greater appreciation for the three kings who made the journey to Bethlehem all those years ago.  And if you have ever ridden a camel for longer than 15 minutes you will have even more respect for them!

Day Twelve:  The Big One

That’s right, today I will tackle the big one:  “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  This song has always bothered me – who would want all that crazy stuff and why would anyone give their true love all those birds?

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Mom to Kid: Go Fly a Kite

I have always loved flying kites. Maybe it’s because I was born in the spring, typically the best kite-flying time of year, or maybe I’m just a little flighty (get it?), but over the years I have flown a lot of kites.

Thanks to some close but not too-close hurricanes in our area over the past couple of weeks, we’ve enjoyed some unusually windy days that have been perfect for kite flying. After a fun afternoon testing out my son’s new Star Wars kite, I got to wondering about how popular kites are in other parts of the world.

As always, I turned to the Internet, which offered some immediate answers.

There’s a wikispaces devoted to a student project on kites that incorporates children from China, the United States, Pakistan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Slovenia.

This site has so many pictures of kites – and kite fliers – from around the world that you’re sure to see something you’ve never seen before!

I even found out that the United States has an entire museum dedicated to kites in Washington state.

And finally, here’s how to make your own kite (if you don’t have a cool Star Wars one already).

But no matter how much research you do, nothing takes the place of actually flying one yourself, preferably with someone who actually knows how to make the kite airborne!

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Flag Day Fun!

imagesSo I was wondering, do other countries celebrate a “flag day”?  Apparently, they do:

In Argentina, Flag Day (or Dia de la Bandera Nacional) is celebrated on June 20 to honor the flag’s creator, Manuel Belgrano.  

Australia celebrates National Flag Day on September 3.  It was only formally proclaimed in 1996.  Several people are credited with designing the Australian flag, including a school boy!

The Flag Day of Romania has been celebrated on June 26 since 1998.  

Haitian Flag Day occurs on May 18.  Even Haitians living outside the country carry the Haitian flag around to commemorate the day.  

So how do you celebrate Flag Day?  Do you celebrate any other countries’ flag days?

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