#whatsonyourplateblogchallenge Over 50s Lifestyle

Enjoying Festive Food & Family #WOYP

January 3, 2024
What's On Your Plate M

The Festive season is over for another year. I love this time of year and in December we hosted two family get-togethers so I was in my element!

What’s Been On My Plate? – Festive Food! (of course)

I love planning and preparing for guests and it was wonderful to have all our blended family together for the first time in 4 years. As we are a blended family, many years ago I set the tradition to have our ‘Christmas’ celebration the week before Christmas. This meant everyone could relax and enjoy our time together rather than rushing from one place to the next. On the 17th we hosted 17, Including Mike and I – 10 adults and 7 children so it was chaotic and hectic but I loved every minute.

Hosting can be overwhelming, especially as we had only returned from our 3-week European holiday two weeks before. However, I made wise choices and my husband and I work well as a team. We had a plan plus a check list so really I found the preparation before and on the day stress free.

Our only stress was how we would fit everyone into our small townhouse! We managed well!

Our second get together was on Christmas Day with only 7 of us so a little less hectic but still wonderful.

On the menu



  • Roasted Turkey breast
  • Slow cooked pulled pork which my husband made and was delicious
  • Ham
  • Prawns
  • Mediterranean salad
  • Potato salad


  • Make-your-own Pavlova Board (see my post Easy entertaining for the Festive Season on how to put together)
  • Baked Ricotta Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Gingerbread which I had made with my Simply Stunning Book Club for our baking session

Christmas Day

The menu was similar to above however I did try my hand at a Layered roast vegetable and ricotta pie which everyone enjoyed and it looked festive.

For Dessert my daughter made her traditional trifle and I made my traditional Plum Pudding with Custard and some Reindeer Jelly cups for my grandsons.

We also enjoyed some mimosas which my daughter made.

New Year’s Eve

Mike and I have the tradition of spending NYE together at home, just the two of us. We usually make a meal together and enjoy reflecting on the year that has been and discussing our dreams for 2024. We did make an exception this year and had a house guest for the evening – Wallis the Pooch. Her family were going out to a party so she came to stay with Nan and Grandad Mike.

On the menu:


Blinnis with various toppings – Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese, Basil Pesto and Brie, and Blue Cheese with walnuts


Mixed hot seafood – crumbed calamari, salt and pepper prawn cutlets and fish pieces served with chips and a mediterranean salad.


Individual baked cheesecakes topped with melted Toblerone Chocolate, Macadamia Ice cream and macadamia nuts. I used low fat cream cheese and greek yogurt to make it a little bit healthier after all the festive food we have eaten. I wasn’t at all happy with the ‘look’ and presentation but it did taste delicious and Mike gave his tick of approval.

So that’s what has been on my plate during December and it was delicious!

What’s been On Your Plate lately? I’d love you to share with me.

I’m linking up to the What’s On Your Plate? blog challenge. A monthly link up hosted by Donna at Retirement Reflections and Deb, The Widow Badass Be sure to pop over to see what’s been on their plate.

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis January 3, 2024 at 12:15

    It all looks so lovely – what a wonderful festive spread!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 3, 2024 at 12:32

      Thank you, Barbara. I love preparing the food at Christmas x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 3, 2024 at 15:00

    Hi, Sue –
    Thank you for the linkup. I love how you and Mike planned ahead and worked together as a team to keep your large family gathering festive and as stress-free as possible. Everything looks absolutely delicious!!
    BTW – I love your NYE guest. Adorable!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 3, 2024 at 16:01

      Hi Donna, thanks for the opportunity to share our Festive Food with you at #WOYP? xx

  • Reply Darlene January 4, 2024 at 05:37

    Like you I love making Christmas meals. There were only two of us this year but I still made some great dishes. I don’t eat meat but made hubby his roasted turkey breast. For me I made a delicious creamy root vegetable casserole which was so good. I made three trifles, one to share with my ageing in-laws, one for us and one to share with our Irish neighbours. Your daughter’s trifle looks lovely as does the Layered roast vegetable and ricotta pie. Actually it all looks great!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 4, 2024 at 09:55

      OOh your root vegetable casserole sounds delicious. We have certainly cut back on red meat in particular over the last few years. Sounds like you had a wonderful Festive Fare. Happy New Year. x

  • Reply Debbie January 4, 2024 at 07:24

    I am amazed at how organised you are especially considering you had just returned from your big trip, but you obviously enjoy it all as your joy shines through your face! I also used your pavlova board idea and called it DIY Pavlovas which were a big hit with my family. Your table setting , menu and food all look fabulously festive! Happy New Year to you both xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 4, 2024 at 09:57

      Hi Deb! I do love preparing for the festive get togethers and I don’t see it as a chore although after everything was over I think Mike and I felt a bit spent as we had been on the go with the holiday and then preparations for Christmas. Rachel put me onto the DIY pavlovas and it is a great idea. Glad your family liked the idea too! x

  • Reply marsha57 January 4, 2024 at 15:06

    Oh, it all looks delicious, Sue! I should try to remember to take some photos the next big family gathering. We have been having lots of chicken, brown rice and veggies. I need to add more “rainbow” to our menus as well as more protein.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week, Sue!


    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 5, 2024 at 12:54

      Hi Marsha I always make sure I appoint a photographer otherwise we all get carried away and have no photos at all! x

  • Reply Janine January 4, 2024 at 21:11

    Your jellies for the Grandchildren are really cute and that trifle- it’s massive!
    It looks like you enjoyed some wonderful festive eating!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 5, 2024 at 12:55

      Hi Janine the jellies were very easy and my daughter’s trifle was delicious. We had a wonderful Festive season, unlike yourself with all the storms and damage. Sending best wishes to you. xx

  • Reply Joanne January 6, 2024 at 01:43

    My father in law and his wife always host the weekend before Christmas so that all of us can make it; both my husband and I basically have 2 sets of parents so that means 4 families to make to the rounds to during the holiday season. It can be a lot; especially when our boys were young but it’s fun too. I was so thankful when each family sort of picked their own “time” during the season to celebrate and we didn’t have to do too much juggling to try and see them all.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 6, 2024 at 05:16

      Hi Joanne, I’ve never had to juggle visits as my parents died 40 years ago. I did see the struggle of having a blended family and the kids having to see 4 sets of parents when they started getting married. I found having the celebrations a week before is so much more enjoyable. Happy New Year to you and your family x

  • Reply Catherine Sokolowski January 7, 2024 at 02:58

    Wow! All your food looks so delicious. I am going to take a look at your layered roasted vegetable pie as soon as I finish posting this!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 8, 2024 at 07:41

      Hi Catherine, the layered roasted vegetable pie had a couple of steps but was very easy to make and tasted delicious. Let me know if you make it and what you think. Have a great week! x

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