On the 23rd of December, we decided to finally head to the Madinat for some outdoor festivities. We were greeted by a lovely little Chrisstmas Village, the amphitheatre was made up to look like a winter wonderland. Chrisstmas trees to the right and left, Chrisstmas stalls, miniature train set – set in the Swiss Alps, Santa in the corner, busy with the kids and Chrisstmas music blaring through the speakers. The one thing that has been constant has been a visit to the stand that sold Gluvine (German mulled wine) which was absolutely fantastic! It was a warm night so I had rosey cheeks after a few big mouthfuls and shared the remainder with my husband. I will attempt to make Gluvine one of these days!
These standing ornaments were just gorgeous! Next on the to-do list maybe?
Found Santa lounging in one of the Abra’s with a beautiful backdrop of a lovely Chrisstmas Tree and the Burj Al Arab.
Chrisstmas morning… Look at the damage we left behind! Enough said!
We wrote down our Chrisstmas Menu, making sure that we don’t leave anything out… So much for only 2 people? We definitely have bigger eyes than our stomach can handle. But we did manage to make a little bit of everything and we enjoyed them for the past 3days too (and still enjoying them!)
I was so excited when I found these beautiful cherries at Carrefour (aed49.95/kg)! We have them every year in NZ during Chrisstmas so why break tradition and memories? I picked up 1.5kg’s worth of beautiful shiny cherries, although I cannot remember where they were from, but they were juicy, big and sweet. I polished them off within 2days!
Beautiful melted cheesey french toast;
Speculaas with chopped bananas;
Chrisstmas Cake and Marzipan… 3months worth of soaking and feeding the Chrisstmas Cake was well worth it because it turned out absolutely amazing! This is our 3rd Chrisstmas in Dubai and it gets better every time. I am so happy with how it turned out, moist, juicy, rich and oh so delicious. I think I will keep this recipe and make it every year. This one is thanks to Jamie Oliver, and partially me too as I made some substitutions!
Not forgetting the lovely truffles, more Speculaas, beautiful big round juicy cherry tomatoes (another great bargain for aed2.50 a box) and sweet mandarins at aed2.75/kg. Bargains at supermarkets are great aren’t they?!
We sat down and had a nice good chat out on the balcony after having such a heavy breakfast, not to mention all the munching and nibbling in between, but we managed to start dinner at around 5pm which included making chestnut stuffing, vegetable preparations and putting together the roast. The recipe for the chestnut roasting came from 3 different recipes where I mixed and matched them a little bit.
500g chestnut, cooked
4 medium onions, diced
1 cup millet, cooked
sage and thyme
salt and pepper
Mash the chestnuts and mix in with the rest of the ingredients together until well combined. Roll into balls on a tray and bake for 30min on a 180deg C heat. (with some vino in between) Or you could also roll it up in a foil like a sausage and steam bake it or bake it, depending on how you prefer your stuffing. Alternatively you could stuff it into the turkey!
My husband was in charge of the vegetables so he prepared the asparagus, carrots, parsnip and brussel sprouts with love.
And voila! Beautifully made sausage wrapped in turkey meat, made by my husband. It was nice to see such a satisfied facial expression when he took a taste test.
Chrisstmas Dinner at its finest – Turkey and chicken with parsnip, carrot and brussel sprout roast, blanched asparagus, chestnut stuffing and sausages wrapped in turkey bacon.
Even better served with gravy and enjoyed together after all that hard work. Think we were hungrier that we thought. Suffice to say we enjoyed the lovely meal with several helpings, with left overs for the next few days. But we still managed a few truffles and some wine for afters!