>Baked 5 Spiced Chicken & Roasted Veges, Salmon & Pak Choy plus CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!!!

>What a well worth break we had, such a great time in NZ! Seeing family and friends again, having breakfast, lunch and dinner, chats and laughs, great home cooked food and great company, reminiscing about the old (and new) times plus all the hugs and kisses. I didn’t want it to end but it’s come and gone now and I smile as I scroll through the multitude of photos that we took to remember the 2.5 weeks we were there. A little post will follow this one showing the adventures that we had in Auckland NZ.

Coming home on Thursday really helped as the weekend followed after that. We are still suffering from jetlag, sleeping and waking up way too early. We ate at cafes and had takeaways during the weekend just because of our odd hours but on Saturday night we made baked 2 chickens (skinned) with 5 spice powder and salt and pepper and some extra virgin olive oil.

My husband was in charge of the vegetables. His vegetable mix comprised of:
1/2 buttercup
2 capsicums
5 baby potatoes
1/2 cauliflower

He just cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and seasoned it with basil and oregano, salt and pepper and some extra virgin olive oil.

Into the oven all of them go, for about 1hr at 190degC.

SALMON AND PAK CHOY PARCELS

Last night, we had the most beautiful salmon ever. I was craving for salmon considering we had 2 nights of chicken and I think we only had salmon 1 or 2 times in NZ so my mind was set on steam salmon with vegetables. But alas, my wok was too small and I did use 2 bunches of pak choy this time around for our salmon parcels so they didn’t fit together, so I decided to make things easier and baked the 2 parcels. The finished product came out the same because the foil acts as a steamer anyway so into the oven they went, for 25min under a 190degC heat. I fried up some ginger and garlic with sesame oil which was so fragrant and lovely, some salt or soy sauce for taste and also a side of shrimp sambal for some heat! Total yum-ness!

CHRISTMAS IS FINALLY HERE @ eleven06

Yay!!!!! Christmas is here, in 1.5 weeks time!! I’m soooooooo excited, why? COS IT’S CHRISTMAS!!! It’s a celebration, it’s a wonderful time for family and friends, it’s the time for giving… It’s all about the FOOD! Now that’s what I’m talking about!!

We officially took out (and tried) our Christmas Stollen bread that we got from Carrefour (AED27 for 500g) with marzipan filling (my favourite) and I have to say that it gets 2 ticks from the 2 mouths that it filled. IT IS GORGEOUS! Mom did say she would try and make stollen bread for us when we were there but there was no time. Her stollen bread looked lovely – from the pics that she sent over – and as I remembered, she made it 3x? I will get her to make us one when she comes over for Christmas next year!

This brand – Kuchen Meister from Germany – is lovely, moist and thick/creamy. We were definitely happy with it. If we happen to finish it before Christmas day, we WILL be heading back for more! I don’t think I can make it as good as it is commercially and the price is good too so I’ll leave it to the pros to put a smile on our faces!

I have a whole list of goodies to make for Christmas and today I will be putting up Christmas decos in our little apartment for some festive feeling. I ate my share of Christmas Mince Pies in NZ but I cannot get enough of it. The best pies are Ernest Adams from Pak n Save, both traditional mince pies and the apricot brandy pies!! Oh … I miss them! Wish we brought some back with us AND some Signature Mixed Dried Fruits for our Christmas Cake! The ones here aren’t very good, they’re filled with currents more than anything, it’s disappointing. I went out window food shopping, saw 3 mince pies for AED15, which didn’t look that good, puddings and pies, Panatones all overly priced, lots of stollen breads and Christmas decorations all up in store. It’s times like these when I miss being NZ where food is cheaper and wider in range.

We do our weekly food shopping on Saturdays, so this Saturday, we will be getting some ingredients to make our Christmas goodies. Some of our goodies involve mince pies, cookies, etc. I will make the Christmas Cake next Sunday, so it’ll take about 1 week of Cointreau soakage! YUMNESS! We will be having turkey this Christmas, which we will get next Tues, which will take about 2days to thaw considering it’s frozen. My husband is in charge of it, so I can’t wait. I’ll be in charge of the other side dishes and the most important Cranberry Sauce (home made of course!). It’s going to be a great Christmas!

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