>Christmas Day Celebrations!

>Christmas started off real early for us, this year we got prepared, showered and dressed up for family pictures. My husband put out cherries and cranberries, I just love red colour for Christmas because it is bright and cheery, and we also put on something red to wear, to get into the festive mood.

We actually sneaked in some Christmas cake on Christmas eve as I couldn’t wait to try it out. This cake is abit different, it is made with alot of patience and care as I soaked the dried mixed fruits in brandy for 5 days before this cake was baked. The ingredients involved:

1 kg mixed dried fruits, soaked in brandy
1 1/2cups brandy
2 cups millet flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 cup walnuts (chopped)
1 cup sugar (optional)

Everything goes in one by one and then baked in 180degC for about 1hr. Be careful not to burn the cake. The cake will come out crispy on the outside but moist and thick on the inside once you cut into it. I couldn’t wait to try it out and I was so happy with the outcome of the cake. It is absolutely lovely and we had lots of cake before, during and after Christmas! It is REAL good.

Christmas morning started with Croque Monsieur, by Nigella Lawson, modified by myself of course. So this bake consist of

6 pieces of Norfolk Bread
2 thick slices of ham/turkey meat
9 pieces of cheese, emmental and cheddar
6 eggs
wholegrain mustard
worchestireshire sauce

This dish was put together the night before so that the egg mixture be allowed to soak into the bread. So, depending on how many people this dish is feeding, I made the ham sandwiches, one slice of bread with mustard spread, cheese, ham, cheese again and then topped with another slice of mustard bread and a slice of cheese on top, either grated or single slice. Do this again however many times you wish. The egg mixture consists of the eggs, salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce and milk, lightly beaten together. Pour the egg mixture over the ham sandwiches till its fully submerged and covered. Soak overnight in the fridge. In the morning, heat up the oven and put the dish in the oven for 20min and *voila, breakfast is served!

We enjoyed the day with wine, nuts, fruits and great company.

We munched the whole day, cake, chocolate, fruits, coffee, wine, beer, that we only had our Christmas lunch at 4pm! We had some lovely dishes, roast beef with parsnip, kumara and carrots, roast lamb and a side of fresh salad consisting of capsicums, cucumber, apple and plums. It was lovely. My husband made a sauce with redwine and balsamic vinegar – which just topped off the roasts beautifully. Our bellies were fully stuffed and bloated by the end of the day. Why do we put ourselves through this??

Whitting’s Christmas pudding came out from the cupboard yesterday, bought from Choitrams for AED24.95, for dessert covered in Devon Custard, just like my husband likes it. The pudding was steamed for 40min and it came out so thick and creamy and warm, it was lovely. We both shared the pudding, AGAIN, till our bellies were literally hanging out – after our chicken stew. But it was well worth the calories, now… hello gym… 😦

The things we do during festive seasons… now it’s the excuse of New Years – cocktails, alcohol, new year’s eve dinner, munchies, meals, buffets…. *sigh*

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