Holiday Cheer

The last few days have been busy leading up to the christmas break. Today everyone was at home including Amir’s aunt and cousins who were staying in Luton to spend time with us and other family. They stayed at the house last night and we ended up talking till late into the night which was really nice.

We got up late and had a junky breakfast (well…more like brunch) of French bread (which btw is the best breakfast ever!), tea and juice. Me and Amir then got ready to visit some family, then to Tesco’s to grab more junk for when more family came over for the Xmas break (which took ages, Christmas rush!) and headed home.

I decided that as I would help out food wise in making christmas lunch (even though we don’t celebrate we thought it would be nice to have a family get together anyway) so started on my chicken filling. It is two days early I know but knowing these guys I won’t have time tomorrow so made the most of being free today. Amir’s cousin A was around and had never cooked so I asked if she wanted to help out and she said she was happy to. I tried giving her some tips about cooking Asian dishes and making the masala but at the same time to keep it simple, no one likes information overload.

It started off hilariously when I asked her to help cut the onions, the poor girl cut a few slices before making a swift exit outside to air her burning eyes…oops! She did come back though and seemed quite pleased with the way things were going (I’ll be sure to tell everyone how she helped in making the yummy food). Once that was done I told her I had planned to make some shortbread biscuits (Amir is hooked on them so thought I’d make his day) and she could help out.

The first batch we made I used a new product from Stork, called baking made easy and it’s a form of liquid butter. However when we made the dough it was way too liquidy and the dough seemed oily and sticky. We used Christmas shapes cutters to cut two shapes before binning the dough. Not impressed with stork butter! (I was so excited about it as well) 😦

The second batch using normal butter turned out good so will pose the recipe below. I used Christmas cutters to make my biscuit shapes but you can use any. If you don’t have cutters you can always mould the shapes with your hands.

The recipe is simple and easy:
Ingredient:
55g caster sugar
125g butter
180g plain flour
For decoration:
Icing sugar
Water

Method:
-Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl until creamy
-Sift in the flour and mix until doughy.
(if the mixture is too wet simply add more flour. If it is too dry add a little more butter.)
-roll out with a rolling pin until dough is around 1cm thick (don’t worry if the dough cracks you can smooth his with your hands)
-Make shapes using you choice of cutters. Sprinkle with icing sugar and leave in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
-Place onto a greased baking tray and coon in an oven on gas mark 5 until golden brown. Leave to cool
-mix icing sugar and water and add choice of colour
– decorate biscuits and leave to set

When our biscuits had cooled me, cousin A and her teen brother (cousin M) and Saq decorated the biscuits, it was sooooo much fun (I even pulled out my special icing pens) I must say we started off disastrously but the end result was awesome! Some creative and cool techniques used all around and yes not all of our turned out Christmassy, we ended up with a genie! (I’ve now hidden the biscuits until Xmas day so we can all eat then together..sorry Amir! Altho cousin A and I did taste one sneakily).

We the ended up playing the game taboo in our room for almost 3 hours. I have never played before, honestly sooooo much fun, I would highly recommend it! The game requires two teams in which one person describes to their team mate things linked to a word without using the main word or words that give it away (e.g. If your are describing a house you are not allowed to use the words window, home, live, door when describing and all within a one minute time frame) if a person uses any of those words they are buzzed out, if the team mate guesses the word they win a point. (sounds complicated but it’s not).

Some of the answers and descriptions we heard were beyond sense and was so funny to hear people’s answers in reaction to what was being described (e.g. Amir had guessed the word burger in the word ‘beefburger’ so I said the burger is made of cows! And he responded lamb burger! in a quick fire response haha) cousin M though beat us all, his descriptions had us all in fits of laughter so by the end we changed the game and just had him describing a word to us for the giggle factor (he at one point said ‘two little men that walk around together’ and weirdly Amir (again!) called out humpy dumpty which was correct! I was baffled…)

It was nice to spend time with them all today and can’t wait for the rest to join us. Even though we don’t celebrate Christmas in a religious sense I have a feeling there will be an atmosphere of family, togetherness and love all around in a couple of days and I really look forward to it all along with plenty more fun to come. I wish everyone a happy holiday to those who celebrate and to those who don’t, make the most of the fuzzy feeling we all get around this time of year and be sure to spend it with your loved ones 🙂 xox

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