Tuesday, December 16, 2014

And so the Christmas season begins!

Looks like I have missed over a month since last posting!  That does not mean I have been doing nothing!  I have one post ready and waiting to go for the Christmas Cookie Swap post we all have to post on the same day.  And I have been travelling with my niece and my husband to Germany for Thanksgiving with my friend and also a massive amount of Christmas markets - here is one of the blogs from that trip.  The one I did for Thanksgiving Day.

We also had a day trip to Dublin last week.  This was a girls' day out with my Daughter and my Niece - A Day in Dublin.  If you read this, you will realise I was a bit under the weather following this day, but not for the expected reason.  No I was not hungover, but suffered from either a very abbreviated flu as a result of getting a flu shot and not getting really, really ill, or having a virus as one of my more medically experienced friends is convinced happened.....either way, this weekend of lunches and parties could have come a bit later as far as I am concerned.  That is not to say I did not enjoy every minute though!

First was a 3 course festive lunch with my oldest friend in Scotland, at Beresford's.  We used to meet once a week for coffee, but after 25 years and life itself, she now lives on the other side of Scotland, so we meet when we can....

On the same day, a few hours later, I was part of a group of 8 at Prestwick Airport Aviator Suite at a party to support our local and beautiful Gaiety Theatre.

The night started so slowly that all these adults began to act like bored children and I was very concerned since this was my idea....

but the entertainment turned out to be amazing, as well as the company, and we all had an amazing time.

Some of the men sporting new "hats" as a result of raffle prizes.

including phenomenal luck with the raffle - 7 out of 8 of us won a prize!
Alan collecting the star prize!

We danced the night away, which was totally unexpected, and with all the photographers in our crowd, we got some fun shots!   I gave up and let Alan and Bill do all that work!

I wonder what everyone else thought?  Selfies on the dance floor! What fun it was!  

                             And we even got a family group shot before we left the building.

As if I had not had enough fun for a weekend, I was expecting to host another festive event on Saturday, lunch for 6!

Baked a little chicken- stuffing with one lemon and a bay leaf, on top - sea salt with Scottish Heather mixed in

So I planned very carefully to ensure I had time.
after roasting!  looks yummy just like that!

I also cut the vegetables and had the stock all ready just to dump in at the right time.

Playing the Christmas Gift dice game after dinner
So there was time to relax and enjoy the company!  Plus they all loved it!  Easy, tasty, not too high in calories dinner, does it get better than that?

Corbyn examining his Mum's winning cookie maker kit!

Here is what we ate:

Starter - pate, doesn't get easier than that, plus Sue brought some frozen goodies to add to this.

Main course - Believe it or not - taken from Weightwatchers "The Complete Kitchen" cookbook!  Zippy Chicken and Broccoli Tagliatelle.  This was  tremendous hit!  And it was so easy!

Dessert - Brownie sundae, using a mix the day before and chopping up some peppermint Hershey's kisses I was lucky enough to have on hand!  Catherine also brought an amazing Banoffee Pie. It was so delicious - I begged her to take it away with her when she left, but she didn't.  Ok, there isn't any left now!

Zippy Chicken and Broccoli Tagliatelle

10 Propoints Values per recipe
10 minutes preparation
10 minutes cooking

Serves 2

125g (4 1/2 oz dried tagliatelle)
125g (4 1/2 oz Broccoli, cut into small florets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and diced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped roughly
150ml (5 fluid oz) chicken stock
150g (5 1/2 oz) skinless cooked chicken breast, diced
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
15g (1/2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the pasta and return to the boil.  Cook for 10 minutes until tender or follow the packet instructions.  Add the broccoli for the last 3 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, place the oil, garlic and chilli in a saucepan and heat for 1 minute or until the garlic just starts to turn golden.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute so they start to soften then add the stock and chicken and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes.

3.  Drain the pasta and broccoli then mix with the tomato sauce.  Add the lemon zest, juice, basil and Parmesan cheese and toss together.  Divide between warmed bowls and serve straightaway.

“Christmas? Christmas means dinner, dinner means death! Death means carnage; Christmas means carnage!”
Ferdinand the Duck in the Australian film 'Babe' (1995)

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