Make it the bestest Xmas

Make it the bestest Xmas
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Make It The Bestest Xmas. Christmas is a season of endless partying and cheer. Traditionally it is to celebrate a religious event.

Christmas is a season of endless partying and cheer. Traditionally it is to celebrate a religious event. However, in the last few years, with global travel, access to the internet and exposure to western culture and festivals, Christmas has become a universal festival. It comes to signify a time of goodwill, joy and good food, all of which appeal across barriers to people of all ages. Christmas is now like a weeklong party that ends with New Year’s.

Never before have had people had so many options for food or decorations. With many living busy lives and working right up to Christmas day, everyone is looking for easy to do decor and food options.

Grab a bunch of colourful baubles, now these are available at almost any stationery store or even your neighbourhood supermarket. A packet of brightly coloured balls call be placed inside a tall glass vase. If you have smaller ones, grab a few tall glasses, beer glasses work very well and fill the decorations in them. Place them on a table or a shelf for some instant Christmas decor.

Fill a bunch of tea lights or shot glasses with some small green branches that you can cut from a hedge plant in your apartment building (please ask permission before you do this). Line them up in a zig zag manner and let them be the centre piece of your decor. If you have a green thumb and have some potted plants, move them indoors into a corner and wrap the pots with bright packing paper. They immediately begin to make the room look festive.

Nothing cheers in the warmth of the Christmas season like candles. Gather all the candles, big, small, used and new and group them together on a metal tray and light them up in the evening for a warm glow.

Those serial lights from Diwali? Hang them up anywhere - under your kitchen cabinets to light up the work counter, on a door frame above the curtains, over a window pane or even from your balcony. Serial or fairy lights add a soft festive glow and make the evening celebratory. You could even drape them over a writing table top or a framed picture to add some glamour.

Find a dry branch about a few feet tall, remove any dried leaves and stick it into a sturdy vase or a flower pot filled with sand or even uncooked rice to steady it. Hang Christmas decorations on the branches for an instant no cost quirky Christmas tree.

The choices for food are endless and with a little creativity, one can whip up a few holiday specials even if you have been working until the day before christmas. Cook up a traditonal but simple feast with a choice of main course and appetisers. Take the Indian route with a nice spicy pulav which has chicken or vegetables and only needs a cooling raita to accompany it.

If you would like to go continental, make a simple pasta, layer it with chicken or vegetables and top the dish with mashed potatoes. Let it bake in the oven for 20 minutes till the top of the dish is golden brown. Serve this with fresh bread, butter and a simple salad on the side.

A lot of folks prefer to serve a selection of snacks and keep dinner simple. Serve snacks which are easy to serve and do not require reheating. Choose from spicy roasted nuts, cauliflower florets made with schezwan seasoning or even spicy paneer bites.

A festive meal is incomplete without a good dessert. A dessert immediately elevates the meal into an indulgent one. The easiest route to take is the chocolate route! Melted cooking chocolate with the addition of a few more ingredients can make magic even if you are hard pressed for time or have no prior kitchen experience. Or use some handy store bought cake to whip up a layered dessert that can even be made upto a day in advance. Here is Chocolate Almond Clusters dessert for your party.

Chocolate Almond Clusters

Chopped Chocolate (Cooking Chocolate): 1 cup
Almonds :1 cup
white chocolate to drizzle (optional)
Decorative Sprinkles
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Pre-roast the nuts by roasting in a dry pan over a low / medium flame, tossing continuously.
3. Arrange the cooled nuts in clusters of 3 or 4.
4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in bursts of 30 seconds until melted. Add any oil based extract like mint or orange for added flavour. (optional)
5. Whisk well with a spatula until smooth and shiny. Using a teaspoon pour a spoon of chocolate over each of the clusters. Sprinkle the decorative sprinklers on top and keep in the fridge until set, around 10 minutes. Store in airtight container. No need to refrigerate.

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