A Guide to German Food at Christmas

In just a matter of days it’s December, the last month of the year. What a fast year it has been. I am so glad I have the Christmas presents for the kids off the list. One less thing to worry about and I can now concentrate on the food. Every year we have a different mains for Christmas day dinner. It’s to keep the Irish as well as the German tradition. In Germany it’s common to have either, fish, goose or duck. I don’t like fish and I never tried goose so we rotate between duck and turkey each year for the last nine years.

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Our Christmas 2016

I don’t know what you thought of this year but I think it’s the year that has flown by the quickest. How are we nearly at the end of 2016? It’s crazy. I am already planning New Year’s Eve. Thank god I am off on Friday which means I can do the shopping then without any rush and get organised. It’s not back to work until Tuesday then which is a nice break.

Our Christmas this year was amazing. It was the first Christmas where Matthew finally understood the whole magic of Santa coming and all. He was so excited you could see it in his face.  I planned everything well ahead this year and had it all organised to the ground. Presents were bought and wrapped tucked away in their sacks two weeks ago.

I was working up to Friday last week but luckily Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday this year. We spent the morning doing a bit of cleaning, as you do. I could be cleaning up after Chloe every minute, the second she puts something in her mouth, it’s guaranteed there will be crumbs on the floor. After lunch Chloe went upstairs for lunch time nap and Matthew and I decided to bake some Christmas biscuits. They turned out really nice. It’s a bit of a tradition now each year. We added some icing and sprinkles to make them even tastier.

The rest of the day we watched a few movies and the kids played. When 4pm came along, we started opening up a few presents. These were presents from mummy and daddy so Matthew wouldn’t get confused. I even had the wrapping paper different to Santa’s one.  Dinner was the typical German dish which is potato salad and sausages. Just before the kids went to bed, Matthew and I put the board out for Santa and his reindeers. This contained a carrot, milk and a Ginger nut biscuit.

Christmas morning was full of excitement. We all got dressed first before heading down to see if Santa had been. Matthew couldn’t wait to see if he visited or not. Thankfully he did and he ate most of his biscuit, drank the milk and the reindeers ate half of the carrot. Matthew said to me “But the reindeers didn’t eat all of the carrot”. So I explained to him that they have to stop in so many houses that they couldn’t possibly finish the whole carrot.

We unwrapped a few presents before going into the kitchen to have some breakfast. It was Irish breakfast. Not the healthiest. I actually had this down for St Stephen’s Day on my Christmas menu but anyway. Chloe doesn’t like it yet so she had cereal instead. Matthew loved it on the other hand. As it’s so filling, it meant we only needed something small for lunch and before we had the big Christmas Day feast.

After breakfast we went back to the living room to unwrap the remaining Christmas presents. I honestly can’t wait until the recycling truck is coming tomorrow morning to collect the bin. It’s amazing how much wrapping paper and particularly how many boxes it creates. The kids were definitely happy with their presents. Chloe’s favourite one has to be the buggy and her new kitchen from IKEA. She already cooked us lovely meals with it. Matthew’s favourite toy is the Blaze Monster Dome Playset and his Kidizoom Camera. He can finally take his own photos and do so much more with it. He loves it.

Christmas Day lunch was crackers with cheese. Chloe never ever eats her lunch and she hates sandwiches but she does eat them in creche, typical. But she ate a lot of the cheese and crackers, in fact she loved them. There was not much left for mummy and daddy.

The evening time was busy for me cooking up the Christmas dinner. Most of it was frozen so I just had to throw it all into the oven which was handy, or the vegetables I just simply had to boil. In fairness the kids ate a good bit. There was a lot to choose from. The main dish was duck. With it came brussel sprouts, German dumplings, mash potatoes, carrots, pigs in blankets and roast potatoes.

The rest of the evening was spent with testing out the new toys and watching one or two movies. Complete chilled out Christmas we had.  St. Stephen’s Day wasn’t any different to be honest. We went for a walk around the estate so the kids could get some fresh air and just get out of the whole madness of toys. Chloe loves going around on her Smart trike but I think I may have to take off the bit around it soon because she is getting too big for it. I am trying to get Matthew to ride his bike more but I wish I invested in a balance bike in the first place. He would get way more fun out of it.

As for me, I received my Christmas present a bit earlier. Hubby bought me an All in One Acer PC. People who follow me on Instagram might have seen it. It will make blogging so much easier. I also treated myself to a new Fitbit Charge 2. I had the Charge HR before and I was already on my second one for free but the charging on it breaks so easily. This one is way better.

How did your Christmas go? Did your kids get all the presents they wanted?

9 Dinner Ideas over the Christmas Period

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The most stressful time of the year is ahead of us… Christmas. I don’t mean that in a bad way. The reason why I find it so stressful is because all grocery shops are mad busy and it is so overwhelming to go out and do the shopping for over a week because of bank holidays the shops are closed. A lot of organising and preparation is required in advanced. Luckily I am quite organised this year. Presents are wrapped well over 3 weeks now so I am only left with the food now to keep my family fed.

Cooking is not a thing I love to do because it just takes so much time to do and with 2 small children I generally don’t get the time to make the effort but with Christmas coming I am making an exception.

I am sharing with you 9 Christmas dinner ideas from 24th December leading up to 1st January 2016. Maybe you find some inspiration for yourself over the festive period.

24th December – Potato Salad and Sausages

This is a traditional dish we have in Germany every year. Potatoes, mayonnaise, gherkins, egg and if you like you can add a bit of ham to it, too. Not everyone is a fan of gherkins, so you could replace that with something else. Be adventurous.

25th December – Turkey, red cabbage, brussels sprouts and roast potatoes

Hubby has requested this year to have turkey for Christmas dinner this year. The year before that we went with the traditional German duck. Let’s see how that goes and does he like my cooking. He has never denied or refused a meal so far.

26th December – Vol au Vent with rice

I love these. Probably one of my favourite meals ever. The puff pastry with a nice creamy chicken and mushroom filling is delicious and well worth it to give a try. It goes well with rice. I add a splash lemon to it as well.

27th December – Tuna Pasta

A lazy dish after all the cooking from the past 3 days. A packet from Schwartz. Cook your pasta as normal. Add the tuna mix as per instruction on the pack and you have a delicious easy meal which the kids will love, too.

28th December – Shepherds Pie

Generally I am not a huge fan of too much potato with Shepherds Pie being an exception. It has the mince and veg in it which adds a nice taste to the potatoes.

29th December – Salmon in white sauce with veg & mashed potato

I usually oven bake a few frozen salmon fillets, make the mashed potatoes, cook the veg and prepare the white sauce from Knorr. Delicious meal and very healthy.

30th December – Lasagne

Who doesn’t like Lasagne?

31st December – Party Food

New Years Eve I am going to be a bit lazy. I am planning to buy Lidl’s frozen party food and throw that in the oven with a prawn cocktail as a starter. We might even have a bit of champagne flowing once the kids are in bed and wait for the countdown into the new year.

1st January – Curry

We are going to start the new year with a Curry. Whether that’s a Thai, Indian or normal curry I haven’t decided yet.

Have you made a meal planner for the Christmas period? What are you planning to cook?