Last minute holiday prep!

I am keeping myself occupied with laundry, preparing presents for pre school teachers and others, laundry, last minute shopping, laundry, seeing old friends, laundry and doctors appointments. I'm being way more domesticated this year than usual. Karina and I have made Christmas cookies, fudge and pretzel chocolate bites,  I actually got holiday cards out this year and I hosted a Christmas party for my brother, niece and nephew full of South African food my mom used to make!


We started the Christmas party off with something simple (this part is not traditional). I put out cream cheese shaped like a christmas tree with a little Trader Joe's sweet chili sauce poured on top and served with crackers. So good and so easy!! It was based on this idea from Betty Crocker.

Then I put out a bowl of grapes. Easy, easy appetizers!

Next I made bobotie, a traditional South African meat dish. I make it with coriander, curry, chutney, ground beef and an egg and milk mixture. I'm still figuring out amounts for my recipe, so I will let you know. But here is a close enough version (and some interesting info!). I served it with some chutney and brown rice. Alongside we had a salad of shredded carrots with pineapple chunks. To make the salad, I just shredded about 1/2 a bag of small carrots in my food processor and poured in a can of pineapple chunks, juice and all. Mix and serve!

Lastly for dessert I made something my mom used to always make. I don't know if its technically South African, but my mom is South African and she made it all the time :)

Andes Mint Caramel Delight

1 can of sweetened condensed milk, caramelized (I poured it into a pie plate, covered with foil and put in a roasting pan with water about 3/4 way up the pan and cooked at 425 for 2 hours)

1 container Cool Whip
1 package of any type of plain cookie you like. (Traditionally my mom would make it with Marie Tea biscuits  or tennis cookies but you can use British digestives or even lady fingers. Just don't make it with a cookie that is too sweet since the rest of the dessert is already sweet)
1 package of Andes Mint Candies, chopped


Frost a cookie with the caramelized condensed milk and place it in a casserole dish. Keep doing that with the cookies until the bottom is covered. Then top with 1/2 of the cool whip, spreading it out to cover the cookies with caramel. Sprinkle half of the chopped Andes candies over the cool whip. Repeat. Put in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

This was one of the most stress free dinners I've made in a long time and it was comforting, nostalgic and shared with family on top of that! We enjoyed our Christmas crackers too! Only the adults really liked the hats for some reason :) The kids just wanted the toys inside.


Now I am planning for our Christmas Eve dinner of appetizers and some scalloped potatoes that I'm bringing for Christmas dinner! 
Here are some ideas of what to do with your holiday leftovers.