Hello friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and spent time with family and loved ones.
For me, there’s no better way to spend Christmas than with the one I love, having a Christmas movie marathon, while eating tasty treats! We watched 7 movies over 2 days. We even got a small 3-mile hike in on Christmas morning, which was lovely (and much needed after all the treats we’d been eating the day before).
So, what movies did we watch? Well, we wanted “Christmas” movies, so this is what we came up with (thanks to some suggestions from my Facebook friends). Also, if you’re interested, I’ll include a little commentary on how Greg & I liked each movie. This was determined mainly by if one of us had to get up to go to the bathroom, did we ask the other to “PAUSE” the movie or “DON’T PAUSE.” So here you go:
Die Hard (original): Yes, with Bruce Willis. I guess this is a “Christmas movie” because it takes place at Christmas time. Lots of guns and shooting scenes that go on forever…
ELF: Will Ferrill. Lots of people suggested this, and we had never seen. Very cute, light hearted, kid-friendly.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945): Thank you Arden Brink for recommending! Yes, this was made in 1945, black and white, and we knew it had to do with cooking. We weren’t expecting much, but were pleasantly surprised by the acting, and I loved that it had to do with cooking.
While You Were Sleeping: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman. Great movie, we’d both seen before, but it had been a while. Liked it, but not as much as we remembered.
Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: Chevy Chase. I know – people LOVE this and just rave about it. There were a couple of funny parts, but mostly boring slap stick comedy… we were glad when it ended.
The Holiday: Kate Winslet, Cameran Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law. Ok – how can you go wrong with that cast? But really – the story throughout – of each of these people, plus some others – is just so great! We’ve seen before, but we both loved this even more than we remembered.
Love Actually: Cast of too many to name. Greg & I both love this movie and watch it every Christmas. I just love all the many ways that love is portrayed – not all warm and fuzzy – but very real.
So enough about movies, let’s get back to the food… What treats did I make? Well, just a few – but all with an equally HIGH YUMMINESS rating (and the first 2 are perfect for munching on while watching movies).
I only make my Baked Olives at Christmas time, not sure how that happened, but it’s a great tradition Greg & I both look forward to every year. I even heard that Greg’s Mom and family in Oregon made them this year!
- 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ Cups Flour
- ½ Cup butter (melted)
- black olives (1 can or small jar)
- green olives (1 jar)
- Work cheese and flour together until crumbly. Add butter and mix with fork ( I usually add some water, till it is a dough consistancy). Mold 1 tsp. dough around olives and place on baking sheet with a silpat mat (or parchment paper). If you are baking later, you can chill with wrap over them.
- Bake 400 degrees F 15-20 minutes (until slightly browned).
- These are best eaten with Ranch Dip! Enjoy!
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- ½ TB butter
- 1 box crema dulce (or half & half, or heavy cream)
- ½ small tomato, chopped
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 12 slices American cheese (the individually wrapped kind)
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Put butter and garlic in a small sauce pan, after melted and sizzling for a bit, add the cream, tomatoes and cilantro.
- Allow mixture almost come to a simmer, turn heat to low/medium low, then stir in cream cheese and start adding cheese (I tear up the cheese into smaller pieces) and spices. Cover and leave on low heat for a bit, stirring every now and then, until cheese is melted and all is smooth.
- Enjoy with Gina chips (here in Costa Rica) or your favorite tortilla chips. (Note: this is not a super thick queso - if you want it thicker, add less crema dulce/cream).
- • 1/4 cup milk
- • ½ cup cream (half and half, heavy cream crema dulce)
- • 2 large eggs
- • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- • 1 TB honey
- • ½ TB vanilla
- • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- • 4-5 cups cubed bread
- • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- • 2 TB brown sugar
- • 2 TB cup flour
- • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 2 TB butter, cut into cubes
- Grease small 8x8 glass pan (double order for 9x13 pan).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, mashed bananas, honey, vanilla and cinnamon.
- To the milk/egg mixture, add the cubed challah bread and the chocolate chips. Gently toss to coat, being careful to not break up the bread cubes too much. Pour into pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and remove the muffins from the fridge, let sit at room temp until oven preheats.
- While the oven preheats make the streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and walnuts. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the top evenly with the streusel topping.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, butter and bananas if desired.
PS – stay tuned tomorrow for a BRAND NEW Expat Extra!
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