And a Happy New Year to you and yours ...
It's a quiet day in the Page family today - the day after a gorgeous New Year's Eve party with all the perfect ingredients ... good friends, great games, classy cocktails, festive fizz and yummy food. And what could be a better way to spend the day today than to enjoy a small tipple of Baileys while putting together a few words and pictures about the best bits of last night.
December in Dubai is the time of year to enjoy the glorious weather. Even after 8 years, it feels like a treat to be outside for New Year's Eve so we threw on a couple of extra layers, stocked up on firewood, decked the garden with sparkly lights (always the way to my heart) and prepared for a party in the garden.
There was a cocktail or two to start the evening. We hadn't tried this one before but it was delicious and looked pretty as a picture too.
And then the games began ...
We started with the doughnut game - who can eat their hanging doughnut first, with no hands? Clearly Joe has played this game way too many times - he had already finished his while I was still pondering a strategy. And he didn't end up with a face full of sugar either ...
To balance the high sugar opening, next was all about cucumber. Stick a slice to your forehead and try to wiggle it down into your mouth. Again, no hands allowed. Those with the most expressive eyebrows seemed to do well here.
After a BBQ dinner, the children settled down for an outdoor movie - that fabulous 80s comedy Airplane! 2.81 laughs per minute, apparently. Can you resist a giggle at those classic lines?
Ted - Surely you can't be serious?
Rumack - I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley.
And the movie, then drew us into one of those classic New Year's Eve conversations - favourite films of the year .... The Hundred Foot Journey was in there, as well as The Intouchables and, of course, Paddington.
Time flies and all that and before we knew it we'd reached the countdown to midnight. Dubai, of course, has the largest New Year's Eve firework display in the world, probably the Universe (at least that's what the PR guys say) but why battle through the crowds at the Burj Khalifa and then struggle to get home afterwards when with the wonders of technology and a big outdoor screen, you can pretty much be there. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!
And then just enough time for dessert all round with special celebratory ice cream sundaes for the children. Who cares if it's a bit chilly outside - there's always room for a sundae piled high with goodies and drenched in a decadent sauce.
This is possibly my favourite dessert for children as the DIY aspect to it turns the experience into an activity as well as part of dinner.
Gather yourself an array of sprinkles, sweets, mollies (those little silver balls that play havoc with your braces. Somehow they've become known as 'mollies' on our family - goodness only knows why), chocolates and of course don't even contemplate going without a saucy topping. Chocolate is good, but chocolate sauce can be ... well, just too intensely chocolatey. So, introducing the perfect alternative - Easy Chocolate Fudge Sauce.
It can hardly be called a recipe when it contains only 2 ingredients - Mars Bars and cream. If you are from South Africa and are patriotic, you'll insist that making it with Bar One bars is way superior. Us Brits will sing the praises of the Mars Bar I expect. But Finn cut through the inter country chocolate bar feud last night, by declaring it as 'the best sauce ever' - no matter what the exact ingredients are.
This really is as quick and easy as it gets. Make it earlier in the day and it will sit nicely until you need it - out of the fridge to keep it runny; in the fridge for a stiffer consistency; warmed if you like it that way.
There probably won't be much left over when the sundaes are finished, but store it in the fridge if the unlikely does occur.
So what were your best bits of New Year's Eve? For Finn it was the Easy Chocolate Fudge Sauce for sure.
And may your 2015 be drizzled with plenty of loveliness and sprinkled with an array of gorgeousness...Print