HomeTagsPosts tagged with "Christmas"


Plates are empty, the dishwasher is full, there's a Christmas film on the telly and your Dad is already nodding off in his armchair. 

The hours and days after your Christmas dinner has finally digested are traditionally a time to feast of turkey sandwiches – and lots of them. 

However, we'd all like to think that our culinary skills have progressed a bit over the past year, and what better way to put them to the test than by creating scrumptious dishes from the Christmas leftovers? 

And to help, we've rounded up some of our favourite leftover turkey recipes that are both simple to make and oh-so tasty. 


Turkey Bubble & Squeak 


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Creamy Turkey Pot Pie Mac and Cheese


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Leftover Turkey Chilli Con Carne


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Creamy Turkey & Potato Soup


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Enchilada Bake With Leftover Turkey


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Turkey Tetrazzini


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Asian Inspired Turkey Soup

Leftover Turkey Paella


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Leftover Turkey Spicy Miso Ramen


Christmas Day is officially underway. December 25 has arrived; a day filled with merriment, family, twinkly lights and turkey.

I’ll be rocking the matching pyjamas, singing along to Last Christmas and toasting to the end of 2023 as my nearest and dearest gather at Nanny’s house.

As excited as I am for the holidays, it is important to remember that this time of the year isn't merry and bright for everyone, especially for people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Mental health disorders aren’t going to take the day off or magically vanish when you sit down to watch Love Actually. I wish they would, but they don't.

There’s a lot of pressure placed on society to act like all is well just because the holidays are here. For those with anxiety, depression, OCD and other mental health disorders, it can feel impossible to simply put on a ‘brave face’ for the sake of the extended family. 

We try our best to keep up appearances but I think it is very important to remember that you shouldn’t feel ashamed or disappointed in yourself if you find the holidays difficult. Having a mental health disorder is a constant battle. You can’t just pop a plaster over it and carry on with your day.

Living with anxiety has taught me that there will be good days and there will be bad days. It is a disorder you manage, not banish, unfortunately. Another thing, and possibly the best thing, this disorder has taught me is that there is help out there. Never ever be afraid to reach out to a friend or relative if you're feeling particularly bad. 

You may feel like you're 'ruining' Christmas, but that couldn't be further from the truth. There is never a bad time to reach out and seek help, Christmas or not. Your best friend will be there to hug you on the bad days. Your sister will help you find a counsellor. Your dad will listen when you're ready to talk about what you're experiencing.

As hard as it can be, you must hold on to every ounce of hope.

Matt Haig sums it up perfectly:

“You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious foods you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read yet that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for runs by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.”


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Remind yourself of Matt’s words when you’re struggling over the Christmas break. I understand that it can be unbearably hard time for a heartbreaking amount of people, but don’t lose hope.

As Matt said, life is always worth it.

You can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.


We are DYING to spend a whole day watching movies. This is what Christmas is all about – especially for those who grew up with the telly humming in the background for the duration of the holidays. This list compiles the golden oldies of Christmas passed that will allow you to go back in time on the run-up to the holidays!

1. White Christmas (1947)

Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney star in the movie magic that brought us the classic song, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.

2. Holiday Inn (1942)

Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire dance dreamily into Christmas in this black and white classic.

3. Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

In this stunning film, Judy Garland debuts the famous Christmas ballad, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – her voice will melt your heart on the run-up to Christmas!

4. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

This beautiful black and white classic will have you and your family believing in Santa for years to come!

5. It's a Wonderful Life (1947)

James Stewart has captured hearts for decades with this beautiful film. It tells the tale of George Bailey who is shown what life would be like without him by an angel.

6. By the Light of The Silvery Moon (1953)

This one begins earlier in the year and ends all Christmassy. Doris Day stars in a gorgeously golden age story of a family in a leafy American suburb! Expect crooning and spooning in this beautiful classic.

7. Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) 1951

By far the best movie version of Dickens' classic- according to the New York Times anyway!

8. The Bishops Wife (1947)

Carey Grant plays an angel who must help a bishop and his… You guessed it: wife!

9. It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)

One Christmas a wealthy New Yorker discovers that his house has been taken over by a group of squatters. He disguises himself and stays with them to find out what is going on. This hilarious comedy should be on your Christmas list for the holiday season!

10. I’ll Be Seeing You (1945)

Ginger Rogers and Shirley Temple star in the classic comedy about two strangers- a soldier and an unlikely criminal- who meet on a train and eventually fall in love… dreamy!

So, what are you waiting for? Get that fire going and hark back in time to the golden age of Hollywood this Christmas!


The most wonderful time of the year is here and all we I want to do is eat our weight in Celebrations and watch The Holiday on repeat.

We can finally watch our favourite Christmas movies without being judged so we gathered up our top festive films that you need to watch.

Christmas just doesn’t feel right until you’ve watched all of these merry movies.

  1. Home Alone

Did we watch this John Hughes classic when it was on Film4 in July? Maybe… Home Alone is one of the most beloved Christmas movies and we’re not surprised. Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin, who is accidentally left home alone and must protect his house from thieves Harry and Marv- our favourite movie villains.

  1. Elf

“Buddy the Elf, what's your favourite colour?”

We recently re-watched Elf and completely forgot just how hilarious it is. Will Ferrell plays the hopeless Buddy Elf who leaves the North Pole and heads to the Big Apple to find his birth father. This movie is bound to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

  1. Love Actually

Hugh Grant’s dancing scene. Emma Thompson sobbing in her bedroom to THAT Joni Mitchell CD. Mr Bean taking a decade to wrap the necklace. Colin Firth’s sweaters. The race through the airport. Bill Nighy singing.

This movie is everything. A timeless classic we’ll never get tired of.

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol

This movie always reminds us of childhood and fills us with nostalgic feelings. It is the ideal film to watch on Christmas Eve, no matter how old you are. Kermit and co. will remind you of the true meaning of Christmas.

  1. The Holiday

Jude Law in his prime. The Holiday is relatable and heartbreaking and absolutely charming. It also makes us dream about moving to a cottage in the English countryside.

  1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

It ain’t Christmas without the 2000 version of this Dr. Seuss’ tale. Who knew a movie with Gossip Girl’s Jenny Humphrey and Tanya from Mamma Mia could make us feel so festive?

  1. The Santa Clause

Look we only ever watch this movie to find out if anyone else fancied Bernard the Elf because he was the light of our lives in 1994. In all seriousness, this Tim Allen movie is a childhood favourite and always makes us feel super merry.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street

The 1994 version, obviously. We just can’t get enough of this heartfelt remake of the 1947 Christmas movie. Starring Matilda herself, Mara Wilson and the late Richard Attenborough, this is another Christmas hit by John Hughes so make sure it’s on your list this December.



Christmas is a time of celebration and appreciation for those we love often symbolised through the giving of gifts and indulgence in all sorts of goodies. While joyful for us, the high consumption and waste generation of the festive period means that it is not a good time for the natural world we depend on so much. Why not include the natural worlds’ interests in our celebrations by following some of the tips below to make it a happier Christmas all round.

Go greener in 2024: Start the year on an empowering note by making a few simple changes that will make the world a better place!

Sustainable giving! 
The Kris Kindle custom means that instead of everyone buying something for each other, only one present is given by each family member. Create your gift: If you have the time, and the inspiration, creating a gift ensures a personal, unique present.

Buy local
Buy gifts from Irish businesses. It is good to support the local economy and will help to reduce the carbon footprint created in transport.

Make your own wrapping paper 
Consider using last year’s calendar, an old newspaper, or an old magazine to wrap your presents this year.

Replace Sellotape with reusable options
Use ribbons or string instead of this single-use plastic option. Some much-loved ribbons will carry their own nostalgia when they are untied each year.

Compost your Christmas tree 
If you buy a real tree, composting your Christmas tree is a great way of recycling the nutrients back into the earth. 
Green ideas to add to your New Year’s Resolution list for 2023:  

Reduce your plastic waste in 2023
Carry reusable grocery bags for shopping and choose products with less or without plastic packaging where possible. Bring your own small reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables.

Reuse household items in 2023
Upcycle your own clothes or second-hand clothes instead of buying from the high-street shops. Consider cutting up old towels to make cleaning cloths or face cloths instead of using single-use wipes. Choose brands that offer reusable, refillable, and recycled plastic bottle solutions so you can reuse the bottle instead of adding plastic bottles to the waste stream.

Reduce the use of chemicals in your home 
Make your own cleaning products with household items such as vinegar, lemon, and bread soda which can be used to clean surfaces. Or simply opt for natural cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals such as VivaGreen’s new ‘Tru Eco’ range of refillable, eco-friendly household cleaning and laundry products that are made in Ireland.

Bring your own Cups (BYOC) 
Take-away cups, even if they are compostable, are an unnecessary burden to the environment especially for the remaining rainforests.
Top 10 Green Tips for the Festive Season by Anne Marie Mahon, Lead Research Scientist, VivaGreen. For more information about VivaGreen please visit, www.vivagreen.ie


That time of the year is fast approaching when we think about decorating our homes with twinkling lights, wrapping gifts to place under the tree and spending quality time with our families playing board games as Christmas carols play softly in the distance – it really is the most wonderful time of the year. At Lidl Ireland you can find a huge range of Christmas essentials in the middle aisle, from as early as October, so that you can get organised early and avoid the rush of dashing all the way to Christmas Day.

Christmas Decorations

This festive season bring the magic of Christmas into your home with Lidl Ireland’s top-quality range of festive decorations and lights at affordable prices. Light up the street and impress your neighbours with the retailer’s 3D Rope Light Figures (€39.99), or pick up 580 LED Fairy Lights for just €29.99, perfect for lighting up your window frames, Christmas trees or garlands. When it comes to festive decorations that make our homes come to life, you can never have too many! In the middle aisle this holiday season you can also find a pre-lit LED light up tree (€29.99), and an LED Pine Tree Garland (€19.99) to save you the hassle of that annual torture of unravelling the Christmas lights.

For those who prefer to fill their homes with more traditional and timeless ornaments, the retailer’s Flickering Candle Bridge table centrepiece (€11.99) and Christmas Village Scene (€24.99) will be a wonderful addition to your home decor this Christmas.

This festive season you can also find a wide range of fresh trees, including the 6ft Irish Grown Christmas Tree (€26.99), Christmas Wreaths (€11.99) plants and flowers in your local Lidl Ireland store.

Christmas Garments

It’s the one time of the year when silly novelty jumpers are not only acceptable but have become a staple in our wardrobes for festive parties, celebrations and events and in Lidl middle aisle, you can find a selection of fun, colourful Christmas Jumpers for all the family for as little as €9.99 for kids and €12.99 for ladies and men. Why stop there, ‘Go full Lidl’ this Christmas from head to toe with the retailer’s range of novelty Christmas socks (€3.99 adults, €3.49 kids).

Family Games

Silent night, yeah right! Christmas is a time for family fun, and there’s no better way to get in the festive spirit than with a family games night. Team up or take victory on your own with a game of Pictionary Air (€16.99), which is sure to make your evening merry and bright or get creative with a traditional game of Scrabble (€16.99) and be sure to have a dictionary on hand for those questionable words. Perfect for families, you can find a Magnetic Puzzle Set for only €5.99 in the middle aisle, or to get the kids off to sleep early before Santa arrives, the retailer has a selection of Christmas Books (€4.99) in-store that will let their little imaginations flourish.

Toys, Toys & More Toys

The Christmas elves have been working hard behind the scenes at Lidl Ireland and from as early as October, you will find a huge selection of children’s toys to suit all ages and budgets. In the middle aisle this Christmas, starting from as little as €4.99, you can find Play Books (€4.99) and the adorable Baby Doll Marie with sound (€19.99), as well as the retailer’s much-loved range of wooden toys, including the Wooden Toy Assortment (€2.99) and the Wooden Music Set (€14.99) to larger toys including the Wooden Lidl Supermarket (€59.99) and the Parkside Wooden Workbench (€69.99). Customers can also expect to find big brand toys such as Hot Wheels City Garage (€22.99), MEGA Pokémon Action Figure Building Toy Set (€17.99) and Lexibook Notebook, available in Frozen or Paw Patrol (€27.99).

Gift Wrapping Essentials

The Christmas tree doesn’t look complete until it’s surrounded with beautifully wrapped presents and gifts for your loved ones – after all Christmas is a time for giving. In the middle aisle at Lidl, you can find everything you need to ensure that your gifts looked beautifully wrapped when placed under the tree. From as little as €1.49, you can find Wrapping Paper (€1.49), a multipack of Bottle Bags (€2.99) or Gift Bags (from €1.49), as well as decorative pieces including Gift Bows (€2.49) to ensure that your gifts look as good on the outside as they do on the inside.

The ‘Go Full Lidl’ this Christmas range is available in all 179 stores across Ireland with additional items being added on a weekly basis. Keep an eye on the in-store leaflet to keep up to date with the latest instore promotions visit www.lidl.ie.



When it comes to comfort, Christmas is the one day of the year when pretty much anything goes. 

Wear you dressing gown at the dinner table? – No problem. 

Nip to the shop in your slippers? – Go right ahead. 

Stay in you onesie all day long? – Absolutely, in fact, we insist. 

Christmas day is all about family, food and feeling cosy, which is why we've come up with a few reasons why staying in your onesie all day is perfectly acceptable. 

1. It's waaay more comfortable than that itchy Christmas jumper

If anyone finds a more comfortable clothing item, we want to be the first to hear about it. 

For now though, you'll find us lounging in front of the telly in our favourite onesie.  

2. You don't need to waste time getting changed

There's dinner to be cooked, presents to be opened and cheesy Christmas films to watch – honestly who has the time for anything else?

Just roll out of bed and let the festive fun begin! 

3. Save your 'good clothes' for a day you're actually going to leave the house

Sure, everyone like to look their best at Christmas time, but when your aunt Marie is the only one to compliment your efforts, you're better off saving yourself for Stephen's Day. 

4. More room for turkey 

Christmas Day is the one day of the year when it's totally acceptable to eat your body weight in glorious food – the skinny jeans are just holding us back. 

5. They can actually be pretty stylish

The onesie game has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, meaning we no longer have to compromise style for comfort. 

Oh, what a time to be alive! 



If Chris Rea's Driving Home For Christmas gives you butterflies in your stomach, you're not alone.

If after 24 hours back home this Christmas, you struggled to understand why you got butterflies in the first place, you're definitely among your own people here.

Believe us, we know the idea of returning to the family homestead over the festive period is always hugely appealing, but, unfortunately, we have to admit that the reality often falls a little short.

For every shared laugh and moment of closeness, there are always twice as many arguments and three times as many spats; it is what it is, ladies.

Here we take a closer look at the reality of returning to the family home for Christmas.

1. You revert to teenage mode

There's something about crossing your parents' threshold which throws all of us back a few years in the maturity stakes.

Within minutes of sashaying in, an adolescent cloud will descend upon you, and you'll feel compelled to ditch your heels in favour of a hoody and your tote in favour of a tank top. And that's just the clothes. 

From fighting over the remote to refusing to answer the house phone, your transition back in time is pretty much complete.

2. You need more personal space

Living on top of your family was fine for most of your life, but your tolerance has definitely waned slightly since you moved out.

While you're undoubtedly thrilled to see them, that doesn't mean you're OK with sharing an inflatable bed, or squeezing onto one armchair together for the duration of an entire film.

Having to endure your sister's breath in your ear as you watch Home Alone: Lost in New York is more than flesh and blood can stand, frankly.

3. You struggle with the 'routine'

Having to re-adapt to the family's routine can be one of the toughest parts of the festive season.

You forgot that your father rises at dawn and insists that the rest of the family does too and it had slipped your mind that your mother needs to know your whereabouts at all times.

Oh, and you really hadn't factored in your drunk siblings' penchant for arriving home at 4am and burning the kitchen down. Maybe you blocked it out.

4. You question your family's habits

Whether it's their chewing, their insistence on having the TV volume on an even number or their reluctance to have a discussion at a normal decibel, your family's habits are enough to drive you to drink.

You told yourself to rise above it, and God knows you definitely tried, but they're really pushing you to the limit here.

It's as if they want you to leave, but they will not get the better of you.

5. You miss alone-time

Being able to spend more than a few hours in complete silence is something you can kiss goodbye to when you rock up at the family homestead this Christmas.

You'll spend the entire festive season being asked multiple questions – many of which shouldn't require an answer of more than two words, but by God, you'll be obliged to give one.

You'll find yourself fantasising about a moment in your day when the only sound you hear is the crickets chirping around your own head.

6. You struggle with your own notions

While your friends may think nothing of your love for a Chai Latte and your other half wouldn't question your obsession with tapas, your family think you're nothing more than a high-falutin' gobshite.

And the longer you spend with them, the more you tend to believe them.

To be fair, it was far from Chai Lattes you were raised….

7. You must accept drop-in visitors

When you return home for Christmas you realise that the 'just popped in for a chat' visitor is still an actual thing.

The thought of dropping in on someone unannounced within your own circle would have you ex-communicated in no time, but back home, it's a cause for celebration.

And sneaking upstairs the minute the doorbell rings isn't an option because – just like every Christmas that has gone before – you have been nominated the head of the welcoming committee.



Christmas is LESS than a week away, so naturally we've complied the things you'll probably encounter over the festive period.

Deep breathes lads, grab a drink and see how many you and your mates relate to on this list.

Sure, it wouldn't be an Irish Crimbo without them.

1. The relative that asks you what 'Santa got you' even though you're 25 – and don't forget the wink if there’s a child around.

2. Hiding Roses wrappers – you have no idea how many you've managed to eat without vomiting and you're hiding the wrappers of shame from the fam.

3. Being woken up to go to early mass or trying to stay awake for midnight mass – and the church is always freezing, WHY?

4. Having to fake liking a gift – they've no clue what you're into or what you like and haven't bothered to find out. This one will definitely be re-gifted, thanks Linda.

5. Getting to the age when gifts of socks and shower gel are exciting presents – sure, we can't afford the luxuries anymore when we are forking out an arm and half for rent in Dublin.


6. Your siblings that have well and truly moved out of the house are back for the Christmas period and this means war. Reverting back to childhood roles and fighting over the remote is just a rite of passage.

7. Board games are broken out and they start off well, until someone gets WAY too drunk, starts a fight or storms off.

8. It wouldn't be Christmas without your drunk uncle singing RA songs in the corner.

9. The unwanted comments on your fashion choices – "that skirt is a bit short, did you forget your trousers?"  "Are you not cold wearing that?" "Do you know you have holes in your jeans?" – EYE ROLL.

10. Trying to find your glass of wine; It's come to that time in the evening when everyone is tipsy and nobody knows who's glass is whose. 

11. You've been looking forward to your FAVE soap Christmas special all year. The writers are going ALL out and the plot is just divine…and then you have that one person who has never seen an episode since last Christmas asking who every character is – breathe, just breathe.

12.  It isn't a family gathering without this question and we suggest a shot of bourbon every time it's asked – DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND YET? When the answer to that question is you have a better relationship with wine than the male species – just smile and walk away.

13. It wouldn't be the silly season without the grandparents being slightly racist – just look at the ground, deep breathes.

14. Spicy comments about any of this year's referendums – my body, my choice, Declan – don't start.

15. Or any political comments that you just don't have the strength to argue about after a year of working your ass off at work.

16. Same conversation again and again – yes I'm still single, yes I'm still working there, yes, nothing has changed.

17. Having to watch the Angelus bells on RTE, although you have no religious beliefs, but you know your mother is watching and she'll disown you otherwise.  

18. The one relative that always loses or misplaced their glasses – cue the entire room looking for them, when they realise they were sitting on them in whole time. 

19. The person who said they aren't drinking but ends up getting hammered.

20. The hungover person: the one who was way too ambitious with the drink on Christmas eve, and they're trying not to vomit as they force the Christmas dinner down. 

21. Waking up at crack of dawn for the Christmas sales, being abused by the crazy crowds for a bargain and then being shamed by the family for going out on the holy days and ruining tradition.  

22. Acting surprised as money from the Christmas card falls into your lap – ah, Jesus that's a lovely card Mary, OOHH and €50 too – ah you shouldn't have.



Christmas is the time for plenty of good grub, spending WAY too much time with the family and just taking it easy.

If fitness is a big part of your life or you're looking to keep off the pounds over the festive period, we've got some tips and tricks for staying in shape.

However, we have to say that you SHOULD indulge over the Crimbo and don't even think about the calories you're consuming.

Walks with the gal

It's a rare occasion that all the gals are off work and are free to meet up.

A walk in the park with your closest friends is a great way to move over Christmas and it's a great excuse to get away from the family for an hour or two.

It is also an activity that you can tailor into your festive schedule, so it could be a quick 20 min chat-up or a two-hour stroll.

Ice Skating

It's the best winter fun around and ice skating can help to digest all the mince pies you've inhaled.

In general, a 45-minute muck-about on the ice will melt away 451 calories.

So get the fluffy socks out and lace up to enjoy some winter fitness.



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Wrap up warm and get the hiking boots on.

There are plenty of trails and hikes to discover over the festive period.

It will give you an opportunity to reconnect with nature and to slow down after a year of working.


Central heating, consuming large amounts of salt and being inactive can lead to one thing – dehydration.

So make sure that you keep one healthy habit this Crimbo and keep the water on hand.

Your body will thank you for it as it attempts to digest an uncountable number of roses sweets. 

Christmas Day swim 


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Change up the way you start your Christmas day with a dip in the sea.

Make sure you find a safe swimming spot and enjoy the freezing cold, crisp open water.

Cold water boasts many healing properties such as easing depression.

It's a great way to end the year. 

5km Festive run

It's a tradition for a lot of households to do a 5 km run to kick off the festive season.

If you can drag any family member out on Christmas morning, it's a perfect way to start the day.

If your boyfriend's relatives do a 5km run for fun – we are sending you sympathy hugs (and there's still time to break-up with him before Christmas).

But they might be onto something as the run will ignite those endorphins (aka happy hormones) – and it doesn't matter if you run, walk or crawl the 5 km.

Stepping your way into the sales

Get in those steps as you hit the sales this year.

Elbows out as you wade your way through the crowds and snap up some bargains.

All your muscle power will come in handy as you wrestle the last pair of Gucci gloves out of an old lady's hands – they're stronger than they look.


The old-fashioned Christmas pudding is gone out of style. With our rocky-road and dark chocolate shop-bought alternatives to a time-consuming dessert, we seem to have concluded there is no place for the humble pudding in our cupboards anymore.

But this might be the year to revive that tradition! The sticky swirl of the wooden spoon in the bowl, the whispered wish into the folds of sugar and candied peel, the fumes of the brandy nearly knocking you off your chair…

So, whether it’s with your kids, your grandchildren or your flatmates, now is the time to re-learn a dying art – the tradition of making an old-fashioned Christmas pudding (wish included!) in ten easy steps.


375g mixed peel                                             

150g sultanas

125g glace ginger chopped                            

75g dried apricots chopped

2tbs orange rind, finely grated                       

250ml orange juice

80ml brandy                                                   

150g cream flour

150g self-raising flour                       

½tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp ground cinnamon                        

1 small cooking apple

1tsp ground cloves                                         

1tsp ground nutmeg                           

1tsp ground ginger                                         

75g macadamias chopped                  

250g unsalted butter cooled               

220g brown sugar                                          

3 eggs lightly beaten                                      

2L pudding steamer

½ cup glace cherries                                       

1 wish

Step 1.

Using butter, grease a metal pudding steamer and then line it with grease-proof paper or baking paper as well. Double-lining the base prevents the mixture from sticking to the side of the tin.

Step 2.

Peel, core and roughly chop cooking apple. Place chopped apple, glace cherries, mixed peel, sultanas, glace ginger, chopped apricots, orange rind and juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until the fruit feels softened, but not allowing the mixture to bubble. Put aside to cool to cool for 40 minutes. (Take a Christmas tunes break!)

Step 3.

Add 80ml of the brandy to the fruit mixture and stir to combine. (We like to use Three Barrels Brandy, let us know what you use!)

Step 4.

Next, sieve your dry ingredients into a large bowl. This is the bicarbonate of soda, self-raising and cream flours and our spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Step 5.

Combine this with the macadamia nuts, butter, brown sugar and eggs, making sure it is totally combined before adding in the fruit mixture. Most recipes call for caster sugar, but I find brown sugar makes it that bit fudgier and delicious!

Step 6.

Combine fully and using a wooden spoon, make your Christmas wish! Any wishes made over the Christmas pudding are set to come true in the new year.

Step 7.

Carefully add the mixture to the lined and greased pudding steamer. Ensure its top is smoothed over and secure the lid. Cover over the top of the cake with a double sheet of baking parchment with a small, thumb-sized hole in the middle of the sheet. Apply the lid firmly, ensuring it is sealed.

Step 8.

Place steamer in a large saucepan and make sure to only fill halfway up the side of the steamer with boiling water. Cover the pan and boil gently for 31⁄2-4 hours over a medium heat, topping up with more boiling water as needed.

Step 9.

The pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the steamed pudding from the pan and leave to cool.

Step 10.

Keep the top sealed, wrap with parchment paper and string and a layer of tin foil, if you’re feeling extra cautious! Pop it in the fridge and wait for the eruption of flavour on Christmas day!


Netflix has released its list of the very best Christmas movies on the planet (actually, just the best Christmas movies on Netflix).

While we totally agree with some of the contenders on the streaming mega site's list, there are quite a few other festive films that we think deserve a mention.

We've officially taken the hassle out of the 'so what will we watch tonight' dilemma, by putting together a countdown of our favourite festive flicks.

10. A Very Murray Christmas

This Netflix Original Christmas special graced our screens in 2015.

If you're looking for something a little less traditional, then this gem is for you. Featuring huge celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock and Michael Cera, this comedy special-turned-musical is well worth a watch.

9. Harry Potter and the…

If the Big Big Movie on RTÉ isn't a Harry Potter in the run up to Christmas, is it even Christmas?

There is absolutely nothing better than snuggling up on the couch, hot chocolate (or wine) in hand, to watch these magical classics.

While they are not exactly Christmas-themed, what better time of year to binge watch some wizardry than the Christmas holidays?

8. The Grinch


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An obvious contender, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a complete classic.

Starring comedy veteran Jim Carrey as the Grinch, and a very young Taylor Momsen (remember her from Gossip Girl?), this fantasy Christmas film is crazy, sometimes dark, and altogether amazing. Dr Seuss' remarkable ability to create an incomparable world of fantasy is apparent in The Grinch like no other.

 7. While You Were Sleeping


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While You Were Sleeping is easily one of the best romantic movies around, even if it is a little dark for a festive film.

Lucy (Sandra Bullock), falls in love with Peter (Peter Gallagher), while working as transit fare collector in Chicago. Peter is a daily traveller on Lucy's train platform, and one Christmas, while worshipping him from afar, Peter is robbed and shoved onto the tracks.

Lucy saves him from a train, but Peter falls into a coma. A MAJOR mix-up at the hospital leads to Peter's family mistaking Lucy for his fiancée, and his imminent memory loss and saucy brother make things even more interesting.

6. Miracle on 34th Street

The epitome of a Christmas classic, A Miracle on 34th Street might be a sappy one, but it's a great kind of sappy.

Starting with a drunk Santa (could it have inspired movie number 10 on our list?), and culminating with buckets of good will and festive cheer, it's hard not to love.

5. The Holiday

Another Christmas rom-com, this blockbuster features a star-studded cast including Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law (swoon).

While the Jude Law factor alone is reason enough to watch, two hilarious and poignant romances unfold, as Amanda (Diaz) and Iris (Winslet) swap their homes for the other in a transatlantic transaction that leads to love.

4. Christmas with the Kranks


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Luther, played by Tim Allen; and Nora Krank, played by Jamie-Lee Curtis, decide to skip Christmas this year and go on a cruise.

Their daughter, Blair, has flown the nest and won't make it home, so the usually festive family decide to forego Christmas altogether.

This doesn't go down well with their neighbours, who want to win the town award for best neighbourhood decorations. Expect a laugh a minute from this famous flick.

3. Home Alone

This '90s comedy classic is essential, come Christmas time.

With a cameo appearance from US President-elect Donald Trump, this amazing movie isn't the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time at the North American box office for nothing.

2. The Santa Clause


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Apparently it's a requirement to have Tim Allen as the lead if you want your Christmas film to be a success.

In this heartwarming tale from 1994, Allen plays Scott Calvin, who (spoiler alert) must become the new Santa Clause after accidentally killing the old model, while also convincing his loved ones that his transformation is a reality and not a delusion.

This film also deals with the difficulties of joint custody all while maintaining that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that all of the very best Christmas movies offer.

1. Love, Actually

We have to agree with Netflix on this one; Love, Actually has got to be the best Christmas movie ever.

Intertwining the lives of multiple characters, we dare you not to get emotionally invested in the highs and lows, dismays and triumphs, of this absolute classic.