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Lips-Brothers.com is a high quality blog about menswear, travel and photography created by the Swiss and Danish brothers Oliver & Moritz Lips.

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

Photography by Moritz Lips. Written by Oliver Lips.

Whenever the Christmas lights go on in Zurich, I slowly get into a Christmas mood. It seems as though the lights go on, the people slow down. Of course there is a rush for presents and finishing up on work before the year comes to an end, but it’s in a more relaxed state than usual. We want to take the remaining days left and spend them with loved ones and delicious food. So what better way to combine both by throwing a Christmas-inspired dinner party?

For this season Moritz and I have teamed up with Migros, one of Switzerland’s largest retailers, to not only show you delicious and easy recipes for you and your guests, but also how to decorate your place Christmassy.

One of the few advantages of the sun setting so soon in winter is that you can start your aperitif earlier. For the cozy, chalet-like ambience we decorated our balcony with LED lights, candles, fir sprigs and cuddly fake-fur cushions and blankets. Since snacks are always tricky, as you do not want to overfeed your guests, we chose some crisps, macadamia and cashew nuts, mini lingue, and small sweets that all come along in the Sélection Box. Now all you need are the beverages!

Christmas lights over the Seefeld district in Zurich.

Christmas lights over the Seefeld district in Zurich.

 

Set your table with candles, flowers, chocolates, peanuts, dates, tangerines, cookies and other Christmas decorations and put on some Jazz tunes. It ought to look inviting and cozy – just the perfect place to warm up after the aperitif outside.

 

Christmas meals are usually very heavy, so why not go the other way and cook something light, healthy and delicious? Whenever I eat meat I want the focus to be on it, so I usually choose a simple side dish, it can be steamed vegetables or a fresh salad or in this case a mix of both: A broccoli, pomegranate and chervil salad served to a juicy Entrecôte steak.

And here is what you’ll need (recipe for 4 people):

4 x 200g Entrecôte
500g Broccoli
1 Pomegranate
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
1 Bunch of Chervil
Salt and Pepper

1. Cut up and wash the broccoli then boil it in saltwater for a minute until it’s nice and crisp, before pouring it into ice water. Cut it into even smaller pieces and fry them in a bit of oil. Place it in a big salad bowl and add the pomegranate seeds. Pluck the chervil and add it to the rest. Season it with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Put a bit of salt on the steaks and sear both sides on high heat. Set the oven to 80°C and cook the steaks to your preferred core temperature.

And for the dessert we chose to make a slight variation of the fried apple panna cotta with date compote. Instead of using regular cream and gelatine we used soy cream and agar-agar (a jelly-like substance obtained from algae). It makes the dish vegetarian – almost vegan if you switch the honey to syrup.

And here is what you’ll need (recipe for 4 people):

1 Apple
80g Sugar
5dl (Soy) Cream
5 Leafs of Gelatine or 1 Bag of Agar Agar
80g Dates
5g Honey
1 Vanilla Pod
Juice of 1/4 Lemon

1. Peel, core and cut the apple into 1cm cubes. Caramelize the sugar in a frying pan and add the apple cuts. Add the (soy) cream and let everything heat up. Then add the agar-agar or previously water soaked gelatine and stir it until it’s completely dissolved. Let everything cool down and pour it evenly into small glasses, then place it in the fridge.
2. Pit the dates and cut them in small pieces. Add the pulp of the vanilla pod, some honey, lemon juice and 5cl of water and let everything heat up until almost all the fluids have disappeared. Let it cool and then add it on top of the Panna Cotta. Decorate with cinnamon and peppermint leaves.

And now we wish you a beautiful Christmas time and hope you enjoy creating those delicious dishes or hosting a dinner party for your family and friends! By the way if you want to get some more inspiration on recipes, decoration and gifts you should definitively visit migros.ch/weihnachten. And if you do cook any of the recipes we suggested, don't forget to send us a picture on either Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or by e-mail!

This post was created in collaboration with Migros. All opinions are our own.