Whether gathering for Christmas or New Year’s, entertain family and friends with these easy-to-make holiday favorites.

Start the celebration with a delicious Christmas Eve Salad. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, peanuts and cilantro and topped with a sweet cream dressing, this salad will be an instant favorite.

These Chocolate Fritters are not your traditional buñuelos. The cinnamon chocolate flavor of Nestlé® Abuelita® will have your guests asking for more.

Toast the holidays by adding a twist to tradition with this apple-flavored Christmas Punch, using Nestlé® Juicy Juice® All Natural 100% Juice.

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Christmas Eve Salad

Makes 10 servings

Preparation Time: 30 mins

1 cup NESTLÉ® Media Crema
3 tablespoons fresh orange or lime juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste

1 head Romaine lettuce, leaves washed and shredded
4 medium beets, cooked, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1/2 large jicama, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 red apples, thinly sliced
3 oranges, peeled and cut in wedges, or 3 cups mandarin orange segments
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

media crema, orange juice and sugar in small bowl; stir well to combine.

shredded lettuce leaves over large serving platter or on bottom of a large salad bowl.

TOP with beets, jicama, apples and orange wedges. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, peanuts and cilantro.

SERVE with sweet cream dressing.

Cook’s Tip: Apple and jicama slices can be brushed or lightly coated with orange juice to keep from browning.

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Chocolate Fritters

Makes 27 servings (2 fritters per serving)

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Wait Time: Standing 20 mins

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon NESTLÉ ABUELITA Granulated Chocolate Drink Mix, divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1  tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  Sparkling sugars (white, green and red)

COMBINE 1 tablespoon Abuelita chocolate, sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside.

SIFT flour, remaining 3/4 cup Abuelita chocolate, baking powder and salt into large bowl.

BLEND vegetable shortening into flour mixture using your hands until well mixed with no large lumps. Add water and mix. Knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth.

DIVIDE dough into 54 balls using a rounded tablespoon (about 1 1/2inches in diameter or the size of a large walnut). Cover the dough balls with a clean cloth; let rest for 20 minutes.

ROLL out each ball on a lightly floured board until about 4 1/2 to 5inches in diameter and 1/8-inch-thick.

HEAT oil in a large heavy skillet or pot to 350° F to 375° F. Deep fry fritters in small batches in the hot oil for 30 seconds on each side or until puffed up slightly. Remove and drain on paper towels.

SPRINKLE reserved Abuelita mixture over fritters as soon as you remove them from the skillet. Sprinkle with sparkling sugars, if desired.

Cook's Tip: Serve fritters with piloncillo syrup. Combine 3/4 cup piloncillo, also known as brown loaf sugar (or dark brown sugar), 1 1/2 cups water and a cinnamon stick in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half and thick enough to coat the spoon; remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and cool. Serve warm over fritters. For additional flavor, add a pinch of anise seeds to the piloncillo mixture before cooking.

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Christmas Punch

Makes 10 Servings (3/4 cup each)

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

4 cups Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
4 cups tamarind nectar (such as Jumex or Jarrito Tamarind Soda)
1  Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
6 Mexican guavas, quartered
1/2 cup raisins
8 whole prunes
6 cinnamon sticks

PLACE Juicy Juice, nectar, apple, guavas, raisins, prunes and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks before serving. Serve hot with fruit.

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About Christmas:

In most Latin American countries, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, Noche Buena.
Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena, is a day when all Latin Americans value family and put it first during Christmas celebrations. Families and neighbors gather together to eat and dance.
Noche Buena is celebrated by going to the Misa de Gallo, or "Rooster Mass" (the name for the Christmas Mass), which begins at midnight. Others stay at home and gather together around the Nativity scenes to pray and sing and wait until midnight to wish each other Merry Christmas and exchange gifts.
Las Posadas and Novenas Navideñas are celebrated in some Latin American countries from Dec. 16 through the 24 in preparation for the Noche Buena. These nine days symbolize Mary's pregnancy, the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and the search for lodging for the night Jesus was born. It is also a period of reflection and thanksgiving.

Source: www.lasculturas.com

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