Friday, 23 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
It's almost time for the big day and if like me your after something a bit different for your christmas breakfast then give these muffins a go! Or if you aren't the biggest fan of mince pies they would make a great alternative but still packed with all the taste of christmas...this recipe was a bit mix and match from my favourite muffin book but they turned out so well I had to share it with you!
- 9oz Self Raising Flour
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 3oz Caster Sugar
- 2oz Soft Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1tsp Mixed Spice
- 1 Egg - lightly whisked
- 8 floz Milk
- 3oz Melted Butter or Vegetable/Sunflower Oil
- 2 large handfuls of Dried Cranberries
- Zest of 1 small Orange
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar and 1/2tsp Mixed Spice mixed in a small bowl for the topping
- Preheat your oven to 190c and line a 12 hole muffin tin.
- In a large bowl combine the Flour, Baking Powder, both Sugars, Salt and Spice. Stir until well combined, break up any large chunks of brown sugar.
- Roughly chop the Dried Cranberries and add to the dry flour mix with the Orange zest.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add your Egg, Milk and melted butter/oil.
- Stir until just combined, the mix will look lumpy so don't panic!
- Divide the mix equally between the muffin cases and then sprinkle on the Brown Sugar and Spice topping.
- Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and resist if you can!
These would be lovely soft and warm from the oven on Christmas morning...
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
|image from my pinterest|
|images above from Linus Kraemer.com|
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
This is more of a littletree 'melts' rather than makes but hey-ho! I have had this idea in my head for a while now, ever since I went to Ikea a few months ago...I bought this rubber ice cube tray (below) as it would make rather cool (ha!) long ice stirrers in a summer drink but then I also thought I could use it as a mould for my own homemade chocolates! The mould being flexible making it super easy to get them out if they got stuck plus, my mind going into willy wonka mode here, all the crazy combinations I could create! So for friends this year I have made milk chocolate with honeycomb pieces and white chocolate with popping candy...I love popping candy! I'm sure it's terribly bad for your insides but hey it's Christmas and...well...I don't care, it tastes great and makes your head feel like a firework has gone off inside, what other candy can do that?! Anyhoo here's the how-to, it's really so simple theres not much how-toing to write! Enjoy...x
You will need...
- Silicone Mould
- Milk/White Chocolate Bars (or any kind you like)
- Crunchie bars/Popping Candy (crushed candy canes would be good for the holidays!)
- Any additional flavourings (mint/orange etc), colouring (to the white choc), sprinkles or sweets!
1/ Grease the mould with a touch of vegetable oil (any flavourless oil will do) so the chocolate slides out easier after cooling.
2/ Bash up the Crunchie bars in a plastic bag into smaller chunks, but not crumbs!
3/ Melt the Milk Chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted.
4/ Sprinkle Crunchie pieces into the bottom of the mould, pour chocolate on top and jiggle the mould slightly to make sure all the chocolate sinks down around the chunks. This gives a fun volcano type effect to the top of the chocolate once turned out.
5/ For the White Choc/Popping candy repeat step 3 and just stir in the candy once melted. Be careful as the candy can be quite violent and pop all over the place! Then pour into moulds.
6/ Leave to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes before popping in the fridge to set.
7/ Turn the chocolate out once cool (I ran a knife around the edge to ease the chocolate out) and leave to re-adjust to room temp somewhere cool before packaging.
All I had to hand was some tracing paper and twine so I made a sort of chocolate cracker but you could easily re-use a box and line with tissue paper, add a homemade tag and some pretty ribbon to jazz it up and your done! I wrapped my chocolates in cling film before the paper just as an extra seal to help the chocolates keep for longer. These would make a great last minute extra gift and they look really homemade even though all you did was melt some chocolate! Simple...x
Monday, 19 December 2011
I saw this tote bag in my local branch of White Stuff the other day and just had to buy it (a little christmas present to myself) for starters its the perfect size to roll up and tuck in your handbag, plus they come in a range of 10 retro vintage style fabrics to choose from! I couldn't resist this pretty orange and minty green patterned fabric...Best of all is that 100% of the proceeds go to the White Stuff Foundation which partners shops, head offices and distribution centres with their own local charity. Across the Uk so far the foundation is partnered with 75 charities and 1 in India, all helping dis-advantaged children and young people in local communities. The bags are only £3, which I'm sure most people can agree is a bargain! They would make an excellent extra stocking filler or like me a little present to yourself and knowing 100% is going to charity you definitely get that good feeling inside! You can order online here for a random patterned bag or visit your local shop to pick your favourite!x
Friday, 16 December 2011
Another Friday has come round again and with Christmas just over a week away! This time last year in the Uk we had a big snow storm that, as usual, caused utter chaos...so this year I'm celebrating the snow but in a more creative crafty way. This weeks pinterest picks are from sarah m and the board is called Snowflakes! There are so many lovely crafty diy projects here and so I thought I would post a few for anyone feeling a bit crafty this weekend...I am loving the project above, using the bottom of plastic bottles to make snowflake shapes, they look so shimmery! And these little clay decs below look just like the ones I made! I love a simple idea...x
I thought I had to add a few basic snowflake cutting patterns to follow and I love this jar, it's the same idea I had for my jack-o-lantern jars at Halloween! Hope you have a crafty weekend, and as usual click on the links above for full sources...x
Thursday, 15 December 2011
My newest acquisition is this glass christmas tree, it has a lid to it and so I had to fill it with something, so these silver baubles are perfect as they catch the light and shimmer slightly. It was very tempting to fill it with sweets but it's quite large and would take a lot of packets! I'm sure I'll try something different every year as it is so versatile!
The bird garland is new this year too and we've added a few bells for that extra special jingle noise...the Tree is my favourite thing to do at Christmas and this year we tried something different using simple wood and tin ornaments with pops of red, white and green and I'm really please with it's slightly scandi look!
Well there we have it! All decs up, everything shimmers, sparkles or jingles...what's your favourite thing to decorate at Christmas?x
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
A little mid-week treat for you all today, this biscuit recipe is so simple, quick and tasty you'll be making them all year round! This recipe is from the Cookie and Biscuit Bible, these are called stained glass window biscuits in the book because you can also cut a shape in the middle of these and add crushed boiled sweets before you bake to make a coloured window in your biscuit! I will explain more later...anyway, I made these last year and loved them then completely forgot to make anymore! But I made some a few weeks ago for my party and I was in love all over again, so today I'm am going to share the love with all of you...I hope you give them a try! Enjoy x
- 175g / 1+1/2 cups of Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon or Mixed Spice
- 75g / 6 tbsp of Butter - Chilled and cut into cubes
- 75g / 1/2 cup of Caster Sugar
- 2 tbsp of Golden Syrup
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Crushed Boiled Sweets in bright colours (optional)
- Put Flour, Bicarb, Cinnamon (or Mixed Spice) and Butter into a food processor, blend until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Next, add Sugar, Golden Syrup and Egg Yolk then blend again until the mix has started to cling together in a dough.
- Remove from blender and knead on a floured surface for a minute before wrapping in cling film, pop the dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While you're waiting heat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas4 and line baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface about 5mm thick, cut out your shapes and place on the baking sheet. Leave a little room around each as they will spread a little.
- If you want to make some sweet windows then cut another small shape into your biscuits, be careful not to go too near the edges. Sprinkle in the crushed sweets to cover the area and then pop in the oven.
- Bake for around 10 minutes until golden, remove from oven and leave to cool for a minute or two, this makes them crispen up slightly which makes them easier to slide off.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and there you have it!
I served mine at the party with a hot spiced apple drink which worked well together, but dunked in a cup of tea is just as good! I f you wanted to use these as decorations then with a straw make a small hole near the top of your biscuits before baking, these may need re-marking after they come out of the oven before they cool. Thread string or ribbon through once cool and hey presto edible decorations! Well if they last that long...x
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Hello again folks! Do you see the wreath above? I made that...yep I did! Can you tell I'm super proud of it? It started out as a simple polystyrene ring I got for £1.99 and some wool that my mum had for crochet that was a bit thick and woolly for her small crochet needle so I gave it a new use on my wreath! It took almost the whole ball of wool with some left over for attaching the bits and bobs. I made the flower out of some corrugated card that had been wrapped around a package that I had delivered, I just tore a circle and then cut it into a spiral to wrap into a flower shape with a button in the centre. The other bits were fabric and buttons that I had lying around and just attached them with the wool and thread...what do you think?
Anyway I was having a wander around Pinterest and there are so many other lovely wreaths I thought I would post a few pics to inspire you if you're attempting your own crafty wreath this Christmas, enjoy!x
|Wreaths from Meryn Palmer|
|wreaths, just wreaths from Giada Baicchi|
|wreaths! from Danielle Gawlik|
|Wreaths, wreaths everywhere! from Albion Gould|
|Wreaths from Kimberly Destree|
Monday, 12 December 2011
Morning all! Has everyone had busy weekends christmas shopping and decorating their homes? I don't think I stopped all week and this week seems to be panning out the same way...phew, crazy times! Today I am sharing a beautiful shop that has some amazing jewellery and at such affordable prices I may have to treat myself to a little something...Wolf & Moon (great name!) is a shop I came across a little while ago and instantly added it to my bookmarks, I love the quirky perspex designs that are a real statement yet small and delicate enough to wear everyday. My favourite is the Chevron Point necklace above and at £10 a real bargain for something so original! I've added a few other faves below but do stop by the shop for plenty more...x
|All Images from Wolf&Moon website|
Do pop back later in the week as I am planning to share some of my fab new christmas decs, a homemade wool wreath and a super simple christmas biscuit recipe...they are super tasty too! Have a lovely day x
Friday, 9 December 2011
|this is such a cute idea!|
How cute are these fox cushions?! And they look like I could possibly have a go at making one myself ...maybe...I think foxes are definitely the new owls in town, they seem to be everywhere at the moment!
As usual click on the links at the top for sources and have a fab weekend!x