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Christmas Mince Pies: The Lazy Version

Thursday, 19 December 2013

MINCE PIES! They’re my absolute favourite food of the holiday season, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a mince pie. I usually bake Christmas food myself, and it usually taste a lot better than store bought, but with mince pies the ones from the store seem to taste better – I don’t know why. So this is a sort of a homemade method, but still the cheats way :). I apologize if you were looking for a “real” mince pie recipe – this is the lazy version, I’ll admit.

This is a super simple method which I’m sure you would figure out on your own anyway, but because I have an obsession with lists, here goes:

Method for Mince Pies: The Lazy Version

1.       Buy some short sweet pastry and fruit mince (I bought the Old English Fruit Mince made by Tasti).

2.       Roll out the pastry and cut into circles, then gently press each one into a smaller-than-muffins-but-bigger-than-ice-cubes-tin.

3.       Spoon the fruit mince in! (there’s an exclamation mark because I love this step)

4.       Cut strips of leftover pastry to create lattices on top of the mince pies.

5.       Bake in the oven until golden at 180o Celsius (I can’t give an exact time, it depends on your oven, the size of the tin, the type of pastry, etc).

6.       Sprinkle icing sugar over them, and mmmmm……enjoy……..

This method shouldn’t be too hard. Who am I kidding, this is flippin’ easy! My advice is to make a ton, because they’ll be gone before you know it (*I say this from personal experience).

Merry Christmas! Only 5 days!


Strawberry Santas

Monday, 16 December 2013

These strawberries santas are all the rage on pinterest, so I had to try them myself. THEY’RE SO CUTE! And they taste choice.

You need strawberries and cream, as well as 2 chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips per santa. They’re pretty self-explanatory, you basically slice off the top and add a dollop of cream, then put the lid back on and use cream for the top of the hat and buttons. Then add 2 sprinkles/chips for eyes and you’re done!


Christmas Hot Chocolates

Hot chocolates are my guilty pleasure, basically. So when I do have them, I splash all out (do you see what I did there?) and enjoy them to the fullest extent. From my personal experience I hereby present you with:

Tips for a Fantastic Christmas Hot Chocolate

1.       Put just as much milk as water in (if it’s too cold by then, just zap it in the microwave).

2.       Sprinkle cinnamon (and other Christmas spices of your choice) into the hot chocolate and stir.

3.       Top it off with a large swirl of cream.

4.       Sprinkle tons and tons of pink and white mini marshmallows on top (the colours do make a difference in my opinion, contrary to what sane people might think).

5.       Shake cinnamon (or drinking chocolate – cinnamon is my choice for Christmas) on top of the cream and marshmallows.

And that’s it! You now know what I sometimes do on Christmas evenings (and throughout the year too – shh).


Fairy Lights

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

FAIRY LIGHTS! They make me happy, make me want to dance, make me feel like wearing a floaty dress, make me feel like talking in a posh accent, make me feel like a princess.

Judging by the above, you can imagine how excited I was to take some photos of twinkly lights. I personally think that fairy lights are like drops of instant pure happy encased in glass tied together on a string. Hang them throughout your home for maximum christmasness and joy. :)

They look great strung overhead, like we’ve done in our living room, and over bookshelves, mantelpieces, etc. Also around door frames, just like the snowflake lights (pictured above). And obviously around the Christmas tree!

Basically, hang’em wherever you can whenever you can.


Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Fudge

Sunday, 8 December 2013

This fudge - wow - it's good, I'll tell you that. I don't want to ruin the beautiful surprise when you bite into a piece, but it is a beautiful lemony blend of cranberries and pistachios topped with a white chocolate fudgey-ness. If that doesn't have your mouth watering, I'm not sure what will. Also (for those who can't be bothered spending hours standing over a pot with a thermometer), this fudge is super easy (like, really easy). I couldn't not share this recipe! Have fun! 
1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk 
zest of 3 limes (I used lemons - taste just as good!) 
375g white chocolate 
3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts 
1 cup dried cranberries 
Grease and line a 22cm square tin. Set aside. 
Place condensed milk and lime zest in a saucepan over medium heat until the milk starts to simmer. Turn down to a low heat and simmer for a few minutes until condensed milk starts to thicken slightly.  
Remove from heat, add the white chocolate and mix until chocolate has melted. Mix in the nuts and cranberries and pour the mixture into prepared tin. 
Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into slices (or if you're like me and can't wait to eat it, freeze for a little bit but keep an eye on it! And I say that from experience. Think of the worst that could happen? It happened. Hard as a rock.). 
PS: I apologize for the average photo - I just couldn't wait to get it in my know you would do the same thing. 

Christmas Chalkboard

This little chalkboard is one that I bought in Paris (I love being able to say that haha) and I hang it on the wall beside my bed. Throughout the year I write different scriptures and sayings on it, but for Christmas I decided to change it to something festive.

It says:

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

~Dr Seuss

I just thought it was really cute, and maybe a little bit of inspiration for you want to write on your walls this Christmas? (not on the walls directly of course – I cannot be held responsible!! ;)


Candles + Free Joy to the World Poster

Friday, 6 December 2013

It’s the time of the year when candles are a necessity. I currently have an obsession with candles….As you can see above I have 3 vanilla ones on my mantelpiece, accompanied by a framed poster that says “Joy to the World”. I found it for free online, click on over to here to get yourself a copy. The candles make me feel all warm and cozy on the inside just watching them flicker! One of the things I love about Christmas!



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Minty, red and white, sweet to the soul. Good enough reasons to have candy canes! As décor, as food, they’re a true seasonal sweethearts.(I kind of wish I could have them all round the year….nah, then they wouldn’t be as special) Hang’em on the tree, put’em in the stockings, add a special touch to gifts. I’ve also used them in a couple of recipes so far, they spice up the flavor, and make me feel all festive on the inside. AWW. Make sure you get some too!

So todays the 4th of December. Time to be getting the gifts….haha if you’re organized that is. Put on some festive socks, eat a candy cane ;), and belt out your guts to a carol. Christmas is coming, y’all!


White Christmas Pompoms


Just like little puffles, aren’t they? Getting crafty for Christmas, I made these pompoms to add some spice to my room, décor on a budget. Hanging from the roof they literally make me want to jump up and down and say “SNOOOOWWWWWW!!!” because a) they’re white b) they remind me of snow and c) we don’t get snow where I am.

Here’s the story: because I love things that remind me of snow and are white (as I dutifully stated above), last year I naturally made paper snowflakes. 2d, of course. This year I decided to upgrade things to 3d (woop woop) and hence the puffles (oops I meant pompoms) dangling from roof. I arranged them in a chandelier type shape as a Christmas-y centerpiece :)

You need some tissue paper, pipe cleaners and string. That’s it.

Instead of me telling you how to make them step by step with random instructions and confusing photos, I’ll just head you in the right direction with a trusty youtube video. And by the way, instead of using a whole rectangle of tissue paper, I just used a quarter so that 6 of them could fit in my room without feeling cluttered.

Have loads of good times and my advice is to listen to Christmas music while you’re doing the cutting and folding part.


Soft Ginger Cookies

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I love Christmas baking. I ADORE it. The smell, the hustle and bustle, the taste (best bit). Even early November you might catch me humming Christmas carols with my apron on having a merry time in the kitchen. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting into the Christmas spirit early, is there?

These cookies are a 12 out of 10 (you seriously have to make them). I decided to be adventurous and try a new recipe (yes, I call this adventurous, don’t judge) and I found myself making them. They are definitely going to be a keeper for next Christmas! Heck, I’ve only made them once and they’re already a family favourite!* Imagine soft, chewy ginger bread – rolled in sugar. If that hasn’t got you jumping out of your red and green striped socks to make them, then good luck with the festive season.   

*Take the last cookie, and you’ll be getting the evil eye for at least a week. Guaranteed.

This recipe makes 24 cookies (roughly).

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 10 min

Ready: 50 min


2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

¼ cup golden syrup

2 tablespoons white sugar

1.       Preheat oven to 175o degrees C. Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

2.       In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, then stir in water and golden syrup. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the golden syrup mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten slightly.

3.       Bake for 8 – 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

A few tips:

1.       Try not to eat them all in one go. :)

2.       They spread out in the oven quite a bit so make sure you place them far enough apart.

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