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Monday, 28 December 2015

Is Spring springing early?

I went to the park on one of the few dry days we had last week and was surprised to see Spring flowers springing up!




Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Gingerbread House


Not done as much Christmas crafting as I would like this year but I did make a gingerbread house, it is becoming tradition to attempt to make one every year with my other half but this year's has to be the most successful yet - thanks to Lidl for the kit!




...when Santa got stuck up the chimney...

It looks so good and it took ages to make that it now seems a shame to eat it :)

Friday, 18 December 2015

Slow Cooked Ham in Cider (great for Christmas!)



With all the spices this is great for an alternative Christmas meat on Christmas day.

Ingredients:

1.2kg gammon joint
Approx 30 whole cloves
500ml bottle of cider
100g soft dark brown sugar
100ml maple syrup
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
1 orange, quartered


Method:

  1. Pierce small holes on the surface of the joint with a skewer or sharp knife and insert the whole cloves into the holes. Try to spread them out evenly.
  2. Pour the cider over the joint in the slow cooker.
  3. Press the sugar into the surface of the gammon joint around the cloves.
  4. Gently pour the maple syrup over the meat, so as not to wash off too much sugar.
  5. Place the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) into the cider.
  6. Squeeze the juice from the quartered orange over the meat and place the remnants of the orange skin into the cider as well.
  7. Slow cook for 4-5 hrs on high for the first hour then on low for the rest.erve with roast potatoes and vegetables for a lovely Sunday roast.

Serve with roast potatoes and vegetables for a lovely Sunday roast. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pottery Painting Party



For my birthday I had a pottery painting party with some of my girlies, we had lots of fun painting different things, Christmas decorations, cups, plates etc

I decided to paint a cake stand as I love baking and did not have one previously.


There is also a spotty base which I forgot to photograph.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Chicken and Mushroom Pie



Ingredients:

250g ready to roll puff pastry
50g butter
500g chicken pieces
salt and pepper
1 medium onion
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
250g mushrooms
100ml single cream
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard
300ml chicken stock
milk to glaze

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Melt the butter on a gentle heat and add the chicken, season with salt and pepper as necessary and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the onions, nutmeg, bay leaf and thyme and continue to fry until the onions are beginning to soften.
  4. Then add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they are softening.
  5. Add the cream and flour mixing together well, add the mustard and chicken stock.
  6. Mix well and turn to a low heat to simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  7. Place into a pie dish and top with pastry and glaze with milk.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is nicely golden brown.
Serve with roast potatoes or mash potatoes and seasonal vegetables.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Melted Snowman Cupcakes


My toddler loves snowmen, so these were on the list for things to make this festive season...

Melted Snowmen





I think this last one looks quite like the snowman from The Snowman film and book


I love them all, they're all different, unique & cute!!!

Honey and Orange, Sausage and Root Veg Roast


Ingredients:

1 large onion, sliced
a selection of root veg, ie swede, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips etc
8 sausages
2 tbsps honey
an orange, zest and juice
olive oil


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Peel and chop the root veg into inch squared chunks.
  3. Mix chopped vegetables and onion into olive oil.
  4. Place in roasting tin with the sausages and roast for 10-15 mins.
  5. Mix together the honey, orange zest and juice.
  6. Turn over the vegetables and sausages in the roasting tin and drizzle over the honey and orange mix.
  7. Return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes until the veg is soft and sausages are cooked through.

Serve with some delicious creamy mashed potato as a Sunday roast alternative.

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