Silent night, holy night…. lalalaaa

I feel so very Christmasy!! If you haven’t caught the ‘bug’ yet, have a look at my gorgeous gingerbread village and you’ll feel festive instantly too.

My beautiful mother made them all. She was visiting us and stayed for three weeks, much of which she spent cutting and baking and glueing and decorating.

She, my mum that is, is so very very lovely. I mentioned to her that I would love a gingerbread village and she set to it right away.

I so wish that we had space in the house that I could just keep my village as it is.

As it is, one of the houses will go to my mother-in-law’s, another will go to Max’s school. I’m KEEPING THE REST!!!

Or we could just eat on our knees on the couch until after Christmas and keep the table for the houses!! Somehow I don’t think the others would like the idea. Though I think it’s a good one!!

I wonder when we should start putting the rest of the decorations up. And the tree? Hmm… Sooner the better I think.

It’s meant to snow in the second half of the week. That’s very festive too, isn’t it? I really really don’t like driving on snow/ice, so that part I’m not looking forward to, but winter is beautiful when it’s snowy.

I’ve bought all the presents already too. Most of them are wrapped. I’m too good. I know! 😉

So, do you feel festive yet?

Worst comes to worst you could always go to a shopping centre and listen to the Christmas music in every shop!

Go on. Get your baking tray out and start making a house! I’ll write the recipe down later. I’m late for Max’s school pick up so must dash.

ps: I love my mum

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A start on Christmas decorations

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. Maybe because both Max and Anabelle are at an age, where they’ll appreciate it all! I just can’t wait to see their little faces when they see the lit up tree for the first time and when they open their presents.

I really feel like dressing up the house NOW! Ok, ok 13th November may be a little wee bit early… When do you decorate your house? I would really love to know. And how do you celebrate?

We’ve started making paper chains for the tree and gingerbread houses for putting around the house. We’ll have a mini one, two small ones and a church.

I’ll show more photos of the finished houses. If time permits Ian’s parents will get one too and Max’s class.

There’s so much to do before December (besides an essay…!!). I think I might calm the nerves with a bit of decoration sewing… 😉

 

Cupcake heaven

…. naughty, naughty cupcakes… get away from my busy little baking hands!!!

Goodness… this is the second time I made them in ….. – should I really admit to this – 2 weeks!!!! Not very good for my hip lines, especially when I’ve been doing Bootcamp classes at silly-o’clock in the morning. To be precise 6, yes 6am!!

Still these babies were delicious and since Max and I made them together, they were double yummy.

Would you like the recipe?

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 11⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the vanilla frosting:
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 25ml whole milk
  • a couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • To decorate:
  • Hundreds and thousands or other edible sprinkles

 

Preheat the over to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C, and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).

Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.

A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.

Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon vanilla frosting, or one of the alternatives, on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands.

For the vanilla frosting:

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed.

Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.

Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.

Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

Yummmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Not really for you if you want to keep a healthy diet…

(the recipe is off tesco.com)

Cheerio

 

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