Archive | December, 2011

Boxing-day Munchies

26 Dec

Let’s admit it, leftovers always taste 10 times better then the real deal…truth be told, nothing tastes better then this gorgeous turkey club sandwich! Quick simple and after yesterday I’m pretty sure you have all the ingredients from yesterday’s huge feast!

What to do:
1) Spread one side of each piece of bread with thick gravy(bisto will do) Top 2 slices of bread with the turkey slices and cranberry sauce.
2) Put a second slice of bread, gravy-side up, on top, then pile on the stuffing, halved chipolatas and a handful of salad leaves.
3) Put the last slice of bread on top. Push 2 cocktail sticks into each sandwich to hold them together, then cut the sandwich in half and enjoy!

The beauty of this is, all ingredients can be assembled whilst hot or cold so you can enjoy a sandwich or a toasted turkey delight!

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and got everything they deserved ūüėČ

Keep it delicious!

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Mince Pies

21 Dec

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4 days to go!! Not only are these the simplest DIY deserts to see you through the winter period, they are the most delicious! Seriously, the mincemeat combined with this sweet shortcrust pastry has turned a few mince pie haters into fiends, so put those hesitations aside and get the rolling pin and flour out!

Ingredients: (makes 24 mini mince pies or 14/16 medium pies)
200g sifted flour
1tbs caster sugar
100g chilled butter
1 medium egg

The sweet shortcrust pastry – What you do:
1) sift the flour into a food processor and add in the sugar
2) cut up the chilled butter into cubes and add to the dry mixture
3) let ingredients pulse
4) once it reaches a crumbly consistency, add in the beaten egg
5) let the crumbs come together, knead together and wrap the dough up in cling film. Leave in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes!

Now it’s time to roll:
1) pre-heat the oven 200‚ÄĘc
2) melt a knob of butter and use a basting brush to coat the 12 hole shallow pie tray.
3) roll out the sweet short crust till it is about 3/4mm thick and cut out round circles using a scalloped edge cutter. The size of the cutter is dependent on the size of the holes in the shallow pie tray.
4) place the sweet shortcrust pastry circles into each hole, carefully pinching at the inner sides to create a bowl like space.
5) grab the mincemeat you made early and place a teaspoon of the mixture into each pie.
6) for the tops you can get creative, I love stars on them so I cut stars and closed the pies with them, others prefer them the traditional way and fully cover them, so this step is entirely your choice!

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7) baste the tops with beaten egg to get a lovely golden colour.
8 ) pop into the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes…
9) Enjoy with fresh cream or vanilla pod custard!

There you have it simply sublime mince pies. Make them your family favourite this Christmas…

Keep it delicious!

Gingerbread Latte

19 Dec

For the perfect Christmas day drink there is nothing better then a gorgeously creamy gingerbread latte. As subscribers of my blog, friends and family know I have a slight obsession with anything gingerbread related so gingerbread syrup is a must have in the Spoony household! Do not worry if you do not have this I will teach you how to make your own!

 

Syrup – what you need:

 

1 ¬Ĺ cups soft light brown sugar

2 tsp ground ginger

¬Ĺ tsp ground cinnamon

¬Ĺ tsp vanilla extract

2 cups water

 

Method:

 

1)      Combine all the above ingredients in a medium saucepan.

2)      Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

3)      Remove from heat and pop into a jar, the syrup will keep for a good few months.

 

Or simply buy the syrup.

 

Making the latte ‚Äď what you need:

 

¬Ĺ cup freshly brewed espresso

8 ounces steamed/frothed milk

Whipped cream

Ground nutmeg

 

Method:

 

1)      Make a double shot of espresso

2)      Microwave milk or use the streamer on the espresso machine

3)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Add ¬ľ cup of syrup to a mug, add in the hot coffee and dissolve.

4)      Stir in the steamed/frothed/hot milk.

5)      Top off with a whipped cream swirl and a sprinkle of nutmeg

6)      Enjoy!

 

Keep it delicious!

Wrap it up!

19 Dec

6 days away from the big celebrations and its time to wrap the gifts and get them under the tree! Here are a few gift wrapping techniques!

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1) Rustic wrap! РI love this look, understated but extremely beautiful, with hints of green and red it gives off that traditionally festive feel and is extremely easy to do!

What you need:

Postal sting

Red, gold and green ribbon

Baking paper

Red tags

Sprigs of holly and fur 

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2) The Japanese newspaper wrap – Extremely eco-friendly and perfect for secret santa gifts!

What you need:

Old news paper

Gift wrapping paper for the hints of colour

Thin straw ribbon

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3) Woven ribbon wrap РMy favourite look! If you have the patience this wrapping technique looks gorgeous, plus you can colour co-ordinate it with your Christmas tree decorations to make an extravagant statement look.

What you need:

Plainly coloured gift wrapping paper

Different tonal, textured and sized ribbons

 

Well however you wrap it up¬†remember¬†it isn’t just about the gift wrapping it is also about the gift! ūüėČ Send us any other ideas you have and photos of all your beautiful wrapping!

Happy wrapping!

Keep it delicious!  

  

Mincemeat Danishes

8 Dec

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Light and flaky slices of Christmas, a new favourite in my house! They may look tough to make but I assure you I don’t think they get simpler then this… this is how:

1) First and foremost make the mincemeat as I blogged about a few days ago…

2) Then either make your own puff pastry like this: BBC Puff Pastry 

Or simply pop to your local supermarket and buy ready rolled puff pastry (this¬†shouldn’t¬†cost you more then a few pounds).

3) Preheat the oven at 200¬įC

4) Roll out into a rectangular sheet and liberally spread on the mince meat.

5) Tightly roll the pastry inwards, depending on how large you want each Danish to be is how many times you roll it in. I like mine medium sized so I roll the sheet into itself about 3 times.

6) Once you have created the desired size cut out 1cm thick disks and pop onto a baking tray.

7) Place them in the oven for 10-13 minutes until golden brown.

8 ) Let them cool on a wired rack and dust with icing sugar

9) Enjoy!

Let me know how you get along!

Keep it delicious!

Things to do with the kids this Christmas

7 Dec

– Go out and look at the Christmas lights (take photos and send them to us :))
– Bake yummy treats
– Decorate the tree
– Make salt dough ornaments (stay tuned for the recipe)
– Visit Santa
– Donate old toys to Charity before the kiddos get their new ones
– Make a popcorn and cranberry garland
– Make paper chains
– Watch Christmas films (Home alone is always a must!)
– Write letters to Santa
– Scoff down some candy canes
– Make, write and address Christmas cards

Whatever you do, have fun! Send us in some pictures or some personal family traditions you share with your kids…would love to hear about them!

Only 18 days to go!

Keep it delicious!

Mincemeat…

5 Dec

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First week of December and there is only one thing on my mind…mince pies! Iddy mouthfuls of heaven with a glass of perfectly spiced mulled wine, in front of the telly with a Christmas film on…my idea of a perfect winter evening!

First and foremost the mincemeat…(you could cheat and buy it from the supermarket, but I prefer making my own!) Here is my recipe but because they are going to be a personal batch for yourself and your family put more of what you love and less of what you hate! My sister-in-law loves cinnamon so I always add a tiny bit extra for her so she can enjoy them to the fullest, brothers are into the orange liquor so a dash extra in their batch, and mum likes the cranberries so chuck a few more of those to keep her happy! With any of these ingredients mix and match to make your perfect filling, but here is how I do it:

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100g raisins

100g sultanas

100g currents

100g cranberries

175g soft light brown sugar (many use dark but I think the light brown give it a lighter flavour so perfect for kids!)

1 table spoon of lemon juice plus zest

1 table spoon of orange juice plus zest

25g ground almonds

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¬ľ teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons of good quality orange liquor (Cointreau is always my favourite) ‚Äď if you are going to make some for kids, just substitute with orange juice.

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Mix them all together and leave to marinate for as long as you like (the longer the better!)….makes gorgeous mince pies, mincemeat pastries and puff pastry packages!

Let me know what you make? And how much did you like it?

Keep it delicious!