Christmas Gift DIY: Gingerbread Jars

I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone! It has flown by and my gosh it has been a busy one. Especially the last 6 months. But I have finally made it online to blog (after meaning to do so properly every weekend for the last three months) to share with you a simple DIY Christmas gift idea. If you are anything like me this year, you are totally unprepared. I didn’t even make my Christmas cakes until November! Given how busy I have been, I decided to make my Christmas hampers a little less labour-intensive. These were top of my list to try and these custom spoons are the star of the show, in my opinion, I ordered them from Auntie Mims, along with some other custom bits and pieces (and no they didn’t ask me to say that, I just love their products). Follow them on Twitter for a discount code.

gingerbread-jar

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Hello, December

December is here and it is about to get very busy in the kitchen. The Christmas cakes are saturated with brandy, marzipanned and iced, the mincemeat and Christmas puddings are made and it is time to start the hampers.

cake

(One of this years cakes.)

I shared the story of last years hampers and their contents in the new year but now is the time that they’ll be useful and maybe inspire some home made Christmas gifts…

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Baked Beans

I’m a huge advocate for home made, unprocessed, clean food. Whilst these are far from growing the beans and tomatoes yourself, they do have less rubbish in them than shop bought baked beans. They are also so much tastier! The sauce is a delicious, rich tomato sauce, equally as at home on your toast, with your English breakfast or on a baked potato with a little cheddar and a handful of kale (my lunch of choice every day this week and I have looked forward to it without fail). The great news is that they don’t even take that long to make. The recipe is one from my newest and treasured cook book ‘Deliciously Ella‘ by one of the queens of whole foods, Ella Woodward. The book comes out in a few days in the US, so any of you in the US, keep your eyes peeled!

Baked beans

Can I just talk about how tasty the sauce is again? I’m not a huge ketchup fan and always opted for baked beans to provide any kind of sauce with chips or breakfast. These baked beans though, it is a whole new level of delicious sauce for dipping your chips or sausages etc into. I will be making these regularly from now on, that’s for sure.

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Gammon and roasted veg picnic loaf.

Flavour of the week: Honey mustard. Technically two I know but the honey, maple and mustard glaze I put on the gammon I roasted a few weeks ago was divine (don’t get picky, I know that is even worse at THREE flavours). 

Several weeks ago I cooked a roast for my family and in keeping with family tradition there was far too much food. I froze some of the left over gammon knowing that in a few weeks I’d be making a picnic loaf for a long drive to see my grandparents (tomorrow! I can’t wait). I was inspired by Paul Hollywood, though I used a different bread recipe (of his) than he does and different filling, so I changed everything but he was still the inspiration.  Continue reading

Apple and Cinnamon Bread

Flavour of the week: Cinnamon. Combined with apple, it really is a winning combination.

Over a year or two ago I started wanting to bake bread. Bread is such a weakness for me and there is nothing more satisfying than making your own. What finally got me to take the jump and make my own was stumbling across Wessex Mill‘s Apple and Cinnamon bread flour whilst at the local bakery. Luckily my first loaf was a success and I credit that to good quality flour (and luck). I highly recommend checking out the huge range of flours they offer, the 6 seed one is another favourite of mine and they also sell sourdough starters. I really do enjoy making (and eating) sourdough but it is a completely different beast to yeast bread. Continue reading