Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Belated Christmas post and a blog makeover!

Hey old friends, I'm still here and as you can see my blog has had a little bit of a makeover! A new name and fresh perspective. Have a read of the updated 'about us' section if you like.

So how about you go and put the kettle on and we'll have a good ol' catch up.

Where did I go huh? Well nowhere fancy, I took a little blogging sabbatical mostly due to a broken camera. I don't want to name names or anything but MY HUSBAND FRIGGING DROPPED MY CAMERA! Beyond repair it turns out. But Santa is real people and he brought me a very special present this year!

I must be finally off his naughty list.

My new baby and oh she is so beautiful...




I'm so excited to be back!

Now I know you are all 'so over' Christmas right now
 and probably your new years resolutions too but I just 
have to share our Christmas with you. It feels wrong not too...

Christmas has always been magical to me and I honestly can't decide whether I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas day. The anticipation of the day before is just so delicious and exciting. Although Christmas day wins points for actually getting your presents and having permission to eat more than is humanly possible. Which I did and then some...

Even so, on Christmas Eve I still catch myself scanning the skies for a fast riding magical sleigh...

So on Christmas Eve this year we put the Christmas tunes on repeat and drank lots of hot chocolate...

We hung up the cards and paper chains...
We baked cookies for Santa in the afternoon. Although Santa actually only receives two of these cookies and we eat the rest. Because of this I decided to pull out all the stops and use my really fancy cookie recipe.

They are practically brownies and softer in the middle than you can imagine...

Sorry just drooled a little on the keyboard...

Gathered my ingredients...

Obviously I needed a pirate helper who did some quick hard labour and then went straight to the good stuff on the sofa. *Sigh* no help at all.
Meanwhile I made works of art in my food...


 I'm not gonna lie, a lot of taste testing went on from my end too...
yum.
For recipe see the end of the post.
Later in the afternoon we went to the carol service

 And afterwards I made everyone wait in the car while I took pictures of the village lights in the rain...

Then back to ours to finish off all the last minute preparations for Santa's arrival...

A thank you note and best friend request. 
I wrote exactly what I was told to write...
A little snack for Santa and Reindeer...
 And a sprinkle of magic on the ground outside so the reindeer know where to land...


Then off too bed.
 Someone having a cuddle because he is 'just so excited.'

I bet you are not surprised to hear that it took them a long time to get to sleep. Isaac said 'Santa only comes to your house when you are asleep but every time I close my eyes they pop back open!'  I hear that this is a common affliction suffered by children on this particular night...

Eventually they did fall asleep though.

At which point I made my first ever eggnog. Rather nice...
 All that was left to do was wait for sleigh bells...

Peace on earth...

This peace was soon disturbed very early the next morning...
We just go for it, no formalities here...


There was so much good stuff, but I stopped taking photos once I started eating my own body weight in food.

Totally worth it.

I really hope your Christmas was magical too.


*****

COOKIE RECIPE

From the book 'Economy Gastronomy' by Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett which is one of our most used cookbooks. It's great!

2 eggs
130g caster sugar
1/2 tablespoon strong coffee
20g butter
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
30g plain flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking flour
a pinch of salt
50g nuts, halved
50g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Preheat the oven to 180 c/160 c fan/gas mark 4

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and coffee thoroughly  The mixture will eventually lighten in colour and thicken slightly as the eggs trap the air being whisked in. This could take 7-8 minutes with an electric hand whisk, or considerably longer by hand. Put the mixture aside for a moment. 

Melt the butter and chocolate by placing them in a bowl and putting the bowl over a pan of steaming water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the pan and allow the butter and the chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes before gently stirring it into the whisked eggs.

It's important not to overwork the mixing in of the remaining ingredients or you will knock all the air out of the original egg mix, so use a folding-turning motion to combine them. First, fold in the flour and baking powder and add the pinch of salt. Then fold in the nuts and chocolate chunks.

(Hide from little fingers, or Daddies with spoons!)

Line a very shallow baking tray (or two) with non-stick baking paper and drop on evenly spaced heaped dessertspoon-sized dollops of the batter. Bake for 10 minutes until the mixture has risen, the tops have cracked slightly but the centre is still gooey. If you can, allow the biscuits to cool completely on the trays (they break up otherwise) before diving in. 

Ah go on have a try, if I can do it anyone can!






9 comments:

  1. Cookies look awesome. See you are loving your new today great sweet Bokeh shots. Congrats on the first eggnog ever :) Love the kids baking. Baking Pirates. xoxo

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    1. Dude what is up I typed too quickly or NyQuil. What I meant to say up there is... I see you are loving your new toy. Back to bed.

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    2. lol I knew what you meant! Feel better soon hon x

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  2. You're back! And all spiffed up! I have been wondering about you, see you pinning like mad some days on Pinterest and figured ah, she's out living her life. Good on you! But I missed you and those cute little scalliwags so I'm happy to welcome you back

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    1. Yay I missed you too! I was a little lost without my camera. It showed me how much taking photos and sharing them on here contributed to my happiness levels xxxx

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  3. So glad you're back!! Love the new blog look! Looks like you had a lovely holiday!!

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    1. yes thanks, I hope you did too x

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  4. Aww Sian I'm so glad you pointed me in the direction of your blog! I love the post, especially the letter to Santa (too cute!). I don't know what it looked like before but the new look is great and I'm looking forward to your posts and awesome photos!

    Shushkat

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