Thursday, 17 December 2009

Secret Santa Swap!




Today Mr Plum went down to the local depot and collected my parcel from Lisa (thank you so much Lisa ... you didn't include the address of your blog, otherwise I would have thanked you personally!).

There is nothing better than brown paper parcels tied up with string .....


Look at these lovely goodies!!!

A lovely cake stand (perfect for showing off my cupcakes!), some yummy chocolate sprinkles to decorate my cupcakes, a kitty photo holder, cosy slippers, a make your own Christmas decoration kit, some satin cats for crafty things and some lovely notelets ....


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

I'm definitely a Pampered Chef ...

My parents came to visit at the weekend and brought me an early Christmas present (or three) which my Mum had got from a Pampered Chef party...

These fabby cookies were made using the Cookie Press ... it was a bit fiddly to begin with, but once I got going - there was no stopping me!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Handmade Christmas GIfts ...

I didn't think that I would be able to post about this until after Christmas ... but, on Saturday night we exchanged Christmas gifts with my family ... and my brother's girlfriend opened up her pressies while we were there. When she opened up my gift she immediately put it on ... and loved it! The funny thing was ... she didn't realised that I had knitted it myself!! I am really pleased at how it turned out ... and it looked absolutely fabulous on her! This was my first full size piece of knitting .... am going to have a go at a cardigan for myself next. You can find a link to this pattern (and a whole host of lovely vintage inspired knits) here

Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas Pudding

Mr Plum treated me to a copy of Delia's "Happy Christmas" ... so this weekend I made a Christmas pudding. I have never made a pudding before, and to be honest am not a huge fan of Christmas pud as I find it so rich...but felt that I needed to add one to my repertoire!!

This weekend my parents came to visit for our traditional Christmas night out (we are spending Christmas with my inlaws this year) so saw my parents to exchange gifts and go out for a lovely dinner and drinks in London town! I also was given some fab baking goodies by my mum and dad (I will be blogging about those soon!). My Dad gave me one of his Christmas Puds to take up to The Lakes for Christmas .... so I will probably be saving my pud until next year!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

How to make truffles which are better than Kirstie Allsop's!

A couple of days ago I posted about my truffles ... I then watched Kirstie Allsop making truffles and am proud to say that mine were so much better than hers!! Ha Ha ....

Anyway, I have been making truffles for the past couple of years ... and although I find it quite fiddly - it is getting easier. Trouble is - I eat too many of them!!

Here is my Dad's Truffle Recipe .... enjoy! The amounts are huge (chef quantities!) so you will need to scale down!

1 kg couverture
(chocolate ... in the past I have used good quality choc (Green & Blacks, Sainsburys own, proper Belgian couveture)
200g unsalted butter
1 pint double cream (350ml if using white choc)
50ml liqueur

Melt the couveture and butter over a bowl of hot water

Bring the cream to the boil and whisk onto the couveture and butter mixture

Add the liqueur and pour into a container to set. I put it in the freezer until I am ready to use.

Using a melon scooper, scoop out balls of chocolate, cover in melted chocolate (make sure that it is body temperature and not too hot) or roll in cocoa powder. The chocs will keep for a couple of weeks (in theory!!) if kept in the fridge.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Truffles!

I have made truffles for the past couple of Christmases ... they always make nice little pressies, I think. This year I have made white chocolate and chambourd and milk chocolate and amaretto. Delicious!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Snowmen!

When I was younger (and even now!) one of my favourite Christmas cartoons was Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman". I love it ... even if it does have a sad ending (and just thinking about it now brings a tear to my eye....)

So this evening, when I decided to ice my Christmas cakes, I decided to make ....

Snowmen!!!

A little bit rough 'n' ready ....

But rather fab looking I think ... and I hope that the people who will be getting them as little pressies will like them too!

The cakes were made using Delia's wonderful classic Christmas cake recipe (fed with plenty of home made sloe gin) and divided between six tin cans and cooked for about 3.5-4 hours! Mmmmm I love Christmas!!

Last year's Christmas Cake can been viewed here

How are your Christmas preparations going??