A Christmas treat…Gingerbread!

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.

Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.

I got this recipe from BBC Good Food and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.

They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?

Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!

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The Great Yorkshire Pudding

The big day is nearly here! Are you ready to make an epic Christmas dinner? It’s the best part of the day and what would it be without homemade, fresh and crisp Yorkshire puddings!

I think a great roast dinner has to be served with the best roast potatoes and the best vegetables. I also think it has to have the best Yorkshire puddings! I have to admit, when I was young I remember eating ready made Yorkshire puds and didn’t think twice about them. And then I learnt how to make them and I have never looked back since.

They are so easy to make and very satisfying. I seem to find myself staring through the oven door and watch them rise. Yes I know, I need to get out more.

All there is to it, is 2 eggs, 100g plain flour and 100ml milk. Whisk it all together and add some salt. Get your muffin or cupcake tray and put a tiny drizzle of oil in each section and heat up in a very hot oven (gas mark 9). Once the oil is smoking hot, pour the batter into the tray and place back into the oven and do not open the door for about 20 mins. I turned the oven down after about 10 minutes to gas mark 6.

And there you have it, delicious, hot, crispy Yorkshire puddings ready to be dipped in some gravy. Go on give it a try, you will never look at another ready made pud again!

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Chinese steamed buns…yum!

It’s the best time of the year again! For me, Christmas is a time to try lots of different recipes and push the boat out. Whether you are having family and friends over or simply want to have a special dinner before the big day, I think trying something new is great fun.

Chinese steamed buns are absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Also, the great thing is that you can fill them with anything you want, whether its slow cooked pork or beef, Chinese chicken or even tofu. I got the recipe for the buns from YouTube and it worked like a dream. It’s a great recipe to do on your day off during the holidays and it will definitely impress everyone around you!

It’s a very simple dough made with plain flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar, oil and water. Click the link above to see how it is made. The two raising agents make the dough really light and fluffy (again a technical term there). Once my dough was ready, I simply cut it into chunks, rolled them into round circles and folded them in half after brushing them with sesame oil. Then I steam cooked them. Easy!

I filled mine with shredded chicken and any veg I had in the fridge, but I am thinking of making them again next week for my family and will most likely fill them with slow cooked pork, hoisin sauce and crunchy veg. Top it off with some toasted sesame seeds and you have a delicious dinner! It’s so much fun to make at this festive time and makes those days waiting for Christmas a bit more exciting. It’s also a slightly lighter meal, which we can all do with this time of year!

What do you eat the days before or after Christmas? I would love to know what you like to eat this time of year. This is great fun and very satisfying, and after all, if you can’t splash out at Christmas time when can you?!

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