Category Archives: Food

Vanilla Spice Latte

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I fell in love with yummy coffee over the winter, now I’ve found a recipe for the syrup I can make it for myself!

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Chocolate Poo

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Make a funny and silly but delicious present by shaping this delicious chocolate truffle mixture into the shape of the poo of the recipient’s favourite animal.  This recipe will make about 150g of chocolate poo!

Chocolate Poo

You will need:

  • 100g of dark chocolate (I would recommend using dark to even the devotees of milk chocolate as dark melts much better than milk and the sugar and crème fraîche does make them sweet and creamy and I reckon they would be very sickly if you were to use milk)
  • 15g of butter
  • 15g of icing sugar
  • 25g of crème fraîche
  • 10g of cocoa powder
  • An image of your chosen animal poo

What to do:

  1. Break up the chocolate.
  2. Heat water in a saucepan, remove from the heat before it comes to the boil.  Place a heat proof bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate and a tablespoon of water to the bowl.
  3. When the chocolate has melted add the butter and crème fraîche and stir for five minutes.
  4. Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps and add to the mixture with a tablespoon of water.
  5. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge until it has set a little (allow about four or five hours).
  6. Using your image as a reference, shape the mixture and roll in cocoa powder.
  7. Keep in the fridge, I expect they keep well for about a week but they’ve never lasted long enough in our house to find out!

Cranberry and Orange Vodka

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This year I have made some of this wonderful sounding flavoured vodka, admittedly it isn’t the most economical idea but it still makes a gift that appears worth more than the cost of the components.  Further money could be saved by reusing bottles rather than buying them.  Unfortunetly it does take six weeks to make but four weeks are spent in the bottle, so could be made to give as a present this year with instructions to leave it for the required amount of time.

I have yet to try mine but it promises to be good!

So as to waste nothing I used the cranberries and orange zest strained from the vodka to make mincemeat, which is delicious!

Gifts in Jars

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I have recently developed an (possibly unnatural) obsession with putting things in jars! Notably mincemeat, chutney and flavoured vodka (OK, that was a bottle but it makes little difference).  But I also love the idea of putting dry ingredients of different recipes in a jar and I came across loads when searching for homemade gift ideas.  Just search for “gifts in a jar” for almost infinite ideas.  Below are a selection of ideas I came across which I’ll be trying soon, but this is my idea:

Pepparkakor Popcorn

 

(Pepparkakor is Swedish gingerbread and alliterates with popcorn)

You will need:

  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Cellophane (or baking parchment)
  • Gift ribbon
  • Small jar
  • 100g popcorn
  • Fabric or paper (cut into a circle a few centimetres wider than the lid of the jar)
  • Label

What to do:

  1. Mix together the icing sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. Make a small sachet with the cellophane, place the spice mix in and secure with the ribbon.  To ensure the cellophane and ribbon are clean you can wash them by hand just as you would the dishes (although I have a feeling putting them in the dishwasher would not do them any good!).
  3. Weigh 100g of popcorn into the jar, place the sachet on top and place the lid on the jar.
  4. Tie the paper or fabric circle to the top of the jar with some more ribbon and attach a label with the following instructions:

1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan with a lid.

2. Remove the cellophane sachet from the jar.

3. When the oil is hot, tip in the popcorn and place the lid on.

4. When the popping begins to slow remove from the heat.

5. When the popping has stopped completely transfer to a bowl.

6. Add the contents of the cellophane sachet and mix well.

More ideas

Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar

Gingerbread Mix in a Jar  (I’ve seen these in shops which have a gingerbread man cutter tied on with the label and I love the idea)

Hot Chocolate Mix in a Jar

Curried Lentil Soup in a Jar

Christmas Recipe File

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Searching the internet for gift ideas I came across several suggestions to make books of favourite family recipes as a gift.  But none of them had any suggestions about how to go about it.  As it happens last year I made my mum a file of Christmas recipes cards, this is what I did:

Christmas Recipe File

You will need:

  • An A5 ring binder (you could use A4 but A5 is a nice, convenient size for recipe cards)
  • Favourite recipes
  • Computer and printer
  • Laminater
  • A5 lamination pouches
  • Standard 2-hole punch
  • Single hole punch smaller than the 2-hole punch (desirable but not necessary)

What to do:

  1. Type out the recipes and design the page layout as desired (don’t forget to set the page to A5).  I illustrated mine but if you are not so artistically inclined it is easy to find free, nice clip art online.
  2. Print and trim as necessary.
  3. If you have two sizes of punch, punch the paper with the 2-hole punch as you would for anything you were going to put in a ring binder.  If you only have the one size, do not punch at this stage.
  4. Laminate the pages.
  5. If you have already punched holes, use the smaller punch to make holes in the plastic inside the existing holes (this means that there are no holes in the lamination and helps prevent the ink running should they get wet).  If you only have one punch, punch as you would for anything you were going to put in a ring binder.
  6. Place the cards into the file.  Add cover pages and file dividers as desired.