3rd of Advent – Let’s make Gingerbreads

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So another week has flown by and yesterday was 3rd of Advent, which means there are only 2 more Sundays left before Christmas.  We went out and did a little bit of Xmas shopping in the afternoon. This year we have left it a bit late.  Like very late.  Actually, we only just started the shopping yesterday.  The shops were not that busy, I find where we live now, it really never gets as crazy as it used to be when we lived on the other side of town at Christmas time.  We only had to queue once which was when we were waiting to have our photo with Santa. The kids are getting older so I am grateful that they still agree to do it, but it has become a tradition for us and I enjoy looking at them and see how much they change each year.

When we got back we decided to make a batch of Gingerbreads.  I had prepared the dough the day before, so it didn’t take long to set up.  We ran out of time to ice them, so we’ll do that today hopefully.

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Snowy Rocky Road

Seriously. Who Can Resist Rocky Road?  I just love it, but only ever make it at Christmas time for some reason.  We like to make both the traditional milk chocolate rocky road as well as using white chocolate, simply because the white looks so snowy and pretty.

This is how I make it (which is pretty much the same as milk chocolate version, but with Desiccated Coconut sprinkled on top)

  • A packet or two of Marshmallows, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 -3 Bars of Turkish Delight, cut into 1cm cubes
  • Salted Peanuts – as much as you like
  • 2-3 packs of White Chocolate (around 500-700gr in total)
  • Desiccated Coconut

I line a deep tray with baking paper.   Spread out the marshmallows.  Sprinkle over as much Turkish Delight as I think will taste good, I like to have one or two pieces in each serving.  Then I sprinkle over some peanuts, same process, just as I think will taste good. Melt the white chocolate (I always just melt it carefully in a jug in the microwave), pour it over, mix it in with your hands carefully just so it’s completely covers every piece of marshmallow.  Top with coconut to make it look like snow.  Put into fridge for 20 min, then cut into pieces and enjoy!

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The Build Up to Xmas

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For me, the build up to Christmas, is always nicer than just that one day in December.  I really enjoy the decorations, the smell of the tree, wrapping presents and the baking.  I tend to stagger the baking, not all the things I love at Christmas has to be consumed on Christmas Day, I rather have lots of little treats throughout December.  This weekend I am making Rocky Road, that’s the second batch by the way as the first lot disappeared in less than 24 hours.  I’m also making toffees and gingerbreads.  On the 13th of December it’s St Lucia in Sweden, but it also happens to be my husband’s birthday, so I will make a batch of saffron breads for St Lucia, as well as a baked cheesecake for him.  Some of these goodies may not see it out to Xmas day, but that doesn’t really matter, as long as we’ve had some in the middle of the build up to the big day.

This cake here is a Chocolate Fudge-Cake that I make throughout the year.  I normally make a Chocolate Cream Cheese American Frosting, but I wanted it to look a little more Christmassy so I didn’t add any cocoa.  It looked so sweet, I didn’t want to cut it, but that didn’t stop the rest of the family digging in.

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Coconut Lemon Slice

I love Coconut Lemon Slice and the fact it’s a no-bake slice, makes it a perfect sweet to prepare & enjoy on hot summer days. I found this recipe online a long time ago and thought I’d share it with you.  Perfect with a cuppa. Enjoy! 


Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Sweet Condesened Milk (I use a whole 395g can)
  • 200g Butter
  • 500g Granita Biscuits 
  • 2 cups desiccated Coconut
  • 4tsp Lemon Rind (2 lemons are plenty)

Lemon Icing

  • 4 cups Icing Sugar
  • 100g Butter, room temperature 
  • Juice from 2 Lemons

Method 

  1. Line a 3cm deep, 20 x 40cm oven tray (or your biggest tray/pan) with baking paper.
  2. Place sweet condensed milk & butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter is melted, about 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Place biscuits in a food processor and process to fine crumbs. 
  4. Combine crumbs, coconut & lemon rind in a large bowl. Add hot butter mixture and stir until well combined. 
  5. Press biscuit mixture into prepared pan, about 1,5cm thick, and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm.
  6. Make lemon icing: Place Icing sugar, butter and 4-5 tbs lemon juice in a bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until smooth. Spread icing over base and sprinkle lightly with desiccated coconut. Refrigerate until set and cut into 4 x 4 cm pieces. 

Christmas! – This Year I’m Getting In Early

  What’s not to love about Christmas I say?  For me it’s not just one day, it’s the whole month of December to enjoy.  I always have the decorations up by the 1st of December.  In order for me to do that, I usually start mid November, slowly going through my Christmas boxes, sorting out what to use and what not to use this year.  Some years I prefer everything to be white and gold, other years lots of red.  Having grown up in Sweden I still love many of the Swedish traditions and try to teach our children to enjoy and cherish these too.
Last night I baked a Gingerbread Cake, using my Great Grandmother’s recipe.  She passed  away a few years ago and I just love baking her recipes. It really makes me feel so happy inside as the memories of her pop into my head and fills my heart with love.
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Some of the things I cherish at Christmas time are:
  • Hanging paper stars in the windows
  • A Real Christmas Tree – the smell is divine
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th of Advent
  • Paper Advent Calenders
  • Watching the daily Advent Calendar on Swedish Tv online
  • Cloves pushed into the skin of oranges which fills the house with a Christmas smell
  • White Fairy Light (no coloured lights here)
  • The Baking – Gingerbreads, Toffees, Biscuits, Saffron Breads, Wholemeal Tea Cakes, Rocky Road and Daim just to name a few
  • Mulled Wine – topped with sultanas and almonds
  • The Cooking  – so much goes in here
  • Edam Cheese
  • St Lucia & Saffron Breads (13th December)
  • Candles everywhere – even if its stinking hot
  • Christmas Music
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35/365 – 365grateful

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Today I feel grateful getting enough rhubarb from my plant to make a pie for the family… Well, my in-laws rescued the plant, gave it some water & love and then delivered some stalks for me to use! YUM!!! #gratefuldaily#everydaygratefuls,#365project#365daily

A Pink Layer Cake

A Pink Layer Cake – so much fun to make! 

First I made a double batch of my late great grandmother’s tea cake recipe, which I divided up into four bowls, added coloring, and baked individually. I made an American cream cheese frosting and spread it thinly in between the layers, then used the rest to cover the whole cake!  
This is what the inside of the cake looked like.  I will definately make this again!