Saturday 31 December 2022

Week 52 of #Project365 24th - 31st December. A photo every day for a year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and if you don't celebrate a nice few days with some down time. We had a fantastic Christmas with lots of presents, food and fun. Now we're looking forward to the new year celebrations. I am cooking lots of party food today and tonight we are planning on watching the TV and playing board games.

This is the end of another year of Project 365, I have joined in every week and I think have only missed a couple of days of photos which isn't bad going. I of course will be carrying it on next year, I think it's a great way to remember those every day moments and it's a great way to settle an argument when I can look back and say, look that did happen that week. hehehe

Now for a photo every day!

Christmas pj's and my eldest opening a present
Fire pit and my girls messing about on their phones
Cheese and Christmas cake and the TV
Painting supplies and party food

358/365 - 24th December
Christmas eve and I had prepped all the food for the dinner and everything was ready for the big day so it was time for the Christmas pj's. We got the Grinch one's from Primark and they were so comfy. Becky was at work so had to wait until Christmas morning to put her's on.

359/365 - 25th December
Christmas day and we had the best day. The kids got everything that they wanted and more. Becky can't wait to get started on her Friends Lego. It was a total surprise to her and she is very happy with it. She had actually thought about buying her self it, I'm glad she didn't!

360/365 - 26th December
Stu had a good idea of burning all of the cardboard boxes instead of filling up the wheelie bin. It probably wasn't great for the environment but it saves taking it all to the tip.

361/365 - 27th December
The girls were being daft messing about with their phones, taking pictures of each other. They were having a good giggle.

362/365 - 28th December
A standard lunch for this time of year. Cranberry flavoured cheese, pork pies and Christmas cake. It's going to be so boring going back to eating proper food in January.

363/365 - 29th December
I have loved the afternoon shows and films on the BBC over Christmas, especially the Julia Donaldson one's. I hadn't seen The Highway Rat before. 

357/365 - 30th December
I am planning on redecorating the bathroom in January and I ordered some painting supplies and a few accessories for the bathroom to match the new grey colour scheme.

357/365 - 31st December
I will be spending this afternoon cooking party food. When I did the Christmas food shop from Iceland I also bought a ton of party food. Chicken bits, little pasties, sausage rolls, spring rolls and things like that. We're all home tonight seeing in the the new year!

Happy New year! Wishing you all the best for 2023!

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Friday 30 December 2022

This week my Word of the Week is: Celebrating! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


It's that week of the year where I don't know what day it is and I don't really care. lol Since my last word of the week we have had the best time with lots of celebrating! 

I was doing a happy dance and celebrating when I got my online receipt for my big online food shop. Asda did really well, they delivered just about everything and sent sensible substitutions for everything else. Only a few things were sent back. In the end with all the vouchers that I used, the one's from Stu's work and from the Asda Rewards app we only spent about £42 of real money.

Mac n Cheese

We went out for a meal on Friday for my dad's birthday. It was meant to be a surprise but his partner and me chickened out and told him he was going for a meal but didn't tell him who would be there. There was about 18 of us. We took up two rows of tables. Me and Stu joked that we were at the kiddie table, there was my lot and my brother and his family. We had the best time, it was more fun than sitting with the grown ups. hehehe. My dad also had a great time and despite not wanting a fuss, loved every moment.

We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas the best we could. Becky was working all over Christmas so we made the most of the time that she was here. We got up early Christmas morning to open presents with her. The girls got everything that they wanted and more and I did so well too. Stu says he doesn't read my blog but amazingly got me half of what I mentioned in a little wish list post.

My Christmas presents

Our Christmas dinner was the best and there were plenty of leftovers which have kept us going for most of the past week. With us sleeping late our meal times are all messed up, it's not a problem since we're not doing much but we're eating Breakfast at about 10am, lunch around 3pm and our evening meal at about 8pm when Stu is in from work.

Stu went back to work on Tuesday and the girls and I have spent our time sleeping late, trying to get the house in some sort of order, watching a lot of films and eating far too much. Becky is back to work now and on Wednesday night she could not be bothered, bless her. She is just counting down the days until the weekend. Stu and Becky are both off work over the weekend so we're going to catch up on some family time. I am making what we call a picky, party tea tomorrow with lots of beige food and nibbles. I can't wait to celebrate the new year! I wouldn't say 2022 was a bad year for us but we are ready for a clean slate in the new year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2023. I also want to take a moment to thank Anne who hosts the Word of the Week linky. She has had a lot going on over the past year but has never missed a week. 

Word of the week linky

Thursday 29 December 2022

The Highs and Lows of 2022.

For the last few years I have done this tag on recapping the last year! I think I originally got it from Woman on Thin Ice at the end of 2017 and I think it is a great way to remember and recap the year. There has been years where not much has happened, then 2019 when it was all about us starting a new life in Scunthorpe, 2020 was quite the year with lockdowns, home learning and lots of worry and 2021 saw the end of the lockdowns and home learning, losing my great aunt and if I was to pick one word to describe this year it would be change!

Clinking glasses

1. What was your happiest event?
I don't think there was just one thing which made me happy last year it was more little things. The fantastic June half term that we had, it was Becky's last ever half term in education. We had a day out at a theme park with my dad and his partner, the Jubilee celebrations and a trip into town. My birthday was amazing with my friend from Northumberland coming to visit.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?
I wouldn't say I am a massive fan of the Royal Family but the Queen dying upset me more than I thought it would. We all knew it was coming but it was still such a shock. All the pomp and ceremony was interesting to see but I did feel for the family especially Charles. It made me think a lot about my great Aunt who reminded me a lot of her.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?
Stu got a new job! He wasn't serious about getting a new job but he saw one advertised and applied on the off chance not expecting to be offered it. It has changed our lives mostly for the better. Stu works more hours so therefor the money is better, the bonuses that he gets are fantastic but some days he is out of the house for almost 13 hours depending on if the buses are running on time. It has took some getting used to but we're getting there.

4. Who let you down?
Our local hospital but mainly a doctor didn't do his job properly and refer Ellie to get her hearing aids. What should have taken 6 weeks took about 10 months. When we had the appointment with him he did nothing to reassure us about the bleeds which were discovered from Ellie's MRI and didn't refer us to the neuro people, we are still waiting for that appointment. We have seen Ellie's cardiologist, who is amazing and he did reassure us that the bleeds were most likely from before or during her open heart surgery.

5. Who supported you?
My dad of course, he is always there for us. It's the little things like helping with jobs around the house, giving us lifts places we would struggle to get to using public transport, offering advice and wise words and his endless supply of DIY stuff is a great help.

6. Tell us what you learned?
To go with my gut instinct. I gave someone chance after chance despite knowing there was something off about them. I wrote a blog post about someone who was lying to me but it turns out who I thought was the liar was innocent and the liar was someone closer to us.

7. Tell us what made you laugh?
I said TikTok last year and it's the same this year! I always have a scroll through when I go to bed and I always find myself laughing. It's the cats which do it for me, they are funny creatures. 

8. Tell us the things that made you cry?
There hasn't been much to make me cry this year apart from when I watched the Queens funeral and they brought her pony out to watch the procession go by and I of course had tears at the hospital when I was dealing with the aftermath of the doctor not referring Ellie, it was more out of anger and frustration than upset.

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud. Please miss this question out if you are not a parent.

My girls

Ellie has been amazing over the past year. She smashed her mock GCSE exams doing better than we could ever imagine, she has stepped up and matured so much. She does a lot more for herself and helps more around the house and finally she is coping brilliantly with her new hearing aids. She's only had them a couple of weeks but she's taken to them like a duck to water.

Becky left college and changed from working part time to full time at the care home and she is doing great! She has started saving more than spending and finally started her driving lessons.

Both of my girls make me proud every day but over the past year they both seem to have grown up a lot and instead of me having to nag I am stepping back and they are making good choices and are making me smile.

10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.
With Stu working full time hours I have had to step up more and do things out of my comfort zone like phoning places and sorting things out, taking Ellie to her hospital appointments without him and just dealing with things that he would usually deal with.

11. Tell us the challenges you overcame?
I think the biggest challenge we have had this year is finding time to spend together as a family with Stu and Becky both working full time. Ellie and I will have a snack after she's finished school to see us over until tea time when we can all eat together at about 7pm. 

12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2022.
I would like to save more and be able to go on holiday, not abroad, just somewhere in the UK. I think it's about time we had a holiday.

Happy new year! Wishing you all the best for 2023.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

(Ad - Gifted) 12 months of trying things, my favourites!

I feel very lucky that I am sent things to try out and review here on my blog. Some things are totally new to me and other things are things that I have seen but either didn't have the money to spend on these things or hadn't even thought about buying them.

Review items

Over the past year I have tried out some fantastic products, some of which I have continued to go on and buy again and again and some which I wouldn't have even thought about buying but I am glad I have them now.

Here are some of my favourite products which I have tried out and written about here on my blog.

OR, je vis - The Ultimate Care Gel Cream!

OR, je vis is a lightweight gel formula composed of high performance molecules of anti-ageing ingredients which stimulate the natural defences of the skin. With continued use, the skin regains it's balance, its comfort and its luminosity.

I loved this cream, it was a real treat for me to try it out and use as it was expensive to buy. I used every single drop of it and it really did help my skin.

The Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer

The Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer is a great conversation starter and I love it. It really is something different and I still can't get a temperature reading off it exactly but it's still on my fireplace looking pretty.

This is a traditionally brewed ginger beer with a complex taste. These premium quality, award winning drinks are made using the finest ginger root. Each ingredient is natural with no artificial flavours, preservatives, colours, or sweeteners. This carefully crafted recipe is also suitable for vegans.

These are drinks which I have continued to buy since I tried them out. They are a nice treat for me to have especially when I want something different to drink from my usual juice on an evening.

Darkness is one of the most important factors in good quality sleep; a regular light and dark cycle will let your circadian rhythm do it’s thing, telling your body when to sleep and when to wake. A sleeping mask helps you take control over this process and control over your sleep. 

This has really helped Stu to sleep, he finds the mask so comfortable and it blocks out all of the light. He has been using it since the summer and it is lasting well, it hasn't lost it's shape and is showing no signs of wear and tear.

A Postal Brownie Box from Chummys Bakery

Chummys Bakery have put together their most delicious and best selling brownies into one box. The Lotus Biscuit, Ferrero Rocher, Triple Chocolate, Nutella, Salted Caramel and Kinder Bueno.

This was such a treat and I can honestly say their brownies were probably the best that I have ever tasted. 

A Home workout set from AMONAX

The home workout set from AMONAX is a well rounded workout set for anyone who is looking to have a good workout. This set includes a Convertible Ab Wheel for abs training, a pair of Push Up Handles for press-ups, and an adjustable Skipping Rope for calorie burn.

Both Stu and I have been using thos workout kit and it is fantastic. He gets more use out of the Ab Roller Exercise Wheel and I prefer to use the Push Up Bars, I still can't do a proper push up but I'm moving and exercising and that's enough.

The Oclean Flow Electric Toothbrush is designed with a frequency of 38000 vibrations per minute which is three times faster than using a manual toothbrush and removes up to 10 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush. The sonic toothbrush produces lower noise, it really is quiet.

Becky has been using this electric toothbrush since I received it and she really can't fault it. Her teeth are sparkling and it is a great little gadget.

Curriculum based topic packs for GCSE's from Oaka Books.

Oaka Learning Resources are ideal for any children who struggle with their reading or processing, find it hard to move information from their short term to their working memory or simply prefer to learn in a visual or more active way. They provide a different style of presentation for curriculum based topics so all the information in their packs is exactly what your child needs to learn, whatever their ability, just shown in an accessible format.

These have been fantastic for Ellie, she's in her last year of school studying for her GCSE's and these have helped so much. She uses at least one of the books a couple of times a week and the flashcards even more! When she passes her GCSE's I will have Oaka to thank.

What things have you tried this year which you have loved?

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Our Christmas day!

 Well that's Christmas over with for another year. I was sat there at about 10pm on Christmas day night thinking all that effort for just one day but it was so worth it, we had a great day even if it was different from other years.

Christmas Grinch pj's.

Ellie ended up going out with her friend on Christmas Eve to school. They were holding their first community event where everyone was welcome to come in and watch a film. I thought it was a great idea for Christmas eve. She had a great time and it gave me chance to get one with preparing the Christmas dinner. We didn't end up getting a takeaway on Christmas Eve. As it worked out we would have only have had about 40 minutes when we were all home at the same time and getting it delivered in that time frame would have been impossible.

Becky was working over Christmas so it was really strange her not being here on Christmas eve and Christmas day night, sleeping most of Christmas day and Boxing day too. We made sure to be awake and out of bed by the time she got in from work on Christmas day so we could at least all open our presents together!

Kids opening Christmas presents
The Kids opening Christmas presents

The girls got everything that they wanted and more. They were very happy with their presents. I got some great gifts too. Lots of Harry Potter stuff, finally a spice rack, lots of hot chocolate pods for the coffee machine, pj's and other bits and bobs. Stu was overjoyed with his new phone, he needed one. His old one had a smashed screen and the battery didn't last a day.

My dad usually isn't great at buying Christmas presents and leaves it up to his partner, she got us some great gifts but my dad excelled himself and got us a Ring doorbell. I've always wanted one and I am now waiting for Stu to set it up.

Putting presents together

While I was in and out of the kitchen Stu set up his new phone and messed around with his new computer parts. It was strange just having one child here for Christmas day especially since Ellie didn't need any help getting her presents out of the boxes, setting up her new phone and doing Lego. I guess this is what it feels like to have older kids. I don't like it. Hmmf.

After doing a lot of preparation in the run up to Christmas and on Christmas Eve we still didn't eat until about 4pm. lol I thought I just had the roast parsnips to do but forgot about the pigs in blankets and the roast potatoes. Oops.

Our Christmas dinner

Dinner was the best, of course it was all covered in gravy and washed down with Glitterberry J20. We only ever get that at Christmas. hehehe

When we had all eaten my work was done and I plonked myself in my armchair with a glass of wine in front of the TV and left Stu and Ellie to do the tidying and washing up. Becky got up and we spent some time together before she had to get ready for work and then it was back to the TV for me. I of course watched all of the soaps. Corrie was really nice and not full of drama and death like usual but Eastenders made up for that. I predict if they don't find Mick's body he will do a Harold Bishop from Neighbours and come back in about 5 years. lol

On Boxing day we didn't do much at all apart from watching TV, eating and only a little bit of tidying up. 

I hope you all had a great Christmas?

Monday 26 December 2022

Our weekly meal plan! 26th December - 1st January. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went well as far as I know, I wrote this blog post in the middle of last week, trying to get ahead with things so I can take some time off blogging and spend it with my family. If all went to plan we had a big family meal out on Friday night for my dad's birthday. Me and my lot, my brother and his family, my dad's partners son, sister and her family and a few other people. It's the first time we've all been together so it was something different.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I am sure we did. I do love this week when it comes to food, I tend not to do a lot of cooking, I use the excuse that I slaved away cooking the Christmas dinner and deserve a break but we all love the leftovers and the snacky food, things like sausage rolls, chicken bits, crisps, nuts, cheese, cake and of course the trifle which I only make once a year at this time of year. 

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Leftovers! Turkey, veg, stuffing and lashings of gravy. Basically another Christmas dinner.
Tuesday - Leftovers and snacking out of the fridge. The fridge is full and I am just daring the kids to say they can't find anything to eat. lol
Wednesday - Home made turkey curry with chips. I think by now we'll fancy a proper meal.
Thursday - A fry up. Bacon, sausages, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans and tomatoes.
Friday - Lunch out and probably more snacking on the evening.
Saturday - Party food and nibbles on New Years Eve! We are really looking forward to NYE as we are all home, even Becky has the night off from work.
Sunday - Leftover party food and nibbles.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and wishing you all the best for the New Year!

What are you eating this week? 

Sunday 25 December 2022

Merry Christmas! #MySundaySnapshot

So it's here! Christmas day, the day we've been preparing for, for months! I hope whatever you are doing you have a good day. Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays. 

We are at home, just the 4 of us, well mostly. Becky will be spending most of the day in bed getting ready for another night shift. The plan is for her to come in from work this morning, open her presents and have some breakfast with us then sleep until about 6pm, have a tiny bit of Christmas dinner as technically it's her breakfast and then go to work. I am so proud that she is working but it does make me a little sad that we can't spend the day together but that's life. I know over the next few days we'll be having plenty of time together.

We've had a busy few days, we went out for a family meal on Friday night for my dad's birthday and we all had a great time. I managed to get a few photos of the girls and me and it's crazy how alike we look, it's only when we're lined up like this that I realise.

Me and my girls.

My Sunday Snapshot

Saturday 24 December 2022

Week 51 of #Project365 17th - 23rd December. A photo every day for a year!

Christmas is almost here and I have finally found my festive spirit. It took me until the big food shop was delivered, I find it so stressful but I suppose going to the supermarket would be even worse. Everything important was delivered and I nipped to the local shop for what wasn't. We are all ready for Christmas here, today will be spent prepping everything for the big day tomorrow. I have a trifle to make, veg to peel and the meat to cook. I am so looking forward the Christmas dinner.

This past week has flown over and I have already lost track of what day it is. I much prefer it when Ellie breaks up from school just a couple of days before Christmas instead of a whole week before.

Now for a photo every day, apart from Saturday. I seemed to miss that one. I can't even remember what I was doing. lol

Sunday lunch and a notebook
a gift and mince pies
Nice nails and a full fridge.

351/365 - 17th December
No photo for today. I don't actually remember what I did with my day.

352/365 - 18th December
We went out for Sunday dinner again. It was so good and such a treat to have sprouts. We only ever have them at Christmas.

353/365 - 19th December
One of my Harry Potter notebooks full of lists getting things ready for Christmas.

354/365 - 20th December
Another gift that I found hidden away. I don't know who it was supposed to be for but my dad's partner is getting it. 

355/365 - 21st December
We made mince pies and they were good, there's only a few left.

356/365 - 22nd December
I thought I would make an effort for my dad's birthday meal out on Friday and put on some false nails.

357/365 - 23rd December
The shopping was delivered and I had a game of fridge Tetris. lol

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Friday 23 December 2022

This week my Word of the Week is: Ready! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I might be jumping the gun a little saying we are ready for Christmas as the big food shop is being delivered today and it has me stressed, worrying about what won't turn up. Whatever doesn't turn up won't ruin Christmas but I just want things to be perfect and I don't really want to go out again to any shops getting something really important like the veg or double cream.

So apart from the food shop we're ready. All of the presents have been wrapped, even the extra one's that I have bought over the last week. Stu says he still has the last of mine to do but that's up to him, my wrapping work is done. Becky has decided next year that everyone is getting gift cards or pre-wrapped presents because she left it until Wednesday to do her wrapping. With working she had one afternoon to get it all done plus everything else she had to do as she was out on Thursday with her friend, we're busy today and she's back to work on Christmas eve.

I have slowly been ticking things off my to do lists and adding to them too. I must remember to take the meat out of the freezer today to defrost so I can cook it tomorrow. In a way it will help me, to make room in the freezer for things that are being delivered. I try to get as much as the preparing and cooking done on Christmas eve for our Christmas dinner as I can so tomorrow will be a busy day.

The last of the presents I have sent were delivered this past week. I remember years ago we just had to hope things got to where they were going and wait for the person to ring to say thank you, now we have tracking and I love it, especially when companies like DPD send a photo of the parcel being handed over or where it was left. I do really feel for those who are waiting for deliveries as I've heard horror stories about some delivery companies. I know our Evri delivery woman is working 17 hours a day trying to get parcels out, bless her!

Today is the last big thing we have on before Christmas, we are off out for a meal for my dad's birthday. The plan was to surprise him but his partner and me chickened out. He doesn't take surprises well and doesn't like a fuss being made so now he knows that we're going out for a meal but he doesn't know there'll be 18 of us there. hehehe We are going to his early to drop his birthday and Christmas presents off which he will complain about, he always says we shouldn't waste our money on him. Eesh!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas whatever you are doing. I am really looking forward to it.

Word of the Week linky

Thursday 22 December 2022

How I do Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner is probably my favourite meal of the whole year. I love everything about it: the planning, shopping for it, cooking, eating it and the leftovers too. I have been making my family Christmas dinners for as long as the kids have been alive barring one year when we went away for Christmas with my dad and his partner and I don't want to brag but I haven't had any disasters or complaints yet.

Christmas dinner

I do a lot of preparing beforehand when it comes to making Christmas dinner, making sure I don't forget anythingI have been shopping for the Christmas food, drinks and treats for the last couple of months. Adding a few little extras to my normal weekly food shop so haven't noticed that much difference in the bill but hopefully will notice it on the big Christmas food shop which is being delivered later this week. I keep thinking I have everything in the online basket but keep remembering things that we need.

I cook some of our meal on Christmas eve and then I can just warm things up on the big day, things like stuffing, gravy, mashed potato and pigs in blankets. I peel and chop the veggies ready to cook the next day and on the evening of Christmas eve I will cook the turkey and whatever other meat we are having. I also get the kids to lay the table, they enjoy doing it and on Christmas eve we always have a takeaway sat in the living room when all the jobs are done. 

I always cook way more pigs in blankets, stuffing, turkey, parsnips and roast potatoes than we need. They're our favourite items from a Christmas dinner and are great to have over the next couple of days. This year we have the normal pigs in blankets and some maple flavoured one's which I got from Asda to try out. I have got about 5 different types of stuffing, the normal sage and onion balls then a couple of fruity flavoured one's and other one's.

Bucks Fizz

On Christmas morning after we've opened our presents I head off to the kitchen, put some music on and get on with cooking of course with a glass of Bucks Fizz to help me along. My family know now to stay out of the kitchen until I start shouting for someone to do a bit of washing up, I like to tidy as I go as much as I can.

I'd like to say I have exact timings for everything but I don't, once it's cooked it's cooked however long it takes. I haven't mastered the art of having everything ready at the same time, thank goodness for the microwave. We usually end up sitting down to eat at about 3pm.

What we will be eating on Sunday for our Christmas dinner:

Meat: Turkey, pork and maybe beef.
Veggies: Mashed and roast potatoes, sprouts, swede, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and roast parsnips.
Sides: Pigs in blankets and stuffing.
Sauces: Gravy, mint sauce, apple sauce and cranberry sauce.

We don't bother with Yorkshire puddings on a Christmas dinner, I think we have more than enough to eat. There will be Christmas pudding at some point but probably not until much later on or even the next day.

Family Christmas dinner

Once my bum hits the dining room chair my work is done. Stu and the girls do the tidying and washing up and the next time I venture into the kitchen it is tidy and the leftovers have been put in Tupperware boxes. It's like magic, lol.

This year will be different when it comes to eating our Christmas dinner as Becky is working a night shift so she will be taking her Christmas dinner to work to reheat as she can't eat a big meal when she first gets up and if she does it always makes her sleepy. It's sad but I am sure we will still have plenty of family time over Christmas.

What are you doing for Christmas this year? Will you be cooking?

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Biscuits - Recipe!

 Shortbread is something we always have at Christmas whether I buy it or make it ourselves. It's just one of those things which has became a tradition and a lovely treat for us or to give someone.

Made with only seven ingredients, melted chocolate combined with fresh orange juice is sandwiched between two shortbread biscuits which look beautiful on the table or as a gift! 

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Biscuits

Makes 9 shortbread sandwiches.

200g of unsalted butter (room temperature).
100g of caster sugar.
250g of plain flour.
50g of cornflour.
1 orange.
150g of dark or milk chocolate.
Icing sugar for dusting.

Large mixing bowl.
Spatula or wooden spoon.
Zester or grater.
Lined baking tray.
Small microwaveable mixing bowl.
75mm round cutter.
Small star cutter.


Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) / Gas mark 4.

In the large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with the spatula or wooden spoon.

Add in the flour, cornflour and the zest of the orange and work into the mix by rubbing between your fingertips until a crumb consistency is achieved then bring it together to form a dough.

Turn the dough out and flatten into a rectangle shape. Wrap it in cling film and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

While the dough is chilling make the filling by melting the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring in intervals. When it is completely melted combine with 75g of fresh juice squeezed from the orange. Set to one side.

Once the dough is chilled remove the cling film and roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out rounds and place them on the lined baking tray. 

Bring the offcuts together, roll out and continue to cut rounds until all of the dough has been used up.

Cut stars out of the centres of half of the rounds, placing them on the baking tray in between the rounds.

Bake for 12 minutes, then allow the biscuits to cool completely on the tray.

Once cooled, use a spoon to spread the chocolate filling on the base biscuits then sandwich with the star centre top biscuits. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

If you don’t have a round cutter, you can use a tumbler.
If you don’t have a star cutter, you could cut the centres freehand with a knife, use a smaller circle or a different shape cutter or even leave the biscuits whole.
If you want to make the shortbread chocolate flavoured, swap 50g of the plain flour for 50g of cocoa powder.
If you don’t have a sieve, wrap some icing sugar in piece of muslin and shake over the top of the cake to dust it.
You could use the star shaped centres to decorate another festive bake such as a yule log or a Christmas Wreath Bundt Cake.

This recipe comes from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

My Christmas lists.

Last week was busy with Stu being off work, I made the most of having him home getting as much as we can done. This week should be a bit calmer but a lot of the things at home are down to me. What is keeping me going are my lists. I have quite a few on the go which are keeping me sane.

To do lists

The food shopping list:
I am getting the big Christmas food shop delivered later this week and I have spent the last few weeks adding things to the online basket, then going back and removing things and adding different things. It is one of the jobs that I really enjoy doing especially when I find new Christmas treats to buy. I will probably still be messing with it the night before it's delivered. 

All of the presents are bought, I just have to finish the wrapping, there's only a handful left to do and then I will have to drop them off to where they need to be. As well as the Christmas presents I also have my dad's birthday presents to sort out. I need to find some birthday wrapping paper, I hate the idea of wrapping birthday presents in Christmas paper, it seems so unfair to those who have their birthday's so close to Christmas.

Ellie has broken up from school for Christmas and I want to have some fun with her. She wasn't keen on decorating a gingerbread house but has came round to the idea, we're going to make some mince pies and Christmas tree brownies too. We will be having a disco in the kitchen blasting out some Christmas songs while we do the baking.

We have a list of films that we always watch in the run up to Christmas and we will be watching them this week. Elf, The Grinch, Polar Express, Love Actually and The Snowman. They will be accompanied by hot chocolate and whatever we've baked.

Christmas Eve:
My big list is for Christmas eve includes things like prepping the veg, laying the dining room table, filling the girls stockings, finding the matching Christmas pj's that we have, making a trifle and ordering the takeaway for after we've been into town for carols around the Christmas tree.

Other things:
As well as all of these things that I have mentioned I have my hair to bleach and then re-dye red, find something to wear for a meal out, do my nails, give the house a good clean, get the small fridge in from the shed ready for the extra Christmas food, catch up on the mountain of washing, make sure a parcel arrives where it should, catch up on the soaps before Christmas day, have a look at the TV guide and plan what we're watching over Christmas and finally have a nice big glass of Baileys when all of my jobs are done.

Do you have much to do this week?