Goodbye Christmas – See you again next year!

So Christmas is over. Boo. I know its been over for a few days now but I think its only just sunk in that there will be no more christmas gingerbread, no more carols, no more Christmas movies. Until next year…

I thought I would cheer myself up by bringing you some of my favourite christmas things that make me excited for Christmas 2013. I know this is pretty lame, but indulge me. And apologies to those who follow me on instagram who have probably seen these pics many many times by now!

Lets start with reindeers!

Well, reindeer antlers. That jingle.

Apparently if I were a reindeer I would be Prancer. Who knew?

Delicious pressies from students.

These are chocolate crackle christmas puddings. Cute hey?

the most amazing rum balls i’ve ever tasted.

So good that I actually can’t wait for school to go back so that I can get the recipe from this student!

The David Jones Staff Choir singing Christmas carols.

This is a yearly ritual with me and my mum.

Every year they sound amazing.

These little babies that I only found out about this year.

Lindt Christmas Scorched Almonds.

I can’t believe they’re only available at Christmas.

Breaking my heart lindt… breaking my heart.

this little guy

Mr Christmas Tree

and Love Actually. Of course.

Disney Princess Christmas Crackers.

Seriously. Best move ever.

What are your favourite things about Christmas my dears? What can’t you wait til next year for?

Coconut and Strawberry Cookies and an Exciting Announcement!

So, my lovelies, I believe this year has been the year of the cookie for me. Most of my baking recently has been cookies. And really, can you blame me? These tiny, tasty treats are perfect for snacking, afternoon tea, a sneaky midnight munch or, lets face it, a meal themselves. Don’t judge. Im sure you’re guilty of having cookies for lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Or all three…

 

munch munch munch!

But before I get into the fragrant delight that these Coconut and Strawberry Cookies are, I want to share with you an exciting development in the world of my blog. I was recently featured on the SBS Food website! Yay! I was contacted a little while ago by a lovely lady from SBS who sent me some questions tailored to my blog for me to answer. A took a lovely snap of me at a recent wedding to pop on the page and hey presto! You have what you see below

you can read all about it by clicking on this link.

So i’ve been full of excitement! And cookies. I thought that this Christmas I would make my co workers cookies as presents. Lucky them! Actually, lucky me. These cookies are delicious and make the house smell ah-mazing. I’m thinking that this blog is going to see a whole lot of coconut during the new year. Im also thinking that a whole lot of cookie dough is going to be consumed right through 2013.

yum yum yum!

Its a soft and fragrant dough that needs to be refrigerated before its rolled out. If you can keep it out of your belly long enough to get it into the fridge that is…

then you cut out your little round with a sweet petite heart in the centre.

Or close enough to the centre.

Yes, maths and symmetry is not my strong point.

Dust the baked babies with icing sugar

and fill with sweet, sweet strawberry jam

ohhhhhhhhh yeah.

then pop these into a jar and gift to someone you really love!

And I mean REALLY

because you are not going to want to part with these for anyone less.

So, my lovelies, what do you think of my little interview?

Coconut and Strawberry Cookies – From Donna Hay Magazine Dec/Jan 2012

Ingredients

125g butter

1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut

icing sugar for dusting

1/2 cup strawberry jam

Method

1. Beat the butter and caster sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy

2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

3. Add the flour, baking powder and coconut and mix until combined

4. Turn the dough out onto a strip of cling film, wrap up and pop into the fridge for 30 mins or until firm

5. Cut the dough in half and roll both parts between two strips of baking paper until 5 mm thick

6. Using a 5cm round cookie cutter cut 12 rounds from each sheet of dough

7. using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the centre of 12 of the rounds and remove

8. Bake for 8-10 mins until golden

9. Allow to cool

10. spread a little strawberry jam on the whole rounds

11. Dust the cut rounds with icing sugar, then place on top of the whole rounds that have been spread with jam

12. Give them away… if you can…

Brown Sugar Spiced Cookies: Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Sweets For Santa

Yes I love Christmas, yes Santa is awesome, but I wonder if there isn’t someone else who we should be talking about who doesn’t often get a lot of thanks. After all, you must know the adage that behind every great man is a greater woman. Yes, Mrs Claus, i’m looking at you.

This months theme was sweets for santa, and, while I do remember putting out cookies for santa and carrots for the reindeer, I thought that this year I might shift the focus and have a think about what Mrs Claus would enjoy at this time of year. So I made some Brown Sugar Spiced Cookies for an afternoon tea with Mrs Claus.

I think that after she has spent all year co ordinating elves and making sure that santa doesn’t gain so much weight that the reindeers won’t be able to carry him, Mrs C would like to put her feet up, enjoy a sweet brew of T2 Creme Brûlée tea and a little cinnamon sugar dusted cookie. Or two. Or three. She is a Claus after all! I also thought that she would enjoy some more feminine colours like pink and cream, and that we should put in a little ballet dancing reindeer this year. Just because.

I think Mrs C would also like my other christmas decorations

particularly this garland made by the ever-resourceful Mrs S

from plants in hew own garden!

and what do you think of my little tree?

I thought that these little cookies would be the perfect treat to eat with the tree sparkling, lights twinkling around and some good company at the table. Easy to make and deliciously scented, they will not take long and don’t require a great big list of ingredients (spices aside of course). All you have to do is mix everything together like so…

then bake and dip in cinnamon icing sugar

don’t think you can resist these babies.

So what is your favourite christmas spice my dears? I bet its represented in this recipe!

This post has been part of the

Brown Sugar Spiced Cookies: Adapted from a recipe in the Donna Hay Magazine Dec/Jan 2012

Ingredients

1 cup icing sugar

3 tsp ground cinnamon

2 1/4 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp bicarb soda

120g butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup golden syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste. Love the stuff!)

Method

1. place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy

2. add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated

3. add the spices (only 1 tsp cinnamon) and flour and mix until it all comes together

4. roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on a baking tray. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t spread too much.

5. Place in an oven at 180 degrees celsius for 8-10 mins

6. Cool on a wire rack

7. While the cookies are cooling, mix together the remaining cinnamon and icing sugar

8. When the cookies are cool, dip each cookie in the cinnamon sugar mixture until completely coated

9. Try not to eat them all at once.

Casa KB and the House Cocktail

This year really has been terribly eventful. There have been many occasions requiring toasting, e.g. my sister got married, I started a new job and I moved out of home! Cray cray!

lets make a toast…

later.

Because firstly I have lots to do!

 

This whole moving malarky is pretty full on. I never realised how much stuff I possess and am not at all willing to let go. Thank goodness I only moved down the road so was able to ferry my bits and pieces across in stages. First came the important things…

cardigans

am I right ladies? A girl can never have too many.

nailpolish

see above.

then a fridgey didge

a bed

and shoe storage. Only the essentials.

I moved in with my high school friend B and so far it has been amazing! We have been busy settling in, acquiring all the stuff you need for a new place seeing as neither of us really had any furniture. Lucky I came with all my cooking stuff so our kitchen was pretty well stocked. By the way, how big and newly renovated is our kitchen??

but surprisingly, it was only just big enough to house all my kitchen stuff

I have been doing lots and lots of baking in my new kitchen but I have also been stocking my liquor cabinet to make some delicious cocktails this holidays.

here is a small sample…

I made a cocktail to celebrate our housewarming, which has become so popular it has become the house cocktail.

Its a very simple recipe:

ice

1 shot spiced rum

1 shot apple schnapps

lemonade to fill

You don’t even need a cocktail shaker! Jus plonk it all in a tall class and stir. Its very refreshing in our hot Australian summer and a nice fruity/spicy concoction that seems to sit well during the festive season.

So, my lovelies, what and how have you been celebrating this year? And when are you stopping by for a Casa KB Cocktail?