Some of you may know I’ve had a really busy time lately. Not only am I trying to study for my final year at uni, but I’ve also undertaken the massive task of acting in panto. Argh! This year I need to learn not to take on more than I can handle – at least so that I can devote more time to making cute things. I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas, so was able to get back into the kitchen / craft room and get creative.
In the kitchen, I cooked up a minor storm (with virtually no baking required!). I made some delicious peppermint bark for my family using this Martha Stewart recipe, which is pretty foolproof to be honest! I smashed it and bagged it up in little treat bags for sweet stocking fillers, alongside a bag of gingerbread truffles made using this recipe from A Beautiful Bite. I halved the ingredients, except for the amount of spices. I found when I halved the spices they weren’t able to cut through the chocolate. They were delicious, if very messy to make! I kept mine in the freezer for a good few days before handing them over with strict instructions to keep them chilled. (Photo from A Beautiful Bite)
Last year I tried hot buttered rum for the first time and damn, it was good! Sweet, spicy, fruity, warm and it didn’t even taste of alcohol. The Plough near us serves it and it is delicious. So, I decided to make my own as gifts. I researched the internet for recipes but they were all different, so I improvised using this Kitchn recipe. I stuck to the 1:1 ratio on butter and brown sugar and added cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon, blending it together until it thickened. I scooped this batter into a kilner jar topped with instructions to serve 1 tbsp rum and 1 tbsp of batter in a glass topped up with warm water and apple juice. The apple juice really makes this delicious – especially when you add a slice of apple to be eaten at the end!
I also wanted to make an advent calendar instead of buying one. I wanted something easy, though, to fit in around my schedule and found a tutorial for a stocking calendar on Martha Stewart. Taking this as my inspiration, I grabbed some Christmas baby socks from Primark (12 pairs, of course!) and took a trip to Poundland to buy some mini pegs, some Christmassy crochet ribbon and some packs of mini Mars bars. It only took me about an hour to make but it looked so adorable hanging in my kitchen!