Saturday, 27 December 2008

Merry Meringue Mushrooms

Yikes!! is it that long since i've washed the dishes???....there seems to be some sort of fungus invasion on my dinner table! How embarrassing, and when i have guests for dinner and everything!!!! (said in style of: "and i had my mouth open and everything!")

O no wait...i've just remembered....i wanted to make meringues with some left over egg whites and ( i'm sure you'll agree) normal shaped meringues are deeply boring and wholly uninspiring....aren't they??....................................hmm, ok maybe it's just me then.

Anyway, in case you are interested these were yum-tastic!! Hard on the outside...soft and chewy on the inside..........................just like me!! (...ah-hem)

Wouldn't these be so cute beside a Christmas Yule Log cake??

Friday, 26 December 2008

Rudolph the *Rude* Reindeer

Meet Rudolph, my little reindeer friend.
Rudolph's pattern was made up (kindof as i went along) after sticking many pieces of torn up ministerial submissions into a giant page and then cutting out a "reindeer shape".
I think if i was doing him again i would give him a thicker he wouldn't quite look so.....
O dear, he looks threatening..... he didn't seem to like that comment very much....
...Well you have to admit do look a little bit weedy....
Uh-oh....he's offended......Rudie come have a very well defined physique!!!! should be proud of yourself!!!

GASP!!!! Not that proud.....put your clothes back on!!! My Mum looks at this blog!!!!!! PLEEEEASE!!!!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

festive forests??

I wanted christmassy name cards but something a little more exciting than a boring piece of paper at the top of the place setting. Found some green card and made a mini forest equipped with useful personalised stars on each little tree.
When trying to find a suitable place to plant the mini trees at the appropriate place setting i bowed to the need to conserve food-serving space...
.....lets not get our priorities mixed up here
....this dinner is about mountains of food and every possible area of table space will definitely be required!!!! i popped each one into the bulb of the red wine glass and love love *LOVED* how they almost looked like a little christmas snow globe!!
SuperD's little tree was roughly uprooted about 2 seconds after this photo was taken, as it was in danger of being submerged in a deep red italian flood.....but luckily they looked just as cute on the table!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas baking!! YAY!!

O it is my favourite baking time of the year!!! Spent all Saturday baking Christmas cakes, reindeer pops, cranberry sauce, butter shortbread, mincemeat, cranberry scones and mince pies!!!

Was delighted with the taste of the shortbread, although less happy with this horrible dingy photo of it....just trust me, it is sugar-y butter-y heaven!

There's such a great buzz about making mince pies the mincemeat is super fun to make and just smells like Christmas in a pot (cinnamon-y, spice-y, brandy-y, fruit-y, ginger-y) yum yum YUM!!

And the cranberry scones (in little *heart* shapes) spread when i wanted them to rise, ......but they were yummy so i won't hold that against them. Want proof??? Here's the plate with only 3 left!

I've been knittin' mittens!!

Yay finished the green mittens!!

The extent to which i "followed a pattern" on this occasion involved drawing round the hand of the intended recipient on a piece of paper and measuring up against it now and again while watching River Cottage on tv.

I had intended to go the pom-pom embellishment route but when she received a pair of pom-pom resplendent mittens before i got a chance to give her mine....i changed the plan and went for crochet roses instead!!

reindeer on the run!!!!

Well,..... i made a herd of (rather scruffy, i have to admit!!) reindeer chocolate cake pops. (While im setting the scene here, i think it's probably worth noting that they are sooo sweet they'll make your skin crawl!!)

Anyway, crisis struck when one very naughty individual known as "Rudolph" made a daring escape from the "pop" enclosure. The little red-nosed reindeer emerged as a bit of a loner early on, probably due to his "very shiny nose" which apparently, if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.

Witnesses say that, prior to making good his escape, Rudolph aledged that all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. He apparently also asserted that they wouldn't let him join in any reindeer games.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Customising Christmas

Well i was looking for 7 tiny little christmas pressies that will fit into the ONE bag that SuperD and i will be packing for our winter wonderland adventure in the mountains of Torino
....i know...ONE bag...i (obviously) have lost my mind completely.

And of course being a GIGANTIC fan of the old customisation they had to be personalised!!

I think these little mini stockings will be just right....although, good luck fitting any presents in them......unless youve asked for diamonds....and lets be honest, who isn't hoping for those at christmas.......or anytime really!

i made some little candy canes to match!!

Also made rudolph and guest for the parentals....complete with little irish shamrock stamp on the "rump" i believe it is called, to remind them of where they came from!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Natural Nativity

So SuperD decided to apply his wood-work-loving skills to carving me a Nativity Scene to celebrate our first Christmas together...the results were a surprise to me (& him!!!)

I mean, check out the carved baby Jesus, the little arms and little bent legs...SuperD even detailed the shoulder blades and base of the back and everything.......yeeesh!!! Sorry about the terrible lighting and shadows but he didnt install any mini power points when building the stable (soooo short sighted!!...get with the times D!!)

Check out the baby....maaaan!!!

Hahahaha....i love this cow, it is so deliciously chubby!! It always makes me laugh! It has detailed hooves and ears - one up, one down.

But the highest point for me has to be the horse (originally supposed to be a donkey, but became far too noble Seriously....check out the little ankle bones and everything, it has even got little hollowed-out horse shoes on!!!

SuperD will be doing much more wood carving from now on....especially since i let him buy a full wood working station...a.k.a. giant metal vice frame thing which pumps sawdust all over my kitchen. (NICE!....but definitely worth it)

...Felt so Christmassy (lol)

I love making things in felt because it is so super easy and quick with no fuss. I made these little stockings for what i had anticipated would be a very bare christmas tree.....o boy was i wrong!!
My tree was so stocked with decoration it was barely believable. So actually i ended up tying these decorations to gifts for very special people as fancy little gift tags.

The reindeer is probably my favourite i think... and the candy canes are fun, but unfortunately they're the most irritating things to make!!

I also enjoyed making the holly leaves and thought briefly about making a holly wreath... but then decided it would be waaaay more boring than rewarding and decided to skip it!

A Hex on your "Haus"

Ok i know it's not quite christmas yet, but they're putting up the twinkle lights in the trees in Belfast City Centre and the Continental Food & Craft Market is here (sigh of delight)...and i'm definitely starting to feel it!!
So in view of all that, i've started thinking about the Hexen Haus for this year. It's quite a tradition in our house, (started by my delicious German grandmother) and we always try and make it a little different every year, so obviously it gets harder and harder!

Some photos of previous years......Woodcutter's Cottage was 2004 (i think)

Gingerbread Village was 2005

Church with spire was 2006

Sorry about the dodgy pictures, we weren't expecting to post these pictures...just to keep a record, you know... so we don't repeat ourselves in years to come!!

This church had the biggest stain glass window that we'd ever attempted and i was paranoid throughout the whole decoration process that I saw cracks!!

My favourite part is the icecream cone spire and I loved the little marzipan people with the cute little beards, especially the little wise men....gorgeous...and quite literally DELICIOUS!!!!!

Cathedral was 2007 (Modelled on il Duomo, Milano.....very loosely!!)

And a close up of the stained glass window....(melted crushed boiled sweets!!)

Now what on earth will it be for 2008 ????.....emmm........A CASTLE!!!!

Friday, 28 November 2008

once you pop...


For Poog's birthday we went the route of the "pop"...and super-fun it was too!!!

Poog loves orange (being ginger) and i was determined to make up some orange pops...however as we don't live in America where one can purchase "candy-melt" in all colours, i had to get creative with food colouring and white chocolate.

Seemed like a good idea until i got to the third drip of food colouring and the melted chocolate started to separate....then it hit me....
WHAT AM I DOING???? You can't add water-based liquid to melted chocolate!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!

Well, much rapid strirring later, the chocolate sortof recovered....albeit becoming super-thick and sticky...hence the uneven texture of the orange cake balls!!!!

O well.....i'll remember that one for next time! And there will be a next time because you know what they say..."Once you pop......."

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Salvaged timber put to good use!

I wanted to frame my favourite painting, gift of the artist herself but hate hate HATED the way that smooth shiny bevelled framed looked against the canvas.
So because of this, the masterpiece lil'pill (my favourite artist) had made was hanging sadly frameless (but still fabulous) in my front lounge.
Enter SuperD with some (very bad quality, thin and green(!!)) salvaged timber which he sawed hammered and glued into a frame for me to paint with deep dark wood paint.

and guess what......I love it even more!!! (sorry the pic is squinty....i'm a child of my mother!)

Monday, 17 November 2008

Fuzzy Love

while we're on the subject....thought i'd post a mini craft which took all of 1 hour to make while i was watching tv at my mum's house.

I had forgotten an important piece of craft that i was actually working on and wanted something quick and easy to occupy me while we watched columbo (could have been poirot...i dont remember, ooo i love those tv mysteries!!!!)

The Love Shack

It's great with SuperD being at home a lot these days, it means that he is getting all creative!!!

This is a sign for our shed (yes,.... what's wrong with that??) that is named after "La Baracca" meaning "The Shack" which is one of our favourite bars in Milano.

Adding the little house and hearts cut-out design (all his own idea....i think my influence might be getting to him) made it extra fun!!