21 Dec 2016

Delicious Egg-free Christmas Tree Biscuits

The festive season is in full swing and most of us are stressing out already. There's that last minute present that you forgot to buy. Those cards you wrote last week have yet to make their way to the post box. And you are in charge of cooking Christmas dinner for all the family.

And breathe! Or take a few minutes to whip up these marvellous festive treats in the kitchen. You must think me mad to suggest another bake to add to the chaos.

Wrong. I am all about simplicity and ease, Christmas or not. So when I say these biscuits are easy to make, I do mean easy.

Delicious Egg-free Christmas Tree Biscuits

These are not your traditional gingerbread biscuits. Far from it, really. There is not an ounce of golden syrup or ginger in sight. Or an egg, come to think of it. Three basic no-fuss ingredients, a dash of milk and a splash of vanilla. That's all it takes.

Plus, there is something immensely therapeutic about crumbling flour, sugar and butter. Feel those shoulders relax as the tension eases out of tired muscles.

The whole experience should leave you de-stressed and with a batch of delicious Christmas Tree biscuits to impress everyone. Result!



Here's how you can whip up your own batch of Christmas Tree biscuits in next to no time.

Ingredients:

100 gm granulated sugar 
150 gm butter   
250 gm plain flour  
1 to 2 tbspn milk. I used full fat milk.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Ready-to-use writing icing in different colours
Rainbow edible sprinkles

You will also need a Christmas Tree cookie cutter .

Making the Biscuits:

Add the butter and sugar to the plain flour and rub together to a breadcrumb consistency. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Bring together to form a smooth dough. Rest the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Dust the worktop with plain flour and roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin (2-3 mm thick). Spread a cling film on top of the dough as you roll out to stop it sticking to the rolling pin. Now cut the dough into Christmas tree shapes using a cookie cutter.

Bake the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with baking paper in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees (fan-assisted) for 15-18 minutes or till the edges start to brown. Once out of the oven, allow them to cool completely before decorating.

To bring your Christmas Trees to life, trace along the tree outlines using the ready-to-use icing. Add some details like the criss-cross lines I have drawn. Decorate with edible sprinkles before the icing sets firm.


Enjoy your delicious Christmas Tree biscuits. Serve them at your next festive party. Wrap them up as last-minute handmade presents to friends, family and neighbours. Or gift them as favours to your guests.

Being egg-free means they are suitable for vegetarians as well.

Looking for some more last-minute, fun and easy festive ideas? Check out my icicle craft post.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to make shopping easy for you.
It doesn't cost you anything extra to shop through my links. It just means I will earn a few pennies towards the upkeep of this website.

20 Dec 2016

Underneath A Magical Moon

Visiting The Waterside Arts Centre for a Christmas show is becoming something of a family tradition for us. We were back this year to watch tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal’s Underneath A Magical Moon - a contemporary reimagining of the classic tale of Peter Pan.

Underneath A Magical Moon at The Waterside Arts Centre

19 Dec 2016

String of Icicles: Craft in Minutes

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas! I won’t hold my breath for one though, seen as I live along the North Atlantic Drift.

Doesn’t mean I will not have my white Christmas. For where nature falters, my crafting skills turn come to the rescue. I have taken it upon myself to craft a string of icicles to give our home a wintry festive feel.

String of Icicles: Craft in Minutes

18 Dec 2016

Horrible Christmas at The Lowry

I have always enjoyed learning about history despite having the most insipid history texts and tests ever. I wish we had Horrible Histories growing up. Learning history would have been so much fun. I am glad Horrible Histories are around now. Bet my son enjoys learning history way more than I ever did.

Come to think of it, I am enjoying learning history now way more than I ever did. And a lot of it is thanks to Horrible Histories. We have enjoyed the TV shows and exhibitions. So when the opportunity to watch Horrible Histories live on stage presented itself, I was super excited.

Horrible Christmas at The Lowry

Off we went to The Lowry for the second time that week, to watch The Birmingham Stage Company and Derby Theatre perform Horrible Christmas.

14 Dec 2016

Myths About Wood Windows - Busted!

Our home has wood windows with double-glazing. Surprised? I was too, when we were in the process of buying the house.

To be honest, I was unsure about having wood windows in our home. The simple reason being all our previous rental homes had UPVC windows. Like most people, I associated wood windows with high maintenance, period properties and single glazing. Having now lived in a comfortable, warm home for the last four years, I know I was wrong.

Here is the truth about modern wood windows, compiled by The Wood Window Alliance.

Did you know that wood windows can actually turn out more cost-efficient than PVC-U ones in the long run? Here is the truth about modern wood windows. Something to think about if you are considering updating your home.

13 Dec 2016

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang comes to The Lowry

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the Lowry and it is a truly scrumptious offering.

I must have seen Ian Fleming's 1968 film at least a dozen times. But this was my first time watching Chitty on stage and I was looking forward to it.

Right from the outset I knew I was in for a treat. The stage setting and visual effects were ingenious. I loved how projection was used to give a sense of movement around Chitty, the car. The special effects that made Chitty glide on water and fly in the air were delightful. Stand out for me was the scene at the beach where the Vulgarian ship is in hot pursuit and Chitty outsmarts it.

 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang comes to The Lowry

9 Dec 2016

Our Ladybird Christmas with Kitty-in-Boots

Remember when a few days ago I tweeted about J trying to make a Kitty-In-Boots snowglobe? The concept of crafting this snowglobe is not unlike the calm-down jar we made a while ago. You use glitter, glue, water and create a watertight seal. Only here the jar is upside down with a kitty inside it.


After colouring in the Kitty sheet, J decided he didn’t want to make a snowglobe after all. He wanted to make a bauble with a hand-drawn Kitty-In-Boots instead. Using Kitty from our printed sheet as inspiration, J sketched his own.

I think he has captured the essence of Kitty rather well, wouldn’t you say. (Sorry, Mr Blake.)





We stuck Kitty onto a piece of card. J decorated his artwork with glitter glue and sticker jewels. I threaded a piece of string and voila! Our Kitty-In-Boots bauble was ready to hang on our Christmas tree.



We’ve already made lots of Christmas decorations this year, from a tree topper to a wreath. We also have baubles that my son has crafted over the years. They may not look like much, but they are a labour of love. Each one is a memory of a Christmas Past. The Kitty bauble will take its place in my collection, a reminder of a time when my son was five and in love with Beatrix Potter’s timeless creations.

Our Ladybird Christmas with Kitty in Boots

For he is a fan of Peter Rabbit and friends and watches them in action on CBeebies. He has recently read Ms Potter’s first Peter Rabbit book. He admires Quentin Blake’s illustrations from the Roald Dahl books he has read. Little wonder then that J hopes to find a copy of Kitty-In-Boots under our tree come Christmas morning.




Here's where you can buy a copy of Kitty-In-Boots.


Disclosure: Collaborative post

8 Dec 2016

Looking for Trusted Local Professionals? Hire Now With Bidvine

Have you had a chance to look at my Instagram recently? Take a look and you will know how much I love being behind the camera. Scroll through my feed and you will notice a distinct lack of family photos. I am not one for selfies, with or without sticks. Timers don’t give me the candid look I crave in my perfect family photo. Little wonder then, that J, M and I don’t have a single ‘in-the-moment’ photograph together.

I want to change that, and change it now. I am looking to hire a professional photographer in Manchester, someone who can capture the essence of what it means to be the three of us.


When I chanced upon Bidvine. It is a website that does the legwork of collecting quotes for you. All you do is create a job-request for what you want done. Answer a few questions, then get quotes from professionals in the area who match your criteria. You then compare and choose the best one for you.

6 Dec 2016

Mushroom Peas Masala with the Smart Steamer Lid

I enjoy eating good food, but I am not a fan of elaborate cooking methods. Unless someone else is doing the cooking. I prefer to cook delicious food with minimum fuss.


Mushroom Peas Masala with the Smart Steamer Lid

I have waxed lyrical about the virtues of The Smart Steamer Lid in a previous post. Suffice to say, it has revolutionised the way I cook.

It cooks food on the lowest heat setting. This means I don’t have to keep an eye on the food as it cooks. I can sit and drink a cup of tea instead, safe in the knowledge that my food is not going to stick and burn. Food stays tightly covered as it cooks, retaining all its flavours and nutrients.

5 Dec 2016

A Stationery Lover's Gift Guide to Christmas

If you love gorgeous stationery or know someone who does, you have come to the right place. Here are a few of my favourite writing supplies that are sure to make perfect presents for stationery addicts this Christmas. Or just indulge yourself and add them to your wishlist instead.
For no amount of keyboard tapping can replicate the feel of ink on a crisp sheet of paper.

A Stationery Lover's Gift Guide to Christmas


1 Dec 2016

Giving Back with ReverseAdvent

I am doing a #ReverseAdvent with the Co-op this year. I will add one non-perishable item of food to my Reverse Advent box every day from the 1st to the 24th of December.  I will then donate the box to our local Salvation Army.

Giving back with #ReverseAdvent

I am choosing to fill my box with food for a reason. My father used to say, “You can never satisfy a man’s hunger for money. But feed him well and he will be satiated at least for a time.”

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