MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas weekend.

I certainly did.

We had a half day at work on Thursday and finished with lunch with everyone in the office which was nice.

B and I had dinner with his parents so we could swap presents. Then we FINALLY went and watched Star Wars : The Force Awakens.

I won’t post any spoilers but I will say I enjoyed the movie. I will probably go and see it again before it leaves cinemas.

Christmas morning B and I swapped present then we headed up to my parents for the day. We got to Skype my sister so we could se her opening her presents and just catch up. It was nice but also sad that she was so far away.

B’s parents came up to my parents house for Christmas lunch which was a 5 hour long, 10 course degustation menu. It was all very delicious.

Boxing day was a lazy day for us. We caught up on the second half of season 9 of Doctor Who, as we had missed it when it was on, then we watched the Christmas special. Once again no spoilers bit it was full of feels (as admittedly most of the Christmas specials are).

For the most part we have avoided the sales though I got some nice bath stuff on sale at Big W yesterday and I’m going out to go shopping for a new dinner set (a Christmas present from my mum and dad) tomorrow. I did also buy some planner stickers off Etsy.

Yesterday we went and watched Mockingjay: part 2 so we could escape the heat for a bit. I usually struggle with movies based on books I’ve read but I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t flawless but they did a really excellent job.

Todays recipe is less of a recipe and more of a collection of ideas around a theme:

Leftover Ham

We always have a ham at Christmas and after Christmas we always have a fair bit of leftover ham.

So I thought I would share some ideas of what you could do with your leftover ham. Most (if not all) of these ideas are not limited to ham. You could definitely use most meats and some vegetables in place of ham in these ideas.

Firstly there is no need to limit yourself to just plain ham (especially if you or someone you know is not a big fan of ham)

Try marinating some.

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So far this year I’ve tried a honey soy marinade (equal parts honey and soy sauce) which is wonderful as is or pan fried to warm the ham. I also marinated some ham in Thai seasoning mix then pan fried the pieces. It was delicious.

I also stewed some ham in apple cider with fennel seeds. Apple and ham are best friends and as I had some home brewed cider in the fridge I thought I’d give it a go. I was not disappointed. Well I was but only because I burnt the bottom so I was only able to eat half of what I made and that was disappointing.

Now for what you can do with the ham.

Toasties

My personal favourite. Ham cheese and tomato toastie are in my opinion the king of toasties and are only improved with ham off the bone. You can also use the marinated ham for extra flavour.

Quesadillas

Ok so they are sort of like Mexican toasties but how is that a bad thing. Not that I don’t believe you can’t use any flavours in a toastie but when you think quesadillas you think more of the Mexican flavours. Ham, Cheese, salsa, avo. All delicious.

Breakfast Bites

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I just chop up some ham, tomatoes and green onions and use that to half fill each section of a muffin tin then pour in some eggs that have been lightly beaten the bake for 10-20 mins at a low heat (until the egg is cooked). You could use whatever veg you have on hand and a sprinkle of cheese on top is a nice touch too.

Another breakfast option is what I call

(and B calls Crappy omelette.)

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Cut your ham into small pieces and fry in a pan until lightly brown with any veggies you might like to add. (I usually do this with tomato but mushrooms would be good to) add in two lightly beaten eggs and keep it all moving until the egg is just cooked then take of the heat. I like mine with some toast on the side.

Its essentially scrambled eggs with extra stuff or (as B’s title suggests) an omelette that fell apart.

So these are just a few of my easy ideas for your leftover ham.

Did you have a good Christmas?

Let me know what do you do to jazz up your leftover Christmas food.

That’s all for today

Lil

I may have already mentioned this already but I love Christmas.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I get my love of Christmas from my parents.

They too love Christmas and have shared that love with us (my sister and I).

For me Christmas is a time of magic. A time to spend with family. A time for eating until your too full to move.

The Christmas tree goes up on the closest weekend to the First of December. Decked out with lights and baubles and an angel of top. This year I haven’t been able to fine the weeping angle I made for our tree but B got a good substitute in a secret santa we did.

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For us Christmas day is an early (though not to early) morning of opening presents then making and eating a big breakfast.  Followed by watching one of the new movies we got or listening to a new CD and prepping for a big lunch.

We always have lunch as our main Christmas meal. It often involves having other people over to. There’s always ham and a range of salads and often a roast meat of some sort. My mum is a fantastic and creative cook so no two Christmas meals are quite alike but all are definitely enjoyed.

And throughout the day there are many Christmas treats on offer. Mum makes delicious shortbread, I make rum balls and peppermint log, we have pretzels and nuts for something savoury.

Christmas afternoon/evening is for napping and relaxing and generally trying to avoid the heat. If you somehow (miraculously) feel hungry there’s always plenty of leftovers to be had.

But it’s not just Christmas day that I love. It’s the whole season.

Shops playing Christmas carols, catching up with friends, making/baking treats, watching Christmas movies, making Christmas cards, finding all the cool Christmas lights, and lending a hand. All these things are what makes Christmas for me.

And I love it.

Lil

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This week it’s

Summer Drinks

Serve chilled or on ice these are some of my favourite summer drinks.

Mango Champs

My families favourite cocktail. Summer is mango season and that means it’s a great time for mango sorbet. You can make your own or buy it either way it’s a lovely drink perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

Bubbly & Orange Juice

Not one I have often but this is our Christmas morning drink.  It’s not a proper Christmas breakfast if its not accompanied by a glass of bubbly and orange juice.

Iced Tea

We make it in as big a batch as our fridge can handle yet its still always gone too soon. Particularly nice with a herbal or fruit tea and loaded with fresh fruit and ice.

Fruit Punch

I haven’t made a proper big batch in a long time but I have fond memories of getting to put the big fruity ice block in the middle when I was younger. These days I sometimes just doo my own single glass batch but its not quite the same.

Iced Coffee

While I’m not a big coffee drinker, I do love an Iced coffee. Not particularly fussed wether it’s the shop bought stuff or a proper barista made one I just like the chilled caffeine and sugar hit.

So that’s my five. What drinks are your summer go tos or what great memories do you have  of some favourite drinks?

Well better late then never.

I think next year I need to look at adjusting my posting schedule to suit my days better. My biggest problem at the moment is just tiredness though so maybe once I get a little more used to being back at work I’ll get it together and post on time again.

 For now though I promise you will still get two posts a week ( a regular blog and a fast five) I just won’t grantee they will be on time.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

And so it should as its only 9 sleeps away.

I’m slowly working my way through watching my favourite Christmas movies and I finally managed to get a start on my Christmas baking on the weekend.

I’ve also been having fun  decorating my planner with Christmas stickers and Washi tape. I haven’t quite got my groove for planning but I’m liking my spreads better each week.

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I’m looking forward to this weekend as I will finally have time to go do some Christmas shopping. So far the only Christmas shopping I’ve done is for my sister as I had to get it sent to Canada. I still need to send another thing over there for her boyfriend but I haven’t worked out what yet so I think it will be late.

I’m not ready for Christmas yet but It’s looking more like I’ll get there now.

My recipe today is a simple one. Its just my Christmassy take on Eaton’s Mess.

It’s actually the desert I’m making for my family for Christmas lunch.

Christmas Mess

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Ingredients:

Mini Meringues (can be shop bought or home made)

Dollop Cream (or whipped cream)

Cherries

Mango

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How To:

Gather all your ingredients and some glasses to serve in. Halve cherries and remove seeds. Cut some of the halves into half again.

Slice the cheeks off the Mango then cut the mango cheeks with a cross hatch pattern and turn out. Cut off the chunks as necessary.

Break up some of the mini meringues into smaller pieces.

Take your glass and layer in ingredients. It doesn’t matter what order or how much of each element you use. Just go with what you feel looks good.

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I did these ones in very small (shot glass sized) glasses so I only used a couple of pieces of fruit, 1 meringue (broken up) and a few half tsps of cream in each glass but if you are using bigger glasses you will want to use more.

You could also change the fruit. I used cherries and mango as I love their dark red and gold colours but you could go green and red with Kiwi fruit and strawberries. Or any other summer fruit you like.

I hope you like these. Let me know if you give them a go and what fruit you used.

Lil

This weeks it’s

Christmas Movies

I love Christmas movies. I have a reasonable collection that I add to each year.  These are a few of my personal favourites.

Love Actually

Usually the first movie I watch in December. Its got a lot of cool British actors in it and a lot of funny lines. Of course you can watch it any time of year but as it counts down to Christmas its definitely on my Christmas movie list.

Miracle on 24th street

The newer one. I have the old black and white version too but the 1994 version is my favourite.  It’s a lovely story about believing and it’s a must watch for me each year.

The Polar Express

A movie with charm. Beautifully drawn and with many lovely reminders about what the season is about. As someone who hopes they will always hear the bells ring this movie will always be a favourite of mine.

The Muppet A Christmas Carol

A fun twist on a classic story. Definitely my favourite version of A Christmas Carol. With some catchy songs and some of the usual Muppet shenanigans it’s one of my families favourites.

Arthur Christmas

A fantastic look at a modernised North Pole operation but still with a focus on the spirit of the season. I love the mix of old and new and how they show the generations of Santa.  I also like the ever prepared Mrs Claus, I want to be like her some day.

So these are five of my favourite Christmas movies. There are of course many more I could have talked about.  I’d love to hear what your favourites are.

My favourite time of year has arrived, Christmas.

I love getting to see all the Christmas lights and listening to carols. I love Baking Christmas goodies for family and friends and watching  Christmas movies curled up on the couch with the fan going full ball. I love decorating the tree and wearing a different Christmas hat/accessory each day. I just love it.

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I’ve even set up some lights and a little tree at my desk at work.

I’m looking forward to getting started on my Christmas baking as soon as I have a free evening. I’m planning on making rum balls, peppermint log and possibly gingerbread spiced marshmallows.  I may make some other things as well but it all depends on how much time I have.

In other news I’m having fun doing a little bit of glam planning. I don’t remember how but one day  I stumbled upon the glam planning world on YouTube and got hooked on watching all the cool creative videos. Being the craft lover that I am I had to give it a bit of a go. It’s a fun creative outlet and I get to sort of journal a little as well which is something I’ve always wanted to do but been terrible at keeping up with it. It probbaly also helps that I’ve always loved stickers. And all manner of craft supplies for that matter.

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Speaking of craft, on to todays project.

Christmas Cards

I like getting to make my own Christmas cards. There just a little more personal.

I have two card ideas for you to try. Both are very easy to put together.

The Christmas tree card

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I got the idea for this one of Pinterest and adjusted it to work with what I had/could get.

Materials:

A5 Card

Paint colour sampler card/s

Star stickers

Washi Tape or textas

Shinny pipe cleaners

Double sided tape

Hot glue and gun

How To:

So depending on what paint colour cards you can get you hands on (I just wen to Bunnings and picked up a few) You may have to cut them slightly differently but the main theme is triangles. For single colour cards I got 3 different shades the cut them in quarters to make triangles then layered them on top of each other. For 3 (or more) shades on one card I just cut one big triangle by measuring the middle point of the card and drawing lines on the back from the middle at tone end to the edges at the other end. This will give you two trees from each card (one full triangle and two halves that can be stuck together).

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I then used double sided tape to stick the paint car to the middle of my A5 Card. You need to have a little space at the top and bottom for the tree trunk and the star on top.

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I have used a small piece Washi tape for the tree trunk in this example but on some of my other cards I just drew a brown box with texta. You could also use some other coloured paint cards cut into small rectangles and taped down.

I then placed my star sticker at the top of the tree and overhanging onto the card.

To create the ‘tinsel’ I take a shiny pipe cleaner and zig zag it along my tree to make it look like its wrapped around then I’ve used a small drop of hot glue to fasten each end to the card. I have had some limited success with double sided tape but the hot glue is definitely more secure.

You can write Merry Christmas on the front in the white space or leave it as is.

The second Idea came mostly just from what I had on hand.

Christmas Tape Card

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I have a lot of decorative tape and have recently acquired a bit of Christmas themed tape so I decided I could use it to make a cute card. You could get the same effect using strips of wrapping paper and double sided tape.

Materials:

A5 Card

Various decorative tape

Scissors

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How to:

I’ve done mine as a landscape card but you can do it portrait if you prefer.

Starting from the bottom lay down strips of tape lining the bottom to the top of the last strip (or the bottom of the card for the first strip)

Trim any excess tape from the edges of the card.

You could layer the tape in other designs I just wen for the simplest layout.

So there are two of my Christmas card ideas. If you want more you should definitely head over to Pinterest and check out the abundance of ideas there. If you have any great home made cards send me a picture or let me know how you made them.

Lil

This week it’s

My favourite Christmas treats

 

I love Christmas and I especially love the excuse to over eat. Here are some of my favourites I’ll be snacking on over the Christmas season.

Rum Balls

You just can’t go past rum balls at Christmas though they don’t have to be rum flavoured. Last year I made a number of different flavours by substituting different liqueurs or essences for a non alcoholic version.

Peppermint Log

A fond memory from Christmas parties as a kid. I finally looked up a recipe and made my own last year and they did not disappoint. Crushing up the peppermints is hard but sooo worth it in the end.

Candy Canes

I especially enjoy malting them into my hot chocolate. My favourites are of course the classic peppermint but the other flavours are nice for an afternoon sugar hit.

White Christmas

I never get around to making some myself (though once again its on my list to do this year) but I love having it at other peoples houses. It helps that I’m a fan of white chocolate.

Gingerbread

I love gingerbread. Houses, cookies, dough, It’s all good. I also really like Pfeffernüsse which are German spice cookies (that taste very much like gingerbread) coated in icing.

So these are some of my favourites, what are yours?

Does any of your family have specialties?

Lil