Festive Calendar

Salted caramel rum hot chocolate

Alison’s Salted Caramel Rum Hot Chocolate

  This alcoholic blend is made with dulce de leche – a thick caramel. Add salt to your liking then serve up a mug of pure boozy bliss. Makes: 1 Time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 25ml dark rum 2 tsp dulce de leche or thick caramel 150ml whole milk 50g milk chocolate, chopped Method: In a small bowl, mix together the rum and the dulce de leche until smooth then set aside. Warm the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and stir until melted. Pop the pan back on the heat…

Classic Christmas Pudding

Melissa’s Classic Christmas Pudding

  Makes: Two 1.2 Litre/2 Pint Puds (Each Serves 8) Time: Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 8 hours, plus 1 hour cooking on the day Ingredients (for the pudding): 50g blanched almond 2 large Bramley cooking apple 200g box candied peel (in large pieces) or all citron if you can find it 1 whole nutmeg (you’ll use three quarters of it) 1kg raisin 140g plain flour 100g soft fresh white breadcrumb 100g light muscovado sugar, crumbled if it looks lumpy 3 large egg 2 tbsp brandy or cognac, plus extra to flame 250g packet butter taken straight from the fridge Ingredients (For the brandy and ginger butter): 175g unsalted butter softened Grated zest of half an orange…


James’ Gluhwein

  Ingredients: 1 litre bottle cheap red wine 30z/75g sugar (to taste) 1 tsp whole cloves 1 tsp ground cinnamon or stick cinnamon Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon Method: Pour wine into a saucepan and add remaining ingredients (you can put whole spices in muslin). Heat until nearly boiling and strain (if necessary) into a warm bowl. Serve warm.

National Trust Days Out

Julian’s National Trust Days Out

  We all need some exercise to work off the excesses while enjoying the local beautiful countryside: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionnorthwest/north-west You can purchase annual memberships from the National Trust to enjoy quality time with your family in 2017!


Kelly’s Panettone Recipe

  This is the Italian answer to Christmas cake. A lovely textured, citrus infused cake or bread that will satiate an appetite for something sweet and delicate to accompany tea or coffee. For this recipe you will need 3 baking-safe panettone paper moulds. Be sure to use paper moulds that are intended for baking. Makes: 1 – 3 LOAVES Ingredients: 5 tablespoons warm water (45 C) 2 (7g) sachets dried active baking yeast 500g plain flour 125ml warm milk 125g caster sugar 4 eggs 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 12 tablespoons unsalted butter 325g mixed glace fruits 2…


Denise’s Make Your Own Wreath

  The one thing I do every year is create my own wreaths. One for my front door and the other for my Dad’s grave. I know this may seem a bit grim but it makes me feel good and helps me reflect. I usually buy fresh flowers and get the foliage/holly from my garden.

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Rachel’s Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

  Want something easy to make for over the Festive period? This slow cooker mulled wine is perfect! Throw all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and you’re done. It’s that simple! Makes: 6 cups Time: 35 minutes Ingredients: 1 cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves 1 satsuma, peeled and separated into segments Several large chunks of lemon peel 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthwise ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated 5 litres red wine (2 bottles) – plus more if required. To decorate: Honey Gold edible glitter Method: Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on medium for a minimum of…


10 ways to refresh in the new year

10 ways to refresh in the New Year 1. Reset your problem-solving: Take a walk. The basic act of going on a walk can bring so many positive benefits to your life. Getting outside and walking increases your brain function and is linked to improvement in mood and is a great way to boost your overall health. 2. Reset your anxious thoughts: Learn to meditate. With each passing year, the list of meditation benefits grows longer and longer. Expect better mood, better sleep, and a stronger immune system as well as lower blood pressure and stress levels. A daily meditation…

Xmas Day Muffins

Lisa’s Xmas Day Muffins

  I agree with Nigella when she says that a big breakfast is way too much on Xmas Day – which is why we prefer her muffins!! I make the batter the night before & cook them fresh in the morning! Makes: 12 Ingredients: 250 g plain flour 2½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 100 g caster sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or good grating of fresh nutmeg) 2 clementines (or satsumas) 125 ml full fat milk 75 ml vegetable oil (or melted butter left to cool slightly) 1 large egg 175 g dried…

Christmas Ideas

Karen’s Christmas Ideas

  I think a hardback book is a great gift. There’s lots of choice at this time of year and sure to be something that would appeal to whoever you are buying for. You can add some chocolates and their favourite tipple to a basket as well for a cozy night in hamper. When the time comes relax and enjoy! Whether it be precious time with your family or a well earned rest, make the most of it! For those that you think have everything, have a look for experiences instead. I’ve had great success with theatre tickets as gifts…


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