Christmas Treat

This Christmas it was my turn to be in charge of the desserts. I love doing this for my family, and each year I want to get more creative.

I decided to go for a traditional apple crumble for Christmas Eve, and then a Pavlova for Christmas Day. Truth be told this was my first time ever making Pavlova, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, and even more about how easy it was to make.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

HOW TO: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper. Using a pencil, place a large dinner plate onto the paper and trace the circumference.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
  3. Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven until room temperature.

TO TOP IT OFF:

I whipped up one large pot of double cream and spooned the mixture onto the centre of the pavlova. I decided to go a little different with the topping and add a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and add a drizzle of a fruit coulis- I was in Sainsbury’s the night before so I picked up the Mango & Passionfruit Coulis- which surprisingly went really well!

The thing I love about Pavlova is that you can get creative and add a variety of different toppings, and at the end of the day it will still look amazing!

 

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A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

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They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

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I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

 

 

Mystery Blogger Award

I love blog award nominations! I think they’re such a fun way to connect with other bloggers and channel a little bit of your personality into your blog. I was kindly nominated for the ‘Mystery Blogger Award’ by Fun Fashion Freedom , thank you so much!

The “Mystery Blogger Award” was started by  Enigma, which is a good initiative for all those bloggers who are starting out.

I’ve nominated 5 lovely bloggers at the end of this post.

Rules: 

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

9. Share a link to your best post(s).

3 Things About Myself: 

1. I’m addicted to peppermint tea!

2. I’m Scottish and Canadian- I was born in Scotland and my Mum is Canadian. I lived in Canada for several years when I was younger as well.

3. My favourite musicals have to be South Pacific or Mama Mia.

5 Questions from my nominee: 

  1. What are your future goals for your blog?

I’d love to keep writing about things that I enjoy. I hope to share more of my own recipes for baking, branch out into fitness as I’m on my own fitness journey, and write more reviews on a wider variety of beauty products.

  1. What is the funniest incident that has ever happened with you?

This was a tough one! Probably because any funny incidents that have happened to me I try to forget because they’re so embarrassing!

  1. Name your favourite movie.

Dirty Dancing, hands down!

  1. What is the first thing you would do if you were a guy/girl?

Pee standing up! How efficient would that be? Hahah!

  1. Name the colour which aptly describes you.

Probably my favourite colour, pink!

5 Questions for my nominees: 

  1. Are you a cat or a dog person?
  2. Top 3 Netflix/TV series?
  3. If you were stranded on a desert island, what one beauty product would you have?
  4. What is your favourite Disney film?
  5. Do you have any nicknames?

Best Posts: 

  1. My Malteser Cake Recipe (seriously so yummy!)
  2. Toronto Blog 
  3. NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick Review 

Nominees: 

  1. Rachel’s Wardrobe 
  2. The Fabulush
  3. Lushtivity 
  4. Clare Evans 
  5. Quite Simply Stella 

 

Thank you again Fun Fashion Freedom for my nomination!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 3-Little Grandma’s Shortbread Recipe

Day 3 is a special family recipe that I’m going to share with you. I’m sure lots of families will have the same tradition of baking a batch of these at any time of year, but especially during Christmas time. My family call it whipped shortbread, but I also find they are quite like sugar cookies, so call them what you like!

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Ingredients 

3 cups softened butter 

1 1/2 cups icing sugar – sifted 

4 1/2 cups flour 

1 1/2 cups corn starch

Coloured Sprinkles (I used red ones) and/or Candied Cherries for decoration 

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Method 

Pre heat oven to 180°c.

Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper. 

The key to getting this dough right is making sure all the ingredients are whipped for a long period of time, and ensuring all the icing sugar is mixed well from the bottom of the bowl. 

Whip up the icing sugar and softened butter until very fluffy. Slowly add in the corn starch bit by bit while still mixing, followed by the flour until well blended. 

Once the dough is formed, lightly dust your hands with corn starch and roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them evenly spread out on the baking sheet. 

Dust a fork in flour a gently press onto the top of the dough. Either top with sprinkles or candied cherries. 

Allow to bake for around 22 minutes- checking regularly. 

Remove from the oven and allow the shortbread to cool before sharing! 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2-Chocolate Chip Snowballs

I like to describe this recipe as a chocolate chip cookie with a festive twist! They are very simple to make. Give them a go, and let me know what you think.

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Ingredients 

2 cups sifted flour 

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter 

1/2 cup sugar 

1 egg

1 cup chopped nuts (I used chopped pecans) 

1 cup chocolate chips 

Powdered/Icing sugar 

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Method

Pre-heat oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Sift the flour and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the egg and mix well. Blend in the flour and salt mixture, along with the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. 

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and spread them evenly onto the baking sheet. 

Bake the cookies for around 15-20 minutes. 

Once baked, remove from oven and let them cool. Once cool, roll the cookies in powdered/icing sugar.

 

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