I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Burlap Reindeer

Here's a fun little Christmas craft!

Take burlap and cut it into a triangle shape. I used the stuff they sell at the hardware store to wrap your shrubs with in the winter. 

Two large white pompoms and two small black pompoms make the eyes, with a shiny red one for the nose.

Alternatively you could use felt or paper cutouts or googly eyes.

Once you have all the parts glue-gunned on, hang Rudolph by pinning two clothespins for antlers to wherever you like. 

Here we've got him pinned to a string of lights.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Super Easy Fruitcake

Fruitcake...you either love it or hate it, right?
If you love it then you have got to try this recipe!  Basically just 4 ingredients needed. (3 if you use self-rising flour)
1 kg dried fruit
2  1/3 cups orange juice
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder 

So these are your basic ingredients with which you can produce a lovely fruitcake.

I used a small container each of dried citrus peel and candied pineapple. then equal parts sultana raisins, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to total 1 kg.

Mix the dried fruit with orange juice in a large bowl.
I replaced 1/3 cup of orange juice with rum and added 4-5 drops of angostura bitters.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Mix the flour and baking powder together and stir into the dried fruit mixture until just combined. I added 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp allspice to the flour mixture before combining. 

Spoon into a parchment lined 8 X 8" baking tin. The tin will be COMPLETELY full. 

Bake at 320F for 2 hours.  A cake tester should come out clean.

Then turn off the oven and leave cake in for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool in pan on rack. While still warm you may want to brush the top with rum.

You don't want to try and remove it from the pan until it is really almost completely cooled.

O...M...G...I can't believe how easy this was!

Once cold it slices perfectly

The original recipe called for chocolate milk instead of orange juice, but apparently the liquid can be also subbed with pineapple or mango juice or even black tea.

I know I rambled on about the ingredients but here is what I used:

1 kg mixed dried fruit and nuts
2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup rum (plus more for brushing)
4-5 drop angostura bitters
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Adapted from: https://thelinkssite.com/2016/07/22/3-ingredient-fruit-cake

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Slice

These classic slice and bake cookies take only a few minutes to prepare.

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup well chopped dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixer, beat butter until fluffy then gradually add the icing sugar. Next add the zest and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture in 2 or 3 additions and mix until well combined.

Finally add the cranberries and walnuts, then roll the dough into 2 logs about 12-15" long,  1/4" in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours. 

Time to sit back and relax with a tall cold glass of eggnog!

(You can even freeze this dough, just defrost 10 minutes on counter before using.)

When you're ready to bake simply slice logs into cookies 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Place one inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes or just until edges are a little golden.

Makes 50 cookies

Adapted from: http://www.thebakingchocolatess.com/holiday-cranberry-orange-chocolate-chip-shortbread-cookies

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Turtle Shortbread

Gotta say I am pretty happy with the way these turned out...just like the Betty Crocker recipe!
Hmm, I love Turtles!

1/2 cup sugar
1  1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
3  1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
36 caramels
1  1/2 tsps milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsps shortening
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
6 dozen pecan or walnut halves

Cream sugar, butter and almond extract together. 
Mix flour and salt together and add to the butter mixture. Make a ball and cut it into 12 wedges, then roll each wedge into a 1/4" thick circle. Cut each circle into 6 triangles.
Place on a parchment lined sheet 1 inch apart and bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

In a double boiler melt caramels on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add 1  1/2 tsp of milk. (As you use the caramel it may start to thicken. Try to keep it warm and add 1/2 tsps of milk at a time as needed)

Dip two sides of the triangles in the caramel then in chopped nuts. Set back on parchment lined sheet.

OMG they're already starting to look like the one's in the original recipe!!

Microwave chocolate chips and shortening on high for 1 minute. Stir then return for 30 second increments until it can be stirred smooth.

Drop a small dollop of chocolate in the middle of the cookie and gently press a nut half on top.

Once the nuts have all been placed spoon the balance of the chocolate into a small plastic bag, snip a corner off and drizzle over each cookie.

This recipes makes 72 cookies!

Store in an airtight container. (Hide them if you have to!)

Adapted from an original Betty Crocker recipe  

Monday, December 11, 2017

Traditional Spiced Orange Pomander

I remember making these when I was young(er)
The smell evokes memories of Christmases past.

All you need is an orange, some whole cloves and a piece of ribbon. Press the cloves into the orange. If you are more artistic than I you can make pretty patterns with them. When tying the string you may want to secure it with a straight pin.

Place in a bowl or plate and with good air circulation they should last up to a week giving your room a festive scent,

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Depression Cake

Originally developed during the Great Depression because of it's affordability since milk, eggs and butter were hard to get. Not only is it a great budget dessert but it's also a good dessert for people with allergy issues.

1  1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water

2 tbsps margarine
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda and set aside.

Mix vanilla, white vinegar, oil and water together then combine with the dry ingredients.

Pour into a parchment lined 8 X 8" baking pan. 
Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.

Cool in the pan then turn out and peel off the parchment.

Melt margarine in a saucepan then stir in the cocoa. Then in a mixer bowl combine with the icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat for 5 minutes.

Spread the love and enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cake Mix Graham Coffee Cake

Whip this up in no time. Great for potlucks!

1 - 432g (15 oz) golden cake mix

Crumb mix:
1  1/2 cups graham crumbs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1  1/2 tsps cinnamon
2/3 cup melted butter or marg

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk

Start by preparing the cake mix as directed on the package and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the crumb mix ingredients.

Grease a 13 X 9" baking dish and pour 1/2 the cake batter in. Sprinkle 1/2 the crumb mix on top then spoon on the rest of the batter. Top with the remaining crumb mix.

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, then let cool. 
I went back to unpacking Christmas decorations while I waited.

Mix the icing sugar and milk together and drizzle over top. That's it!

Original recipe: