December Nutshell

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HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! Two whole days in to 2017 and how is it looking thus far? It's such a weird period in between Christmas and NY. The limbo of wanting to go out and be productive but the overriding will to laze around and enjoy the down time. Like most good things they have to come to an end and it's back to reality tomorrow. I am going to think positively (well try my damnedest) about going back to work properly, hitting the gym hard and getting a routine back, as well as having the energy and inclination to go at things full force and get my planning head on.

What a whirlwind December was, I think I love the lead up to Christmas most of all, filling your time with festive activities, the jolly-ness in the air (mainly fueled from mulled wine) and smells of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg coming from the kitchen.




Finally managed to have dinner at Nama, Saw Gremlins (one of my favourite movies) at the Prince Charles cinema with the actor who played Billy making an appearance, drinking the first mulled wine of December at the Southbank market.


Ice skating at Hampton Court Palace and having all the giggles, watching Elf at the winter garden, some more mulled wine 'cos Christmas.

Winter seaside visits, having spiced juices on the Bus Cafe in Margate, Christmas tree plots and exploring Broadstairs.


Going to Columbia road flower market on a very cold and early Sunday morning, Brunch at Dalloway Terrace with my Mum and Sister.

Beyond the Waterfall at Westfield, SO much fun. Little row boats, cocktails in message bottles and Merman. Magical.




Liberty on Christmas Eve Eve, The ballet slipper tree at the London Collesium and watching The Nutcracker ballet.




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CHRISTMAS BAKES: MY GO-TO VEGAN GINGERBREAD RECIPE

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 Ingredients
125g dairy-free butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
4 Tbsp golden syrup
325g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 170°c and line one or two baking trays with grease proof paper.

2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan, stirring occasinaly, then when all is melted together into a treacle like substance remove from the heat.

3. Sieve the flour, bicarb and ginger into a bowl and stir in the melted warm ingredients into the dry.

4. Once all is combined into a biscuit dough, leave to cool down in the bowl.

5. Turn out some of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Use your choice of cookie cutters (I love my ebay reindeer buy!) and place your biscuit shapes onto the baking trays and bake in batches for 8-10 minutes until light golden brown and allow to cool fully before icing.




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CHRISTMAS BAKES: GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES

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With only 12 sleeps until Christmas eve, the baking game is getting serious. This recipe is quick and easy and the smell alone will have you transported to all things festive.

Ingredients
100ml Dairy free milk (I used unsweetened almond)
150g Dairy free butter
250g Light brown sugar
250g Self-raising flour
1-2 tsp Ginger

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 180°c (or 160° for fan assisted) and line a muffin or cupcake tray.

2. Sieve together the flour, sugar and ginger. Melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients along with the dairy free milk.

3. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden.

4. Lastly transfer to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.

5. To decorate I used Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting (which is vegan) or make your own easy buttercream using butter and icing sugar and then sprinkle with a small amount of ground ginger. I bought these cute little gingerbread decorations from Hobby Craft but these sprinkle ones are just as cute or even make your own little gingerbread decorations (recipe coming soon!)





Do you know what else is a really bloomin' lovely combination with ginger? orange! If you fancy this recipe with a zesty touch then all you need to do is zest and juice one orange, and whilst your prepping the rest of the ingredients set aside the soya milk with the juice in for 2-5 minutes and add the zest to the dry ingredients. 


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