Secrets to a country Christmas

I have always loved the idea of Christmas, the decorating, cooking wonderful foods with my Mum and younger brother, covering my dogs in tinsel and getting glitter all over the house. For today’s blog you can find cosy recipes below for Christmas treats and a few ideas of crafting and things you can do over the holidays!

I10428414_740455142709438_5120091410953324010_n (1) am really excited about Christmas this year as it is my first ‘adult’ Christmas in my own house with Jon and Walter and we have already started making our own decorations, sorting out presents and just getting everything ready.

This year I have found myself even more in the spirit of things, most likely from having Scandinavian friends visit a few weeks ago as we talked about snow, cosy jumpers and snuggled under blankets and watched movies. It’s probably fair to say that all families have their own Christmas traditions and ideas of what makes the perfect holiday.

Because life can be stressful and full of hustle and bustle on a daily basis, it’s really nice that we all find a few days a year where we can have lots of fun and relax together, Christmas being one of them. I usually tend to plan Christmas gifts throughout the year and get things when I see them, but this year I’ve been so preoccupied with other things I haven’t managed to do this.

For Christmas this year I will be going back to the country and spending it with my family and Jon’s family which is always a real delight.

Christmas foods

Christmas CakeMini-Christmas-cakes

This is something I personally don’t like the taste of, but always try to make. When I lived back in the countryside I made mini ones and decorated them with icing flowers, wrapped them in cellophane and gave them away as gifts.

Coconut ice

coconut-ice-round-2-024Making this is so much fun and I’ve grown to really enjoy the taste of it over the years! It’s also super easy and a great way to add a treat to the Christmas nibbles throughout the day! It is also quite a festive thing for me, as my mum taught me to make this at Christmas as a child and it’s become an unwritten tradition for us.

Peppermint creams 0048d1a20d1df4e02dc5e09a0e0c6eec

I could sit eating these little sugary things all day, but they are made with icing sugar and peppermint oil (and not much else!) They’re simply divine, and perfect to give out with coffee after a large Christmas roast dinner.

Stained glass cookiesdaeaa02ddfc930f697b06e4a077286e9

These are really fun for kids to make and really yummy too! I’ve got a crown, butterfly and Christmas tree I like to decorate with these every year. They’re incredibly elegant and are something you can also create to hang on the Christmas tree. If you make a little hole in the dough before popping it in the oven you can tie a ribbon through it and watch it glisten on the tree as the colours dance about the room. Beware though, dogs and Lucys are fond of these and they wont last long!

Christmas Crafts

Felting 

oYou don’t have to be an expert to felt. A few years ago my Mum and a family friend and her daughter decided that we wanted to have a go at it! I had bought my Mum some felting kits from a trip I took away, she bought the special needles and the others provided refreshments and glittery things to add-on to our creations. We made some Christmas angels and I think they looked quite spectacular.

Decorations 

Newpinecone-b19-c5You can make Christmas decorations out of almost anything really. You can make them out of leaves, holly, pinecones and branches. A great way to glitz them up is to sprinkle them with glitter and spray them with silver or gold spray. I also like to make dough or clay decorations to hang on the tree or give away as gifts. These are very cheap and easy to make and I find make Christmas that little bit more unique.

 

Knitting 

basket-of-yarn-wilma-birdwellI have to confess, this isn’t something I am very patient with. I always give it a go at Christmas and almost always give up. My Mum and friend Kaja however are very good at this and often knit me beautiful things! I have the cutest head warmer from Kaja and some wonderful jumpers from my Mum. If it is something you are good at, I would suggest knitting some socks for friends and wrapping them with a ribbon. You can knit pretty much anything. Just don’t knit underwear or a swimsuit for someone they won’t appreciate that.

If you would like any recipes please just ask, I am always happy to share! Keep an eye out for some more cosy blogs from me and have a lovely weekend X

 

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Homely hygge

Home is a very important word. It can mean a variation of things to different people at different times. It can be used to describe objects, places and people alike.

For me home is where I feel myself, relaxed and happy. Often somewhere I kick back in my pyjamas and drink tea!

I use it to describe where I grew up, where I had my bedroom, my parents and where my family live. But I also use it to describe my own flat with Jon our little home together.

With that in mind, I have found I bake a lot at home. I enjoy those little home comforts especially around winter, as I’m sure you do too!

The last few weeks I’ve baked: blueberry muffins, cookies, biscuits, cinnamon bread, bread and butter pudding along with roast dinners and soup!

I wanted to share my most recent bake with you to try at home. It’s very easy and a great way to use up the sandwich bread after a week of work.

Cinnamon bread and butter pudding

Ingredients and utensils you will need to make this along with the method:

Utensils:

  1. Deep stoneware (rectangular dish)
  2. Bowl
  3. Fork
  4. Knife
  5. Measuring jug
  6. Tbsp / tsp measures
  7. Oven / dragon

Ingredients:

  1. Butter / vegan spread (for the bread)
  2. 10 slices of bread preferably white
  3. 2 free range eggs or ‘no egg’
  4. 1tsp Cinnamon
  5. Half a tsp of Nutmeg
  6. 1 and a half cups of Milk / soy milk
  7. 3 tbsp of Golden caster sugar

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6 / 180degrees.

The first thing I always do is butter up the bread. I like to make sure it’s buttered up to the sides and thinly spread as this is a very calorific dish, so I do my best not to add to it!

When that is done, cut the bread into triangles or leave it how it is and start to layer up the stoneware dish however you like!

After the first layer has been placed, (butter-side up) sprinkle a tsp of caster sugar and 1/4 cinnamon on it. Repeat this until complete (You can always add a sprinkle of raisins or fruit in here, but I like it plain)!

Next you need to mix the eggs and milk together. I tend to do this with a fork in a bowl. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix! When that is done pour it evenly across the bread making sure it is all soaked in. Don’t worry if you have some left over. You’ll notice once the bread absorbs it. You’ll have space to pour the rest on.

Finally sprinkle the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on the top making it look all pretty and sparkle! Leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 15/20 minutes or until golden. It will probably puff up. Don’t worry this is normal.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.

Feeling all ‘koselige and hygge’

It’s become a huge thing in England to reach out to our Scandinavian friends and steal a little of their lifestyle and make our homes that little bit more cosy and who can blame us! Hygge isn’t a word that translates into English well, but I think it’s a great word relatable to England, a healthy good for the soul word and one we should embrace this Christmas!

Hygge: The art of creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.

The last two weeks I’ve had my Scandinavian friends visiting and it’s just reminded me how much I love those cosy evenings at home, hot chocolate and blankets, hot water bottles and lots of fresh muffins readily available! Our snowy cinnamon scented friends across the water really have it sussed and make the most of their dark winters by bringing the sunshine indoors and creating a cosy little space for friends and family to soak up!

A few weeks ago I bought myself a book on ‘Hygge’ which is ironic as I had been a bit uppity about them before. How can a book really help you make your house more cosy? I’ve been to Scandinavia countless times and each time I have come away with new ideas, a warm heart, (candles) and recipes to try at home. I love visiting my friends in their home countries, so much I decided to create a koselige and hygge atmosphere in my own home.

To get us into the spirt of autumn and more importantly, Christmas, I have decided to share with you all over the next week some of my own hygge tips and tricks inspired by my extended Scandinavian family. This will include: the most wonderful blueberry muffin recipe, the best candles and where to find them, crafts you can do at home, and how to hygge your house on a budget. I am also very happy to take any suggestions, so if you want to know more about ‘dressing hygge’ or other recipes to try (such as my apple bread), just leave me a comment and I will see what I can do.

To keep up-to-date with me, follow me on Instagram where you will find lots of photos and advice on leading a happy and fulfilling life.

have a wonderful day and I look forward to welcoming you back here soon.

Love Lucy X