Friday, 11 December 2015

baked festive favourites


I have a confession to make, much like Zeke from High School Musical, I love to bake! Not as fancy dishes as Zeke, but biscuits and cakes. And when it comes to Christmas time my favourite thing to bake is gingerbread biscuits. Okay, so I usually prefer to make these men and women, but I forgot to bring my cookie cutters when I moved out so had to make do with circles. The recipe I use for these delicious baked goods is a modified version of one I found online forever ago. I've kept it written in a notebook for so long. You can find it below should you want to recreate these amazing treats.

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour (you can use a little extra to roll them out or just use grease-proof paper like I did) 
  • 1 tsp bicarb 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp group cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (optional, but super tasty)
  • a pinch of allspice (also optional, but great if you like Christmassy spices) 
  • 125g butter/margarine 
  • 175g light brown sugar (don't forget to put this in like I almost did!)
  • 1 egg
  • 4tbsp golden syrup 
Prep
  1. Sift together all your dry ingredients (excluding sugar) in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the butter and blend together using your hands until the mix looks similar to breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor for this step, but as I don't have one I just use my fingers. 
  3. Now stir in the sugar.
  4. In a separate dish, combine the egg and golden syrup together before adding it to the mixing bowl. Mix in with a wooden spoon until it begins clumps together. 
  5. This is the part where I usually stick my hands in to speed up the process. 
  6. Following this knead the dough until smooth and wrap in cling film (if you don't have cling film grease-proof paper works just as well) and leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. You can leave it longer if you wish. 
  7. Roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thickness either on a flat surface with flour or grease-proof paper. Use your cutter of choice and place them on the tray leaving slight gaps between each. 
  8. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line your tray with grease-proof paper. 
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes. I usually set a timer for 12 and leave them in longer if needed. 
  10. Finally, let the treats cool down and then decorate. 

I'm not very artistic and failed to pick up icing on my trip to Asda so mine are bare and boring but taste just as good. I swear! I hope you all enjoy making these delicious treats! 

P.s. They go great with a mug of chai tea latte or your favourite coffee based drinks!



  • Chloe 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

december music picks


I'm writing this at midnight, wide awake and plugged into my headphones. Music is a major part of my life, whether I'm feeling happy, sad or angry, there's a playlist perfect for my mood. Spotify has definitely made my life a lot easier, nearly any song I could possibly imagine at the click of a button. Discovering new artists is one of my favourite aspects of the streaming app. At the click of a button you can explore similar tracks to the one you've so greatly enjoyed. This is how I've spent my evening. Listening to track after track trying to find my latest favourite track. 

If you like RHODES try giving Matt Wills a listen. In particular his song "Ellie Grab Your Gun". Wills gives the same sort of indie vibe that RHODES does, just a little softer. Not to be biased or anything but he also has a track called "ChloĆ©" and its so beautiful and not because I share my name with it. Just saying that this guys voice is absolutely captivating. I am so in love with him right now. 

Fan of Tom Odell, George Ezra or Ed Sheeran? Give Jamie Lawson a listen. His songs are heartbreakingly beautiful and perfect if you're looking for an easy listen. And if you're like me you'll be able to relate to his music so easily, it's almost scary. It's easy just to close your eyes and enjoy the lyrics. 

Do you enjoy music from the likes of Ben Howard and Gabrielle Aplin? Well Lewis Watson is the man for you. To me, Watson isn't a new discovery but a long time favourite. His debut album was released a year ago and it's nothing short of perfect. He's a lovely man singing about lovely things. My favourite song of his is "Stones Around the Sun".

All the artists mentioned are available in the playlist below! 


Chloe

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

festive films favourites


As I mentioned in my previous post, I absolutely adore Christmas. It's definitely my favourite time of year, so how better to celebrate the holidays than with festive films! If you're like me and love Christmas I'm sure you have a list of your favourite festive movies and you watch them every single year right? Of course you do! So here's my list of movies that I watch every single Christmas! 

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - This has got to be all time favourite Christmas movie. I love the Muppets at the best of times but even more so during the festive period. There's just something about these fellas that make me ever so happy. It's also my favourite adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Maybe because the Muppets make it more fun and musical? I'm not sure I just love it. 

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) - I've watched this every Christmas for as long as I can remember. It's such a heart warming film and I cry every single time I watch it. I loved Mara Wilson when I was younger and I think she captures the role of Susan so well. 100% wish that Santa was real. Richard Attenborough will always be my favourite portrayal of Santa.  

Home Alone (1990) - It seems to be a tradition for everyone to watch this every year. Let's be honest though, it's a terrible movie. But I guess that's what makes it so good? I recently watched a video on YouTube which diagnoses all the injuries that Harry and Marv suffered from which made watching the film even funnier because there's no way the pair would have survived all of these pains! You can watch the video here


The Santa Claus (1994) - Tim Allen is my second favourite Santa. Imagine your dad became Santa Claus??? Amazing right!? This film actually makes me slightly angry and upset, and Neil is my least favourite character ever until he realises that Charlie was telling the truth about his dad being Santa. Also wish that Bernard was my best friend because that is one seriously cool dude! 

Jack Frost (1998) - Another one that makes me cry like a baby. I used to watch this film all the time as a child and it never effected me in the way it does today. Why would they make a Christmas film so sad and soul destroying?!?!?! Of course I love it because it's a really beautiful way of telling the story but oh how my heart hurts after watching it.

Elf (2003) - Son of a Nutcracker! Did you think I wouldn't mention this? Saved the best for last didn't I? Will Ferrell's portrayal of Buddy the Elf is one of the greatest things I've ever seen. This film just makes me so jolly and it doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I still laugh my head off at it. In fact I'm off to go watch it right now!

All in all, it seems that I'm a bit of a crybaby when it comes to watching festive films. I just get so overwhelmed #lame. I hope you all are having a lovely week! 

Chloe

Monday, 7 December 2015

christmas time


It's that time of year again where I really want to get back into blogging because of all the Christmas posts that are going about the blogosphere. Christmas is my favourite time of the year, it's just so jolly and it makes me happy. I love giving my friends and family thoughtful gifts and cards and just spending time with my family. It's the one time of the year where I can forget about work and uni and just have a good time with everyone that I love. I really just wanted to check in with you all and let you know that I'm still alive even though posts have been super scarce this year, I have no idea how people find the time to blog when they have jobs and uni. It amazes me! Anyway I hope you all have a fab christmas and hopefully I'll find my mojo and be back soon.

Chloe