Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Away WithOut Leave

Sorry for the dire lack of posts in the past few weeks, I know this is very shoddy behaviour and I shall be giving myself a very harsh talking to.  I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and have an even better new year, I'll be spending NYE as I do every year; with a middle aged man and a piano (Jools Holland)  and there's a box of choccy's and a bottle of bucks fizz in the fridge with my name on it, although my dad and mum are already taking bets as to whether or not I actually make it til midnight without falling asleep. Whatever your doing have a lovely time, and I'll see you all in the new year :)

Photo Via

Katie-Boo k

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Mulled Wine Lovely-ness

When I was at uni I was something of a drunken sot, but since leaving I rarely drink if at all, apart from two exceptions; Eggnog and Mulled Wine.
I know a lot of people don't like Eggnog because of the raw egg element, and it's not a traditional or popular a drink in the UK as it is in the US.
If eggnog isn't your thing, you can't go wrong with mulled wine, there's something about warmed wine that has an almost sedative like quality, I've missed many a Christmas day film after a glass or two of the mulled stuff only to wake up during the closing credits.
You can buy bottles of ready made mulled wine, which I think are overpriced (depending on where you get them from, Sainsbury's do a reasonably priced bottle) but in the spirit of all things homemade I thought I'd post my recipe for homemade mulled wine.  If like me, normal red wine makes your mouth pucker a bit then this recipe is a winner because you can add more or less of the basic ingredients to cater to your own tastes.

  • 1 Bottle of red wine (doesn't have to be particularly expensive, I'm not an expert on wines, so I would suggest just buy something that's not stupidly cheap or wildly pricey).
  • 2-3 Tbsp's of brandy
  • 125ml Orange juice (no bits!)
  • 2-3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 Tsp's of runny honey
  • 1 Tbsp dark, soft sugar (muscovado sugar works well)
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 Orange cut into quarters and pierced each with a clove or two
  • Throw the whole lot in a big saucepan and heat through until the mixture almost comes to the boil (do not boil it!).
  • Give it a good stir and strain the mulled mixture to get rid of the orange and cinnamon etc. 
  • Keep the strained mulled wine over a low heat to keep it warm. 
  • Ladle into mulled wine glasses (if your posh), tumblers if your not.
  • enjoy with a mince pie and try not to gulp the whole lot down yourself, I wouldn't like to think I'm responsible for anyone being reckless while under the influence of mulled wine so drink responsibly my lovelies and not on an empty stomach!
Picture is unfortunately not one of my own, but from the BBC food site.

The Ghosts of Christmas' Past

I'm a stickler for tradition, especially Christmas tradition and rituals. I don't embrace change at the best of times and I refuse to veer from the Christmas schedule that I have followed forever and there are certain things that must be done in our household in order for my Christmas experience to be complete, for example: every year I put the baubles on the Xmas  tree (despite my mum directing my hand), presents from my parents to me cannot be put under the tree until I'm tucked up in bed on Christmas eve, and The Muppet Christmas Carol has to be watched at full volume while I add my dulcet tones to every song.
Everyone has their own Christmas traditions and things that they do, such as going to midnight mass, and my traditions are pretty much the same, except instead of singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, I can be found on the sofa with a box of Milk Tray on my lap singing 'There goes Mr.Humbug, there goes Mr.Grim..' whilst watching Micheal Caine being chased round Dickensian London by Rizzo and Gonzo.
Many apologies for being a naughty blogger and not posting for a week, every time I sat down to type up a post inspiration didn't come, my imagination was officially barren. On the plus side, the time I would usually use for blogging I utilised for finishing all my handmade pressies, wrapping things and seeing friends. I also had a pre Xmas pick me up in the form of my b12 jab, and my doctor gave me the gift of a repeat prescription, which upon collection from the pharmacy would have been easier to transport on a sleigh hitched up with a twelve strong team of huskies.
the best thing about Christmas this year is that my oldest and bestest friend Anna has moved back home permanently and shes literally a stones throw from my house (well, depending on how far you could throw a stone) which is ace, I can envisage 2011 being spent on her sofa watching an endless steam of DVDs and eating salted popcorn. It'll be nice to have her home where I can keep an eye on her!
Unfortunately I didn't have enough photos to warrant doing A week in Pictures on Sunday, so I thought I'd leave it until next week and then it can be A Fortnight in Pictures and I will have amassed a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Hello to the lovelies who have added themselves as followers in the past week, thank-you so much for reading, I hope you like it here!
I know my posts haven't been very recipe heavy recently, the recipes that I'm doing over Christmas I haven't got pictures for, so I was going to wait until I had taken some pictures and then I'd post the recipes. I'm doing Eggnog cream deserts for Christmas Day and on Boxing Day I'm doing a fail safe Jewish cheesecake, I L.O.V.E cheesecake. I've also got a yummy recipe for sticky plum chicken which I think your going to love which I will put up on Christmas eve.
Before I go to do today's recipe, here's some festive bits and bobs that I'm loving at the moment.

Aurora Borealis Via Flickr always reminds me on Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials books

Lily Flame do the loveliest smelling candles, I already have Blush and it's scrummy
Christmas Day with the Warry's many moons ago
Nigella's Rocky Road
How cute is this X-mas pudding from KatesMakes?

Katie-Boo k

Sunday, 12 December 2010

I ♥ Mince Pie's

An ability to produce homemade mince pie's is a skill in other people that I greatly admire, and at the start of the year I decided I wanted to be one of these clever people and endeavoured to make my very own mince pies, from scratch, from the pastry to the mincemeat, every last bit of it would be made by my own fair hands. I talked about the hitch I had with the mincemeat, but luckily I found a Gluten-Free mincemeat recipe (god bless Nigella) which I made at the very start of November, and finally this week I decided the time was right to unite mince with pie and bake a batch. Now, while I used my own pastry for the first batch, I wanted to test the Dietary Specials roll out pastry (which is AMAZING by the way and everyone should buy it) so the pictures here are with the ready made pastry. Should you want to make your own pastry click here for the amounts, ingredients and method. I really won't blame you if you want to use the ready made stuff, pastry, especially gluten free pastry is a colossal ball ache, throw in the pressures and tensions of Xmas you might be hitting the mulled wine at 10am.

Makes 32 pies
  • Home made or ready made pastry.
  • Jar of home made or shop bought mince meat (if your buying in remember to check the label for gluten)
  • 1-2 Tsp's icing sugar
  • 1-2 Tsp's cinnamon
  • I Egg
  • Round and star or heart cutters
  • 12 Hole cake tray
  • Whack your oven up high to Gas 7.
  • Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with some plain gluten free flour and roll out your pastry, fairly thin but not drastically so, if you can see your boyfriend through it when you hold it up its probably a tad too thin.
  • Cut out 12 rounds with your circular cutter, (I usually use a medium sized tumbler) and then mould gently into the holes of your cupcake tray, don't be too over zealous moulding them in or it will be nigh on impossible trying to take them out once they're cooked.
  • Next spoon around a teaspoon and a half of your mincemeat mix into the pastry rounds you've just moulded.
  • If you want your mince pies to have 'lids' you'll need to cut our a further 12 rounds and 'glue' them into place with some egg wash. If your making heart of star topped mince pies then cut out 12 of whichever your making and gently place them on top of your mincemeat, giving the a brush with your egg wash.
  • Pop in the oven for about 10minutes, I find the ready made pastry doesn't take quite as long as the homemade kind, and will burn quickly if you don't keep an eye on it, so keep checking your pies every now and then.
  • As soon as they're cooked take them out of the oven and then remove the pies from the tray straight away, if you don't they'll carry on cooking in the tray, and burn and go all horrible and bitter and you don't want that now do you?
  • When the pies are cooled sprinkle with a little bit of icing sugar and weeny bit of cinnamon. 
  • Enjoy with an Eggnog while you write your Christmas cards and misspell the same persons name 4 times and have to rewrite the card again. And again.
Katie-Boo k

    A Week in Pictures

    ♥ End result of The Jam Saga, easily the most irritated I've been in my life. Maybe.
    ♥ The Boyf's presents ready and waiting to be posted.
    ♥ Christmas candles.
    ♥ Lunch at Ha Ha Bar Brighton.
    ♥ Tags for my homemade presents.
    ♥ Miniature Christmas tree which was once my Mum's.
    ♥ Sainsburys' Vintage-style baubles.
    ♥ Life Class, Pat Barker. Possibly one of my favourite authors ever.
    ♥ Tree decoration which came on a present last year from my mum and dad, pretty on my mirror dontcha think?
    ♥ My pink fairy from The Boyf, Xmas 2005.

    Katie-Boo k

    Saturday, 11 December 2010

    Marvelous Mighty Marshmallows

    • 1 Sachet of powdered gelatin
    • 250g Granulated sugar (the same sugar you would use for jam making)
    • 1 Egg white
    • A few drops of pink food colouring
    • 1-2 Tbsp's cornflour
    • 1-2 Tbsp's icing sugar
    • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
    • Vegetable/sunflower oil
    • Baking parchment and a shallow baking tray
    • Start by using the oil to grease a shallow tin. I used round cake tins to make my marshmallow, but you could use any sort of tin as long as its shallow enough. Grease the bottom and the sides of the tin well. 
    • Next sift your cornflour and icing sugar together and leave aside in a bowl for later but take little of the mixture and spoon into the tin, giving it a good old shake so every bit of it is covered with the mix and the oil is coated.
    • Boil the kettle and measure out around 60mls of boiling water and shake over your powdered gelatin and set aside to let it do its stuff.
    • Measure out 125ml of water and pour into a small saucepan with the granulated sugar and warm over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 
    • Next, clear all kids and pets out of the kitchen because you never known what sugar syrups going to do. Turn the heat up and bring the sugar and water mix to a fast, roiling boil, it should be ready when your sugar thermometer reads 122c.
    • Take the pan off the heat. Give your gelatin mix a good quick stir, adding the vanilla and food colouring and throw the whole lot into the sugar syrup in the pan and give it all a big mix until its well blended.
    • In a lovely clean bowl give your egg white a whisk until its stiff (unless your Arnie use an electric whisk or you'll be aching for days. If you are Arnie... 'Hello Sir, loved you in Predator').
    • While your still whisking slowly pour in the syrup gelatin mix and keep whisking until everything is well blended, carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and gloopy but still pourable, this can take up to 10-15 minutes, but persevere!
    • Pour the thickened mixture into your tin and leave in a cool place (not the fridge or freezer) for around 1-2 hours, the mixture is set when it comes easily away from the edge of the tin without breaking.
    • Gently prise the mallow away from the sides of the tin, and plop out onto a surface prepared with the icing sugar and cornflour mix. Make sure the mallow is covered all over with the mix and then cut into cubes. Store in sealed boxes or Tupperware lined with some baking parchment.
    More Mallow Ideas
    • Hot chocolate. Throw a few of your mallows in to your hot chocolate for a super thick and sweet drink.
    • Rocky Road. Replace the usual shop bought marshmallows with your homemade ones for super sticky and yummy rocky road bars. 
    • Sticky Sauce. Melt in a pan over the hob for a minute or so and pour over ice cream as a sauce.
    • Fondue or Fire. Slide your mallows onto wooden kebab sticks and dip it a choccy fondue or hold over a fire for a few seconds to get that lovely burnt bubbly taste.
    • Rainbow Mallow's.Use red or green food colouring for festive mallows.
    • Pancakes. Mix your mallows with fresh strawberries and use them to top just cooked pancake's.
    Katie-Boo k

    Floating on a sea of cinnamon.

    Before I get started on a tangent I just wanted to say a quick hello to my new readers/followers! Welcome to 'A Girls Guide...' You'll find my readers/followers are the most gorgeous in the whole blogasphere, so good choice! :)
    I got another lovely letter from the doctors yesterday asking me to come in to talk to my GP about my blood test results, surely she can't tell from my blood tests that I've been eating snicker doodles day and night for a week can she?
    As well as burning a hole, the presents stacked to the rafters in my wardrobe are starting to grate on my nerves, the ruddy things fall out every time I open the door to get a jumper/coat/boots/scarf out, and I've actually hit full capacity on the rail, so NO MORE clothes can fit in my wardrobe, I don't quite know where my clothes are going to go from now on but the situations quite desperate.
    I've got a nice christmassy A Week In Pictures post for you this week, and I'm quite proud of some of the pictures I've taken, I'm taking more time to set up the shots and get the lighting right, rather than a snap and run job which is quite usual for me.
    Today we're finally putting the Xmas decorations up, so my vintage-style Sainsbury's are going to get their debut at last, I love putting up our tree, all the decorations smell so nice, and theres' a lovely spicy cinnamon smell on everything.  I finally put two and two together and realised why I love cinnamon so much...when I was an ankle biter I had croup (which is an infection in your upper airway which gives you a 'barking' cough ) anyway my mum would douse my pillows and bedding with Karvol (Rugrat friendly decongestant drops) and it wasn't until the other day that I realised one of the ingredients is cinnamon! Even now at the ripe old age of 25 I find nothing more comforting than a few drops of Karvol on my pillow.
    I'm officially on pudding duty at Christmas, and although last year my blueberry cheesecake went down a treat, my white chocolate cranberry roulade crashed and burned, and I literally sulked for days. I'm going to be a bit more savvy in my planning and I'm defiantly not going to believe any Jamie recipe which tries to convince me that its easy (you lied Jamie, the roulade was akin to the Mensa exam).
    For Xmas day it's just me and The 'Rents so I'm doing an eggnog cream mousse type thing which I can make in advance on Christmas eve. On boxing day my grandad and his lovely partner Sylvia are over, so I've got to find some sort of epic pudding, especially as they were present for the roulade debacle last year, I have to redeem myself with the mother of all puds!
    Anyway, before I immerse myself in Christmas decorations and I'm up to my eyeballs in tinsel, I'll post the marshmallow recipe. As I said before its surprisingly easy and fairly quick (apart from the 1-2 hour setting) and once done can be used for all sorts of things, I'm also posting a list of ideas that you might like to use your marshmallows for once done.
    See you all tomorrow for the Mince Pie post and A Week in Pictures.

    Thursday, 9 December 2010

    Ha Ha's and Doo Dah's.

    Yesterday my cousin and I ventured into Brighton for a pre-Xmas shopping trip, which quite frankly we must have been bonkers to do since the wind chill coming in off the sea was like minus a million or something stupid. We had parked on the top floor of The Highest Car Park know to man, and I literally thought I would be able to snap my fingers off they were that cold, blue and lifeless.
    I Managed to sneak in a few cheeky Eggnog Lattes from S-Bucks, although half of it ended up down the sleeve of my coat when I was trying out the Strobe Cream in Mac. We had a yummy Gluten-Free lunch in Ha Ha Bar which was lovely and it looked so pretty in there with all the Christmas lights and the huge chandeliers. Shame the service was crap, I wanted to leave a good tip mainly because the waiter looked like Ryan Reynolds, but I was loathe to leave one when the service was so bleeding awful.
    There's this lovely chocolate shop near the Laines in Brighton called ChoccyWoccyDooDah, and in the window they had this massive reindeer which we are still undecided as to whether it was a huge cake or made out of chocolate, if it was chocolate I want to know where you can buy a slab of chocolate that huge!
    Picture via Facebook (mine was rubbish!)
    Today I made marshmallows, which was majorly exciting. As with everything I've never done before I slotted making marshmallows into the 'gotta be very hard' category. But it was so easy and I felt dead clever, like I'd had a hand in building the pyramids or something equally as epic. I'm just waiting for the mixture to set so I can slice it all up and then I'll post the recipe.
    I've done that really daft thing of believing this weeks horoscope in Heat. Apparently I'll give myself too much too do and will work myself to the bone and to a frenzy trying to get various things done for Christmas. And I have, I actually have done that, I've not even written my cards, I've only wrapped The Boyf's presents and I haven't even finished buying the rest of my Xmas presents yet or finished doing the ones I'm hand making, but then knowing this I've been fannying about making marshmallow, swanning off to Brighton shopping and reading Marie Claire while I watch Glee.
    I forgot to say at the end of the last post (the FAQ guide) a big thanks to Becky who as always gave me some great suggestions and comments on the post.
    Also, while I'm on the subject of gratitude I'd just like to say a big Thank-you to everyone who commented, tweeted or emailed me regarding the FAQ, I'm glad everyone took it in the light hearted manner in which it was intended and that it was actually of some use!
    I know I promised a snowy days cupcake recipe, but the pictures I took were really bad as it was in the evening and the light wasn't my friend, so unless someone specifically wants the recipe I won't be posting it, but leave me a comment if you do.
    I was having a flick through my holiday pictures from Florida last year, and found a picture I took in the Ye Olde Christmas Shop at the Magic Kingdom, I've got it as my wallpaper now, but I thought id share it on here because its so christmassy and festive.
    Also, the hour is nigh for Mince pie making time to commence. My mincemeat has been stewing away in it's jar since the start of November and at the weekend it will get its debut in my first ever mince pies, the recipe of which will be going up on Sunday, and the marshmallow one will go up tomorrow.

    Monday, 6 December 2010

    A Girls Guide To Coeliac and Gluten-Free FAQ

    I know it can sometimes be incredibly frustrating and at times ruddy irritating to be asked questions about coeliac's or being gluten-free that can seem very obvious to you, but if your anything like me, you sometimes forget that in general coeliac's is not a particularly well known illness and unless they live with you or are close to you, most people will not know the ins and outs of a ducks arse where coeliac's is concerned. So I've devised a sort of FAQ guide that might be helpful for the not so well informed in your life, some of these questions may seem daft but all of them have been asked of me, and probably of you at some point.

    Q. "Can't you eat just a little bit?"
    A. No, No and er, No.  We could eat a teaspoon amount or a milk float load of gluten the result will still be the same..we will be sick on your shoes.

    Q. "Can you eat potatoes?"
    A. Yes. And swede and carrots and peas and beans and rice. Any and all fruit or veg or pulse.

    Q. "What would happen if you ate gluten?"
    A. It varies. The most common symptoms are an upset tummy (that's putting it politely) sickness, bloating, fatigue, anaemia and tummy pains. Still going to offer us that Hobnob?

    Q. "If I were to wipe a slice of bread over your face would you have a reaction?"
    A. I wouldn't personally and to the best of my knowledge I don't think other coeliacs do either, my Doctor didn't say, 'listen, Kate, whatever you do don't wipe a slice of bread over your face', but I'm fine when I make sandwiches for others, I just give my hands a good wash afterwards.
    Q. "Is it an allergy?"
    A. No, coeliacs is an auto-immune disease, which means when a coeliac eats gluten their body goes mental and starts attacking itself, like Ed Norton in Fight Club. Of course there are people with gluten allergies and people with gluten intolerance's, but these are both different from each other and coeliacs.

    Q. "Do you need an EpiPen?"
    A. No, EpiPens are for allergies and allergic reactions.

    Q. "Would it really be that bad if you just carried on eating gluten?"
    A. Would it really be that bad if I slipped arsenic into your dinner every night. Yes, it would be that bad. Aside from the symptoms I mentioned above the long term exposure to gluten can be very damaging. The villi in your bowel (those are the Cadbury's finger type things waving about) get squashed and scarred with exposure to gluten, this in turn stops you absorbing vitamins and all sorts of other lovely (and rather vital) things from your food. Coeliac's have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, suffering miscarriages and are at great risk of bowel cancer. In short you'd be a grade A tool to carry on eating gluten.

    Q. "Do you ever just feel like cheating and eat a Rich Tea?"
    A . Sometimes, but whether we actually eat the Rich Tea is another question.

    Q. "Do you ever cave and eat the Rich Tea?"
    A. Maybe a few times at the beginning but not now, not ever, but I can only speak for myself.

    Q. "Do you miss the food you used to eat?"
    A. A lot of people are diagnosed with coeliac's as a kid, so the question doesn't perhaps apply to them as much as it does to people who are diagnosed when they're older. My answer would be yes and no, I'd be lying if I said that it's easy and that sometimes I just wish I could walk into M&S and pick up a sandwich for lunch, but as times gone on I've forgotten what things taste like, like many other things diet is down to habit forming, and eating gluten free goes from necessity to habit really quite quickly, so it becomes ingrained in your routine and lifestyle.

    Q. "You don't mind if I just use the knife I used to butter my sandwich to cut your toast do you?"
    A. Do you mind if I put laxatives in your porridge? I'ts a common misconception that large amounts of gluten have to be consumed in order to have a reaction, buts it's actually one of the easiest ways to get a 'glutening' . Think seperate toasters, cutlery, crockery and tupperware.

    Q. "Aren't you just being fussy and neurotic?"
    A. If we could eat gluten we would. People under estimate how bloody hard it is to eat gluten free 24/7, you have to be constantly vigilant (and patient with people who ask, 'aren't you just being fussy?') and it's not an easy way to live, it's not a lifestyle choice, it's not a fad diet or a 'I'm cutting out bread because it makes me a bit bloated'. We aren't being awkward, or fussy and we're not on a diet to fit into our size 10 jeans. It's an illness which can be managed through diet alone, we have to do it, and so would you.

    Q."Can coeliac disease kill you?'
    A. No.

    Q. "If you eat gluten will you be well again the next day?"
    A. This again, varies, some people are ill for 24 hours, others for weeks.

    Q."Can you tell if something has gluten in?"
    A. We're not sniffer dogs at Gatwick Airport you know! Being coeliac doesn't mean we have an inbuilt gluten radar, we only know if somethings got gluten in when we eat it and have a reaction.

    Q."Can you take medication for it?"
    A. No, as of yet scientists have not found a cure or developed drug therapy for coeliac's, mainly because they've been fannying around cloning sheep and genetically engineering brussel sprouts to grow to the size of apples.

    Q."Will you get better? Can you grow out of it?"
    A. At 25 there's not much I will ever grow out of, even if I was a rug rat i still wouldn't grow out of coeliacs, it's a life long illness.

    Q. "Is Coeliacs contagious?"
    A. Yes, because if it was I'd have been breathing in your face for the last half an hour wouldn't I? No, its not catching, but every time someone asks me this I wish that it was, even more so if they assume that it is and then avoid me until the end of time.

    Q."Will it hurt me to eat your food?"
    A. No, there's nothing in gluten free food that you wouldn't find in your everyday diet. It's not medicated and it's safe for everyone to eat.

    Q."Blimey, your bread is over two quid for a loaf, why is gluten free food so expensive?"
    A. Scarcity drives the prices up! Not only is it expensive to produce gluten free food, but its classed as specialised and is often expensive as a result, but there are a lot of gluten free companies that produce good quality food that is value for money such as Dietary Specials, Glutafin, Tru Free and Doves Farm and coeliacs get a lot of food on prescription.

    Q. "Are all coeliacs able to get food on prescription?"
    A . Most people upon diagnosis can get food on prescription from their doctor, but sometimes things like age, gender, and location affects what you can and can't get on prescription varies.

    Q."Chuffing Nora, if I were you I'd never go out to eat ever again, how do you manage it?"
    A. As I've mentioned before dining out is no picnic (excuse the pun), it can be a royal pain in the arse, but there are restaurants and waiters and companies in the know, and who are willing and able to make dining experiences easy and safe for coeliacs. are we worried we'll get glutening when we dine out? I'd be lying if I said no. If you or your 'coeliac' need a helping hand in the dining out department check out my guide to dining out.

    General Ignorance

    I'm sick. again. But I've been whinging all weekend about being ill and I've run out of puff to carry on today...luckily for you!
    Apart from being having a kidney infection I didn't have too bad a weekend. Sadly all the snow melted by Saturday morning, much to my distress, but the sub zero temperatures raged on and I've been huddled up with my slanket pulled up to my ears. On Saturday I got major amounts of handmade gift making done, and on Sunday I managed to wrap all of The Boyf's presents ready for posting at the end of the week, which was a relief because I was beginning to get a feeling of rising panic that I wouldn't have enough time to get everything done, so at least that's out the way and sorted.
    I concocted my own eggnog latter yesterday, but something I failed to factor into the production was that the Starbucks made eggnog latte doesn't have the alcohol content that a homemade one perhaps does, so the eggnog I used mixed with coffee (which only seemed to strengthen the over powering taste of alcohol) was strong enough to rid your bath of limescale. I had to admit defeat and give it to my dad to drink, bitter disappointment all round.
    My mother (tyrant that she is) won't allow us the put up the Xmas decorations until the weekend (I know, brutal isn't she). I'm already having enough trouble trying to reconcile the fact that December has rolled around so quickly and it's mere months until I'm 26 (which quite frankly is terrifying) and the absence of the Xmas Dec's is making it harder for me to get into the swing of all things christmassy, although I did watch Santa Claus the movie on Friday, my third all time favourite Christmas film after Home Alone 2 and The Muppet's Christmas Carol.
    In other news I saw recently On Sarah's blog The Gluten Free Blogger, that Marks and Spencer have released a product which is labelled as gluten free but isn't, as it contains wheat flour. While this is deeply annoying and doesn't inspire confidence I understand that this is just a basic human error, I mean I've even poisoned myself with gluten before. If you want to read the whole story visit Sarah's blog at the link above. Marks and Spencer's have never let me down before, especially where food or knickers are concerned so I can't hold it against them.
    I've got a busy week, well, busy in so much as I have to get out of bed before 10am a few times.
    Also, I managed at last to find a Christmas blend of coffee that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I was positive Sainsbury's did their own Xmas blend, but I must have invented that, but yesterday I took the time to scour the shelves in the coffee aisle and I found a Taylor's Christmas Coffee, beyond excited! I find much to be happy about where coffee is concerned.
    Anyway, I can't remember if I mentioned before but I have devised a coeliac and gluten free FAQ. As a coeliac for every sensible question you are asked on the subject you are asked double the amount of really daft questions too. The FAQ is a tad tongue in cheek, but it covers all the questions that maybe you as coeliac (or even just a gluten free lovely) get asked, and hand on heart I myself (plus people I know) have been asked these questions at some point, so maybe next time somebody asks you if you can drink bottled water (yes, I have been asked that) you could perhaps give them a print out of the Coeliacs FAQ for some light bedtime reading!

    Saturday, 4 December 2010

    A Week of Pictures

    OK, so this is the first post of one of the new features I've been umming and ahhing over. No, it's not very original, and yes there are hundreds of blogs that also have this weekly feature, but it's a feature which I love and satisfies my inner nosey neighbour/stalker, and since I take so many pictures during the course of the week (most of which is, admittedly, chafe...the cats doing funny things, the snow, food, the cats doing funny things..) so it seemed a good idea.
    I promise all my other weekly feature ideas are much more baking orientated, and after the post goes up explaining what those new features are you'll have a chance to vote for another feature you'd like to see, or I might even run a comp to see if someone could come up with a great feature...I'm just a pawn in your game! I haven't ironed out the kinks yet. Anyway, please enjoy my new feature 'A Week  of Pictures'. Stayed tuned this weekend for snowy day cupcakes (I know i said I wouldn't be doing any more for a while, but I lied).

    ♥Me and my second in command, Poptart No.2 Tasha.
    ♥Uber pretty baubles from Sainsburys'.
    ♥Sainsburys Free From Mince Pies (at last!).
    ♥Bargin-licious £1.50 headband from Primark, the only thing standing in the way of my ears and frostbite.
    ♥Possibly my favourite post ever 'Dreaming of a pink Christmas'.
    ♥Supplies for the handmade pressies.
    ♥Olivia the owl.
    ♥Mac order...come to Mama.
    ♥Pretty roses from my mummy.
    ♥My awesome advent calender...and it really is awesome!
    ♥Starbucks candy cane mug. Just need a S-Bucks barrister to come to my house everyday and make me eggnog latte.