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20 December 2015

Elf on the shelf - day 20

Borough Market

Yesterday we visited one of our favourite places in London - Borough Market.
It was decorated quite festively for Christmas next week!

19 December 2015

Elf on the shelf - day 19

No, it's not your imagination, there was no elf pic yesterday. I forgot to take one!

16 December 2015

Elf on the Shelf - day 17

Elf on the Shelf - day 16

Teacher, Neighbor and Friend Christmas Gift

This is my current favourite gift for giving to those you would like to give a thoughtful little something that won't break the bank!
 Last year I did them in glass jars, because I happened to have a bunch,. This year, I priced jars and decided against using them, which worked out just fine.

This year, I used small cellophane food safe bags. Oops, they were a bit smaller than I had planned and the orange wouldn't fit. Not a deal breaker, I had also purchased small food storage bags (the ones with twist ties) for the nutmeg and cloves, so I bagged up the oranges in those.
The recipe is:
One orange
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
Cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole cloves 

I decided on an assembly line approach. 
First I took my small food storage bags and cut the top half off to make them shorter - to eliminate bulk inside the gift when assembling. I put the whole cloves and nutmeg in each bag and tied them closed with red and white bakers twine. I love, love, love bakers twine!

Once I had all my little baggies, I started on the main part - using the cello bags, I placed inside one small Baggie of nutmeg and cloves and a cinnamon stick, then filled in with the cranberries.
(What a mess! Not really, though, you use up pretty much everything and clean up is a cinch)
I tied the tops of each bag with a long piece of bakers twine that I didn't tie completely, as I will use this to tie the bag with the orange together and add the printed tag.
Now, for the oranges.
Here, navel oranges are called navelina, apparently!
I used the small food storage bags and put in one orange and tied the bag closed with bakers twine.
The tag printable can be found here - 

Now, you could get fancy and print on card stock or glossy paper, but for me, the point of this is to keep it simple and not add any stress to the busy Chriatmas season, so I just printed on regular old paper and cut them out.
I use a small hole punch that works better than the standard size. 

Here they all are-

15 December 2015

It's been a Pinterest week for dinner...

I've been in a bit of a rut this week with regards to dinner meal planning, so I jumped onto Pinterest and let my mouse lead me to some good meal suggestions.

Crockpot ravioli casserole was yummy

Cucumber Salad - another hit!

Chicken Picata - really delicious!

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup - yummo!

Elf on the shelf - day 15

Oops! You aren't imagining things - the elf didn't move last night. Ugh!

Elf on the Shelf - day 14

09 December 2015

Cheddar Cheese Muffins

Home with a sick child, has me watching episode after episode of the Great British Bake Off and itching to bake something. Combine that with trying to tempt sick child to eat, I decided to bake cheddar cheese muffins. Sadly, I'm out of eggs, so I experimented and it came out terrific!

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten (substitute: 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons milk)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
In a large bowl, combine milk, melted butter, egg and cayenne (I used substitution noted above for the egg).
In a second bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Stir in cheese.
Add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir batter until it is just combined.
The batter should be lumpy. (Mine was doughy).
Spoon the batter into muffin tins (buttered or lined) - filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

Ready to go in the oven.
Just out of the oven.

Elf on the Shelf - day 9

07 December 2015

Elf on the Shelf - Day 7

Elf on the Shelf - day 6

A Sunday adventure

We decided to try a fun new restaurant we read about, so we took the tube into town and then a quick bus ride and ended up at Brick Lane at a cafe called "Cereal Killer" that features over 150 types of British and American cereal.
It is a very popular place and we had to wait quite a bit, which gave the girls enough time to change their minds about 
twelve times!
First you choose what size bowl (small, medium or large) and what type of cereal and then what flavour milk and then what toppings you would like.
They also have a huge selection of pop tarts!
This is called a stacked hot chocolate - it was unreal! To avoid a sugar coma, we all shared the one.
Afterwards, we needed to burn off some energy, so we decided to do some more exploring. We took the bus to Kings Cross to see Harry Potter's platform 9 and 3/4.
Then we went next door to St. Pancras to do some window shopping ...
There are some new scarves on my Christmas wish list!
We also saw the famous Disney character Christmas tree!
We stayed out so long - it was time to eat again, so we ended up at our favourite conveyor belt sushi stop - Yo! Sushi.