Gingerbread house!

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Yup, that’s this years gingerbread house done.  😀

I used the receipe over at BBC Good Food, but I used a little bit less ginger, and added cinnamon and allspice instead.

Now – I’m not that great with measurement, and generally just wing it, instead of measure… but I must have gone absolutely crazy with the bi-carb soda as mine rose like it was bread!

Nevermind, I wasn’t looking for perfection, I was looking for charm… and for it to smell awesome as it was baking.  😀

As you can see, there’s not a straight wall in sight, as it rose a lot more than I expected.  I did however stick two roof parts in the oven first… which was good, as I had planned to do checkered windows, but that plan went out the… eh… window, when I realised it wasn’t gonna work with it rising as much as it was.  Instead I just used heart shaped cookie cutters for the windows.

And I wanted “glass” in the windows… quick google, and it tells me to use “hard candy”.  Grrrr.  No hard candy in the house, not even a forlorn lolly.  But I spot the Tangfastic (how can I not – we got a huge giant box of it), and figure “why not?”.  Sour sweeties washed and cut, and then placed into the window openings.  And back into the oven!  If you’re gonna give this a go, keep an eye on it, as it melts so quickly!  Stick it in the fridge works wonders to cool it afterwards, so it can be removed from the tray.

The house took me forever and a day… well, that’s a lie… more like forever and a week.  Not doing so good at the moment, and doing any little thing really knocks me out… so baked one day, stuck together a different day, yet another day for the roof, and finally a different day again for the decorating.

I used caramelised sugar to stick it together (as I don’t have the patience for any icing to set), and the cheapest wheat cereal I could find for the roof (hey – I don’t eat cereal, wasn’t gonna spend a bomb).  I just mixed icing sugar with lemon juice to stick the roof decorations on.

The “snow” was however made with whisked egg whites, icing sugar and lemon juice, and it was great fun to to use, as it was just the right consistency for it to drip a wee bit.

I was looking for a rustic charm, not covered in sweeties and all colourful… and I think it worked out just perfect.  😀

Perfection is way over-rated, and with it’s wonky walls, cracks and gaps, I think it’s doing just fine…  and even better than that when it’s lit up:

(sorry… had to stick copyright onto it… otherwise I will just see people trying to pass it off as their own in Christmas competitions next year.  *sigh*  Shouldn’t be necessary, but it is, I see people use other peoples creations and claim them as their own all the time)

The Tangfastic windows came out ace!  With fun little bubbles, that makes them look even more cosy than they would have otherwise.

Sorry, I got no template… I just winged it from the fifth one down here (isn’t it adorable?).  I didn’t do too badly… only thing I had to trim was the porch fences, as I’d made them way too high.

As I’m not decorating this year (as the kitties would break everything), it’s been a lovely Christmassy edition to the kitchen (and it smells heavenly).  The leftover dough was made into cookies and eaten (they were very yum!).

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Move over Mary Berry!

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I made biccies!!!  And yes, I’m uber-proud, as it’s the very first time I’ve made biscuits.  I’ve made cookies (the gooey variety) many times, but never given biccies a go before.

And clearly they were edible, as the other half had polished off 4 of them before I got to take a pic of the finished result.  😀

However, haven’t tried them myself, seems an odd side effect from the pills are NOT wanting anything sweet.  Can you imagine?  I’ve gone three days without chocolate!  For a complete chocoholic, this is very odd indeed.

Anyway, onto the biccies…

 

To make the super easy biccies you will need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup chocolate!
  • 1 egg yolk

Put the oven to 180 degrees c – and mix everything apart from the chocolate in a bowl.  You’ll have to get your hands in there.  😀

You’ll get a crumbly “dough” that will stick together.

Throw in the chocolate.  I used little chocolate drops, but you could just take a plate of chocolate and go crazy and whack it with a rolling pin until you get little pieces.  Great for stress relief too.  😀

Give it a few stirs with the hands, and then shape little pieces of the dough into balls and flatten.

Mine made 20 biccies, but the cups I used were fairly large.

Stick in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden around the edges.

They will be floppy when out of the oven, so places them to cool, and they’ll harden right up!  Proper crunchy and melt in your mouth with all that butter and sugar.  😀

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Posted for the ace competition running over at Stuck in The Tree – hurry up, though!  You only got until tomorrow to enter… but what an excellent way to spend a rainy weekend – baking something yummy!  🙂

Open to all who have a paypal account!!!  So not just limited to the UK!

 

MasterChef – here I come! ;) #BettaRecipe

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As I’ve said before… I cannot cook.  At all.  However, even I can make a delicious snack in the kitchen!

But… sadly my snack-making abilities stops at boiling water.  Normally not a problem, with my other half dishing up mouthwatering delights, but I did of course spot a fab competition this evening.  Which involves a vegetarian recipe.

I did mention I cannot cook?  Just wanted to make sure.  😀

Soooooo – here’s my recipe for oh so spicy noodles:

 

Ingredients:

 

Cooking time:

  • 5 minutes, including preperation

 

Cost:

  • 25p + electricity

 

Equipment needed:

  • Saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Pasta server
  • Fork
  • Stove

 

Step by step:

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1:  Open pack of noodles.

 

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2:  Add water to your saucepan.  Open “soup base” that came in the noodle pack, and whack in with the water.

 

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3:  Chuck in the noodles with the water and soup base.  Throw away the wrapping the noodles came in.  Pot saucepan on stove, and turn up the heat.

 

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4:  Whilst waiting for water to boil, open “Flavouring oil” and pour into bowl.  Throw away wrapper.

 

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5:  Use pasta server to give the noodles a wee stir when water has reach boiling temperature.  Lower heat, and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

 

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6:  Turn off stove.  Use pasta server to drain and spoon the noodles into bowl.

 

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7:  Use fork to give noodles a good old whirl to get the oil to cover them nicely – enjoy!!!

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If you can actually cook, and want to enter – head on over to Betta Living!  Post your vegeterian recipe in a blog post, and send them an e-mail with the link… ends today!  Must use ” #BettaRecipe ” in the post.

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No, this isn’t serious, incase there someone with a bad case of “wet blanket”.  I needed something to cheer myself up.  Unless I’m the only entry (hey – it’s happened to me before!) I have no hope when it comes to anything that involves cooking.  😀

But – I am serious about these noodles!!!  These noodles are AMAZING.  They are so spicy, and absolutely fantastic.  I don’t order mine online, but buy them at Home Bargains when in store.  Eat them just like above, used them in stir fry.  Perfect for lunch or part of dinner… or like we occasinally do, just beacuse it’s so quick and easy, actually have the noodles as the whole dinner, and just have fresh bread with it.