13 December 2010

Mulled Wine

So delicious.  And if you're worried about this being only for our friends who celebrate Christmas in the northern hemisphere, where it's extremely cold at the moment, this recipe calls for a bottle of chilled, sparkling red!!

All my KK has to do is warm up one of the sachets in a little orange juice for a few minutes, allow it to cool and then decant the bottle - so easy and so delectable.

Hope she enjoys it.

Have you adapted any recipes to accommodate our warm Christmas?
Or do you still go the traditional way?

12 December 2010

Christmas Tree Cards

On Friday morning my KK arrived to find a set of 12 handmade Christmas Cards - complete with envelopes for her personal use.

The cards are virtually all identical with small differences in the placement of stars and the paper used for the tree.  I actually started with the envelope (a small gift-sized one) and then made the card and the tree to match its size.

Deviated from the Life in a Jar theme here.  Will be back on track next week.

Decorating the Pigeon Hole

Oh, the stress of it all! This is by far the most fun you can have at Christmas time - creeping into the staffroom to place your gift or to decorate the pigeon hole!! It is nearly impossible to find the staffroom empty these days. There is always another teacher present planning, spying or meeting with other teachers. If this is not going on, then many of the teachers are conducting classes where they are cooking treats as final year activities.

I do not work later than 2.00pm so I do not have the option of staying back after work to complete my decorating task. That leaves only the mornings - and that means arriving before 7.15am!!!

So yes, I did have to get to work at 7.15am in order to decorate my KK's pigeon hole (we use the phrase KK interchangeably to mean the giver and the recipient of various gifts - it makes life easier).  AND I was the first one to arrive at work - aside from the cleaners!!!

Still looks like one of the Preps decorated it - sorry Preps.

Despite being early, I was still in a mad panic trying to get it decorated before anyone walked in.  To add to my stress, the snowflakes, which are on a string garland were all tangled up, which didn't leave me much time to place them beautifully around the pigeon hole.  That's the story that I'm sticking to.

PS  After the Cookies in a Jar gift, I have been tagged already as that  particular person's KK.  Doesn't take much.

08 December 2010

Cookies in a Jar

My Famous Cookies in a Jar is the name on the label that you can see here in the photo.  This will be the next gift for my recipient in our work Kris Kringle.

The jar is capped with an inverted cupcake patty pan
Inside this jar are layers of ingredients for a cookie dough (butter, an egg and some vanilla will still need to be added) that produces cookies that are simply delicious to eat.  Also the gift is simply beautiful to look at and receive - even if I do say so myself.  Although I cannot claim any originality as the idea was taken from a Taste magazine, last year.

As a family we churned out over fifteen of these last year as gifts for my nieces and nephews at Christmas time.  During the course of the following weeks, we got many text messages and emails about how much they enjoyed making the cookies and how delicious they tasted.

Last year we came upon this recipe during December and did not have sufficient time to collect the number of jars required for the whole gang (the jar used in my KK previously held passata), so instead I begged my local supermarket for 20+ Star Studded Cellophane bags that they were using for packaging bottles of bubbly.  The overall effect was fantastic, however, the cellophane bags' contents are prone to moving around and so the final striped effect can be a little misshapen - jars are definitely better.

Do you mass produce anything this time of year?

'Tis the Season for Giving

At work we have begun a Christmas tradition that is now in its fifth year of running.  We are given the opportunity of participating in a Kris Kringle custom whereby another colleague's name is selected from a hat and over the course of December until the end of the school year, you are to spoil your person with various gifts, treats, favours and/or messages.

You, as the giver, are to remain anonymous during this time until the final day, when, during a flurry of final gift giving, the big reveal happens.  Normally anonymity would not be a problem, however, one of the suggested "gifts" is that you decorate the receiver's pigeon hole, which is located in a very public place - the staffroom.  This can lead to minor heart palpitations as you try and make the pigeon hole look like an adult has completed the work (and not one of the preppies) whilst completing the task in near record time!!!

Each year I try and select a theme with which to work as I find this makes the job easier.  However this year's theme of "Life in a Jar" has come unstuck a couple of times, so far, as I have failed to find a jar appropriate enough for my gift.  When this happened I resorted to cutting out a box, using the famous Gazelle, and I am now living with the notion that jars can come in cardboard as well as glass.

I have forgotten to photograph what I have created so far, but will try and remember from now on.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?