Tag Archives: Christmas

10 Christmas traditions old and new

Make Christmas even more magical with 10 traditions old and new

When it comes to tradition, it’s lovely to echo previous generations but it can also be really special to create your own, new, rituals.

Here, I share my favourite traditions for a really magical Christmas.

 

Christmas traditions

1 Take an evening drive to see the festive lights in your locality. Towns and villages often adorn the streets with lights and some people really go to town with their own houses. Pretty or gaudy, it’s always great fun. If you have little children it’s especially exciting to don dressing gowns and venture out after dark.

2 Decorate with what you have. There’s no need to spend a fortune on shop-bought creations, making your own (and re-discovering funny little child-made decs from years gone by) is so special. We love to create simple paper chains and I adorn a very cheap wreath with fir cones and conkers collected in autumn, and with orange slices dried in the oven. A simple ribbon finishes the look and the result looks much more expensive that it actually is!

 

Christmas traditions

3 Help others. A gift that means a lot to someone is your time. Make a voucher for an evening of babysitting for a young family, or a home-cooked meal for an elderly neighbour. Think about what may make a difference to someone you know.

4 Only use cash to pay for Christmas. Don’t get into debt; set up a monthly standing order to go into a savings account and use only this money for food and presents.

 

Christmas traditions

5 Recycle the previous year’s Christmas cards. Make into tags by cutting out with pinking shears, punching with a hole and threading with ribbon.

6 Hang stockings on Christmas Eve and fill with inexpensive treats. Until very recently my parents still gave me stocking! But now my own children use the same threadbare reindeer sock. Opening these tiny gifts, collected throughout the year, is my favourite part of the big day.

 

Christmas traditions

7 Dress up! Put on your favourite dress, wear some glamorous jewellery and do your hair.

8 Eat what you love! Just because it’s ‘traditional’, you don’t HAVE to eat it. After all, Christmas is about enjoying yourself. If you’re not keen on Christmas pudding like us then swap for Gingerbread Latte Trifle from the 2017 Dairy Diary (see below), it’s divine.

 

Christmas traditions

9 Enjoy time together. Play board games or do crafts together, and swap stories, this family time is precious.

10 Write proper thank you notes and send them in the post. It’s so much nicer than a text.

 

 


 

gingerbread-latte-trifle

Gingerbread Latte Trifle

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 353 per portion
Fat 40g (25g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Espresso ground coffee 2 tbsp
  • Trifle sponges 8 (approx. 200g/7oz), each cut into 3
  • Custard 500g carton
  • Double cream 300ml pot
  • Gingerbread syrup 1 tbsp
  • Dark chocolate with ginger 50g (2oz), finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Spoon coffee into a cafetière and add 250ml (9fl oz) hot, not boiling, water. Stir and leave to brew for 3 minutes. Plunge, then leave to cool.
  2. Place sponges in the base of six trifle bowls. Spoon over coffee then top with custard.
  3. Whisk cream with gingerbread syrup until softly whipped. Spoon on top of custard then sprinkle with chocolate. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

 


 

Dairy Diary 2017The Dairy Diary is still available to purchase –
and makes the perfect gift!

Click here to find out more.

 

#christmastradition

#gingerbreadlatte

#trifle

#yummy

Competitions | Last chance to enter!

Win an M&S Giftcard worth £350

Don’t miss your last chance to win an M&S Giftcard loaded with £350!

Dairy Diary is offering you the chance to win an M&S Giftcard worth £350!

The giftcard can used at M&S stores and online too.

ENTER

 


 

Win this Christmas Cheese Set

To win this must-have cheese set you have to enter today!

Dairy Diary is giving you the chance to win this cheeseboard, platters and knives set for Christmas!

Non-Stick Cheese Knife Set
Round Slate Cheese Board
6 Mini Slate Platters

ENTER

 


 

Gifts from £7.99!

Last minute presents? You can still order for Christmas!

 

Yes, you can still delight family and friends with our selection of must-have gifts starting at just £7.99!

But hurry, the last day for ordering with Christmas delivery is Sunday 18 December.

Dairy Diary – Britain’s favourite diary for 35 years, because everyone loves it!

READ MORE

 


#competition

#win

#christmasgifts

#lastminutegifts

Recipe of the Week: Christmas Mincemeat Cakes

Christmas Mincemeat Cakes

Christmas Mincemeat Cakes

Not just for mince pies, here mincemeat is mixed with cake mixture and baked in a muffin tin to make these adorable little cakes – ideal for everyone, young and old.

Click here to read the recipe.

Christmas Mincemeat Cakes recipe

 


 

Dairy Diary 2017

This recipe is one of the weekly recipes that feature in the 2017 Dairy Diary.

Britain’s best-loved diary is both practical and pretty, and is the perfect choice for planning your busy life.

  • Clear week-to-view A5 2017 diary
  • Easy-to-prepare inspirational recipes
  • Essential kitchen and home information
  • Budgeting, conversions, addresses, etc.

Great value at just £7.99

Click here to find out more.

READ MORE

 

#christmasrecipes

#2017diaries

#mincepies

Recipe of the Week: Christmas Flapjacks

Christmas Flapjacks

Christmas Flapjacks

These moreish treats are really simple to make and taste simply delicious.

And because they’re packed
with oats they’re perfect for
keeping you fuller for longer.

Wrap in foil and take with you on a long walk or wrap in cello with a pretty ribbon and give as a gift.

Click for the recipe.

Christmas Flapjack recipe

 


Dairy Diary Favourites CookbookThis recipe is from Dairy Diary Favourites, the brilliant new cookbook which celebrates 35 delicious years of Dairy Diary recipes.

Find out more.

READ MORE

 

#christmas

#recipes

#flapjacks

Recipe of the Week: Napoleons | Plus a competition to WIN our most-wanted baking equipment

Napoleons

Time 1½ hrs
Makes 8-10 slices
Calories 513 Fat 18.3g of which 7.4g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

For the pastry
Ready-rolled frozen puff pastry 2 x 375g packets, thawed

For the pastry cream
Egg yolks 3
Caster sugar 200g (7oz)
Plain flour 50g (2oz)
Cornflour 25g (1oz)
Milk 500ml (18fl oz)
Vanilla extract ½ tsp

For the glacé icing
Vanilla extract ¼ tsp
Icing sugar 225g (8oz), sifted

For the chocolate drizzle
Dark chocolate

Equipment

25g (1oz) Baking sheets and/or trays
Baking paper
Cling film
Icing pen or piping bag

 

How-to-make-Napoleons

Secrets of pastry cream

Pastry cream or crème pâtissière is a thick custard sauce used in open fruit tarts and in many small pastry delicacies.

The recipe here uses cornflour to thicken the sauce; many recipes use custard powder instead. Both work well, but custard powder will give a yellow finish, whereas cornflour gives a cream-coloured result. Cook the sauce until it is really thick.

 

Making the pastry layers

1 Preheat oven to 220°C(200°fan)/425°F/Gas 7. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Lay unrolled puff pastry sheets on prepared baking sheets, and prick them all over with a fork. Lay another baking sheet on top of each sheet of pastry. You may need to do this in batches.

2 Bake for 18–23 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Carefully remove pastry onto a rack to cool. Cut each sheet in half and trim edges. You will have one spare piece.

 

Making the pastry cream

3 Beat egg yolks and sugar until white, add flour and cornflour and mix well. Add ¼ of milk to loosen mixture. Put remaining milk and vanilla extract into a pan and bring to boil. Pour onto eggs, stir well, return to heat and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with cling film and cool completely without stirring.

 

Making the glacé icing

4 Add vanilla extract to icing sugar and whisk in boiled water, spoon by spoon, until you get a good spreading consistency.

 

Creating the Napoleons

5 Lay one sheet of cooked pastry onto a board and spread it with a thick layer of pastry cream. Lay a second sheet of pastry on top and spread on another layer of pastry cream.

6 Put on final layer of pastry and spread with an even layer of glacé icing.

7 Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and put it into an icing pen or piping bag with a fine nozzle. Draw horizontal chocolate lines at regular intervals over surface of the icing.

8 Take a metal skewer and lightly drag it diagonally across lines to make an attractive pattern. Leave to set before slicing carefully with a sharp knife into individual servings.

 

These exquisite pastries are taken from the 2016 Dairy Diary available now.

 


 

And now…..

I always wish I was allowed to enter out competitions (sadly I cannot) but on this occasion I REALLY wish I could win.

I am going to leave pictures of this
prize around the house and hope
that ‘Father Christmas’ gets the hint.

Good luck everyone – these baking products are just gorgeous.

 

Win Christmas Baking Set app

 

Win This Very Special Christmas Baking Set

Our most-wanted Christmas baking products, including a stunning hand-engraved wooden rolling pin, which cleverly embosses a Christmas tree design onto pastry, biscuits or icing; a beautiful Denby Heritage Pavilion mixing bowl; and a handmade wooden spoon.

Enter

 

 

#tripletested

#recipeoftheweek

#win

#competition

Handmade Gifts and Perfect Pompoms!

Delicious Handmade Gifts Made Easy 

The festive season is almost upon us and soon we will be feverishly shopping, wrapping and delivering gifts.

Whilst we’re visiting friends (and furtively swapping children’s gifts from the car boot) I like to take a little something scrumptious, beautifully wrapped, of course.

This year I have been inspired
by the Dairy Diary to make
these fabulous Napoleons.

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to make Napoleons

How to make Napoleons

 

 

Napoleons

Time 1½ hrs
Makes 8-10 slices
Calories 513 Fat 18.3g of which 7.4g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

For the pastry
Ready-rolled frozen puff pastry 2 x 375g packets, thawed

For the pastry cream
Egg yolks 3
Caster sugar 200g (7oz)
Plain flour 50g (2oz)
Cornflour 25g (1oz)
Milk 500ml (18fl oz)
Vanilla extract ½ tsp

For the glacé icing
Vanilla extract ¼ tsp
Icing sugar 225g (8oz), sifted

For the chocolate drizzle
Dark chocolate

Equipment

25g (1oz) Baking sheets and/or trays
Baking paper
Cling film
Icing pen or piping bag

 

How-to-make-Napoleons

Secrets of pastry cream

Pastry cream or crème pâtissière is a thick custard sauce used in open fruit tarts and in many small pastry delicacies.

The recipe here uses cornflour to thicken the sauce; many recipes use custard powder instead. Both work well, but custard powder will give a yellow finish, whereas cornflour gives a cream-coloured result. Cook the sauce until it is really thick.

 

Making the pastry layers

1 Preheat oven to 220°C(200°fan)/425°F/Gas 7. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Lay unrolled puff pastry sheets on prepared baking sheets, and prick them all over with a fork. Lay another baking sheet on top of each sheet of pastry. You may need to do this in batches.

2 Bake for 18–23 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Carefully remove pastry onto a rack to cool. Cut each sheet in half and trim edges. You will have one spare piece.

 

Making the pastry cream

3 Beat egg yolks and sugar until white, add flour and cornflour and mix well. Add ¼ of milk to loosen mixture. Put remaining milk and vanilla extract into a pan and bring to boil. Pour onto eggs, stir well, return to heat and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with cling film and cool completely without stirring.

 

Making the glacé icing

4 Add vanilla extract to icing sugar and whisk in boiled water, spoon by spoon, until you get a good spreading consistency.

 

Creating the Napoleons

5 Lay one sheet of cooked pastry onto a board and spread it with a thick layer of pastry cream. Lay a second sheet of pastry on top and spread on another layer of pastry cream.

6 Put on final layer of pastry and spread with an even layer of glacé icing.

7 Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and put it into an icing pen or piping bag with a fine nozzle. Draw horizontal chocolate lines at regular intervals over surface of the icing.

8 Take a metal skewer and lightly drag it diagonally across lines to make an attractive pattern. Leave to set before slicing carefully with a sharp knife into individual servings.

 

These exquisite pastries are taken from the 2016 Dairy Diary available now.

Buy

 

 the perfect paper pompomAnd these will go into a cake
box  adorned with a decorative
pompom  (these are also fabulous
for decorating your home for
the Christmas season).

 

 

 


 

How to Make the Perfect Paper Pompom

 

 

Why not send me a photo of your pompoms?

 

 

 

 

#tripletested

#paperpompom

%d bloggers like this: