Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas cornflake wreaths

I must be coming out of the first trimester haze of tiredness and nausea, as when MckDaddy mentioned on Tuesday that it was his school's Christmas Fayre this week, the thought of pottering about in the kitchen making some pretty Christmas sweet things didn't sounded quite appealing. 

I chose Nigella's Christmas Cornflake Wreaths, as they looked as it they didn't need much cooking, would be fun to decorate and I thought they would appeal to the kids.

In fact, it turned out that they were quite fiddly to mould as the mixture is so sticky. Nigella recommends making three and then decorating. I would suggest doing one and then decorating and also keep a bowl of hot water as a finger bowl.

You will need: 

100g butter
200g mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g cornflakes
50g sesame seeds (optional) 
Christmas sprinkles

Melt the butter and in a pan and add the marshmallows, stirring until all melted and smooth. 
Take off the heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts
Mix in cornflakes and sesame seeds. 
Scoop out some mixture (about the size of a small satsuma) and mold into a circle about 6cm wide. Make a hole in the middle
Leave to set for at least 2 hours. 

from Nigella Christmas

To be honest, when they were finished I thought they looked like decorated onion rings but they were met with a WOW from Mckdaddy so I guess they hit the spot.

Go to Thinly Spread's Festive Friday to see some great Christmas ideas that don't look like fried savoury snacks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cards, toddler style.

On of my favourite bloggers, Chris at Thinly Spread is impressing us all with her fantastic Festive Friday ideas and inviting everyone else to do the same. If you haven't visited her blog before please take a look. It is gorgeous to look at and beautifully written. 

Christmas preparations are well under way in the Limited house. The cake and pudding have both been made and for the first time ever all my cards were written in the first week of December. This is the only benefit to having a cold AND being pregnant, as it is a job you can do with your feet up whilst watching Christmas films. 

I thought it would be nice for Mini Mck to make some cards for close family and his Godparents and as he is only 20 months hand painting is about as far as we've got in the past. 

Whenever we do craft activities I want him to be able to do as much of it as possible, with little interference from me, otherwise it can just become a stressful battle, or I just feel silly that, in fact, I've made it, rather than him.

So, with a little help from me, we created these hand-print Christmas Trees and Father Christmas' cards. 

All you need to make these, slightly abstract, images is some cotton wool, googly eyes, glitter, gold stars, paint and a toddler who loves to make a mess. 

We started with our usual card making trick of hand-prints on folded card. 

To make them festive we added star stickers, cotton wool and glitter. Mini Mck asked for help with the eyes but eventually got the hang of sticking them on. Can you guess which he did? He was able to put the glue on and stick the cotton wool, with a little help and together we poured glitter.

I love them and I'm sure the Grandparents will too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A satsuma in the toe

It is dark and I am sleeping in a camp bed in my brother's room. I stir and without opening my eyes, I stretch my feet to the end of the bed so they touch the weight of an old sock, no longer empty, as it was when I went to bed. My stomach flips and I sit up, leaning forward in the dark to feel the lumps and bumps of the stocking. Quickly, I check the time. It's 6am and finally I am allowed to wake up. 

"Toby" I whisper "He's been"

The light at the other end of the room snaps on and at last I can start to empty the mis-shapen football sock. It has been cleverly filled by the adults, but to me has nothing to do with them. To me, it has been filled by Father Christmas and left for us to open on our own, while the rest of the house is still sleeping. 

Every year it is the same and yet different. Some items are wrapped, some are not. A comic or a book is near the top, followed by a game or a puzzle. Further down there is a bag of chocolate coins and some peanuts, still in their shells and right at the bottom, as always, there is a pound coin and a satsuma in the toe. 

After they are empty we snuggle back into our beds to read our comics and eat the fruit, until I can stand it no longer and drag my brother downstairs to take our first peek at what has appeared under the tree. 

I know he still continues this tradition with his family, as my youngest niece told me when she was five that she wouldn't be leaving a small orange for Santa's snack, because he didn't like them. When I asked how she knew this I was firmly told "because he gives them away to everyone else, obviously"

This year Mini Mck will have his first stocking, filled with a few loosely wrapped, easy to play with toys that he can open on his own and at the bottom, with a small piece of peel taken away, to start him off, he will find a satsuma in the toe.