Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 1

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Get ahead gravy!

I can remember, once upon a time, when Christmas didn’t really begin until December. Now, as soon as Halloween is out of the way, the shops are full of tinsel, wrapping paper, stocking fillers and mince pies! I’m not going to complain, though, because if I leave all the Christmas preparation to the last minute it will just become stressful rather than enjoyable. This is why I’m starting Christmas Dinner now.

I was¬†watching Jamie Oliver one year¬†and he was making this ‘Get Ahead Gravy’. I thought it was a fantastic idea because it meant you could make it in advance and just defrost and warm up on Christmas Day. Not only that, it makes loads more gravy than if you were just using the juices of your turkey and it tastes AMAZING!! (You do add the juices of your turkey at the end so they don’t go to waste. ūüôā )

The gravy is quite involved and takes a while to make which is why I would only do it for a special occasion like Christmas.

You can find the recipe here.

Look out for my Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 2 next week!

Hello? Is anybody there?

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Imagine the scene: the end of a quiet family tea time. Daddy is chopping up some pineapple for his pudding whilst calmly talking to Mummy about his day at work. Mummy is sat finishing off the last of her yoghurt watching her three year old quietly¬†and carefully¬†peeling off each piece of her banana skin. As the last piece of banana skin is meticulously¬†removed the¬†said toddler¬†quickly whips the banana up to her ear and with a quizzical look on her face says, ‘Hello?! Is anybody there?!’ She then proceeds to have a very random conversation with somebody on the other end of the line! (Bananaman?!?)

Personally I didn’t hear¬†it ring! LOL

Easter Fun 2014!

It's been a smashing Easter!

It’s been a smashing Easter!

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! I do realise there is a lot more to Easter than that, but we’ve certainly had enough chocolate today to¬†last us the rest of the year!

It’s the first year that our daughter has had an idea of what to expect from Easter. She’s not quite of an age to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus but she was very excited about all her chocolate Easter eggs, making Easter Cake, going on an Easter Egg hunt and rolling some eggs she’d decorated last week!

Ready for rolling

Ready for rolling

We started¬†the day by going to church. We had a churches together open air service in town this morning. Mairi called it ‘Party Church’ because it was where we went yesterday for the ‘Easter Party’, but the party did continue in her mind¬†because she got another balloon and got to dance to more music! She was also excited to see a couple of her friends who¬†she’d made some Easter Cakes for earlier this week.

mairi and cakes

Easter cakes ready to give to friends

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Egg rolling in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we got home it was time for some egg rolling. It took a few goes to get the eggs cracked, but once they were she was very excited to have them for her lunch.

Whilst the lamb was roasting in the oven, we had an Easter Egg hunt in the living room (it was beginning to get a bit cold outside!)

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Adding the finishing touches to the Easter Cake

Our yummy Easter Cake

Our yummy Easter Cake

We finished off the day with a surprise visit from Aunty Bethany, Uncle Andy and Jacob  and sharing our Easter Cake with them.

 

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

It’s Good Friday and a great day to make Hot Cross Buns – I just wish I could say I was proud of my attempt (at least they do genuinely look homemade!) I remember making some last Easter and was pleased with them apart from the crosses dropping off (!) But this year I seem to have managed to burn them and spread the crosses all over the bun!! ūüė¶ Anyhow, my family enjoyed them and somehow they do still taste good.

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At least there’s no hiding the fact they’re homemade!

If anyone has any words of advice on how I can improve them next time, I would be very grateful.

Let’s hope tomorrow’s attempt at an Easter Cake is a bit more successful!

How to make a pregnant woman jealous!

We’ve just enjoyed a couple of child-free days this week while our daughter went to her grandparent’s for a little holiday. We considered going away ourselves but decided that our time and money would be better spent staying at home getting some jobs done around the house preparing for our next baby’s arrival in a few weeks.

We still managed to get some time together and enjoyed eating out both nights without feeling guilty because we weren’t paying for accommodation as well as lovely meals! The only problem I have with eating out at the moment is that strangely enough at 34 weeks pregnant I have an alcohol craving! It’s not that I’m just simply missing wine whilst being pregnant (I had that when pregnant with my daughter so I know what it feels like) but I am genuinely craving wine, beer, sherry, vodka…. anything with alcohol in it I WANT it!

So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to be sat in a restaurant surrounded by people enjoying wine or beer with their meals, and then to hear my own husband order himself an ale!! To be fair, I can’t expect him not to drink just because I can’t, but it didn’t get any easier when he ordered the ONE thing I wanted on the menu but couldn’t have – the Duck Terrine platter (I could have eaten most of the things on the platter, but the terrine had liver in so there was no point.)

So there I was ‘enjoying’ grilled sea bass washed down with a glass of orange juice sitting opposite my husband digging into a Duck Terrine Platter and local ale.

Duck platter and a local ale

Duck platter and a local ale

Orange juice and Sea Bass...mmmmm?

Orange juice and Sea Bass…mmmmm?

 

I am literally counting down the weeks and days to when I am allowed a glass of wine… of course when that day comes I’m pretty sure the craving will disappear as soon as Baby appears!

Beat the Monday Blues

One of the things I look forward to most on a Monday is lunchtime. I always make sure there’s a tub of leftover roasted vegetables in the fridge for me.

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There are so many things you can do with this treasure tub of deliciousness. You can use it to turn a bland omelette into one fit for the Queen (now there’s a thought…the Queen eating an omelette!) I sometimes heat the veg up and add to some fluffy cous cous. But today I’m going to add my delicious roasted veg to some fresh pasta. Delish!