Saturday, 19 December 2015

Overdue catch up

Phew it's been a busy few days.  Thursday was taken up with Christmas shopping - both for food and presents and then on Friday I had my lunching ladies (4 of us that used to work together take it in turns to host lunch every couple of weeks) coming for drinks in the evening.  We'd agreed at our last lunch that we should get together for drinks before Christmas but on reflection we realised that the last Friday evening before Christmas would be very very busy so going out somewhere was probably not the best option.  Me being me offered to host drinks and nibbles at my house.

Me being me, I also decided that the nibbles should be festive and homemade.  Friday therefore became baking day.
Mince Pies
Cheesy nibbles

Salted caramel and chocolate tarts

Sausage rolls

I haven't done any baking for ages so it was a real treat to get all these done.  My photos don't do them justice.  Probably because I took them on my Iphone.  Pulled them into a blog post on my Ipad
and now I'm finishing the blog on my laptop and am useless at editing and positioning them!

Of course it was a lot of work and I felt like I was in the kitchen all day, especially as I didn't get an early start as hubby and I both went to the dentist first thing in the morning.  Just for routine check-ups and all was fine so that was a relief.

But it was worth the effort as my friends seemed to enjoy everything and the mulled wine helped things go down nicely.  I did cheat with the mulled wine.  I'd got a recipe for making it and when I went shopping I was going to get all the ingredients and then I spotted bottles of ready prepared mulled wine.  I was sold!  One less thing to worry about.

I don't actually like mulled wine but my friends do and there were no complaints about my ready prepared version.

After such a busy couple of days it was nice to be waited on today.  Hubby's sister was over from France and staying with his mum.  She invited us over for a pre-christmas christmas dinner.  This will be one of the few years that his sister won't actually be in England for Christmas.  Two of her four boys are far flung at the moment (California and Brazil) and her eldest is in Berlin which is where she, her husband and youngest son are heading to for Christmas.

It was good to catch up with her today and we had a nice roast turkey dinner and an apple tart for dessert.  The diet so has to start again in January.  I'm admitting defeat for now.

Tomorrow I'm catching up with my best friend before she heads off to her in-laws for Christmas and for once I have her presents all wrapped and ready to exchange.  Usually I'm panicking about her phoning to arrange this as I'm usually still chasing my tail to have everything ready.  Their Christmases have been spent at her in-laws all her married life mainly because her hubby is an only child and more recently because her MIL has not enjoyed good health.  She's caught between wanting to have a Christmas at home but knowing how disappointed her in-laws would be because they wouldn't be able to join them.

Christmas can be such a tricky time of year.

I still need to get a few bits and pieces plus the fresh food but, at the moment, I'm not stressing about it.  There are definitely advantages to giving up the day job!


  1. All of your nibbles look very good. I have never had mulled wine but would like to try some!!

  2. That was a mammoth baking session and it all looks lovely. I am particulary intrigued by the salted cramel tarts. I haven't ever had them, let alone baked them. I'm glad you had a good time. Also pleased that you are enjoying a stress free run up to Christmas. I'll give you a ring later in the week to catch up before the big day. xx

  3. The salted caramel tarts were delicious (even if I do say so myself) and very easy to make. (I bought prebaked cases) Plus I had some of the caramel mix and chocolate ganache left over which went down very well with some ice cream.


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