Monday, 19 December 2011

Laura Ashley Tea & Biscuits

The lovely people at Laura Ashley sent me some of their new tea and biscuit range to sample, and I have to say, I had high expectations due to my love [and large collection] of Laura Ashley homeware, and I wasn't disappointed.

Beautifully packaged, and the breakfast tea even came with a silver tea strainer! I'm a sucker for tea accoutrements. How many tea strainers does one person need? At least four, by my reckoning.

So, delicious crumbly orange and choc chip biscuits [which I've eaten most of myself. Oops.], fragrant loose tea leaves, and a laaaaaavly tea-for-one teapot that tops it all off nicely, don't you think? The prices range from £4 to £25 for the teapot, and they'd make a fab gift for mothers/aunts/best friends/me [hint hint]. I'm hoping they come out with some tiny espresso cups soon!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Edible gifts for Christmas

 Gingerbread matryoshka

Bailey's white chocolate caramel fudge 

Chocolate orange marshmallows

Aren't those Russian dolls just the sweetest? I normally go traditional with gingerbread men and angels etc for Christmas, but when I saw these at Lakeland I just couldn't pass them up. Beautifully decorated, maybe, but so they bloody should be when I stayed up til midnight piping tiny polka dots and slightly obscenely placed holly leaves.

The fudge, too, is a labour of love. After two batches made with condensed milk, in rum & raisin and eggnog flavours, I decided it was too grainy to give out and instead let my flatmates have at it. Next stop: boiling cream and sugar together. I know most recipes say not to stir the caramel, but in my experience this leads to an overbubbling pot, me shouting at the sugar thermometer "WHY WON'T YOU GET HOTTER?" and a rather unsightly layer of burnt sugar at the bottom. So I stirred. And transferred to no less than two other saucepans, but it all worked out in the end to make delicious delicious incredibly fattening fudge. 

Love Christmas? Love Christmas music? Then pop over to my music blog, where I've posted a mix of festive indie songs and a giant zip file of my definitive Christmas CD.

Recipes after the break