Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Craft Night Christmas Special

On Saturday night we had craft night Christmas Special at my house.  We have had a few "craft nights" this year where we have never brought any crafts to show and rarely even discuss crafting it is just a chance to sit and chat without the interference of children for a change :) Although we do speak about our children and child birth a lot!!

So Saturday we had a special edition of craft night where we actually had to make a decoration.  Me and Gillian also decided it would be nice to put on a Christmas party table with a winter theme.  Lots of whites and gingerbread colours

Cheese and crackers, crisps and dips and various nuts for starters...

  And of course a new gingerbread house since the other one has been demolished :)

This time we made a chocolate gingerbread house and the people are staying inside out of the cold.  They have made a little snowman though and look at their little wreath on their door.  Not many sweets this time because I think that's why we couldn't resist eating the last one!  

We also had a homemade hot chocolate mix adapted from Jamie Oliver's best ever hot chocolate - which we decided was not actually the best ever so we adapted and this one really is!!!  Sorry Jamie :)  We also had a mint chocolate mix which I have not tried yet but what a lovely little gift for someone - the craft night girls all took a mix away home with them.

 Marshmallows for the hot chocolate, flakes and other chocolate sweets displayed on our newest cake stands.  They can also be separated into three individual stands - what a great buy from Costco!  

Snowman marshmallows on sticks in the background and mini baileys cupcakes in the front.  

Meringues with vanilla cream

Chocolate gingerbread cheesecake bites - I saw a pin for these here however they used Pilsbury dough and I used my own chocolate gingerbread recipe (see below).  I baked these in the mini muffin pan from Pampered Chef  so I didn't need mini cases because it is so non-stick.  

Brownies following Inspired by Chocolate and Cakes recipe here 

I added galaxy bubbles, flake, toblerone and mars to these brownies but I have made them lots of times with other toppings like after eights, turkish delights, dime bars, snickers, caramels etc.  They are very rich and chocolatey.  I made them this time in square moulds from Lakeland but I usually make them in a cupcake case.  I liked these square moulds but the brownies were very big in these (which is not really a bad thing usually but we had a lot of food to get through on Saturday!)

We also had hot mince pies and hot mini doughnuts when we were drinking our hot chocolates but we seem to have forgotten to take photos of the rest of the night :) 

We needed some refreshments to help us consume all of this food so we had cran-raspberry fizz - a non-alcoholic cocktail or mocktail :)  A lovely refreshing festive drink.  The first time I made this I did follow a recipe but it made no sense so I now just throw ingredients together until it tastes ok :) (See below)  We also had a Ginger peach drink but there are no photos of this one.

And the crafts we all made were: 

    Gillian's very pretty red and gold wreath.

 And a little red felt heart with a button and a bell sewn on.

 Rhiannon's star garland

Ending in a big 3D star

And a colourful circle garland

She made these using the Cuttlebug die cutter to cut out lots of stars and circles and then sewed them together using her sewing machine.

My Christmas tree cinnamon stick - I also showed everyone my santa wreath and mini bell wreath and felt elves I already showed you here and my wire hanger

And Jody showed us what she painted when she was at Center Parcs earlier this month

This looks really lovely - I was at a pottery painting place earlier in the month too for a work night out and I painted a jug and bowl and they didn't turn out well like this 

You can see all the brush strokes :( Jody told me you need to do loads of coats to stop this happening.  I wish I knew that before I went!!

And finally Finlay showed everyone what he had been making for craft night Christmas special

We all had a vote and Finlay won the contest :) He was very pleased with himself.  He has caught the crafting bug now and has been busy this week working on a phone pocket at school using cross stitch and he made a little stocking at home 

So a very successful craft night - Rhiannon brought her cuttlebug to let us see how it works so we actually did some crafting and spoke about crafting at this craft night.  And we all had lots of Christmas-sy food.  We are going to do it again on Christmas Eve for other friends and we will make some different food.  What are you all up to for Christmas Eve?  We have a lot of cake orders to get ready for then plus we are on puddings for Christmas Day so it will be busy busy as usual but I love it :) 

   We decorated our soap too because the bathroom was really lacking Christmas decoration :) We hot glued various buttons onto a soap dispenser and filled it with white soap.  The hat and scarf are just wool wrapped round the dispenser.


Chocolate gingerbread
250g unsalted butter
200g light muscovado sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
8 tsp ground ginger
8 tsp cocoa

Melt butter sugar and syrup in pan over low heat.  Add to sieved flour, bicarb and ginger.  

Cran-raspberry Fizz Mocktail
Ginger ale
Cranberry juice
Raspberry sorbet, softened
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix all ingredients together (I use smoothie maker) to taste.  Decorate glasses (Wet the glass by rubbing lime around the rim, dip in a mixture of lime zest and sugar) before filling with the mocktail and serving with sliced lime.    

Ginger Peach
Peach juice
Ginger ale
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix all ingredients together and serve with ice.  

These could easily be adapted to alcoholic by adding alcohol of your choice to taste.

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