Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Terry's Chocolate Orange Christmas Leftover Muffins

The full title of this inventive recipe is 'Terry's-chocolate-orange-New-Year-sweet-Christmas-leftover-muffins'. By the time Boxing Day rolls in, as do Christmas' survivors, leftover turkey is usually seen as the order of the day. But surely too much credence is given to our seasonal savoury companions - turkeys, geese, duck, pork, usually the preserve of stodgy sandwiches - what of leftover sweets? In the spirit of New Year celebratory baking, and clutching some of the remaining Christmas Terry's chocolate orange, I decided to turn my sweet leftovers into a muffin recipe. As the saying goes, adversity is the mother of invention. And so leftover chocolate was the mother of this invention.

Ingredients (Makes 12)
3/4 Terry's Dark Chocolate Orange
2 large eggs
4oz self-raising flour (or baking powder and plain flour)
4oz caster sugar
4oz soft butter

For decoration (see below)

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 (or equivalent)
Cream together the butter and sugar until soft
Add the beaten eggs to the mixture gradually, a bit at a time
Fold in the flour until combined
Chop the chocolate orange segments into chunks
Stir chocolate chunks into the mixture
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes

For decoration I went (again) with leftovers - in the form of glace cherries, mini meringues, chocolate chunks, chocolate stars - so go wild and dangerously and experiment with whatever you happen to have to hand!

Good luck and comment below or tweet your progress!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Blogmas 20: A Very Merry Vintage Time Lookbook

Hanukkah, Christmas, winter, holidays...whatever your particular turn of phrase you use for this time of year,  it's a time of year for festivities and feasting and family and friends. Whether you like it or not it tends to lend itself to reflection, Christmas is the pre-drinks to the sobriety of New Year as Advent is the calm before the Christmas storm. 

I suggest it is a time for wearing something special and spending some of the bonus time you have to dress up, do your makeup, spend longer on that bathroom routine, or all of the above. This might also give you time for that reflection that seems to be in at the moment. Considering a change in the new year? Will the new year bells ring in a new look?

If it's a major life change or a simply swapping your go-to lipstick, have a ponder while trying out some new looks with some old inspiration. In the form of looks of vintage Christmas pasts, I give you Cashmere and Cushions merry vintage time lookbook!

A classic little black dress moment with Miss Audrey Hepburn

Go Loretta Young for full-on 1950's glam
Big floppy hat, big oversized coat, overdone red lips and you are ready for anything the season throws your way.

Vintage pinafore
A cute little girl dress or short dungarees in the right material and you're done!

Femme fatale - Belinda Lee
The original bunny girl outfit revisited for Christmas...for those Bridget Jones moments. Just be wise when choosing the day for wearing this one!

For the child (or Shirley Temple) within you, that wishes to conjure up the lore of Christmas Eve
Proving that simple, chic pyjamas can look great at any age.

Season's Greetings for every one of my lovely reader's, whether or not you have stuck with us for nearly 4 years or not!

Carpe Diem xx

Monday, 15 December 2014

Blogmas 15: Frozen review

In a world that at times seems almost dominated by the culture of the Disney multinational media corporation, the fact that Frozen burst into cinemas in November 2013 to greet the reception it did makes its success wholly tangible. For those out of the loop Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen sees its revisionist take in the form of a feminist, all-singing all-dancing ice-athon. Disney has taken on Andersen's fairy tales before, in the form of The Little Mermaid and others, but the treatment this one received - Broadway singer Idina Menzel, sisters doing it for themselves Elsa and Anna, court jester snowman Olaf - is entirely postmodern and joyful. 
In my opinion entirely worthy of its fame as the 'best Disney film in a decade'. So, if you haven't jumped on the filmic bandwagon quite yet, take yo 2014 stress, 'Let It Go', and make this one of your winter 2014 films to watch.

Carpe Diem xx

To check out my Little Mermaid post, follow the link below:

Friday, 12 December 2014

Blogmas 12: Cashmere and Cushions Winter Warmers

First things first, getting formalities out of the way, welcome back! Welcome to my first post in about 2 whole months and the first of the Blogmas 2014 series. As it is officially 2 weeks until Christmas and I am in full-on Love-Actually-Christmas-countdown, Christmas carol singing mode (you have been warned!), here are my top DVD Winter Warmer picks: 

Gilmore Girls: "Love and War and Snow" (Series/Season 1: Episode 8) - 2000

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) - 2011

Frozen - 2013
Review to follow!

It's A Wonderful Life - 1946
Review also to follow suit!

So snuggle up, watch out for 2-3 posts a week in the upcoming months, and tweet me using hashtag WinterWarmers or comment with your new favourite, family favourite, or unusual winter film/show picks. 

Carpe Diem xx