Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mince pie recipe

250g Mince meat
225 g Plain Flour
pinch salt
100 g Hard margarine
cold water to mix, about 30 ml (approx. 2 tbsp.)
1 beaten egg to glaze

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. 

1. Mix flour and salt in basin, rub in fat.
2. Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with cold water to form a stiff dough.
3. Turn dough on to a floured surface and knead lightly.
4. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface a little thinner than a £1 coin. 
5. Stamp out 12 circles about 8cm wide, keeping all the trimmings. 
6. Use the circles to line a 12-hole, non-stick bun tin. 
7. Put a small spoonful of mincemeat in each one, but be careful not to put too much, as the suet will melt and bubble out if it has no room to spare. 
8. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out another 12 circles a little smaller than the last. 
9. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, then add pastry lids, pinching the two edges together. 
10. The pies can now be frozen in the trays for up to 3 months and either defrosted and cooked as stated or cooked from frozen (allow a little extra time if cooking from frozen)
11. Brush the lids with a little more egg  and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. 
12. Leave to cool.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cheese straws recipe

Perfect for a few pre dinner nibbles with drinks. Make the ring to serve them in for an extra special touch.

You will need:
100 g Self Raising Flour
pinch  salt
pinch  mustard powder
50 g   margarine
75 g   mature Cheddar or Red Leicester cheese, grated
1 medium      egg, beaten
Egg wash (optional)
Poppy seeds (optional)

1        Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tray.
2        Mix together the flour, salt and mustard. Rub in the margarine.
3        Stir in the cheese and add sufficient egg to make a stiff dough.
4        Roll out very thinly and cut into strips. Cut a few rings for serving
          if wished. Place on a baking tray.
5        If desired brush with a little beaten egg and sprinkle on a few poppy seeds.

6        Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Traditional Christmas tree cross stitch pattern

Another wonderful Christmas tree pattern has just been added to my Etsy store. It is a traditional tree design in festive red, gold and green. It uses only full count stitches and could be whipped up in a couple of evenings. So there is still time to pop over the the shop and purchase it today. You can instant download and print the pattern so there is no stopping you. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Free Stripe Christmas tree cross stitch PDF pattern

Here is a modern take on a festive icon. Stitched up in red it would look great for your holiday decor. All stitches are full stitches with no back stitch, it would easy to whip this up over a couple of evenings. Just click on the read more link to download your free PDF file of the pattern.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

New Christmas cross stitch patterns

There is still time to stitch up something festive for your home or a loved one this Christmas. With that in mind I just wanted to share two of my favorite new patterns from my Etsy store. They are both quite different in style the first one is a fresh and contemporary look at the Christmas tree. In it's cool blue tone and with crisp white background it would be a great addition to any modern home.

 The other design I am featuring is more traditional in a sampler style with many of the  traditional festive icons we associate with Christmas. Poinsettias, Christmas puddings, stars, snowflakes and of course the tree.

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