Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last blog post and apologies for scaring some of you with Sid's photo :-) I will warn you in future if Sid is going to star in a blog post.
I thought I would share with you some of the things I made by hand or thrifted for Christmas pressies this year. I have already blogged about my chocolate covered ginger and vanilla sugar, these went down very well.
I also made some rum truffles with cranberries this year too. I got dragged into a Secret Santa which, to be honest, I didn't really want to take part in as I already have a big family to buy for - bah humbug me :-) Now, I didn't want to go and buy something that would just be chucked away so thought I would make something instead. Luckily I picked out of the hat a close work mates name and I knew she would love something made of chocolate or handmade (she wanted one my little ladybird clips for her birthday :-)).
I made her these rum truffles with some cranberries in them. They were yummy - of course I had to do some controlled taste testing for safety reasons ;-)
Here is the recipe if you want to give them a go, they are really easy to make:
200g plain chocolate
1 tsp vanilla essence (or rum if you want rum truffles - I put 2 tsp rum in mine :-))
225 icing sugar - sifted
2 tbsp double cream
Handful of dried cranberries or whatever other fruit or nuts you think would suit the recipe.
Break the chocolate up into a bowl, add the tsp of vanilla essence (or the substitute).
Melt down in a microwave or in a pyrex bowl over hot water.
Gradually sift in icing sugar and add cream in intervals.
Stir in any fruit or nuts you would like to add.
When completely mixed together pop the mixture into the fridge to firm up a bit.
Take it out of the fridge and scoop out some with a spoon. If it has become too firm then pop it in the microwave for around 20 seconds to soften again. Roll into a ball, when all the truffles are made roll into icing sugar (or nuts or chocolate sprinkles) to cover them .
It was really nice making these for my friend as middle Sweetpea helped. As I was working Boxing Day we spent Christmas afternoon making them together to take to work on Boxing Day.
I found this fab book for my Granddad Pete who has a garden full of gnomes. In fact it was rather hard to part with this book and some of the photos were so funny :-)
I really need to find my Granddad one of those big toadstools! I think I want a gnome for my garden now as they always make me smile :-)
This last present went down really well with the my parents and my in-laws. We got them an A4 calendar made up with photos of the children and us through the year. Here are some of the photos I picked for it.
Me and Sweetpea at a wedding in June (excuse my crappy hairstyle but somehow the kiddies and Mr Sweetpea looked fab but I forgot myself - typical :-)).
The calendar was fantastic quality and we will be doing this again next year I think. I got them from Boots who use Photobox to produce them. It took a while going through my hundreds of photos but was well worth it as the parents were so chuffed with them.
Hope you are all having a great week.