Kiwifruit Christmas Tree – Vegetarian

Two ingredients – Vegetarian – Kiwifruit Christmas Tree

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Easy Christmas. No baking. Two ingredients: Kiwi fruit and Strawberries.

Lynda Gray’s Cupcake Recipe – quick delicious and easy

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These are mini-christmas trees.

Lynda Gray’s Cupcake Recipe – quick delicious and easy

Since lots of people have been asking for my cupcake recipe I thought I would share it.

Lynda Gray’s Cupcake Recipe
Cupcake Recipe easy and delicious
Simple Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients:
100 grams caster sugar (or to make them without a sweetener instead use stevia powder 10 – 15 grams)
125 grams self-raising flour
115 grams unsalted butter
2 room temperature eggs/2-3 dessertspoons of milk (cows or rice is best)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably the natural concentrated extract)
6 muffin cases

Preheat the oven to 180C or 356F.
First step take all ingredients out of the fridge
Make sure they are more to room temperature when using
You need muffin cases not those little patty cases
Muffin trays and spray them with some cooking spray
I use olive oil cooking spray. Then place the muffin cases in them.

Pour all ingredients into a cooking bowl and mix until smooth
you may want to add a little milk at this stage just (1-3 dessertspoons)
I use rice milk. Once mixed use a dessertspoon and place the mixture into the muffin cases around 2/3rds full.Place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked.
You can smell that sweet aroma of the cupcakes cascading from the oven when they are ready.

Place them on a cooling tray. Once cooled there are many ways to ice them. Christmas Tree icing you need soft icing mixture, butter and a tiny bit of milk. Red and green natural food colours. Two separate bowls. Pour in a cup of icing sugar, soft butter mix until firm – you can add a tiny bit of milk as you are mixing. The trick with icing is use a little liquid at a time when mixing. Pour in your colour. Make one red, the other green in the separate bowls. Mix until firm yet smooth. Take out two icing bags. Place the red in one and the green in the other. Outline the cupcake with red and then fill in the middle with green in a swirling motion and when finished lift the bag upwards to finish off the top. Then for decorations you could use – cake decoration balls as baubles or currants.

You can also Royal Ice them: Royal icing looks and tastes great. 1 egg white mixed with pure icing sugar – the harder icing sugar). Mix the egg white with the icing sugar until
it is firm. Then spoon the icing on top. The smaller the spoon the easier. I sprinkle with dark chocolate. Buy a bar of dark chocolate and grate it over the top of icing or an easier way is to buy a chocolate bar and grate it or chop it into small chunks and place on top.

Happy baking.

Turkey Cooking Tips

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Cooking that Christmas Turkey.  Some little tips for cooking your turkey.

I always cook my turkey on Christmas Eve as it makes my Christmas Day so much more relaxing.  I just reheat it on Christmas Day in the oven with some juices.  I leave it overnight in the fridge until Christmas morning when I reheat it.  I think of cooking a turkey like nurturing or caring for someone.  I check on it while cooking and have a timer by the oven set for 30 minutes so every thirty minutes I check on how it is cooking.   Once I have worked out the time it will take I write it down.  Then I easily remember when I put it in the oven and when I need to take it out.

1/  The average weight of a Christmas Turkey is 5.5 kilograms after stuffing equivalent to 12lbs.  This means you cook this Turkey for 200 minutes = 3 hours and 10 minutes. (1 kilogram = 20 minutes cooking time plus you add a further 90 minutes)

2/  Before you place it in the oven wrap it in aluminium or tin foil (see number 6 you can layer the turkey with bacon or pancetta slices before wrapping in the foil).

3/  Put 2 litres of chicken stock in the pan and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Check the turkey every 30 minutes and pour the juices over the top.  Keeps it moist it is going to be cooking for along time.

3/  Cook it at 175 degrees – 180 degrees celsius or 360 degrees fahrenheit.

4/  To see if the turkey is ready – pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a small fork or baking skewer.  If the juice runs out clear the turkey is ready, if it is slightly pink keep cooking it.

5/  You can stuff the turkey in various ways – turkey mince mixed with 2-3 tablespoons thyme and/or sage, 2 egg yolks, some cut up french stick, 30 grams or 1 ounce of breadcrumbs, 1 onion, himalayan crystal salt and cracked pepper is always nice.  Use a sewing needle and strong cotton and sew the opening up after you have stuffed it if you want to.

6/  You can layer the turkey with organic bacon or pancetta before baking.  This draws more flavour into the turkey.

Vegetarian Christmas Turkey Fruit Platter and Thanksgiving Vegetarian Turkey

Vegetarian Christmas Turkey Fruit Platter and Thanksgiving Vegetarian Turkey

This is a quick easy platter to make to keep Christmas festive and healthy.  Mandarins, Kiwi Fruit, Strawberries, Boysenberries, Cheddar Cheese or Hard cheese and Black Grapes.

For the turkey itself:  Cut a pear in half, take the seeds out and a little of the core, use currants or raisins for the eyes, cut the nose and feet out with a hard cheese. Cut little bits out of the pear to place the eyes, nose and feet in.

Tip: you can use a little bit of dip or cream cheese to place in the holes to secure the raisins and cheese in place.

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Apricot Marshmallow Christmas Log – No baking

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Apricot Marshmallow Christmas Log

We all like Christmas fare that requires no baking.  Here is a tasty log that is sweet requires just a few ingredients and can be made rather quickly.

Ingredients

200 grams dried apricots (chopped into small pieces)

100 grams white marshmallows (chopped into small pieces)

250 g plain sweet biscuits (marie, nice or similar) and crush these with mortar board and pestle, or the side of a rather large kitchen knife or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling-pin or some other firm object you have in the kitchen.  I tried a hammer once wasn’t such a good idea the bag broke open 🙂

150 grams walnuts (chopped into small pieces you could substitute with brazil nuts, walnuts are easier to chop up)

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

400 grams sweetened condensed milk

1 cup toasted dessicated coconut (Lightly toast coconut in a moderate oven -148 degrees celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit or in a pie dish until golden approximately 6 minutes)

Method:  Take out your baking bowl, mix together the apricots, marshmallows, biscuits, walnuts, vanilla essence and the sweetened condensed milk.  Combine until smooth.  Divide the mixture into quarters 4 pieces, shape each piece into a log shape or tree trunk shape or cylinder (each log will be about 3 centimetres in diameter approximately the length of your thumb).  Once combined roll each one in the toasted coconut.  Wrap each log in aluminium foil or tin foil.  Place in the refrigerator until firm.