FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD & DRINK ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

I love Christmas, spending time with the family and giving presents.  Of course eating is also a big part of it!  Below I’ve listed some unique food and baking gifts for the ultimate Christmas Gift Guide.  I am sure they will delight any food and baking lover!

 

 

Tala Bakeware

A must for all those who love to bake.  Tala is a wonderful brand and such stunningly beautiful colours.  Not to mention it has a classic vintage look that I adore!  Their Tala Originals Stoneware range is wonderful.  Their mixing bowl is made from high performance and extremely durable material for the best cooking and baking experience. Beautiful colours too!

 

Tala Stoneware

Image credit Tala

 

Taste Cocktails Cocktail Kit

A new DIY cocktail kit delivered to you . Each kit includes premium ingredients and recipes for 4-6 cocktails.  Examples of cocktail kits we send include the Espresso Martini, Daquiri, Old Fashioned, Margarita and Mojito kits.  Want to know how to make some cocktails?  Head over to my blog post on vintage cocktails here.  You can purchase Taste Cocktails here.

 

taste cocktails

Image credit Taste Cocktails

 

Related posts:

The Ultimate Gift Guide for your Teenager & Giveaway

The Little Bit of Luxury Gift Guide & Giveaway

 

Sekforde Spirit mixers

Sekforde are a brand new concept – bespoke botanical mixers created specifically to enhance the flavour of the spirit (gin, whiskey and rum) rather than mask it.  A must for Christmas!

 

sekforde

Image credit 31Dover.com

 

 

 

Dove’s Farm Bread Making Kit

A great way to get into baking bread yourself, or a perfect gift for someone special.  This kit you will discover the joy of making your own homemade loaves, with a selection of the finest and most popular organic bread flours to get you started!

 

gluten free bread making

Image credit Dove’s Farm

 

Opies Food Hampers

 

Fed up with a frozen gateau? Christmas Trifle become tedious? This Christmas, Opies provides a one-step solution to revamp the repertoire of festive puddings – fruits with alcohol. Head over to their website to find out more about Blackberries with Gin and Pears with Port and other food lover hampers!

 

opies fruit

Photo credit Opies

 

Luxury Christmas Hampers by Hamper.com

Christmas Cracker Hamper

There are times when you can find it difficult buying for people at Christmas time.  Nothing seems to feel right.  That’s where Hamper.com come in.  You can find all kinds of wonderful Christmas Hampers full of seasonal treats and nothing says Merry Christmas as much as mince pies, nuts, fudge and red wine all packed in a lovely Festive red presentation box.  You certainly won’t be disappointed with the quality and contents of the hamper.  The lovely people at Hamper.com sent me a beautiful Christmas Cracker Hamper so I can highly recommend these will put a smile on your face.  Hamper.com is the longest established hamper company in the UK starting back in 1979 so they know what they are doing and  you will receive the best quality of items in your hamper.  Head over to Hamper.com now to see what they have to offer.

 

 

For those who love food and drink at Christmas time these gifts are perfect! Head over to my blog to read where you can buy them.

 

WIN A TALA ORIGINALS TEA TOWEL

tala tea towel

 

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There will be one winner.

The prize is the Rock & Ruddle Hairbrush pictured above.

The prize winner will be announced within 24 hours of closing.

The prize must be claimed within 14 days.

There is no cash alternative.

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5 MOUTHWATERING VINTAGE RETRO DESSERTS TO TAKE YOU DOWN MEMORY LANE

There’s nothing I enjoy more than tucking in to dessert.  Even more so though when that dessert reminds me of my grandmother or my childhood.  I wanted to share with you some mouth-watering vintage desserts that are my favourites.

 

I hope they take you back down memory lane and bring back some happy memories, as they do for me.  If you’d like to make some of these recipes head over to my related posts:

Making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Making Vintage Carrot Cake

 

Alternatively if you’d like to order ingredients to make these desserts head over to Tesco Groceries for the items.

 

 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

One of my all-time favourites.  I made this a while back and it didn’t disappoint.  However, it still scares me trying to flip the cake out!  Thank goodness though for tinned pineapple rings which make this so easy.  A real 1970’s favourite indeed.

 

vintage baking

 

 

Black Forest Gateau

What do you mean this is vintage?  On our recent holiday to Germany we couldn’t wait to indulge in some Black Forest Gateau.  Of course, the delightful chocolate, alcohol filled cherries topped with cream is an absolute delight to eat.  A real retro delight!

 

Black forest cake

 

 

Bakewell Tart

Oh, my goodness.  I just adore Bakewell Tart.  The ground almonds make the cake for me.  Not to mention the crumbly short crust pastry layered up with raspberry jam. Yum, yum.  This is just perfect with a cup of tea any time of the day or night!

vintage baking

 

Sherry Trifle

A family favourite as it was so easy to make.  I remember my Gran making it for Sunday dessert with canned fruit (hated some of it though!), lady fingers, Bird’s Eye custard (nothing but the best) and tons and tons of cream.  Always a pleaser in our household.

 

trifle

 

Baked Alaska

This was certainly an odd dessert for me.  I just couldn’t understand how it worked when I was young!  Baking ice-cream in the oven?!  What an odd concept but it works.  The meringue, sponge, and ice-cream – a delight to eat.

 

baked alaska

 

What desserts bring back memories for you?  Would love to know.  Hit me below.

 

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Retro desserts

 

 

Fancy making some vintage Irish Wheaten bread?  Head over to my recipe here.   Or if you’d like to attempt a very vintage carrot cake head here.

 

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My new Swiss Army Knife Kitchen Gadget – Savisto Hand Blender

Review: Savisto 750 Watt 3 in 1 Hand Blender Set with Attachments

There are certainly times when I get totally fed up with large bulky kitchen items such as food processors, I like my kitchen to be neat and tidy and when I have small tasks such as blending soups or whisking a bun mixture the last thing I want is to be lifting a bulky item!  That’s where a hand blender is certainly worth investing in – a small implement ideal for blending, chopping, grinding and whisking.

The lovely people at Savisto were kind enough to give me the 750 Watt 3 in 1 Hand Blender Set with Attachments in a stunning red colour to try.

So what are the features of this little beauty:

  • Features a powerful, 750 watt motor with 5 speed settings and a turbo button
  • Attachments include a stainless steel blender, food processor and food whisk
  • Also included is an 800ml beaker for use with the blender and whisk attachments

All with a 2 Year Guarantee!

blender

 

Verdict

While the logical step was to test the hand blender with soup, the appeal of using the whisk was undeniable, especially since our family love to bake.

The Whisk attachment was easy to connect, it was wonderfully powerful for the bun mix and made light work of the batter!  It was easy to disconnect and fantastically the whisk can be put in the dishwasher for cleaning – a bonus in my opinion!

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The Savisto’s hand blender was easily portable and this certainly delighted me – it wasn’t bulky at all. For those who have found a food processor a bulky item and cumbersome to use, then the Savisto hand blender is a must.

 

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Overall the hand blender was extremely easy to use, it was easy to clean and is easily stored away in a kitchen drawer ready to be used again and again.  It is also extremely versatile as you can pour everything in to the large jug provided.  It is extremely good value and interestingly while it’s not the highest wattage on the market the results are still fantastic.

I would have to call this hand blender the Swiss army knife of my kitchen because of all the jobs it can do from blending, chopping, grinding and whisking!

It is certainly a great all-round hand blender, I have no doubt once you try it, you will certainly love it as much as I do.

To purchase the hand blender visit www.savisto.com.

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Vintage Baking:  Pains Au Chocolat

It is said that Marie-Antoinnette introduced the croissant to France!  I’m not sure about that but I do know the croissant first appeared in the French dictionary in 1863!

So in the spirit of the Great British Bake Off and pasty week I opted for Pains Au Chocolat early on Sunday morning, what more could you ask for with a lovely cuppa and sitting down on a relaxing Sunday?

Of course being a Sunday morning, there was no way I was going to make my pastry from scratch!  So I opted for ready made pastry – quick and easy if you ask me lol.

Ingredients

320g of all butter puff pastry (equates to one pack of ready made)

100g of milk chocolate (I opted for an organic bar of good quality chocolate)

1 egg beaten for brushing the pastry

Method

Preheat your oven to 220C or Gas mark 7

Unroll your pastry on to a floured surface, then cut the pastry in to equally sized rectangles.

Cut your chocolate in to equally sized rectangles (two portions per cut pastry)

Take each rectangle and place a piece of chocolate on the shorter edges and then roll each side up to the middle, turn over and place on a baking tray then repeat for all rectangles.

Brush a little egg on the top of each pastry and bake for approximately 12 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown.

Sit down with a lovely cup of tea and enjoy 🙂  Remember if you are looking for a vintage cake stand and vintage tea cups have a wee look at my Etsy store here.

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4 SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKING VINTAGE PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Below I tell you how in 4 simple steps you can make vintage pineapple upside down cake.

 

I am just so excited that the Great British Bake Off 2016 is finally here.  The programme gives me so many great memories such as Brendan from Series 3 and his baking that just looked like something out of the 1950s. What about Howard when Deborah accidentally used his Crème Anglaise?  Who could forget “bingate” when Iain dumped his Baked Alaska?  And finally the heart-warming and passionate winning by Nadiya in season 6.

 

So, in celebration of the GBBO 2016, I have decided to share my favourite vintage recipes, this week it is Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  You will need to keep coming back each week to see what vintage recipe I will be sharing with you!

 

I hope they take you back down memory lane and bring back some happy memories, as they do for me.  If you’d like to make some of these recipes head over to my related posts:

Making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Making Vintage Carrot Cake

 

Alternatively if you’d like to order ingredients to make these desserts head over to Tesco Groceries for the items.

 

What you will need for the topping: 

50g softened butter

50g light brown sugar

Tin of pineapple rings in syrup (drain them and put syrup to one side)

Tub of glace cherries

 

What you will need for the cake:

100g self-raising flour

100g softened butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

 

Method:

Heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas 4.

Start with the topping.  Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until creamy; spread this on the bottom of the cake tin (I use a 20cm tin).  Take the pineapples and arrange them at the bottom of and place the cherries in to the centre of the rings.  You can also add more cherries to fill the gaps left by the pineapple rings.  Put this to one side.

For the cake, put all the ingredients in a bowl; add about 3 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup together with the lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.  I use an electric whisk for this as it’s quick but you can use a wooden spoon or hand whisk too.  When all the ingredients are mixed to a soft consistency, spoon it over the pineapples and cherries.

Before putting in the oven I recommend putting the cake tin on a baking tray to catch any of the juice in case it bubbles over.

Bake for 40 minutes and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

I hope you give this recipe a try.  After making this one, I just couldn’t resist the vintage tea cup  and vintage cake stand and sitting down to have a slice of the delicious cake with a lovely cuppa.   Let me know how you get on or what over vintage recipes you like.

 

Elf x

 

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PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

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