First, a moment of silence, a candle lit. From the USA to Syria and Iraq people are losing their lives to tragedy. My heart aches for the friends and families who are left to live with this life changing reality. Sadly, this reality is repeated far too frequently and leaves me asking why? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer.
I do know there are many unhappy people in the world and that the festive season is not a time of joy and celebration for all. We all have a cross to bear, some heavier than others but all of us require a helping hand from time to time. Sometimes just knowing someone is thinking about you can be enough to make you feel better. The power of letting someone know you care should not be underestimated.
I know few better ways to show people I care about them than through spending my time baking for them. So, to light up our little world, the kids and I decided we’d do some Christmas baking and give it all away! Here’s how we spent our Sunday.
The grapefruit was so good I had the other half too: )
Now ready for a big day of baking the girls and I rolled up our sleeves and dove into making some lovely chocolate brownies. The recipe can be found at the end of this blog. Cut these into bite size pieces and they’re ready. These are delicious!
Then came the shortbread, nothing like a little butter, icing sugar and flour beaten well to give a melt in the mouth cookie. The fun with these is in the decorating, as you can see we had great fun!
After all this baking and decorating, my back was killing me and all I wanted to so was sit down. Dinner was a very simply, but delicious homemade cannelloni. There was no salad because everyone was far too tired for any more cooking or meal preparation and we ate in front of the TV, very naughty.
We put the kids to bed, then Vic and I enjoyed a glass of wine before heading to bed ourselves.
Today the kid’s classmates and teachers were thanked for their friendship and time spent teaching with little gift bags of yesterday’s goodies. Each of the kids had a different way they wanted to present them so they individualized this, but all were very happy about the presents they were giving and the joy they hoped they would be received with.
Everyone needs and wants love, what greater gift can you give than your time? Think back on all the presents you’ve ever received, which do you remember? For me, it’s the time or thoughtfulness that went into something. The time we positively dedicate to others will benefit everyone.
Dry Ingredients- Sift together
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
l cup sugar, I use brown because it less processed
Wet Ingredients – Stir into dry ingredients
1/2 cup oil, corn oil is good but I’ve also used other kinds
3 tbsps water
l teaspoon vanilla
Beat until smooth
optional- stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Turn into lightly oiled pan. Pop into preheated oven and bake at 325 F/ 160 C for 25 to 30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 24 bite size squares.
1 lb. butter- 456 grams (whip for 3 minutes using Mixmaster)
add l cup sifted icing sugar (whip again)
add 2 cups flour (whip again)
add last 2 cups flour without whipping.
Roll or pat to 1/4″ thickness and cut out shapes
Bake 325 C/ 160 F for 20 mins. Keep checking, as you don’t want them too brown. You can add sprinkles to the top of cookies before baking for prettiness. I use a combination of red and green for Xmas…..
The more you whip these the better they are……