In an attempt to get into the whole Christmas Spirit thing, I baked cookies today.

I tweeted a couple of pics and people seemed to like the look of them and asked for the recipe.

The inspiration came from a link I saw on Facebook a while back… here it is:

I was super lazy and used a bought Cookie Mix (by Golden Cloud) – just add butter! ;)

Here is the recipe off the site, with some tips, added by me :D

Ingredients [if you are doing the proper thing and actually making cookies from scratch!, otherwise skip ahead to Step 2, like I did!]
250g butter, softened
2 tsp lemon rind
½ tsp almond essence
165g castor sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
335g cake flour
100g clear boiled sweets or lollies, crushed [I used Sparkles, keep the colours separate, pop in a sandwich bag and beat them with a hammer/chicken tenderising thingy]

Making the biscuits (pre-heat an oven to 170 degrees)

STEP 1: Beat butter, rind, essence, sugar, egg and water until smooth. Sift in the flour and knead until smooth. Wrap in glad wrap and chill for 30minutes.

STEP 2: On a floured surface roll dough to 4mm thick. Using cookie cutters of your choice cut out shapes and place on baking trays lined with paper. [line baking tray with foil - it is super easy to peel off the cookies and the "stained glass sweetie part" - also, it keeps baking trays clean and you don't have to scrub them clean ;) score!]

STEP 3: Using a tiny cookie cutter or the handle of a wooden spoon make holes in the centre of each cookie. Bake the cookies for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and fill centre with the crushed sweets, return to oven for further 5 minutes. [ be quite generous with the crushed Sparkles, if it looks a bit thin when you take it out the oven, quickly sprinkle some more on and pop back in the oven for a minute. they melt pretty quickly!]

STEP 4: Leave to cool on a tray. [another bonus of the foil lined tray: just whip the foil out, pop it on a cooling rack and re-line the tray for another batch! - remember to keep the cookies flat while the cool down, otherwise the Sparkles will leak all over, and harden in funny shapes. Once cookies are cool, the foil easily peels right off!]

To make your cookies into tree decorations, simply make another small hole near the edge of the cookie before baking and when cool thread ribbon for tying onto the tree.

Ok, so mine didnt look as fab as this, but they are still flipping cool!

I actually like them so much i’m thinking of making heart shaped one’s for our wedding… in the relevant colour/s (which BTW you can see on Our Wedding Blog … well there are 4 possible colour choices, i’m not telling which colour it is just yet!).

If you try these cookies, lemme know how they turn out for you!


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I have a collection of  “Anti-Christmas Songs” on my iPod…

They are pretty hilarious and I always hook them out at this time of year… some of them are a little rude, but totally hilarious…

Here are some lyrics of my absolute favourites,… it also helps to sing these words in my head when i’m out at the shops and they play carols…

Sung to the tune of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” (by a holy sounding churchy group, with twinkly music):
Lacy things, the wife is missin’
Didn’t ask, her permission
I’m wearin’ her clothes
Her silk pantyhose
Walkin’ ’round in women’s underwear

In the store, there’s a teddy
Little straps, like spaghetti
It holds me so tight
Like handcuffs at night
Walkin’ ’round in women’s underwear

*Listen to it HERE*

Another of my favourite’s is Adam Sandler’s Hannukah Songs…

Put on your yalmulka, here comes hanukkah
Its so much fun-akkah to celebrate hanukkah,

Hanukkah is the festival of lights,
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.

When you feel like the only kid in town without a x-mas tree, heres a list of
People who are jewish, just like you and me:

David lee roth lights the menorrah,
So do james caan, kirk douglas, and the late dinah shore-ah

Guess who eats together at the karnickey deli,
Bowzer from sha-na-na, and arthur fonzerrelli.

Paul newmans half jewish; goldie hawns half too,
Put them together–what a fine lookin’ jew!

You don’t need deck the halls or jingle bell rock
Cause you can spin the dreidl with captain kirk and mr. spock–both jewish!

Put on your yalmulka, it’s time for hanukkah,
The owner of the seattle super sonic-ahs celebrates hanukkah.

O.j. simpson– not a jew!
But guess who is…hall of famer¡ºrod carew–(he converted!)

We got ann landers and her sister dear abby,
Harrison fords a quarter jewish–not too shabby!

Some people think that ebeneezer scrooge is,
Well, he’s not, but guess who is:all three stooges.

So many jews are in show biz–
Tom cruise isn¹t,  but I heard his agent is.

Tell your friend veronica, it’s time you celebrate hanukkah
I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely hanukkah.

So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah,
If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
Hanukkah¡­¡­. happy hanukka!

Lyrics from here
and listen to it on youtube here

What are your favourite Christmas (or anti christmas!) songs??

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So, with all the excitement of Christmas eve… I didn’t really do a Christmas blog!

You don’t need more gory details about the 24th! ;)

Christmas Day we headed off to Peter’s folks for the day. Spent the day relaxing, swimming in the pool (which was so warm it hardly helped cool us down!) and just chilling. Oh, and there was some sparkly-flashing and stuff. We did the present swapping thing and stuff. Had a braai for late lunch. just as we were about to head home, it was decided that we needed to have a toast – so the champagne was hauled out and a few congratulatory words were said :)
We only got home about 9pm… poor beagles had been alone all day, and missed their usual 6pm dinner time!

Boxing day was with my family at my brother’s house for prawns and cold gammon – no clue whose idea that combination was! It was very yummy tho! My family doesn’t do Christmas presents for the adults… and there’s only one kid in the family… so it makes it easy :)

This is the first time my family heard about the sparkly…! I had sent my mom on sms on Christmas day – but, turns out, it never went thru!!! So, we cornered my mom and told her first! She flung her arms around both of us, eyes all a-glisten! then, everyone heard the commotion and came filtering in… my sister in law – who jumped up and down and squealed! My sister in law’s mom and sister… who did the hug and congrats thing… then my 9 year old nephew wanted to know what was happening and why everyone was looking at my hand… my mom told him “Tanya and Peter got engaged, and he gave her that ring, which means she has promised to marry him”… he looked a bit puzzled – somehow, I think he might have thought we were already married!!! haha! Then, I see my brother in a corner with a very puzzled look on his face – i guess this is how i must have looked when Peter popped the question. Haha – so, brother sticks out his hand and gives me a handshake and says “well done”… my brother shook my hand – we are tight like that! All through this my dad (he is a bit deaf!!) is outside, preparing the prawns for lunch! he is none the wiser… pffft! my mom went to tell him… funny old man. all he could say was “peter, you are very brave”… Sometimes I wonder about him.

There was eating, drinking, swimming and trompoline-ing.

Anyway… so all the family have been informed *phew!*

we headed off home very full after lunch.

Then, on the Sunday 27th… we were invited to newly made friends from our beagle hunting group… they are both Chefs! (he teaches at The Culinary School and she is a pastry chef!). So we had the MOST FANTASTIC lunch! We each had a lamb shank (and we took our 2 bones home for our 2 beagles, and their 2 beagles got 2 bones!), pork belly, crackling, fluffy mashed potatoes, crunchy veggies and delicious little pastry thingies. It was divine!! Then we all went off to the afternoon show of Pinocchio at the Theatre… it was really fun! Got back to their place and had dessert… OMG!!!!!! i have NEVER in my LIFE had such a divine thing! It was totally awesome, and presented so beautifully, it looked (and tasted) like it was right off the set of Top Chef or something! It was a chocolate torte type thing, served with a salty ice-cream (to balance the rich sweetness of the chocolate) and garnished with berries and Kumquat with some kumquat syrupy stuff — i do not know all the proper terms for this delicious stuff… but oh my word, was it totally divine!

Monday was back to work for Peter *sad face* … but on Monday night we spent the evening at Mangwanani for their moonlight spa – it was awesome, and i totally recommend Magwanani to EVERYONE!!

Tuesday was back to work (for my dad) with me… so, it’s all over now… no more festivities, no more holidays… NYE is gonna be a quiet one at home with the beagles.

It was actually a really nice Festive season… I got to spend time with peter, my family, his family AND our new friends.

I also got rather spoilt…
apart from The Sparkly, I got:
A Blackberry pouch
Fossil Purse
Woolies voucher
Russell Hobbs Electric Carving Knife
Electric Wok

… and lots of good memories… I leave 2009 feeling happy and loved. All the bad things that happened this year are overshadowed by the last week which has been more than awesome.

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