The month before Christmas means that if you're a self-confessed elf like me then you don't have to restrain yourself any longer. Now is the time to test every shop's mince pies just to find which ones best and to start up a plan for Christmas gifts. And if you're Scrooge? Then you'll be the one grumbling that you always have to carry an umbrella and that you've already heard Mariah Carey playing in the supermarket umpteen times.
I've planned my family's Christmas gifts, made a special advent calendar for Boy and my Christmas cake is soaking away in its Brandy pyjamas.
I lieu of any mince pies at present (I still haven't got to that part) I'll be working on soaking myself in my very own gin pyjamas (exact logistics of this to be confirmed)...
O N E S I X T Y
The month started with a quick catchup with Emily whilst I accompanied her on a review to One Sixty Smokehouse in the City. She needed my burger opinion, one of the services I offer alongside my blog just in case you needed the same *wink wink*. You can find her full review here, but I love the mac n cheese balls and the burger was pretty good too...look at that patty!
N I N T H W A R D
After the burger warm up, I hopped over to an old favourite of mine, Ninth Ward, to try out their infamous chocolate burger. Its like they made it just for me. I took along some fellow burger critics, although Persephone ordered chicken and Mike wasn't convinced...Gianni did share my love. Crispy bacon is incredible with a dark, rich chocolate sauce dripping over a burger patty. The patty itself was perfectly pink inside but a little too charred on the outside, but the chocolate sauce more than made up for it. I will return!
S L O W C O O K E R S T I C K Y T O F F E E P U D D I N G
It didn't take much encouraging to dust off my slow cooker for the season and have a whirl at making more recipes in it. I've not made any desserts or cakes in it before so thoroughly enjoyed creating this sticky toffee pudding for the guys over at Domu. Their slow cooker recipe hub is a great place for recipe inspiration. You'll find my recipe here. You know what I need to try next? Brownies!
L O S T A N D F O U N D A F T E R N O O N T E A, B I R M I N G H A M
A little day trip to Birmingham to meet Emily and Amelia. We had brunch in Bar Opus, mulled wine in the Christmas market then onto Afternoon Tea at Lost and Found. I loved their cute teacups, glorious jam filled flapjacks and perfectly fluffy scones.
H O M E S L I C E
20 inch pizza? Yes please! Although the wait was almost an hour for three people at 6pm on a Friday, it was well worth it. Homeslice's menu only consists of wine, beer and pizza. Order by the slice or the full 20" to share. We went for half chorizo, corn and coriander and half pulled BBQ brisket with pickles. Wine also comes in a giant carafe, you pay what you drink when they measure it at the end
M U L L E D C I D E R
You know you have the right friends when they appear at yours with cider, spices and camembert. Flick came over to bake one afternoon to bake loaded up all the essentials. This mulled cider was made with cranberries, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, a few spoons of brown sugar and plenty of freshly grated nutmeg. There's no real recipe, just leave the cider and spices to heat through and the sugar to dissolve. So good we forgot to bake the gingerbread we'd planned and left some chai brownies in the oven for 50 minutes...!
There's already so much baking planned for December, I can't wait for mince pies.
What's are your go to Christmas recipes?