Tag Archives: winter

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Homemade Christmas: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Let’s add to our winter survival packs/Christmas gifts with this delicious twist on a regular hot chocolate.

Salted caramel hot chocolate should have a little tang that counteracts the sweet and bitterness of the chocolate.

Nothing beats a mug of cocoa after a day of chilly air.

I have to admit I was little apprehensive about making the caramel after the toffee debacle. However, surprisingly blending the 70% chocolate caused me more difficulties.

As my friend and I have learnt with craft projects over the last few weeks, what you think will be straightforward will end up being the most challenging! “That’ll be quick” = famous last words. “I’ll just pop that on there” = famous last words! In these moments chant our mantra “it’s the thought that counts, homemade with love”. And if necessary pour a large glass of red or a sneaky whiskey. 

So let’s get down to business.  Recipe.
I found this lovely straightforward recipe on Pennies on a Platter blog. I supplemented the caramel instructions with a dollop of Delia for security and comfort.  If in doubt, Delia it.

Basically make the caramel. Blend with all the dry ingredients then add chocolate and blend again [whilst chanting mantra]. Package in pretty jars. All done. As with the pinecones give yourself the evening to make this. Caramel needs patience and more patience.

I didn’t add too much salt as I think this really is a matter of personal preference and it gives room for the recipient to add extra if their taste buds so desire.
[Note: I used lovely coarse sea salt however, it is really hard to make sure it has been blended to a powder when in the mixture so I advise either use a pestle and mortar or just fine salt].

Fun bit. Photos.
I’m afraid the photos leave a little to be desired but priority was on making edible and tasty caramel so I only have photos post ‘operation caramel yum’.

Here it is fresh out of the pan:

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It was so hard not to eat it as I broke it into pieces ready to blend into a powder!

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Chocolate time…

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And taadaa… ☆…

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Well do let me know if you make some too.

naomi ♡

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Heat Snugglies

Homemade Christmas: Heat Snugglies

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When the winter chill sets in all you want to do is close the door, settle into the sofa with a mug of coffee, a good book and a toasty warm snuggly.

These are so easy to make and are a lovely gift. Just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and presto, toasty warm with a subtle lavender scent.

You can use fabric scraps and make them any size you like. I had an old brushed cotton blanket from when my Dinky really was dinky! ~ Perfect to line the bags for insulation.

I just used the rice packet as a simple sizing guide. I wanted them long and thin so that they’d wrap around limbs and necks.

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I cut two liners and two fabric pieces. If you fold your fabric [centre fold] and cut it out, you won’t have to sew one seam. [The green pen markings shows you to line this up with the folded side of fabric]

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I made a mistake with the first one sewing the fabric the wrong way. Make sure your liner is on the outside and your fabric is right sides together inside. This way when you turn it inside out you will have your fabric facing you.

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Sew one ‘top’ end and the side and halfway across the ‘bottom’ end. Snip your corners off, close to the stitching. This ensures a neat point when you turn it rightside out [let me know if this doesn’t make sense and I’ll add a photo instruction].

Turn it rightside out and fill with rice. I had some lavender collected from my wild lavender plant in summer (which has recently been pruned within an inch of its life and I’ll have to see if it survives the winter! Gardening is a very new skill to me).

Fold the edges of the fabric in, on the unsewn ‘bottom’. Stitch along the top of the fabric [so it is now sewn closed]. You could slip stitch by hand for a very neat finish but my hand sewing is not up to scratch so I prefer the neat seam of my sewing machine.

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Wrap sweetly with a little ‘heating note’ and give to a dear friend. You could also give them some delicious hot chocolate [post to follow soon] to enjoy as they snuggle into the sofa with that good book remember.

May you have chilly nights for an excuse to wrap up warm and cosy. Ah, I love autumn and winter.

naomi ♡

Winter Mittens For Little Kittens

I have been meaning to make these for a few weeks and now the weather is bitter I can wait no more.

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Challenge: Easy ♡

What you will need:
→ A snuggly jumper or cardigan [fabric] (mine was an old Gap one that had been shrunk in the wash)
→ tissue/tracing paper
→ scissors
→ pins
→ pencil

Instructions:

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1. Trace around your littlies hand. Make a curve around the fingers rather than drawing them precisely. 

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2. Draw another line about 1cm away from your first. This is your seam allowance. Cut out.

3. Turn your fabric inside out.

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4. Pin your pattern to the fabric. If your pattern fits, place it on the sleeve as it will give you a lovely ribbed end. I pinned my a little way up the sleeve so that it gave me a big ribbed end which could be turned over [see end photo].

5. Stitch around your pattern. I found it easier to stitch over the paper and rip it off afterwards.

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6. Cut out. Turn right way out.

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♥ Enjoy your toasty mittens ♥
☆ Send me photos of your 52create:Mittens so I can see your sweet creations☆

Tip:
Stitch a length of elastic to each one and thread though your child’s coat sleeves so your beloved 52create project doesn’t get lost [measure from tip of fingers to other fingers, of child’s outstretched arms].