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December 2019

Minty Grinch Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 23 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making minty Grinch bark.

Grinch bark

Bark Ingredients

  • 300g White chocolate
  • Green food colouring
  • Peppermint flavouring
  • Green chocolate beans
  • Red heart sprinkles

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Add the peppermint flavouring and the green food colouring to the melted white chocolate and mix well.
  5. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  6. Pour the chocolate into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  7. Sprinkle the green chocolate beans and the red hearts then refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Grinch bark

Tomorrow, for our final countdown to Christmas recipe we’re making gingerbread fudge.

Making Tea with The Best Kettle

lady pouring water from a kettle into a cup

Making a tasty cup of tea has never been easier. The days of waiting by the stove for the stove-top kettle to heat up gradually have gone. As much as some people love the old-fashioned whistling sound, they are turning to electric pots which provide better speed, temperature adjustment, longer durability and much more.

In case you’re thinking of purchasing a brand new electric kettle, there are numerous factors to take into consideration. You’re provided with a wide range of models, even with quiet kettles for your tea.

How to choose the best one?

Solid speed

One of the primary features you should look for in a kettle is speed. You need one which is going to have your tea ready in about two to three minutes. Speed is crucial, as purchasing a fast boiler is going to save you plenty of time in the morning when you hurry to get ready for work.

When deciding to purchase a kettle, go to various stores and read the description of the ones you find appealing. It’s supposed to include the wattage of the pot by which you can determine its speed. The higher the wattage, the faster the water will boil. 

In case you can’t manage to find this information in the description, don’t hesitate to call the shop assistant to help you. He/ She will be able to tell you everything you wish to know about the product. As you’re going to be faced with a wide selection of models, it’s a wise idea to go through some reviews by previous customers. If you are making an online purchase, online stores will provide you with numerous reviews, aiding you in making a choice.

Temperature adjustment

Not all electric kettles have the feature of temperature adjustment, enabling you to adjust the temperature in accordance with your preferences. Most pots, particularly the lower-cost ones, have only one fixed temperature feature, which boils the water in the same way regardless of the type of tea you’re brewing.

Glass kettle

If you aren’t a person who takes special notice on the effect which boiling temperature has on your cup of tea, then the adjustment option isn’t essential for you. However, in case you are specific about the taste and you make a distinction between teas boiled at a different temperature, then this feature has to be included. The tea brewing temperature guide on this page will teach you about the ideal way of making the perfect cup out of various types of tea.

Dimensions and capacity

Size is very significant when it comes to selecting the perfect kettle. Therefore, prior to making a purchase, take a good look at your kitchen to determine the spot where you plan to place it. If your kitchen is crowded with various objects, you’ll certainly need a smaller pot in order to fit in properly. However, should you have a large kitchen and you can place the pot anywhere you want, then you aren’t limited in terms of dimensions.

In addition, capacity is another important element which largely depends on the amount of tea you drink. Those people who live alone, brewing tea only for themselves, need a small-sized kettle, such as the one designed for travelling purposes.

On the other hand, if you brew tea for the whole family, then you need a normal-sized boiler which is capable of boiling approximately two litres of water. This amount is more than enough for the whole family to have a cup, without having to wait more than a few minutes.

yellow whistle kettle

Noise

You probably remember the whistling kettles which release such a loud noise that it could wake the dead. Fortunately, pots are becoming less noisy, even almost silent. The higher voltage ones are noisier, unlike the ones which are of lower voltage, but quieter. Not being bothered by the loud sounds the boiler produces, means purchasing a high-voltage one, able to heat up faster.

Nevertheless, if you find the noise annoying or you simply don’t want to wake the others early in the morning while using the electric pot, you should buy a lower-voltage one. Moreover, you can choose some of the modern quiet kettles, producing as little noise as possible or try to make your water boiler quiet by following the soundproofing tips on this link: https://soundproofcentral.com/make-kettle-quiet/.

Weight and material

The most common materials used for making water boilers are stainless steel, plastic or glass, each having its own advantages and drawbacks. The first one is considered to be the best material for kettles, heating up fast, lasting the longest, but weighing the most.

Plastic heats up more slowly, but the lightest pots are made of this material, making them perfect for travelling. Glass boilers are similar to the ones made of stainless steel, but are more frequently chosen due to their appealing design.

Price

In terms of price, you can purchase low-cost boilers, being equipped only with the basic features such as lower voltage, capacity and no temperature adjustment option. However, you shouldn’t expect them to have a long life-span.

Conversely, the ones which are more durable, powerful and bigger in size cost more. Also, the more additional features the kettle has, the more expensive it is.

Conclusion

The electric water boiler is something you’ll use on a daily basis; make sure you choose one with high quality and top design.

This is a collaborative post

Easy Ways To Get Your Car Tyres Online.

Have you checked your tyres recently?
Statistics from the Department for Transport show that poor tyre condition including defective, illegal or under-inflated tyres are the second most common cause of crashes, the first being defective brakes.

As a nation, we don’t usually expect lots of snow in winter anymore, but sometimes we get caught out and it arrives with a vengeance!
If you’re one of those people who have to still go to work in the snow, you’re going to need to make sure your tyres are in excellent condition.
You don’t want to become part of the above statistics, especially not at this time of year.

Close up of car wing mirror covered in frozen snow
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Tyre Maintenance

Tyres are checked when a car has an MOT, however, you still need to regularly check your tyres throughout the year and even more so in the winter.

It may feel like a lot of work to keep your tyres maintained but with today’s technology, it’s never been easier. You don’t even need to leave your house! When you are ordering your tyres online always make sure you think about getting them fitted professionally.  You can go online and get your car tyres at an economical price from Jet Wheel Tyre.  Often people forget that it is not such an easy job for a layman to properly fit, balance and align new tyres and this can detract some of the savings earned by buying tyres online.

Tyre Tread Depth

Tyre tread depth is the most important factor when it comes to your safety. The tyres are the only point of contact with the road and having the correct depth ensures your vehicle gets the grip it needs.
Having a good grip on the road is essential, especially when braking, cornering and over-taking.

Good tyre tread depth also makes sure your stopping distance isn’t reduced if you have to brake suddenly.

a car tyre with good tread - this helps prevent accidents due to poor tyre condition
Image by wyncel from Pixabay

Tyre Pressure Matters

Having over or under-inflated tyres will have a negative impact on the tyre tread depth.
Not only will the tread be worn down faster, but there’s also the possibility that you will lose grip or even have complete tyre failure.

Over-inflated tyres increase the possibility of having a blow out because the tyres aren’t flexible enough to cope with uneven road surfaces.

As an added bonus, ensuring correct tyre pressure will help reduce fuel consumption, thereby saving you money on fuel costs.

Check For Tyre Damage

Check the tyre sidewall for any signs of damage such as bulging or cracking.
The sidewall absorbs most of the stresses the tyres have to withstand which means they’re very susceptible to cuts, scrapes and punctures.
The chances of damage increases if your tyres are under-inflated.

Be Safe

Taking a few moments each week on tyre maintenance will ensure you and your family will be kept safe throughout the winter months.

This is a collaborative post.

Oreo Fudge Recipe

Welcome to day 22 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Oreo fudge.
Now, I’ll admit that this isn’t the most appetising looking fudge in the world but OMG, the flavour more than makes up for the muddy looking mess!

Oreo Fudge Ingredients

  • 397g Condensed milk
  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 300g White chocolate

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Place the chocolate and condensed milk in a microwavable bowl and melt for 30-seconds then stirring.
  3. Continue melting in 15-second increments and stirring well each time until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Keep 4 Oreos for the topping and place the rest of the Oreos into a plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to break up the Oreos.
  5. Add the crushed Oreos to the fudge and mix well until combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture.
  7. Break the 4 Oreos into pieces and sprinkle over the top of the fudge, pressing them in gently.
  8. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  9. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
    Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

Tomorrow’s recipe is for Grinch bark.

Toffee Popcorn & Marshmallow Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 21 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making maple bacon popcorn bark.

toffee popcorn and marshmallow bark

Toffee Popcorn & Marshmallow Bark Ingredients

  • 600g Milk chocolate
  • 100g Toffee popcorn
  • 100g Mini marshmallows

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  6. Sprinkle over the popcorn and marshmallows and press gently into the chocolate.
  7. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
toffee popcorn and marshmallow bark

Tomorrow we’re making Oreo fudge.

Bailey’s Fudge Recipe

Welcome to day 20 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Baileys fudge.

Baileys fudge

Baileys Fudge Ingredients

  • 600g Milk chocolate
  • 397g Condensed milk
  • 25ml Bailey’s
  • Your choice of sprinkles – we used triple chocolate curls

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Place the chocolate and condensed milk in a microwavable bowl and melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring each time.
    Chocolate can burn easily in the microwave so be sure to watch it carefully.
  3. Add the Baileys to the fudge and mix well until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture. Top with the triple chocolate sprinkles.
  5. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  6. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
    Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

Tomorrow’s recipe is for maple bacon popcorn bark.

Shortbread Teddies Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 19 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making shortbread teddies bark.

Shortbread teddies bark

Shortbread Teddies Bark Ingredients

  • 200g Milk chocolate
  • 200g White chocolate
  • A box of Shortbread teddies – we got ours from The Range (if you can’t find shortbread teddies, make your own shortbread and cut into teddy shapes)

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  5. Put the milk chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the bowl, stir and microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat until the chocolate has melted. Be careful because it’s very easy to burn the chocolate when microwaving.
  6. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  7. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the white chocolate and use a wooden skewer to swirl the milk chocolate.
  8. Place the shortbread teddies on the chocolate bark and press down gently.
  9. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  10. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Shortbread teddies bark

Tomorrow we’re making Bailey’s fudge.

Tips To Look After The Health Of Your Household

Being happy and healthy is all that a household needs when it comes to their wants. There are plenty of opportunities to help make that so, particularly if you feel that you might be lacking in that somehow. Here are some tips to look after the health of your household.

family walking on a pier at sunset - look after the health of your household by getting exercise together
Image Source

Improve Relationships With Food

Your relationship with food is more important than you think. The food that we consume has an impact on how healthy we are and what chance it gives us when it comes to living a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, everything that is bad for you always ends up tasting really nice. However, you can help improve everyone’s relationship with food by preparing your evening meals from scratch. Learning what you’re putting into your food is essential, and when you know that, it can help you figure out how to make those meals a little healthier. Your idea of portion size and moderation might also be a little warped. It’s certainly healthy to look at your plates and see if there are some issues with the amount that gets piled onto your plate each time. The ratio of veggies to protein, meat to meat alternatives is also very important.

Improve your relationship with food as a household, and you’ll start to feel a lot happier in yourself.

Do Some Family Exercise

Keeping on top of exercise can be essential for your health in general. As you get older, the need for exercise becomes more important so to help this, why not try family exercise? It could be an opportunity for you and your family to go down to the local swimming pool and spend a morning or afternoon swimming together. Sometimes it can be necessary to take someone with you when exercising because it can certainly help motivate you further. Ensure you’ve set up a time and an exercise class or routine that everyone enjoys. This is a family exercise and so everyone who is involved, should enjoy what they’re doing and not feeling like they’ve been dragged along.

Ask your family members what they’d like to try out and give each other the opportunity to try something out that you all may have not tried before.

Try Out Supplements 

Supplements can pretty much be assigned to anyone in your household, as long as it’s a suitable age for your child to be taking them. For adults, things like CBG are starting to emerge as a popular supplement to take when it comes to advertising. So what is CBG? Well, it’s a cannabinoid that is taking the wellness industry by storm because it’s an all-natural supplement. It can help benefit pain management, which can come in handy when recovering from any injuries or pain from working out. There are so many different supplements to try, both for the young and the old. As with anything though, it’s always a good idea to approach your doctor first to see what they think about what you’re looking into.

Keep The Home Tidy

Keeping your home tidy and clean is useful for your health because if you let the cleanliness of your home deteriorate, then you are likely to cause illnesses from spending too much of your time in a cluttered home. Try to involve your household more and stress the need for keeping all spaces in the home clean. Declutter on a regular basis and make sure you’re getting rid of anything that’s maybe taking up a lot of room. Set up a weekly or monthly cleaning schedule that you can all contribute to. The more respect everyone has for the home, the better it will be treated. The health of your household can always be helped if you’re willing to pick up after yourself and to keep all of the dust at bay in your home.

Woman in a kitchen, cooking dinner
Image Source

Stress The Importance Of Medical Appointments

Medical appointments are something that we all have access to, but we often forget to attend them. And although many of us can end up leading busy lives, you’re not busy enough to skip your medical appointments or to forget about going. You want to be able to set a good role model for your children in that looking after your health and getting regular check-ups is good. So make sure you’re going to all your dental and doctor appointments but also take advantage of the free eye tests and hearing tests. These are both things that are usually free first time around, and they might pick up something that hasn’t been recognised by yourself.

Always Stay On Top Of Personal Hygiene

Taking care of yourself is essential, and your personal hygiene can certainly impact your health too. By not brushing your teeth twice a day or not washing your hands after you’ve out. These are all the little things that you don’t think are bad for skipping a day on or not doing at all, but they are really vital. You should always try and carry a hand sanitizer and that way you keep on top of destroying any germs that might get transferred from communal areas to your hands. The amount of dirt and bacteria that can sit on your hands and potentially cause you harm is as worse if not more than your standard toilet bowl. Be wary of personal hygiene and that of others in the household.

Looking after your health as a household is important, so the more you can do to help yourself, the better. Start by washing your hands religiously before mealtime and if not, use hand sanitizer to do the same job. Stress the importance of medical appointments with your children and make sure they’re attending once they’ve flown the nest too. Keep your home tidy as often as possible and remember to declutter every now and then. Try out supplements and don’t forget to do some family exercise together as and when you can. It’s a great bonding experience but one that’s also healthy!

This is a collaborative post

White Chocolate Fudge

Welcome to day 18 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making white chocolate fudge.

White chocolate fudge

White Chocolate Fudge Ingredients

  • 600g White chocolate
  • 397g Condensed milk
  • Multi-coloured sprinkles

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl and melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring each time.
    Chocolate can burn easily in the microwave so be sure to watch it carefully.
  3. Add the condensed milk to the chocolate and mix well until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture.
  5. Add the sprinkles and refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  6. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
    Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

Tomorrow’s recipe is for shortbread teddies bark.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Welcome to day 17 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.
This recipe comes from Home And Plate where you can find the American measurements 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Ingredients

  • 300g Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 397g Condensed Milk
  • 300g Milk Chocolate broken into small pieces

Method

  1. Line a shallow tin with baking parchment.
  2. Place the condensed milk and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until it’s all blended and smooth.
  3. Add the chocolate pieces to the condensed milk and peanut butter mixture and stir until melted.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread out the mixture.
  5. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your fudge.
  6. When set, remove the fudge from the tin using the baking parchment and cut into bitesize pieces.
  7. Store in an airtight container or package into cellophane bags and give as gifts.

Tomorrow’s recipe is for white chocolate peanut butter fudge.

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