Make an easy, edible Christmas decoration

Want an easy way to make a cake or cup cakes or dessert platter or whatever look really special?

Simply heat up a candy cane (buy them in whatever size suits the decoration you’re after – they range from tiny to huge!) and gently bend it into a shape to suit.

Adding more of a swirl than the traditional cane shape is more compact so it works better on some designs I find – the long cane just doesn’t fit in and looks stark so this is a nice option.

Canberra has lights too!

I just found this blog and even though it seems like a million years ’til Christmas, I know it will come soon enough and I may forget to come back in time anyway. So here are some places we go every year in Canberra – hope it helps others find Christmas cheer in the ACT!

Gymkhana Rd, Duntroon we see more than once usually as it’s close to home

Slavin Place or Parade in Gordon

Carina St, Ngunnawal

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is celebrated differently between families; each family having different rituals and traditions that are passed down over the years.

Some people open presents on Christmas Eve, some on Christmas Day and others after Christmas.Little girl in a Santa hat opening a Christmas gift

And others dance around their tree and sing songs as part of their celebrations.

My family doesn’t even have a tree at Christmas, we decorate the fireplace and chimney!

Though it is for the same thing, each family celebrates this day (well month really) in slightly different ways.

I’m curious as to what other people do – are we the only ones without a tree?

* Image courtesy of 123rf

Where did Santa come from?

We all know that Santa lives in the North Pole…But where did he originally come from? The main question is…Where and how was Santa born?

Santa’s origins begin in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was a very generous man who was particularly devoted to children. It is said that he wanted to give money to the poor but didn’t want them to know it was him, so one day he climbed on top of houses and dropped purses of money down the chimneys. Though he passed away and was buried he was later stolen in 1087 which increased his popularity.

The reputations of Saint Nicholas’ kindness grew so muc hthat people began to think that he could perform miracles. He became the patron saint of Russia where he became known for his flowing red cape and his pushy beard. He became known as a saint across many countries due to his generosity.

In Holland the legend of Saint Nicholas was kept alive and they spelt his name as Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes beside the fireplace at night and Sinterklaas would reward the good children by putting lollies in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought the tradition to America in the 17th century and the Anglican name of Santa Clause was brought about.

So after being born in the 4th century and having his remains stolen, Saint Nicholas has truly travelled across the globe to become the Santa Clause that we know today.

Nuts and Bolts ~ a recipe

Though it’s not a strictly Christmas recipe, it’s original and great fun for the kids.

My aunty made them last Christmas and I just couldn’t stop snacking on them! These addictive little treats are delicious, fun and very, very easy to make.

The ingredients are:

1 x 675 packet of Nutri Grain
1 x 45 grams packet of Cream of Chicken Soup powder
1 x 45 grams packet of French Onion Soup powder
2 teaspoons of mustard powder
1 tablespoon of curry powder
2/3 cup of Canola oil
500 grams of unsalted peanuts

One you have all this the making of Nuts and Bolts is extremely simple…

1. Warm oil in microwave for about 20 seconds
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a lidded container
3. Shake until the Nutri Grain is covered with the dry ingredients
4. Pour and stir in oil and shake some more
5. Keep stored in an air tight container

If the Nutri Grain goes a little soggy, simply heat in a moderate oven until they are crispy again.

If you don’t like peanuts you can change the recipe to cashews or even some mixed nuts. You could even throw in a broken up packet of 2 minute noodles to make Nuts, Bolts and Screws!

Great for a snack as everyone arrives or shares out presents at Christmas, or make little packets of it as gifts.

Glasses and plates of food on a table

Nuts & Bolts can be added to any entertainer’s table.

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