tilly makes & bakes

Always striving to achieve a state of domestic bliss!


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Mini Baked Party Frittatas

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These gorgeous little bites are perfect as party nibbles or canapes, especially during the festive season. Having said that, they are very light and with their Italian style flavours they would also be delicious served at  a summer bbq party.

You will need a mini muffin pan which are widely available. Mine has 24 spaces for mini muffins but I only filled about 16 of them with this frittata recipe.

Ingredients

200g light soft cream cheese with garlic & herbs

50g  parmesan cheese, grated

4 eggs

2tbsp plain flour

1 small red onion, finely chopped

50g chopped frozen spinach

5 sun dried tomatoes from a jar or packet, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

1tsp paprika powder

chilli powder or flakes to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease your muffin pan.

2. Gently fry the red onion in some olive oil until they begin to soften. Set aside to cool.

3. Mix the eggs with the soft cheese and flour and whisk until you have a smooth mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season well.

4. Divide the mixture between the mini muffin holes and bake for about 10 -13 minutes or until the frittatas have set and are beginning to look golden brown around the edges.

5. Serve warm from the oven or cold the next day. I have tried both options and they are delish either way!


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Frosty outside…cosy inside

It has been a very frosty day in this part of the world.  We have had a thick covering of white all over the cars, roads, fields and trees. I took these photos on an early morning walk.

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It was my big little girl’s first ever Christmas celebration at preschool this morning. She sang carols and was a snowflake in a dance. By the end, my cheeks were hurting from smiling so much. On the short drive home through the countryside it felt like being in a scene from a wintery postcard. The sun was setting theatrically behind some icy clouds, giving everything a magnificent orange glow. When we came back we got cosy in the house. We lit candles, the lights on the tree were twinkling and outside everything was still covered, frozen still. I made stew, the baby slept and everyone else just pottered around. I wish we had more days like this.

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Christmas in a mug: Glühwein …that’s mulled wine to me and you!

I had some friends over for a christmassy get-together and decided to make some mulled wine with a few bottles of red wine I had left over.

This is so easy to make, especially if you use your slow cooker (or crock pot) like I did. It means you dont have to worry about overheating the wine and you can easily keep it warm all evening.

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Ingredients

2 bottles of red wine

60 ml of spiced rum

2 sachets of mulled wine spices (available in the herb and spices aisle at this time of year- usually contain cloves, cinnamon and orange peel)

ca 100 ml orange juice (out of a carton will do)

sliced oranges to taste (unwaxed ones are best)

2-3 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

ca 60 g brown sugar

1 vanilla pod, split (the one I used had its seeds removed for a different recipe)

Simply place all your ingredients into your slow cooker and leave to infuse on the low setting for at least 5 hours or so, even better done overnight!

Serve with a fresh slice of orange in each mug.

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This mulled wine had such an aromatic, yet mild flavour to it. I think the vanilla pod really brings it all together. Gorgeous and so easy to make!


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Edible gifts – Chilli Jam

I usually make my own strawberry and vanilla jam during the summer but 9 months pregnant and then with a newborn I somehow didn’t manage it this year (funny that!).

So now that we are a bit more settled with the little one, I thought it would be lovely to make some edible, home made presents to give to people this Christmas. I decided on Nigella Lawson’s Chilli Jam from her Christmas book. It is so simple to make and the vibrant scarlett colour of the finished jam is just so gorgeous and christmassy.

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I followed the recipe as it is and had no problems with the jam setting at all.

Ingredients

150g long red chilli peppers (deseeded and cut into chunks)

150g red bell pepper

600 ml cider vinegar

1 kg jam sugar

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You will need a food processor to blitz the chilli and peppers and about 6x 250 ml preserving jars.

1. Pulse the chillis and pepper chunks in your food processor until finely choppped.

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2. Dissolve the jam sugar and cider vinegar in a large pan and then add the processed chillis and peppers. Bring to a boil. No need to stir at this point.

3. When your mixture has come to a rolling boil, start timing and continue boiling ferociously for 10 minutes.

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4. Decant the hot jam into your sterilised jars, ideally with a jam funnel and leave to cool and set with the lids on.

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5. Decorate to your heart’s content with ribbons, paper, labels and bows!


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Keep the cards coming!

We have received our first Christmas card of the year in the post today! Yes, it seems that some people like to start early. But who am I to judge…it has been Christmas central at this very house for a couple of weeks already.

Sending and receiving Christmas cards in bullk is a typically British tradition which I have whole-heartedly embraced in recent years. It is obviously lovely to read the little messages from friends and family, but all those cards also really add a beautiful decorative touch to the house. So to display the cards we will hopefully receive this year, I made some really simple but effective card holders today. All I needed were some little festive pegs, a length of ribbon, drawing pins and a hammer (not pictured but needed to prevent severe finger tip pain).

The photos are pretty self- explanatory but basically you just use a pin to attach the pegs to the ribbon and then hang the finished garland wherever you desire. I put the pegs at random lengths along the ribbon to allow for different sizes of cards.

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These ribbon holders really help keep your surfaces and sideboards clear of cards and look a lot more classy than some of the shop bought card holders you can get. I am already inspired to make similar garlands to hold birthday cards throughout the year…I’m thinking polka dotted ribbon and colourful pegs….oh the possibilities are endless!