19.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Teddy

^^ Snap taken on Saturday, when Teddy was most definitely done with taking Instagram photos! ;) ^^

This week shall be known as the week in which I managed to buy all the food, but simultaneously none of the food. I spent approximately five million pounds at Waitrose earlier in the week, and yet apparently bought such dumb and impractical things (I mean, I bought an entire pheasant, even though Jason gets given them for free pretty regularly by a friend. Why?!) that I’ve been having to conjure up the strangest meals all week. Like leftover broccoli and Stilton with chips. And two of the largest jacket potatoes you’ve ever seen in your life, with a little bit of everything I could find in the fridge dolloped on top. It’s been weird. And also kind of great! Chips dipped in soup has been something of a revelation. Anyway, aside from odd dinners, and spontaneous pheasant-buying, here’s what’s made me most happy this week!

1. Having Ted carry rolls of wrapping paper for me from my car to the house, since my hands were full of shopping bags. Watching him try and work out how to fit through the front door was my especial favourite! ;)

2. Switching on the Christmas tree lights in the morning, when it’s still dark. I look forward to it every day.

3. Surprise flowers from my love {especially since the bouquet contains my favourite ornamental cabbages!}

4. A burrito bowl dinner!

5. Christmas gifts from the little ones in our lives! Ruby gave me my Christmas present on Wednesday- a little flashing reindeer badge with ‘Rosie’ on it! She picked it out herself, and I ADORE it! Ruby has one too, so now we’re twins ;) And our little niece Sienna made the sweetest Christmas card, wrote a note inside it, and sent it over to us all the way from Canada. We’re so very lucky to have such sweet friends and family.

6. Seeing Ted charge around the woods with his labrador friend on Tuesday morning. He hadn’t seen her in such a long time, but they recognised each other straight away and tore around in the mud and the puddles like loons until we had to part ways. The state of my car though…

7. A rather beautiful set of gold sparkly myrrh-scented tealights I picked up for a bargain in Waitrose on Tuesday. I had three burning within about thirty seconds of arriving home from the shops!

8. Wearing oversized jumpers, oversized scarves, oversized lumberjack shirts…basically I’m all about the comfort at the moment.

9. Afternoon hot chocolate breaks! If not in December, then when? ;)

10. Pregnancy announcements! There’ve been a couple in our family in the past week, and I couldn’t be happier!

Favourite posts of the past week? Jeska’s round up of the best Christmas wreaths || Keiko’s beautifully festive photos || + Freya’s recipe for wild mushroom risotto.

** PLEASE NOTE! I’m currently experiencing a frustrating server error that’s making commenting unavailable on Cider with Rosie- thanks x100 to everyone who let me know about the issue! :) It’s being looked into right now, and I’ll be migrating my commenting system over to Disqus within the next 48 hours if all goes well. Thanks for bearing with me until then! I’ll be on Twitter in the meantime (@ciderwithrosieb), if you fancy a chat! :) **

6 Comments
Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

6 thoughts on “10 things that’ve made me happy this week!

  1. Giada

    Teddy is the cutest! I understand the feeling of buying a tun of grocery and spending a whole lot of pounds and then ending up feeling like there’s nothing to eat anyway!

    Reply
  2. Deborah

    I’ve just stumbled upon your site. Teddy is adorable!! What breed is he? I love snuggly scarfs and jumpers at this time of year. I bought a huge thick soft scarf from New Look which I wrap myself up in when it’s cold at work.

    Reply

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18.12

How-to-make-nut-toffees

Most of the time when I make recipes that result in a glut of sweet things (think PB + J cookies, coffee + walnut layer cake, peppermint creams, + pretzel peanut butter cup cookies), said sweet things get sent over to the Flourish studios (Jason’s design agency) the following day. As much as both Jason and I each do have a pretty serious sweet tooth, even we’re hard pushed to put away endless batches of cake/biscuits/cakes-stuffed-with-biscuits week after week. So I parcel them up, send them on their merry way, and have them serve as mid-morning sustenance for Jason and his team! I like to think of it as bribery for whenever I need troubleshooting stuff done for my blog, or tweaks made to the design ;) It’s a win-win situation!

But then these toasted almond salted caramels came along, and we decided to heck with generosity (’tis the season!;) we’re keeping the whole batch for ourselves! Okay okay. I did portion off a few for my Mum (as an all-out caramel obsessive I truly think she’d disown me if I didn’t…) but the rest are stashed in our fridge, ready for us to demolish whilst watching reruns of The Office (nope, still not bored) and the newest episodes of Homeland.

And when you make them (I’m going to make a leap and say ‘when’ not ‘if’, because salted caramel, right?) you’ll totally see the reason behind such heinous tightfistedness ;)

Soft-salted-caramel-toffees

I made a first batch of salted caramel sauce a couple of weeks back, from this recipe here. Jason and I were in charge of taking dessert round to a family dinner once Sunday, so we made up a batch of the most insanely decadent triple chocolate and salted caramel pimped-up brownies imaginable! I’d always been too scared to have a go at making caramel before (so many burnt sugar disasters on the GBBO put me off!) but the recipe made the process look so very simple that I decided to give it a go. It really and truly is 100% easier than you’d imagine, and doesn’t require anything special or fancy like a sugar thermometer to make.

This variation on the recipe makes the most insanely delicious salted caramel toffees you could imagine. Think Werthers Originals on crack. But better. We’re going to be toasting and smashing up a few almonds to add into the mix, both because they taste delicious and because hey! It’s Christmas time! The season for gratuitous inclusion of nuts in ALL the recipes! ;)

Make a batch to give to friends, another for family, one for your neighbours, and then just one last batch all for yourself. It’s Christmas. You deserve it.

Homemade-salted-caramels Cider-with-Rosie-almond-flavour-salted-caramel-recipe

Ingredients ::
200g golden caster sugar
90g unsalted butter
125ml double cream
1 tsp flaky salt
1 cup almonds

- Put the almonds into a dry frying pan, and heat until they begin to smell nutty and are lightly coloured. Place into a clean tea towel, and smash with a rolling pin until the nuts are broken into rubble. Line the base of a loaf tin with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the paper to make it easier to remove the caramels later on.

- Put the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and set over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt completely, swirling the pan as you go, until the sugar has turned into a dark amber liquid.

- Cut the butter into cubes (to allow it to be incorporated quickly into the sugar) and then add in to the sugar. Use a whisk to mix the butter with the sugar, being careful as the butter will bubble and may spit.

- Slowly whisk the cream into the mixture, pouring in a slow and steady stream. When the cream’s been completely incorporated, allow the mixture to bubble and froth for 1 minute without stirring. It’ll rise in the pan and look pretty volcanic, but never fear! Once the minute is up, remove from the heat, and immediately stir in the sea salt and crushed almonds. Then let it stand for a minute, before pouring into the prepared loaf tin.

- Fill the loaf tin with a layer of caramel about 2 centimetres thick (approximately two thirds of the caramel mixture) then reserve the remainder in a clean jam jar. Alternatively, you might like to double the quantities of the recipe, and set in a square cake tin.

- Let the caramel come to room temperature in its tin, and then put into the fridge for an hour or so to cool and set completely. Once it’s set firm, cut into rectangles (I got 16 generous toffees from this batch), and then wrap in little squares of parchment paper.

Homemade-salted-caramels-Cider-with-Rosie Almond-caramels Salted-caramel-recipe

 

p.s. Best served cold from the fridge, because it makes the nuts extra crunchy and the caramel take just that bit longer to melt in your mouth.

p.p.s. 100% the ideal thing to add to a Christmas hamper…just make sure you never let on to friends and family quite how simple they are to make ;)

** PLEASE NOTE! I’m currently experiencing a frustrating server error that’s making commenting unavailable on Cider with Rosie- thanks x100 to everyone who let me know about the issue! :) It’s being looked into right now, and I’ll be migrating my commenting system over to Disqus within the next 48 hours if all goes well. Thanks for bearing with me until then! I’ll be on Twitter in the meantime (@ciderwithrosieb) if you want to talk salted caramel ;) **

Posted in CHRISTMAS, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SWEET
17.12

Christmas-Cider-with-Rosie-RosieReynolds

There are few things in the world I find more disappointing than the weather being overly balmy on the day we go to buy our Christmas tree. For me, Christmas tree shopping should be done wearing at minimum of four layers and two pairs of socks and the trees themselves should be coated in a fine layer of frost. In past years, it’s been so very warm and bright that I’ve peeled off coat, gloves, scarves and hat by the time we’ve even looked at one single tree!

This year however, tree day was everything I could’ve hoped for. Crisp, frosty air. Crisper, frostier trees. A bright but watery sun sat low in the sky. Robins landing on Christmas tree branches, and looking like they’d come straight from the front of a Christmas card. The sort of day where you’d like to conjure up a never-ending cup of mulled wine to drink from all day…and whilst we’re conjuring, maybe we could make one that never goes cold too?

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning to go and pick out our Christmas tree, after we’d heard rumours that the garden centre where I’ve bought Christmas trees for no less than 23 years had severely underestimated demand and were running low. Panic stations! We beat the weekend crowds and found a plentiful enough supply, and after much deliberation, came away with a tree that I’d say is at least 30% too large for our living room. I’d like to just say though that the ludicrous size definitely was *not* all my doing- Jason was totally behind the Giant Christmas Tree decision too! Oh, and it’s not the one I’m holding in these photos here…it’s a good 2 feet bigger!

Buying-a-Christmas-tree Buying-Christmas-tree-Cider-with-Rosie

What I wore :: Cashmere hat {c/o Brora} || Parka coat {c/o Boden- the warmest coat I’ve ever worn, & it’s on sale now too!} || Fairisle jumper || Tartan scarf || Jeans || Hunters

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-tree Robin-on-Christmas-tree Sunglare-Christmas-tree Winter-tea-Cider-with-Rosie

We came home, warmed up with tea and an early lunch of hot dogs, then got to tree decorating. Jason was in charge of lights, I was bauble-manager-in-chief, and Teddy pottered around us trying to eat stray branch cuttings and making surprise lick attacks on our faces whenever we crouched down to his level to tinker with the tree.

Info- we made a call and went ribbon-free this year. I know. It’s been a pretty major decision making process ;) The ribbon’s not been put to waste though- I used it to make a simple garland for the stairs, along with the baubles that were left over after decorating the tree.

And here she is!

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-tree-decorating

There’s nothing quite like the glow of Christmas tree lights, is there?

Merry-less-than-a-week-to-go everyone!

10 Comments
Posted in CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS TREE, FAMILY, JASON, LOVE, WINTER

10 thoughts on “Christmas tree day 2014!

  1. Fi at this and that blog

    I love the buying of the tree today, it always feel so special. This year was the first year ever that my sister’s and I didn’t accompany our Dad to buy ours and that makes me a little sad. At least he chose a good ‘un! Yours looks super lovely and Christmasy, what a good job you did! x

    Reply
  2. Ala Skrakowski

    So beautiful! We never had real Christmas trees, apart from once when the pine needles that fell off the tree whilst it was in the living room drove my mum and dad to distraction! Your tree looks fab though x

    Reply
  3. Kate

    Beautiful pictures! We always have a fake tree but I definitely want to get a real one one year! x

    Reply

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16.12

Rosie-Reynolds-Cider-with-Rosie-Boden

The city’s looking pretty beautiful in all this crisp winter weather we’ve been having of late. Compared with last winter, when it was nothing but rain 24/7 (and Jason’s offices ended up flooding three feet deep on Christmas Eve!), it feels like a blessing.

Last Wednesday’s trip was probably my last jaunt in London before Christmas. I was in town for a midday catch up with Freya and then an event at Brora in the evening, with a few items to tick off my to-do list in between. I met Freya in the Young Victoria theatre bar just South of Waterloo, for snacks and plenty of cups of tea. I ate a portion of polenta fries that were so hefty you could’ve built houses with them (no bad thing if you ask me, I am mildly obsessed with all things polenta) and we talked over the various merits of different lenses and full-frame cameras and all the other things that make us both stupidly excited.

I went pottering off to Covent Garden after our lunch date, in search of a few bits I needed for upcoming blog content and also just to see the Christmas lights. Turns out, Covent Garden was entirely unfruitful with anything BUT Christmas lights, but they were so beautiful it made up for the blister I got walking over there and then back to the Strand where I actually *could* buy everything I needed. Really it’d have been better to go to Oxford Street and do the lot in one hit, but I’ll do just about anything to avoid Oxford Street…

I found myself with an hour to spare just as the sun was setting, so moseyed over to Trafalgar Square to watch the crowds and the sky and the tree lights twinkling. And then it was off to the Duke of York Square for hummus and pickles at Comtoir Libanais, and then to Brora on Sloane Square to get to know the brand a little better. And for a little light cashmere stroking, of course…

As days in London go, it was a beautiful one. And as one final day in London at the end of such a busy, non-stop year of so many days in London, it was perfect. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed couple of weeks spent almost solely in the countryside over Christmas, though I know by the time we’re heading into 2015, the city will be ready to steal my heart all over again.

Photos from a festive London below, if you’d like to see…

London-roofline-Cider-with-Rosie Black-patent-loafers-Cider-with-Rosie

^^ These beautiful loafers are new, and I just can’t stop wearing them. Frozen toes be damned! Linked below… ^^

New-Vic-bakery-Cider-with-Rosie Polenta-fries-Cider-with-Rosie Rosie-Reynolds-fair-isle-cardigan-Boden Cider-with-Rosie-fair-isle-cardigan-Boden

What I wore :: Fairisle cardigan || Chambray shirt || Skinny legging jeans || Patent loafers {on MEGA SALE!}

Fairisle-cardigan-Cider-with-Rosie Roasting-chestnuts-Cider-with-Rosie

^^ You just would not believe how incredible these roasted chestnuts smelt. Quite literally Christmas in a nutshell! ^^

Roasted-nuts-street-vendors-London-Rosie-Reynolds Covent-Garden-Christmas-decorations-Cider-with-Rosie Trafalgar-square-skyline-Rosie-Reynolds

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10 Comments
Posted in BODEN, DAY TRIPS, LIFE LATELY, LONDON, PHOTOGRAPHY

10 thoughts on “One final day in London before the year is out.

  1. Carrie

    Aww that sounds and looks like such a lovely day! My last day up in London pre Christmas is this Thursday, I’m really excited to see some pretty lights!
    Carrie xx
    (ps. LOVE the loafers! They are going straight on my Christmas list!)

    Reply
  2. Nanna

    Oh, I just love how effefortlessly stunning you always look!
    Those chestnuts do smell amazing but the taste is something different. I once saw someone caramelizing them – worth a try :)

    Reply
  3. Abbie

    These patent loafers are so beautiful! Roasted chestnuts are oh so fun to pick and even better to eat x

    Reply
  4. Mimmi

    Oh, London. I really need to go there again soon, it’s been far too long! And I love those loafers! I have similar ones, but they are so tight and uncomfortable that I never wear them, which is a shame…

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

    Reply

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