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8 months ago

Cheryl it was a pleasure, I am sooo glad everyone enjoyed the pictures recipe's and posting their pictures which I have loved looking at.

                                             ~

Hey Easter next, think of all the baby animals, ahhhhhh, lets have a comp, best picture of an   > "Easter Bonnet" plenty of time to search , no rush, all those Easter chicks ahhhhhh. 

he he he , the gauntlet is down, >no thread till March though , what do you all think ??love hugs  xwendy k x & kelly cats xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jan.5/14
8 months ago

Hi Les and Sue and everyone! LES... it's so good to so you! I hope you and your family are well and all had a great Christmas.

Sue, it really has been fun having this thread. I will come back to recipes and pics. Thanks for starting it, Wendy.

8 months ago

This was a fun thread, thanks everyone for posting.  Just catching up today.  5 pages of Chatterbox emailed posts to get through.

8 months ago

great pics Cheryl--hope your Christmas was a good one.

8 months ago

And we can't forget the curious Christmas cats!

ss

ss

ss

"Has anybody seen the cat?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOACBNVRIho

Dec 27
8 months ago

Such a funny video of dogs opening their (and other people's) presents!

dd


dd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA_UdDJlIGE#t=66

Dec 25
8 months ago

BOXING DAY tomorrow --- hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Santa is glad that it's all done and he's gone home and had a few drinks with Mrs. Claus. He has indigestion from all the milk and cookies. (that's actually vodka tonic in his glass) lol

aa

8 months ago

ANGEL!! It's so good to see you! We are all thinking about you as you know if you've read the threads. We love you, dear friend! May Christmas bring you much love, comfort, and peace. We can truly say that an "Angel" visited us on Christmas Day.

8 months ago

merry Christmas to one & all   xxxxx

        http://openezx.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/animated-pictures-merry-christmasanimated-glitter-graphics-comments--happy-merry-christmas-glitter-h4fke5up.gif

8 months ago

I love all of you!!!

Love and big hugs. 

Barb, Baby, Beenie

Christmas Filled With Wonde image
Christmas Pictures

Part of this story is about Icelandic Christmas tradition
9 months ago
In Iceland, where folklore is more than just stories, concern for elves holds up road project
9 months ago

   

9 months ago

Oh that kitty-reindeer is soooooo cute, and that decorated house is absolutely gorgeous!! WOW! Thanks Wendy.

ss as of tomorrow (20th) - is that right?

ss I just finished watching "A Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sim. I watch that particular one every year. There are other actors like Albert Finney who have played Scrooge, but no one compares to Alistair Sim and the black and white version. I believe it was supposed to be the early to mid and after 1800s and it looks cold and dank in the offices and homes. That movie always makes me laugh and cry... I really love the ending where he wakes up after the last ghostly visitation.

9 months ago

           

9 months ago

Beautiful picture, Ingrid!

Great recipes and tips, Wendy! That's the perfect song for that picture! I think the guy in the front is frustrated because he doesn't know the words.... or the one who does know the words is singing them right in his little ear!

dd

9 months ago

Gloooooor-oooo-o-o-oor-oooo-o-oooria in Excelsis Deo    Gloooooooor -oooo-o-o..........

               .



This post was modified from its original form on 18 Dec, 11:10
9 months ago

OK LAST SERIOUS TIP, (BACK TO THE FUN CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AFTER THIS, >

SOME PEOPLE MIGHT NOT ABOUT THESE FOODS THAT CAN SERIOUSLY HARM OUR FURBABIES, YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE YOUR PET A TREAT WHILE YOU COOK OR SERVE FOOD, BEFORE YOU "TREAT" YOUR PET, HAVE A READ OF THIS LINK %#&!*%

12 Festive Munchies You Should Never Feed Your Dog or Cat http://www.care2.com/causes/12-festive-munchies-you-should-never-feed-your-dog-or-cat.html#bbtw=882491960

9 months ago
TIPS FOR THE CHRISTMAS ROAST  John Lewis: Turkey, stuffing, and gravy dishes on wood surfaceFor a moist, succulent turkey, try soaking it in brine and aromatics for 24 hours. Photograph: Maren Caruso/Getty Images

Even if you're a roast aficionado, it's always wise to kick Christmas dinner off with a detailed timing plan. It helps focus your mind, and also makes it easy to see which jobs can be easily siphoned off to willing commis chefs. In advance of the big day, make sure you have all the right equipment.

It might sound stupid, but many a Christmas dinner has been ruined by not having a roasting tray – or worse still an oven – big enough for the turkey. 

An additional trick for keeping the bird moist is to brine it before cooking. Sit your turkey in a large pan of water with salt, sugar and some Christmas aromatics, such as cinnamon, orange, cloves and honey. Leave for a minimum of 24 hours and then pat dry before cooking in the usual way.

9 months ago
CONTINUED FROM RECIPE BELOW >>>>>.. Add 50g of the butter to the pan and then gently fry the cinnamon stick, crushed cardamom pods and cloves for a couple of minutes to release their flavour. Drain the rice, rinse until the water runs clear and add to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly to ensure the grains are well coated in the butter.

Add the turkey, dried fruit and nuts and stir to combine. Pour over the saffron water and season really well. Wrap a tea towel around the lid of your dish and when the liquid has come to a low boil cover with the lid. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for around 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and add the spinach. Cover and leave to wilt for a couple of minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure it's evenly cooked. Lift the lid off the pilaf and gently fluff the grains with a fork. Stir through the onions and spinach and season to taste.

Cranberry, apple and ginger punch

75g fresh cranberries
5cm root ginger, peeled and cut into thin discs
4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
400ml apple juice
200ml cranberry juice
150ml ginger beer
1 lemon, juice (optional)

Serves 4

Put the cranberries in a punch bowl or large saucepan, add half of the ginger and all the sugar and use a rolling pin or pestle to muddle. Add the remaining liquid ingredients, except the lemon, and stir well. Taste and add more sugar, or lemon juice if desired. Garnish with the remaining discs of ginger.


9 months ago
Spiced turkey pilaf and cranberry, apple and ginger punch
A step up from cold turkey sandwiches, this bejewelled pilaf is the ideal way to use up leftover turkey and is matched perfectly by this refreshing (non-alcoholic!) cocktail
John Lewis: spiced turkey pilaf with fruit and nutsView larger picture
Photograph: Martin Poole
Spiced turkey pilaf with fruit and nuts

250g basmati rice 
Saffron, pinch 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 large red onion, finely sliced 
80g butter  
1 cinnamon stick 
8 cardamom pods, crushed 
4 cloves 
200g turkey
40g sour cherries
40g dried cranberries
40g pistachios
40g almonds 
250g spinach, stalks removed
Seasoning 

Serves 4

Soak the rice in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes. Boil 500ml water in a pan, turn off heat, add the saffron, leave to infuse.

Heat the oil in a shallow heavy-based casserole dish and fry the onions until nicely caramelised. Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm.  >>>>>>>

continued below>>>>>>

9 months ago

Your welcome Cheryl and thanks for the chocolate. Love it.

9 months ago

Oh Ingrid, I just spotted your YUMMIES in there.... I am putting on weight just looking at all these!

9 months ago

HOLY MACKERAL.... I am suddenly craving sweet stuff! Wendy, those all look so festive and delicious! YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM...

Thanks for the great pics too, Wendy!

We're (son and I) are going to pick up stuff tomorrow to make that chutney! More YUM YUM YUM...

Chocolate anyone?

ss

Dec. 16
9 months ago

WHEEEEEE..... that's such a cute picture, Mary. I just don't know how Santa manages to do all the work he has to do and has time to play as well! I guess that's a good lesson for us all!

Everyone's invited to a tea and goodie party at 3:00 p.m. here (it will be the same 3:00 p.m. wherever we are in the world). To be hosted by Santa, of course. LOL

ss

9 months ago

Hi Ladies! (as you can see I turned the thread)

June and Wendy, what great posts! Grumpy Cat is awesome, and these little animal Christmas "elves" are sooooo cute! hee hee hee... what fun! Wendy, that Plum Pudding makes my mouth water! We had that every year when I was growing up and lit it up before eating. YUM YUM! I will come back and do the quiz after I post a few more things. I'M DEFINITELY GETTING IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD!

Here's a fireplace for those who don't have one (like me)...

ss


... and here is a link to some video fireplaces with different choices of Christmas songs (as you can see on the right side).... most are complete with music that lasts for hours!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL56qqwlsRc&list=RD0soVy4bItCY

9 months ago

Hi Barbara, not sure about the chick hat, but  I thought the pic was cute too, the pic of the "cake" is "Christmas Pudding", a very rich steamed fruit pudding, can be soaked in rum, or brandy (the fruit) >if soaked in brandy, the pudding can be lit, the blue flame then burns away the alcohol, but leaves the brandy flavour, served with white sweet brandy sauce , or custard, >some people love it, some people hate it, just like  "marmite" ?

love the pics here we must keep this thread for next year too , here is a link to click on >CATS HUH !!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>....

   >>A Cat’s Guide to Christmas (Video) http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-cats-guide-to-christmas-video.html#bbtw=882491960

9 months ago

Such funny Christmas Kitties June!

Cheryl thanks for this clip art I love it!  Looks so good to eat!

Mary such an adorable puppy in the snow!!!

And Wendy such a cute doggie as a reindeer lol!  And cute little chicken with hat!  Is that a real hat on the chickie?

Wow Sue those snowflakes are amazing!  So beautiful and created by God our super designer of the Universe!

9 months ago

HI Sisters the fruit cake above or not sure what it is looks delicious!  I love the cute dog and baby chick, too!

I  love all of you!

9 months ago

           Norway: Hiding brooms (© Getty Images) 

9 months ago

       

9 months ago

FABULOUS PICS LOVE THE CAT TREE JUNE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

       

9 months ago

Grumpy Cat Stars in "Hard To Be a Cat at Christmas" Music Video

Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Oskar the Blind Cat, Nala Cat, and Hamilton the Hipster Cat have come together in an unprecedented celebrity cat supergroup this holiday season to lend their voices to a very important cause close to all of their hearts -- and their bellies -- the cause of wet food for all cats.
YOU can help by sharing this video. For every view (up to 500,000 views), Friskies will donate one can of wet cat food to shelter and rescue organizations across the country. Share with all your friends and help make a cat's holiday wish come true.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06GhXB2_XNE

9 months ago

Such a cute doggy wagging his tail in the snow, Mary.

Wendy, what a wonderful thing (things) to do! I never thought of the flask idea. Brilliant! I bet the people who receive those things feel they got a wonderful Christmas present.

Years ago I worked in a very drug infested and poor area of town where there were many homeless people, mostly men. A few would be sitting outside the 7-11 store where I stopped first thing in the morning. I would always bring a coffee and sandwich to anyone sitting outside the doorway. To hold/touch their hand for a moment and look at them and smile gave me the opportunity to do something. I don't think there was even once when the person didn't say, "God bless you." So who really got the blessings? I felt I did.

I don't get the chance to do that anymore, and the homeless in the community where I live are so hidden. I think I will take some food to the local food bank this year.

Some of us do things for people, some do things for animals. All of God's creatures need taking care of, right?

Something that is really bugging me are the commercials on TV showing one woman, for instance, in a toy store picking out items that cost, $24.99, $74.99, $122.99... and such.... for one child. Another shows presents stacked to the ceiling around a tree, presents packed into a closet, and the fridge packed with presents when a kid opens the door. LIKE.... how many people REALLY have the money to do anywhere near THAT?!!! Drives me nuts when those commercials come on! It makes people who can barely afford Christmas dinner feel bad they can't get their kids more, and it makes some kids more expectant or sad.

SO....... we are now going into countdown phase, at least on Face Book. We've had our first snow. So pretty.

dd

 

9 months ago

brilliant idea this is something everyone can do thanks  Wendy 

9 months ago

Heres a tip, if you know anyone sleeping rough, and you can afford to, give them a flask of hot  tea/soup/water and tea bags/coffee/packet soup. (I mean only one of the options, in a flask) .A hot drink can help save someones life, and if you give them a flask, they can hopefully get a hot water refill from a cafe or food stand, Last year I gave about 10 flasks away filled with hot water, and a small bag with tbags, packet soups, and dried milk powder, we also bought 10 pop up tents, in a sale , then went and gave them out, sleeping bag included,donated  from the camping shop, who donated them when they heard what we were doing.

The whole thing cost me about £140, =$229 , not bad for a bit more shelter and hot drinks for 10 people, plus 2 dogs? ,  I aim to do this again this year. wish I could do more..............

Idea>>>>> get that gift that , you know will be a hit xxxx>>>

              

19 Gift Ideas for People Who Love Animals

19 Gift Ideas for People Who Love Animals http://www.care2.com/greenliving/19-gift-ideas-perfect-for-animal-lovers.html#bbtw=882491960

9 months ago

my heart goes out to them as well Cheryl we can only imagine how cold and lonely it is on the street ,our citys are a terrible jungle to be outside in at night with no shelter ,we can feed some of the animals they are used to being outside although it is very cold but people need more shelters sending warm hugs everyone

9 months ago

Oh wow... pictures are WONDERFUL!! Thanks Wendy, Mary, and Sue.

I will make sure to let you know how my son's chutney turns out, Wendy. I am really looking forward to him doing it. I want ours to be chutneying soon too!

Mary, I love that shop window in Gaelic!

Oh my goodness, that cat tree gives me the willies! I can imagine going downstairs in the middle of the night and see all those eyes looking at me in the dark. hee hee

The snowflakes are absolutely gorgeous. It's amazing how he captured them so perfectly. They are as unique and individual as human fingerprints! All of them... truly works of art!

We haven't had snow yet but it's been below 10 deg. C. The poor birds and animals! But my mind goes to how on earth do street people live in such weather. I simply can't imagine.

It's not long now... time is going so fast!

ssHere's a treat for you! I'll keep my eyes open for some home town pics.  

9 months ago

Wendy if you preview the photos before submitting them you can adjust the size by left clicking on the photo and diagonally dragging one of the corner squares that appear at each corner and sometimes in the middle along the top and sides as well.  Was able to see it better in the emailed copy of the post, boy that came in huge!  We don't have those street markets here and I really miss them.

9 months ago

SMALLER ONE , WILL LOOK OUT FOR A MEDIUM SIZED PHOTO OF B'HAM'S GERMAN MARKT XXXXWeihnachts-Special, Foto: IUW, © Stadt Frankfurt am Main

9 months ago

We have had high winds, and a few trees have fallen, but Scotland had the brunt, and the north West, the German Market was closed early as a foof flew off one of the stalls, injuring two people, but cuts and bruises only thank goodness. Here is the entrance to the German market in B'ham, a couple of days ago, then I will show you the market in snow last year x wendy k x>>>>>>>>>>

9 months ago

That's a lovely photo, thanks for posting it.  I was sick in bed and decided to learn how to use the camera, but you need batteries to be able to practice!  Have been listening to the BBC website live online hearing about the huge storm causing flooding across Europe.  Very scary.  Hope you're safe where you are.

9 months ago

Sue, will try to get a pic of B'ham, with the German Market, glad you liked the cat tree, it is very clever, and re-camera you are better than me, I would probably take a camera and forget i needed batteries !!!! so heres a pretty pic>>>>>

   

9 months ago

Wendy, thanks for the laugh out loud moment!  Me want the kitty tree, looks like it comes already lighted.  Yesterday I searched and searched for photos of my City at Christmas but was unable to find any.  There is usually a free bus ride to take us to see the lights people have decorated with sometime in December.  It has been years since I took any photos and still have not had time to learn how to use the digital cameras I was given.  Did manage to find out they do not work with the cheap batteries I usually use. 

9 months ago

Fantastic Sue, really beautiful too, can't say that about this>>>>>>>

                                 CRAZY CAT TREE

                                                 Embedded image permalink

Since snow is Christmassy, sort of, this belongs here
9 months ago

Check out the truly amazing photos at this link.  There are also 2 links under all the photos to his flickr page and Alexey's blog.  I have never seen such beautiful close up photos of snowflakes.  Left a message on his blog page to thank him for the privilege of seeing all his work.

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/beautiful-snowflake-micro-photography-done-by-shoddy-camera/17153/

Love and Peace
Sue

9 months ago

                          Christmas Decorating Ideas: Front Columns

9 months ago

happy christmas in gaelic

9 months ago

                       

9 months ago

Here is a pic of my small home town Solihull complete with real snow (last year)

has anyone a pic of their home towns ready for Christmas ?>>>>>>>>>>>

  SOLIHULL

9 months ago

                              

                                 BRING IN THE TREE

                         XMAS TREE

Cheryl don't forget to let me know how the chutney turns out, hope it is delicious, mine is chutneying?? ready for the opening day he he he x wendy k x

9 months ago

Wendy -- my son is going to make the Chutney!!



This post was modified from its original form on 26 Nov, 17:28
10 months ago

CHRISTMAS IS MY FAVOURITE TIME OF THE YEAR (other than Spring!)

Thank you for the recipes, Wendy. My son was talking about making chutney the other day -- yay, now I can give him that wonderful recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious.

I love the link to the Christmas crackers and other countryside info. I bet your place is very homey at Christmas and smells of fresh baked and cooked everything!

The Christmas movies and commercials came in fast and furious, barely after halloween. So far I have watched the ANDY WILLIAMS Christmas special twice! It really takes me back in time -- so I'm posting this link to some of his favourite songs.

ss
Andy Williams - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk552bfJvko

Andy Williams - Personal Christmas Collection

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQM_TwwIPg

The First Noel - Andy Williams (with words)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l79dTHRi2v4&
list=PL4454B1C2A63D55F5

Oh Holy Night (beautiful!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-RAnkH8Jxc&list=PL4454B1C2A63D55F5


A MIXTURE OF POPULAR SINGERS (back to Dean Martin and Buddy Holly, and others)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOlg7OUF0mc


(I didn't find all the ones I wanted, so they may come later).



This post was modified from its original form on 16 Nov, 19:20
10 months ago

Here's a link, showing how to make "English crackers" if you have the time to make them !!!!  >>>>>>>

10 months ago

You might think it is a bit early for Christmas, but some of the recipes take a while to be ready, like the chutney, yet is so easy to make, but cant be served for 5/6 weeks after it is made, so share any tips to help make Christmas , cheaper , nicer, homelier, for us here, love hugs x wendy k x & kelly cats xxxx

10 months ago

Cranberry & apple chutney

20mins preparation 
1hr cooking time

Makes 4 x 500g jars
Stores for up to 6 months

Sweet and tangy chutney, made with apples, cranberries and onions, it is a sure crowd pleaser.

It goes great with turkey and hams, whether you are making it to accompany your own Christmas dinner or as a nice thoughtful gift for someone else.

Shopping list
  • 1kg cooking apples, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 500g eating apples, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 450g onions, sliced
  • 50g fresh root ginger finely chopped
  • 1tsp peppercorns
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 500g cranberries
Method
  1. Put all the ingredients in a large pan apart from the cranberries and cook over a low heat, mixing well to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Boil the mixture, then lower the heat and simmer without a lid for 50 minutes to an hour ensuring to stir well so that the chutney thickens.
  3. Pour in all the cranberries and simmer for 10 minutes but ensure that the cranberries do not split, Put the chutney into sterilised jars straight from the pan and seal. Store in a cool, dark place.
It still feels like Christmas~
10 months ago
| Items of Interest

Christmas cake recipe

15 mins preparation
+ 12hrs to soak your fruit
1 hour 30 mins cooking

Makes 10 - 12
Ready to eat from 4 hours

Customarily an exotic version of the humble fruit cake, the added spices provide a greater depth of flavour and would historically have been an expensive treat.

Our recipe uses brandy to soak the dried fruits but whisky, sherry or rum work well too. If you'd rather make a non-alcoholic version, try apple juice or tea to keep your cake moist. Remember you'll need enough to 'feed' the cake every few days in the run up to Christmas.

Shopping list
  • 200g (7oz) currants
  • 150g (5oz) sultanas
  • 150g (5oz) raisins
  • 100g (4oz) roughly chopped dates
  • 100g (4oz) finely chopped glacé cherries
  • 150g (5oz) finely chopped mixed candied peel
  • 125ml good quality brandy, plus extra to feed
  • 225g (8oz) room temperature softened butter
Method
  1. The day before you want to make your Christmas cake, place the dried fruit and peel in a bowl with the brandy and cover before leaving to soak for 12 hours. Give the mix a good stir before using it the following day.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with 2 layers of baking paper and preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan oven/Gas mark 1. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale in colour with a light fluffy texture and start adding the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating them in well as you add them.
  3. Sift the flour, adding the baking powder, ground almonds and spice with a pinch of salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mix, then stir in the pre-soaked fruit and any brandy remaining in the bowl along with the lemon zest and ground almonds.
  4. Taking the tin you prepared earlier, spoon in the mixture. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon so it's nice and even.
  5. Place the cake in the oven, then after 60 minutes cover it with foil and cook for a further 30 minutes before checking the progress of the bake using a small skewer. When the cake is fully cooked, a skewer inserted and withdrawn from the centre should come out 'clean' i.e. no raw cake mix should attach itself. Repeat the skewer check every ten minutes until the bake is complete.
  6. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. While still warm, the cake needs to be 'fed' using the skewer to poke a few holes into the cake and drizzling 3 tablespoons of brandy over the surface.
  7. When the cake has cooled remove it from the tin will the baking paper still attached and wrap again in greaseproof paper before storing in an airtight cake tin.
  8. Repeat the feeding process every week until you're ready to finish the cake with a layer of marzipan and/or icing, and you'll have a beautifully moist cake packed with rich flavour.
Decoration

If you want to cover your cake in a layer of marzipan and icing, you'll need to start the process a week before you intend to eat it.

  • 750g – 800g readymade marzipan
  • 750g – 800g readymade fondant icing
  • Sieved apricot jam, warmed
  • Icing sugar for dusting
Decoration method
  1. On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to an even thickness and a size sufficient to cover the top and sides of your cake.
  2. Take your warmed jam and brush a little all over the cake to help the marzipan stick.
  3. Gently place the marzipan over the cake and smooth with your hands until it's flush with the cake and covering all sides.
  4. Handling the marzipan will cause oils to escape, so it's best to leave it to dry out for a 3-4 days under a clean tea towel before adding icing.
  5. Once the marzipan has dried, roll out the fondant icing in the same way, and again apply a thin layer of warmed sieved apricot jam to help the layers stick together.
  6. Leave to dry for 1-2 days and decorate.
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