Posted on

How To Make Christmas Crackers

STEP ONE

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-05-50-pm

You will need scissors, sticky tape, empty paper rolls, twine and wrapping paper to begin.

STEP TWO

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-06-23-pm

Measure your wrapping paper to fit evenly around your empty paper roll and cut.

STEP THREE

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-09-58-pm

Stick your wrapping paper to the empty paper roll and then add in some treats for your guests to receive when they open their cracker.

STEP FOUR

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-10-07-pm

Squeeze the ends of your cracker to make it easier to tie the twine or ribbon.

STEP FIVE

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-13-01-pm

Cut the twine or ribbon to tie around the ends of your cracker.

STEP SIX

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-4-13-14-pm

Tie your twine or ribbon in a neat bow and place on your guests table setting.

 

We hope you enjoy this DIY project and look forward to seeing photos of your creations. Be sure to tag @littlebranchettes to share your Christmas with us.

xx

 

Posted on

Our favourite Gingerbread Recipe

Every Christmas Little Miss Branchette and I make big batches of Gingerbread for family and friends. Our go-to recipe is by Donna Hay, hands-down. It is the never fail option for us and it’s sooo delicious! So yummy infact,we have enquiries from the family on when the Gingerbread will be ready. The nagging has begun!

 gingerbread-men-garland

GINGERBREAD MEN GARLAND by Donna Hay

 

INGREDIENTS:

125G UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED

½ CUP (90G) BROWN SUGAR

⅔ CUP (230G) GOLDEN SYRUP

2½ CUPS (375G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR, SIFTED

2 TEASPOONS GROUND GINGER

1 TEASPOON BICARBONATE OF (BAKING) SODA

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and beat until the mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 4mm thick and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a small gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out 32 shapes, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place on 2 large baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Using the tip of a 6mm-round nozzle, cut two holes from each gingerbread man and bake for 6–8 minutes or until golden. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. Thread the gingerbread men onto a length of ribbon and tie the ends. Makes 32.

+ Store the gingerbread men in an airtight container for 2–3 days and hang them on Christmas eve.

 

Recipe Source: Donna Hay
For more Gingbread inspired ideas visit Donna Hay here
Posted on

A little Christmas spirit…

Ingredients:

Place sugar and cinnamon quills in a saucepan with 1/2 cup (125ml) cold water. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove and cool. Combine 100ml of the syrup in a blender with eggs, cream, milk and alcohol. Pour into cocktail glasses over ice and serve dusted with nutmeg.

Recipe Source: Taste

Posted on

How to make a fresh floral Christmas Wreath

How to make a fresh floral Christmas Wreath with Emma Blomfield.

img_3581

Step 1: Using dodder vine or a pre made wreath, start to gather flowers in various sizes from small to large and don’t forget foliage.

Step 2: Cut the heads off the flower stems leaving about 6-8cms at the base of the flower head. This allows you some space to work the flower in and you can trim it down later on.

img_3564

Step 3: Place all your pre-cut flowers around the wreath and keep arranging until you are happy with their placement. You can add to this once you’ve started pinning but getting a basic understanding of where each flower should go is helpful.

img_3652

Step 4: Start pinning the hero flowers in (the largest flowers). Bobby pins work well here to secure the flowers.

img_3621

Step 5: Add secondary flowers and foliage evenly throughout.

Step 6: Secure a piece of ribbon to the back of the wreath so that you can hang it up.

Step 7: If you’ve used fresh flowers spritz them with water before hanging it up on your front door. Keep spritzing it each day to keep them alive longer.

img_3656     

Use your left over foliage and flowers to create little arrangements in jars.

Posted on

Christmas drink ideas – Pomergranate Pimms

If this doesn’t cool you down, I don’t know what will.
Great to serve at your Christmas day BBQ or even a great starter for NYE.

pomegranate-pimms-12965_l

Ingredients:

200ml Pimms No. 1 Cup*
200ml pomegranate juice*
Ice cubes 1 cup (250ml)
Soda water 1 cup (250ml)
Lemonade
1/4 telegraph cucumber, halved cut into long,
Thin slices 1 orange
Thinly sliced 1/4 cup mint leaves Borage flowers* (optional)

Method Place Pimms, juice and ice cubes into a jug.
Fill with soda water and lemonade.
Stir in the cucumber, orange and mint.
Serve garnished with borage, if using.

Enjoy with friends!

 

SOURCE: Taste

Posted on

Party planning hints and tips with Emma Blomfield

_dsc8644_20160506_140542_emma_may-06-2016

Emma Blomfield, interior stylist and co-founder of the Decorating School has put together some hints and tips on creating the perfect style for your Christmas party.

the-home-spring-launch-51

1. Decide on a colour palette for your Christmas table. There’s nothing worse than your table looking like Santa threw up all over the table! Opt for 3 colours and preferably include a metallic (e.g. gold, red and cream)

table-0012

2. Don’t go overboard with the decorations but spreading them out throughout your home is a good idea. Eg. a Christmas tea towel in the kitchen, a Christmas candle on the coffee table and a wreath on the front door to set the tone for your guests.

img_3664

3. If you don’t want to fork out for a load of Christmas decorations, use flowers to set the Christmas theme at home. I love using native flowers like Proteas, Christmas Bush, Lemon Myrtle and Kangaroo Paw on the table at Christmas as well as scattered through the house in smaller vases. En masse they look very effective and are a very tasteful way to approach Christmas decorating.

Emma Blomfield // www.emmablomfield.com  

Posted on

Gift idea for you kids teacher

Teachers are hard creatures to buy for, especially when you know there are 30 other children in your child’s class buying gifts for the same person!!! Little Branch suggests the best kind of gifts are the ones you make yourself. They will know how much effort you went to and they will appreciate the sweet snacks over the holidays.

Here is a recipe for White Christmas……..YUM YUM!!!

Ingredients
1/3 cup mixed dried fruit
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
125g copha
90g white chocolate, roughly chopped
76g packet Turkish delight chocolate bar, roughly chopped
Silver cachous, to decorate Method

Step 1 Line two 12-hole (1 1/2 tablespoon-capacity) mini muffin pans with paper cases. Combine dried fruit, powdered milk, sugar, coconut and cereal in a heatproof bowl.

Step 2 Place copha in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until melted. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stir to combine. Add to dried fruit mixture. Mix to combine. Add Turkish delight. Stir to combine.

Step 3 Working quickly, spoon mixture into paper cases. Top with cachous. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Once you have baked your goods, wrap them up in some paper with a beautiful ribbon and a lovely Christmas Card.

Get your supplies from the Little Branch Shop 

Posted on

Little Branch Loves Radio Lollipop

Radio Lollipop Logo

Radio Lollipop has been bringing sweet smiles to the faces of children in hospitals around the world since 1979 (the year I was born!)

The international children’s charity provides children with care, comfort, play and entertainment at a time when they need it most.

Each Radio Lollipop station has a team of volunteers who run the radio station, using music and sound to bring happiness to hospital wards, including those right here in Australia.

(Radio Lollipop is based in the UK, USA and Australia – Little Branch is Australian, my children were born in the UK when we lived there for 6 years and Little Branch is proudly published and distributed in the USA via Calypso Cards)

Songs and interactive games are broadcast into children’s rooms, and volunteers work bedside, playing games and coordinating art projects and competitions.

One in four children will be admitted to hospital before the age of 14, many for long term stays or return visits. Some of those children are terminally ill, and spend much of their short lives in hospital.

Radio Lollipop gives these young patients a voice, giving them the joy of requesting their favourite songs, winning prizes and even hearing themselves talking on the radio.

Volunteers are trained in the highest standards of service delivery to provide play and entertainment, supporting sick children and their families. Volunteers work in close partnership with hospital staff and customise their approach to suit the needs of each child.

To support the charity’s continued efforts, Little Branch is donating all profits from its 2017 Christmas Cards collection to Radio Lollipop, Australia. Shop the collection here!

Little Branch also donates craft materials and discontinued stock to the local Gold Coast station for art and craft activities.

For more information or to get involved visit www.radiolollipop.org