As mothers, sisters, grandmothers and best friends, it’s important for women to support each other and celebrate what makes us special. So this International Women’s Day we would love to invite you to connect, inspire and share the love by hand writing a card to someone who has changed your life for the better. Take the time to tell a woman in your life what makes them special to you and join us in celebrate all the wonderful women making the world a better place.
International Women’s Day is on Wednesday, 8th March so make sure you order your Little Branch card to arrive in time. You can celebrate someone special in your life any day of the year, so maybe grab a few extra cards to spread some happiness to all your loved ones. Plus, the Little Branch collection is on sale until midnight on 1st March 2017.
Bring the milk, 1 cup of the cream, honey, vanilla, and salt just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from heat and set the chai tea bags in the cream mixture. Let steep, uncovered, for a half and hour, then remove and discard the tea bags then let the cream mixture cool for 15 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the 5 egg yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in about a half cup of the cooled cream mixture to temper the yolks, then add the egg yolk mixture to your original cream mixture pot.
Heat the new mixture over low heat until it reads 170-175 degrees on a thermometer. The mixture should be thick enough that a line drawn with your finger across the back of the spoon will stay. Then place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the custard into the bowl through the strainer to remove any little bits of egg and then stir in the remaining cup of cream.
Once strained, refrigerate until very cold or set the bowl in an ice bath to cool it more quickly in a pinch. Then mix in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then placed the finished ice cream in a locking mason jar container to freeze for two more hours.
We love this delicious recipe from Sugar and Cloth, which we know you will love as a Summer treat too. Feel free to view the full recipe here.
Choose a hard surface, like a table top to wrap your gift. Wrapping on carpet will cause wrinkles and it’s a little bit more difficult.
Choose a colour theme to ensure your wrapping paper, ribbon and card all compliment each other. If you’ve chosen a neutral wrapping paper then you could work with a more textured twine or metallic ribbon. If you’ve chosen a bright and vibrant wrapping paper, then you may choose to stick with a block colour ribbon and a simple card design.
Cut the right size piece of paper. This sounds simple but even a pro can rush and cut the wrong size piece of paper. Centre your gift first and then check that it’s the right size before cutting. If you need an extra guide you can mark your cutting point with a pencil on the inside of the paper.
When folding the ends of the wrapping paper on either side of the present, create creases at the corner seams to make folding them down easier. If you struggle with folding, try watching this easy tutorial – watch now.
Now it’s the fun part! Wrap your twine or ribbon around the gift to measure it before cutting. Then tie the bow and voila! If you want to add a special touch, try heading into the garden and adding some fresh flowers or greenery that match your colour theme.
For more gift wrapping ideas follow Little Branch on Instagram.
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 by Donna Hay
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 4: Start pinning the hero flowers in (the largest flowers). Bobby pins work well here to secure the flowers.
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.
Use your left over foliage and flowers to create little arrangements in jars.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!!!
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
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.