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Celebrate International Women’s Day

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.

SHOP THE COLLECTION NOW

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Homemade Chai Latte Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract or one whole vanilla bean

pinch of salt

5 chai tea bags

5 egg yolks

special equipment – ice cream maker

 
Instructions 
 
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
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FIVE TIPS TO MASTER YOUR GIFT WRAPPING

Step One

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.

Step Two

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.

Step Three

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.

Step Four

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.

Step Five

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.

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How To Make Christmas Crackers

STEP ONE

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

STEP TWO

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

STEP THREE

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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

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

STEP FIVE

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

STEP SIX

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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

 

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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!

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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
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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

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How to make a fresh floral Christmas Wreath

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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Party planning hints and tips with Emma Blomfield

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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  

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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