We put our Christmas tree up pretty late this year, making the trek underneath the house last weekend to get out the fake tree that I bought while I was living away from home. I can't stand plastic trees, but while I was living in a share house it just seemed easier. I miss having a real tree - it just doesn't smell like Christmas without one! I know they annoyingly drop pine needles everywhere, have unsightly gaps and inevitably start dying before the big day, but I would still pick a real tree over a fake one anyday. Unfortunately I was over-ruled this year and we are stuck with my fake tree. On the upside it does have pretty fibre optics in it, but it annoys me that they are brighter at the bottom than the top... yes I am a bit of a perfectionist! It is a little hard to tell in this photo, but I went with a purple, silver and green theme this year. I love it, especially the bows. I wrapped all of my presents this morning and put them under the tree... man I love Christmas!
This afternoon I carried on with my holiday gift baking, making some yummy nuts for our Christmas hampers. I had to put them in jars as soon as they had cooled because mum & I couldn't stop ourselves from trying "just one more!"... needless to say they are delicious and I am glad I doubled the batch (which is reflected below)... they are of course from 'The Festive Season Handbook' which I am making lots of things from this year... I like the pecans more than the almonds, so if I make them again I might try them with just pecans...
I'm sending this over to Happy Cook at My Kitchen Adventures for her Home Made Christmas Gifts event. With the deadline being tomorrow, this is probably the last gift I will be sending over to her, but I still have a few more recipes up my sleeve, so keep an eye out for them!
Sugar & Spice Nuts Makes approx. 5C
Place 250g whole blanched almonds & 250g pecans on a large oven tray in a single layer and bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until lightly roasted. Beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually beat in 1C caster sugar & 1tsp ground cinnamon. Stir in 120g melted and cooled unsalted butter. Pour over toasted nuts and mix well. Bake at 160C for 30-40 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes, until mixture is no longer wet and sugar has crystalised on nuts. Cool on tray and store in airtight containers.