I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to 2016 and all that it brings.
Myself and my husband had a quiet Christmas at home this year. We started off with an amazing meal at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill in Congresbury near Bristol on Christmas Eve. The food was amazing, for a special treat and a truly memorable meal, we decided to share a Chateaubriand, essentially a large fillet of beef, intended to be shared and never for just one. This dish came with the most amazing onion rings, a grilled tomato and a small copper pan of triple cooked chips. A little jug of Bearnaise Sauce was the perfect accompaniment.
We opted out of starters so we could make sure we finish this beautiful steak and still have room for dessert - but we couldn't resist the warm basket of beautifully baked sourdough bread. For dessert I had a very sticky toffee pudding and Phil had a raspberry knickerbocker glory. It was a lovely relaxing evening with stunning food. The service was excellent and the waitress very kindly offered to take a photo of us.
Whilst I did miss hostessing, it was also lovely to put my feet up and relax and cook Christmas dinner at my own leisure. I cooked roast turkey and all the trimmings - my all-time favourite roast is rib of beef but my husband always says "its not Christmas if you don't have turkey", so turkey it was and it will always be. I'm not the biggest fan of turkey so I always make Jamie Oliver's Get Ahead Chrismas Gravy to serve with the meat, trust me, it makes all the difference to the meal and is well worth the effort to make it.
As we were spending Christmas apart from family, I wanted to make something handmade to give as presents. I made 6 of these little hampers, containing little treats to eat and drink and I really hope everyone liked them and found a little something inside that they really enjoyed. Naturally I couldn't post pictures of these until after Christmas, so here is my version of a Handmade Christmas Hamper and the little treats included within it.
These biscuits are so yummy, they are Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Belgian Milk Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths. I am glad I bought them when I did as they were sold out in no time. I packaged 2 biscuits in 4" x 6" cellophane bags to include in the hamper.
I made a label using the Lots of Labels Framelits and some kraft cardstock. I then stamped 'Chocolate Shortbread' using the Alphabet Rotary Stamp and underneath stamped the winter scene using the Cozy Christmas stamp set. I added a white star punched from Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper and also coloured in the snow on the roof with a Wink of Stella glitter pen which will be available in the new Spring Summer catalogue. I stapled the label to the cellophane bag using the Handheld Stapler.
Here is another favourite of mine - Sainsbury's All Butter Fudge. It's very crumbly fudge and at £1.25 for 200g it's an absolute bargain. I put 4 little pieces of fudge into a 3" x 5" cellophane bag. The label is Kraft cardstock punched out with the Decorative Label Punch. Again, I used the Alphabet Rotary Stamp to stamp the word 'Fudge' and then added the sentiment 'Happy Winter' from the Happy Scenes stamp set. The little bird has been stamped using the Festival of Trees stamp set. I used the handheld stapler again to fix the label to the cellophane bag.
A hamper wouldn't be a hamper without some good old English tea so I ordered individually wrapped Twinings English Breakfast tea bags from eBay.
I made these cute tea bag holders using some 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper and added a sentiment using the Washi Label Punch and stamped 'Season's Greetings' using the Happy Scenes stamp set.
I used a video tutorial I found on YouTube by Joan Robertson to make the tea bag holder - click here to watch it, it's so easy and quick to make and each one holds two tea bags.
I got the clip lid glass jars from Sainsburys for £1.25 each - unfortunately I can't find them online but they are similar to the Kilner Spice Jars. They are perfect as once the hot chocolate has been used up, the glass jars can be reused in either the kitchen, or even in the craft room.
I used the Alphabet Rotary Stamp to stamp 'Hot Chocolate' onto some Kraft cardstock. I then punched out little tags using the Washi Label Punch. A star punched from Gold Glimmer Paper punched using one of the Itty Bitty Accents punches and fixed to the tag with a glue dot is I needed to finish off the jar. To fix the label to the jar, I punched a small hole using the 1/8" Circle Handheld Punch and threaded through some Linen Thread before tying the label onto the glass jar.