Five Favourite: Christmas Baking Recipes

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Guess what? There’s less than a month left till Christmas!

That fact will do one of two things – leave you bursting with excitement that the festive season is almost here or fill you with dread as your mind leaps to the dozens of things you need to tick off the list before then.

Whichever type of person you are, this post is here to help. I’m a firm believer that home baked treats make perfect Christmas gifts – after all, who doesn’t love unbundling a parcel to discover delicious treats? But the trick with Christmas baking is to be organised and get onto it before the madness of December really sets in – yip, that means now!

Luckily there are lots of delicious treats that not only make great gifts, but are quick to prepare and can be stored without any problems – here are five of my favourite Christmas baking ideas to get you started…

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Top 5 guilt-free cheese recipes

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Cheese is one of those ingredients that I absolutely love to cook with – there’s never a shortage of things you can make and it instantly adds a punch of flavour to whatever you’re making. The trouble is, it’s usually not a guilt-free option.

That’s where Mainland Noble comes in. Unlike most cheese, Noble is a cheese you can actually feel good about eating. With 30% less fat than Tasty (even less than Edam) and all that delicious Tasty flavour, you can rest-assured that Mainland Noble is a better-for-you option. Seven years of hard work went into creating this special cheese and now it’s here for Kiwis to enjoy at home. And trust me, you’ll enjoy it – it tastes amazing!

While it’s so good you’ll want to simply eat it by the slice, make sure you save some for your cooking. Here are my five favourite recipes that have been made better-for-you thanks to Mainland Noble to get you inspired…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What a wonderful weekend – it’s really beginning to feel like summer has arrived, huh? A few more days like Sunday please Auckland! We had a relaxing but busy weekend, getting our hands dirty with a couple of DIY projects, getting through a BIG chunk of Christmas shopping, having a date night to see the new Hunger Games movie and lots (and lots) of reading in the sunshine.

I hope you had a great weekend too – here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What a wild and windy Saturday it was, huh?  While it meant we couldn’t get a few things ticked off our list, it was perfect weather for snuggling up in bed with the kittens and watching movies – not something we get to do very often!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead. Here are five things to get you started…

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Lighter no-bake summer cheesecake

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There’s no denying that summer is just around the corner – the sun is shining, the days are longer and temperatures are creeping higher.

As we teeter on the verge of summer, now’s the perfect time to stop and take stock before the madness of the festive season kicks off and make changes that will leave you feeling better all summer long – like updating your weekly menu to include lighter meals that don’t fill your house with unnecessary extra heat.

That’s where this delicious cheesecake comes in. Not only does it make for a creamy, fresh summer dessert, but it’s even includes a certain special ingredient that will leave you feeling great – Symbio yoghurt. Yip, there’s yoghurt in this cheesecake!

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What an absolutely stunning weekend, huh? It’s hard to believe summer is still a month away – it definitely feels like it’s arrived a little early! After being knocked out with illness much of this week we were super busy this weekend catching up on things around the house and catching up with friends we felt as though we hadn’t seen in months – all round it was a busy, productive, beautiful weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend too and are all set to launch head-first into the week ahead. Here are five things to get you started…

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Raspberry-crusted homemade marshmallow

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Last year I was BIG into making marshmallow – every couple of weeks I’d make another batch, carefully choosing a new flavour to experiment with each time. Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a beautiful piece of fluffy homemade marshmallow – it’s an absolute dream.

Then we got married and I decided that making 1,000 (yip, that’s one thousand) pieces of marshmallow to bundle up as favours would be absolutely no problem. The week of our wedding I spent two days trapped in a stinking hot kitchen preparing, pouring, cutting and dusting hundreds and hundreds of pieces of marshmallow. And it did my head in.

Yet when I saw it all packed up into little doily-stamped bags tied with ribbon I almost forgot what a pain they’d been to make – after all, they looked beautiful and people loved them. But even still, that was the last time I made homemade marshmallow – I declared to Kevin as we munched through some on our honeymoon that it would need to be some rather special marshmallow before I did that again.

Now almost ten months’ on, I’ve found that special marshmallow… berry-crusted vanilla bean marshmallow. And it’s delicious. Think light, fluffy vanilla marshmallow that puffs away to the bite coated on one side with crushed freeze-dried raspberries. Yum, huh?

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10 Tips to Save You Stress in the Kitchen

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Being a great baker isn’t just about knowing what goes into making delicious treats, it’s just as important to know what to do when things don’t quite go to plan – those moments when you realise you’re out of a key ingredient or the cake just won’t come out of the pan.

Murphy’s Law says these problems always pop up when you’re pushed for time. You know, when you’re all dressed and your guests are due to arrive any second. When things get a little sticky in the kitchen it’s easy to become stressed and wish you were invisible – but that’s one thing a woman should never be!

Luckily with Rexona Invisible Dry the only thing that’s invisible is your deodorant – just a quick spray in the morning and you can forget about white marks and yellow stains marring your day (and your clothes). And I can say from experience this product works – even when it’s 22 degrees, the oven’s blasting out heat and things are going a little pear shaped – so you can focus your attention on more important things… like getting to work saving your baking from disaster.

It’s not as hard as you might think! Here are ten tips have up your sleeve to save you stress in the kitchen…

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