Monday, 9 November 2015

This weekend

After what was frankly rather a non week last week, the weekend picked up considerably around here.  Still not a lot was done in many ways, but in comparison....

I did get the Christmas cake baked and also baked this tea loaf with some of the rest of the fruit.  I like having more fruit than I need so that I can bake other things, tea loaf is a favourite of ours.  The recipe is here.


The Christmas cake turned out very well and is now all wrapped up and ready.  I will do a post with the recipe and more information shortly.


All of the cooking was done to the accompaniment of Christmas music of course!  You cannot make Christmas cake without Christmas music can you.



The kitchen didn't look so special when I had finished though.


This isn't so bad though.  It looked even worse after I made a batch of Pioneer Woman Veggie Chilli from her new Dinnertime book.  It was delicious and I now have another 5 meals worth in the freezer.  Excellent!


The Halloween decorations have all now been taken down and today I will pack them up to go away again for another year.  The pumpkins remain on the doorstep, the weather has been so warm that we haven't had any frost so they are still intact.  I will toss them before the end of the month though.

After much deliberation and consideration on my part I have also decided not to do a radically different mantel for this month, so I will make some adjustments to that and will again post that later in the week.

Lists have been started for something that I have coming up at the end of this month as well as Christmas lists.  Everything seems to be coming at me fast right now.  After a busy summer and lots of doing and keeping well on top of things being hit by the glooms and then the cold has slowed me down.  I hope that I can pick up again.

On the crafting front I did finally manage to get some work done on the shawl for Basildon Park as well as a Christmas gift shawl.  I am making another Sea Glass shawl, but in a sort of burnt orange colour this time.  I hope that the recipient will like it!  A few other bits and pieces have been made as well which I am sure you will see in time when they have been given and received.

The weather this weekend was pretty dire in that it rained a LOT!  As I already said though the temperatures are unseasonably warm which has made my winter preparations look a little silly, but if that cold weather suddenly hits then at least I will be organised.  So far all I have done is get out the bags of stuff that go into the car and add a few things.  We always carry a shovel, boots, a bag of cat litter - which is to give grip if you get stuck on an icy road, it works really well, a blanket, spare scarf, hat, gloves and fleece coat, thick socks, water, shortbread biscuits and a big bar of chocolate, a torch and batteries.  It might seem a bit much in some ways given that we do generally have mild winters, but we have had some bad ones and because we are not geared up for snow here it can be bad if you get stuck.

The plan for this week?  Well, I have a date with a girlfriend later in the week to meet her new doggy which I am excited about - and seeing my friend of course!  Otherwise it is all work work work around the house getting myself organised and getting tasks done.  My hope is to get some Christmas shopping done too.  What do you think the chances are....

I hope that you all had a great weekend and that your week ahead will be full of great things too!

I am linking with the lovely Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise to share what we did this weekend.

Amy

41 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder, I must do the same with the car stuff. Will give the cat litter a go - that's a new one on me!

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  2. sounds like a lovely weekend, with lots achieved!

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  3. Well done on all that cooking! Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

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  4. Well that sounds like a busy weekend to me. Glad that you're so much better after your shocking cold. I'm sure this week will be highly productive, but the weather isn't very promising.

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  5. Your tea loaf and Christmas cake look delicious and Pioneer woman veggie chilli sounds yummy too. I'm impressed with your organization for the cold weather in case your car breaks down. My car didn't start at all this morning and I had to send E to school in a taxi - and it's not even particularly cold yet! Have a great week. xx

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  6. Toasted tea loaf with loads of butter, lovely. I am glad to find you are also a Ree Drummond fan, she makes some lovely easy meals and the freezer meals are great I am going to try a few more of hers this week :-)

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  7. You've been busy in the kitchen this weekend. None of us like Christmas cake so it's something I never make, we don't like mince pies or Christmas pudding either, aren't we a strange lot?

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  8. looks delicious. what a fun weekend. I love Ree Drummond. she has lots out in our local Walmarts i see ... plates, salt and pepper shakers, even a doggie cookie jar that looks like her dog. she went out ... i see lots of folks picking them up ... she will be rolling in the doe soon. have a great week. so cold here in VA. most leaves are gone. lots to be done outdoors here. take care. ( :

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  9. I love the assortment of things you carry just in case of snow. We don't need that much as we don't venture out in bad weather, but I'm always the one with a spare clean handkerchief, wet wipes, plaster (I carry some plasters and some paracetamol in my wallet), notebook/pen, etc.
    Just had our car (a very old car, 15 years old, but as it was a top-of-range job when new and with only 70,000 with a V6 engine, we don't need to change it, the inside - black leather - is like new) serviced. Friends have just bought a new car with the excuse that they didn't want any large car bills. Nothing is a larger bill than a new car.
    Margaret P

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  10. Wow, Love the christmas cake and fruit loaf, I am not making a cake this year, as Gluten free one doesn't turn out so greatxx

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  11. Don't work too hard, my friend. No fruit loaf for me, not my favorite.

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  12. Yummy, well done you. Can you send me some please? , no one here likes xmas cake in my house except for me so I never make it I just buy have to make do with shop bought mince pies. I am drooling. Looks like you had a lovely baking day.

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  13. You did have a busy weekend!! It's rainy here too and way too warm, I'm definitely ready for some cooler weather.

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  14. I know what you mean about having Christmas music while undertaking a Christmas task. The music goes on for wrapping and decirating the tree. I prefer Dundee cake to Christmas.......lots of nuts.

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  15. Your cake looks delicious! And the loaf looks loaded with lots of fruit & nuts. I have my mom's Christmas cake recipe, but have never ventured to make one ... yet! My husband and I both love it, so it would be put to good use ;) My Halloween decorations were down and away the very next day, but no Christmas stuff goes up here till Dec 1 at the earliest or it gets too dreary looking at it for so long. You've been busy with your crafting and baking and I'm sure you'll be perfectly organized in time for the big day. Enjoy your week Amy,
    Wendy x

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  16. One of my favorite short stories is all about the baking of fruit cake. My mother used to make one that was nuts and dates, which I am wondering if it would be more like your tea cake. Hmmmm...must have smelled heavenly at your place. What a bright kitchen you have with a pretty view of the garden and lots of counter space!

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  17. Yes, I know your home smelled heavenly with all the baking! You have a bright kitchen with a nice view out the window. We've had a lot of rain, too.

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  18. Wish I could taste that amazing baking! Im leaving our pumpkin out for a bit more FALL flAVOR TOO

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  19. For some reason our pumpkin is sitting in the greenhouse! Both your christmas cake and your tea loaf look very tasty, I made a fruit cake at the weekend too just an ordinary one but I must think about a christmas cake soon:)

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  20. Your baking looks great, who cares about a messy kitchen. I agree that this mild weather has been confusing and I almost wish it would get cold. I keep hearing rumours that we're in for a bad winter so your emergency car supplies may come in very handy. After a few bad winters in Leeds we started keeping rock salt and snow shovels in the garage and boot of the car. Not sure if we'll need it now we're down south though. x

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  21. A very productive weekend! Good for you Amy! Your Christmas cake looks perfect!
    Hope you enjoy this week better!

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  22. Your Christmas cake looks yummy. I've never made one, but love eating them. I've been tempted to get that new Pioneer Woman cookbook. Glad to hear you liked the recipe you made out of it. As for keeping emergency stuff in your car, it is a very wise thing to do. I fear the shortbreads and chocolates wouldn't last long in my vehicle though. I would be declaring the first traffic jam or wait to cross the US/Canada border an emergency. :-)

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  23. Hi Amy. Thank you for the recipe link. Your Christmas cake looks perfect. I look forward to the recipe. I love that you listened to Nashville Christmas; fun times. Have a great week. I hope to join in on Five on Friday. Hugs, Pat

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  24. Hey Amy,
    I made my cake this weekend. I listened to Liza Tarbuck, but I am very intrigued by Christmas with Nashville....
    Leanne xx

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  25. Sounds like a productive weekend. My sister is making the Christmas cake this year although I've been asked to decorate it, which I am looking forward to.

    This weather is quite unbelievable, I'm braced for a sudden drop in temperatures and it sounds like you will be well prepared if you are out and about.

    Angela

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  26. I always put the Christmas music on too Amy!!
    When I decorate the tree...and make my shortbread...
    Hope your week dries out for you..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  27. Your treats look delicious! I would eat them all! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  28. That was quite a baking session. Glad you have more energy than you've had for a while and you are looking forward to this week. Take care.

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  29. I didn't manage to make our Christmas cake and feel a bit panicky now ha! Your tea bread looks lush, I have not made one for ages, I will have to put it on my list of things to do too xx

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  30. I'm glad I'm not the only one listening to Christmas music! Glad you're feeling better. Long may that continue! :o)

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  31. That's a good idea about the extra bits for the car in case the weather suddenly turns, you never know what it's going to do. Your cakes look super. x

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  32. I love Christmas cake but I am the only one in my house that does. So have never made one. Instead I buy a small xmas cake and this I share with a friend when she pops in for a coffee.
    Rosezeeta

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  33. Hi Amy,

    You are doing well with baking your Christmas cake - I have yet to do mine.
    Always helps listening to Christmas music when doing the Christmas baking.
    Enjoy the week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  34. A nice time of year to spend a day cooking and messing up the kitchen, Amy! Your cakes look delicious and glad to see you are getting into the Christmas spirit already. Thank you for your dear visits. You are a sweetie. xo Karen

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  35. Hi Amy, your Christmas cakes looks so good! Thanks for joining and sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J. I hope you have a wonderful week.
    Julie

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  36. you have such a bright cheerful kitchen, I loved seeing it and how busy you were in it! I need to bake more but the problem is that then I'll eat all the baked stuff..

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  37. I bet you house smelt amazing with all that baking.
    Clare xx

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  38. This post made me feel so cozy dear Amy! I love days like that - free to bake and cook up a storm while listening to wonderful music!! Thanks for sharing. xoxo

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  39. Hi Amy! Oh, your cake looks wonderful and I would like just a tiny little slice! :) Nothing like a warm kitchen with the smell of wonderfulness in the air! Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;0

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  40. You certainly have been busy. I have never heard of using cat litter before, such a great tip, will certainly be giving that one a try, thanks for sharing.

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