Evening everyone! How have all your weekends been? Sorry I've been a bit absent - weekends go so quickly that I like to spend as much time doing stuff with the family, rather than sitting on my laptop.
This weekend has felt quite Christmassy - I have to keep reminding myself that it's not even December yet!
I started the weekend by making almond milk. Ok, that's not particularly festive, but it is something I've been meaning to do for a while!
I followed Laura's directions, and sweetened the milk with 3 or 4 pitted dates.
I also made the almond pulp cookies Laura linked to in the above directions, but I was too impatient and so burnt them, oops, next time I will actually cook them at super low temperatures like I was supposed to!
On Saturday afternoon, my Mum, Izzy and I went to the local college's Christmas Fayre. We went last year and there were loads of food/cake stalls so I was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately, it seemed to be smaller this year. There were only two baking stalls and one selling jams/chutneys. No sign of either the marshmallow sweet bags or the balloon making man - both of which Izzy had remembered from last year and had been looking forward to! I did manage to buy a few things though. Cake pops that had been made by the after school cookery club (we ate these last night, hence the poorly lit photo). The insides of these was madeira cake and melted mars bars - tasty, but slightly sickly.
I also, of course, couldn't resist buying some cupcakes. The stall I bought these from was a bit disorganised though - they claimed Izzy's (with the stars) was lemon, and Liam's (the purple rose - it reminded me of our wedding cupcakes!) was vanilla - which luckily was correct, but they told me mine was "either pumpkin or carrot" so I was most disappointed when it turned out to just be plain cake! The icing was nice though, with desiccated coconut on, I took the red man off as he looked a bit too gelatinous for my liking!
I also bought a couple of jars - one of plum and blueberry jam, which I haven't tried yet, and one of apple cider butter, which is just amazing. The lady who sold them had business cards with pretty much just her phone number on it, saying she took orders large or small, so I may have to buy some more apple butter! I did look into making it myself, but it seems to be quite a lengthy process. She sold me this jar of amazingness for only £1.30 which seems a good deal to me!
I had some of the cider apple butter with this morning's breakfast - french toast, a microwaved diced cinnamon apple, a little agave and lots of apple butter.
Absolutely divine! I think I'm going to get through that little jar way too quickly!!
Back to yesterday though, and the other Festive thing of the weekend. Last night we went down to see the town's Christmas lights being turned on. The school newletters on Friday had given all the children a raffle ticket to win £100 voucher from the local toy shop, but only if they were there when the draw took place yesterday evening. A good ploy to get more people to turn up, but it meant that it was so busy that we couldn't get close enough to see the entertainment that was put on for the children. We also could barely hear the raffle as the speakers weren't working. Ah well, at least the lights are pretty!
Poor Izzy was a bit disappointed afterwards as well, as we'd decided to eat in town after the lights were turned on. However the best laid plans and all that - despite it only being 5.45pm, Toby decided to start screaming, which meant that eating in the family-friendly pub was out. And then the local chippy ran out of chips! We had to make do with pizza from Co-Op in the end, but promised Izzy we would go for a pub lunch today instead.
After a super snacky day yesterday, I woke up this morning deciding that I would have three amazing meals (+ the cupcake from the Christmas fayre), but no more. I did pretty well until Liam tempted me with store-bought, nothing special, chocolate brownies just now! Apart from that though, I had the amazing appley breakfast I've already shown you. Then, for lunch, we went to the pub and I had a small Mediterranean vegetable pizza (I didn't remember until I was eating it that we'd had pizza last night as well!):
and, the main reason I like this pub, a side of sweet potato fries:
After we lunch, we went for a walk along the seafront. It was slightly chilly, but so pretty! I love getting some sea air whenever possible, a good way to remind ourselves of how lucky we are to live so close the seaside (even if it does mean we're hours away from Wholefoods, haha!!)...
On the way home I picked up a takeaway coffee from Costa - roasted hazelnut latte. I stuck to tap water at lunch so figured this was "allowed"!!
Not quite as good as the gingerbread flavour in my opinion, but still really good. And with the added bonus of not having loads of grated nutmeg in the last mouthful - win!
This evening we had Mama Pea's Quinoa Courgette Lasagne for dinner, which was great, but the photos were not. I can't wait to get our camera back from repair - my little sister's camera is doing a good job, but cannot handle the poor winter lighting.
What is the best thing that you have done this weekend? Is it getting Christmassy where you live? I was chatting to one of the local shop-owners a couple of days ago, and he was saying that they have to put decorations up to coincide with the turning on of the lights. I don't think he was too keen on how early it was though - I'm sure the lights didn't used to be turned on til it was December did they??!