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Christmas Village Ginger Bread Houses and Cuppa Tea Fantasy Ride
It is a little late to be posting this one but it is the first year I have made an edible Christmas village. I figured at least it will be there for anyone interested in trying this next year. It is time consuming and takes some effort but it is so worth it and it is so much fun to do with the family, young and old alike. I made the mountain out of swiss roll cake which I cut up, placed and then iced. We had help from everyone from my son’s friend, when he came and spent the night, to guests that arrived in town right before Christmas day, it was great to see so many people get pleasure from participating in this project. I had help with a couple of the recipes as I had never made gingerbread before this year if you would like to read more reviews or see more photos of the gingerbread recipe please click here. I also found the recipe for the tea cups and thought they made a nice touch to add a fantasy element, so we made a tea cup ride, but these would be great at kids parties. To view other photos or reviews of this one please click here.

Gingerbread Houses



50 g butter, cubed
100 g packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup treacle, plus
1 tablespoon treacle
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

White icing for piping

2 egg whites
1 cup icing sugar, sifted


1. Heat oven to 180°C (170°C fan bake), with the rack just below the middle. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a Teflon liner.

2. Cut three shapes from cardboard. (Each piece of card will be used twice to cut the 6 gingerbread shapes for one cottage. Cut an 8 x 10 cm rectangle (for the roof) and a 6 x 8 cm rectangle (for the side walls). To make the peaked end-wall shape, draw a 10 x 6 cm rectangle, then make a mark 4 cm from one end on the two long sides, and another mark in the middle of the short side nearest the other two marks. Join this mark to the other two, then cut out.

3. Warm the first four ingredients together, mixing until smooth. Take off the heat and stir in the egg yolks then the sieved dry ingredients. Knead to form a smooth dough, adding a little water or extra flour if necessary. Cut the dough into four even pieces and wrap until using.

4. To make one cottage, roll one piece out about 3 mm thick on the floured board. It should be just large enough to cut two each of the three cardboard shapes from it. Re-roll dough scraps if necessary.) Place the shapes on a prepared baking tray.

5. Bake for about 7 minutes or until evenly browned. (Do not under cook.) While pieces are warm, carefully lift them onto a cooling rack. Repeat for other houses.

6. To construct and decorate houses, make White Icing for Piping. Whisk two egg whites until foamy. Beat in about 1 cup of sifted icing sugar at a time, until the icing holds its shape when piped from an icing bag (or a tough plastic bag with a small hole in one corner). This icing sets hard and can be quite brittle if not stuck firmly to (or supported by) the biscuit base.

7. Pipe the icing on the walls and roof making shingles, doors, windows, etc. Leave plain or decorate with sweets if desired. Using more of the icing, “glue” the walls together on a cardboard base. When the walls are firm position the roof on top using more icing, and leave to set.

Cuppa Tea


12 pink marshmallows
12 tic-toc biscuits (or any small round biscuit I used Oreo’s)
6 musk LifeSavers five-flavor roll candy
12 milk chocolate melts (freckles)
1/2 cup icing or melted white chocolate


1. Melt the chocolate, or make the icing.

2. Glue the marshmallow to the biscuit.

3. Break the lifesaver in half, using either your chef’s knife, or strong scissors.

4. Dip the ends in the prefered “glue, and stick to the side of the marshmallow.

5. Glue the freckle on top. viola!

All photos taken by unless otherwise stated.

Korean Lamb Chops
I made this the other night, again from a zaar member it was a wonderful marinade. I had lamb racks, which I browned on the meat side and then finished off in the oven. I basted several times while cooking then sliced into individual chops. You will notice from the photo I slightly overcooked my lamb, as I was waiting for my hubby to get off the phone and I was trying to keep the lamb warm, but thanks to the marinade and basting it came out tender and was not tough. If you would like to read more reviews on this please click here.
                                                                                                                                                                          I am also thinking about starting back catering again, I have catered before for small dinner parties and for large parties of about 50 people, although never anything huge like a few hundred, but am always up for new challenges. I am based in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland and would like to cater from Lausanne to the Geneva area, if you are reading this site and are from around this area I would love to know what you think, so all comments welcome.


8 Lamb chops
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/3 Cup tahini
2 Tablespoons chili paste
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 Cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Cloves garlic , crushed
3 Tablespoons water


1. Mix together all the ingredients and pour over lamb chops.

2. Marinate 4 hours or overnight.

3. Heat oven to 375.

4. Remove chops from marinade.

5. In a large ovenproof skillet brown chops 5 minutes per side.

6. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes, serve.

All photos taken by me unless otherwise stated.