Tag Archives: Steenbergs

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

At Christmas time I can’t get enough of mulled drinks. Mulled wine is a favourite but a few years ago I tried Mulled Cider and my head was turned. I’m more likely to drink Mulled Cider at home and it’s such a delicious and warming drink, it really sings Christmas to me.

When I mull at home, I usually use a ready-made spice sachet, usually one from Steenbergs because I can’t fault them. This Christmas I’ve been using the Spices for Spiced Cider and Apple Juice and they’ve really hit the spot. All you do is warm through a litre of cider or apple juice, tip one of the sachets in and after a few minutes it’s ready.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Sometimes, and this is not very often, I mull too much cider and I’ll have some left. Sure, I could heat it up again later, but I fancied making something different with it. I thought I’d make some Mulled Cider Jellies. It turns out they make a really interesting, different and delicious festive dessert. You could make them just as well with apple juice if you’re serving them to children or people who don’t drink alcohol. This recipe makes 4 good-sized jellies.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Mulled Cider Jellies

Ingredients:

1 pint of mulled cider or mulled apple juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
A sachet of Dr Oetker Vege Gel

How to make Mulled Cider Jellies:

Take about 200mls of your cooled mulled cider and stir the Vege Gel into it, make sure all the powder dissolves.

Add the sugar and bring the remainder of the cider to the boil, once it’s boiling, add your 200mls of cider and Vege Gel into the pan and stir, stir, stir.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Make sure you have your moulds ready for your jelly as it will start to set really quite quickly. I used some small glass pyrex dishes and also a metal cake mould in the shape of a star. You could make one big jelly if you prefer.

Pour your jelly carefully into your serving dishes and put them in the fridge until it’s set properly. This took about two hours, but if you can it is probably worth leaving the jelly overnight in the fridge.

I turned my jelly mould out onto a serving plate, be careful when you do this so not to break the jelly.

Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

Be careful if you’re turning your jelly out of the moulds, I tried to move my jelly and ended up breaking a little piece off the corner which I then covered with ice cream, so it was all fine in the end.

It’s such a pretty little pudding, easy to do and something a bit different at Christmas.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try –

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

I was sent some mulled cider spice by Steenbergs and decided to use in in this recipe. I have not been compensated for this post.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations for your home

Christmas naturally lends itself to crafts. This year I’ve felt like shunning some of the glitter and plastic and decorating the house with more natural Christmas decorations. Not only to they look pretty good, they help make the house smell a bit more festive. Here’s a rundown of five natural Christmas decorations we’ve made this Christmas.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations for your home

A Pomander

Pomanders have been used from the medieval period as a way of perfuming the air. They are oranges, studded with cloves and tossed in aromatic spices, when dried they give off a deliciously festive smell. They are easy to make and if you’re looking for something especially mindful to make, then I can hand on heart say that making a pomander is pretty perfect for that.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

They’re very easy to do and a popular thing to make with children. They’re best made ahead of time to give them time to dry out. I used this Pomander kit from Steenburgs which costs £3.50 and there are enough cloves and spices for two pomanders. It’s excellent value and works out cheaper than buying everything you need at a supermarket (I did a few sums on the back of an envelope).

To make them you tie a long length of ribbon around the orange like you would tie up a parcel. Using a skewer or another sharp pointy object, pierce little holes into the orange peel and push the cloves into the holes. The closer the cloves are the better. Once your pomander is covered in cloves, toss it in a mixture of cinnamon and orris root powder and leave it is a warm place for around a month to dry out.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

They’re lovely to make and my craft group are getting together next week to drink wine and make Christmas pomanders.

A Dried Orange Garland

Dried citrus slices are a common sight at Christmas time. Whether they’re hanging from a tree, adorning a wreath or part of a garland, they give a natural splash of colour. It’s really easy to dry out orange slices (or other citrus fruit slices).

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

To make your dried orange slices, all you need to do is slice them as thinly as you can, lay them out on a cake cooling rack and pop them in an oven at 120°. Turn them over every 20 minutes or so and bake until they’ve pretty much dried out. This will take 2-3 hours. They will continue to dry out for a few days after you’ve taken them out of the oven, so don’t worry if they’re not completely dry.

You will need:
Dried oranges, sliced thinly
Red embroidery thread
A needle
Star Anise
A glue gun

For this craft I took some red embroidery thread and a large needle. I made a hanging loop at one end and then threaded the needle through one side of the dried pith, round the back and out of the front of the other side of the pith. I continued this with each slice so the thread was behind each orange slice. Once I’d threaded them all on the red thread, I made a hanging loop at the other end.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

Using my glue gun I glued some star anise onto alternate orange slices and hung the garland where lights could shine through them. Once the tree is up they’ll be hung on the tree in front of fairy lights. You can make your garland as long or as short as you wish, mine was five slices long.

A Dried Orange Decoration

These are lovely, and if you’re drying citrus slices for the garland, then it’s worth saving a few to make these pretty little things to hang on your tree.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

You will need: 
Dried orange slices
Ribbon
Star Anise
Glue gun

Take your dried orange slice and carefully make a small slit in the pith with a knife. Thread a piece of ribbon through, make a loop and tie a knot in it.

Using the glue gun, glue a piece of star anise to the centre of the orange slice, leave it to dry for a minute and then it’s ready to be hung up in front of a twinkly tree light and admired.

Tied Cinnamon Sticks

These are a Christmas classic. Three cinnamon sticks tied together with a nice ribbon and hung on the tree. For each one, take three cinnamon sticks and a piece of ribbon, tie the ribbon tightly around the sticks and knot the ribbon, then tie a nice bow. I then took some invisible thread, threaded it through the ribbon and tied the thread so it could be hung from a tree. Simple but effective.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

Cinnamon Stick Tealight Holder

If you love a glue gun, then this craft is for you. Using a nice clean jar which you know is big enough to generously hold a tealight, glue cinnamon sticks around the jar using your glue gun. Leave the glue to dry for a few minutes before using. You may want to finish it off nicely with a festive ribbon tied around it, it’s up to you. It’s simple, looks great and could be the start of a lovely natural centrepiece for the Christmas table.

Five Natural Christmas Decorations for your home

There are three lovely ideas for five natural Christmas decorations you could make. With some cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and a selection of citrus fruits, you could adorn your home with beautiful and natural Christmas decorations this year. What will you make?

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try –

Five Natural Christmas Decorations to make at home

Christmas Recipe: Non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine

I love mulled wine at Christmas. From around mid-November I start getting excited for the day I can officially treat myself to a warming glass of spiced mulled wine. It’s a treat I do want to share with my family, but with it being quite boozy it’s not that suitable for 7 year old boys. My solution is to make Vimto Mulled Wine instead, something which also speaks loudly to my proud Mancunian patriotism.

Mulled wine, or Glühwein, Glögg if you’re feeling continental is usually made from red wine infused with spices and served hot. Red wine is warmed and then steeped in a combination of spices usually including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and coriander. In Europe, mulled wine has been drunk for centuries during the cold winter months and is a lovely warming festive drink.

Christmas Recipe: Non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine

This non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine is such a delicious treat. If you use one of those mulled wine sachets you can buy, this is a really simple and lovely recipe. It’s really quick to make and it’s a lovely non-alcoholic festive treat for all the family.

Non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine

Ingredients
Vimto cordial, sugar-free is fine
1 sachet of Steenbergs Organic Mulled Wine Spices
Water
Sugar (optional)

Method
Boil a kettle of water and pour enough boiling water for however many cups of mulled Vimto you’ll need into a jug. Add a sachet of Steenbergs Organic Mulled Wine Spices and leave to steep for 5 – 10 minutes or so.

Remove the sachet and add Vimto cordial to taste, stir to make sure it’s all combined. Taste and add sugar if you think it needs it (depending on how sweet your sweet tooth is).

Pour into nice heat-proof glasses and serve. If you’re feeling fancy you could float a slice of orange on the top, or serve it with a cinnamon stick.

Christmas Recipe: Non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine

There you have it, lovely warming spiced mulled wine that’s suitable for all the family.

PS. You don’t have to use Steenbergs; but it’s what I had in the cupboard and they’re my go-to brand of mulled wine spices.

Christmas Recipe: Non-alcoholic Vimto Mulled Wine