Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Christmas Cookies - Bakes To Love

Cookies make the perfect treat and of course no Christmas is complete with out milk & cookies. Therefore we have compiled a list of easy to bake cookies.. From, gooey American chocolate chip cookies to melty shortbread, we've got a biscuit selection to please everyone.

Ginger nut - Vegan Option

Super crunchy vegan gingersnap cookies. These brown sugar sweetened vegan cookies are packed with ginger and cinnamon flavor and perfectly balanced between sweetness and spice

1/4 cup (56g) Vegan Butter
1 cup (200g) Brown Sugar
1/4 cup (75g) Unsulphured Molasses
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups (250g) All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
2–3 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
1/4 cup (50g) White Sugar (for rolling)

To cook:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Cream the vegan butter and brown sugar together and then add the molasses and vanilla extract.

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and mix together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir in by hand until crumbly.
Add the 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk and mix. You should get a very thick cookie dough. However, if you still have crumbles and it’s not yet ‘sticking together’ then add another Tbsp non-dairy milk. Only do this if you really need it though.

Break off roughly tablespoon sized pieces and roll into balls and then roll the balls in white sugar. If you tend to make larger cookies, then you’ll need to bake them for a few minutes longer (around 15 minutes) to get them nice and crunchy.
Place the balls onto a parchment lined baking tray and press down with a fork.
You might want to do these in two batches so that your cookies are nicely spaced out on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. If you want more soft and chewy then bake for 10 minutes, if you want more snap/crunch then bake for 12 minutes. If your cookies are larger in size then bake for up to 15 minutes.

The cookies will be soft when they come out the oven. Allow to cool completely as that is when they will firm up and become crunchy

Chocolate chip (that taste like Millies)


2 baking trays
125g Butter

125g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract 

225g Self-Raising Flour 
½ tsp Salt
200g Chocolate chips
1 Egg
Airtight container.

To cook:
Preheat the oven to 200°C, (fan 180°C, gas mark 4) and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy then add the egg and vanilla extract and mix together well.

Sift the flour and salt and then add to the egg mixture. Mixing thoroughly until a soft dough forms. Finally stir in the chocolate chips.

Break off walnut sized pieces of the dough, and roll into balls. Place these on the baking sheets leaving space between them as they will spread out during baking.

Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes for the ultimate Millie's experience, or 10 minutes if you prefer a crunch. Leave to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes then transfer onto a cooling wire to cool completely.

These store for about 4 days in an airtight container.

If you love this recipe,


The key to making easy shortbread also taste like the best shortbread is to use real butter.

Some recipes do suggest that you can use margarine in place of butter but personally for me, the rich buttery taste of the real thing is what gives this shortbread a more traditional 

300 g Flour
220 g Butter (Vegan Optional)
55g/2oz Caster Sugar

Flavour tip:
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Salt

Only 3 ingredients are needed to turn this into shortbread, in 10 minutes to oven to cook! but you can also add a few extras if you want to add to the taste

It’s important to make sure that the shortbread doesn’t cook for too long and turn brown. If it does, it’s cooked for too long, and will be a little hard to munch on; rather than soft and melt in your mouth loveliness.

Make sure the butter is at room temperature and soft to touch. If it is too hard it will too hard to cream in with the sugar. You can use an electric mixer if you want to, but if the butter is soft enough you’ll have no problem creaming it up with a wooden spoon.

Sift the flour into the creamed butter and sugar. (At this point you can add the vanilla extract and salt to add flavour) Gently mix it all together with your hands.

A soft dough should form. If it is too crumbly add a little more butter, conversely, if it is too sticky, add a little flour.

Press the dough into a greased baking tin and press it down with your hands. I like to gently score the slices of the shortbread, as well as use a fork to make some decorative holes on the surface before putting it in the oven.
Once the shortbread has been in for about 10 minutes, take it out – make sure it doesn’t go brown or it will be too hard. Slice up the shortbread while it is still warm and soft, leaving it in the baking tin until it is completely cool. I also sprinkle a little extra caster sugar over the top.

Or if your not a cookie fan and have hardly ever seen the rolling pin. We have discovered an independent, made to order Brownie Baker - Founded by Lydia Morison 

Check them out on instagram @browniebabes

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Movie & Shows to Binge Watch this Christmas

Movies & Shows to binge watch this Christmas

If you’re looking for some movies or TV shows to binge watch this Christmas but you’re fed up of the usual cheesy Christmas movies – look no further! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite TV shows and movies that are perfect for a duvet day!

The True Cost Film

We recently attended an event for this film to support and promote sustainable fashion. Revealing the secrets of fast fashion and shedding a light on our true environmental impact, this film is sure to enlighten you this Christmas.

Watch it here.

Small Foot

A fun animated tale that turns the traditional story of Bigfoot on its head. Migo, the friendly Yeti faces banishment from his snowy village when he finds a Human. “Migo embarks on an epic journey to find the mysterious creature that can put him back in good graces with his simple community”.

Click here for more information.

The Good Place

Eleanor Shellstrop is surprised to find herself in the good place in the afterlife. Upon realising that she isn’t supposed to be there, Eleanor enlists the help of her new found friends and frenemies to shed her old way of life in hopes of finding a new one in the afterlife.

Watch it here.

Hollywood Darlings

“In this improvised comedy, real-life friends, Jodie Sweetin, Christine Lakin and Beverley Mitchell, play exaggerated versions of themselves in their current lives navigating the ups and downs of living in Hollywood. The actresses support one another as they tackle marriage, parenting and reviving their acting careers”.

Watch it here.

Great News

Every workplace is like a family. For Katie, this gets all too real when her mum is employed as an intern. “That's just scratching the surface of this slightly offbeat team” made up of old school news anchor Chuck, millennial Portia, executive producer Greg and laid back video editor Justin. Despite their malfunctioning relationships, it doesn’t stop them doing what they do best – breaking the news.

Watch it here.

Welcome to the Jungle

“Beck is a tight-lipped bounty hunter who doesn't like to use a gun and accepts any job without asking questions. When Beck's employer, Walker, sends him to the Amazon to locate Walker's cocky son, Travis, Beck discovers a population controlled by a tyrannical treasure hunter. To survive, Beck and Travis must work together, without their affections for a mysterious rebel getting in the way”.

Watch it here.


“On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim and Aurora face living the rest of their lives on board, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction until they discover the ship is in grave danger. With the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all”.

Watch it here.

The Grinch

The 2018 remake of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a modern animated tale perfect for the Christmas holidays. “When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos' holiday cheer once and for all”.

Click here for information.

Let us know what your favourite movies and shows to binge watch are!

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

National Gingerbread House Day #Foodie

Happy National Gingerbread House Day!

To celebrate national gingerbread house day, we're sharing with you a festive recipe for building your very own gingerbread house.

We love this easy Mary Berry gingerbread recipe:
If you want to read the original more in depth recipe click here.


For the Gingerbread:
375g unsalted butter
300g dark muscovado sugar
150g golden syrup
900g plain flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp ground ginger

For the icing:
3 free-range egg whites
675g icing sugar, sifted
3 tsp lemon juice

For the decoration:
Boiled sweets
Chocolate buttons
Jelly sweets
Powder icing sugar
Cake board

Preheat your oven to 200°C or 180°C for a fan assisted oven.

In a large pan, melt together the butter sugar and syrup.

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger together.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid butter mixture. Stir it in and, when cool enough to handle, knead into a stiff dough.

Next divide the dough into five equal pieces, then divide one of those into two - so you have six pieces of dough in total.

Roll out each piece of dough out on to a sheet of parchment paper to ¾cm thickness.

Using a template, cut the pieces to make the sides and roof of the house.

Using a sharp knife, cut out the windows, doors and star shape on the back.

Place the doors on a separate tray and re-roll the offcuts to make a chimney.

Slide onto baking trays and bake for 8 minutes or until even in colour.

To make glass windows in your gingerbread house, crush up some boiled sweets (any colour you desire) and place them in the windows. Place these pieces back in the oven until the sweets have melted.

Leave the gingerbread to cool completely before decorating.

Time to decorate!

You can be as creative as you want with the decoration of your gingerbread house. It can be covered in colourful sweets or iced and decorated in a more traditional style - it's completely up to you!

To make the icing, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Using a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric mixer on slow speed, add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and beat the icing until it is very stiff and white.

Next, to create roof tiles, spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe small dots on the back of the chocolate buttons and stick onto the roof of the ginger bread house.

Spoon six tablespoons of the icing over the cake board and, using a palette knife, spread the icing to cover the board with a snow effect and to create a base to stick the house on to.

Pipe some icing along the wall edges and join the house together on an iced cake board. Leave the icing to dry for a minimum of four hours, but preferably overnight.

Once dry, stick the roof onto the walls of the house. If you want your gingerbread house to look especially Christmassy, place a couple of fake tealights or nightlights inside before adding the roof. The light will shine through the boiled sweet windows and make it look like a real home.

Pipe some icing along the apex and edges of the roof to look like snow and icicles. Stick the front door in place with icing. Once you have finished decorating, dust the house with icing sugar for the final snowy touch.

The rest is up to you! Go crazy with colourful jelly sweets or make some gingerbread characters or trees to accompany the house.

This gingerbread house makes the perfect Christmas decoration, you could even give this to someone as an amazing gift!

If you decide to follow this recipe make sure to let us know by tagging #MadiaMatilda and #GingerBreadHouseDay

Sincerely Madia & Matilda


Monday, 10 December 2018

Plastic-Free Tips & Tricks

Plastic-Free Tips & Tricks

We’re dreaming of a green Christmas…

Christmas is one of those holidays where there is plenty of excess and wastage. From gift wrap and decorations to party plates and cutlery. Our aim this Christmas is to help you celebrate in the most sustainable way possible.

Sustainable Decorations

Making your own Christmas decorations is not only a great family activity but it could also save you money as well as the planet. We’ve got two easy DIY Christmas decorations for you to try out!

Whether you’re changing the colour scheme of your tree or just looking to add some sparkle, why not update your existing Christmas baubles this year?
A simple way to spruce up your decorations is to add some glitter. You can either paint the entire bauble and dip it in glitter. Use gold, silver, red or green glitter or any colour that matches your theme. Alternatively, you could go for a more subtle approach by painting the glue in a festive shape. From snowflakes and stars to trees and phrases – this DIY works with any pattern or shape and brings the sparkle back to your decorations again.
If you want to create something interesting and unique to your Christmas tree this year, why not try making these cute felt ornaments?

For this DIY you will need:A sewing needle
Coloured felt
Matching thread
A ribbon to hang the decoration with
A pair of scissors
A few pins

To begin making this craft you’ll need to make yourself a template of the design you want to create, or you can find one online. Start by cutting out the template pieces and laying them on top of the felt, making sure to cut out your pieces in the correct colours. Next Cut your ribbon to around 12cm long. Once, you have all of your pieces cut out you can assemble what your ornament will looks like by layering your pieces to form the design. Sandwich the ribbon in between two pieces of felt to create the loop for hanging. Attach the ribbon, in a loop, to the inside of one of your pieces with a few stitches. Now Sew along the edges of each pieces of felt to attach them all together, making sure to use corresponding coloured thread. To make the ornament double sided – make a copy of the pieces you made earlier and sew both designs back to back. Then, you’re all done and ready to decorate your tree!
If you want to follow a pictorial to help you make these ornaments, we found this great one by Laura Howard – click here to read it.

Plastic-free Wrapping Paper

Sadly, most wrapping papers cannot be recycled because of the printed pattern on them so this year we have found some eco-friendly, sustainable wrapping paper to ensure your Christmas is as sustainable as possible. 
  1. Hobby craft sells eco wrapping paper for just £3.00 a roll. Printed on eco brown paper these rolls of wrapping paper are much more easily recycled than most paper. Order online or check in your local store to see what they have in stock.
    Click here to shop.
  2. Re-wrapped is a fantastic eco-friendly business, it was “founded in 2011 and specialises in designing and producing a range of top-quality wrapping paper and other products, made solely from 100% recycled paper.”
    Click here to shop.
  3. Happywrap specialises in reusable fabric gift wrap. The perfect way to wrap your eco-friendly gifts this Christmas to minimise your waste. Shop a variety of sizes in different pattern and colours and keep them to wrap presents again and again.
    Click here to shop.

Sustainable Crackers

Christmas crackers can contain a lot of plastic and aren’t always recyclable. As one of the most essential parts of any festive celebration, we thought we’d show you how to make this Christmas tradition as sustainable as possible.

If you haven’t got time to make your own or just don’t want the fuss of finding gifts and jokes to go inside, we’ve found some crackers you can buy in supermarkets and high street shops that have little waste.

  1. Our first shop bought crackers are from Hotel Chocolat. Each mini cracker has a gourmet chocolate hiding inside and even has space on the outside for writing your guests names on. We can’t be 100% sure that the card cracker is recyclable (make sure you check the label before buying!) but they certainly have less waste than a regular cracker with all of the plastic gifts inside.
    Click here to buy.
  2. The second option we have found for you is reusable crackers. Keep This Cracker, run by Bea Thackeray, is a sustainable way to celebrate Christmas whilst also reducing your waste too. These crackers come flat packed for you to fill with personalised gifts for all the family – to reuse them next year simply replace the ‘snap’ and they're ready for festive fun all over again. Better still, the packaging they are shipped in is 100% recyclable too.
    Click here to buy.

Bulk Buying

If you have a large family or lots of friends to celebrate with this Christmas, why reduce your waste and shop more sustainably whilst also saving yourself some pennies. Buy in bulk can be an excellent way of stocking up for Christmas, whether you buy food, gifts or decorations, wholesales can be great value for money as well as eco-friendly by saving on the individual wrapping.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite wholesales for this Christmas.

  1. In recent years, there has been a rise in supporting small businesses so why not bulk buy from a small brand? We love Etsy for this as it supports a number of small brands, most of which are sustainable or eco-friendly too. This is a great way of buying lots of gifts and getting your Christmas shopping done in record time!
    Click here to explore Etsy bulk buying.
  2. If you’re looking for Christmas cards this year look no further than Tree Free greetings. They stock a wide range of greeting cards as well as gifts including drinkware, stationery, magnets, playing cards and much more. Great for bulk buying eco greetings cards as well as small gifts that are perfect for your reusable crackers!
    Click here to shop.
    Shop their sister brand for more Christmas gifts for all the family!
  3. If you're looking for gifts to fill your Christmas crackers or stocking fillers Shared Earth has you covered. Offering a wide range of recycled gifts, including ranges made with recycled crayons, bike chains, circuit boards, tyres, glass, metal & many other creatively recycled products.
    Click here to shop.
  4. Wrapping presents can be difficult and although gift boxes are pretty and useful, they're not always sustainable. We’ve found a brand who solves this problem – Fold-A-Box. Their flatpack boxes are beautiful and made with a natural Kraft finish – perfect for all your present wrapping problems this Christmas!
    Click here to shop.

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Things to do - December

Things to do this December

Looking for something to do this December? Madia & Matilda's got you covered.
From Christmas fairs and museums, to light switch-ons. There's so much to do this December across the UK.

Winter wonderland, Hyde Park

If you're anywhere near London this festive season why not visit Winter Wonderland. This free-to-enter family event features a host of festive fun, including Winter Wonderland ice skating, circus shows, a Ferris wheel and an amazing Christmas market. Perfect for family days, date night or an evening with friends, this is one way to spend your December days.

For more information click here.

Worcester's Victorian Christmas Fayre

Established in 1992, the Fayre may have grown a lot in the last 26 years, but it has stayed true to its traditional roots with plenty of Victorian themed characters and treats, and a fantastic festive atmosphere. If you're in Worcestershire this winter, why not treat the family to a fun day out at this traditional Victorian market

For more information click here.

Brighton & Hove Burning of the clocks winter solstice celebration

Burning the Clocks is a unique community event, held on the 21st of December, that brings the whole city together to mark the shortest day of the year - the winter solstice. Local people create beautiful paper and willow lanterns which are paraded through the city as part of the celebrations. With around 2,000 people taking part, the lantern procession creates a magical festive atmosphere across Brighton & Hove.

For more information click here.

Bournemouth Christmas Garden of Lights

If you are near Bournemouth this winter why not stop by the Garden of Lights. Twinkling lights and beautiful alpine stores are the perfect backdrop for festive winter shopping, and ice skating adds a little adventure to the mix. Interactive light pods weave throughout the historic gardens, with sound and even a time machine to captivate and amuse everyone. A perfect family day out or evening with friends to enjoy the Christmas lights this festive season.

For more information click here.

Christmas Eve with Charles Dickens, Holborn 

Each year, the Charles Dickens Museum presents a unique and enchanting glimpse into the festive season as celebrated by the great Victorian author, Charles Dickens. The historic interiors are transformed into a true embodiment of Christmas Past and is a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve - reliving one of the most iconic Christmas movies of all time.

For more information click here.

Dartington Wonderland 

For those of you in the south of England, Dartington is a wonderful place to visit this winter. This Wonderland is the perfect place to stop, eat, drink, shop, play, make, dance, sing, listen and enjoy. Discover over 40 of the best makers in the south, in one of the most renowned arts and crafts towns. A fantastic festive evening for all the family featuring the Romany band, Nordic and Baltic choir, Santa Frau, Kids Create Workshops and the tiniest Gin Palace in the World.

For more information click here.

Sincerely Madia & Matilda