We Wish You A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

HOLY MOTHER THIS IS SO LATE

How are we already 11 days into 2017? This is madness.

Anywho…

Throwin’ it back to Christmas!

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Some of my favourite humans came to town,¬†and made me smile so hard when they all crammed into my tiny bakery to say hi! I tried my hardest to see them as much as possible for their first couple of days, but we made do with quick hello’s and several squishy hugs.

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Come the big day though, I forced them all to wake up early so we could hit the slopes!!

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I just loved seeing everyone bundled up, ready for some snow!

 

 

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This bunch of gals are just the best, and being able to spend the morning on the mountain with them all on Christmas Day was a dream come true.

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The boys were there too, I promise, they just spent a little longer actually using their snowboards ūüėČ

We rode most of the morning and then hustled back to our place to thaw out over turkey rolls and pecan pie. Andrew, the poor bugger, had to work at 2pm but we made sure he got a chance to celebrate the big day. He also roasted the turkey to absolute perfection and made me a very happy Christmas gal!

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Later that night, I took myself and two big caramel apple pies over to the house the crew were staying at. Chefs Matt, Lucy and Anh cooked up a storm, we were forced into awkward family photos, exchanged secret santa presents and all sat down to an incredible meal together.

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God I love you crazy people.¬†Although it was the most hectic week trying to juggle work, snowboarding and quality time with these guys, I wouldn’t have changed anything for a minute. It was perfect!

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By New Year’s Eve, most of the crew had moved on to New York, and with Andrew and I on early starts for New Year’s Day we had a low key celebration.

We layered up and headed down to Whistler base to watch the Fire and Ice show and fireworks. Lucky for us, Andrew’s friend Rohan was still in town, as well as Andrew’s cousin, her husband and his parents.

10 years ago, at a party Rohan threw on New Year’s Eve Andrew and I met. And 10 years later, we all celebrated again.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year. I have a goooooood feeling about 2017.

Hanbel.
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P.s. Thank you to my schnooky for most of these photos, I am hopeless!

 

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And May All Your Christmases Be White

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how quickly time is just flyyyyyy-ing by. One blink of the eye and¬†it seems that Christmas is upon us. Just 9 little sleeps and we will be waking up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, welcoming the most wonderful day!

Until then, however, I am working 10 days straight, heading up the mountain whenever possible and greeting my dear friends from home. Nine of my absolute favourites are visiting for Christmas and although it’s going to be absolutely hectic trying to squeeze everything in, I am so excited!

Now for a little catch up on the past few weeks, which basically have consisted of snow, snow and more of that glorious white snow!

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My walk to work has become a movie moment, every damn day

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Blackcomb Base

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Whistler Base

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Day Four on the mountain, putting my linked turns into practice

Snowboarding has got to be the most frustrating sport to learn, it hurts so damn much when you’ve fallen for the 27th time onto your coccyx. It sure is addictive though, and I’m not giving up anytime soon!

The weather is getting a little warmer too, after 10 days of an average of -14, they have actually forecast 2 degrees next week!! AND MORE SNOW

Winter is agreeing with us nicely, and even though it requires a lot more effort (with all the layers and walking over icy roads and what not) I think we’re falling more in love with this section of the world.

Here’s to a very white Christmas!
Hanbel.
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There’s No Business Like Snow Business

I’m just going to leave these here…

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70cm of snow in the last 24 hours and I feel like this town has completely transformed. We now live in a snow globe and aren’t mad about it at all.

Also in the last 24 hours:

Both of the mountains have opened for skiing and snowboarding (!!), our neighbours have rented out their place to air b’n’b-ers who are making a nice attempt at this video, we begun playing Christmas carols at work while setting up decorations and unpacking Christmas treats, I traded exercise for a mini Friends marathon, have felt in desperate need of some more sleep, and am gearing up for the new Gilmore Girls season available tomorrow!

Love to all,
Hanbel.
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And Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Now

Merry Christmas Eve my lovelies!

This week has been a little hectic, driving around Perth picking up last minutes goodies for the big day. However, in between the madness I’ve been embracing the last few days of Christmas cheer.

Baking a lemon and pomegranate polenta cake for an early Christmas at Dads;

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Enjoying those few days where all the presents are sitting beautifully underneath the tree;

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Trying out a new breakfast spot with mum, pre-errand running;

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Hitting up the best Mexican in town for tequila, micheladas and tacos;

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Stopping for a coffee at my favourite beach-side hang out;

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and tonight will be spent eating seafood and watching Love Actually at Mum’s, our new favourite tradition.

I’m so looking forward to tomorrow, like I haven’t been counting down for months now! It’s a day for relaxing, indulging, laughing, story-telling and appreciating those crazies we call family.

I truly hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas, get spoilt rotten and finish the day with full bellies and hearts.

Much love to all, Merry Christmas!
Hanbel.
x

 

 

 

 

There’ll be Parties for Hosting, Marshmallows for Roasting

19th December, 2015. The 9th annual Girl’s Christmas.
(Although Lucy and I only came along 5 or 6 years ago – and vastly improved the day, I must say).

MY FAVOURITE DAY! Especially this, year because I got to host. It was great fun putting the table together for my special ladies, and luckily we all bring a plate of food every year, so catering was easy peasy!

I absolutely love these gatherings because the food is always delicious, the banter hilarious, the mood super chilled out, the presents well thought out, but most of all; it’s the best company.

I have the best friends. I know everyone thinks they do, but you are wrong. Mine are the very best. Ha! I kid, but they are the best for me. As we are growing up (a little) we are becoming very different people. Somehow it works though, and we mesh into this loud, crazy girl tribe.

They have my back, always, and I have theirs. Which is why it’s so beautiful to come together every year and enjoy each other’s company.

Plus, FOOD.

IMG_0730My little watermelon, mint and feta skewers

IMG_0735IMG_0736IMG_0738My home gurl Anh making us a Pimms bowl, like a rockstar

IMG_0739The essence of Christmas; TurkeyIMG_0733.JPGIMG_0741IMG_0742Yep, I straight up forgot to photograph the rest of the food (too hungry) so here we have it all on one plate. Rachel’s roast pork and crispy crackling was to die for, as always.IMG_0745“Let’s take a group photo”IMG_0748IMG_0751I love you guys, like a ridiculous amount

Lucy, the fricken gem, on top of making a divine berry cheesecake, pulled out a box with homemade gifts for us all. Completely unexpected, but very warmly received. She made us all rocky road, cookie dough truffles and our own personalised mugs!!

Try and pick mine, it may or may not be caffeine related..

12391293_10153379195723613_5279438210008517105_np.s. Thanks Rach for the pic!

I hope you all have memorable Christmas meals, like this one. Full of love, laughter, full bellies and warm hearts (too corny? I’m rolling with it).

Lots and lots and lots and lots of love to my special ladies, you make being friends very easy.

Hanbel.
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You’ll Never Catch Me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

After a wild Saturday night watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and eating eggplant pizzas (which you need to try, so easy and absolutely delightful), I naturally woke up at 6:30am on a Sunday morning.

Andrew and I hopped on our bikes, rolled down to Finlay and Sons and enjoyed a beautiful breakfast in the sunshine. We were also home by 8:30am and at a loss for what to do next. [This is why people sleep in!]

IT’S CHRISTMAS BAKING TIME. I had all the ingredients for gingerbread men, and having never made them before I was super keen to try them out. On went the Christmas tunes, out came the ingredients and I set to work.

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In one of the many Christmas magazines I bought last year, there was a mini cookbook which I’ve grabbed the recipe from, adapted from this one. Thank you Australian Women’s Weekly!

125g of room temp butter (your life will be much easier if you let it warm up a little) and 1/4 cup of brown sugar are beaten in a bowl. I use a hand mixer throughout. Add in 1/3 cup treacle (I used Molasses) and 1 whole egg.

2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp mixed spice and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda are combined and then added to the wet mixture. It should begin to resemble a dough by now, so get those kneading hands working on a floured surface and then wrap the dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 180¬į and line two trays with baking paper. Here’s the fun part! Roll your dough between two sheets of baking paper until it’s around 7mm thick, or your preference. Now you get to use your fun Christmas cutters that you save all year and make these cute little shapes!

Place them onto the trays and bake for around 12 minutes… mine were more like 16, but our oven ain’t the best! Let these babies cool on a wire rack before you begin icing…

 

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Disclaimer: I avoided royal icing for a long time because I thought it was too hard, and to be honest didn’t even know how to make it. But it’s actually insanely simple and sooooo cool to make. You beat one egg white until it become gloriously bubbly, then add in 1 1/4 cups of pure icing sugar and finally 1 tsp of lemon juice. It should be wonderfully smooth and holding it’s own shape.

The most difficult part is actually icing these suckers. Using a piping bag with a small nozzle just go to town! I would lay one down on baking paper and hope for the best. Andrew was lucky enough to have my tester cookie, which basically a tree just completely covered in icing. Gotta start somewhere!

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It took me a while to get the hang of it, like anything – practice makes perfect. Ugh – I know, I want to punch myself in the face too.

HOWEVER, I do love trying out new recipes and adding something different to my repertoire. Plus, the brownie points from people at work can’t hurt. Note: always give cookies to the IT guys, they will be the ones you need favours from.

Enjoy your baking masterpieces or disasters, and remember if it has butter and sugar in it, it will taste good.

Hanbel.
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