Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Christmas gift suggestions

Christmas gift suggestions: 

 To your enemy, forgiveness. 
 To an opponent, tolerance. 
 To a friend, your heart. 
 To a customer, service. 
 To all, charity. 
 To every child, a good example. 
 To yourself, respect. 
 ~Oren Arnold

Pictures taken by me in Hong Kong, December 2010

Wishing you a happy Wednesday!

I'm linking to

Wordless/Wordful/Wordish Wednesdays at

Best Christmas wishes,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christmas Cooking ~ Coconut Ice

Hello dear Christmas friends! It's so lovely to see you.

I hope that you will forgive me for not being a very good blogger over here at Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive, 365 lately. I've been doing a few days of substitute teaching each week and I've also been busy nursing sick family members.

I've also been busy baking this week and I crazily volunteered to make sweets for my daughter's school carnival. I'm probably one of the only Aussies over here who has never made coconut ice before so I set myself the challenge of learning how to make it. Of course, I headed to Pinterest to see if I could find a good recipe or some inspiration. 

Here is my version of Coconut Ice!

Coconut ice is a sweet and delicious confection that is often found at school fetes, church fairs, fundraising cake stalls and birthday parties. It is made with desiccated coconut, confectioners sugar and condensed milk and its origins are British/Scottish. It is also one of a few sweets that doesn’t require any cooking, so it’s a safe recipe for little hands to get stuck into. The messiness factor is something that the kids will also LOVE about this yummy treat!

Big Al loved pouring the ooey gooey condensed milk into the bowl!

Coconut Ice:

1 tin sweetened condensed milk
750g or 4 cups icing sugar
1 250g packet McKenzie's Shredded Coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pink food colouring

Mix all ingredients, except for the pink food colouring together and divide in half. This is the hard part! I tried using a spoon but that was a big waste of time. I suggest that you roll up your sleeves and use your hands! Evenly press one half of the mixture into a foil lined slice tin. Colour the other half of the mixture with a few drops of pink food colouring. Press the pink mixture onto the white layer.

Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes and then cut into little squares; I suggest using a serrated knife.

The recipe that I used was found here. The page also has a link to an excellent conversion chart.

You can also add other edible colourings for a festive/seasonal variety.

Coconut ice

White and orange at Halloween
Coconut ice

Red and green at Christmas!

It would make a wonderful addition to party bags especially as you can make it well in advance and it will last for at least a month in the fridge in an airtight container.

 Let's hope they actually sell at the fair! 

Well, I hope you might try making some coconut ice next time you need to contribute something to a bake-sale or fund raiser. I'm sure you'll love it!

Thanks so much for stopping by and celebrating a little bit of Christmas joy!
I hope to see you over at Natasha in Oz this weekend for my Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party, a weekly Party for you to showcase anything and everything! Just click the button to join in!

Poofy Cheeks

Best Christmas wishes,


Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Christmas Cooking ~ Craisin & Yoghurt Muffin Recipe!

Hello Christmas friends! Thank you for stopping by and sharing some Christmas Spirit with me today!

I've also been busy baking this week and I made a delicious batch of Yoghurt Muffins! They have a decidedly Christmas flavour so I thought they would be perfect to share with my Christmas friends!

The recipe comes from the Canadian Living website. The recipe I found is actually for Blueberry muffins but I didn't have any in the house so substituted the berries for craisins. I'm often doing that....

They are also made with a combination of orange rind, cinnamon and nutmeg so they smell just like Christmas!

Here is the recipe for Yogurt Muffins by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen


2-1/4 cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) nutmeg (I also added cinnamon to give it an extra boost of Christmas!)
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange rind
1/4 cup (50 mL) orange juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh blueberries


In large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, orange rind and juice and oil; pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with blueberries; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling to top. Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven until golden and tops are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 2 minutes. Transfer to rack, let them cool and enjoy with your favourite cup of tea!

My choice for today is a nice and strong Irish Breakfast Tea from Twinings, a blend of several black teas, most often Assam teas.

They have been a hit with the kids and have been a tasty addition to their lunch boxes this week. I loved them because they are light, fluffy and moist. I enjoyed one today for morning tea at the bar on my deck.

I recently purchased some vintage Bentwood stools from Sandy at Paint me White for this area.

I had thought about painting them white but now I am thinking of leaving them as is.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts! White or Wood?

Either way, they are the perfect height and fit for the area and I love them!

It was so lovely to be in the fresh air overlooking our pool. Gee I can't wait for Summer to arrive!

Well, I think I've had enough of a break. I'd better get back to some more house-work. Please don't forget to let me know your thoughts on my stools!

Best Christmas wishes,


Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A New Linky Party at Natasha In Oz ~ Say G'Day Saturday!

Do you love it when your blogger friends stop by and say G'day? Do you regularly share ideas on crafting, cooking, decorating, gardening or blogging?

 If so then I would love it if you could link up with me on the weekends for my
Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party!

Here are some of my favourite Christmas ideas this week:

Source: via Natasha on Pinterest

I sure do hope you will be able to join me each weekend and share your favourite post of the week.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and thanks also for Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive, 365!

Best wishes,
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