Monday, 22 December 2014

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Well, it's only another three sleeps until Christmas Day, and following a busy week of a concert rehearsal, a concert itself, a meeting and a Christmas meal/theatre trip, then a week of not really doing much other than watching Christmas DVDs and continuing to make a scrapbook, the Christmas week, although less busy than two weeks ago, is starting to fill up with things to do.  Yesterday was the church Nativity production, I'm going out carol-singing on Christmas Eve, and then there's the church service on Christmas Day.  The recipe for today is a vegan-friendly Christmassy gingerbread ice cream, inspired by this vanilla ice cream recipe from The Rawtarian and Ally Sheehan's banana and blueberry ice cream recipe.  It only needs three ingredients (plus toppings) and a blender, and is rather easy to make, so even if you can't really cook, this is one dessert you can make this Christmas.  And on that note, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


4 bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 teaspoons ground ginger


  1. Cut bananas into slices and freeze in a Ziploc or freezer bag for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Put the bananas into a high-speed blender and pulse until it reaches a smooth, ice-creamy texture.
  3. Before you finish blending, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.  Blend the mixture for a bit longer.
  4. Serve into bowls, top with sultanas and candied peel (if you have any) and enjoy!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Rose and Violet Chocolate Drops

We are now officially a full week into December, and with that has come a string of events that you'd find around Christmas or at the end of the year.  For example, on Friday night I attended the inaugural New Bradford Playhouse Awards, and on Saturday night I attended my dad's choir Christmas concert.  This week, I'm booked every night until Friday with a Christmas/winter concert dress rehearsal, the concert itself, a main show meeting, and a Christmas meal and theatre trip.  In addition, I have an essay deadline and a user-testing lab for a website I've built.  I'll be glad when it's Friday when I'm free to do a bit more of this other website I'm starting to build, read, and watch the pile of films I've been wanting to watch for several weeks (mainly Rent).  I found the following recipe for rose and violet chocolate drops in the most recent (Christmas 2014) edition of the Tesco Food and Living magazine.  It could be an ideal gift for friends!

Ingredients (to make 20)

100g (3 1/2 oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1/4 sunflower oil
1-2 tablespoons violet crystals


  1. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of shallow, gently simmering water.  Stir occasionally until melted and glossy.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water and sunflower oil.  Set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.  Using a teaspoon, drop small rounds of chocolate onto the trays.  When the rounds are just beginning to set, scatter over the violet crystals.  Leave to set in a cool, dry place (but don't chill).