Monday, 2 December 2019

Virtual Cookie exchange Blog hop.

To day is the start of the week long Virtual Cookie Exchange blog hop which has been organised by Carol from Just Let Me Quilt Thank you Carol for all the hard work you put in on these hops and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone is posting this year. Last year I got a lot of new ideas and recipes.

Christmas is such a lovely time of year. For many of us it means more family time to enjoy and also sharing with our friends and colleagues. In my family the run up to Christmas also involves two birthdays, mine on the 8th and my older brother's on the 20th. When we were both very young, you know young enough that you don't fully know when your birthday is, mom used to celebrate our birthdays a month early. When I started school the teacher corrected me and told me I had several more days to wait. Mom was determined that we should enjoy our birthday celebrations before starting to celebrate Christmas so we didn't decorate until after Ian's birthday. Once I left home I started to declare the Christmas season open on the day after my birthday and this is what we usually do now. On December 1st I put up the advent calendar I made and fill it with sweets but nothing else gets added until December 9th.

The tree is very important in our house and each year we add some new decorations and sometimes retire old ones. When we first had Picasso he managed to break quite a few of the baubles as he climbed to the top of the tree but since then he's stayed on the ground. He loves to hit the lower baubles with his paw.

In November 16 we visited an old house where the staff had created a gingerbread house to look like the real building. I was very impressed with it

Since then we've had a gingerbread house. This is the first one we made.

My son has always loved Lego since he was very small and over the years we collected several of their Christmas sets. We particularly like the Christmas train.

We have Christmas quilts. The first one I made several years ago.

and yesterday I finished the top of my new Christmas quilt. I am determined that this will be fully finished before Christmas.

We also have our crib.

Food is a really important part of the celebrations but so are the traditions. Mom and I would always bake mince pies on Christmas Eve whilst sipping a glass of wine. We'd go to the midnight service and when we got home we'd open a small present and enjoy a mince pie and a cup of tea before bed. I was going to make mince pies with Kathryn yesterday afternoon but she was feeling very tired so didn't come to visit  Instead I made our favourite Chocolate chip cookies.

I also made a batch of  Spicy Raisin bars. I tried out this new recipe a few weeks ago and I thought the bars would be very good as a snack to take on our Christmas walks. .

They really are delicious and a little gooey like chocolate brownies. I cut the bars quite thin so that John and I could enjoy some without adding extra weight. Just because it's almost Christmas it doesn't mean I want to gain extra pounds.

The recipe is by Martha Day from her book Baking

Makes 30
110 g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
215 g raisins
115 g butter or margarine at room temperature
100 g sugar
2 eggs
165 g molasses
55 g walnuts, chopped.

1. Preheat a 350 F/180 C / Gas 4 oven.
    Line a 13 x 9 in (33 x 23 cm) tin with grease proof paper and grease

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices.

3. Place the raisins in another bowl and toss with a few teaspoons of the flour mixture

4. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then the molasses. Stir in the flour mixture, raisins and walnuts.

5. Spread evenly in the tin. Bake until just set, 15 - 18 minutes. Let it cool in the tin before cutting into bars

Tomorrow I will bake our Christmas cake. This is always a rich fruit cake which I then decorate with marzipan and icing. I'm rather late making it this year but it will still be very tasty.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting. I certainly enjoyed you popping in. Now go visit the other blogs on the hop today. The hop runs every day up to and including Friday 

December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

Do come and visit again soon.



  1. Great decorations and the cookies look delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. All beautiful holiday items. Thank you for the delicious recipes too.

  3. Those raisin bars look quite tasty. I like your advent calendar and the tradition of starting after your birthday. I wait until December 1st before any decorating happens. Happy Birthday a little early. Your tree, gingerbread houses and quilts are great.

  4. Cookies and raisin bars look delicious. Such cute gingerbread houses. I have neve made one but always intend to but it seems time never allows it.

  5. Good morning Lyndsey! I enjoy hearing about traditions and how they are carried on or individualized for our lives. Who knew that Legos had such a cute train edition?! Your new Christmas quilt is so pretty, as is the first one who is being enjoyed by a furry friend. Thanks for sharing with us. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I liked your stories about the traditions. The cookies looked very yummy

  7. Mmmm! Your season is so full of yumminess! I want to bake as much as you do! Work takes up a lot of that time though so I think I'll attempt at least a baking day on Sunday!

  8. Well, it's looking a lot like Christmas in your house. Love all your holiday creations! Raisin bars are a new one to me. I love raisins.

  9. I love the smell of ginger and molasses cookies...your recipe looks yummy! My grandson has a birthday very close to Christmas and we make sure it gets celebrated separately. I love how your mom made it special for you! Your Christmas quilt is beautiful and will be treasured, I'm sure. Thanks so much for hopping with us, Lyndsey!

  10. So fun to read about your Christmas traditions! I love your Christmas quilts - the old one and the new one! I hope you do finish the new one this month - it will be perfect for snuggling under.

  11. Nice quilts and love your decorations :)

  12. Beautiful quilts! And I love how your Mom helped to make your birthday special by changing the date for your celebrations.

  13. Thanks for sharing your traditions with us. My moms birthday was Dec 19 and she grew up feeling short changed about Christmas/Birthday celebrating. My birthday is the 30th and mom leaned over backward to make sure I had my own special day. To this day my sister and brother bust on me because their birthdays in April and July were never all that special. :-}

  14. Thank you for the lovely read and ll the beautiful photos. The raisin bars look like my kind of cookie. I am going to make a batch soon after I get home ... :-) Pat

  15. Love the gingerbread house and thanks for the recipe.

  16. Your new Christmas quilt is beautiful!! I can't wait to see it finished! Thank you for the recipe for the spicy raisin bars...they look and sound delicious!!

  17. I love the crib. It is so wonderful in its simplicity. Sometimes less really is more. And your quilt inspector is cute too, he seems to enjoy his job :)

  18. So many goodies! I like your Advent calendar. :)

  19. Your advent calendar is so cute and all your baked goodies look delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Your story of when the Christmas season starts is great. I have grandson who's birthday is on the 15th. We work hard to make sure he has a birthday, and it isn't part of the Christmas holiday. Your advent calendar is cute. The bars look yummy.

  21. A lot of sweet memories for your holiday season.

  22. Spicy Raisin Bars sounds delicious and look yummy, too. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all your memories and Christmasy things.

  23. This is a lovely post and it gives me a nice sense of Christmas at your house. I love both of your Christmas quilts. The friendship stars really pop on the new quilt.

  24. Happy (soon to be) birthday, Lyndsey! My twin grandsons were born December 30th, so we are all very careful to keep Christmas and birthday separate! They love getting presents so close together! Thanks for sharing your traditions, memories and recipes with us!

  25. I love knitting too. Right now I am working on texting gloves. They work up fast, and make wonderful gifts.

  26. You have shared the spirit of Christmas so perfectly with each tradition. Happy birthday a little early. These Raisin Bars sound yummy. It's so funny how we Americans measure differently when we bake. I'll have to find a scale to use. Love it.

  27. Thank you for sharing you Christmas traditions. The food all sounds delicious! I wonder if in time would you please share you recipe for mince pies. That's not a big thing in the US although about this time I start seeing small jars of mince in the supermarket. I once made a traditional plum pudding. It took all day to steam! I served with a lit brandy sauce. My mom couldn't believe I did it for her. In case my email doesn't show, jere it is quiltyladyrr
    at gmail dot com Thanks.

  28. Your Spicy Raisin Bars look really warm and yummy! I enjoyed the glimpse into your Christmas happies! Your new quilt top is gorgeous! I believe you will have it finished in time!! I love making gingerbread houses ... I made one in the shape of a lighthouse, one year! Fun memories! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  29. I love your quilts. Your cookies and bars look amazing.

  30. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Your Christmas tree and your first quilt are beautiful.