Deck The Halls!

5

Hello everyone.

It’s nearly Christmas! I am just loving the festive feel everywhere, especially seeing the houses all lit up at night! I’ve just about finished my gift shopping, so time to relax into the Christmas spirit now.

It was dog Monty’s 1st birthday last week, which has come around fast… it seems he was a tiny puppy a few weeks ago but I don’t know where I’d be without him now. He got a new toy, which he destroyed in seconds, and a bone… likewise!

On the same day as his birthday it was also my cousin’s husband’s birthday and I set about making a big chocolate cake for his party. I made millionaire’s shortbread for it too and then just piled on the choccy! The only picture I got of it was in the fridge though! I often forget to take proper photos of my cake creations although if you have a look back at my Instagram you’ll see a few.

I feel its time to do some festive baking now too… every year I make some cranberry and mulled wine pies with a cinnamon cake top instead of mince pies, as I’m not a huge fan of them. I think it’s time to make some today… I’ll probably eat half of them all to myself! I’d love to hear about your favourite festive treats… I know we have some great ones at QVC.

And speaking of festive treats… it’s very close to the deadline, but you can JUST get things delivered for Christmas if you buy today or tomorrow. Whether it’s a gift or something for yourself to wear for the parties! We’ve actually popped a little treat on the website for some of our Links of London items… they’ve got free P&P! So you can get them home in time for Christmas with no postage charge! Fab! I’ve been wearing these gorgeous love knot style stud earrings and think they are just so elegant.

They’re simple but stand out, because of the 3D shape and design. Great if you want earrings that you can wear for work but also look great for an evening out. They’d look lovely on Christmas day.

Have a look at the other Links of London goodies too as these aren’t the only ones with no P&P charge.

Another exciting thing happening at QVC is that Jessica Nails has launched! I am really happy about thi,s as I have been having Jessica Nails manicures for a long, long time now and I think their products are fantastic. I use the Phenomen Oil when my nails and cuticles need a bit of extra care and the quality of their polish is really high, not to mention the wonderful colours! I really recommend this little set, which comes with a top coat, base coat, Phenomen Oil and a full size coloured nail polish.

There are different options to target different problems. It’s so great if your nails are in need of a bit of TLC but you’ve not much time to care for them. My nails are normally pretty strong but have been quite flaky lately, so its great to be able to use these products at home as well as have my manicurist use them. I chose the “Brittle Nails” option with the lovely light lilac shade called Hush Hush and I’ve had loads of compliments on the colour. Its a nice alternative if you wear pale pink a lot. Make sure you have a browse of the Jessica Nails range on the website and I hope you try them out, as they are one of my favourites.

Now, let’s chat Big Deals. On Style this week we have launched a fab one from Nina Leonard. Its a coatigan that looks so, so classy. Crisp, clean edges and a choice of classic colours along with a really great Big Deal price make this one pretty unmissable for me!

It’ll be perfect for work wear, dressing up to go out or just with jeans and a roll neck… I know for me the cost per wear on this would be super low!

The Beauty Big Deal this week comes from Laura Geller and is a collection to help you get that perfect glowy, dewy look. A perfect last minute gift but also a great set to get a luscious New Year look for yourself too.

And finally, the Christmas Big Deal is the Vibroslim uWalk Foldable Motorised Treadmill. This is great if you want to get moving a bit more, but don’t have much space and don’t fancy driving to a gym. Its foldable too, so it can be stored neatly away when its not being used, which is so handy as not all of us are lucky enough to have enough room to have exercise equipment out all the time.

That’s it from me blog-wise until the New Year – 2019! This year has been the fastest ever with lots of ups and downs and I am so pleased it led me to QVC, as I am really enjoying my time here. Pretty sure next year will be a fabulous one as I carry on here at the Q – oh, and of course, there’s the small detail that I will be getting married!! All very exciting. I’ll be on QVC Style Friday and Saturday this week and on New Year’s Eve, but I would just like to say to you all that I hope you have a very merry Christmas and enjoy every minute, however you celebrate.

Merry Christmas,
Kathryn xx

5 Comments

  1. Susan December 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn,
    Happy Christmas to you and hope your new year is a great one with qvc and getting married. It sounds like it will be! Your cake is amazing!! Looks delicious! You’re very talented. I’d love to know about the cranberry pies!! Happy new year x

  2. karen somerville December 20, 2018 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    hi Kathryn .love you to give the recipe for the cranberry pies .PLEASE .have a merry xmas

  3. Kathryn Goldsmith December 23, 2018 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Karen and Susan! Thanks for your Christmas wishes. Here’s the recipe for the cranberry tarts. The jam makes more tham you need so you can get a few batches out of it and you can of course buy pastey if you can’t be bothered to make it!!

    For the Cranberry jam:
    300g Cranberries
    Juice of 2 clementines & zest of 1
    200g Sugar (maybe a little more)
    400ml Mulled wine

    For the Pastry:
    225g Plain Flour
    100g Unsalted Butter (Cold!)
    Some water

    For the sponge:
    50g Margarine
    50g caster sugar
    50g Self-Raising Flour
    1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 tbsp Ground almonds
    1 egg

    The first thing you need to make is the Cranberry jam.

    Put all the ingredients into a fairly roomy saucepan and bring it up to the boil. (Put the Clementine zest in in strips and remove with tongs once the jam is done).

    Then simmer the mix for around an hour. You need to keep stirring every now and again to stop it catch and mix it all together. The cranberries will all pop and break down until the mix is nice and thick. Transfer the jam into sterilised jars or into a bowl to cool down. This could take some time which is why it’s wise to make a day or two ahead.

    The next step is to make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl, cube the cold butter and add that to the flour. Start using a knife to cut the butter into the flour and, as the butter gets small, start to use your fingers to rub it in until it looks like breadcrumbs. I start this off with a knife just because it starts off the process and if you use your hand for the whole time you might warm the butter up a bi too much, it needs to stay as cold as it can.

    Once you’ve got it looking like it should then you need to add the water. Use very cold water and add two tablespoons of it to start with. start to bring the pastry together with a wooden spoon, adding a tablespoon of water at a time until it all comes together nicely but is not sticky. You will probably need to use you hands to press it together at the end. Use the water sparingly – less is definitely more – I used about five tablespoons.

    The pastry then needs to rest in the fridge for about twenty minutes wrapped well in cling film.

    Around five minutes before you’re ready to bring your pastry out, turn the oven on to about 190°C to get it heated up and start to make the sponge mix. Cream the butter and margarine together until smooth and fluffy.

    Mix the flour together with the cinnamon then add this along with all of the other ingredients. Beat this well with a wooden spoon or in a mixer until all well combined.

    Get your pastry out and roll it out nice and thin.

    Once you’ve done this, take a fluted round cutter that is just a bit bigger than the holes in the pan you will be using. Use the same tin as you would for mince pies.

    Cut out rounds of the pastry and place them into the cavities in the pan, making sure they are pressed down.

    Take your jam and pop a teaspoon-full of it into each pastry case. You may want to soften the jam a little in a bowl first just by mixing it with a spoon – this will make it spread better at the bottom of the pastry case.

    Then pop a teaspoon of the sponge mixture on top of each and spread it gently until it is right up to the sides. Do this carefully as you want the sponge to cover the jam and not get mixed into it!

    Put these in your pre-heated oven for around twenty minutes. (Do check though…they take about 15mins in my new fan oven as it runs quote hot!) The sponge will look darker than a usual cake because of the cinnamon in it, so don’t worry about that. They are done when the pastry looks golden around the edges and the sponge springs back when pressed lightly with your finger.

    Put the little pies onto a wire rack to cool and enjoy!

    These are nice cold or warm and taste superbly festive. A perfect little treat for your friends or family members who aren’t mincemeat fans.

    I hope you enjoy these and let me know if you give them a try! I’ll try and post a photo of them on my social media soon so you can see what they look like. I’ve baked three batches already and eaten a LOT of them!!!

    Merry Christmas ladies! Xx

  4. lynn tervit December 31, 2018 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathryn, Sadly i lost my beloved dad on Friday 28th December, it was very sudden and iam in total shock. My dad was my hero, my rock and my best friend in the world, I don’t know where to turn or what to do without him. We can’t arrange funeral because of the holidays, it’s horrendous, dad always protected me from hurt and pain, but now i have to step up as i have no brothers and sisters and mum passed away 15 years ago.
    Sad time for me, but i wish you, Lawrence and the beautiful Monty my love and best wishes for 2019,
    Keep up the wonderful work you do, it is a pleasure watching you on QVC,
    all my love Lynn xxxx

    • Kathryn Goldsmith January 2, 2019 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

      Hi Lynn. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sending strength and love your way. It must be very hard at this time of year. My thoughts are with you. Thank you for your kind comments and I wish you well for the year to come. Xx

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