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Blog Tour Review - Second Star to the Left by Megan Van Dyke

  Blog Tour Review - Second Star to the Left by Megan Van Dyke Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution. Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook. Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t. However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her. As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that ach

The Ninth Day of Blogmas - Christmas baking

Hello! I've just put my Christmas tree up and decorated it and it's finally starting to feel a bit more Christmas-like in here.

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favourite Christmas traditions, baking. I've been baking at Christmas for years now. Most of the year I'd do very little, maybe the occasional batch of scones, a birthday cake or two. Then at Christmas I'd do mince pies and sausage rolls. This year I've been baking pretty much year round, but as I'm making Christmas dinner for my family I've decided to go all out on the Christmas baking, with a few new things for me.

So far I've made a Christmas cake, a Christmas pudding and mince pies.

The first step for each of them has been essentially the same. A massive amount of different types of dried fruit and peel go into a big mixing bowl, with a bit of alcohol, and it all sits there overnight. That's a wonderful part of Christmas baking. The smell of the fruit in the alcohol fills the flat and it really does feel like there's a little bit of Christmas in the air. I've had three nights of that now, and I'm getting quite used to it.

Other than that I've discovered that Christmas baking is sloooooooow. The pudding took eight hours steaming over a pan of water. The cake was in the oven for four hours and the mincemeat took three hours in the oven and then about the same to cool, being stirred the whole time to keep the fat moving around. That's after a night-long preparation. It's not like you have to do anything while this is happening, so it's quite a good excuse for curling up with a good book, or doing the Christmas wrapping paper, but it sure does eat up a lot of your time, especially since I've had to do one at a time.

Once they were finished though, I discovered a new thing to stress about. You see, with the pudding and the cake, I've got no way of knowing if it is any good or a tough, stodgy mess, until Christmas evening when I serve them to my family!

At least I've been able to test out the mincemeat, and it is good!

So what about you? Do you like to bake at Christmas? Or do you have anyone who bakes for you? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @notsotweets

Liam x


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