I am not a natural crafter but there is something about the Christmas season which sends me a bit silly in the aisles of my local crafting superstore, and makes me yearn to be able to create festive fripperies whilst simultaneously baking perfect mince pies.
While the rest of the year sees me spooning ready-made cranberry sauce out of the jar onto my chicken and into my venison stew, the advent of Advent seems to make it imperative that everything is homemade. Or at least looks like it is. Ironically since I spend much of the run up to Christmas helping to organise church events or attending them I actually have less time that usual for this kind of activity.
Anyway, I have found the perfect book for people like me who love to fill their home with Christmas magic and the smell of good food.
Christmas Recipes & Crafts from the Love Food arm of publishers Parragon covers everything from pre-Christmas planning tips and ideas for home-made gifts to recipes for parties and what to do with the leftovers. All beautifully styled, photographed and presented in a hardback book which appeals to my shabby-chic and vintage-tat-loving heart.
The book is split into easy to reference chapters including Christmas Morning, Yuletide Baking, Christmas Crafts and Divine Desserts. There are even templates for you to copy!
I love the Advent calendar made with 6 pairs of baby socks- wouldn't it be a lovely momento if you could use a few of your own baby's socks in the calendar which would then come out year after year until their feet are bigger than yours.
If you like to make your own Christmas wreath but are fed up with being prickled by holly there are instructions on how to make a lovely simple fabric wreath which is very on trend!
The recipe for rich orange crepe for Christmas morning looks divine but realistically I am lucky to grab a bowl of cornflakes in between present-opening and church. There's a lovely recipe for cranberry sauce which you can make ahead of time and store in the 'fridge.
I also like the sound of the gluten-free apple and cinnamon bran muffins but to be fair I become slightly cinnamon obsessed at this time of year. I have cinnamon scented candles and even a room spray to
choke delight my guests with.
The recipe book obviously includes a "Get in the Spirit" drinks section with a superb recipe for eggnog and an intriguing mulled ale recipe alongside the more usual mulled wine.
There's some suggestions for traditional items with a modern twist too - how about blinis with prawns....and wasabi cream?
The book is available now from various outlets including The Works and Amazon where there is even a Kindle edition. The price on the book jacket is £15.99 but you can find it a lot cheaper if you follow those links!
Head to Parragon's Love Food website for more great foodie books and some great recipes and free downloadable resources like cupcake flags and party invitations.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Christmas Recipes and Crafts for the purposes of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.