Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake
For Christmas this year (or last year now!) I baked a gingerbread sheet cake using a recipe from Handle the Heat. You can find the recipe here: https://www.handletheheat.com/gingerbread-sheet-cake/
It came out quite nice, although perhaps a bit heavy on the spices! Here's a picture:
And here's a pic when it's been cut:
I used treacle because it's more readily available in the UK than molasses, and mixed spices rather than individual clove and nutmeg. Last New Year I made gingerbread also using a Handle the Heat recipe. Here it is if you're interested in baking some yourself: https://www.handletheheat.com/gingerbread-cookies/
Tessa who runs the site doesn't advise people to use substitutions but I've found it's usually ok to use treacle instead of molasses because they're similar. She also says in the gingerbread cookies post that treacle works ok.
I baked the cake on Christmas Eve and then iced it on Christmas Day. The cream cheese frosting was nice, like the one for the frosted white chocolate Easter cake I like to make. It was a bit lumpy because I could have mixed it better, but never mind! It was nice and I'd recommend it if you fancy making a gingerbread cake. :)
Now here is the last monthly update of the year! (well technically last year now!). Read the rest of the posts for 2019 here:
April (+ Beltane Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html
July (+ Lammas Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/07/july-update-lammas-inpiration.html
December is the start of full on "Christmas season"! As I mentioned last month, the time from September to December seems to go quickly and once you hit December it's the official festive season. In mid December I went to a late night Christmas shopping event in Shoreham-by-sea with a Meetup group and had mulled wine. Not sure if I've tried it before but I liked it.
The weather started to get colder but we tend to get our coldest weather in January and February in the UK. The official start of winter was Yule/the Winter Solstice (22nd Dec this year). You can see my post about celebrating Yule here. https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/12/yule-2019.html
Things were a bit stressful in the lead-up to Christmas due to personal issues. I was behind with things but never mind. Christmas was quite nice in the end. On Christmas Eve I made crockpot hot chocolate like last year, although in a pan because I don't have a crockpot! I got some nice presents, had Christmas dinner (turkey etc.) and baked the cake. And I made the gingerbread cake for Christmas (see above).
Here's a photo of the hot chocolate:
It's quite rich and filling because it has condensed milk in it, but nice.
I always find the time after Christmas a bit of a comedown and have never been a huge fan of New Year. But I watched a countdown on NYE and had a family meal the next day, then a naked red velvet cake from Marks and Spencer that I'd wanted to try for ages! I also made some white hot chocolate on New Year's Eve which I've made before. But I felt the Christmas Eve hot chocolate was nicer.
Over on my other blog Falling Petals I wrote a post about letting go of 2019 and welcoming a new decade you can read that here: https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2019/12/letting-go-of-2019-starting-new-decade.html
Read: Dracula's Guest anthology edited by Michael Sims (Christmas present), The Binding by Bridget Collins.
Links I found useful:
Leeor Alexandra video about making yourself more important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnkHvi9M5pw
Another Leeor video about things to leave behind in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmcz1kHl4qo
Rhiannon Day post about manifesting with anxiety: https://www.rhiannonday.com/blog/manifesting-with-anxiety
I've written about this subject on my Falling Petals blog, but you don't often see it covered by Law of Attraction "experts"/well known teachers.
I also came across Jasmine Lipska's site and YouTube channel which I found inspring.
So I've come to the end of the monthly updates! Seems strange that it's almost a year now since I started writing them! Thank you if you've followed them, or just read some. :) I don't think I will do monthly updates again this year because I found it a bit hard sometimes fitting them in as well as the sabbat posts, but I might do quarterly or every couple of months updates.
I do find this time of a year a struggle because we've got lots of winter to go and there's not the excitement of Christmas anymore. But there's Imbolg coming up on 2nd February. If you need some inspiration to get you through winter check out these links:
Winter Round-up + Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/12/winter-round-up-inspiration.html
More Winter Inspiration + Winter Tag: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/12/more-winter-inspiration-winter-tag.html
Also I shared this post about surviving the January blues in style the Jan update: https://www.eternallyelle.com/2019/01/how-to-survive-the-january-blues-in-style/
Happily Eva After post about getting through winter: https://happilyevaafter.com/how-i-survive-the-winter/