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Tips for a clutter-free Christmas

Posted on December 17, 2018 by Grace Kreft

Christmas-time can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, and a big reason for this is simply the huge volume of “stuff” that comes along with it. Tacky decorations, piles of discarded wrapping paper, packaging galore, un-wanted gifts... While we love this time of year, we do find that Christmas always come with lots of stuff that we don't necessarily want or need – Kiwis spend over $6 billion on gifts at this time of year, and lots of it end up on the landfill. This got us inspired us to research some ways to aim for a clutter-free and minimalist Christmas, so we've bought together some of our favourite ideas here to share with you too...


Clutter-Free Gift Ideas

Here are some of what we think are the best clutter-free or minimalist gift ideas for this time of year. These gifts are also great for that "person who has everything". Best of all, lots of these gifts can be ordered last-minute this week.

  • Magazine Subscription - They'll probably share the magazines around with friends and family too after they've read them, so the gift keeps on giving!
  • Netflix or Spotify voucher - Good movies and music throughout the whole year.
  • Food gifts - It's safe to say, food is always an appreciated gift, and we love that it will end up in happy bellies, not the landfill. Our Angel Delivery Christmas hampers make perfect gifts, or order a regular delicious hamper to give someone a glorious week off cooking (what could be better?!).
  • Digital Vouchers – iTunes voucher, Amazon gift-card, Angel Delivery gift-card.
  • Zoo or Aquarium pass for their local attraction.
  • Experience gifts – Para-sailing, hot lap in a race-car, hot air balloon ride, concert ticket. Check out Red Balloon for some ideas.
  • Lessons or classes – Wine-tasting, dance classes, language course. Try to think of something they've been talking about giving a go, and give them a little push in the right direction.
  • Good Registry Gift voucher – At The Good Registry, you can buy Good Gift Cards, that can be redeemed by the recipient to make a donation to charity.
  • Gift Vouchers – A voucher for a massage would never go a-miss! And don't forget we offer Angel Delivery digital gift vouchers, sent via email.
  • Date-night box - Pop together a bottle of wine, some antipasto treats, a box of choccies, popcorn, a DVD or Netflix voucher, or movie tickets - and you could even add a babysitting voucher for them to redeem on the night if you're buying for parents.
  • Scratchies or a Lotto ticket – Just think, it could end up being a million dollar present!

  • Low-waste and clutter-free holiday season ideas

        

    Make sure you choose recyclable wrapping paper (you can't recycle shiny foil wrapping) – classic brown paper with twine looks really clean and modern. Or why not use fabric wrapping they can re-use, in the Japanese style called “Furoshiki” - click here for a tutorial we found online. Remember to save un-crinkled wrapping paper to use next year!

    Hand-make as many gifts as you can, to avoid unnecessary packaging and waste. Check out our post on DIY gifts here for some inspiraiton.

    Get a real Christmas tree – they smell and look great, plus they can be planted to be re-used next year or taken to the green-waste tip. Better than having more plastic in the house!

    Make your own decorations (glitter isn't good for the environment) - paper decorations, tied bows, or baked cookies look great on a tree (check out our Gingerbread cookie post for a great recipe for this!).

    Reduce leftover food waste by looking up recipe ideas to use leftovers (we found some good ideas here).

    Re-gift, donate to charity, or sell un-wanted gifts. Why not have a gifting box tucked away, where you store excess presents you know you won't use, so you can re-gift them throughout the year.

    Ask people for a wish-list of what they want, to avoid getting unwanted gifts.


    Remember, it's not too late to order the perfect minimalist gift of food, or an Angel Delivery e-voucher, on our website - click here to check out our 2018 Christmas hamper range, so your gifts end up in happy bellies, not the landfill.

    Posted in Christmas

    Recipe - Mum's Christmas Cake

    Posted on November 27, 2018 by Grace Kreft

    With Christmas Day racing around, now is the time to start preparing your Christmas Cake! If you decide to 'feed' your cake with alcohol, you need to prepare it a good time in advance, to give you plenty of time to mature it deliciously with alcohol over the coming weeks.

    We were lucky to chat with our founder Rebecca's lovely mum Sue, who has shared her very own special family Christmas Cake recipe with us - for your own baking adventures for you to make yourself at home.

    No time to bake? Or you're not a baker? Our Christmas Sweet Treats hampers are perfect to stock the pantry for sweet tooths on Christmas day, or to send to family and friends if you can't be there. Click here to check them out.

    Happy baking!


    Christmas Fruit Cake

    INGREDIENTS:

    227g butter
    227g caster sugar
    450g plain flour
    1.5kg mixed dried fruit
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    1 tsp lemon essence
    1 tsp almond essence
    3 eggs
    1 cup milk

    METHOD:

    Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees celsius, and prepare a medium-sized cake tin, lined with baking paper.

    In a big mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour. Then add all other the dry ingredients and essences. Cover the bowl and leave that mixture to stand, ideally overnight or at least for a few hours.

    Once that mix is done resting, heat the milk in a pan, until nearly boiling. Lightly beat the eggs together, then add the eggs to the nearly boiling milk in the pan and keep mixing (you're aiming to make a light custard).

    Leave the egg/milk custard mix to cool fully. Once cool, mix it into the prepared ingredients, until it's all well mixed. Pour the finished mix into your cake tin.

    Bake for 3 - 4 hrs at 140 degrees celsius. It'll be done when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. 

    Feeding / Maturing Your Cake

    You might decide you want to 'mature' or 'feed' your Christmas cake with your chosen alcohol in advance (this is optional). To do so, when the cake first comes out of the oven, poke holes in it on top with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol (rum, brandy or whisky). Then, once the cake is totally cool, wrap the cake well in cling-film and store it un-iced in a cool dark place. Every week until Christmas, unwrap the cake, poke holes in it on top with a skewer, and spoon over the 2 tbsp of alcohol again. Don't feed the cake during the final week before Christmas, so that the edges can dry out in time for icing.

    Brandy Butter Icing

    This delicious recipe from the Edmonds Cookery Book is the perfect topping for your Christmas Cake creation.

    INGREDIENTS:

    175g butter, softened
    500g icing sugar, sifted
    3 tablespoons brandy
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    METHOD:

    Beat the butter until it's light, smooth and fluffy.

    Add in the icing sugar, brandy and vanilla, then continue to beat until light and creamy.

    Once the cake has fully cooled, ice the cake with the brandy butter icing. You can put store-bought almond icing underneath if you like.

     

     

     



    Posted in Christmas, Food, Gifts, Recipes

     

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