Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bah-humbug banisher

I cannot tell you the excitement Miss U-t-B and I have had the last couple of afternoons!

If you ever need to get in the Christmas spirit (and I'm not talking about drowning the chaos and stress out with a bottle of whiskey!) I can highly recommend what we got up to together.

Here is the result...

Our first ever Gingerbread House!

We used pretty much this recipe, from a Good Housekeeping magazine.  I have never found a Good Housekeeping recipe that didn't work out well.    Our recipe had two tablespoons of ginger (which sounds like way too much)  instead of 10mls, which I think is two teaspoons, but it tastes great!  We changed the house dimensions from what was suggested, because we wanted a tall house with lofty gables, something nestled deep into the snow, like all our favourites when we go skiing.

I have signed up to Pinterest (thanks Lakota for the suggestion and the invitation - my life is definitely the richer for it, though I do seem to be short of time these days...) and you can find oodles of inspirational pictures on there.  We were going to heap colourful sweets on our house (and were looking forward to shopping for these, and polishing off any leftovers) but once we were under way with the royal icing Miss U-t-B decided that it might spoil it.  She said it reminded her of every arty thing she ever did when she was young, where it looked great at a point along the way, and then she overdid it and spoilt it!

At the front of the house is a little gingerbread lady talking to her rocking horse (as you do).  She looks like she's related to the gingerbread boy from Shrek with that leer!

At the back we've gone a bit alternative, with a dalek!  If you have a cookie cutter, I say use it - never mind the theme!

The icicles were fun to do, but they do have a habit of dropping off!

Miss U-t-B cut the little heart shaped biscuits in half to make cute shutters for the windows.

And, inspired by Holly Bell (from 'The Great British Bake Off')'s video...

...we had to do stained glass windows!

Miss U-t-B had the forethought to put a candle inside before we built the house, placing it just near enough the front door to be lit with a candle in a pair of tweezers...

Looks like gingerbread lady has somewhere nice and toasty to warm her poor frozen tootsies when she goes inside!

Miss U-t-B has now abandoned all other career ideas and is planning on life as Gingerbread House Maker to the Stars (and Anyone Else Who Wants One).  She recognises that the opportunities for money-making will be somewhat limited - a couple of weeks in the year to make enough money to get her through the year, but hey-ho...

So if you're still waiting for 'the' mood to hit you, I can't recommend anything more powerfully bah-humbug banishing than to get together with someone nice, put on some Christmas tunes, fill the house with the smell of gingerbread, whip up some royal icing and get merry with the icing bag!


  1. We are reading from the same book ,so to speak ...My oldest daughter and I had the same idea yesterday,we made the gingerbread and set to putting it togeher,that's were the problems began and the laughter,needless to say there are no photo's of our gingerbread house or shanty town shelter as it was renamed hahah.hey ho ...It did taste lovely,so phase 2 today is gingerbread men hopefully !! Congratulations your's is FABULOUS!!!
    Merry Christmas xx
    XX Manda XX

  2. Fantastic to know that recipe worked as we are using it today :-) Oohh and the stain glassed windows look fantastic, I think I may have to steal that idea! Have a fab Christmas x

  3. I've never made one of these before, but yours looks lovely. The smell of ginger is so Christmasy!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Ooooh i love it and you have got me all over excited about tomorrow as me and my sweet B will be doing the same, no darlek cutter though ;o) i shall look through my cutters for an alternative!
    I deffinately think Miss U-t-B should seriously consider as a career!
    wishing you peace, love and joy this christmas time
    love jooles xxx

  5. I've never made a gingerbread house, yours looks absolutely wonderful. Yes, definitely a career awaiting Miss U-T-Bee.
    Carol xx

  6. We always decorate a Gingerbread House a few days before Christmas but I do buy the house and then let the girl's decorate. It has now become a tradition for my nephew to come around too to make his own house. It such fun and really does put you a festive mood. Makes the house smell yummy too.

  7. It's gorgeous! We made one last year but there was no stopping the boys from jelly sweet overload! I especially love the darlek ;-)

    Glad you're enjoying losing chunks of your life to Pinterest x

  8. I love your gingerbread house:) I haven't made one in years. I just joined Pinterest much inspiration out there.