DRINK: Christmas Mulled Wine Recipe

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Mulled Wine Recipe - Christmas Drinks

...Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Technically its not christmas until you've guzzled down a glass of hot mulled wine, making it at home is so much more satisfying and rewarding then buying a store bought version not only does it taste 10x better it gives your house that perfect christmas smell that even a yankee candle can't compete with. 
This recipe is adapted from the almighty Jamie Oliver's mulled wine recipe and is one that I make every year for all my family, theres nothing better then sipping on this whilst your peeling your spuds for christmas dinner!

Mulled Wine Recipe - Christmas Drinks

...What You Need

  • 2 x Oranges
  • 1 x Lemon
  • 1 x Lime
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 6 x Whole Cloves
  • 2 x Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 x Whole Nutmeg (Grated)
  • 1 x Vanilla Pod 
  • 3 x Bay Leaves
  • 2 x Star Anise
  • 2 x Bottles of Red Wine

...Lets Cook

Now I'm no wine connoisseur I couldn't even begin to tell you what red wine to get normally I just reach for whatever is cheapest In the shop and that always tends to work well - recommendations of your favourite reds to use for mulled wine would be amazing!
  1. Take out a large saucepan and place on the hob on a low heat, add your sugar
  2. Peel large sections of the fruit and place on top of the sugar, squeeze the juice out of the orange all over
  3. Now add In all your spices,  except for the star anise, half the vanilla pod and pop that in as well now pour red wine over just enough to cover the sugar and spice mix
  4. Give it a good stir and let it simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved then bring to the boil keep it on the boil for about 5 minutes or until its formed a thick syurp
  5. Now turn the heat down low again (We don't want to burn the alcohol off now do we?) add the star anasie and pour the rest of the wine in, let it heat up slowly make sure you give it a good stir
  6. Once its hot enough its ready to serve, so drink up and be merry!

Mulled Wine Recipe - Christmas Drinks

Let me know if any of you guys try this, I love seeing all your festive food creations I'm thinking egg nog next, what do we think?
P.S For more festive bakes check out my Star Topped Mincepies & Cinnamon Wreath Loaf

Happy Baking!

BEAUTY: Redken Extreme Haircare Review

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Redken Extreme Strengthening shampoo and conditioner review

...My Hair Story

My hair has been the source of many late night scissor mishaps, carless colour experiments and even perming fiasco's, I spent years trying to cover up the fact I was a natural ginger; hall way bullies and keyboard warriors kept me frightened to disclose my locks natural state and led me into a hair dye spiral. I dyed it the darkest shades possible (Which looked horrendous paired with my skin) and even bleached it to an inch of its life to try and hide its auburn hertiage away, eventually all the years of hair abuse took its toll and I had to go for 'the big chop' which took my frizzled rats tailed locks into a petite pixie cut. As it started to grow back I decided enough was enough I had to leave my hair alone if it was ever going to re grow and I stopped dying it, and would you believe it? It grew back darker. By this point I had got over the spiteful comments and started to embrace my natural colour but the blooming colour had changed and what do you know I started wishing It was more ginger... hair karma.

...Redken  Extreme Haircare

My hair has now regrown to a somewhat long length (I'm still not repunzal like Megan.. damn!) but unfortunately during the years or re growth I discovered the marvellous art of 'the blow-dry' and developed a somewhat bordering obsessive habit of over styling it with heat. This of course has led me to the inescapable fate of the split end! Now I know, I should go to the hairdressers and get it cut, I know. But a little part of me cries out in protest and refuses to get it cut, it took me ages to get it this length and the thought of someone bulldosering in and cutting it shorter makes me a little anxious. So In order to try and cling on to my lifeless ends I've branched out and up'd my hair care regime, starting with the Redken Extreme shampoos and conditioners (Courtesy of Hair trade) first of all these products contain proteins, if your hairs not very dry or damaged I wouldn't recommend using them as it could make your hair dry and brittle however if it is damaged from overuse of bleach or heat read on..  now I have tried high end hair care products before, Ive been a fan of Phillip Kingsley's Elasticizer for years but this split end fighter duo has really helped visably improve my hairs health.  Now I'm not going to say I stepped out the shower a new women, but my hair was a lot smoother, my hair did take slightly longer to brush as I found it got a lot knottier then usual but after a quick session with my tangle teaser it was fine, I let it air dry and my hair was sooooooo much softer and less frizzy then it is usually, I could actually just let it air dry and not need to style it, it was that smooth! For someone who relies on a blow dry to tame frizz I can tell you thats a christmas miracle.
I've used it several times since then and honestly my hair seems to be getting stronger and stronger, wish is resulting in it looking thicker which isn't so good for me as I already have too much.. so perfect if you need a little boost, I've also noticed my hair not snapping when I brush it, I've even given it a bit of a tug to see if it would (for scientific purposes of course) and I can tell you it takes a bit of force (ouch) so it passed my 'tug test' with flying colours.

L'oreal prodigy vermillion red hair colour swatch
P.S Sorry about the shoddy instagram selfie.. but hey new hair colour! What do we think?

With all the newly found hair strength I got a little excited and decided hey, why not damage it again and dyed it back to my child hood orange shade - although its now dyed its still looking incredibly shiny and and smooth (The picture above my hair is just air dried). The products them-selves have a slightly scented smell but nothing too harsh and when I wash with them my hair smells like a salon, which can only be a good thing right? For a treatment this product has been working wonders on my hair but I wouldn't recommend over using it, rotate it with another shampoo and conditioner and use it as a monthly treatment (Or weekly for really damaged hair) as if you use too much it can start to be drying, but as an initial treatment It really works wonders and strengthens your locks, a definite  repurchase for me so I can keep it around for them days I decide to do something crazy with my hair or get a little bit carried away with the hair dryer and tongs. 

Have you tried any of the Redken Extreme range?
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