A One Off Christmas Week Linky #mainyloveschristmas

I do..I love christmas and I have decided to host a one off christmas linky where you can add up to 3 posts on whatever theme you like. As it’s a one off christmas week linky #mainyloveschristmas you can add old, new or trial posts just for this link up.

One of the other christmas bonus points to this link up is that you don’t have to add a badge, just link and promote yourself and your fellow bloggers. This link up is just for this week and you choose how much you want to participate.

This is a random link up so the posts shuffle around and are not listed in time order.

The link up starts Sunday December 18th at 6pm GMT and closes Friday December 23rd at 6pm GMT.

Tweet here to tell others about this link up, the more the merrier! Happy Christmas! #mainyloveschristmasClick To Tweet

Suggested guidance for participating:

  • I’d love it if you commented on the host post and at least one more for every post you link up.
  • Tweet using the hashtag #mainyloveschristmas @myrealfairy when you link up and you’re away!
  • Tweet, pin, stumble and share using all the wonderful ways you wish and let the blogger know when you comment how you have shared their post.
  • Use the hashtag #mainyloveschristmas
  • Enjoy and read something you wouldn’t normally click on.
  • Have fun
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Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This is a great easy cranberry sauce recipe as it is so quick to make. Also it has just 3 ingredients. It couldn’t be simpler to prepare, even at short notice as it only takes 15 minutes. Super tasty and looks great too. I love it with any of my christmas roasts and it can be used with your desserts too. I enjoy putting it with mince pies and cream.

What you will need is:

12oz cranberries

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of orange juice


Start by washing the cranberries in cold water and drain.

Place the orange juice and sugar in a large saucepan.

Stir together and bring to the boil.

When it’s reached boiling point turn down the heat to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe www.myrealfairy.com

Add the cranberries and bring to a gentle simmer. You will hear and see them pop a little. Be careful of splashes so don’t get too close. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe www.myrealfairy.com

Remove from the heat.

Leave to cool until they reach room temperature.

Place in jars. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

easy cranberry sauce recipe


It can also be frozen. If you want to do this then pop it into a freezer bag or appropriate plastic container and freeze when cool.

Want to share this easy recipe with your friends? Go ahead and tweet away:) Thank you!Click To Tweet


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Putting Up Our Christmas Tree in 5 Photos

We enjoy celebrating Christmas in our house. We always wait until after big M’s birthday on the 3rd December before we put any decorations up. This is so that he can enjoy his birthday without sharing it with Christmas.

I love getting the boxes down from the loft and seeing all of our little nick knacks from the previous years. It’s great to sit and go through the tree decorations the boys have made while they have been growing up.

This year I brought a new artificial tree as I have used one I borrowed from a friend for the past few years. I thought that it was about time to get us one of our own.

The boys and I agreed we would like to share the moment on the blog…

There was great relief from me and whoops of delight from the boys when we turned the lights on.

Have you put your tree up yet or do you do something a bit different?

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Easy Pickled Onions

It’s coming up to Christmas and one of the things that we love in our house is pickled onions. They are just beautiful when served up with leftovers such as gammon ham and bubble and squeak on boxing day. They are also nice and easy to do and if you have a day spare a few weeks before christmas then you can get a some jars ready. You can take round as a pressie to friends when you are visiting, it’s nice to turn up with something a bit different.

I was lucky enough this year to have the help of my two boys and we had a great time sitting together peeling the onions.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and the joy of making them.

What you will need:

1kg small onions for pickling

Tablespoon of salt

800ml malt vinegar

Black peppercorns (optional)

Dried chilli flakes (optional)

Glass jars


Some little helpers (optional but lots of fun)

What you need to do is:

*top tip…. Your house and your clothes are going to smell of onions, think about what you are wearing and even consider putting on plastic gloves.

Ensure your jars are clean and sterile. I washed my thoroughly then popped in a preheated medium oven for 5 minutes then left to cool.

Now the next task is either pretty mundane or pretty therapeutic depending on how you view it. You have to peal each individual onion and gently slice off the base so that it still holds its shape but loses the tough root area.

Once they are all peeled, place in a colander and sprinkle the salt over them. Leave for 6hrs or overnight if possible. This will draw out excess water and give you crunchy pickled onions.

Rinse well in cold water and pat dry with kitchen roll.

Take your jars and pop the onions into the jars. You will need to push them about a little to get the maximum amount in and utilise the space well.

This is the time you can use some extra spices depending on your taste. I did one jar with a quarter teaspoon of dried chilli flakes to add some heat to the onions. Peppercorns are also a good addition.

When you have filled up all of your jars you can pour over the vinegar right to the top making sure they are all covered.

Put the lid on tight and you are then ready to label them.

Pop on the date, type of vinegar used and any little extra spices you’ve added to the mix.

Leave to mature for at least 4 weeks but best after 6. They should keep for up to a year unopened. Once opened store in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks. It’s home-made so times may vary slightly depending on your own preserving conditions. The main thing is…enjoy!

Click if you would like to let other people know how easy it can be...Click To Tweet


The Shack …. flavours of America. Review and Giveaway

As my eldest son big M has been growing up he has developed a taste for foods with a bit of spice in them. This has mainly come about because my OH loves hot and spicy and can often be seen sneezing and sweating over a curry as he defeats the chillies to become the ultimate hero. This was one of the reasons I came up with the pickled green chillies post as I had so many home-grown ones that I had to start preserving them just for him.

So, when I had the opportunity to test the new range of meals from The Shack, I jumped at the chance as I knew it would go down very well with the family.

‘The Shack’ has launched nine big and bold meals inspired by the flavours of America. They are available nationwide exclusively in Iceland, and are priced between £2 – £2.50.

The range includes these:

Penne Pepperoni and Chicken Melt, Smoky House Beef Burritos, Mac & Jack, Chicken & Buffalo Sauce Waffle, Smokey House Pulled Chicken Burrito, Smoky House BBQ Pork Wedges, Chilli Beef Wedges, The Chicken Fajita and The Ultimate Burger.

So when our delivery arrived there was much excitement about which one we would have first. Big M was going to have the first pick as he was eager to be let loose and try as much as possible. He eventually went for the Chicken & Buffalo Sauce Waffle and my youngest – little G went for The Ultimate Burger.

The meals are easy to cook and all have simple step by step instructions to follow. The burger comes with a little briosh roll and the burger is in a mild sauce with cheese and bacon. It’s an upmarket burger in a roll and went down a treat with little G. The chicken with waffle and buffalo sauce was really unusual; the chicken was nice and moist, the waffle pretty sweet and the buffalo sauce had a kick to it.

The next night I managed to get my hands on the Mac and Jack which is a luxury macaroni cheese with Jalapeno Chilli Peppers and Monterey Jack Cheese. Big M went for the pulled chicken burrito complete with dips.

The burrito was massive and a real feast for one! I also managed to share the macaroni cheese with little G. As you can see from the pictures, the boys enjoy their food!

Friday night saw big M chill out with Smoky House BBQ Pork Wedges by the tv. Just right after a hard week at school, feet up and his big bowl of wedges and pork in a smoky sauce. He gave me a thumbs up and curled up on the sofa. You don’t get much better than that from my grown up 10 year old!

My OH and I are going to be having the fajitas and the second chilli wedges when the kids have gone to bed and we will crack open a bottle of red. That’s one of the things that I like about this range, it’s suitable for the kids tea and fab for the grown ups tea or supper.

Iceland is really accessible and there are lots of them about so its easy to add to my shopping habits.

I am pleased to also be able to offer you a great giveaway from the lovely people at The Shack.

We have 10 selfie sticks to give away and you could be the winner of 1!

Great for the festive season when there is lots going on, here they are…

Enter using rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK entrants. Prize supplied and delivered by The Shack. See contacts page for guidelines.

The Shack is available in 789 Iceland stores nationwide. Have a look over at The Shacks social media sites for more information.

Twitter @ShareTheShack

Facebook ShareTheShack