As I’m writing this now I can’t quite believe it’s the 1st December already, honestly where has this year gone ? It feels like only a few nights ago I was sitting here writing out my new year’s resolutions for the year ahead and now there’s only one month left until we start it all over again and better yet only 24 days until Christmas! I haven’t felt in the Christmas spirit yet this year. I’m normally singing the songs by mid October but it’s slightly different this year as no Christmas decorations will be going up in our family home as we are all flying over to Australia! Even though our flights are booked I still don’t believe it’s actually happening. I have only been on one family holiday before which was to Rome last year so the fact we are all going, especially my dad who had never been further than his home town Ireland before Rome last year, is pretty amazing. However this does mean there will be no Christmas tree up in our house which I will miss. Christmas is my favourite holiday season, well usually the build up to Christmas as I love the songs, the films, seeing friends and most importantly the food and drinks we allow ourselves to indulge it over the season. It will be quite a different experience spending Christmas in 30 degree temperatures however I’m sure I won’t be complaining once I’m out there! I was fortunate to spend a Christmas in Australia before, five years ago, with two of my best friends Marie and Emily. We had been travelling around for 2 months in South East Asia, tasting the most incredible food, meeting amazing people and having some of the best experiences before flying over with Q antas airways to Sydney just in time for Christmas. The hostel we stayed in was a bit too large and impersonal for my liking but we were excited for Christmas day as it had been promised warm and we were all set for a ‘barbie’ on the beach. Due to being on a budget we decided we’d each spend 5 dollars on each other for a Christmas present and we could only buy the present from Woolworths (our equivalent to Sainsburys or Tesco). I would highly recommend this as we had so much fun opening each others presents on Christmas morning and were completely amazed at how even with just $5 we could pick something for each other that was so suited. My mum had sent us all Cadburys selection packs and as we hadn’t had Cadburys chocolate for over 2 months it was the best present we could have ever imagined. The morning was as cheesy as it sounds pretty magical. However, the rest of the day didn’t turn out to plan. We headed down to the beach all set to find a spot, get some food, mingle with crowds and have an amazing Christmas dinner. However the weather didn’t quite match the forecast. The sky was overcast and drizzly and there was a big event taking place at a venue on the beach that was playing awful techno music really loud. I remember the three of us were freezing but still threw our coats off to run around the beach and take pictures for the fun of it however we couldn’t stay at the beach so had to try and find an alternative for food. As you can imagine everywhere was pretty much booked up for food or closed and we ended up in a pub serving luke warm roast dinner and soggy brussel sprouts that just didn’t live up to a home cooked meal. It started out as an amazing day but gradually became quite disappointing. Luckily we all still had each other and had a fun evening just chatting and making friends with some randoms dressed up as leprachauns in the hostel but it didn’t quite feel like Christmas. Therefore with only a couple of weeks left before we fly off and a lot to fit in before then I wanted to spend as much time in the kitchen and after seeing some delicious looking Tiffins at the at the Cake & Bake Show I have been wanting to make them. Tiffins are always great to make around Christmas time, either before or after as they include a lot of ingredients you use in making Christmas cake. They’e also so simple to make, leave hardly any mess and are delicious with a cup of tea. Here’s the recipe: Ingredients • 250g digestive biscuits, roughly chopped • 200g assorted nuts and dried fruit • 10 chocolate fingers • 200g good quality milk chocolate • 150g good quality dark chocolate • 100g butter, chopped • 140ml golden syrup Method 1. Butter and line a 20cm square tin with non-stick baking parchment or cling film. 2. Break the biscuits and chocolate fingers up roughly, place in a plastic bag and mash with a rolling pin. Place in a big bowl with the fruit and nuts and mix together. 3. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth then pour over the biscuit and nut mixture. 4. Cover the biscuit mixture completely then pour the the mixture into the tin and flatten down. Chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight before cutting into squares. Hope you enjoy!