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25 Happy Days

25 Happy Days

We know how bad the January blues can be, especially during lock-down, which is why we are bringing you a daily dose of things to make you smile until the end of the month!

DAY 1: Disneyland’s Famous Churros at Home

Ingredients:

  • - 1 cup water
  • - 8 tablespoons butter
  • - ¼ teaspoon salt
  • - ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • - 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • - 3 eggs
  • - 1 ½ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • - ½ cup sugar

Method:

1) Combine water, butter, salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in 1 ½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring pot to rolling boil.
2) Reduce heat to low.
3) Add flour and stir vigorously until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and let rest for 5–7 min.
4) Add eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Set aside.
5) Heat oil in medium skillet or 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat or until temperature reaches 350˚.
6) Spoon dough into piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1-inch strip of dough over saucepan, cut with knife, and drop into hot oil. Repeat until churro bites fill saucepan with room to fry.
7) Fry churro bites until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or mesh spider strainer.
8) Drain churro bites on paper towel.
9) Mix sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss in churro bites until coated. Place on serving plate and serve with favorite dipping sauce.

Day 2: Sky Map and Planet Guide

There is always a whole lot going on in the sky and if you are lucky you can even see some planets! This will be an amazing activity for all the family to enjoy. Check out the night sky map for London here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/1zMzH

Day 3: Percy Pig Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 250 g pink wafer biscuits 
  • 75 g salted butter, melted 
  • 350 g white chocolate 
  • 550 g cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 200 ml raspberry coulis 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice 
  • 300 ml double cream 
  • Percy Pigs, to decorate

Method: 

1) Blitz pink wafers in a food processor until it’s the consistency of fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. 
2) Line the bottom of a 23cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper and grease. Add biscuit mixture and pack down evenly. Refrigerate for 20 mins while you make the filling. 
3) Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a bain marie or in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring regularly. Leave to cool slightly.4) Using an electric whisk, beat together cream cheese, 100ml of the raspberry coulis, lemon juice and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Add double cream and keep whisking until soft peaks form. Add cooled white chocolate and whisk to combine. 
5) Spoon cheesecake filling over the biscuit base and smooth the top. Use the back of a spoon to create a ring-like channel around the cheesecake top. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. 
6) When ready to serve, fill the channel with the remaining raspberry coulis and decorate with Percy Pigs.

Day 4: DIY Thumbprint Family Tree

Get in touch with your roots via a hands-on family tree project. Dot the print-out template with thumbprint leaves, then start mapping extended relatives galore. 

Day 5: At-Home Aquarium

Missing trips to the aquarium? Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium are bringing the magic of the Underwater Beauty exhibit directly into our homes!Watch the live cam here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/Bgmqi

Day 6: Chicken Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed 
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes 
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp caster sugar 
  • 6 tbsp mascarpone 
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 300g penne 
  • 70g mature cheddar , grated 
  • 50g grated mozzarella 
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Method: 

1) Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion gently for 10-12 mins. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 1 min. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 mins or until thickened, then stir through the mascarpone. 
2) Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the chicken and fry for 5-7 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. 
3) Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Cook the penne following pack instructions. Drain and toss with the remaining oil. Tip the pasta into a medium sized ovenproof dish. Stir in the chicken and pour over the sauce. Top with the cheddar, mozzarella and parsley. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown and bubbling.

Day 7: Watch the Northern Lights

Just because you are at home, does not mean you have to miss out on some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders. Tune into the Northern Lights, the best time to see them is during 10pm-4am!View them here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/FXFpA

Day 8: Do Some Colouring In

Artists Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy and others have created a FREE, downloadable activity book.

Check it out here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/ubwpY

Day 9: Create a Scrapbook

Scrapbooks allow you to arrange and present personal and family history – plus they look great!This simple step-by-step guide will make it so much easier for you to create your own: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/vbQq5

Day 10: Make Mary Berry's Wild Bramble Mousse

Ingredients:


  • 600g (1lb 5oz) blackberries 
  • Juice of ½ lemon- 175g (7oz) caster sugar 
  • 5 leaves of gelatine 
  • 150ml (5fl oz) pouring double cream
  • 2 egg whites to serve 
  • 50g (2oz) blackberries
  • Icing sugar, for dusting 
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) whipped cream

Method:

1) You will need a 1.1-litre (2-pint) glass dish or 6 small dishes. 
2) Tip the blackberries, lemon juice and 75g (3oz) of the caster sugar into a saucepan. Stir, cover the pan and simmer for 5–8 minutes until soft. Pass the blackberries through a sieve back into the pan, then discard the seeds. Reheat until piping hot. 
3) Put the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the hot blackberry juice. Stir until dissolved. Set the mixture aside until it is cold and has thickened slightly. 
4) Whip the cream to soft peaks. In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, adding the remaining 100g (4oz) of caster sugar a teaspoon at a time. Keep whisking until all the sugar has been incorporated and the whites are stiff and look like a cloud (as for a meringue). Take care not to overwhisk or it will be tricky to incorporate the egg whites into the blackberries. 
5) Add 2 large tablespoons of the whipped cream to the blackberry and gelatine mixture and stir in gently. Carefully fold in the rest of the cream and the egg whites until the mixture is smooth and light, with no white bits visible. Pour into the dish or dishes and place in the fridge for about 6 hours, or ideally overnight, to chill and set. 
6) Decorate with a few blackberries, dust with icing sugar and serve with some whipped cream.

Day 11: Start a Book Club

Try the book-a-week challenge and then get together on FaceTime with a group of friends to discuss it!Look at Goodreads most popular books for January 2021 for some inspiration: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/jrfqr

Day 12: Learn a New Language

There has never been a better time to learn a new language, and it has never been easier either!Check out the top 10 best language learning apps here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/a2Tzj

Day 13: Make Space Crayons

There is just something about sparkly crayons in space shapes that make colouring in extra exciting. Plus, you make them with the ends of old crayons that kids never want to colour with, anyway!Learn how to here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/YdkD4

Day 14: Make a Blanket Fort

Kids love forts, adults love forts, and when we are all stuck at home with hours to fill building a blanket fort can bring endless amounts of fun to the day.Learn how here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/3h1tH

Day 15: Listen to a Podcast

Completed Netflix? Struggling to concentrate on a book? Podcasts might be the answer!

Day 16: Do some DIY

There are, no doubt, plenty of things around your house that could use some sprucing up. Now is the time to do it! Get some inspiration here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/eyTPf

Day 17: Make Oragami Bookmarks

Learn how to make your own Oragami bookmarks, which the kids will love! Watch the tutorial here: https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/HEHu2