What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

The Christmas season is in a full bloom so it is time to get some festive food ready. What can be more festive than some tasty little gingerbread cookies?

The recipe I want to share with you today is from The Christmas 3D Cookie Kit from Parragon. The kit contains 3D cookie cutters (so you can make your own 3D snowman and 3D Christmas tree) and a recipe book with a fantastic selection of Christmas cookies.

The recipe I’ve chosen was originally for a Mini Gingerbread House Cookies, but we thought that a gingerbread man shaped cookies will be a better choice 🙂What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookie

Ingredients:

125g butter

2tbp golden syrup

175g light muscovado sugar

300g self-rising flour

2tbsp ground ginger

1 large egg

Method:

Prepare 2 large baking sheets, ideally pre-lined with a baking paper.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Place the butter and the golden syrup in a pan and heat gently, stirring all the time until melted.

Remove the pan from the heat, add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl and make a well in the middle ready for the wet ingredients.

Pour in the warm, wet ingredients and add the beaten egg into the mix.

Stir thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Wrap it in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Remove your dough from the fridge and prepare to roll it out; ideally you want your rolled dough to be about 5mm thick.

Cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter or an upside down glass if you want to make a classic round shape or even a knife if all else fails.

Transfer your cut cookies to your baking sheets.

Chill in the fridge for a further 10 minutes.

Bake in earlier preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down.

Now the fun can begin…

It is time to decorate!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man CookieWhat’s Cooking -- Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

If you are good with decorating you can make your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2 tbsp of cold water)… I am not a master decorator so we used shop bought icing pens to make this job easier 😉

Happy baking!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”

Parragon Book Buddy -- “The Camping Cookbook”

It is summer time and I have the perfect cookbook for this time of year – The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors.

Like most of the time with Love Food cookbooks there is more to the book than just recipes. The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors contains a lot of great tips for your outdoors living including:

  • What to take – the equipment list
  • Hints & tips for pitching your tent
  • Campsite cooking – cooking with gas, cooking on the barbecue and cooking over the campfire
  • “Don’t forget” check list
  • Store cupboard essentials

It even offers some advice on why skipping breakfast is bad for you and how to beat bad weather blues.

So you see it is like a great outdoors guide all in one 🙂

The cookbook part in itself is split into five main chapters:

  1. The big breakfast
  2. Lunchtime
  3. Seriously filling dinner
  4. Something on the side
  5. All things sweet

There are over 70 yummy recipes in there or how I would describe them as a list of our favourites.

Some of the recipes are simple meals that we might do everyday anyways like Bacon Butties, Apple and Spice Porridge or a Rice Pudding but despite this fact I really like this book. I think it offers a great selection of dishes to pick from and it is written purely with outdoor cooking in mind, so you know the recipes will be fairly easy and will only require a minimum number of ingredients.

I picked few of my personal favourites to share with you.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”  Spicy Fried Eggs

Spicy Fried Eggs – this reminds me of all the camping trips I took as a child with my parents. I actually still cook it from time to time but Mark isn’t so keen on it. He thinks that all the additional trimmings do not belong with eggs… but hey what does he know?

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”  Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta is my next pick. It is so quick and simple yet so delicious. I totally adore the taste on nice fresh toasted bread, sweet juicy tomatoes and basil. This is a perfect lunch meal… anytime and anywhere.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Sunshine Risotto

Sunshine Risotto makes for a perfect dinner meal; it is light and healthy, fabulous looking and full of goodness. This might not be the quickest meal but once camping we shouldn’t be in any rush. It is good to take your time and prepare your meal with love. This particular recipe features sun-dried tomatoes, which give the biggest flavour burst but it can be adopted to suit any pallet. If you are not a tomato fan you can try and create for example a mushroom risotto, especially if you are close by to some nice woodland and can go and pick your the wild mushrooms yourself.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Meatballs on a Stick

There are Meatballs on a Stick. This is my favourite recipe from the book. I totally love it and I just can’t believe that I’ve never thought about doing it before. The recipe calls for pork and herb sausages, fresh minced beef, breadcrumbs, onion, fresh herbs, egg and some salt and pepper to taste. It couldn’t be any easier. It reminds me of my Polish Meatballs 😉 I am sure cooking it on the BBQ will enhance the flavour and provide a great dining experience.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Fruit Skewers

Fruit Skewers is my choice for a pudding. I love fresh fruits and I love chocolate, so these two paired together makes for me a perfect combo. You are supposed to brush your fruits with a little maple syrup, which will make them caramelize over the fire. Then just drizzle over them some melted chocolate and enjoy the fresh sharp taste of the juicy fruits mixed with the sweet chocolate. Oh, this really sounds great!

So what do you think about my choices?

Would you like to try any of these dishes?

Parragon Book Buddy  “The Camping Cookbook”

***
The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors
ISBN 978-1-4723-5619-2
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 192
RRP: £8
Hardback

*  I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.

What’s Cooking – Apple and Oat Cookies

Apple and Oat Cookies

Home-made cookies always make for a lovely treat and kids love them but what about sticking some goodies into them? This quick and easy recipe for Apple and Oat Cookies is a perfect combination of both – it makes for a perfect treat and it is full of good ingredients (more or less) 😉

This is yet another recipe from Make, Bake, Cookies – The Recipe Book I told you about some time ago. These one are from chapter 2 – soft & chewy and yes indeed they come out just as intended – nice and soft with lovely chewy middle. They are really nice with a cup of coffee, or milk or even a hot chocolate and make for a perfect snack.

Apple and Oat Cookies.

So how do you make them?

Easy… let’s start with the ingredients:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened plus a little extra for greasing
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 150g rolled oats
  • 85g raisins

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F or a Gas Mark 4.

Grease three large baking sheets.

Dice the apples and toss in the lemon juice.

Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat together until creamy. Gradually beat in the egg. Sift the flour and add the oats, raisins and apples. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets spacing them well apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

That’s all.

Nothing else to do but eat 🙂

Do you think they would count as one of your 5 a day?

Apple and Oat Cookies..

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Parragon Book Buddy – “On the table in 30: One Pot”

Parragon Books On the table in 30 One Pot

This month I have yet another great cookbook I would like to tell you about. This time it is “On the table in 30: One Pot” 60 super speedy recipes.

We all know that in this fast moving world time is of an essence and sometimes we really can’t spare half of the day for cooking a meal. I know someone who would really like that; stay in the kitchen all day and “play” with food creating some amazing dishes for others to enjoy, but the reality is cruel and there is no time for it. “On the table in 30: One Pot” is a perfect cookbook for anyone who wants to enjoy a nice healthy meal, which can be prepared fast and with use of only one cooking dish.Parragon Cook Book On the table in 30 One Pot

“On the table in 30: One Pot” is split into four main parts:

  • Super-quick poultry
  • Made-in-minutes meat
  • Fast fish & seafood
  • Speedy veggies & beans

Plus there is an introduction and a chapter on useful information.

Every recipe includes a list of ingredients, picture of the dish and clear method on how to make it which is written giving you time indicators (30 minutes to go, 15 minutes to go, 5 minutes to go etc). This layout is actually very handy, as it gives you precise instruction and a countdown to when your meal will be on the table.

I studied this book for a while searching for meals to cook, checking differences in methods and getting a general feel for it. There are a lot of lovely recipes in there.

One of my favourite must be Spicy Bean Chilli. It is really easy and straightforward. It calls for a lot of store cupboards ingredients so it can be made without any special preparations and trips to the store. I didn’t try to make it as yet, but it is on top of my list and I will share with you once I make it… for now enjoy this Spicy Bean Chilli picture from the book.

Parragon Books On the table in 30 One Pot Spicy Bean Chilli

There are a lot of cookbooks on the market these days… some of them are better than others and some are just perfect. I would include “On the table in 30: One Pot” into the perfect cookbook category and let me tell you why… Mainly because it has a great selection of fast recipes, which can suit every household taste including any vegetarians at the table; but that’s not all… As I mentioned at the beginning “On the table in 30: One Pot” contains an introduction and a chapter on useful information. The introduction part gives you great hints and tips for quick preparation and cooking shortcuts. The useful information part has a lot of really useful information; strange I know! 😉 It talks about essential equipment, covers all preparation techniques and “supermarkets cheats” (you will have to get the book if you want to know what they are, my lips are sealed) and it has a clear temperature and measurement guide.

Parragon Cook Books On the table in 30 One Pot

I think this book will make a great addition to any cookbook collection but specifically I would recommend it to any new cooks, students and people always in a hurry, who are fed up of take away dishes and would love to eat a home cooked meal for a change.

Do you have any tips on how to speed up the cooking process in general?

Parragon Books On the table in 30 One Pot Spicy Bean Chilli Recipe

***
On the table in 30: One Pot:
ISBN 978-1-4723-4439-7
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 175
RRP: £12
Hardback

* I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate Chip Cookies

my chocolate chip cookies

Today I have for you yet again a great recipe from Make, Bake, Cookies the Recipe Book… this time we tried the Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This is a quick and easy recipe and it will make a perfect treat even for hard to please family members.

Our cookies came out crunchy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside – they were just perfect.

So what will you need to bake them?

Ingredients:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g margarine or unsalted butter, melted
  • 85g light brown sugar
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 125g plain chocolate chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Lightly grease two baking sheets… or four 😉 (One lot of ingredients will make 8 large cookies, so if you have a large family, you might want to double it)

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

Place tablespoon of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets. Don’t forget to space them apart to allow some spreading and for growing whilst in the oven.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

That’s all.

You are all done. Now make yourself a nice cup of tea or a mug of coffee and enjoy your creations.

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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