3 GREAT EASY RECIPE COOKERY BOOKS…

Even though life has been strange over the last twelve months many of us have changed the way we eat and cook. I started doing a bit of batch cooking to help my daughter with her young baby and I also started being a bit more adventurous with my baking. And, finally something I am going to be writing about lots on this blog is how I buy more food from local sources to enjoy from the fields to the plate.

My first book of choice is called The Batch Lady : Shop Once, Cook Once, Eat All Week by Suzanne Mulholland.

This book was a present from my daughter and I cannot wait to try some of her batch recipes. It has over 80 simple, freeze levels store cupboard recipes. The Batch Lady has been transforming how thousands of people cook and eat through her revolutionary online channel. Now she shares her secrets with you.

With over 80 delicious, home-cooked recipes that are quick to make, create and store, Suzanne’s brilliant recipe combinations and time-saving tips will transform your kitchen, and will buy you back extra hours in your week. This is the only guide you will ever need to save you money, time, and headspace, and change your life for good.

Fast Cakes :Easy Bakes in Minutes by Mary Berry

Of course, I had to add a Mary Berry baking book and this one is absolutely brilliant. Over two afternoons before Christmas I baked a fruit cake for my husband, a chocolate cake for my daughter and family and 3 dozen mince pies for the whole family. This book is laid out so well you can bake in minutes just like it says. It’s all about being organised which is something The Batch Lady talks about in her book above.

Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time. It has over 150 easy recipes to make with confidence.

Simple Good For You by Amelia Freer

This book contains over 100 quick and easy recipes bursting with greatness. She gives advice to stabilising your blood sugars which includes not avoiding meals and checking labels on some supposedly healthy snacks which are actually packed with sugar. If you check the line ‘carbohydrates’ of which sugars per 100g. They say less than 5g per 100g is considered low sugar protocol.

The author is a No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author and renowned nutritional therapist, who A-listers turn to when they want to look and feel great. In this beautiful cookbook, discover 100 quick and easy recipes for varied and tempting dishes that are, quite simply, good for you.

THE HISTORY OF THE MINCE PIE…

According to Why Christmas, mince pies, like Christmas Puddings, were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix as they are today. They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Sometimes they even had a ‘pastry baby Jesus’ on the top!

During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made is different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); they fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw! They also looked like the ‘knot gardens’ that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best, and most expensive, pastry cooks.

Now they are normally made in a round shape and are eaten hot or cold.

A custom from the middle ages says that if you eat a mince pie on every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (evening of the 5th January) you will have happiness for the next 12 months!

On Christmas Eve, children in the UK often leave out mince pies with brandy or some similar drink for Father Christmas, and a carrot for the reindeer.

A TOWER OF TREATS…

This Tower of Treats from Watts Farms makes a fantastic Christmas gift for anyone with five box’s of treats. Starting from the top it has –

Allergens – (milk, may contain nuts, wheat, egg, soya)

Tower of Treats  – Each

5 luxury boxes filled with goodies.

8 x Milk Chocolates with Hazelnut cream filling

200g creamy vanilla fudge

175g traditional stem ginger biscuits

270g Chocolate covered Heart Palmiers

500g Classis Chocolate Chop Panettone

Available at a few places online but the best price I found was one at Watts Farm for £29.99