Parsnip and Carrot Soup

So, Christmas is officially over, and if you’re like me, you may still be in a food hangover. Also, you may have lots of leftover root veg. We went to Aldi on Christmas Eve and found that they had their super 6 veg on sale for 9 p! So, of course I got a few bags of parsnips and carrots. When I woke up this morning, I realized we had to do some cooking! So, my husband is guest chef today and is preparing a lovely parsnip and carrot soup. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 5 parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (garnish)

First, peel your root veg after giving them a good cleaning.

Next, you will chop the root veg, onions, and garlic. When chopping the parsnips, cut out the fibrous, woody core. This makes a sweeter, less bitter flavour.

Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil. Once softened, add the garam masala.

You will then add the parsnips and carrots, mixing it around in the fragrant sautéed bits.

Lastly, add a liter of chicken stock. You can used prepared stock, or you can quickly make it with stock cubes. You can easily make it vegan by adding veggie stock.

Cover, and let it simmer for an hour, or until the root veggies are softened.

Turn off the heat, remembering to add the chopped ginger at the very end. Once it cools for a few minutes, use a hand blender to blend until very smooth.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds, and there you have it, Parsnip and Carrot Soup! This was the perfect thing to make on a lazy Boxing Day, and full of nutrients for you hungover peeps. You can even add chunks of leftover turkey or ham for an even heartier soup.

I really love the mild spice the garam masala and ginger adds. Very warming, without being too intense. You can easily make it in a slow cooker for a filling midweek meal. I really liked the way it turned out and this may be on a regular rotation in my household. Enjoy the last days of 2017 and here’s to baking and cooking wonderful things in 2018! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Mince Pie Twists

Christmas is nearly upon us and since I’m exhausted, I wanted to make something easy, yet tasty for a potluck at work. So, pave the way for Mince Pie Twists, one of the easiest Christmas treats you can make. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Two boxes of puff pastry rolls
  • Jar of mince pie filling
  • 1 egg for egg wash

First, roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a clean surface. If you’re worried about it stick to the counter, lay out some parchment paper, or lightly flour the surface.

Next, spread the mince pie filling evenly across the pastry.

You will then place the second sheet of pastry on top. Lightly press down.

Using a sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into longitudinal strips. Then cut each strip in half.

Go ahead and twist each strip and place it on a lined or greased baking tray. Beat the egg, and brush onto the exposed bits of pastry.

Place in the oven at 350 F / 180 C for 20 minutes.

And there you have it, Mince Pie Twists! This treat is so easy to make, but looks like something you spent hours on.

It is the perfect baked pastry to bring to Christmas parties and get togethers. You can pretty much put anything in the middle really. A few delicious options include: nutella, jam, chutney, salsa, cheese, peanut butter, etc.

I hope you enjoy making this, as I’m sure it eill turn out perfect. As always, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Grain Free Mince Pie Thumbprint Cookies

It was a lovely weekend here in Bristol. And even though today gave us a bit of drizzle, it’s perfect weather for more Christmas baking. Today’s recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavour of a mince pie, but in cookie form. It is also a great option if you’re looking for a grain free, dairy free, AND egg free dessert. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Your choice of mince pie filling

First, melt the coconut oil and add it to the honey and vanilla.

On a side note, I picked up this lovely orange blossom honey at the Bristol Christmas market from Nature’s Pantry. Their stall was located near the M&S entrance. There was a lovely selection of honey and candied fruit. I may even go back this week for more!

Next add the salt and ground almonds. Mix well until the liquid is fully incorporated.

Since the dough uses ground almonds, it is very crumbly. You will have to shape it carefully to make sure there is a good indentation in the middle. I made these quite large, but you can make them smaller if you’d like.

You will then put a heaping tablespoon of mince pie filling into the middle of each cookie.

Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how brown you’d like them to be. I left them in for 13 with my oven, but I think I’ll try for 11 next time.

And there you have it, Mince Pie Thumbprint Cookies that are grain free, dairy free, and egg free!

This recipe is really simple and yields a chewy, yet satisfying treat. You can easily make it vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey and by using a vegan certified mince pie filling. These also are very lovely with jam in the middle if you don’t happen to have any mince pie filling. And if you haven’t started already, get to baking! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread

The Christmas season is upon us, yay! Did anyone else catch the dressed up boats cruising the harborside Saturday night? Really put me in the holiday baking mood! This is my favourite time of year to bake up treats. Mostly because it’s cold and baking helps to heat up the kitchen. So tonight I’m bringing the heat by baking some Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread. This does not contain any refined flour, and to be honest, is more like cake than bread. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs

First, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

Next add in the cocoa powder and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add it to the butter mixture, combining it well.

In another separate bowl, whisk the eggs very well until yellow and smooth.

You will then add the eggs to the flour and butter mixture. At this point, it is time to really stir it up!

As you can see, at first glance, it may not appear to come together. But keep going.

It will begin to turn a light brown colour, but more mixing is still required.

The mixture will be ready when it looks like brownie batter. If you have a hand mixer, it will be helpful. Otherwise just use a whisk to mix thoroughly.

Go ahead and pour it into a lined or greased loaf tin. At this point you might be thinking there doesn’t seem to be enough batter for a loaf, but don’t worry, it will rise.

Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 24 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need a few more minutes.

When you take it out the oven, you’ll see that it did indeed rise. You can enjoy it as is, or add a glaze and festive sprinkles similar to the cookies I made last week.

And there you have it, Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread! Well, really, it’s more like cake, but calling it bread means you can have it for breakfast. With 6 eggs and coconut flour, it is actually pretty decent protein wise. It’s also a great option if you are baking for those who cannot tolerate traditional flour. Also, you can substitute coconut oil for the butter to make it dairy free as well.

That’s all for this week. Hope you enjoyed this chocolatey treat and are enjoying holiday baking in your kitchens across the globe. Mind the snow, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Almond Softies

December is finally here! I love this time of year because there’s a chill in the air and the best way to warm up is by baking something sweet! For my first recipe this month, I’ll be making Almond Softies which are a perfect treat for the Christmas season. Here is what you’ll need:

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (110g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ~3 teaspoons water
  • sliced almonds
  • festive sprinkles (optional)

First, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Next, you will incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add it two tablespoons of flour at a time to ensure an even and smooth dough.

Place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden up.

Spoon and slightly flatten small balls of dough, lining them evenly on a lined cookie sheet. Heat your oven to 400 F/200 C and bake for 7 minutes.When you take them out they will be very soft. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

As the cookies are cooling, you can prepare the glaze. Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl, adding the almond extract. Stir in the water, one teaspoon at a time until the glaze comes together.

Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and add sliced almonds and sprinkles to garnish.

And there you have it, Almond Softies! As said in the name, these delights are soft and melt in your mouth with each delicious bite. These are a great addition to a Christmas party as they are always a crowd favourite. Even without the glaze and toppings, they are a hit and super easy to make. The only problem is never making enough!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you liked eating them even more! Until next time, stay warm Bristol! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!