Tag Archives: biscuits

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

I have received a free e-copy of the recipe book Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim to review.

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

 

Here is the book blurb.

There’s nothing quite like Comfort Food to put a smile on your face and a feeling of contentment in your stomach. Chef Julia Bettelheim is passionate about feeding people; from the students in her university kitchen to guests and family at home. From recipes that are as simple as a sandwich to as technical as a fruit cake, she knows the importance of creating delicious meals that are full of flavour and which always have budget in mind. Her recipes include easy to make classics and mouth-watering family favourites, using easy to find products that are fresh and economical. Fun, fast, indulgent and nurturing, there’s a time and a place for Comfort Food in every kitchen.

I’ve always enjoyed browsing through recipe books, although I did reluctantly reduce my own collection which filled several shelves in the bookcase down to about one shelf to make more space for the boys’ books a few years back. So I was particularly looking forward to reading this book and trying my hand out at cooking some of the recipes. I’m hoping that e-recipe books may be the way forward for me.

Just like most recipe books it is sub-divided into chapters, starting with soups. There are some very tasty sounding treats, but equally a few that I would prefer to avoid like Scottish Rolls. This was one of the two recipes that I was asked to make, but I declined as it includes black pudding, something I hate. Maybe comfort food to some, but not for me. This particular recipe was in the England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales chapter which I laughed to see even included a Deep Fried Mars Bar.

However it was a delight to see tasty sandwiches included. Absolutely comfort food, but something not usually encompassed in a recipe book. And I loved reading the introduction where it mentioned how Julia started with index cards as a teenager. I’ve lost most of my handwritten childhood recipes, but I do still have one scrapbook that I used to paste in recipes from magazines, so I could really relate to that.

Comfort Food is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A nice recipe book, so long as you aren’t too bothered about the inconsistencies in units, which did bug me a bit. I’ve got my eye on trying the caramel crumble next.

Easy to navigate around the e-version to any recipe with a single click from the index. Nice photos although I would have preferred every recipe to have a picture.



I was asked to test out the Easy Biscuits recipe.

Easy Biscuits

Easy Biscuits

These biscuits are very easy to make; the only time-consuming bit is rolling the balls onto the sheet pan. The biscuits themselves are very plain, but you can let your imagination get the better of you.

Ingredients
500g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
5 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in the milk and vanilla. Stir through the flour until it is all mixed in. Roll tablespoonfuls onto a sheet pan and bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until just golden. Using a small 8 oz ice cream scoop also works if you prefer large biscuits.

At this point you can divide the mixture into portions and add some goodies to each portion, for example:

  • 50g candy coloured chocolate
  • ½ cup white chocolate bits and ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup choc raisins
  • ½ cup milk choc bits

Store biscuits in an airtight container and they stay fresh for about a week.

Easy biscuits

With two blocks of butter, this certainly made a lot of biscuits. Took me a while getting all batches through the oven. And it really hit the spot with all the family, so I’ll definitely be baking this again. I chose to do four variants – plain, chocolate chip, honeycomb and currants using half a cup for each addition. Although you shouldn’t call the plain that in my opinion, as they were so sweet with both sugar and the condensed milk, especially compared to how I often try to reduce sugar content in baking.

I wasn’t quite sure what the recipe meant by rolling tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet, so I just pushed the mixture off the tablespoon, but otherwise lives up to its name of easy biscuits. Also the recipe needs to be proof-read, as currently it reads that the additional ingredients should be added after baking. I assumed that they were to be added before cooking, not as decoration.

However I did find it particularly irritating that there was no consistency over the units used in the recipe – some ingredients in grams and some in cups. I feel it should have been one or the other. Personally I try to avoid recipes using cups, as I never know what size cup to choose, so mine may have then been wrong against the amount of butter. Also it would be more helpful if it indicated what size tin of milk to use. There was only one size at my supermarket, but is that the case everywhere?

It wasn’t just this recipe that had multiple units. It was fairly common throughout the book. Also some recipes had a combination of ounces and cups, introducing yet another unit. So if there is a reprint, I would recommend standardising the units used throughout. Otherwise define the size of a cup either at the start or end of the book.


About the author

Growing up in Wellington, New Zealand, British born Julia Bettelheim enjoyed an early start in the catering industry and as a teenager took lessons from a private chef. Her family then moved to Melbourne, Australia where she lived for the next twenty-two years and worked as a tupperware sales representative travelling the city providing cookery demonstrations and sharing recipes that were suitable for storing. After her divorce in 2008, Julia moved back to England where she now lives in Chatham, Kent and works as a chef in the kitchen of the cafe at UCL in London.


I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts to see what tasty recipes they have tried.

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

I’d love to hear what dishes are your comfort food?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Advertisements

When is a Gingerbread Man, not a Gingerbread Man?

When it is a Reindeer!

Now I can’t take the credit for this idea as I’ve seen multiple images on the internet of a gingerbread man cutter being used upside down to create reindeer biscuits. I thought this was a great idea that my boys would love, so I decided to give it a try. I made my standard gingerbread recipe and then decorated them all as Rudolph.

Reindeer gingerbread biscuits

Reindeer Gingerbread Biscuits

Ingredients (makes about 30 biscuits)

350g plain flour
1 teasp bicarbonate of soda
2 teasp ginger
1/2 teasp cinnamon
125g butter
100g soft brown sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup

Black writing icing
Few drops of red food colouring
50g ready to roll white icing

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Grease and line baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring.
Add the dry ingredients.
Mix to form a stiff dough.
Roll a ball of dough to 5mm thickness, then use gingerbread man cutter to cut out biscuits.
Place on the lined baking sheets.
Continue to cut out until all dough used. (Number will vary according to size of your cutter).
Bake the biscuits in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then move to a wire rack.
Once cool, they can be decorated.
Use the writing icing to give each reindeer biscuit 2 eyes.
Place ready to roll icing in a small bowl.
Use your hands to squeeze it to make malleable.
Add enough food colouring to mix to a red ball.
Form into small balls, approx 1cm wide.
Then press an icing ball onto each reindeer for the nose.
Serve and enjoy.

Reindeer gingerbread men

Son2 said that only one should have had a red nose and that I should have made Dasher, Prancer, Dancer, Cupid, Comet, Donner, Vixen and Blitzen too. However we all agreed they were a tasty seasonal Christmas treat.

I’d love to hear what Christmas goodies you enjoy baking or eating?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Bedford Biscuits

This is a recipe that I remember my mum baking every week. During school holidays, I would love to help her make these. She used to make them very small and very thin, so I’ve adapted the recipe to make bigger thicker biscuits.

Bedford Biscuits

Bedford Biscuits

Ingredients (makes about 15)

75g butter
75g granulated sugar
75g) plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp golden syrup
175g oats

Method

Preheat fan oven to 170 degree C.
Grease 2 baking sheets.
Cream together butter and sugar.
Mix in the flour.
Dissolve bicarbonate of soda in the hot water.
Add syrup, vanilla essence and soda.
Mix in the oats.
Roll out the mixture to 1/2 cm thickness.
Cut into circles.
Place on greased baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes until golden.
Serve and enjoy.

Bedford Biscuits

Very tasty but I have no idea how these biscuits got there name. I assume they originated in Bedford. If anyone knows, then please do tell me.

Do you have a recipe handed down through the generations?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

SaveSaveSaveSave

Chimasu Asian Snack box review & giveaway

I always love the surprise of what I may find in a subscription box. And we’re definitely partial to a snack here, so I was looking forward to my free Chimasu box of Asian Snacks arriving. Beyond prawn crackers, I have to admit that I am rather ignorant regarding types of Asian snacks. So I took a sneak peak at the Chimasu website in advance, where a familiar brand with a twist caught my eye, a Wasabi KitKat. I’ve heard of Wasabi but have no idea what it tastes like. Would there be one of those in my box?

Chimasu Asian Snacks

When it arrived, I found a huge range of items inside. More than I was expecting for the size of the parcel, but most were quite small, meaning more variety could be included, which I thought was an excellent idea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks

Chimasu Asian Snacks

So the contents were as follows…

Pu Erh Tea
Jasmine Tea (2)
Sesame Pastry (2)
Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed (2)
Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
HiChew Green Apple
HiChew Strawberry
Wasabi Peas
Rice Cracker (2)
Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit (4 panda)
Lotte Rakuten bear cake (9 Koala biscuits)
Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Nissan Demae Ramen
Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Banana Kick Snack

Pu Erh Tea
This is not a type of tea that I had heard of so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Just one tea bag, so I served it in traditional Chinese tea cups, so that two of us could try it. A pleasant flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Pu Erh Tea

Jasmine Tea
I always order Jasmine Tea whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant and this Ten Ren brand tasted just as good as any other Jasmine Tea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Jasmine Tea

Sesame Pastry
This was also labelled as Silang Crispy Pastries with Nutlet. Allergy warning, it contains peanut. There were two of these, individually wrapped, each containing a 13g biscuit. Son1 and I loved these. First time I’ve come across black sesame seeds.

sesame pastry

Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit
Son2 immediately grabbed this 17g packet when he saw it. Inside were 4 tiny chocolate filled panda biscuits. He did reluctantly let son1 and myself share one of them. We all loved these.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Kabaya Panda Biscuits

Lotte Rakuten bear cake
Again this appealed to the boys. Inside were 9 milk flavoured tiny koala biscuits, each with a different design koala. One was even wearing glasses. I did have one, whilst the boys quickly ate four each. Good but the pandas were better. According to the website, this 19.5g packet also comes in a mango flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Koala Biscuits

Wasabi Peas
A small 10g packet but any more would have been too much as we found them rather spicy. I had never tried anything wasabi flavour previously and didn’t particularly like this, but son1 enjoyed a few at a time.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Wasabi Peas

Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
A small 5g packet which son1 and I both loved. It had the texture of a Pom Bear snack. We would have liked this in a bigger size.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Shrimp Yummy Flakes

HiChew Green Apple / HiChew Strawberry
Just two individually wrapped sweets which son2 had his eye on. He did let me cut a sliver off the end of each to test. They are similar to Starburst.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - HiChew Sweets

Kameda Seika Soy Sauce Flavoured Rice Crackers
These 16.8g individually wrapped Rice Crackers had the shortest shelf life, with less than 6 weeks. Everything else was dated 2018. Both son1 and I loved these.

Rice Cracker

Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed – Select Rolling Bite spicy flavour
These were labelled as no MSG, low fat and gluten free. We are all seaweed fans but son2 refused to try these as the packaging said they were spicy. Son1 and I both found them reasonably pleasant.

Seaweed Roll

Banana Kick Snack
This was a family size bag and they looked rather like Wotsits and with a similar texture and crunch. But the banana taste was very different. It didn’t particularly appeal to the adults, but the boys loved it.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Banana Kick

Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Another pleasant savoury snack all in the shapes of various sea creatures. Tiny and hollow. Plenty in the pack.

Orion Seaweed Snack

Nissan Demae Ramen
This made a tasty sesame flavour noodle soup which son1 and I enjoyed. Just add 500ml boiling water, cook for 3 minutes. Then stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and oil sachet.

Noodle soup

Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Another simple soup to make. This time add 550ml boiling water, stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and flakes sachet, then cook for 4.5 minutes. However the big difference was that this soup was very spicy indeed. We still liked the noodles but the liquid was too spicy for any of us. The packet is labelled as Gourmet Spicy.

Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup

A great varied selection of snacks in my opinion.

You may choose between a month to month subscription at £18 per box or prepaying for 3, 6 or 12 boxes or buying a single box for £20. Prepaying for 3 equates to £17 per box and prepaying for 6 equates to £16.50 per box and prepaying for 12 equates to £16 per box. Very good value in my opinion and it also includes free shipping within the UK. You pay extra for shipping to other countries.

You also get the option to indicate which categories you love (always include), like (sometimes include) or don’t want from the following list of categories. A very useful feature in my opinion.
Biscuits and Cakes
Crisps
Candy
Nuts, Peas and Seeds
Noodles and Soups
Teas
Fruits
Seafood

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers. £6 off your first Asian Snack Box and a free Japanese Kit Kat when you use coupon code TOKYO444 at checkout.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway an Asian Snack box from Chimasu to one lucky winner. This may contain a different selection of products to those featured here, as my review is of what was in the October selection.

comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite Asian Snack?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Tea and Biscuits Bingo giveaway

Did you know that this month over 100 years ago the Oreo biscuit went on sale in American shops. In the USA the Oreo is the no.1 biscuit and it is rapidly becoming more popular in the UK. Our all time UK favourites, according to biscuit studies, are the bourbon, the chocolate digestive and the custard cream. Those are 3 of the favourites in our household, so we were very pleased to receive a large free box of Family Circle Biscuits including all three, along with 4 boxes of Twinings English Breakfast tea and a Family Bingo game.

tea, biscuits and bingo

It’s always nice to take some time out for tea and biscuits in this rainy, cold British weather. And we had great fun playing bingo, with son2 being the overall winner.

tea, biscuits and bingo

tea, biscuits and bingo

I’m hosting a giveaway to win a vintage inspired prize bundle which consists of:

· A box of Traditional English Breakfast tea from Twinings
· A large box of the nation’s favourite biscuits from Family Circle
· A family game of bingo

tea, biscuits and bingo giveaway

These prizes are supplied by http://bingo.paddypower.com
comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what you like to do indoors on a cold rainy day or your favourite type of biscuit?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Disclosure.  This post mentions products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Bahlsen chocolate biscuits plus giveaway

There were huge smiles on the boys’ faces when they watched me open this parcel. It contained nine packets of Bahlsen biscuits free to review.

Bahlsen biscuits

I received a packet of each of the following Bahlsen products.
Choco Leibniz Caramel
Choco Leibniz Chocolate Orange
Choco Leibniz Dark Chocolate
Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate
Choco Leibniz White Chocolate
PiCK UP! Black ‘N White
PiCK UP! Choco & Caramel
PiCK UP! Dark Chocolate
PiCK UP! Milk Chocolate

I’ve previously purchased Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate several times but all the other varieties are new to me and I see from the packaging that the PiCK UP! Black ‘N White and PiCK UP! Dark Chocolate are new to the range too.

The PiCK UP! range contain 5 individually wrapped bars, which comprise a real bar of chocolate sandwiched between 2 biscuits. Ideal for a snack to give the boys when I pick them up from school. Meanwhile the Choco Leibniz range contain 9 unwrapped biscuits, which comprise a biscuit set against a bigger bar of real chocolate, to store in the cookie jar at home. And both the Choco Caramel varieties have that extra yummy caramel filling too.

We’ve been trying them out over the last couple of weeks and we have differing opinions as to our favourites, but consensus that we love them all. My personal favourite is the PiCK UP! Milk Chocolate.

Bahlsen biscuits

However there were a couple of breakages and the chocolate on a few biscuits was a little melted plus the caramel ones were oozing, but I assume this may have happened in transit as I always find the sorting office very hot whenever I go to collect mail. So hopefully shouldn’t experience this issue when you purchase in store. Certainly I haven’t in the past when I’ve bought Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate.

Here is a larger photo of the worst affected packet.

Bahlsen biscuits

Bahlsen biscuits are stocked in most major supermarkets. My local branch of Sainsburys is currently retailing the Choco Leibniz at £1, normally £1.50 and the PiCK UP! at £1.60. They will certainly be going on my shopping list.

Win Bahlsen Choco Leibniz biscuits

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 5 packets of biscuits courtesy of Bahlsen to one lucky winner. That is one each of the Choco Leibniz flavours. A yummy prize.

comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite biscuit.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.