Saturday, 10 December 2016

Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Oh how I loved Christmas when I was a child.  My mother used to bake us some lovely treats for the occasion.   Date slices, War Cake, Feather Squares and cut out shortbread biscuits/cookies.  She would decorate the shortbreads with icing and bits of candied cherry.  Oh my but they tasted just lovely.   I have been on the look out ever since for a homemade shortbread that tastes as good as the memory of those.  I think I found it!

I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Martha Stewart cooking site, called Holiday Shortbread Cookies.  They are a slice and bake cookie.  I like slice and bake cookies.  You can bake just as many as you like, or you can freeze the dough to bake them whenever.   

Once you have the dough made and chilled, they are at the ready to slice and bake at your baking whim.  They are simple.  They are delicious.  At least that has always been my experience.   

I shaped these into a square edged log before chilling and rolling.  Then I divided the log in two and rolled the edges of each log in a different coloured sanding sugar.  Red and Green.  Very festive.  I quite like the squarish edges.  

They are not fancy, but boy oh boy are they ever tasty.  If you wanted to you could just leave them plain and then ice/decorate them after they are baked and cooled.   Vanilla Buttercream with a spot of candied glace cherry would be lovely.   I took one bite and I was a child again.  These were, to put it simply . . .  gorgeous.  But I'd expect no less from Martha.

*Slice & Bake Shortbread Cookies*
Makes 24
These taste like the shortbread cookies of my childhood.  Simple and delicious.  I rolled mine in coloured sugars, green and red, to give a bit of colour around the edges. 

225g unsalted butter (1 cup) at room temperature
100g of confectioners/icing/powdered sugar, sifted (3/4 cup)
1 tsp fine sea salt
330g plain flour (2 1/3 cups)

 Cream the sugar and butter together until well combined.  Add the flour and salt and beat together just to combine.  Shape into a roll, 8 inches in length.  You can keep it round or square it off.  Wrap well and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour until firm  (You can freeze for up to one month if desired.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.  Place sugar crystals on a plate.  I cut my roll in half crosswise so that I had two rolls.  One roll I rolled in red sugar crystals, pressing them in all around.  The other I rolled in green sugar crystals, pressing them in all around  Cut each roll into 1/4 inch thick slices.  If you need to reroll the edges do so.  Place onto the prepared baking sheets leaving a bit of space in between each.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking.  They should be set and just beginning to brown around the edges.  Let sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

I am going to bake some more of these for gifting I think.  They were quick and easy to make and quite pretty in a simple way when done.  Oh and most importantly, they were delicious.  I can think of a few people who would enjoy a gift of these!  I highly recommend you give them a go!  Bon Appetit!

Panettone/Mini Panettone with Chocolate chips - Italian Christmas Bread

Panettone is a sweet Italian bread loaf which have its origin from Milan, which is usually prepared during Christmas and New year in Italy. This bread is very much known in most other countries of the world and this bread is one of the symbols of Milan city. Recent times, this bread have their important place in many christmas table. This bread is prepared usually in a cylindical base mould and

Chef JD's Noodle House Cuisine: Sesame Galangal Garden Vegetable Omu with Chinkiang Vinegar Sauce

Chef JD's Noodle House Cuisine: Sesame Galangal Garden Vegetable Omu with Chinkiang Vinegar Sauce:

Chef JD's Noodle House Cuisine: Choy Sum, Eggplant and Galangal with Fermented Black Bean Sauce

Chef JD's Noodle House Cuisine: Choy Sum, Eggplant and Galangal with Fermented Black Bean Sauce:

No-Bake Almond and Cocoa Cherry Energy Bites

When it comes to meal times, I usually enjoy smaller portions, preferring to have smaller meals interspersed with healthy bites of energy throughout the day. This way of eating is a good way to maintain a healthy weight, and it aids in digestion because the body is not taxed with processing a large portion of food all at once. This preference means that not only do I require a good stash of nuts and dried fruits on hand, as well as raw vegetables, but also snacks such as muffins and also healthy little raw energy bites such as these almond and dried cherry balls. They satisfy a sweet craving without the guilt. Packed with protein, these are not only satisfying and delicious, but are also very easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator...

This is a summary only. Visit for full recipes and photos!

Eat With Intention, recipes and meditation for a life that lights you up

I wanted to tell you about this fabulous book I recently received.  As a food blogger I am often sent cookbooks for review.  I love cookery books and I love getting them.  I was recently sent this book entitled Eat with Intention, Recipes and Meditations for a Life That Lights You Up, by Cassandra Bodzak, creator of Eat with Intention TV.

I will tell you up front that this is not your traditional cookbook. You will not have to do a cleanse, eat kale every day, or eliminate an entire food group. Instead, you will learn the step-by-step process for eating with intention and put a stop to the never ending cycle of fad diets, constant exhaustion, and general unhappiness with your body and yourself.   I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty refreshing to me!

Meditation and wellness teacher Cassandra Bodzak struggled for years with unhealthy dieting, stomach pains, and food allergies. It was only when she began to listen to her body and eat with intention that she transformed her life. In this book, she shares her wisdom to help you discover:

*how to uncover the foods that are hurting you
*how to nourish your body from a place of self-love
*how to incorporate a daily gratitude or meditation practice into your life
*how to prepare nearly 75 plant-based recipes, each accompanied by a mantra and meditation for eating with purpose and fueling your body

 Eat with Intention is the book I've been waiting for. I love how Ms Bodzak pairs her healthy recipes with meditations, affirmations and exercises that truly help you to feel connected to the food you put into your body, and help to break the habitual struggle with food choices and dieting.  It is so much more than just pretty, healthy recipes. The paired meditations are a great way to connect with yourself through the foods you eat. I just love this concept.

This is a wonderful book, both beautiful, thoughtful and containing great recipes that are delicious, nourishing and actually feasible.  Pair that with beautiful photography and you have a really winning combination.  

Complete with nearly 100 recipes, meditations for each recipe, self-care tips, and easy guidelines for people who want to end the cycle of destructive eating, Eat with Intentionshows you the way to cleanse your body with love and to put potent, nutrient-rich food into your diet as an act of self-care. "Get thin fast" schemes never come from a place of love and are actually destructive to the relationship we have with our body because they stem from a desperation to change it.

 Reading this book is  really has helping me to rethink how and what I eat!  It is not only filled with
recipes that make my mouth water, but so much more than that.  I can't tell you how many times I've bought a book that was lacking content, and nothing but delicious photos interspersed with recipes that are either too complicated and tiresome to execute or that use ingredients that are way off the scale in ingredients and time concerns.  This book is FILLED with quick meditations and healthy recipes that I think I will actually make. It bridges the gap between the mind and body connection as it presents emotional and physical health as equals.


Eating with intention is your solution to long-term health and wellness, a vastly different and effective approach from fad cleanses that frequently lead to a rollercoaster of weights and a never-ending cycle of diets. Each recipe has been carefully crafted with healthy ingredients designed to fuel you and provide you with energy and a depth of flavor that even the finest chefs can appreciate. From smoothies and soups to entrees and snacks, Eat with Intention is the answer for every person who is ready to make a lifetime change to their minds and bodies.

 I am finding the author's fresh take on food and well being very refreshing. It's more than a cook book, it's an experience. With the recipes, meditations, and affirmations, I feel like I'm truly receiving a holistic approach to my self care.  I am really looking forward to getting stuck into it in the New Year and putting some of this stuff into practice. 

Cassandra Bodzak is a certified holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. After years of disordered eating, food allergies, and painful illnesses, she made peace with her body and took control of her diet. At the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, she studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods. She took her new knowledge and set out to help others improve their relationship with their bodies and the diets they consume.

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Race Point Publishing (15 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631062360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631062360
Race Point Publishing is part of the Quarto Publishing Group.

Note - Although I was sent a copy of the book free of charge for review, I was not required to write a positive review.  Any and all opinions are my own entirely.  If you are wanting to make a change to what you are eating and the way you are eating it, this is the book for you.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters ~ No Bake 3 Ingredient Candies

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters is a quick and easy snack that you can make for your kids. When I was checking out what else I can make as Christmas special, I saw many blogs making truffles, candies and bars. I felt these clusters are really no hassle no bake desserts that you can make so quickly.

There is really no recipe as such. You can make these clusters with so many different ingredients and can feast yourself! I initially had this for my candies, but then I had to quickly post for today and left with no other option but to share this for Holiday special as part of Christmas Celebration.

I have used Hazelnut, you can use any nut you want. And dark chocolate because I love Dark Chocolate.

This is part of BM#71 Christmas Special week 2

Step by Step Pictures for making the Chocolate Clusters 

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters ~ No Bake 3 Ingredient Candies
  1. In an MW safe bowl, take the Hazelnut and MW for 30 secs twice. let it rest.
  2. In the same MW safe bowl, take the chopped dark chocolate compound and MW for a minute.
  3. then add butter and again MW for another minute.
  4. Remove and quickly blend together, add the roasted hazelnut and mix in well.
  5. Using spoons, drop as clusters on a lined tray. Chill for 30 minutes


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

The post Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters ~ No Bake 3 Ingredient Candies appeared first on Cooking 4 all Seasons.

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