Favourite Gingerbread Cookies

This is a recipe that my mum’s friend gave to her, that was loooong ago, when I was still in the junior high school. My love for baking and being in the kitchen started around that time.  Every year, in the late November, when it’s getting really cold outside, I begin to make gingerbread cookies. I tried few other recipes over the years, not that they were not goood or something, but eventually, I would always go with this one. If you bake them a little bit shorter they will remain lovelly soft; if you roll the dough quite thinly and let them stay longer in the oven they will come out amazingly crunchy. If you and your family like the taste of coliander, you can add a tablespoon or two of coliander seeds into the dough – they are quite healthy and will make for extraordinary cookies! Anyway, I consider the Christmas season is already here! 😉
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Ingredients
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2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 full spoons honey
2 small eggs
1 flat teaspoon baking soda
1 full tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons gingerbread spices mix

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.In big bowl combine flour, sugar, soda, spices together. Add honey, butter, lightly beaten eggs and mix with the flour. Gently knead the dough, until it forms a firm ball. Roll it, the thickness depends on you, I prefer when gingerbread cookies are quite thick, but then again, nice little thin ones are so lovely to decorate :). Bake 12-15 minutes in 180ºC (about 350ºF).

If you want, you can take one spoon flour out and one 1 tablespoon unsweetend cocoa powder insted. Be careful what kind of gingerbread spices mix you use. Last time I bought a new brand, 2 tablespoons made my cookies taste really sharp, which I still liked, my husband however not so much. Homemade gingerbread spice mix is also quite sharp, therefore less should be used, again depends on how you like your cookies.

 .Favourite gingerbread cookies<br /><br /><br /><br />
https://perfectlysassybread.wordpress.com.

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

Can’t believe its December already,  Christmas is just around the corner and me and my husband will visit Poland in just three weeks. Meanwhile, the weather in Suzhou quickly became chilly, scary chilly. When I moved here one and a half year ago, I thought I moved to a winter paradise – not freezing cold like in Poland, but enough to make you feel its winter. How wrong was I. After long, sweaty, exhausting summer, comes a short period of great autumn weather (two weeks in November). Then winter comes. Extremely chilly all the time (there is no general heating in the south of China), windy and most of the time accompanied by greyish, smogy sky. When I’m sitting home, dressed so I look like a little polar bear, turning my air conditioning to 30ºC, I like to sip up on this turmeric tea. Makes me feel warm inside.   I also belive in healing properties of turmeric. If you’re not big fan of it I still recommend you try it, the taste of turmeric is not dominating. Also, be extremely careful when handling turmeric, this powder can make a lot of mess and will colour everything it can! 🙂

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Ingredients:
about one liter water (32oz)
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
few small pieces of fresh ginger
one garlic clove, peeles and crushed1 teaspoon dried goji fruits
1 tablespoon honey
1 or two lemons/limes
1/2 teaspoone olive oil/coconut oil

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Put all ingredients, in a big bowl and pour over boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minuts. Strain and enjoy.

Experiment with your tea. You can adtd other ingredients: peppercorns, cilandro, orange… anything that you like will be good. Also the original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of oil, which was way too much for me. I found the original recipe on autoimmune-paleo.com

Fruit (loaf) muffins

Today’s recipe just screams autumn, right? When baking whole house smells of cinnamon and that is one of the most comfting thing for me. I started looking for something nice to have my brandy butter with (yes, Christmas is already on my mind) and I was set on dried fruit loaf. But since hubby is traveling, whole loaf would be much too much and I decided to go with muffins, packed with dried cranberries and nuts. And brandy butter goes reeeally well with them:)

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Ingredients:  (makes 8 muffins)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried fruits, nuts etc.
3o grams butter (1 ounce)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
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Perfectlysassybread.wordpress.com
Put water, sugar, butter, dried fruits in a small bowl and heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Let cool a little bit.

Perfectlysassybread.wordpress.comStir in flour, cinnamon and soda, mix.

Perfectlysassybread.wordpress.com

Pour into muffin forms and bake in 180°C for about 2o mins. That’s it:). The recipe is ectremely easy and quick, I’m quire sure everyone will like them!

Enjoy:)

Avocado egg salad

I’ve been trying to get more fruits and veggies into my breakfast. Usually I would just go with toast and egg, enough to keep me full to 12am. 12 am is a magical time in China, when about 99% of its vast population will enjoy lunch. I wasn’t used to this at first, but quickly it became a habit. Anyway I’ve been looking for new ways to enjoy my toast and egg and this quickly became my favourite.

 

https://perfectlysassybread.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/avocado-egg-salad/

 

Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado, in cubes
2 cooked eggs
2 tablespoons yoghurt
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
lime juice
salt and pepper

https://perfectlysassybread.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/avocado-egg-salad/

 

Cut your ingredients in any way you like. I like when the egg yolk is still soft, but its totally up to you how you make it. Just mix all of together and serve with a worm toast:)

Mashed and Baked Sweet Potatoes

Summer in Suzhou ended two days ago. Like, literally last Sunday we went to the park to play, and after three hours in 30°C morning sun my skin felt a little bit sunburnt. Today though, temperature dropped, its rainy and greyish. Autumn has finally come. Another sign of autumn: street vendors already changed their carts. Instead of cold noodles, you can now get half a dollar, big and delicius, street-baked sweet potatoes. Yestarday I decided to bring some of its amazing flavour to my own home.

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Ingredients:
4 medium sized sweet potatoes
1/4 cup coconut milk
olive oil to drizzle
salt, pepper to season
2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
coliander to garnish
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 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the potatoes and pierce a few times with a fork. Put them on a baking sheet or a silicone mat and bake for about 45 minutes.
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Check whether the potatoes are soft. If so, take out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes, cut in halves lenghtwise. Take out the inside, and put into small bowl. Leave about 1mm of the potato.
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Brush the skins with olive oil, put to the oven to grill for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, mash the potatoes with coconut milk, salt and pepper.
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Take the skins out of the oven, fill with mashed potatoes, sprinks some parmesan cheese over it, and put into the oven again, for about 10 minutes.
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 Garnish with coliander and enjoy! 🙂

Balsamic-glazed veggies

Pumpkin is an ideal veggie. Well, at least for me. You can do so much with it. Sweet, sour, spicy – pumpkin mends well with anything. Last week, hubby was out of town, which meant I could have a veggie night. But, today’s recipe can as well be used as side dish. It’s healthy, quick and mess-free. I bet you will like it.

Roasted pumpin and carrots with balsamic glaze :)

Ingredients:
450g pumpkin (in cubes)
450g carrots (in cubes)
red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon mustard

Roasted pumpin and carrots with balsamic glaze :)

Set the temperature of the oven to 200°C. In a bowl mix together the veggies, add oil, thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Mix. Bake around 30 minutes, strirring in the middle of baking time.

Roasted pumpin and carrots with balsamic glaze :)

In a saucepan, mix vinegar, honey and mustard. Bring to boil, cook about 8 minutes, until the glaze is thickend.

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Pour the mixture over the veggies. Mix gently.

Roasted pumpin and carrots with balsamic glaze :)

Roasted pumpin and carrots with balsamic glaze :)

Chop parsley, then toss over plate, serve;)

Enjoy!

Veery chocolate truffles muffins

Most of the time I’m not the biggest fan of baking muffins. Weirdly, I feel that they are just to quick to make and I can’t fully enjoy the baking process. Sometimes however, I feel sudden necesity to eat something very chocolatey:). Then, this recipe comes in handy. It’s  a variation of Nigela Lawson’s famous chocolate chip muffins.

Ingredients (makes 6):
125g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bakin soda
1 tablespoon cocoa
80g powder sugar
125ml milk
45ml canola oil/coconut oil
1 small egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

100g chopped chocolate truffles (more if you need, I know I do)
* I used a mix of dark, milk and white truffles:)

In one bowl mix all dry ingredients, and in another all the wet ones. Pour the wet mixture into the dry one. No need to be too careful about this, you can even leave some bumps. Then mix in chopped truffles, leaving some to sprinkle on top.

Bake around 20 minutes in 200ºC.

Enjoy:)