Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Sunday, 11 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!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

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.

Triple Chocolate Cookie Tart

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If you are looking for a simple dessert this weekend look no further.  This Triple Chocolate Cookie Tart is not only delicious, but very simple and quick to make.    I would actually call it fabulous and a ten out of ten on the win/win/win scale!!!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

I did kind of a dry run for Christmas dinner the other week.  Its never a good idea to try out new recipes ON the special day so I usually try them out ahead of time.  I never mind really because, if its good, I get to actually enjoy a special meal twice and we all know how much I love my food! 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Cookbooklet Sale, five for one


It's that time of year again.  I am once more offering a special deal between now and December 24th on my cookbooklets.  Between now and then you can get any five of my cookbooklets at a special price of only £10, ($12.59) which is a saving of £15 (18.88) on the regular price.  They normally sell for £5 a piece. ($6.29)!  There are Eleven delicious titles on offer:

Christmas In The English Kitchen
A Thanksgiving Primer
Recipes to Keep
Cooking For Comfort
The Cookie Jar
A Very Royal Tea Party
The Great British Picnic
When Life Hands You Lemons
Cooking At the Manor
Just Desserts
Spring Into Summer 

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All cookbooklets will be delivered via e-mail in downloadable PDF File format,  which I will personally e-mail to you.  I promise that all will be mailed within 24 hours of your payment clearing, which allows for the differences in time between North America and here in the UK.    You will need to have the latest version of Adobe Reader enabled on your computer or device and you will also need to have my e-mail in your safe mail folder.  (mariealicejoan at aol dot com)

Each booklet is filled with my coloured illustrations, and fool proof recipes.  If you want to know more about each one click on the cookbooklet tab above to view the individual titles.  This is really a bargain.   In order to let me know which five you would like to receive please place your choices in the Notes to the Seller portion of the Paypal Invoice.  Alternately you may e-mail me.

Many thanks and Happy Holidays! 

Apple and Cranberry Pie

My husband has an absolute fondness for apple pie.  Simply put  . . . he ADORES apple pie.  It is his favourite pie, dessert, indulgence, dream come true!  In truth, I don't bake one very often.  It is an awful lot and doesn't get eaten.  I know I could freeze it, but my freezer is always full.  (NOT a complaint!)  A whole pie is simply much more than the two of us can feasibly eat within a couple of days, and so normally I only bake one when we are having company.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Aimee's Perfect Cakes

If you are looking for the perfect gift for the foodie baker on your Christmas list look no further!  I have the perfect book that I think they will just love!  Aimee's Perfect Bakes features over 50 original and creative baking recipes from Aimee Twigger's kitchen, as featured on her popular blog, Twigg Studios. Each treat has easy-to-follow instructions and is paired with stunning photographs shot by Aimee herself. She also gives crafty tips for beautifully wrapping and presenting her delicious bakes to make perfect, edible gifts for any occasion.  The photos which accompany each recipe are truly gorgeous!

From a Raspberry ripple cake and Chicken pie cones, to Beetroot cheddar fougasse and a stunning 'Rainbow' cake with edible flowers, Aimee's Perfect Bakes will show you how to make beautiful sweet and savoury gifts without breaking the bank. A collection of second-hand cookware and kitchenalia, Aimee makes astounding creations that are homespun and handcrafted with love.

The Cake chapter is filled with no less than thirteen lovely recipes . . . each one beautifully photographed . . . 

The Feather Light Lilac Cake looks to die for  . . . and that is only for starters . . . 

Sweet Bakes . . .  a chapter filled with beautiful buns and rolls . . . 

I can't wait to get stuck into these Cinnamon Danish Pastry Swirls and her Hot Cross Buns look to die for.

Savoury Bakes  . . .  with everything from Quails Egg Stuffed Pork Pies to  . . . 

These gorgeous Chicken Pie Cones  . . .  and savoury Spicy Tomato Macarons!  Now those I could really go for!

The final chapter, Little Gifts, includes lots of taste tempting treats to gift your loved ones and friends with . . .  spiced nuts,  tortilla chips, crackers . . .

How good do these Sweet Potato Cheddar Crackers look?  I know . . .  AMAZING!

Even if you aren't looking for a gift for a baking foodie friend, this is a book you would love to gift yourself with, and then gift all your friends with treats you have baked from it!  (That's what I'm going to do!)

Baking for family and friends doesn't have to break the bank and Aimee Twigger's second book, Aimee's Perfect Bakes proves that is so perfectly!   Well written and beautifully photographed, this is a winner/winner to my way of thinking.  I love it!

Through step-by-step photography and quick decoration ideas, UK blogger Aimee Twigger reveals how she creates fun cakes, loaves and pies for every occasion. Whether you're looking for savoury finger food like chicken pie cones or little Cornish pasties, or an extravagant tiramisu cake with hazelnut dacquoise, there's something cheery to be conjured up!

 Aimee''s Perfect Bakes, by Aimee Twigger.
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1743367422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1743367421 

Aimee Twigger is a 28-young crafter and blogger. She lives in Torquay, Devon, with her partner, Howard, and her Dalmatian puppy, Archie. Aimee started her food blog, Twigg Studios, in 2011 to share recipes and her passion for baking and food photography. Aimee's previous book Love, Aimee x was featured in Marie Claire, the Guardian, Telegraph Weekend, Fabulous Sun on Sunday and the Independent I paper, amongst others.

I was sent this book free of charge for review. I was not required to write a positive review in return. I quite simply like it. Any and all opinions are my own.  Many thankns to Murdoch Books for sending it to me.

Quick Cassoulet

I confess I have only ever really had Cassoulet once.  It was when we were visiting my son in Canada and it was delicious.  He's a good cook, and he's not afraid to try new things.  He's always been that way.  Normally Cassoulet contains duck and takes hours to prepare.  This delicious casserole uses chicken thighs and tinned beans and uses only a fraction of the time of this traditional French stew.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Hooray for the holidays and all of the festivities.  Things are getting a bit cooler outside, and our fingers and toes are getting a bit frosty.  What better way to warm them up than with a nice mug of hot chocolate to drink!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Baking with Eddingtons


There is nothing like homemade mincemeat during the holidays. I always make a big batch in the holidays and I use it for all sorts of things.  It comes in really handy for mince pies, cakes, pastries, breads etc.  The nicest thing is to be able to use your own homemade mincemeat for these things.  That way you can control the kinds of fruit you use.  I also like to add some flaked almonds to mine.