Why is baking so addictive?

I don’t know what it is but I will find any excuse to bake. I will happily admit that I am not the best baker in town but I like to give it a good go. I am guilty of changing recipes based on what I have in the house, which doesn’t always go my way. But I am a firm believer in having a well stocked cupboard and not running to the shops everyday. And I think my purse thanks me for it.

What is it about baking that is so much fun? Is it seeing a bunch of ingredients transform into something warm and delicious? Or is it the feeling of eating something afterwards that you know is slightly naughty? Yes that is probably it. We all have a dark side.

One of my (and my husbands) favourite biscuits are oatmeal and raisin cookies. I’m not sure if this is because the oats and raisins make us both feel like we are being slightly ‘healthy’, but then we are reminded by the butter and sugar in it and slowly come back to reality.

This is a very easy recipe that I got from one of Mary Berry‘s Bake Off books and it was delicious. A perfect combination of ingredients made the biscuit slightly soft and chewy rather than too crunchy.

The recipe is as follows: 125g softened butter, 150g muscovado sugar, 1 large free-range egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 100g self-raising flour, 75g raisins, 150g porridge oats.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, and then place the rest of the ingredients in and fold through. It’s as easy as that! I added a pinch of cinnamon too because I love it, but you don’t have to. Place small dollops (technical term there) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Let them cool properly on a rack if you can resist eating them straight away. Enjoy!

Baking is good the for soul…go on give it a try.

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Diwali…The Festival of Light

Its Diwali! The time of lights, food and family!

Diwali is a great festival that is celebrated all over the world, wherever you might find Indians! Of course it is a lot more grand in India, but us British Asians give it a good go! I was born and raised in England so I consider myself quite British, however I have always been in touch with my culture thanks to my family. As part of a large community in the UK, we celebrate all the festivals all over England.

Diwali is a time where everyone would spend the weeks before cooking all sorts of sweet and savoury snacks for the big day. I remember my Mum and I creating a huge mess in the kitchen making Indian sweets, Chukri (savoury swirls), Karkaria (sweet discs), Bombay mix, biscuits and more! Our kitchen would be covered in flour and empty packets of butter, and we would be exhausted by the end of the day.

The best part was the unofficial exchange system we created from this. Our relatives would make the same snacks and we would all go to each others house and exchange food! It was a custom that brought us all together. We would offer sweets to anyone who would come to see us and vice versa. Let’s just say Diwali is not a time to be on a diet.

We would end the day with a big meal of masala fish and prawn or daal curry and all the trimmings. Chapatis, rice and poppadoms all finished with something sweet at the end, such as Gulab Jamun or Ras Malai (heaven)! And with our belly’s full to the brim, we would all stand outside in the cold and watch the fireworks.

Although I am emphasising how much Diwali is about food, it is nothing without family. The best part of Diwali is going to see all of your relatives that you don’t get to see often, or call those who are too far to visit. It is about welcoming people into your home and offering them food that you have made from scratch. It is about paying respects to your elders and remembering those who are not with you anymore.

This post is dedicated to my dear Mum who is no longer with us. Happy Diwali Mum x

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Diwali