Thursday, 24 November 2011

Apple and coconut cookies, mushrooms, and That Syed Off Eastenders...

We're coming up to late November (only a month until Christmas, people!) and although the weather is still unseasonably warm, I want to cook warming, autumnal things. And I want to get cracking with my Christmas baking - every year, I make some sort of sweet treat for my friends, and of course I have to do a bit of recipe testing first. Of course.

These apple, coconut and cinnamon cookies, while delicious, didn't quite fit the Christmas brief, which is why I'm sharing them with you now.
I made them on Sunday and took them to work - I was a bit worried that my colleagues wouldn't like them because of the texture, which is very soft and moist and quite far away from what you'd traditionally describe as a 'cookie', but they seemed to go down really well. They're too moist for Christmas presents, as the icing melted very quickly into the cookies, and I think they're a little 'healthy' for Christmas presents, but it was a good experiment! They're completely gluten- and dairy-free, which is always good to know.

Then this evening, I tried out another recipe - this time, it wasn't anything to do with Christmas, but it was gorgeous! I made a mushroom and pearl barley stew based on this recipe - I wanted to make it veggie but didn't want it to taste of vegetable stock cubes (I always have that problem...) so once I'd fried the mushrooms with the onion for a bit and they'd started to release their mushroomy juices, I added a good splash of Lea & Perrins and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I also added less water - about three cups - because I wanted it to be even more stew-like than Alisa's version. It was seriously yummy, and ridiculously healthy!
And, just to add a touch of the bizarre, as I was walking through the shopping centre earlier I discovered that Syed Off Eastenders - aka Marc Elliot - was switching on the Christmas lights. So I took a photo.

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