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Katie and Marco’s Gingerbread Men

Our waistlines have grown and are still growing! We are all still in the festive spirit… yesterday we finished off the Turkey in a very yummy risotto (making a total of 17 meals from one bird!). One of the most popular treats this year has been our gingerbread men, which have been enjoyed in England, as well as having been well travelled and appreciated in Italy. They are super tasty and great fun – a must for this time of the year. The following recipe will make around 15 men (or biscuits).

GingerbreadMen

Ingredients

  • 140 butter
  • 180g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (we like it very gingery)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 200C.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
  3. Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Sieve the flour, soda, spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in the butter mix and ginger to make a dough. The dough is very very delicate and slightly crumbly, but work with it!
  4. Wait until cool enough to handle, and then roll out dough to about 5mm thick. Stamp out gingerbread men; re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again. Make small holes in the top of the head with a straw if you would like to thread a ribbon through.
  5. Carefully lift onto baking sheets (we use a flat knife to help move the little fellas)
  6. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden, it is very tempting to leave them in longer as they come out of the oven soft, but will harden as they cool – so trust the timing!
  7. And for the fun bit, wait until completely cooled and then decorate… we used melted chocolate and pre-bought squirty icing tubes – let your imagination go crazy!
  8. They will keep up to one week in an airtight tin.


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Warm up with our homemade Minestrone “ris acce’ e patan” (con verza) soup!

It is that time of the year… we are all eating a little bit more than normal, having that extra treat and feeling the need for comfort food to get us through the dark mornings and the cold nights! It has been a while since we last posted, since then we have between us; devoured a large goose with all the trimmings, been on a sushi course, fallen in love with French cuisine and yes, baked more cakes! However, this post is dedicated to a warm, tasty, healthy meal that should be on everyone’s menu at this time of the year, the simple and yet wonderful Minestrone “ris acce’ e patan” (con verza) soup!

Minestrone

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ medium onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 small pointed cabbage
  • 1 can of good quality tomatoes
  • 180g risotto rice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 10 basil leaves
  • Olive oil (frying and adding to soup)
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Chop the onions, carrots and potatoes into cubes and fry in 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Roughly chop the cabbage and add to the vegetables after 4 minutes. Continue to fry for 5 further minutes.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes and cover with boiling water. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. Add the Risotto rice and cook for a further 18 minutes.
  5. Add parmesan cheese to taste and season.
  6. Add chopped garlic, basil and 1 tbsp oil (mixed into a pesto).
  7. Rest for 10 minutes.

Super yummy, super healthy and super easy!

Enjoy…