Hello again! Long time no hear! I ran out of time just before Christmas to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday break. I hope you all had a great time off; it can be a pretty manic and busy time of year. We flew down to Tassie on the Saturday before Christmas and had the pleasure of enjoying family and friend’s company 24-7 over the past two weeks. Needless to say I’m exhausted.
We spent New Years Eve on the beautiful east coast of Tasmania, in Swansea. It was amazing. We went fishing, caught squid, went bike riding and most importantly, ate lots and lots of delicious food. I have to give a special shout-out to Rob’s famous ‘Haroomi’ wraps – yep, halloumi cheese, kangaroo and his special sauce all in a tasty wrap. Good one Robby!
It’s scary to think that now, only a few towns further north of Swansea, people have lost their homes and businesses to the devastating fires that have ripped through the east coast of Tasmania. Friday was a stinking hot day with strong winds; I met up with a friend to go swimming in Dodges Ferry, which is close to one of the affected areas. I didn’t realise at the time just how close the fires were. Within just two hours the smoke, haze and severity of the fires had increased rapidly. Thousands of people from the Tasman Peninsula and east coast have lost so much over the last few days I can’t comprehend how they must be feeling. As we’re now back in Melbourne I wasn’t exactly sure how we could help out. I’ve called on people and businesses I know to donate simple goods that we all take for granted. Please, if you can, donate to help these poor people in need here via the Red Cross 2013 Tasmanian Bush Fires Appeal.
Back to the usual business – shortbread and gingerbread men are my two favourite Christmas biscuits. In the lead up to Christmas I had a lightbulb moment – why not combine them and make spiced shortbread? I couldn’t find a good recipe so I made this one up and for me, it ticks all the boxes. Again, they’re perfect as little homemade presents – any time of year.
I’ve been meaning to share this recipe since I launched the Adeline & Lumiere Christmas book but time just slipped away. I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas book!?! I had initially anticipated to print 30 books, mainly for family, friends, send some off to media people and 10 to sell. However, after I mentioned I’d be printing some I had all sorts of people interested in a copy. In the end I sold 60 but could have easily have sold double that again! I was astonished to see it so well received. Thank you so, so much! It was the best Christmas present ever.
200g softened butter
1⁄2 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1⁄4 cup rice flour
1 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp mixed spice
1⁄2 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 160ºC and line a tray with grease proof paper.
2. Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Sift flour, rice flour and spices into the mixture and be careful not to over mix.
3. Press the mixture onto the prepared tray. Place a piece of grease proof paper over the top and roll out with a rolling pin. Use a butter knife to mark out biscuits and prick each one 3 times with a fork.
4. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a board and cut into pieces. Cool on a rack and wrap up for the perfect little gift.