Spicy Breakfast Biscuits

I should perhaps add the word ‘Christmas’ to this title, because this is a ‘biscuit’ recipe containing mincemeat and various other spices that never fail to bring the spirit of Christmas to the tastebuds.

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Firstly, let me say I’m absolutely not a baker. This is only my third ever attempt at cooking something sweet, so Paul Hollywood needn’t lose any sleep. However, if you’re feeling a bit peckish, don’t jump in the car and drive to the nearest supermarket for triple chocolate cookies, try knocking one of these up instead. They’re pretty healthy, and are oat-based – which suits me, being the porridge fiend that I am.

I made one of these yummy biscuits (actually the size of a decent cookie) with just:

  • 50g oats
  • 2 teaspoons of mincemeat
  • 1 teaspoon of all-spice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional, but worthwhile!)
  • Between 50ml and 100ml of milk (I used Oatly oat milk)

Mix everything up into a thick paste using the teaspoon, using your judgement as to how much milk to add. You’re looking for a fairly thick consistency so you can set the biscuit into shape without it running. Add the milk bit by bit so you can get it just right.

Spread the mixture onto some greaseproof paper into whatever form you want (I went for a traditional round biscuit shape), then stick it on a shallow baking tray and into an oven pre-heated to 120 degrees Celsius. Leave them in there for 20-30 minutes, checking them a few times during the last ten minutes to make sure the result looks similar to the above picture.

When done, let it cool for a short while so you don’t burn yourself, then either eat warm or stow away for another day if you’re iron-willed enough. (I wasn’t.)

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Spicy Breakfast Biscuits

A Short Break in Windsor & Eton

Nearly twenty years ago, I worked in Slough for around six months. I wasn’t immediately impressed with the town back then, and followed some advice to stay in nearby Windsor instead. I found myself a B&B where I settled for the duration, and since then I have been a regular visitor back to Windsor and Eton, with my wife tagging along. We always stay at the Castle Hotel, but with every trip there is something new for us to discover, as well as comforting familiarity.

This time we discovered the grave of the author M.R. James, in Eton Cemetery. We also discovered how lovely The George Inn is – it’s on High Street, Eton, and well worth a visit for food and/or drink. We enjoyed a mulled wine sat by the open fire.

Whenever I visit Windsor I always want to return to my old haunts. Alma House B&B is still there, where I stayed in 1999, although it has changed quite significantly since then. The Viceroy of Windsor, a fantastic Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant is also still there. I have memories of spending many an evening enjoying a spicy curry. My old favourite was “Murgi Mussala” – Chicken and minced lamb, medium spicy, with egg – and imagine my delight to find it still on the menu as a house special!

A Short Break in Windsor & Eton

Christmas and the Photography Mojo

I haven’t taken many pictures with my Canon DSLR recently. I’ve been extremely busy with work and have simply not had the time/energy/inclination to pick up a camera and start shooting. However, yesterday I found myself making time to make a few cosy pet portraits on Christmas day.


It felt as if I had never put my camera away, and I’m hoping to get my photography mojo back. I’ll be doing lots of travelling for business in the new year, and will have plenty of time on my hands to get out with my camera in cool cities like London and Glasgow.

Christmas and the Photography Mojo

Don’t look too hard

I have been pretty quiet on my blog, Twitter and Instagram for the last year. The main reason is I’ve been focusing my efforts 100% on business.

One of the things I’ve tried to do on a weekly basis is reflect on the past week. It’s a little activity I indulge in every Sunday night. Sometimes it’s a positive experience that helps me recognise how much progress I’ve made, other times it’s a negative experience when I consider the ongoing frustrations and setbacks that are part of any business startup.

The quote on the graffiti wall above spoke to me when I discovered it down a back street in Shoreditch, London. I snapped it on my iPhone, hoping it would trigger some thoughts.

Don’t look too hard

Why do photographers take pictures?

I attended an interesting talk last night that asked a couple of questions I’ve never really considered before in terms of my own practice as a photographer.

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As a photographer, do you enjoy the thrill of the chase involved in finding a good picture or do you enjoy the final image more?

For me, the final image is everything. While I do enjoy wandering around and taking pictures, it can be quite painful and frustrating at times. Looking at the final image either on screen or in print is what makes it all worthwhile.

Do you take pictures with a view to recording what is happening now, always with an eye on how your pictures will be viewed several years in the future, or do you take pictures simply for the sake of taking them at that moment?

I definitely take pictures with an eye on how they will be viewed in the future. I used to be very particular about excluding things like logos and cars and street fashions, simply because the currency of the subject matter makes it too familiar to be remarkable. It was a while before I realised that in twenty years time images of these subjects will in fact be very interesting.

I’m curious to hear how others answer these questions!

Why do photographers take pictures?

Liverpool’s Boss! – first showing

The first showing of my Liverpool’s Boss! project starts today in Liverpool. It’s a small exhibition of only part of the ongoing project, but I’m delighted that it is taking place for the first time in the Baltic Triangle, where many of the images were made.

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The Baltic Triangle is home to Liverpool’s thriving Creative & Digital (C&D) community, and an area that only a short time ago was little more than a large stretch of imposing red brick warehouses, largely disused and derelict.

If you’re able to visit, please drop by Coffee & Fandisha, 5 Brick Street, Liverpool, L1 0BL. Their website is www.coffeefandisha.com. The exhibition will be there for the next three months until December.

Liverpool’s Boss! – first showing