Lavender shortbread

Lavender adds a subtle herbal flavour to baking, and goes really well with shortbread. It’s also a very simple biscuit to cook. I got this recipe from Country Wives here after a quick search, not a website aimed at me but the recipe works which is the only bit that matters!

Shortbread
IngredientsIngredients

175g softened unsalted butter
2 tbsp lavender – either buy culinary lavender or pick it yourself. If you take it from a plant, make sure it’s an edible variety and not sprayed with chemicals or anything.
100g caster sugar
225g plain flour

Method

Lightly grease three large baking trays (or as many as you own, I only have 2 and have to bake in batches…), and pre-heat oven to 160C/Fan 140C/325F/Fan 275F/Gas 3.

Put the softened butter and the lavender into a mixing bowl and beat together (this will obtain the maximum flavour from the lavender).

Beat the caster sugar into the butter and lavender and then stir in the flour, bringing the mixture together with your hands and kneading lightly until smooth. If the dough is sticky add another sprinkle of flour, if it’s dry add a dash of water or milk.

The original recipe cut sausages of dough into disks, but I fancied different shapes. Roll out half the dough on a floured surface to 1/2cm to 1cm thick, and use a biscuit cutter (or convenient water glass, knife, shaped object…) to cut out as many biscuits as possible. Move the biscuits onto a baking tray with some space between them for the biscuits to spread. Do the same to the rest of the dough, then combine any left over and cut out a few last biscuits.

   Rolling out the dough Cutting out the biscuits   

Bake for 15 to 20 mins, until the biscuits are pale golden brown at the edges. Move the biscuits onto a wire tray to cool.

Eat and enjoy! The biscuits will keep for a few days in  tin or sealed box.

More shortbread

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Some of this week’s post

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It’s been a busy few days for postcards and I’ve received some great cards. The great panoramic card of Prague and the pink tulips came from swaps. The large bird is from Germany as part of the monthly postcard diary swap on the Postcrossing forum, this week Hanko was in the Netherlands on holiday. The smaller illustrated bird is from my postcard pal Alex in Russia (I sent a colourful merry-go-round card in return), and the Native American bear is also from Russia as an official Postcrossing card.

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Outgoing cards for this week include cards of London and Derby travelling to USA and Brunei in swap-bot swaps. Warwick castle is off to Germany as my final postcard diary entry, I had a busy weekend at the castle so there was plenty to write about! And the bust of Hadrian and the owl are also headed for Germany but as part of the fortune telling RR – I need to get my tarot cards out 🙂

Also sent out this morning was my second Postcircle letter, off to Stockport. It’s great to be sending within the UK sometimes too.

My Little Gypset Box

Gypset – An amalgamation of Gypsy and Jetset, a style combining the glamour of world travel and a bohemian free spirit

My little gypset box

Korres Santorini Vine body milk
So Susan Colour Hybrid lip and cheek colour in Marsala
My Little Beauty bronzing powder
My Little Box hairties/ bracelets
Antik batik and My Little Box fabric bag

I know in theory beauty boxes tend to be overpriced for the products and you can end up with some weird stuff, but I love the surprise of it, a little present to myself with nice new things to try out. Confession time: I have a secret love and fairly large collection of fancy expensive toilettries (still saving for the amazing £150 moisturiser I once tried) – drawers full of half finished products, a constant urge to buy more because it seems so lovely…and a monthly box to add to the collection! I’ve been through Glossy Box, Birchbox, and the Amarya Beauty Box, and now I’m trying My Little Box. It’s a step away from the natural products of the Amarya box back towards the more make-up and exclusive brands focus of the earlier boxes I tried, but I think I now have enough organic handcreams to last until at least next year. And my first box arrived today!

I was excited to receive this box, it’s a mix of cosmetics, toilettries and accessories that makes it fun to unwrap, as well as an illustrated quote and a little magazine. There’s several lovely items this month and I’m sure I’ll try out everything – the body milk is going glamping with me this weekend and I’m desperately thinking of what I can store in the pretty bag. As I’m not a huge make-up user it might not be the best option for me long term, but I’ll keep enjoying my monthly surprises until i find an even more exciting box to receive 🙂

Swap-bot

After a lot of disappointing tags on Postcrossing, I’ve finally joined swap-bot. It’s an online swapping community that uses ratings to control swaps, meaning that people who don’t send anything or send poor quality swaps will soon end up very limited in what they can do. It’ll take me a while to build up my rating to swap more than postcards but it should be fun. I’ve sent off a couple of items already and signed up for a few more, so I’ll see how it goes 🙂

Here’s my first swaps just before I sent them out, 4 blank note cards and I added a postcard to write a greeting on and a few stickers for added fun. These are now travelling to USA and New Zealand, I hope the recipients like the cards!

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Today’s post

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3 cards from various round robins. A lovely shaped Bulgarian card of Sozopol – I like shaped cards, they’re just a bit different. A great card from a Postcrossing meetup in Belgium, the first card I’ve received like this and it’s signed by 12 people! And a Romanian card of the virgin Mary, an image that somehow always makes me feel more peaceful.

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And I got some more stamps today, let’s see where the next set of cards go…