28 November 2015

Introducing Jaralicious...

On Country Bumpkin Chic we love hearing from local West Country businesses especially new start-ups. I was even more delighted when my friend Fi excitedly told me over dinner about her plans for launching Jaralicious this festive period and was more than happy to taste test her goods and interview her for the blog.
Fi (right) & I celebrating at her brother Tom’s wedding in the US.

Jaralicious founder Fi Thatcher is a 31 year old bubbly and vivacious West Country girl from Salisbury. When she’s not taking part in the local Salisbury parkrun or planning her next ski trip you’ll find her busy baking and trying out new recipes for Jaralicious.

Fi tell us about Jaralicious…

It’s basically baking made easy. A jar with all the ingredients needed for baking cakes. All you need to add is butter, eggs and milk and follow the simple instructions.

The idea originated from a Christmas holiday, when my brother and his wife gave me a glass jar with a cake mix and I thought that’s such a cute idea. Last year I was struggling for Christmas gift ideas and decided to try out the cake mix in a jar and it went down a treat and Jaralicious was born.

Who’s Jaralicious aimed at?

Anyone who likes baking! It’s suitable for all ages and baking abilities. I have a few mummy friends who have said how much fun their kids enjoyed baking with Jaralicious and saved them a trip to the supermarket.

What’s the Jaralicious range?

Chocolate Brownie (1 litre jar – makes about 16 slices) Everyone’s favourite. Includes, milk, white choc chips and walnuts. For those with nut allergies we can swap the walnuts for extra choc chips. All three mixed together go down a right treat.

Gingerbread Biscuits (1/2 litre jar – makes about 24) Delicious crunchy biscuits that go down well with a cuppa or two. I use crystallised ginger to give the biscuits an extra kick of ginger.

Christmas Muffins (1 litre jar – makes about 12) – cinnamon and mixed spice flavours – a taste of Christmas in a muffin. Again we use walnuts/pecans but can replace them with fruit or raisin.

Triple Chocolate Muffins (1/2 or 1 litre jar – makes 6 or 12 muffins) For those who love chocolate, you’re in for a real treat! Contains 3 layers of choc chips. Nuts can be added as a replacement for one of the choc chip layers.

*** Country Bumpkin Chic road tested the Triple Choc Muffins – look out for the next blog post on how we got on***

Other recipes include: Oatylicious Cookies for those looking for something a bit healthier or Chocolate Chip Cookies for the chocolate lovers.

What’s your favourite recipe?

Ooh that’s a tough one. It’s got to be the Chocolate Brownie mix, especially if it’s still warm as it’s gooey in the middle.

Who do you practice your recipes on?

Anyone who wants to try them. I’ve taken samples to work, given them to my mum for her work place and haven’t had any complaints yet!

How can people buy Jaralicious?

Online through my Facebook page ‘Jaralicious’ or email Fi at jaralicious@outlook.com

1 large Jaralicious = £9.99 or 2 for £18.50
2 small Jaralicious’ = £6.99 or 2 for £12.50
1 small & 1 large Jaralicious= £15.50

Will you be attending any Christmas Events?

Yes, I’m attending a couple of Christmas Fairs – the first one is at the Goldolphin School this Saturday 28th November, then onto The Stones Hotel Christmas Fair on Sunday 29th November and Durrington Junior School – Friday 4th December

What’s the future for Jaralicious?

At the moment its a little side line business, however, I’d love to be able to open a little cake shop and expand my baking business.

Follow Jaralicious on Facebook 

08 November 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn is definitely a time for embracing the change in temperatures, spending more time in the kitchen and getting your cook on. Inspired by lots of pumpkin posts over Halloween I decided to make the most of that other well known winter squash vegetable and make butternut squash soup.

I found an easy to follow and delicious recipe on Mary Berry's website here, which involved roasting the butternut to add more flavour - good old Mary!

  • 3 small butternut squash - approx. 1.6kg in total weight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't have this to hand & it still tasted lush)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 large sticks of celery chopped
  • 1" root ginger grated (again I left this out)
  • 2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock (I used a cube of each)
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary (I used some mixed herbs)

Serves 6
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon and discard. Arrange the squash halves cut side up in a roasting tin or tray large enough to hold the squash. Drizzle over the olive oil. Season each squash half with salt, pepper & nutmeg. Pour 150ml (1/4 pint) of water around the squash. Cook in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour 1/4. Basting occasionally until the squash is tender. I turned the squash over every half hour. Allow to cool.
    I used two baking trays to fit the squash
  3.  Melt the butter in a large pan and add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and grated ginger. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the veg begins to soften. Add the stock, rosemary and seasoning, bring to the boil then partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
    Chopped veg for the pan
  4. When cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh from the squash and add to the pan. Blend the vegetables using a food processor or liquidiser until smooth.
    Liquidised butternut squash soup
  5. Taste for seasoning and serve hot with crusty bread. I've made enough batches for a few dinners and lunches. Simples!
    And voila!