The Foodie Book Club is a book club with a difference. Its founder Lee Majhen- Todd tells us more…
Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself please
I’m Lee and I’m a local recipe developer. Companies give me their products and I develop friendly recipes for their websites. I also test recipes for chefs who are creating cook books and I do live cooking demonstrations. I used to be a therapist and I know how important good food is to feeling well – and having fun.
What’s the Foodie Book Club all about?
During lockdown I came up with the concept of a Foodie Book Club as a way of making people feel emotionally supported and less isolated. The idea is simple: each month members read a selected book of fiction with an ingredient in the title then get together to chat about the book and share dishes that feature the ingredient. It’s all just a bit of fun! The idea really took off and has led to lots of Foodie Book Club groups starting up – one of my favourites is run by a group of neighbours on their balconies. We’ve also developed great resources including downloadable recipes and money saving tips, a free e-newsletter, training for Foodie Book Club organisers and a thriving community on social media. There's a weekly Twitter hour #foodiebookclubhour every Wednesday 6-7pm.
How are you working with Karbon Homes?
I’m forever finding creative ways to help make cooking with everyday ingredients less stressful and scary for people. I’m busy creating a series of easy-to-use recipes that can be made using pantry ingredients and from a typical parcel from a food bank so they can be made by everyone. They’ll have step-by-step instructions and photos showing exactly how each dish is made.
What kind of dishes are included?
There’ll be a collection of main meals, side dishes and desserts. I'm hoping to get more people back into the kitchen to cook some favourite dishes. They’ll also show just how easy it is to make some meals you might have thought were too tricky to make at home but are actually really simple when you know how. The aim is to create a bank of quick, go-to recipes that residents can call on for a cheap, healthy answer to rumbling tummies.
How can customers get involved?
For more recipes or to find out how to start your own Foodie Book Club visit www.leeandthesweetlife.com Don't forget to sign up to the newsletter to get involved in other food based fun!
One cookie recipe, more flavours than you can shake a stick at...
- Vanilla sugar cookies
- 200g plain flour - plus extra for rolling out
- 120g butter – room temperature
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Icing sugar to dust – optional
If choosing to add a flavour for a gift, check that the person you’re giving them too isn’t allergic.
- Lemon or orange zest
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped Malteser
- Chopped chocolate bar
- Chocolate chips
- Dried apricots
How it’s done
Cover a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until it’s light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla to the bowl and give it another beat.
Place the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and mix it in, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
If adding a flavour, add it now and give it another mix (See Lee's flavour inspiration for lots of different flavours to try)
Scoop out walnut sized pieces of the dough and roll them into balls.
Place the dough balls onto the baking parchment and gently push them down.
Place the tray of cookies into the fridge for 30 minutes
Heat the oven up to 180c.
After 30 minutes in the fridge, place the tray into the hot oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
All ovens vary so adjust the cooking time accordingly. When they’re ready to come out of the oven they’ll be very pale with only little bits of golden brown.
Take the cookies out of the oven and leave the tray to cool completely.
When cold, dust the cookies with icing sugar.
Got a recipe you'd love to share and want to feature in our next magazine? Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.