Posts from the “food” Category

Garden Treats

Posted on 13 August, 2014

When we were on holiday we got to reap the benefits of an amazing organic garden that Steve’s dad has poured hours and hours of work into. The garden is out of this world and has everything you could possibly need. It feed ten people for two weeks and it still doesn’t look bear.

We were given instructions to dig in. So after kilos of potatoes,rocket, peas,broad beans and onions I decided to expand my horizons and try the rhubarb tucked in the back of the garden. Taking this load didn’t even dent in the yield!


It was a hot and muggy kind of day so it was not the time to be skewing or baking . I stood in the spot with the good internet connection and found this recipe for rhubarb syrup from the blog Like Mama Used to Bake.

It was delightfully easy.

IMG_5326 IMG_5330

We had some snazzy lemonade left over from our Pimms adventures  and so a non-alcoholic cocktail (of sorts) was born and it was ggggooooooodddd! Be warned though it is really, really sweet. But if you get the ratio just right the rhubarb is still tart enough to cut through and make it a little edgy:)

Happy experimenting!

rhubarb drink


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Posted on 5 May, 2014

This weekend I went out gallivanting.  There were chats, wine, dancing and I even dusted off my mascara for the occasion.  Sunday morning I was extremely delicate. My body was confused by what had happened and it was voicing it’s objections.

To make amends I made myself a ginger tea. It would a gross exaggeration to call this a recipe but I will tell you the things I put in a cup.

  • Peeled strips of Ginger. I used a potato peeler to make nice thin strips and made enough to fill the end of the cup
  • Crushed Mint leaves, I added about 4 scrunched leaves but took them out for the photo because I’m that shallow!
  • A small amount of Lemongrass, mainly because I had it. I think a quarter of lime could be lovely too.
Ginger Ingredients for making ginger tea


Some slightly cooled boiling water and there you have it. Add a film and a blanket and  you have the perfect restorative brew!

homemade ginger teaLinking up for the first time with healthy recipes at Motivation Monday and Simply Natural Saturday pop over and have a look (if you’d like).


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If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake…

Posted on 4 May, 2014

Every time I bake a cake I invariably end up with this song in my head for hours and hours. It’s not exactly a musical masterpiece but it sure is catchy!


Earlier this week I knew a friend was coming so I baked a cake.   As a lover of all things almond I decided to go with a St James’s Cake.  The one thing I know about St James comes from a friend who has walked thCamino de Santiago a lot. Her advise is not to do the walk around the time of the feast of St James because flights are more expensive and the hostels are too busy. This is the sum of my knowledge of St James, not exactly his life story but I’m still happy to make his cake.

I used this recipe. With just  three main ingredients of almond, sugar and eggs it should fall into the super easy category. I’m a bit of a novice baker and so even with a basic recipe I still required consultation from grown ups about the softness of the egg white peaks.

whisking egg whites

It all worked out in the end and I got a really good tip. Apparently when you are folding in something to a mixture (in this case almond) you should use a large metal spoon rather than a wooden one. It has something to do with the metal spoon not smudging around the mixture so it allows the air to stay in. It really works and the cake was actually light and fluffy!

I used three small paper doilies as a stencil

St James's Almond Cake, Tarta de Santiago with icing sugar decoration



St James's Almond Cake, Tarta de Santiago with icing sugar decoration

I was very pleased with myself and it tasted really nice. it’s a dry cake but the almond and cinnamon give a lovely flavour (if I do say so myself).  I’m feeling the books are balanced in the cake department now and the Elmo cake can be long forgotten:)

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Birthday cake fun

Posted on 23 April, 2014

I mention an Elmo cake and then I disappear for a few days, how cruel!
Well, you didn’t miss much. Let’s just say it did not turn out like we had hoped. 
Despite not meeting our high expectations we still had good fun making it. I am generally banned from the kitchen when Steve cooks so it made a nice change to make something together.

At this point we were optimistic, even a little cocky.

Elmo was at hand for authentic colour checks.

It turns out adding food colouring to “ready to roll” icing results in an incredibly sticky mess and tastes shockingly bad. By the time we finished with it resembled rolled out bubble gum in both taste and texture!
But the worse the cake got the giddier we got and the more fun it was to try and salvage a cake.
This was the most flattering picture I could take of it.
Elmo baking, victoria sponge elmo cake
Surely we will become better bakers and icers as the years go on. Steve is hopeful by the time Ewan turns 18 our cakes will be legendary (in a good way) .

In the meantime Ewan didn’t seem to mind the dense sponge (we saved him from eating our bizarre icing creation)  and he happily tucked into his first taste of cake. Someday he’ll know the taste of fluffy sponge and it’ll blow his mind.

While we won’t be winning baking awards we are parents to a funny and cheeky one year old who slept like a log after more birthday excitement than you could shake a stick at!

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Posted on 14 February, 2014

After nearly 12 years together we have done our share of over priced restaurants where your elbows meet the adjoining diners. We have done the extravagant bunch of roses and chocolates.
But this year we are being much more sensible and we kept things simple! Tonight it will be home made pizzas, some wine and House of Cards Season two!

But we have still given a nod to the day. This morning Steve gave me some lovely tulips and I made a chocolaty bouquet for him. While making the chocolate bouquet is not exactly complicated I do have some tips to share…

I used a 100g bar of dark chocolate and 100g bar of milk chocolate. This did two punnets of strawberries and some large pineapple pieces, with enough left over for the chef to lick the bowl!
For the strawberries I melted the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and put the skewer in through the stem, leaving the leaves on. This made them more secure on the skewer, plus I preferred how they looked with their greenery in tact!
I added some pineapple by cutting a thick slice and using a heart shaped cookie cutter. If I was making it again I would use a smaller heart shape so I could avoid including the harder centre of the pineapple in the heart. But it’s still juicy and delicious.
To get an even coating on the strawberries I filled a spoon with melted chocolate and rolled the skewered fruit  in the spoon. This worked much better than dipping as I learnt after making a few lumpy pineapple ones.
To dry them I placed the skewers at an angle in a wire rack. I placed some parchment paper over the wire rack to catch any drips.
Once dry all you need is some red tissue paper and twine and there you have it.

I hope you have a lovely Valentines filled with chocolate,x

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Feeling seedy?

Posted on 24 January, 2014

In January I generally make some small token effort towards leading a slightly healthier lifestyle (note the non- committal language). This year it was not to eat after 8 in the evening. I mainly stick to this but I do sneak the odd biscuit with a cup of tea.

So in an attempt to stretch the commitment somewhat I went to the health food shop and stocked up. Gosh those places are expensive! But the staff were so nice (she even carried my basket) and after her listing all the goodness in everything I already felt healthier.

Once stocked up I made Quinoa and Chia Seed Granola. Ohh la la I hear you say. You’d be right. It’s delicious! I got the recipe from Lily Higgin’s book Dream Deli.  You can see it here too.

homemade quinoa and chia seed granola

I may just break my eating after 8 rule to have a bowl now. It really is yum. Steve even said it’s nicer than any of the ones he’s bought.

(If your cooking it mind those edge bits. Mine burnt but it’s a lesson learnt and the burnt bits add a certain something:)

Hope you have a nutty and seedy weekend:)

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Posted on 5 December, 2013

I haven’t been second hand shopping in a few days and maybe it was the pressure to find something amazing on my first day back or maybe it was the Christmas madness in the air but I came home with this!

What on earth is a Chocomatic I hear you ask.  It’s a clock that dispenses chocolate every hour, and if you fancy a song with your chocolate it also plays the dance of the sugar plum fairy on the hour! (I have discovered the off button for the sound. It make it much less alarming.

It is possibly the craziest thing I have ever bought second hand shopping.

 I didn’t have any appropriately shaped chocolates so at the moment it springs forth with a hazelnut every hour! And if I simply can’t wait 59 minutes for another my hazelnut then I can press the giant Cheat button on top!!

I can’t decide if this will be making it’s way to the shop or not. Steve’s vote is definitely for selling it, he is less than welcoming to the Chocomatic!

I am off to share this wondrous technology with  A Living Space ,ThrifterMakerFixerFarmer,Sir Thrift AlotThrift Groove and We call it junkin

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