How Does Your Garden Grow?


Over the last few weeks we have been on lots of cool adventures. Sometimes the simple things in life can be great fun too. 

Once a week we have been visiting my Mum and Dad. It is always a fun day for the children visiting Grandma and Grandad. 
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Kiwi Berry Smoothie : Creative Mondays Blog Hop..


Happy Monday everyone. Creative Mondays is my favourite blog hop of the week as I get to see all your amazing creative ideas :) Link up, have fun blog hopping and please be kind enough to link back to the hop in your post and leave a comment if you like the blog hop.
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ALDI Special Buy Waffle Maker Review...


We love breakfast in our house. Cereals throughout the week and fresh pancakes, croissant or waffles as a special treat at weekend. Lots of people say it is the most important meal of the day so ideally we like to eat something that will fill us up, setting us up for the day ahead.  We try to keep extra healthy adding natural yogurt and fruit too!!

Last week ALDI asked me if I would like to try out their waffle maker. It is on Special Buy from today. Fresh waffles whenever we want them, yes please.

The machine comes in a bright yellow colour and will brighten up any kitchen. So off we ( I ) go making everyone some yummy thin waffles...

Waffles Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 250g Flour (plain)
  • 7g Baking powder
  • 20g Caster sugar
  • 5g Salt
  • 475ml Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 30ml Vegetable oil
  • Toppings of your choice. 
  • We went for yogurt, banana and defrosted summer fruits.



Method:
  1. Weigh all the dry ingredients, place in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Break the eggs into the milk and beat the mixture.
  3. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. 
  4. Add the oil and mix all ingredients together until all the large lumps have been broken up. 
  5. Do not over mix otherwise the waffles will be heavy when cooked.
  6. Pre heat the waffle maker and spray with oil (1 cal spray works well).
  7. Pour 3/4 of a cup of batter into the waffle maker and cook for 3-4 mins or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Serve hot with you favourite topping: 
  • Maple syrup.
  • Sliced banana.
  • Summer fruit mix.
  • Natural yogurt.


    Good to know:

    • Cooked waffles can be frozen and heated up in the toaster. 
    • Unused batter mixture can be kept in a container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


    About the Aldi Waffle Maker:
    • Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a contender for a Michelin star, Aldi has a fantastic range of excellent quality, great value bakeware and kitchen accessories for cooks of all abilities.
    • In stores on 2nd July and 9th July respectively, while stocks last.
    • If you fancy mixing it up in the kitchen, Aldi’s Waffle Maker or Brownie Maker (£9.99) are just the ticket. 
    • Available in blue or yellow, both are simple to use with non-stick heating plates and can stand upright for easy storage. 
    • What’s more, the waffle maker makes heart shaped waffles, perfect for a romantic breakfast.
    What I think of the ALDI waffle maker:

    I think this is a sweet little waffle maker that makes cute thin waffles. We all enjoyed eating them and layering them up with fruit, yogurt and yummy Maple syrup. I think we will get lots of use out of the waffle machine, and it is a real bargain for £9.99. Importantly it was straightforward and quick to clean, so can see it getting plenty of use. My eldest has said he may take it back to Uni in September. Best race down to Aldi to buy another!!

    As with all ALDI special buys though you have to get in and buy one early as they will sell out quickly.

    About this post :

    I was kindly sent this ALDI waffle maker to review. All thoughts are my own honest opinion and I did not get paid for this post.


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    New Recipes From Seasonal Berries...



    Sort out those New Year hangovers and January blues with this vitamin and antioxidant bursting berry juice. Full of natural sugars it will soon boost energy levels leaving you feeling brighter and revitalised.

    Serves 2

    Prep: 10 minutes

    Ingredients 
    • 225g (8oz) or about ¼ red cabbage 
    • 225g (8oz) or about 1 large beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed 
    • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
    • 100g (4oz) blueberries 
    • 2 teaspoons runny honey or to taste 
    Method
    1. Cut the red cabbage and beetroot into pieces that will fit in your juicer shoot then press through an electric juicer. 
    2. Puree the raspberries and blueberries with a little of the red cabbage and beetroot juice in a liquidiser until smooth then add the remaining juice and sweeten to taste with honey. 
    3. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately or pour into a sports drinks container, seal well and take to the gym for a post workout energy boost. 
    Cook’s tip

    If you don’t have a juicer then puree the raspberries and blueberries with 300ml (1/2 pint) bought cranberry and raspberry juice or pomegranate juice.

    VALENTINE’S DAY

    Blackberry & goat’s cheese tarts : Be my Valentine


    Super quick and easy to put together, simply unroll readymade puff pastry and cut into heart shapes with a knife. You don’t even need a special cutter, just draw a heart shape that is about 12cm (5 inches) long and the same wide on a piece of baking paper or piece of card and use this as a template.

    Serv
    es 2-4 

    Prep: 10 minutes 
    Cook: 24-25 minutes 

    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
    • 15g (1/2 oz) butter 
    • 2 red onions, halved, thinly sliced 
    • 2 teaspoons caster sugar 
    • 150g (5oz) blackberries 
    • 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves torn from stems, plus a little extra for garnish 
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    • 375g (12oz) packet ready rolled chilled puff pastry, or defrosted if frozen 
    • Beaten egg, for glazing 
    • 100g (4oz) goats cheese, cut into 4 thin slices 
    To finish
    • tablespoon red wine vinegar 
    • tablespoons olive oil 
    • ½ teaspoon caster sugar 
    • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 
    • 100g (4oz) mixed rocket, spinach and watercress salad 
    • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
    Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.
    2.  Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the sugar and fry for 5 minutes, stirring more frequently until lightly browned. 
    3. Mix in the blackberries and thyme then season with salt and pepper. 
    4. Unroll the pastry then cut 4 heart shapes, transfer to a wetted baking sheet and prick the centre of each heart with a fork, leaving a border about 2cm (3/4 inch) all the way round. 
    5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then pile the onion and blackberry mix in the centre of each pastry heart. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is well risen and lightly browned. 
    6. Top each with a slice of goats cheese, a few extra thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes more until the cheese has just softened and the pastry is cooked. 
    7. Meanwhile, fork the vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing. 
    8. Add a little salt and pepper then the salad leaves and raspberries and gently toss together. 
    9. Arrange one heart per serving for a starter, two for a main course on to plates with a little salad. 
     Cook’s tip
    • If you have some raspberry or blackberry vinegar then use this to make the salad dressing with.
    Fraisier strawberry cake 

    Extra special valentine/Mother’s day special. Wow the special person in your life with this impressive looking cake, this classic French recipe has a few short cuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to make this version! 



    Cuts into 10 slices
    Prep: 45 minutes
    Cook: 35-40 minutes

    Ingredient
    • 225g (8oz) soft margarine 
    • 225g (8oz) caster sugar 
    • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
    • Grated rind of 2 lemons 
    • 4 medium eggs 
    • 6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur 
    Filling
    • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled 
    • 3 tablespoons cold water 
    • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine 
    • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream 
    • 500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard 
    Topping
    • 2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit 
    • 250g (9oz) readymade marzipan 
    • Little icing sugar 
    • Few small strawberries 
    • Few chocolate hearts 
    Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper. 
    2. Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth. 
    3. Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. 
    4. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack. 
    5. When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin. 
    6. Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake. 
    7. Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid. 
    8. Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting. 
    9. Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours. 
    10. When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked. 
    Cook’s tip
    • Not a fan of marzipan then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or simply dust with sifted icing sugar instead. 
    • To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. 
    • Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.
    PANCAKE DAY

    Blueberry and yogurt American style pancakes. Gluten free. Start your day right with these quick and easy pancakes that all the family can enjoy, even those on a gluten free diet. 


    Makes 12

    Prep: 10 minutes
    Cook: 10-15 minutes

    Ingredient
    • 50g (2oz) fine cornmeal 
    • 50g (2oz) tapioca flour 
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
    • 200g (7oz) low fat natural yogurt 
    • 2 eggs 
    • 150g (5oz) blueberries 
    • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying 
    To serve
    • A little butter, extra blueberries and maple syrup or runny honey
    Method
    •  Mix the flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Add the yogurt and eggs and whisk together until smooth then fold in the blueberries. 
    • Heat a little of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, wipe out the excess with a piece of crumpled kitchen towel. Drop large spoonfuls of the thick batter into the pan and cook for 23 minutes until bubbles can be seen and the undersides are tinged brown. 
    • Turn the pancakes over with a palette knife and cook the second side for a minute or two. Take out of the pan and keep hot in a folded napkin. Oil the pan once more and cook more pancakes in the same way until all the mixture has been used up, lowering the heat slightly if needed. 
    • Stack the pancakes on to plates, top with a little butter, extra blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. 
    Cook’s tip:
    • Fine cornmeal can be found in Indian supermarkets and some larger supermarkets, tapioca flour from your nearest health food shop.
    This is a guest post from Seasonal Berries. No payment was received...


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    Sunday Runday ...



    After all my lazy summer weeks exercise is back on and feeling good. Running is great, slow but great and exercise classes are not hurting as much as the week before!!No Pain No Gain!!
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    Fruit Smoothies..


    Getting the children to have more fruit is a lot easier and quicker in smoothies, we have made this one a few times and they love it, me too ...
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    I Heart Cake, Hearty Slice Challenge...


    Last week I was invited to take part in a fun baking challenge from find me a gift, to review one of these lovely Heart Cake Mould. Also I get to enter my cake creation into the draw, which one blogger will win a bundle of kitchen goodies worth £100.
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    Crispy Crunch Fruit Sundae : Easy Way Towards Your 5 A Day...


    Over the weekend we have had fun making our own recipes, as we were invited to take part in the Jordans Recipe Challenge. Our idea will be posted over at their website for two weeks, so we wanted to come up with something fun, easy to make, tasty and healthy!!
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    On Your Way To 5 A Day : Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop...


    Welcome to Wordless Wednesday hosted by Clairejustineoxox and judyh-jsthoughts where you can link up your Wordless / not so Wordless Wednesday photo posts each week...
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    Berry Amarula Eton Mess...

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    Flaming cherries jubilee...


    Impress your friends...

    Need a quick and easy dessert that will create a stir, then this easy cherry compote fits the bill, add a splash of Cointreau or brandy at the end, warm through then light with a long match, stand well back and wait for the applause.
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    Fruit cocktail And Creative Monday Blog Hop Week 5 ...

     
    Hello and welcome to Creative Mondays hosted by Clairejustineoxox and Judy-H-JS Thought where you can link up all your creative post each week....
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    Baby strawberry mousses...


    Serves 8

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    Cooking time: 5 minutes
    Chilling time: 3-4 hours

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    Belvoir Fruit Farms Cranberry Cupcakes And Raspberry Blush....



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    Grilled Pear, Endive and Crottin de Chavignol toasts with Caramelised Walnuts....

      
    Serves 4

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    Creative Mondays Week 1 : Blackberries Smoothie....


    Hello and welcome to Creative Mondays hosted by Clairejustineoxox and Judy-H-JS Thought where you can link up all your creative post each week. Trying to be healthier now I made some Blackberries smoothies...
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    Fruity Cocktail Trifles....


    Me and my husband love trifles and I would say ...These are the best I've made so far!!So yummy...
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    Warm Caribbean Fruit Salad...

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