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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I Can't Sing... I Can't Dance... But Who Cares I Smell Like Rihanna...


How cold is it?

Seriously how cold and windy is it?

As if the non stop rain was not bad enough!!

Not letting the weather spoil mine and the little two's fun we went out today, a mile walk and a 40 minute train ride into Nottingham.


Hope you all had a nice Valentines day?

Hubby brought me a lovely Rihanna perfume set and a beautiful card. I smelt this perfume at Christmas but wasn't sure if I liked it at the time. When we were on our way home I realised I love it, arr to late then!!

It was a lovely surprise!!

As it was so cold, windy and raining last night we stayed in. I put on my lovely new perfume, onesie and watched Benidorm on Sky plus and we shared a bottle of red wine and lots of cakes!!

What I wore to Nottingham~

Jumper ~ Charity shop
Dress ~ Sainsbury's
Tights ~ Primark
Boots ~ Barratts


Another night in, Onsie on, "take me out" to watch and more cakes!!

We have just discovered Lidl's pick and mix cake!!

Oh my they are soo good and the big savoury pretzels taste amazing too..

Now we have to make plans what to do in the holidays...

What are your plans for the weekend?


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How Long Will I Love You? As Long As The Stars Are Above You...



Me and my little 2 have been picked as one of the craft bloggers for Bostik and Tots 100. Every month we will receive an exciting craft parcel and a different kind of theme. All we have to do is get our thinking hats on and come up with something fun to make out of our crafty items...

Team work yeah!!


This months parcel contained 2 cards, 2 envelopes, 1 red card, 1 red felt, some all purpose glue, small sticky foam pads, 2 pom poms a heart box and a foam heart.

We were thinking valentine cards?!!


First of all thinking caps on, them the pen box is dragged out.

I also had a frame I thought would be a good idea to make my husband something home-made and personal for Valentines day, with a special message...


I first opened the frame and stuck some felt behind the cardboard inside with glue.

Wrote him some special words I love from a film we were watching not to long ago.

"How long will I Love You?"

"As long as the stars are above you"

Then I stuck in the pom poms and half of the heart box on the felt  with the sticky pads.



My daughter got on with cutting out some felt for the front of her card and sticking it down with the sticky pads.


My son was also putting lots of thought into his card by cutting out lots of hearts and sticking them inside the card. (So much effort to say he does not want to give it anyone ;) )



Lots of cutting, sticking, writing special messages, our card and presents are finished. I made mine for my husband. My daughter made hers for her new teady bears Alex the lion and Nelly the elephant, just got to find out who my son made his for now??



About this post_

We got send a lovely parcel of fun things to share our crafty work. All thoughts on the post are my honest opinion and I was not paid for this post...



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Almond Chocolate Valentines Tart...


Serves: 6-8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:
  • 125g Ginger Biscuits
  • 115g Whitworths Ground Almonds
  • 50g Sugar
  • 60g Butter, melted
Filling:
  • 300g Dark Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 225ml Whipping Cream
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 50g Sugar
  • 1tbsp Flour 100g Whitworths Flaked Almonds
Topping:
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Chopped almonds



Method:

To make the crust:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / gas mark 4.
  • In a food processor grind the ginger biscuits, ground almonds and sugar. 
  • Add the melted butter and combine well.
  • Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 23cm (9") heart shaped cake tin.
  • Bake the crust in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:
  • Combine the chopped chocolate and whipping cream in a saucepan. 
  • Whisk over a low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth then remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour in a bowl to blend. 
  • Very gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth and blended.
  • Gently stir in 80g of the flaked almonds.
  • Pour the chocolate filling into the crust, sprinkle remaining flaked almonds on top in a heart shape.
  • Bake the chocolate tart for 30 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.
  • Cool for 1 hour before serving.
  • Topped with strawberries and chopped almonds.

Recipe and photo credits by Whitworths

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Warm Date And Chocolate Valentine Pots...



Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients
  • 100g Whitworths Chopped Dates
  • 50g White Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 40g Whitworths Toasted Chopped Mixed Nuts
  • 75g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 75g Unsalted Butter
  • 75ml Semi-skimmed Milk
  • 60g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs, whisked
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • A pinch of Cream of Tartar
  • 50g Whitworths Ground Almonds


Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / fan 180°C / gas mark 6.
  • Lightly grease 6 ramekins or oven proof espresso cups with a little butter.
  • Divide the chopped dates equally between the ramekins or cups and sprinkle the white chocolate and the chopped nuts over the top of the dates, again equally dividing between the ramekins or cups.
  • Place the dark chocolate, butter, milk and caster sugar in a heavy based saucepan and gently heat until the chocolate has melted.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
  • Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and the cream of tartar into the dark chocolate mixture until evenly combined.
  • Gently fold in the ground almonds and divide the mixture evenly between the four ramekins or cups.
  • Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the surface is cooked but soft and fudge-like in the centre.
Serve 
  • Warm with a scoop of ice cream.
  • Or clotted cream.

Recipe and photo credits by Whitworths

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Love is in the air...

Happy Valentines day :)


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Orange Chocolate Flapjacks...

My daughter was off school today ill :(  So with nowhere and it snowing again, I decided to do some baking :( Here is what I came up with today to finish off the mixed peel from Christmas...



 Makes 4

Ingredients
  •  125g Margarine
  • 125g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 175g Porridge oats
  • 75g Self raising flour
  • 50g Mixed orange and lemon peel
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Topping
  •  200g White cooking chocolate
  • Chocolate sprinkles
You will need
  • 4 x medium love heart tray

Method
  •  Pre heat oven to 180c 375f Gas mark 5.
  • Grease 4 heart trays.
  • Place the margarine, golden caster sugar, golden syrup and orange juice into a large pan and gently heat until all melted.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, self raising flour, mixed peel and ground cinnamon.
  • Mix well.
  • Spoon into the 4 trays and press down with the back of the spoon.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • Leave 5 minutes then turn out to cool.
  • Melt the cooking chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering pre boiled water.
  • Once melted place the flapjacks back into the trays and cover the tops.
  • Leave to cool slightly, so not to melt the sprinkles the place them on top
  • Leave to set.
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Strawberry Shortbread Hearts...


Spoil the one you love with this Valentine's Day recipe...

Ingredients

  • 225g salted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour

Icing

  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4tbsp Rachel's low fat strawberry yogurt 
  • A few drops of pink colouring, if required


Makes 12 biscuits

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
  • Lightly grease a baking tray.
  • Place the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until pale.
  • Add the flour and bring the mixture together until a soft dough is formed.
  • Tip the dough onto a floured surface and using a floured hand gently roll out to ½ cm thickness.
  • Using a heart shaped cutter, cut out the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden brown for approximately ten minutes.
  • Leave for five minutes on the tray to cool and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


To make the icing 

  • Mix the icing sugar with the strawberry yogurt and beat until smooth, add the colouring and beat again.
  • Using a small piping bag, pipe the strawberry icing within the contours of the biscuit.
  • Allow to set.


Recipe and photo credit by Rachel's



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Valentine Love Heart cakes...



I use to love, love, love, love heart sweets when I was little. 

Could not eat them.

Fast enough.

Ripping the packaging off to see what the next one said.

 "keep cool"

 "in love" 

"cool dude"

 When I saw this tube of little packs in the pound shop, I could not wait to make something with them....

I did not expect them to go as fast as this though!!




Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 125g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 125g Golden Caster sugar
  • 125g Margarine
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25g Coco powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Icing

  • 140g Icing sugar
  • 100g Margarine
  • 2 tablespoon summer fruit dilute pop

Topping

  • 10 love heart sweets for crushing
  • 12 for the tops of the cakes


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Place 12 muffin bun cases in a 12 holed muffin tray.
  • Place the margarine and golden caster sugar in a bowl and mix together with an electric whisk.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and coco powder milk and vanilla essence.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases.
  • Cook in the middle of a preheated oven for around 25 minutes.
  • Once cooked place on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


Making the icing

  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter and pop. Whisk all together.
  • Place into a icing bag and pipe onto the buns.
  • Put 10 sweets into a food bag and crush them  with a rolling pin.
  • Sprinkle onto the cakes
  • Place a love heart sweet into the middle of each


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