Category Archives: Recipes

Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Hurrah for Macmillan Coffee Mornings !  Not only are they a brilliant and social way to raise money for a fantastic cause,  they are also pure heaven for those of us with a sweet tooth.  This morning I dropped in at my friend Nicola’s Macmillan Coffee morning…and stuffed myself with cake. Nicola , who is a Queen Baker ( as well as a busy Mum of 4! ) made all these goodies. 🙂

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Lemon Drizzle.
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Coffee Cake.
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Chocolate Fudge Cake.
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Take me to the Cake!

Our hostess got some recipe inspiration from the Macmillan Coffee Morning Recipe Page, which features quite a few recipes contributed by celebrities , such as Julie Walters and Amanda Holden.

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Afternoon Tea anyone?
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Ginger and Salted Caramel Cupcakes.
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Victoria Sponge.
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Pear and Ginger Cake. My personal favourite. 🙂
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Cookies 🙂 The dark chocolate and ginger biscuits on the left, another favourite of mine , this recipe provided by Harry Potter star Rupert Grint. 🙂

Nicola was sent a Coffee Morning Kit when she signed up to host this event, and this  included table cloths, bunting & cake toppers etc, as well as ideas for fund raising games and raffles. She had such a successful morning that she raised an amazing £270!

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Cake really is best enjoyed with friends.

You can host a Macmillan Coffee Morning whenever you like, and help raise funds to support people with cancer. The website is Here. 🙂

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30 Days Wild ~ Days 27-30. Borage Lemonade and Peacocks.

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As #30dayswild draws to a close, here is what I got up to in the last few days.

Day 27 ~ Paddle In a Stream. I had been putting off getting my feet wet all through the challenge….but day 27 seemed like the perfect day to dip my toes in. Hugo encouraged me to paddle in Mearley Brook with him whilst he played his favourite game of catching stones and splashing around like a maniac. It was freezing!

Day 28 ~  Make Borage flavoured Lemonade.  The Borage plant that I bought at the beginning of the month has started flowering so I looked for Borage recipes. It had to be easy of course ( I’m a terrible cook! ) and this one let me use the pretty blue flowers as well. To make Borage Lemonade all you need is:

Quarter a cup of lemon juice.
2 cups water.
2/3 tablespoons sugar.
3/4 borage leaves.

And then simply whizz all together in a blender. Decorate with the flowers. This drink was very refreshing and healthy looking. Tasted good too!

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Day 29 ~ Met a few Peacocks. We had to go down the tip this evening, which was ok by me as I got to see the resident Peacocks. I’m not sure what a collective group of peacocks is called…but there are a whole family of them living at the local tip. They are noisy, beautiful and serene. It was a pleasure to see them. 🙂

Male Peacock.
Male Peacock.
Female Peacock.
Female Peacock.

Day 30 ~ Hot Hot Hot. Wow today is so hot out there. Below is the view I see every day when I’m taking Hugo down the fields. It’s quite a hazy summer’s day. My walk has made me want to paddle in the brook again and drink borage lemonade. Ha ha. 🙂

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During the time it took to walk Hugo this afternoon this flower in my back yard bloomed….and got chomped. Talk about speedy!

#30dayswild this June has been a great experience..and made me notice different aspects of nature more, such as scents and sounds and textures. I will apply this to my future sightings. Just being outdoors is truly a beautiful thing. 🙂

Hazelnut Torte.

2014-06-07 12.40.55Saturday was such a washout here….that it seemed a good idea to do a spot of baking!  I had picked up a recipe card from a friends shop in Clitheroe ‘Chillimoon’ for Hazelnut Torte. The recipe uses Wharfe Valley Rapeseed Oil which Chillimoon now stocks. Apart from using a slightly to large cake tin ( my fault, not the recipes), the Torte turned out pretty well. Heres the instructions as printed on the card.

Ingredients:
1 free range egg
100 ml clear honey
75ml ‘Wharfe Valley’ rapeseed oil
50g unsalted butter
2tbsp apple juice
100g ground hazelnuts
100g wholemeal self raising flour

Method:

Preheat oven to 160. Brush a 20cm cake tin with melted butter, to grease.

Whisk together the egg,honey, rapeseed oil, butter and apple juice in a bowl until well combined.

Add the ground hazelnuts and the flour and stir until well combined.

Transfer the cake mix to the greased tin, level the mixture out using a spatula, then put in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake has risen and is golden brown.

Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Decorate with raspberries dusted with Icing sugar and serve.

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Hope you had a lovely weekend. 🙂

ps Thanks to my workmate lisa for showing me how to resize my photos. 🙂

Pear and Mint Chocolate Tartlets

Here’s a vintage cookery post from Cathy’s kitchen over at Red Rose Style. I love this cook book too so I think she may have inspired me to make something from it at last. Mouthwatering photography Cathy. 🙂

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The Vintage Tea Party Year is the most beautiful cookbook that I own!The recipes are framed by delicious illustrations of partying animals going about their classy soirees. All of the food looks amazing, but it also often looks rather pricey and difficult to make; the first pie requires pigeon breast, and there are instructions on how to make swans out of choux pastry! Definitely above my skill level! But when there are fox ladies drinking champagne who needs to make the actual food!

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However I decided that I should give at least one recipe a go, so I leafed through and picked out the ‘Pear and Mint Chocolate Tartlets’, mainly because the instructions seemed pretty straight forward and I recognised all of the ingredients and could pick them up from Morrisons!

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So the first step was to poach four peeled pears in a red wine mixture flavoured with mint, cinnamon, vanilla…

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Easy Peazy Baking and Alphabet Dating.

Well folks my boyfriend has gone off on a Dirty Weekend…………without Me!  Ok he is actually mountain biking in deepest darkest Wales with the boys.This involves lots of falling off into muddy ravines etc , whil’st trying to get ‘Air’. I say ‘boys’  though they are all in their late 30’s and some ( no names mentioned ! ) are 43. I guess it keeps them out of mischief. 😉

So here I am Home Alone for a whole weekend. Ok i’m not strictly alone, I do have a certain black labrador for company. He mostly just sleeps and eats , dear old man.   Friday eve I happened to mention the word ‘baking’ though and he suddenly sprung to life before I could tie my Cath Kidston Apron strings. 🙂

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Jake giving me his best ' Can I lick the bowl clean' look.

So here is my attempt at making Mars Bar Crispy Cake Tray Bake which the lovely Emma featured on her blog High Heels And Pink Glitter.

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Its a Tray Bake!

The results will be taken to the Zoo today ( not to share with with the monkeys Honest) and of course I’ve left a couple for when the wanderer returns. They do look a bit tempting though……………..

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So the blogosphere inspired me to bake this wknd ( well easy peazy baking anyhow 🙂 ) and i’ve also been following the progress of an Alphabet Dating challenge over on the fabulous blog Wrapped Up In Rainbows. Have you heard of Alphabet Dating? Laura who writes the blog and her other half Chris are busy working their way though the alphabet on their days out together.For example their first alphabet date was the letter A so they went out on an Animal inspired date. And their B date involved Beer and Bulls Icecream! It sounds great fun and I have already suggested it to Wil. I think when you have been together a while ( 8 years! )you can slide into doing the same old ,same old ,dvd date night
or aft in the local pub. Alphabet Dating should get us out of our comfort zone and doing new things. What do you think? Why not give it a go too. 🙂 Hopefully October may be the month to start! <3<3

A Gift and Goulash.

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A few weeks ago my lovely friend Sarah gifted us a set of Recipes Around The World cook books ( a small selection of them are pictured above). I was delighted as they have a little bit of sentimental value for the boyfriend and I.   Going back a couple of years, we found ourselves having to live apart  due to unforseen circumstances.  We stayed seperately with folks and friends and I guess in a way it was like being teenagers again. There wasn’t much opportunity to spend any alone time together. When Sarah asked us to house sit for a week ( and let us bring our dog too 🙂 ) we jumped at the chance. The small things we really took  for granted as a couple such as cuddling up on the sofa with a dvd or cooking tea together were ours again to appreciate. Every evening we made something from the interesting Around the World recipe books in Sarah’s bookshelf, a tasty tagine from Morocco, a delicous creamy curry from Thailand, a steaming Russian stew. It was good to be a family again. 🙂

Time has passed and we are once more settled in our own place. Our friend has gotten married and two households have merged into one. Hence a big clear out of her and her hubbys belongings. The books have found a new home with us 😀

Last week we dipped into one of the books  again and found a recipe for Hungarian Goulash. This was good timing actually as I had recently bought a tube of real Hungarian Paprika Puree from The Paprika Lady Company.

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Ingredients ( serves 4 )

900g/2lb stewing beef
2 red peppers
50g/2oz butter
300ml/half pint beef stock
2 Onions
3 cloves garlic
4tbsp mild paprika
4tbsp olive oil
2tsp mild chilli powder
salt and freshly ground pepper
half tsp dried marjoram
3 bay leaves
1tsp cumin seeds

We substituted the paprika and chilli powder  with 1 tablespoon puree which was hot hot hot.:-)

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/ Gas 2. Cut the beef into large cubes. Core, de-seed and chop the peppers.Melt the butter.

2) Blend the peppers until smooth. Poor in the stock and blend for 1min until combined.

3) Peel and chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and cook the beef and onion for 5-10 mins until meat is browned and onions are softened. Add the garlic,paprika,chilli powder and pureed pepper. Bring to the boil.

4) Stir in seasoning, marjoram, bay leaves and cumin and bring back to the boil. Cover and bake for 1and a half/-2 hours, stirring twice during cooking, until the beef is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.

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Enjoy!