Category Archives: cooking & baking

Afternoon Tea For Mum

Where would I be without my mum? I owe everything to her, all that I am and all that I know. I don’t think I truly appreciated just how wonderful the bond between a mother and her child could be until I became a mother myself, all those feelings of unconditional love are pretty amazing. My mum has taught me so much about life and she has been there through the happiest and the saddest times, always encouraging and never judging. Her mothering is inspirational and off cause she is the most wonderful granny to our son too, who totally adores her. I couldn’t wish for anything more from her.

I am very lucky that I get to see my mum on a regular basis, it’s lovely that we can pop in to see each other whenever we fancy, but we don’t often get the chance to sit down and enjoy tea and homemade cake together, so that’s just what we planned to do recently. A simple lunch and get together was the perfect way to treat my mum to let her know how special she is to me.

Steamer Trading recently asked if I would like to take part in their Mother’s Day campaign – Afternoon Tea for Mum, which sounded like such a lovely way to treat my mum I jumped at the chance to get baking a special cake. There really is no excuse for cake! I used a Mary Berry all-in-one sponge cake recipe in my heart shaped baking tin and got Arthur to help me decorate it with fresh fruit and flowers. (OK I decorated it whilst he helped himself to the fruit). We also made some cucumber sandwiches and a pot of tea. Just perfect for celebrating Mother’s day and spending time with my mum.

Thank you to Steamer Trading for inviting me to take part in a little afternoon tea celebration for my mum we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Find the featured products here Cake Tin | Muffin Tray | Cake Stand | Cake Knife | Teapot

Old English Apple Chutney

old-english-apple-chutney-7old-english-apple-chutney-5old-english-apple-chutney-8old-english-apple-chutney-10old-english-apple-chutney-1old-english-apple-chutney-9

This time of year is the best when it comes to inspiration for feeding my family. I love the wide variety of seasonal produce that autumn has to offer, berries gathered amongst the hedgerow just as summer fades away, a basket full of fallen apples picked in the autumn sunshine and the promise of ripening squash in the fields at our local farm shop (I could feast on this soup all season).

With a basket full of brambly cooking apples and a challenge set by Steamer Trading we spent a cozy autumn afternoon in the kitchen making chutney. I chopped the apples and onions, whilst Arthur mixed in the raisins. I dug deep into the back of the cupboard to find a jar of mixed spices that smelt so amazingly fragrant the kitchen was instantly warmed by the aroma.

#TheSteamerChallenge

I have never bought a good quality knife before and I didn’t realise just how much of a difference they made until Steamer Trading  got in touch and asked if I would like to take part in #TheSteamerChallenge to compare a Chefs Knife with a Santoku Knife. A good quality knife makes the job of chopping and preparing food simple and effortless, here are my thoughts on using each knife:

The Robert Welch Chefs Knife

  • A versatile, all purpose knife that’s great for chopping fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. I think I would make this my go-to knife and perhaps, with the exception of a bread knife, I would say this is all you need
  • I really like the way it feels to hold, the handle fits comfortably in my hand and feels weighted and balanced which helps with the performance and feels safe to use
  • The curved blade allows for a good “rock, chop” motion meaning the knife does not need to lift away from the chopping board whilst preparing ingredients
  • Best of British design with a 25-year guaranteeold-english-apple-chutney-4

The Robert Welch Santoku Knife

  • A good everyday knife. Although it’s roots are in eastern cooking where finer ingredients are used, it is a suitable knife for many vegetables, fish and meat
  • The hollow dimples along the blades create air pockets so finely chopped ingredients like herbs don’t stick.
  • The depth of the blade makes dicing easy, it is also a great knife for scooping up ingredients and transferring it into the pan for cooking
  • Best of British design with a 25-year guaranteeold-english-apple-chutney-3

When choosing a good quality knife, look for one that has been fully forged from one single piece of steel – where the blade continues to runs through the handle, this makes for a stronger and more durable knife. No knife will stay sharp, one made from a good quality steel, however, will stay sharper for longer. Both knives featured in this post provide an excellent ability to chop smoothly and with ease. However, my preferred favourite is the Chefs knife as it felt more comfortable in my hands.

Old English Apple Chutney

This recipe is taken from an old WI magazine and makes about 1kg of chutney. Preparation and cooking time is about two and a half hours (ensure you sterilise your jars before use)

  • 250g onions, chopped
  • 1kg cooking apples
  • 125g raisins
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp mixed spice
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 350g sugar
  • 700ml vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a heavy pan and slowly bring the mixture to the boil, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the pan. To check the chutney is ready, drag a channel through the mixture with a wooden spoon so that the bottom of the pan is visible. If the channel fills with liquid immediately the chutney is not ready. cook for a further fifteen minutes and check again. The chutney is ready when the channel does not fill immediately and the mixture has become thick. remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand briefly. Fill warm, sterilised jars with the chutney and allow to cool before labelling and storing.

Enjoy.

With thanks to Steamer Trading for sponsoring this post and providing
me with two excellent quality Robert Welch knives.

Sweet Roasted Peaches

WeMadeThisHome_RoastedPeaches3WeMadeThisHome_RoastedPeaches1WeMadeThisHome_RoastedPeaches2And so summer has finally arrived here in our little corner of the world. This week has been truly beautiful, long slow sunny days, seeking shade beneath the big tree bottom of the garden and splashing in a makeshift paddling pool. It seems like perfect timing to share this simple recipe with you. Peaches make a delicious summer treat and we have been enjoying these after dinner most days this week.

Ingredients

juicy ripe peaches
a sprinkle of soft brown sugar
a drizzle of honey
toasted almond flakes
natural yoghurt

Method

Halve the peaches and remove the stones. Pop them on a baking tray and drizzle with a little honey and a small sprinkling of soft brown sugar. Roast them in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelise.

Serve with natural yoghurt and toasted almonds.

Enjoy

Mixed Nuts, Honey & Oats Granola

Honey and Oats Granola3
 
We eat breakfast every day without fail, it has always been one of my most favourite times of the day, even if we are in a rush to be somewhere, which is quite often the case. But taking a moment to sit and eat can often seems quite meditative and is alway a great way to get the day started. 
After a camping holiday at Fforest in south Wales last summer I was inspired to make my own granola having tried their homemade version at the camp kitchen. Granola is so tasty and so simple to make. I have, from time to time, made a fresh batch right before breakfast, it is so easy and even lovelier when it’s still warm. 
Honey and Oats Granola1Honey and Oats Granola4
Honey and Oats Granola1Honey and Oats Granola6
Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
125ml maple syrup
Method: combine all the ingredients and pop in the oven on a medium heat for about 20mins. perfect!
Honey and Oats Granola2 Honey and Oats Granola8
What’s your favourite breakfast, do you have a favourite way to start the day?