These festive muffins are great for Yule afternoon as you cozy up in front of the fire. They are sweet, aromatic, soft and fluffy. Even better, they are easy to make! If you don’t like cranberries, you can replace these with blueberries or cherries, which ever you prefer. They taste lovely with a glass of mulled wine or a mixed berry fruit punch. They also freeze very well, so make a larger batch and freeze some in case you have unexpected guests arrive (or in case you want more yourself ). I do love a bit of cakey goodness at Yule time!…Continue reading
Before I start this recipe and before you glance down and think you are about to have a meltdown with all the weird sounding ingredients and all the faffing about…stop. This remedy is excellent. Yes it requires a lot of unusual stuff and yes it is a faff to make but it is better than a lot of over the counter stuff you’ll get and it’s natural!
- 370g fresh rosehips
- 8g dried echinacea leaf
- 10g dried calendula petals
- 10g dried comfrey
- 20g dried coltsfoot
- 20 whole cloves
- 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 400g granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons of freshly chopped ginger
- 2.2 litres of cold water
- Give the rosehips a rinse through and make sure stalks are removed.
I love my slow cooker and when I say ‘love’ I mean, LOVE. In fact, I have two that sit side by side on my kitchen counter. One is a large 6.5L and the other a 3L. The beauty is, I can add everything I need in first thing in the morning and whilst I am out at work, dinner is cooking. Plus when you walk through your front door the smell is amazing! This dish went down very well last night and this is the slow cooker version of a sweet BBQ sauce I used to make so I knew everyone would like it.…Continue reading
Below is my recipe for tomato, aubergine and chilli chutney, all three of which we have grown in our garden this year. These are the last of our crop so I wanted to put them to good use, our neighbour donated some extra tomatoes too! (Thank you!)
- 900g tomatoes
- 2 large aubergines
- 700g onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 small red chillis
- 350g white granulated sugar
- 300ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (crushed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground mixed spice (use less or more to taste, start with 1/2 teaspoon and see how you like it)
- Peel and chop all the veg and garlic.
It is incredibly easy to make, tastes really good and you can add all your extra flavours to it too. It is softer than shop bought cottage cheese but much tastier.
- 4 pints of milk (not UHT) – milk can be whole milk, semi skimmed or skimmed, makes no difference.
My kids are obsessed with dry shampoo and it is very handy stuff. Normal shop bought shampoo is full of nasties. They are overloaded with chemicals and really do no good to your hair and if used too often can strip out all the natural goodness and leave your hair dull and flat.
And what if you are out and about and need your hair to look good but can’t get to a shower? Then dry shampoo is the answer and our recipe is not only super easy to make, it is also cheap and natural. It is safe enough to use on your hair every other day!…Continue reading
One of my kids favourites! Perfect on a cold day served with hot thick custard. This recipe takes me back to being a child and eating comfort foods when I was poorly. It certainly made me feel better!
- 250g plain flour
- 6 teaspoons baking powder
- 50g light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 125g suet (veggie suet is fine for this as well as the normal beef suet)
- 120ml water (you may not need it all)
- 8 tablespoons of strawberry jam – warmed through so slightly runny
- a little sugar to sprinkle on top
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 200C /400F /Gas Mark 6
- Add the flour, suet, light brown sugar and salt to a bowl and add enough of the water to make a soft ‘puggy’ dough. Make sure the dough is not too sticky, if it becomes too sticky just add a little extra flour.
When it’s cold outside and you have had a hard day, a stew or hot pot really makes you feel warm and loved. Plus when everything is cooked in one pan, there is less washing up too!
- 8 lamb cutlets
- 25g butter
- 2 onions
- 900g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 large carrots
- 2 pints of lamb stock (or vegetable stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / Gas Mark 3
- Find a large casserole or stew pot and place most (leave a little behind) of the butter in the pot and heat gently until it melts, add the lamb cutlets and brown on both sides.
Nettle soup is one of my husband’s favourite springtime/summertime soups. We first started making it a couple of years ago when we went through a ‘foraging’ phase. I am pleased to say that the phase hasn’t worn off yet. Just make sure you wash the nettles well and also remember that younger, smaller nettles taste much better than the older larger nettles. Oh and one more thing, wear gloves when handling nettles!
- 450g potatoes
- 250g young nettles
- 75g butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 1/2 pints of chicken or vegatable stock
- 100ml double cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- water for cooking potatoes
- toasted breadcrumbs (optional)
- Peel and chop the potatoes and boil in salted water until softened (but not mushy), drain and leave in the saucepan.
There is nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven. Many people these days have bread machines which basically do all the work for you, but there is something so satisfying about making yourself. The taste, the smell, the texture, everything seems so much better when you make it yourself, and it’s not even hard to do!
- 7g dried active yeast
- 500g strong white flour (bread flour)
- 350ml warm water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- a little butter for greasing the loaf tin
- Grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with butter.
- Add a little of the warm water, sugar and yeast to a bowl, mix and leave to stand for about 5 minutes.