Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mother’s Day approaches

So Mother’s Day is nearly upon us. Do young children still give their mothers a posy of primroses and/or violets and a card they’ve made themselves? It’s a lovely tradition.

Happy Mother's DayMothering Sunday is the old-fashioned name for the day. Apparently, folk used to attend the largest church in their area on this day, their ‘mother’ church, and were said to have gone ‘mothering’.

Domestic servants and apprentices were given the day off (maybe the only one in the year) to go and visit their mothers. So although it may be a bit commercialised now, it was always a big deal!

Mother’s Day is always the fourth Sunday in Lent – over halfway through, so not long to go if you’ve given up something difficult to resist.

At one time a simnel cake was baked and kept for Easter. What restraint! Simnel cakes are covered in marzipan – try this delicious Simnel Cake recipe.

I’m planning to have a go at the Coffee Battenberg on page 111 of this year’s Dairy Diary, and there’s no chance that it’ll last till Easter.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Marion
Dairy Diary Team.

 

Win a Meat Thermometer with Dairy DiaryCompetition | Win a meat thermometer
A meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking, whether you are cooking poultry and pork safely or cooking beef rare. Enter the competition today.

 

 

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Coffee Battenberg

Surprisingly easy and very British despite its name

Coffee Battenberg from Dairy Diary 2011Serves 6-8
Time 1 hour
Calories 633 per portion
Fat 28g of which 12.7g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 175g (6oz)
Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Eggs 3, beaten
Self-raising flour 175g (6oz)
Coffee essence 4 tsp
Milk 1 tbsp
Ginger marmalade 10 tbsp
Marzipan 450g (1lb)
Crystallised ginger 2 pieces, chopped to decorate, optional

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm (8in) square cake tin. Line with foil, making a pleat in centre to height of tin to divide in half, grease.

2 Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and beat in the eggs and flour alternately until smooth. Divide mixture in half, fold coffee essence into one half and milk into other.

3 Spoon one flavour into either side of tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

4 Trim cakes to same size and cut both in half lengthways. Spread side of one brown piece with marmalade and gently push together with a plain piece. Brush more marmalade on top of both and lay the remaining brown piece on the plain piece and vice versa.

5 Roll out marzipan on non-stick baking paper dusted with icing sugar until large enough to wrap around cake. Spread with marmalade and carefully roll around cake, smoothing in place. Trim off excess, crimp along edges. Decorate with crystallised ginger.

Recipe taken from Dairy Diary 2011.

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Competition | Win a Meat Thermometer

Have you ever cut into a roast or a turkey in the oven to see if it has finished cooking? It’s an inconvenience, especially if you have to do it several times.

Win a Meat Thermometer with Dairy DiaryA meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking, whether you are cooking poultry and pork safely or cooking beef rare.

You can leave the thermometer in the meat while it cooks, so you can easily see when the meat has reached the correct temperature.

If you don’t regularly use a meat thermometer, you should get into the habit of using one. A meat thermometer can be used for all foods, not just meat.

A meat thermometer can help you:
Prevent food borne illness
Prevent overcooking
Hold foods at a safe temperature.

A meat thermometer should not be a “sometime thing.” Use it every time.

Win a meat thermometer
Enter the competition today.

 

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British Summertime begins on Sunday

Isn’t it funny how excited some of us get about the clocks changing?

British Summer Time beginsWhen the clocks ‘spring’ forward one hour on Sunday 27 March (1.00 am to 2.00 am) we have to adjust to darker mornings again – but how lovely it is to re-claim the evenings.

If only I could encourage my husband to finish off our patio, so that I could sit outside admiring the spring bulbs that defy my bad gardening and come up year after year.

While it is still too wet for me to sit outside, I will widen my baking skills. Having flicked through the Dairy Diary I have spotted a recipe for Oaty Fudge Treats on page 91. It sounds healthy and there’s no cooking involved, so it will probably be ideal to try out with my little one’s help, to distract them from the lighter evenings and the muddy garden that is becoming ever-more alluring as Spring blooms.

Karen
Dairy Diary Team

 

Oaty Fudge Treats is taken from Dairy Diary 2011.

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Oaty Fudge Treats

Irresistible treats that disappear in minutes

Oaty Fudge TreatsMakes 36
Time 10 mins
Calories 110 per portion
Fat 3g of which 0.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Milk 150ml (¼ pint)
Brown sugar 450g (1lb)
Butter 15g (½oz)
Salt pinch
Vanilla essence ½ tsp
Crunchy peanut butter 175g (6oz)
Porridge oats 110g (4oz)
No added sugar muesli 110g (4oz)
Glacè cherries 75g (3oz), chopped

1 Place milk, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla essence in a pan and bring up to boil, stirring. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

2 Add peanut butter and stir, then add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Place spoonfuls of mixture into petit four cases and leave to set.

Recipe taken from Dairy Diary 2011.

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Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

The forsythia bush in the garden is looking a bit odd.

It’s quite big and beautifully trimmed into a round shape (not by me!) and just near the ground it’s covered in bright yellow flowers, but the rest is a thick tangle of branches with not a flower in sight.

When I’m in the kitchen I always take a minute to watch because it’s a haven for sparrows – a few years ago there didn’t seem to be many in the garden and now there are hundreds and they’ve really discovered the forsythia bush.

ColcannonSt Patrick’s Day on Thursday has reminded me of Colcannon, a substantial mashed potato dish, just right for these days when it’s still cold enough to need warming up.

The basics are boiled potatoes and shredded cabbage – and fresh Cornish spring greens are just hitting the shops – mashed together with butter and a little milk, but you can add other bits and pieces, such as finely chopped spring onions.

I’m told it’s very good with chopped bacon mixed in, and goes well with pork. I like it with naturally smoked haddock or cod (not the canary yellow variety). You could even flake the fish into the creamy mash – and maybe grate a little mild cheese on top so it melts in. Delicious!

Colcannon is the perfect accompaniment for Liver & Bacon on Irish Soda Farls from Just One Pot. Try it on Wednesday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It takes less than 30 minutes and tastes simply wonderful.

Marion
Dairy Diary Team

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