Monthly Archives: April 2011

The bluebells are fabulous this year

We’ve just spent a few days in Cornwall and the bluebells and primroses were just gorgeous.

BluebellsSo was the ice cream – I’ve never come across so many different makes in such a short stretch of waterfront, and all award-winning!

We loved Roskilly’s organic, and Kelly’s with clotted cream was hard to resist, so we didn’t try.

It’s a time for treats, though, isn’t it, what with Easter and then the wedding. No street parties that I’m aware of around our way but I expect most people will be watching on TV – well, most women anyway. Fascinating to see what everyone’s wearing, apart from anything else.

I thought I might bake a fruit cake for the occasion – my Cornish sister-in-law used to go on about how easy ‘boiled cakes’ are to make and I see there’s a recipe for one on p.101 of this year’s Dairy Diary – Rich’s Fruit Cake.

Could make it into a real treat with a dollop of ice cream – now I’ll have to search out an award-winning one, though.

Enjoy the wedding day.

Marion
Dairy Diary Team

P.s. The wonderful weather continues, so this is the perfect time for gardening. Fancy winning a copy of Seasonal Garden Ideas?

Win a copy of Seasonal Garden ideasTo enter simply complete the form on our website www.dairydiary.co.uk/competitions.html and don’t forget to “Like’ the page for an extra chance to win!

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Rich’s Fruit Cake

The perfect cake for afternoon tea.

Rich's Fruit CakeMakes 12 slices
Time 2 hours
Calories 396 per portion
Fat 12g of which 5.7g is saturated
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Mixed dried fruit 350g (12oz)
Glacè cherries 150g (5oz), roughly chopped
Mixed peel 50g (2oz)
Walnuts 50g (2oz), roughly chopped
Brown sugar 175g (6oz)
Butter 110g (4oz)
Mixed spice 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
Milk 300ml (½ pint)
Self-raising flour 350g (12oz), sifted
Eggs 2, beaten

1 Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Place all ingredients except flour and eggs into a pan. Bring up to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

2 Add flour and eggs and stir well. Line a deep 20cm (8in) cake tin with greaseproof paper. Tip cake mixture into tin and level top.

3 Bake for 40 minutes then reduce heat to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 and cook for 40-45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

4 Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove paper and leave until cold.

Recipe taken from Dairy Diary 2011.

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Sale | Last few copies of Dairy Diary 2011

Dairy Diary now just £3.00 while stocks last!

Dairy Diary SaleWe are clearing our shelves for new stock.

So if you missed the Dairy Diary 2011 (or know someone who did) this is your last chance to grab a copy and at less than half price too!

To order visit http://dairydiary.co.uk

Competitions www.dairydiary.co.uk/competitions.html

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Have a Happy Easter Break

Holidays take on a whole new dimension when you have children.

Many of us grown ups look forward to having a rest. But children don’t rest, they get bored.

If you had asked me ten years ago what my plans were for the four day weekend, they would probably be to have one day cleaning up my home, the next visiting my relatives, then to have a day or two of chocolate eggs for breakfast, followed by a pub lunch and some afternoon drinking.

Not now. I find myself instead mixing up flour and water to stick strips of coloured paper to yogurt pots with to make mini-nests, into which I can put cute mini chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs.

Simnel Cake
Old habits die hard, so I don’t just put these together for the children! We do all have to grow up sometimes though, and my nod to that is also to make a Simnel Cake, a traditional Easter cake with marzipan (my favourite!) for which there is a good easy to follow recipe in the ‘Around Britain Dairy Cookbook‘ if you should have it.

Easter Biscuits
However, no doubt when my children get wind of my planned afternoon of baking the cake shall be replaced with the much easier and child-friendly Easter Biscuits from the ‘Year Round Dairy Cookbook‘. Is that a problem? I shouldn’t think so… even the Grandparents like to indulge in a hand-made biscuit!

Have a Happy Easter

Karen
Dairy Diary Team

P.s. The wonderful weather continues, so this is the perfect time for gardening. Fancy winning a copy of Seasonal Garden Ideas?

Win a copy of Seasonal Garden ideasTo enter simply complete the form on our website www.dairydiary.co.uk/competitions.html and don’t forget to “Like’ the page for an extra chance to win!

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Easter Biscuits

Traditionally, Easter biscuits are made with currants but this version is made with wild blueberries. Watch out though – one mouthful and you’ll be hooked!

Easter Biscuits15 minutes preparation time plus chilling
18 minutes cooking time
81 Kcal per biscuit
4.1g fat per biscuit of which 2.5g is saturated
Makes 24–6 biscuits
Dough is suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Plain flour 175g (6oz)
Mixed spice 1 tsp
Butter 110g (4oz)
Caster sugar 110g (4oz), plus extra for sprinkling
Lemon 1, grated rind
Wild blueberries 75g (3oz) (see Cook’s Tips)
Egg 1, beaten

1 Sift the flour and spice into a large bowl. Add slivers of butter and then rub it in with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar, lemon rind and blueberries and then add the egg and mix to a firm dough.

2 Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface and shape into a sausage about 20cm (8in) long and about 5cm (2in) wide. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for half an hour.

3 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4 and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 5mm (1⁄4in) thick slices. Put them on the baking sheet, spaced a little apart.

4 Bake the biscuits for 15–18 minutes until they are pale golden in colour. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Cook’s tips
•The wild blueberries in this recipe are semi-dried and they are available in tubs in the same fixture in the supermarket as the dried fruits.
•Use currants or add orange rind if you like.
•For a more fancy biscuit, roll out the dough and cut with a shaped cutter.

Recipe taken from Year Round Dairy Cookbook

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It’s nearly garden centre time again!

Apparently, Charlie Dimmock and Ronseal are launching an Urban Gardens Week this year, 11-18 April, to encourage novices to have a go and make their outdoor space beautiful!

Herbs a' Plenty, a project from Seasonal Garden Ideas

Herbs a' Plenty, a project from Seasonal Garden Ideas

Not sure about that – beautiful would be good, edible is more likely. I’m thinking of herbs this year – and they’ll make the garden (mine is very small) smell great, too.

I love basil and usually have a pot on the go from the supermarket – some keep growing and last for ages, others, well, don’t! Basil’s great with tomatoes however you have them – soup, sauces, added to stews or vegetable bakes, grilled or raw.

A cheese sandwich with some lovely fresh bread and maybe one of the goat’s cheeses you can get these days, plus sliced tomatoes and some torn basil is hard to beat. Flat-leafed parsley is another favourite, and chives, and a woody bush or two that’ll keep going for a few years – thyme maybe. And some mint – but that’s definitely going in a pot or it’ll take over. Could have some fresh mint tea to go with the sarny. Always assuming successful planting, of course.

I’m opting for plants rather than seeds to give myself a fighting chance, and then we just need a lovely sunny day and lunch outside is sorted – well, we can all dream!

Happy gardening.

Marion
The Dairy Diary Team

 

Fancy winning a copy of Seasonal Garden Ideas?

Win a copy of Seasonal Garden ideasTo enter simply complete the form on our website www.dairydiary.co.uk/competitions.html and don’t forget to “Like’ the page for an extra chance to win!

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