Monthly Archives: April 2017

Recipe of the Week | Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 368 per portion
Fat 25g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Macadamia nuts 125g (4½oz)
  • Light brown sugar 50g (2oz)
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Eggs 2
  • Almond extract a few drops
  • Self-raising flour 150g (5oz), sifted
  • Raspberries 200g (7oz)
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
  2. Whizz macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Beat together brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and almond extract then fold in flour and nuts. When combined, gently fold in raspberries and milk.
  4. Pour cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes (you may need to cover with foil). Remove from oven, scatter with demerara sugar and return to oven for 5 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#RecipeoftheWeek

#baking

#cake

5 Positive Things to Do

Positive Thinking

I’m not sure if positive thinking is a learned behaviour…

or if it’s within our genetic make-up, maybe a bit of both. I’m lucky (I think) to be a natural optimist, but my parents did teach me to notice and focus on the beauty around me – from a stunning rainbow to a simple pattern of raindrops on a window pane, and I think that this appreciation of small things makes me more prone to positivity.

It does us all good to step back once in a while and have a think. An article on positive thinking in this year’s Dairy Diary says this:

‘A step towards positive thinking is to take time to appreciate life in general, and your own life in particular. Remember to stop and smell the roses – that may be a well-worn notion but it works.

‘Some people call it living in the moment, becoming aware of everything around you – sights, smells, sounds, tastes, your feelings, yourself. Focus on things as they are at that moment, accept them without judgement, and you will start to see things you have taken for granted in a new light.’

 

Here are 5 things that we can all do this week to help us feel more positive.

  1. Pay someone a compliment; if you think notice someone wearing a pretty dress, doing a good job or being kind, tell them, even if it’s a stranger. It will make them feel good and you feel good too.

  2. Look for beauty in nature; from the dew on a flower to an early misty morning or even birdsong, there’s always something you can find, notice and appreciate.

  3. Find somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes. Breathe in slowly, hold for a count of six, breathe out slowly. Feel the sensation of breathing.

  4. Sometimes we so used to being surrounded by negativity that we hardly notice it. Take a few days break from TV; the news, documentaries or even soaps can make us feel very downcast. Listen to some music that you love instead.

  5. Do a little good turn. Something simple like baking a cake for a friend or a neighbour. Why not try the Dairy Diary recipe below. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

Raspberry & Macadamia Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 368 per portion
Fat 25g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Macadamia nuts 125g (4½oz)
  • Light brown sugar 50g (2oz)
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Eggs 2
  • Almond extract a few drops
  • Self-raising flour 150g (5oz), sifted
  • Raspberries 200g (7oz)
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
  2. Whizz macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Beat together brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and almond extract then fold in flour and nuts. When combined, gently fold in raspberries and milk.
  4. Pour cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes (you may need to cover with foil). Remove from oven, scatter with demerara sugar and return to oven for 5 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#positivethinking

#baking

#cake

Recipe of the Week: St George’s Steak & Ale Pies

 

Recipe of the Week: St George’s Steak & Ale Pies

Celebrate St George’s Day with one of these scrumptious little pies.

 

St George’s Steak & Ale Pies

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 961 per portion
Fat 61g (25.3g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Olive oil 3 tbsp
  • Onion 1, peeled and chopped
  • Rindless unsmoked back bacon 4 rashers, chopped
  • Carrots 2, peeled and sliced
  • Braising steak 700g (1½lb)
  • Flour 2 tbsp
  • Pale ale 1 x 500ml bottle
  • Beef stock 300ml (½ pint)
  • Dried mixed herbs ½ tsp
  • Puff pastry 500g
  • Egg 1, beaten

Instructions

  1. 1 Heat half the oil in a large pan and cook onion for 5 minutes. Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Toss beef in flour and brown in remaining oil. Return onion mix to pan and mix well, then pour in ale and stock. Add herbs and bring up to boil, stirring. Partially cover and cook gently for 2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Divide meat between four individual pie dishes. Cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Divide pastry into four. Roll each out 4cm (1½in) bigger than dish. For each Pie: Cut a strip of pastry for rim of the dish and attach with water. Press pastry onto dish. Trim excess and knock back edges. Glaze with egg and make a small hole. Set on a tray and bake for 30-40 minutes.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

#stgeorgesday

Scented Pots & Win a Garden Centre Voucher

4 Steps to a Gorgeous Scented Pot

Having a supply of fresh home-grown herbs is really useful, and much cheaper than purchasing them from the supermarket.

And in this project, they look (and smell) gorgeous too.

This planted pot would look fabulous stood by the front door and will welcome you home with fragrant aromas.

 

Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Three strongly aromatic plants combine here to make an enticingly scented corner. A standard bay in a large ceramic pot is circled by a medley of low-growing thymes, with lavender surrounding the base.

Plant in spring. All of these plants have a year-long presence – bay and thyme are evergreen, while lavender, which flowers in summer, retains its grey leaves throughout winter.

Allow a couple of hours to complete this container and the surrounding bed.

Plants

  • One bay tree (Laurus nobilis), trained to standard shape and clipped to a ball.
  • Eight thymes (Thymus serpyllum and Thymus citriodorus varieties – here golden leaved, variegated and grey-leaved forms as well as the more usual dark green).
  • Eight lavenders (Lavandula variety, such as ‘Munstead’).

Equipment

  • Large ceramic container (or any other pot large enough to take the bay tree).
  • Soil-based potting compost with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.

1 Position your pot where it is to stand – it will be too heavy to move once planted. Here the pot is surrounded by a narrow bed of lavender which will need about 45cm (18in) of planting space all around the pot.

2 Line the container with broken crocks for drainage, then half-fill with compost. Check the level of the bay’s rootball by placing it in its original pot on the compost. Adjust the level as necessary to get the rootball to the same depth it was in before, then plant the bay, placing it centrally in the pot. Firm in.

3 Top up the container with more compost – the thymes will have much shallower rootballs than the bay. Plant the thymes in a circle around the bay, firm in, then top up again with more compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim. Water thoroughly.

4 Work some of the compost/grit mix into the soil around the pot, then plant the lavenders all round. Water thoroughly.

Tips

If you wish, choose a dry, sunny day and cut some of the lavender flowers when they are at their peak. Leave them to dry in bunches, then use them in a vase or a potpourri, or make little sachets and stuff them with the lavender flowerheads – place in linen drawers or hang in clothes cupboards to keep the clothes smelling fresh and sweet.

Note

Both the bay and the thymes are culinary herbs, so use them freely in your cooking.

Aftercare

All these plants do best in full sun and need light, well-drained soil. Keep the bay in shape by trimming any straggly shoots in summer; remove any frost-damaged leaves/shoots in spring. Remove faded lavender flowers in autumn, then prune in April – but do not cut into old wood. Clip the thyme, removing dead flowerheads and straggly shoots in spring.

This little project is taken from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book. Find out…

READ MORE

 


WIN a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher!

If you fancy your chances of winning a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher just click here.

ENTER

Good luck!

Recipe of the Week | Lamb Crown Roast

Lamb Crown Roast

This show-stopping lamb dish will be sure to impress on Easter Sunday.

Lamb Crown Roast

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 429 per portion
Fat 30g (13g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Racks of lamb 2, with 6–8 cutlets each
  • Butter 50g (2oz)
  • Onion 1 large, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Celery 3 sticks, sliced
  • Dried apricots 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Dried cherries 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Pistachio nuts 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Fresh breadcrumbs 110g (4oz)
  • Chopped mint 3 tbsp
  • Lemon 1, grated zest and juice
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Steamed new potatoes and vegetables to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6.
  2. Bend the racks to form a crown, fat side inward, and secure with string.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and celery for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the chopped apricots, cherries, pistachios, breadcrumbs, mint, lemon zest and juice, egg and seasoning. Leave to cool slightly, then fill the crown centre.
  4. Weigh the filled crown, then transfer to a roasting tin, cover with foil and roast, allowing 15 minutes per 450g (1lb), plus 15 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Serve with new potatoes and a selection of vegetables, if you like.

Cook’s tip
To make gravy, transfer the lamb to a warm plate and keep hot. Pour off any fat to leave the juices then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour, cook briefly then stir in 300ml (½ pint) lamb stock, 150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine and 1 tsp Dijon mustard. Season, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes then strain into a gravy boat and serve.

 

%d bloggers like this: