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Recipe: Strawberry and Mint Granita.

Recipe: Strawberry and Mint Granita.

Now that summer is (supposed to be) here, and we have a delicious supply of strawberries around us, I decided to try some new recipes for the wonderful fruits.

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STRAWBERRY AND MINT GRANITA – A REFRESHING DESSERT, TREAT OR PALATE CLEANSER.

Ingredients:

100g Sugar (Caster or granulated)

450g Strawberries hulled and halfed.

Mint leaves to taste. (I used about 20 leaves).

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1. Put the sugar and 100ml of water into a saucepan and gently heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved, don’t let it boil.

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2. Tip the strawberries into the food processor and blend to a puree. 

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3. Pour the strawberries into the sugar water, then add the mint leaves.

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4. Heat up the mixture and let it simmer for thicken slightly.

5. Once the mixture is thickened, strain it through a sieve to take out any seeds or leaves.

6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

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7. Pour into a container and freeze for 1 hour, rake the mixture with a fork, then put it back into the freezer.

8. Repeat this for 4 hours, until it becomes slushy.

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9. Serve in a glass with a sprig of mint.

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A DELICIOUS SUMMER RECIPE, PACKED WITH A LOVELY FRESH TASTE.

If you make this or have already made this, I’d love to hear from you.

I found this recipe in Good Food Magazine, so thanks go to them for sharing the recipe with me. 

If you have any delicious recipes for strawberries, or particular favourite summer recipes, please let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Running in Lavender
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
18 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Baking

 

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Home Made Gluten Free Brownies.

Home Made Gluten Free Brownies.

I decided to do some baking yesterday, and as you may know my Hubby is on a severely strict diet at the moment. We are trying to follow the FODMAP diet.

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I found this recipe, via this link:

http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-brownie/

Ingredients

100 g Butter
150 g Dark Chocolate
100 g Gluten Free Plain Flour
100 g Chopped Hazelnuts OR Walnuts (optional)
200 g Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder

Method

 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2.  Gently melt together the butter and chocolate.

3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.

4. Beat in the eggs followed by the melted butter and chocolate mixture.

5. Stir in the nuts if used. (I didn’t use nuts as I didn’t have any). FODMAP says no   cashews too!

6. Pour into 200 x 250mm/8″x10″ oiled and lined baking dish.

7. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 22/25 minutes.

I put mine in the fridge once it had cooled and put some melted chocolate on top of it.

Cut into slices before serving.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE MADE SUCCESSFUL LOOKING BROWNIES AND THEY ARE GLUTEN FREE!!! GO ME!!!

Next time, I will make them with some nuts in. Let me know if you are a whizz at making brownies. I would love to hear about your experiences or if you have any great recipes that are Fodmap friendly or gluten free.

Apologies for the not so great photos in this post. I wasn’t intending to blog about it, but it is so delicious, I thought I would share.

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6 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Baking

 

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Home Made Delicious Scottish Tablet.

Home Made Delicious Scottish Tablet.
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My Home made Scottish Tablet.

Scottish tablet is something I have discovered since moving to Scotland, (11 years ago!).

It is delicious, very sweet and sugary and a perfect treat to have yourself or give as a gift. Personally I prefer to give mine as gifts because it is very sweet and if I make a big batch there is plenty to go around.

If you haven’t heard of tablet before, its similar to fudge, but sweeter. I made some for Christmas Eve and by Boxing day, it was all gone. So I decided to make some more. Then  thought, why not share my recipe and photos with my readers. So here it is:

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I used a recipe from the Good Food magazine, as my Husband so generously bought me a years subscription for Christmas.

Ingredients.

  • 1/4 pint water

  • 175g unsalted butter

  • 1lb caster sugar

  • 75g sweetened condensed milk.

Method

1. Using a fairly large pan, heat the water, melt the butter into the hot water. Before the water reaches the boil, add and thoroughly dissolve the sugar. Stir often.

2. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer. When simmering, add the condensed milk. the mixture will be a very light, creamy colour.

3. Stirring (very) often, allow the mixture to thicken until it is a deep caramel colour, the texture/consistency of the mixture will change quickly after around 20mins, maybe as long as 30mins from a watery simmer to a thicker bubbling. (the colour may also darken quickly at this point). This is where a large pan is handy as the mixture tends to rise a bit when simmering.

4. To test the mixture, drop a little onto a cold side plate, it should not run and should be thick and sticky after 30 seconds.

5. Remove from heat and beat mixture for a good 10 mins. Pour mixture into a shallow sided tray (10″x6″) there should be enough mixture for it to be about 1cm thick. Allow to cool for 30mins, even in the freezer. slice and enjoy. (If the mixture does not set, you can bring it back to a simmer and give it a further 5 mins or so).

Here are some photos of my tablet, it really is delicious and went down well with my family and friends.

Have you made this before, or do you think you might make this? I would love to hear from you. What did you think of it, any tips to enhance my recipe?

Thanks for reading.

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26 Comments

Posted by on January 10, 2015 in Baking

 

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Living with Food Allergies.

My Husband has had so many gut problems over the past few years. We are now trying out a totally free from diet. AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!!!! YAHOO!! ♥

So, I thought I would blog about it, it means I can write about it. And maybe it will help someone else or any readers out there may be able to give us some advice. I’m still learning, but bit by bit we are getting the hang of it.

The symptoms he has had are severe bloating, stomach pains, sickness and nausea and many toileting problems. We started off trying, just the gluten free – didn’t work. Then the lactose free – didn’t work. Now, its totally gluten and lacto free. The diet is very strict and quite basic, but we have found some tasty and healthy things for meals and some treats.

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Here is some of the tasty ‘free from’ stuff that we have found, so he can still eat cheese and have milk it is just lactose free. It actually tastes ok, we were both surprised.

The majority of meals that we make use ingredients that are from the ground, fresh veg, fruit and meat and fish. No additives, no extra flavourings. Its very healthy. We have kept a food diary so we can see all the things that my Husband has eaten and drank and how he feels after it. It is a long process and we still have a long way to go, but its progress!

We were recommended to read about FODMAP, I still have a lot of research to do with this, but its a whole load of food groups that intolerant people may and may not be able to digest easily. If anyone has any advice that they would like to share with us, I would be very happy to hear from you.

So, I will tell you todays diet.

Breakfast – gluten free bread toasted with lacto free butter and gluten free jam.

Lunch – Eggs, gluten free sausages and Heinz baked beans. (only Heinz is GF).

Dinner – Chicken Salad, (lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, rape seed oil as dressing).

Desert – My home made chocolate cake! Yum.

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I am very proud of this, as I used all gluten and dairy free products, and it tasted delicious. It was very light and airy, I will certainly be making this again.

If anyone has any helpful tips for me, or wants to ask me any questions about this special diet, I would love to hear from you.

Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe     (from http://www.coeliac.org.uk)

  • 100g gluten-free self raising flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g cooking margarine or butter (lactose free)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence or extract (I omitted this as I wasn’t sure).

For the icing:

  • 280g icing sugar
  • 140g butter (lactose free)
  • 75g chocolate (milk or dark), melted (lactose free)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or water (lactose free)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c
  2. Melt the butter or cooking margarine until soft – but not runny – in a large mixing bowl
  3. Mix in the caster sugar
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder and eggs, mixing well, then add the vanilla essence
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into two greased and lined cake tins
  6. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cakes have risen and are lightly golden. To test if they are ready, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready
  7. Cool completely
  8. To make the icing, beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter, slowly stirring in two or three teaspoons of boiling water or milk. Be careful not to make the icing too runny
  9. Spread the chocolate icing over the top of one of the cakes, then carefully place the other cake on top. Cover the top with more icing, then serve.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again next time. Please feel free to comment below or tweet me on Twitter.    @chocolate_pages.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Baking

 

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Baby Shower and Cupcakes.

My lovely friend Jane is very pregnant. Her baby is due in a few days. Last week, a mutual friend arranged a baby shower for Jane. She invited all Jane’s female friends and family. I have never been to a baby shower before, it all sounded very American to me.

However, it was very well organised, there were games, gifts and food and drinks. Before going, I was also unsure if it was to be a drinking alcohol affair or a sober one. ( as Jane wouldn’t be drinking). It turned out to be a bit of both.

The games arranged were really fun. Guess the name, weight, arrival day and time of baby. Also for a fun guess, what future profession we thought baby would have. We also had pin the pin on the baby, a quiz and guess how many smarties were in the bottle. There were 94, I guessed 145 so didn’t win!!!

I decided that I would bake and bring some special home made cakes to the party. I have also decided to share the recipe and photos of these cakes on my blog.

The recipe was quite simple.

110g of softened butter

110g of caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

110g sr flour

For the icing.

140g soft butter

280g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk.

1 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, line a muffin tin with 12 cases. I used the silicon ones.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat in the eggs slowly, then add the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour, then the milk.

Spoon the mixture between the 12 cases.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Check with a skewer to see if they are cooked right through.

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Leave them to cool while you make up the icing.

Mix the icing sugar and butter together adding a little milk and the vanilla extract. Mix until you have the consistency that you want.
Once the cakes have cooled spread the icingon top and add the decorations.

Below are the toppers that I had, you can use whatever you wish.

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I used a touch of red food colouring in the pink cakes to make them look pretty. I actually prefer the pale ones, but there was a choice.

The party was great fun. And although I was dubious at first, I have to say baby showers are a great way for the girls to get together and make a fuss,      catch up and have a good gossip with the Mum to be, before Baby gets here.

If you have been to any baby showers, I would love to hear how yours went.

Til next time, bye for now.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2014 in Baking

 

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