Fruit, Grow, Cook And Preserve Your Own

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I was very happy to receive the new book FRUIT by Rosemary Sassoon.  A very kind gesture and a pleasure to read. Thank you!
The book is such a practical guide on how to grow, cook and preserve your own fruit.  This topic particularly interested me as we have planted an apple tree very recently alongside a beautiful lush raspberry bush, which actually yielded some berries late last year.
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Our apple tree, blossoming for the very first time.

It is such a wonderful moment when you are able to pick fruit from your very own garden.  Simply eat it or use it in numerous cooking dishes.  As Rosemary so nicely puts it, “We cannot grow everything we eat, our climate amongst other things are against us….We cannot claim to be totally self-sufficient, but we can do our best.”

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Raspberries getting ready!….

The book goes through all the fruits that can be grown in an English garden in order as it comes into season.   Small compact advice easy to read and lots of thorough ideas on how to grow and preserve the fruit that we have so carefully nurtured.  Some gardening books are very much written in a very instructive style but this one is up to you on how to follow and it’s really from the heart.  You can see how Rosemary has devoted all her life to her garden and fruit.

If you are of the older generation, you may be used to your parents or grandparents growing their own veg and fruit in allotments or their own gardens.  Now everything has become so convenient and we can purchase anything we desire from the local supermarket or shops. However,  I think it’s time to go back to our roots and literally plant some fruit! There is nothing quite like fresh fruit that blossoms, grows and ripens in front of your very own eyes.  The taste in comparison to what is sold is incomparable.

Thank you Rosemary Sassoon for igniting my passion for growing fruit all over again!  What shall I plant next?….

The Calm Me Down Smoothie!

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Recently there has been a lot of change to my daily routine as now my two boys are in school and I find myself alone at home with our pet rabbit Alfie. It’s lovely having some quiet time but mostly I find myself constantly running around like a headless chicken.  This morning I went food shopping which I absolutely adore.  I feel all stocked up and ready to invent more recipes. . I also cleaned the kitchen!

For when I need to calm down and relax I have come up with this wonderful soothing smoothie recipe to help me unwind.  No caffeine, no added sugar just pure peaceful bliss. The chamomile and mint tea does the trick!

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INGREDIENTS

200ml of cold mint & chamomile tea
1 small banana
1 nectarine in halves
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of baby spinach

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METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blitz till smooth.  Serve with ice if desired

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Carrot, Strawberry & Ginger Smoothie

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Every morning we have a new flavour of smoothie. Having Mr Shivaay Delights working from home gives me the opportunity to spoil him with healthy breakfast shakes.

If I forget then I will be subtly reminded to make him one. So I guess he is enjoying the smoothies that come flying out of our kitchen.

Keep your eye on more fruity and nutritional smoothie recipes coming up!

Hope you’re all are having a beautiful day. Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 medium carrot peeled and chopped
Handful of strawberries
2 apples cored and chopped
Dash of orange juice
Fresh ginger to taste

METHOD

Put all the ingredients into your blender/nutri bullet.  Blitz to a fine blend

Add more water if too thick to achieve desired consistency

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Blueberry & Super Seed Smoothie

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I do not get through much fruit unless its in a cake on a cake or around a cake!

So having invested in a smoothie maker is the best thing I could have done for me especially! I love chewing on seeds but am not partial to the goji berry. Which is extremely good for you.

This way I get all my antioxidant goodness in the one glass first thing in the morning and I’m ready to face the day with a healthy outlook…until I eat the naughty treat I shouldn’t have had at lunch…lol 😉

I’ll be putting up more of my smoothie recipes. I hope you enjoy them friends!

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INGREDIENTS

Large handful of blueberries
1 medium banana
1 satsuma
Sprinkling of seeds and goji berries
Water

METHOD

Using the NutriBullet or a blender.  Place all the ingredients in and blitz til desired consistency

If too thick, stir in more water…

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Fine Pressed Fruit Juices…James White

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I was contacted by James White to sample their new range of freshly pressed apple juices.  Ummm…a fruity treat and non alcoholic, I was tempted immediately!

I had expected a few small bottled samples but how grateful was I when, three elegant looking glass wine bottles arrived all pristine and packed to perfection.  After unravelling the bottles out of the fun bubble wrap, my 4 year old son caught his eye on the rosé looking “Russet Apple Juice” an “Indulgently rich clear pressed English Russet”

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I also received the Bramley and Cox apple juice too.  Those I shall be opening in due time…can’t wait! Especially as the first one I opened was stunning.  The russet apple juice had a very interesting flavour journey that it took my tongue through.  With notes of tang, then a little wild bitterness turning into the rosiest and sweetest of flavours.  I happened to have some Wensleydale, cranberry and blueberry cheese that I accompanied with the russet juice and found that as recommended it went extremely well with it.  It made the cheese taste that bit stronger and gave the berries in the cheese more oomph!

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Great for adults as a non alcoholic option to wine and as my son announced to to us all…it was AMAZING! To be honest he had most of it. I’m keeping the next two bottles away from him!  Or I may not be able to sample any…

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Spiced Pear & Walnut Muffins

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A Muffin ~ a type of quick bread that originated in America and portioned for one person. Traditionally eaten for breakfast but these days so very popular especially the sweet variations, with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

I went back to its roots and thought I would make my version of a breakfast fruit muffin. I used walnuts as they are one of the healthiest nuts available and are an antioxidant. Aswell as proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol

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So a perfect choice to start the day and what fruit marries well with walnuts? Pear! A match made in nature!

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I felt the need to spice the muffins up so I used mixed spice to warm up the soul. I also reduced the sugar and fat content but this hasn’t had any effect on the taste or consistency! This muffin will definitely set you up for the day! I’ve just had one this morning and I’m still going. A great winner all round! Enjoy, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp mixed spice heaped
200g grated pear
70g walnut chopped
100ml natural yoghurt
2 free range eggs beaten
50g melted butter
50ml-70ml milk

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METHOD

• Preheat oven to 190°c/375°f/gas mark 5, grease a 12 hole muffin pan

• Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and mixed spice together. Add the yoghurt, eggs,syrup and milk and stir until combined. Stir in the melted butter

• Fold in the grated pear and chopped walnuts. The batter should be a drop like consistency

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• Fill the muffin pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until the muffin tops are nice and golden

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Walnuts are healthy! a great read 🙂

Melt In Your Mouth Peach Pudding!

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I do surprise myself sometimes when I just make up random recipes and they work! This particular dessert was intended to be a sponge type traybake, but in the end it turned out to be a melt in the mouth peach pudding! I think it actually was better than what I thought it would have been originally. I guess that’s why I really like to develop my own recipes and I look forward to what will actually come out of the oven!

The taste is so fudgy because of the brown sugar. The peach slices add that slight acidity and then you have the texture which is absolutely soft and silky and just melts, melts, melts on your tongue!

It was a sure winner here, I really hope you all enjoy it friends!
Have a beautiful day, much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

150g softened unsalted butter
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g soft dark brown sugar
35g white sugar
Tin of peach slices drained
2 large eggs
½ cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Icing sugar to dust

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 170°c and grease a rectangular baking deep dish. Also line with some grease proof paper

Cream the butter and both types of sugar together in a large mixing bowl, add the eggs one by one and stir

Fold in the flour with the salt and baking powder, pour in the milk and vanilla essence. At this point you should have a drop like consistency batter

Spread half the batter mixture into the dish, layer the peaches in rows to cover the batter. Gently spread the remaining mixture onto the peaches, level out as much as possible with a spatula

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Bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean

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Let it cool in the tray and when ready to serve, slice into squares and dust with plenty of icing sugar

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Tuesday’s Top Tips

This week is going to be very hectic for me so I will be sharing recipes from the archives and some new recipes from you all too! I should be writing up new blog post and recipes next week. I have got so much to share…

Have a lovely day! Much love, D x

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☆ To avoid the avocado going black once sliced. Place a slice of lemon onto the avocado half

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☆ Refreshing Lemon & Lime ice blocks for water

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Pineapple cake from the oven, I’m literally in Heaven!

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“OMG?!..This pineapple cake is sooo good!” The reaction of my three year old when he was given some to eat. Out of the mouth of babes! So I don’t need to say anything about the taste!

This is my first pineapple upside down cake and I didn’t over caramelise the topping as I wanted to control the amount of sugar, especially as the pineapple is sweet. I opted to bake the cake in a shallow large tart dish and found it worked well. The batter baked around the pineapple rings and cherries and just sumptuously sank the pineapple into the cake. This way the pineapple ring and depth of the cake was the same. Not too cakey or pineappley! Just right!

Fresh cherries add an essential sourness to this dish instead of glacier ones and I prefer fresh ones always. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family did! Also taking some over to Angie’s place…The Novice Gardener

Have a beautiful weekend…rest and relax plenty…see you soon! Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

110g self raising flour
85g granulated sugar
90g softened butter/low fat butter spread
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
Tin of pineapple rings drained
Fresh cherries stoned
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter

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METHOD

Preheat oven to 180°c, grease a large tart/pie dish

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together, until nice and fluffy

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Add the egg and combine until smooth

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Slowly mix in the flour and pour in the milk. Mix well till combined

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Put the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter into the pie dish. Place in the oven so that the butter melts. The sugar will melt a little only

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Gently place 7 pineapple rings into the dish and then take a stoned cherry and put into the middle of the pineapple

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Pour in the batter over the pineapple rings. Level out with a spatula and bake for 20 to 30 minutes

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Until the the top is golden brown. Leave the cake in the dish for 30 minutes

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Carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Serve alone or with some vanilla ice cream

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