Scrumptious stuffed focaccia

My husband and I were watching an episode of Paul Hollywood’s City Bakes recently. It was based in San Francisco and showed a bakery that made THE MOST mouth watering breads, one of which was a stuffed focaccia.

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Hot Cross Buns

It’s Easter – so I thought, why not make some hot cross buns. I’ve made them before, but not for a couple of years.  I’d forgotten now good home made hot cross buns are. Who cares if the buns are not all the same size? Who cares if some are a little darker than others? Who cares if the crosses are not all straight? Not me, that’s for sure! Continue reading “Hot Cross Buns”

Ciabatta with olives and sun dried tomato

Ciabatta can be quite difficult to make, not least because it is a very wet dough.  This recipe takes all of the hard work out of the kneading and, whilst it takes a bit of time, it’s well worth making it! I stuffed mine with olives and some sun dried tomatoes, but you can leave it plain, or perhaps use some onions.  Continue reading “Ciabatta with olives and sun dried tomato”

There is still life under all that snow!

Like most people across the UK this week we’ve been experiencing some very unseasonal  wintery weather. But surprisingly there is still life, even underneath all of that snow.

My veg patch is pretty sparse at the minute, most of the beds have had some green manure growing in them, which has now been dug in. The green manure is something new I’ve tried. It’s a very eco friendly way to fertilise the soil and make it all lovely ready for the 2018 planting spree.  There are parts of a couple of beds though where, back in May 2017 (yes May!), I’d planted some cauliflower and some purple sprouting broccoli. So I couldn’t add the green manure to those.

To be honest I almost gave up and nearly pulled the plants up at one point. But as it happens patience along with some very cold and snowy weather is a virtue!

I had watched and waited patiently for months and months. I was hoping that, if they were a success, I’d have both of these veg for Christmas – sadly not!  I’d also tried, and  failed miserably, for the previous two seasons to grow cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli.  But I didn’t give up, instead I watched and waited and then waited some more!

I mean, let’s face it planting in May and still nothing to show for it by December – well! However, by mid-December both veg were showing promise, so I left them alone and I’m so glad I did. I can’t believe it!  The week before Christmas there were just tiny cauliflowers coming on and some buds on the broccoli.  The weather was awful, we had heavy heavy frosts in January. I worried for my veggies but I needn’t have.  I was absolutely in awe, when at the end of January all of a sudden there was 8 large cauliflowers, several smaller ones and some lovely looking buds on the broccoli.

I harvested those, but there were still some plants that had smaller cauliflowers growing and the broccoli was still to come to fruition. So I left both alone and then – down came the snow! And lots of it!


Now this may look like a disaster, but underneath that bed was my prize veg, I was worried for my little veggies, but I went out today, cleared the snow from the top and was amazed that not only had both the cauliflower and broccoli survived, but during this snowy spell they’d positively flourished!  This morning, despite the snow I harvested a lovely lot of purple sprouting broccoli and another large cauliflower.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am (and surprised). So I suppose the moral of this story is, not to give up. Even when you think nothing is going to happen, sometimes you can be surprised and delighted.

Stay safe and warm everyone. I’m off to make some soup and some lovely bread to go with it!


Creamy parsnip and apple soup

Last year I had an abundance of parsnips from my veg patch. This year however it was a different story entirely and I only managed four edible ones! Luckily a friend had a bumper crop and gave me some HUGE parsnips.
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10 minute wholemeal wraps

This recipe is so simple I can’t quite believe that I have never thought to make these before! These wraps literally take 10 minutes and they taste great too. There’s no yeast, just flour, water and a bit of oil.  What’s more they are only 168 calories each – Winner!  Continue reading “10 minute wholemeal wraps”