Spring Blog

Sunday 10th March 2019

Spring Blog

We all thought Spring had sprung in early Feb this year with temperatures reaching over 14C. We had about 2 full weeks with continuous sunshine and the poor garden woke up early with the shock of it all!  Narcissus, daffodils and crocus all flowered really early so we might not have any daffodils left for Mother's Day at the end of the month.  Now, in mid March, we have gone back to Winter with cold nights and high winds. Surely proper Spring must be just around the corner?

I am off to Barbados next Saturday to celebrate our Silver wedding anniversary. Can't wait for 10 days of glorious sunshine. We will spend our days snorkelling and walking and really enjoying the local food and one or two rum punches. I believe I am right in saying that it was the Bejans who developed rum!

Recipes

Spring Salad

Put salad ingredients of your choice into a large salad bowl. I used shredded cabbage, tiny broccoli florets, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and de seeded cucumber. Chill.

In a small mixing bowl, marinade 1 sliced apple and 1 sliced orange in juice of an orange, honey, few chilli flakes and 2 Tbsp. Olive oil. Leave for 1 hour then add fruit to bowl. Add Dijon mustard and whisk. Pour this dressing over salad and toss before serving.

Easy- Peasy Carrot Cake

Makes 1 x 18cm cake, feeds 8, approx.

For the Cake

3 medium size eggs

175g caster sugar

75g soft butter

200g SR flour

½ tsp ground ginger

1 Tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch grated nutmeg

200g carrots, peeled and grated

1 Tbsp. ground almonds

60g dried apricots, chopped or use raisins

Zest 1 orange

For pouring over cooked cake

Juice 1 orange

4 Tbsps. maple syrup

To Serve: Crème fraiche or ice cream

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 160C Fan, Gas 4.
  • In a large mixing bowl, put all the ingredients except the carrot and apricots or raisins. Beat together using a wooden spoon, or a hand held electric whisk, until light and fluffy.  Continue to beat for 1 minute.
  • Fold in the carrots and apricots or raisins gently.
  • Turn into a greased cake tin and level the surface.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until well risen and golden.
  • Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then carefully remove from tin and arrange on serving plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine orange juice and maple syrup and use to pour over the cake evenly.
  • Serve warm with crème fraiche or ice cream.

Plum and Blackberry Compote with Mango

Put 1 carton of ripe plums, washed, stoned and quartered into a medium size saucepan. Add juice 1 orange, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar with sweetener, 1 stick cinnamon and 4 cloves. Bring to simmering. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5-7 minutes , until cooked. Set aside until cold.  When ready to serve, remove cinnamon and top with 1 fresh mango, peeled and sliced. Serve with ice cream or creamer fraiche. Also delicious with the carrot cake.

 

Photos

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