A Little Bean Appreciation

Sometimes you’ve just got to take the time to really appreciate the beauty in nature. These broad beans are pink and purple they almost look magical, the colours are so pigmented and really stand out. The broad beans look so pretty and are very nutritious. Life can get really busy at times so always make the effort to just sit and appreciate the wonders that surround you, be it a broad bean, other foods, furniture, technology or the trees outside 🙂 

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I’m not sure what dish these beans will be apart of, maybe a stew, soup or used in a salad!! They are locally grown too in an allotment which is always good…

Chocolate Swirl Shortbread

WOW June is already upon us, officially half way through the year. These shortbread biscuits honestly look so hypnotizing with the swirls and take a perfect picture. I love shortbread because it is so simple and tasty but I wanted to try and make it a little bit more interesting so I added some cocoa powder for a chocolate taste.

Plain Shortbread:
150g plain flour
½ tsp salt
50g caster sugar
125g butter at room temperature

Chocolate Shortbread:
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
50g caster sugar
125g butter at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Plain shortbread: mix together the salt, flour and sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter until it forms a dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Chocolate shortbread: mix  the flour, cocoa powder and sugar in the same bowl, rub in the butter until it forms a dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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Roll out both dough balls into rectangular shapes of roughly the same size and place on top of each other, put back onto the clingfilm using it as a guide to firmly roll the dough’s together to form something that looks like a Swiss roll 🙂 place back in the fridge for a further 20 minutes.

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The dough should now be very firm and ready to cut, slice each about 1 cm thick and place on the baking tray evenly spaced.


You can now bake them for 20-25 minutes in the oven.

Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes

I feel like I am forever making sweet things so I’ve decided to try something a little different….. lemon and poppyseed cupcakes!! I actually saw this recipe ages ago but only just decided to bake them after wanting to try something new. The recipe was posted on Twitter by Lorraine Pascal and it was super simple and different to what I usually do so I thought why not.

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Ingredients
175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
110g castor sugar
Zest and juice of a lemon
70g melted butter
175g milk (I used almond milk)
25g poppyseeds

Method
1. Firstly prepare your cupcake tray with 12 cases.

2. You can literally just put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix vigorously until well combined. It may be easier to use a handheld whisk if you have one but both methods work great.

3. I then used a ladle to equally fill each case with the mixture and put into the oven for 20 minutes.

4. Enjoy whilst slightly warm.

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Okay, so my end thoughts on these cupcakes are undecided, I am so used to eating and enjoying sweet baked foods that it will take some time for me to appreciate the ingredients used such as poppyseeds and lemons however I know that they are much healthier because they contain less sugar and the poppyseeds are full of nutrients.

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I definitely want to start looking at different recipes and see what alternatives I can use to have the same great taste with added health benefits.

Colourful Salad

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Here I have:
– cucumbers halved
– carrots peeled
– lettuce shredded
– radish cut into quarters
– watercress

Mix all the ingredients together and serve on a fancy plate 🙂 Healthy eating is so important so don’t forget your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day!

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Salad

Even though this salad is pretty basic I’ve put a method on just for guidance.

Ingredients
– 1/2 an ice berg lettuce
– 1/2 cucumber
– 2 carrots
– 8 radish
– 1 large tomato

Method
1. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash off once then leave to soak in water for 5 mins.

2. In the meantime wash off all the other ingredients and start preparing the salad. Drain the water off the lettuce and leave to air dry.
Cucumber: peel skin and slice into circles.
Radish: top and tail (remove both ends) then cut into quarters
Tomatoe: blanch (place into boiling water for 8 seconds and then into ice cold water to remove skin) take off the skin and slice.
Carrots: peel both carrots, cut off the ends and slice into strips.

3. By now the lettuce should be dry so all you need to do is roll up a few leaves at a time and cut every 2cm.

I feel like the best part is arranging the salad onto your chosen serving dish, I have picked an oval shaped plate which fits every on perfectly.

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There’s a lovely array of colours and the salad looks simply delicious!