DIY Jam and a Touch of Green Stuff

I’ve been spending my mornings inspecting my garden veg patch and I take delight in seeing my produce grow. This morning was no different apart from my poor tiny cucumber plant had been munched by some little critter (slugs I expect). So with a quick question to my Facebook gardening community, I got outside dug it out of its little space in the veg bed and re-potted it. Turna out it was far too early to be planting a cucumber outside anyway. Lesson learnt! It’s now safely inside the propagator/mini greenhouse with the hope it might survive it’s near death experience.

Miniature Cucumber plant; clearly the slugs had a party.

Lettuce, kale and radishes are doing pretty damn perfect in the veg bed. The peas are peeping, the carrots have started to sprout, rainbow chard is popping up left, right and centre too. Leeks are few and far between with only about 4 sprouting so far but beetroot looks good at the moment. My chillie plant on the other hand is inside on the kitchen windowsill and it is thriving. It makes me ridiculously happy to see it all doing so well.

Chillie plant.
Red lettuce
Carrot seedlings
Peas peeping

Today had been awfully miserable weather wise. We’ve been tuck inside our four walls, jigsawing and baking. Dee and I made some fruit and cherry scones and some homemade jam. Bit of a use it up/budget bake to be honest but after just paying for our new kitchen (doing a little dance) which has used up our savings entirely we should be watching what we spend so it’s not a bad thing.

The jam was easy. Frozen mixed berries I used about 500g from the freezer along with sugar to taste (about 2 tbsp) boil the heck of it. Mash the berries together a little Take it right up to 105c and then pour it carefully into a pre-serialized jar. We like the seeds in but strain it if you dont, but please be careful as it’s like molton lava when its finished cooking. But yum, how easy!

Mixed Berry Jam.

Happy jammin’

Love,

L, xox

An Easy Tea Loaf

I’ve been baking again. No surprise there if you know anything about me. Tried this beaut out today because I’m in short supply of icing sugar. I’ve even had to turn down customers because I just couldnt guarantee that I’d have my usual basic ingredients.

This recipe requires no icing sugar or butter and only uses 1 egg. It’s an amazing recipe for using up dried fruit you may have stuffed in your cupboard. I used raisins in my loaf cake but it will work with any dried fruit you have. I’ll be trying dried apricots and glace cherries when I have them in next, but with out further a do (knowing how frustrating it is to scroll through a life story before the recipe reveals itself) here is the recipe!

Ingredients

175g Dried Fruit (use any you like- I used raisins)

110g Caster Sugar

150ml Hot Strong Tea (again, use your preferred but I used normal black tea in this one)

150g Self Raising Flour (alternatively the same weight of plain with 1tsp of baking powder)

Zest of 1 lemon (or orange)

1 Egg (beaten)

Method

Make some hot strong tea (I used two bags) and soak your fruit along with the sugar, preferably overnight but if you’re in a hurry to create this beauty 2 hours will do. My baking for my family is always a little off the cuff and unplanned so 2 hours did suffice in my case.

Tea bags stewing, give it at least 5 mins.
150ml black tea. Next time I’ll be trying earl grey.
175g dried fruit
110g caster sugar

Once the fruit has had at least 2 hours, preheat the oven to a low temp, around 150 degrees. This is a low and slow cake. Line the tin with baking parchment, these measurements are suited to a 1lb loaf tin, just double the recipe if you have a 2lb tin. If you dont have a loaf tin, use what you have, but do line it regardless of the shape or size.

Line the tin well, will save sticking cake and scrubbing the pan later.

To the tea soaked fruit add the flour, beaten egg and Zest and mix well. That’s practically it. Tip it into your lined tin and bake for around 40 mins (double the time if your doubling the mixture) or until golden and when a skewer comes out of the loaf clean.

Tea soak fruit and the rest
Mixture snug in the loaf tin
The tip drip on my mason and cash bowl

Cool for 10 mins before tipping out on to a cooling rack. Once cool, slice and serve with or without butter. If your a fruit cake and cheese kinda person, then I’m pretty sure that a slice of this with a tiny wedge of Wensleydale cheese would hit the spot.

Share with your household of course, then leave some with neighbours so you cant eat the lot.

Sliced tea loaf

I’m still playing with this recipe, and may do a marmalade take on it too; but I really hope you enjoy it. Dee scoffed a slice after her dinner and it got the cheesy grin of approval so happy days.

Stay well and stay safe,

Love

L, xox

Peppermint Crispy Crunch & Village News

I’m in to preparing snacks at the moment, and following my recipe for energy balls yesterday I gave another couple of recipes the once over this morning. I managed to stock up my freezer and fridge with low cal snacks.

One of our faves at the moment is a peppermint crispy crunch bar. So easy to make and low calorie to boot. I used a loaf tin to make my crispy crunch in, but use what ever is good for you. I’m all about the improv here!

Ingredients (7 serves at 80 cals per serve)

50g Dark Chocoalte (I used 72%)

1 Table Spoon of Coconut Oil

1 Table Spoon of Honey

1 & 1/4 Cups of Puffed Rice

2 Table Spoons of Desiccated Coconut

Method

Melt the coconut oil, chocolate and honey together in a bowl over a simmering pan of water (bain marie).

Mix together the desiccated coconut and puffed rice, then pour over the glossy chocolate combo. Coat all the dry ingredients thoroughly with the chocolate combo. Once mixed, put in to your choice of pan. For this I used a loaf tin lined with cling film with enough over hang to cover the top of the mixture. Press the mix down into the tin till the rice puffs crush slightly, this will ensure that it all sticks together. Set for a few hours in the fridge and cut in to 7 bars/chunks/shapes of your choosing and enjoy with a cuppa.

Thank me later.

In other news, we’ve just had a riot of sirens all around us and an air ambulance over head.

Source’s say that there has been a head on collision close to where we live. I believe it was a police chase with drug dealers. An entire section of road has been taped off. Ambulance, police and fire services are all at the scene attempting to cut a young woman out of a car. I’m hoping that no-one is seriously hurt, especially the victim. There’s another load of victims from what started out as a petty crime in our village. (Picture not my own).

The impact on the families surrounding this incident will be immense. Sending warm and well wishes to anyone involved.

Xoxo, L.

Milk

I’m avoiding milk.

Monday is my weighing day, and although I’ve lost inches my weight was the same as last week. I highly doubt that it is the same. I was bloated and have been all day and the only thing I can attribute this to is the hot chocolate I had last night which was made with cow’s milk rather than almond milk. So I’m disregarding cow’s milk from my diet in hope to resolve the issue. I hate being bloated.

The after math of no number shift on the scales was a bad mood. I’m truly behaving. I’m not eating anything processed or high cal, I’m drinking tons of water and herbal tea over anything caffeinated. So bloating can do one. I really don’t there are too many benefits from cows mill anyway. The more I read, the more I think it’s best to kick it to the curb. So here goes.

Under a mountain of washing and a building aneixty (family interferences), Delilah and I survived the day. I’m wishing those teeth of hers make an appearance and stop disrupting my happy go lucky girl. She’s being a right grump. Napping more than normal, off her food but drinking more milk again and just more difficult in general. Come on teeth, where are you?!

Here’s Aro, being a little angel. Daft pup. He is such a gentle soul.

I have to prep some snacks for the rest of the week. My choice is mint choc crunch and energy balls.

Energy Balls

50grams of Oats

50g of shredded coconut

180g of pitted dried dates

Add everything to a food processor and blitz. The mixture will be crumbly but tacky enough to hold together when pressed in to balls. Divide the mix in to 6 balls, one ball is approx 185 cals.

Enjoy!

Xoxo, L.

Day 1 Of Motivating My Own A*se

It is about time I got my backside in gear and got rid of the excess baby weight. Today was day 1 of changing my mindset and hopefully in turn my life style.

I got in a ten minute yoga sequence from Pinterest. I enjoy yoga, but my flexibility isn’t what it used to be. I’ll try keep this up to get my flex back. Maybe mix it up with a different sequence each morning. It’s rather inspiring to find a different workout every so often.

My second workout was through a website/ app I’ve been following. It’s recently come to the UK and I’ve been lucky enough to trial it and be a Motivating Mum. Basically I help promote, by sharing features of the app and the meals I’ve been cooking and workouts I use. This has been great, and I genuinely adore the app and the Facebook community is great, always supporting you. Since January I’ve had a fair few up and downs, so even though I’ve been using the recipes I’ve been inconsistent with my workouts and eating processed food in between, chocolate, cake and all the wrong stuff. So in the process of all this, I’ve lost weight but not as much as I could have.

I digress.

The healthy Mummy App is so good as is their website. There are many options for workouts, but today I did a 30 min legs cicuit workout and after the high jumps and jumping squats my legs were like ‘whoa, didn’t know we could do that’. Then came walking down the stairs. Who knew a home workout could give you jelly legs. I considered going down the stairs on my bum at one point, but struggled through.

Food has been good. No treats, all ‘clean’ food and plenty of water. So day 1 has gone pretty well. Even managed to use up leftover beef for the stir fry tonight along with a ton of veg nearing it’s best. Even made some energy balls which consist of 3 ingredients and are pretty tasty and satisfying for that sweet tooth.

Hoping my will power can do day 2 justice also. I so want to get back in to my yellow dress for Delilah’s first birthday in August.

Happy Monday.

Xoxo, L.