Lucy’s cauliflower and broccoli cheese

We’ll actually it’s Jamie’s really, but I love it so much I have adopted it in to my repertoire x I’ve been making it so much lately as it’s great in this cold weather with a nice bit of toasted Ciabatta lashed in butter x

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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 500 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 500 g fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 kg fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 2 slices of ciabatta or stale bread
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • olive oil

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Peel and finely slice the garlic and put it into a medium pan on a medium heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour for a minute to make a paste, then gradually add the milk, whisking as you go, until lovely and smooth. Add the broccoli (cut up first, if using fresh) and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and starts to break down, then mash or blitz with a stick blender (adding an extra splash of milk to loosen, if using fresh broccoli). Grate in half the Cheddar and season to perfection.
  2. Arrange the cauliflower in an appropriately sized baking dish (cut into florets first, if using fresh), pour over the broccoli white sauce and grate over the remaining Cheddar. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then pulse in the thyme leaves and almonds. Toss with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then scatter evenly over the cauliflower cheese.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and cooked through, then enjoy!

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Lemon meringue cupcakes x

Blog photos_0035_edited-1It’s been quite a while since I last posted a recipe for you all, I’m so sorry!!!

Luckily I have a great recipe for your delight today, in fact it’s one that I have perfected for some time now, just for you!! I hope it makes up for my absence?! x

I’ve been making these Lemon meringue cupcakes all summer and I have to say they are loved by all my friends!! Perhaps that’s why I keep making them so often!!……haha x

I do love them myself too, but I have always been a sucker for lemon meringue x

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Ingredients for the sponge

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • seeds of ½ vanilla pod
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Method for cupcakes sponge

  1. Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to seperate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2-3 tablespoons of flour. This will rebind the batter.
  3. Once all the egg has been incorporated into the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
  4. Using a plastic piping bag or a tablespoon, carefully place the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full only.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, at 175ºC, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge, it should come out

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Ingredients for toppings

  • Jar of lemon curd
  • 120g of egg whites (approx. 3 large eggs)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 240g caster sugar

Method for toppings

  1. Whisk the whites and cream of tartar until foamy then add half the sugar and continue whisking until glossy and thick, do not over beat. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk for a few seconds.
  2. Pipe a ring of meringue around the outside of the cupcake.
  3. Place a teaspoon of lemon curd into the centre, then top with a second rosette of meringue. Add a few jelly segments to the meringue and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
  4. Place on a baking tray and place into the hot oven to brown for a couple of minutes. Remove, dust with icing sugar and serve cool.

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Reigniting an old love affair!

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve finally had some sunshine and this has given me the chance to get back out on my bike along the canal side and enjoy some of the beauty that entails!!

So I thought I would simply share some photos of my journeys with you all today x

Mamma’s fruit loaf

Ok, I don’t actually call her Mamma, just Mum x But Mamma sounds so much better, don’t you think? heehee x

When I first started baking this time last year my Mum wrote down here recipe for Fruit loaf and it’s been pinned to my notice board ever since waiting patiently for me to get round to trying it out!! I’m not sure it is quite up to her standards yet, but I think I’ve done not bad for a first attempt and will play around and perfect it to my own tastes in the years to come x

Fruit loaf

Ingredients:

  • ½llb Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups Sultanas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self raising flour

Fruit loaf

Method:

  1. Line a loaf tin with backing parchment.
  2. In a medium heavy pan add the butter, sugar, sultanas, water and bicarbonate of soda on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, then turn up the temperature to full and bring to the boil, then continue boiling for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a couple of hours.
  3. Beat the eggs and them to the mixture, add the flour and mix well.
  4. Transfer mixture to the loaf tin and place in the oven at 170°C for 1½ hours.

Fruit loaf

I like mine with lashings of butter and a pot of tea x

Thanks Mum xx 🙂

How do you like yours?

Lucy’s first Snowgirl ♥

It’s been snowing off and on for the last 24hrs here in Edinburgh and I’ve been very, very excitable!!

Watching out my window constantly to see if there was enough to go play in!! ;p

I’ve always loved snow, but haven’t had a chance to play in it for a few years now!!

And Lucy has never had the chance to play in the snow!!

Until today!!! 🙂 xx Can you see how excited I am?? haha x

Lucy's first snowman

Luckily, I have plenty warm and practical clothes these days to wear out in such weather, even enough to have spares to put on my snowgirl x I did have my cute mittens on whilst building her, but they were a little soggy by the time I was taking photos x

Lucy's first snowman

However I did struggle with the nose and eyes, as I had no carrots or pieces of coal, so I’ve improvised with half a cucumber and some ginger nuts………:) x

Lucy's first snowman

As you can see I have enjoyed myself playing out in the snow for the first time as Lucy and had fun  making my little snowgirl xx

Lucy's first snowman

And here she is in all her Ginger-nutty loveliness 🙂

Lucy's first snowman

Have you had snow?

Did you get out to play?

What did you make? x

Durn House, Portsoy

On Saturday past I stayed in this beautiful house on the outskirts of my home town Portsoy, with my family for a night of luxury!!

This was a Christmas present from my parents and a great chance for us all to dress up and enjoy the high life for an evening x

Durn house

This is the entrance hall, it alone is bigger than my whole flat!! x We were met here with a warm welcome by the owners before being shown to our rooms.

Durn house

This is one of the bedrooms, they were all so beautiful. I think it was the Durn suite and was the room my parents had!!

Durn house

Their bathroom was nearly the same size as their bedroom and was absolutely stunning, the bath was gorgeous, I think you’ll agree?! x

Durn houseWe had a very tasty meal in the dining room, it was such a lovely atmosphere for a great evening of laughter!!

Durn house

Then on to the drawing room with it’s roaring fire for some coffee and Oh…….a few drams x

Durn house

Before heading down to the Gentleman’s club to relax and play a few games of pool xx

All in all an exceptional stay at a very elegant and opulant  house which was an experience I will not forget for a very long time xx