Tag Archives: seasonal

Strawberries & Cream Victoria Sandwich

14 Jul

IMG_20130714_150517[1]Strawberries are in season at the moment and along with the brilliant weather we seem to be experiencing here in the UK (even Wild West Wales is hot and dry, amazingly) they are in abundance and for once not about £4 for a punnet of tasteless watery stawbs.

Tesco got on the Wimbledon bandwagon and were selling punnets of British strawberries with ‘free’ pots of double cream.

Cream is such a treat (I once knew someone who ate a whole pot for their dinner, with nothing else out of guilt) and a perfect combination is with freshly whipped cream, in a classic Victoria sponge eaten outside with a glass of homemade (I need to get my mums recipe for this up!) elderflower cordial. How sophisticated eh!

 

 

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The cake was made from the River Cottage’s recipe
Ingredients:
175g self raising flour
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 med pot of double cream
punnet of strawberries, washed
2 X 20cm sandwich tins

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Beat the butter to a cream, then add the sugar and beat until very light and creamy (this is the secret to a great sponge!)
2. Add the eggs, a little at a time in conjunction with a spoon or two of the flour to prevent curdling, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla extract if using.
3. Sift in the rest of the flour and carefully fold it in. Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins and bake for around 25mins or until springy when gently pushed.
4. When cooked, leave in the tins for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. When the cake is cooled, whip the cream until stiff, slice the strawberries and spread the cream over one layer, and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Top with the other layer and arrange strawberry halves on top. Dust with icing sugar!IMG_20130714_150431[1]

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The healthiest, most fulfilling salad ever eaten

16 Jan

It’s healthy January. I am going to the gym, eating lots of seasonal fruit and veg and lowering my carb intake (for a while anyway – baguettes and homemade chips just call out for me to eat them sometimes.) So, I came up with this salad to eat. I managed to find a butternut squash in an organic stall in the market (uncommon in France – they usually sell watery, tasteless spaghetti squash) so thought of some loveeeellyy meals to make with it. Genuinely never felt more satisfied after eating a salad. If you think they are only for light lunches or starters, think again. It’s also super healthy, full of avocado, spinach, lentils (protein-packed and cheaper than lean meat/fish), olive oil and a bit of feta cheese for flavour and protein.

Serves 2 for dinner (big plates!)
Ingredients:
½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes.
½ red pepper, cut into cubes.
400g tin of puy lentils, drained and rinsed.
A few handfuls of washed spinach.
Few handfuls of rocket and lambs lettuce.
Cherry tomatoes, halved (as many as you like)
Feta cheese, crumbled (again, as much as you like)
To make the dressing:
2 tbsp good olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard.IMG_20130115_014204

Method:
1. Prepare your squash and pepper, in a roasting tin, lug a few tbsp olive oil over and season. Place in a preheated oven (180C) for around 45minutes until nicely roasted.
2. In a large salad bowl, add your salad leaves, tomatoes and lentils. Make your dressing by shaking all the ingredients in an old jam jar (make sure it’s well sealed!) or stir vigorously in a bowl. Once combined, add to your salad and toss so everything is covered.
3. Once your squash is cooked, divide the dressed salad onto two plates, top with the squash and pepper, and sprinkle over the feta cheese and sliced avocado.