Friday, 31 October 2008

Time for Tea

Hi everyone. It seems an age since I last blogged - motivation and inspiration just seems to have left me for the moment! Time to get back into the swing of things methinks. With it being half term and Josh being at home I do get special requests to cook his favourite things - none of which involve vegetables or fruit or anything healthy of course. I think his all time favourite treat comes from one of my all time favourite cookbooks which you can see above. It's a very slender volume, of around 40 pages which I bought in an art gallery when in Alston in Cumbria a few years ago. It is a compilation of recipes from tea rooms (my one weakness) located all over Britain and includes such delights as Mocha Slices, Border Jock, Cappucino Wedges and Dorset Apple Cake and gives a little information about the tea room that has contibuted the recipe. Josh's very favourite has to be Nanaimo Bars - an unusual very sweet confection and very easy to make - no ovens involved. You will need...

First Layer
4oz butter
1 1/2 oz caster sugar
3 level tsp cocoa
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
6oz crushed digestives
2oz dessicated coconut
2oz chopped walnuts

Second Layer
2oz butter
9oz icing sugar
2 level tbsp custard powder
3 tbsp boiling water

Third Layer
3oz plain chocolate
1 1/2 oz butter
1 1/2 tsp icing sugar

To make the first layer melt butter, sugar and cocoa in a small pan, over a gentle heat and stir until melted.

Add beaten egg and vanilla essence and cook for 1 minute without boiling. Remove from the heat.

Add bicuits, coconut and walnuts, give it a good stir and put into a greased tin that's about 10in by 6in. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the second layer. Sieve icing sugar, add custard powder, butter and boiling water and mix until smooth. Spread over the first layer and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Complete the third layer by melting the chocolate and butter. Stir in the icing sugar and spread over the top. Leave bars to chill until firm, cut into slices and enjoy.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Last of Summer

This weekend was a time for making the most of the weather as we prepare for the cold days ahead. These nasturtiums are probably some of the last to be picked as they make way for the little nodding faces of winter pansies. I love the colours of nasturtiums, so they were swiftly brought indoors to sit on the kitchen scales and provide something pretty to look when washing up.

It seems that everyone is beginning to cosy up now and many of the blogs that I have been reading have been showing off their crochet blankets and cushions. So I think I might as well join in. Now, I can't crochet or knit so I have had to rely on some lovely charity shop finds. To be honest the wool would have cost far more than I paid for either of them and they were both unused.

The smaller, bright blanket is living on the end of the chaise ready to be whipped off to cover chilly feet.

I thought it was quite unusual to find a blanket that was colour co-ordinated and this larger green blanket is just right at the bottom of our bed.

Here's to gorgeous Autumn days and to cosying up on the sofa with hot chocolate and marshmallows on chilly evenings. (Green and Black's Hot Choc of course!)