Friday, 1 March 2013

It's Friday...It's Fragrant Freebie giveaway day...

A little while ago my lovely friend Sue quit her job and decided to start out on her own, making fabulous soaps, body butters etc.  Her company - Somerset Suds - is a great little venture, fully EU certified and her products are simply divine!  And what better way to let you sample some of her goodies than to organise the...
... Fragrant Freebie giveaway!

The prize...natural soaps made by Somerset Suds
Here is the deal - simply add a comment to this post and your name will go into the draw to win a set of beautiful bath products (see picture on the right).  Don't they look amazing? 

Entry is open to anyone, so please share this with your friends, other bloggers etc - the more, the merrier!  I will draw the winner at 8am on Monday, 4th March (UK time), so you have all weekend to post a comment and be in with a chance.  Looking forward to hearing from you and good luck! :-)

And if you would like to find out more about these and all the other of Sue's fabulous products at Somerset Suds, please have a look at or send an email to

Back with more recipes next week...

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Nearly's crunch time

YAY - only one more day to the Fragrant Freebie Giveaway!  Don't forget to visit The Happy Larder tomorrow to take part in the giveaway!  Nearly there...

Just a short post today as I've been gallivanting, visiting a very good friend overnight.  We hadn't seen each other for ages and it was just lovely to catch up in person.  Plenty of cups of tea were consumed and we had our fair share of biscuits too whilst chatting.  Which brings me to today's recipe: gingernut biscuits.  I do love anything with ginger in it and biscuits with tea are one of my favourite indulgences.  These are crunchy and have a bit of spice to them - delicious!

What's your favourite biscuit?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Of eggs and ethics...

I'm on the train to go and see a very good friend of mine.  thanks to the wonders of modern technology I can post from on the road, so to speak :-) No cooking or baking for me for a day or so...

I've been using a lot of eggs lately.  All this baking and cooking means that I use boxes of those little portable protein bombs.  Like most people, I buy my eggs at the local shop or supermarket and I always buy free range and, if possible, organic ones.  Or at least I think that's what I am buying since that's what it says on the box and I have to trust the rules, ethics etc that regulate the industry.

Well, and you can probably guess where this is going...there is a large investigation going on in Germany at the moment into the possible malpractice by some of mislabeling eggs as organic when in fact the strict rules for organic food (including the living conditions of the hens) weren't adhered to.
As a consumer there comes the point when you have to trust that what is in your shopping basket is what you think it is.  With that trust slowly being eroded, where will we go from here?

I feel sorry for the vast majority of farmers who stick to the rules and whose reputation gets tarnished by a small number of "bad eggs in the basket".  I am furious at the people (ie "the bad eggs") who are misleading consumers to enhance their profits.  And I am sad that for some people this will mean turning their backs on doing the right thing, no longer buying free range.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Easy midweek meal

Gosh - where has this morning gone?  I meant to write my post first thing as usual but then got side-tracked by dropping off cakes at the community centre, taking the dog for his long walk, household chores... Anyway, here I am :-)  And no deep questions today, promised!  That was a bit morbid for a Monday, wasn't it? :-)  Something altogether more cheerful is today's recipe:

Chorizo chicken...
I stumbled across this Nigella Lawson one the other day and I think you might like this: chorizo chicken.   I have adapted it slightly to be less fatty but I think this is a brilliant tray bake sort of meal that can be put together in no time and tastes delicious.  What can be easier than chucking a lot of raw ingredients into a roasting tin with some seasoning and roasting it all in the oven?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Little pillows of delight...and a deep question

Egg whites & sugar turned into little delights...
All weekend I've been thinking about a sentence I read in my Guardian newspaper's weekend magazine.  "If you knew you were going to die at eight tonight, would you want to have spent today doing what you are doing?".  When I first read this, it really touched me.  The more I am thinking about it though, the more I think it assumes people always have a choice.  Maybe it is the case for some but generally speaking?  And doesn't it mainly apply to a small fraction of our Western society (for lack of a better word)?  If I am sitting in a village in Zimbabwe, trying to feed my family or even on a low income in a city somewhere here, do I really have a choice about how I spend my day?  Hmmm...I'll continue pondering about this...

And how do I now find an elegant link to today's recipe?  Impossible, so please bear with me...
I've always been a bit unsure what to do with leftover egg whites.  There seem to be quite a few recipes around that just ask for the yolks but then you end up with the whites hanging around with nowhere to go.  Well, there are some simple answers...

Did you know that you can freeze egg whites?  I have only just found out - the best way is to pop them in an ice cube tray to freeze in portions.  Just mark the tray clearly, so that you don't end up with a very strange G&T on a Saturday evening :-)

Anyway, another good thing to do is to make meringues.  These sweet little delights can be stored for ages and are delicious on their own, crushed on top of ice cream or as part of Eton Mess (think fresh fruit, cream and meringues...yummy).  I made plain and chocolate meringues and they are as light as a feather.  It took a little while to dry them in a low oven but I did that whilst preparing dinner, so it wasn't too bad at all.  And if you have anything else that benefits from a low oven heat, maybe you can make that at the same time?  All you need is some egg whites, sugar (granulated & icing) and a whisk but you can also add cocoa powder, colour etc.  Simply beat the egg whites until forming peaks and gradually beat in the sugar (I used 3 egg whites, 60g granulated & 60g icing sugar) - place dollops of this on a baking sheet and bake on a low heat (100c) for about 45 - 60 minutes or until completely dry.