Scrumptious Saturdays – Chocolate Courgette cake

The third in the series of recipe posts and this is one of our favourites!

You will need:

  • 375g flour
  • 75g of cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • 1/2tsp of seasalt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 120ml of oil
  • 120g of butter
  • 340g of light brown sugar
  • 2tsps of vanilla essence or extract
  • 1 pack of chocolate chips
  • 400g of grated courgette

Method:

  • Preheat Oven to 180
  • Cream together the butter and sugar and add the vanilla
  • Add the oil and eggs and beat
  • Add in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well
  • Add in the courgette, seasalt and mix well again
  • Add in the chocolate chips
  • Pour the mixture into one large cake tin or two loaf tins, greased and lined
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

We would love to see your efforts!! Please hop on over to Facebook or Instagram to show us!!

Scrumptious Saturdays – Courgette and Feta Fritters

The next in our series of recipe posts from the recipes we use regularly around here at the smallholding, preserving our harvests for scrummy treats through the year!

Today is the turn of Courgette and Feta Fritters

You will need:

  • 600g grated courgette
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 spring onions
  • 150g feta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2tsp of dill/mint/coriander (optional to add all 3, or just one or two)
  • oil for frying

Method

  • Add the salt to the grated courgette and leave for 10 minutes
  • Using your hands try to squeeze as much liquid out as possible
  • Add the flour, eggs, and mix well
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well again
  • put a frying pan with a small amount of oil in the bottom over a medium to high heat and spoon in tablespoons of mixture to make individual little patties, flipping them half way through cooking to brown both sides lightly.
  • These taste amazing hot or cold and freeze really well so if you batch cook a load you can add them to lunches as and when!

We would love to see your efforts!! Please hop on over to Facebook or Instagram to show us!!

Scrumptious Saturdays – Beetroot and Horseradish Chutney

I have decided to share a few of the recipes I have collected, tweaked maybe perfected for our tastes here on the holding preserving our harvests and allowing us delicious treats through the year, whether they be canned, jarred or frozen!

I am going to start with Beetroot and Horseradish chutney as a request from a friend who came recently to camp out in our fields as a quiet alternative to a camp site. (and yes we are thinking of using our 28 days allowances now each year for weekends of campers!)

Beetroot and Horseradish chutney

You will need:

  • 750g of raw beetroot, trimmed peeled and finely diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 dessert apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp of freshly grated horseradish (top tip if you freeze it before grating it wont sting your eyes, plus you can grate a heap and freeze it for future use)
  • 200g sugar
  • 300ml of white wine vinegar
  • 2tsp salt

Method

  • Put all the ingredients into the pan ( I use a large heavy based pan or Maslin pan)
  • Bring the pan slowly to the boil stirring until the sugar dissolves
  • Cook gently then for 1-1.5 hours stirring occasionally
  • Once the chutney is done, you will know by performing the channel test (use a spoon, drag it along the bottom of the pan to create a channel and if no liquid refills it fast then you are good to go)
  • Jar up into hot sterilised jars, put on lids and allow to sit in a dark cupboard for 2 months before using.

I hope you will enjoy joining me on this culinary journey and would love it if you shared your efforts over on the Facebook page in the comments or over on Instagram!

What’s doing??

We have been busy as bees round the holding still, but since the start of lockdown in March we have not had any significant rainfall!!! 10 weeks!!

Things are tinder dry outside…. we are having to regularly water everywhere and currently just the other side of our nearest village there is a forestry and field fire that the forestry services and a helicopter have been battling since Sunday evening…

Thankfully there is some rain forecast tonight and for at least the morning tomorrow! The earth here will give a sigh of relief I expect when it starts to fall!!

In the meantime here a few snapshots of the past few weeks here! New fencing, shearing, turning out the horses, new chicks, new play stuff for the boys, elderflowers and a lot more!!

Planting planting and more planting

So now the Polytunnel has been skinned we have been able to get in and plant!!

So far now we have planted mangetout, beans, beetroot, carrots, spinach, leeks, rocket, spring onions and salads….

Then James has moved our two new grapevines into the corners, one red one white…

He has also moved all the baby tomato plants, chilli plants and cucumbers in….

and plans to plant the courgette babies etc out there this afternoon!

He and William have been earthing up the potatoes like fury!!

I have plans to weed the onion and shallot bed and the fruit cage this week in between trips out with William to our usual activities!!

Some of the seeds we planted the other week have started to come up so we shall soon need to plant out small broccoli and cauliflower plants etc!! James needs to build the walls for the raised beds soon!!! Well for at least one of them!!

This year we should be able to produce the majority of our fresh food!! James has even won a competition and we have a mushroom kit arriving soon!!!!

William, our toddler, has been super useful with his new wheelbarrow and has been collecting all the rocks from around the Polytunnel!! Hurrah!!

A busy few days baking and making!!

We’ve been in the throes of Christmas baking here getting cake baked and frozen for when we have visitors,

making pastry

and now mince pies

and so the wild birds don’t feel forgotten we have made them some seed decorations

for a tree near the patio doors so we can watch them from the lounge!

These pictures portray a lovely sense of domestic bliss!!! Ha ha!!! What they fail to show you is the flour covered spaniel, the flour covered floor, the cake mix in Sir’s ear and up his nostril!! The fact that whilst making jumbly cakes he got hold of and ate a sugar cube!!! All totally fab though….. and I’m totally thankful he didn’t try to eat the bird seed!!! Apart from the dog that shook and sent a cloud of flour over the kitchen!! Oh poo I’ll have to dust!!!

Chocolate Caramel Crackers!

Today I made some chocolate caramel crackers which I haven’t made in an age!! It’s my gorgeous cousin’s recipe and tastes like dime bar biscuits!! 

So….

Ingredients:

Salted crackers : saltines, matzos or Doriano Italian Crackers (I use the Doriano)

8oz unsalted butter

8 oz light brown soft sugar

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence

And here is my slight variation I used milk chocolate instead of dark and about 10 oz not the recommended 8oz!

Preheat oven to 180c (350F) or gas 4/5

Line a deep baking tray with foil (have the foil up the sides a bit) then line the foil with non stick baking parchment.  This helps getting the finished product out of the tin and saves much scrubbing!! 

Cover the base of the tin in a single layer of crackers.

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan then add the sugar and stir until melted together.

Bring to the boil, keep stirring

Boil for 3-4 minutes, keep stirring!!

Remove from heat, quickly add the vanilla essence and stir through, then spread over the crackers evenly.

Put it into the oven for 10-15 mins checking in case of burning towards the end.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate.

Remove from the oven and wait for the mixture to stop bubbling and pour/spread over the chocolate.

Allow to cool then refrigerate to completely cool and solidify.

Break into pieces and serve!

It will keep for up to a week in a airtight tin….. If it gets chance!!