Shabby Blog

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sun, Sea and a Picnic in Brighton.

Oh I've been a bit slow on the update scene! And now I have a few minutes I barely know where to start. Perhaps with the weather and the weekend!? It has been so beautifully sunny the last few days, and yesterday seemed like the perfect opportunity to take Nye to the seaside. It started off rather cold when we left London but as we drove it got warmer and warmer until we reached the edges of Brighton and I sat in the car waving my hands in the air shouting "I can see the sea." Nye of course was asleep in the car and didn't really have a chance to see the sea very much but I know he could hear it as the waves crashed down whilst we had a lovely picnic on the pebble beach.

With me at home looking after a baby fulltime the pennies are a little stretched so instead of going out for a meal we decided to take a picnic.  When we were first together Neil and I made a picnic and actually made a couple of recipe cards that you get free at Waitrose (normally they just sit cluttering up my shelves. Just me!?)  We had a steak and beetroot salad with home made lemonade.  This time I made the lemonade  but managed to leave it in the fridge, doh!

Instead of the steak and beetroot salad I tried to recreate a delicious salad I had at the Blue Brick Cafe in Dulwich last week. (Well worth a visit).  My version was tasty but not quite as good as the original but basically it was a roasted butter nut squash salad with mixed leaves, coriander, crumbled feta and walnuts.  I think there was a dressing on the proper version which I'm still trying to work out, possibly some kind of citrus.

We also picked up some froxen macaroons from Lidl to see what they were like and I can tell you that they were delicious and £2.99 for 12 mini ones.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Monday, 5 March 2012

Tuesday Linking Love

More links this lovely Tuesday evening.

I love flowers!


I still REALLY want to make a patchwork blanket for Nye.  This one is gorgeous and matches my plans for his changing table....

OMG crochet booties

And finally... food for thought! These look fresh and delicious.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Lemon Creme Fraiche Sponge

Had a friend round for tea the other day and needed to throw some baking together pretty quickly.  It was mid-week and stores in the fridge were dwindling. So I threw the following together, despite a lack of anything similar online (I usually google to check that my ideas of what goes together arent TOTALLY off the wall.)

So here goes:

photo from pinterest (I forgot to take a photo)

Basic sponge a la delia with a fresh lemon twist.

For an 8 inch (20 cm) cake:
 6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour
 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
 3 large eggs at room temperature
 6 oz (175 g) very soft butter
 6 oz (175 g) golden caster sugar
 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (ours has run out so I used a packet of vanilla sugar from Lidl,
For the filling:
 7 fl oz (200 ml) (half a tub) Creme Fraiche
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C)
For the topping:

1/2 cup water
1 lemon juice and rind
1/2 cup caster sugar

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and Delia's Complete How To Cook


Put the flour and baking powder in a sieve and sift it into the bowl.
Add all the other cake ingredients to the bowl (soften butter in microwave if necessary).
Use electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture, which will take about 1 minute. 

Divide the mixture between 2 tins, and place the tins on the centre shelf of the oven. The cakes will take 30-35 minutes to cook and don't open the oven door until 30 minutes have elapsed. To test whether the cakes are cooked or not, I shove in a fork to see if it comes out clean.

Next, remove from the oven, then wait about 5 minutes before turning them out on to a wire cooling rack and wait till they cool before adding the filling.

Place the first sponge cake on a plate or cake stand, then spread the creme fraiche evenly over the surface.
Next place the other cake on top, press it gently so that the filling oozes out at the edges.

Finally prepare the lemony topping.
Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and add in the grated rind and juice of one lemon and heat until it thickens and bubbles.
Poke a few holes in the top of the sponge for the lemon to drizzle through then poor the sticky mixture on top and quickly spread with a knife before it cools and hardens.


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