Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunny Cambridge

 Cambridge is just beautiful in the summer. So stop rushing around on your bike and walk.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Grantchester Meadows

...Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”
  Rupert Brooke, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

I had an absolutely delightful break from the intensity of Cambridge escaping to Grantchester Meadows in the beautiful sunshine.  

 The Cam looked beautiful and cool, with people just lying on the banks, 
and even families renting canoes!

We stopped for a cream tea at the Orchard Tearooms where you can just sit back on a deckchair, in amongst the trees, and watch the world go by!

A wonderful quick break!

... But these are things I do not know.
I only know that you may lie
Day-long and watch the Cambridge sky... 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Week 4

Some more snaps of this week's food.

 Didn't begin too well with a bit of a treat from Cherry Box Pizza - they don't skimp on the toppings and their thin and crispy base makes them so much nicer (and healthier) than Dominoes!
 Next was pan-fried salmon (marinaded in herbs and lemon) ...
 ... with a chunky tomato and roasted hazelnut salsa...
 .... and crispy, fluffy roast potatoes....
 ....on a bed of spinach...

 Next up, home-made chilli beef burgers
 With spicy wedges (getting predictable!)
 Easy mid-week meal.

 And more potatoes in the oven! Rosemary potato cubes.
  Tandoori Chicken and roasted veg pittas.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

We should (buy Fairtrade) Cocoa

So this is my first ever entry to We should Cocoa run by Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot and hosted this month by Laura of How to cook good food.

It's exam term here and everyone is very involved in their own worlds. Study plans, revision breaks and odd working hours mean that I've not really had chance to see all my girl mates, and Cake Fridays have been put on hold. However, today has been a bit murky and I couldn't concentrate so I thought it was time to warm up the oven.

So after inviting the girls to a 4 o'clock tea break I decided cookies would be the perfect - warm and comforting, but quick enough to munch with a mug of tea before heading back to the library. I was thinking a bit about how at the moment we are all so focused on the end game and can't wait to relax in about 3 week's time that not only do we forget to give time to the things that make us happy but we forget that there are so many other people in the world having an unimaginably harder time than we are.

This recipe then is inspired by a want to do something (even something really tiny) that may benefit someone else (so as well as cookies for my hard-working library buddies) I decided to go Fairtrade. I thought it was fitting to go with the We should Cocoa challenge, and I remembered to add this month's key ingredient of almonds.

I really liked the combination of both white and brown sugar as well as white and milk chocolate in these cookies, for the color contrast and in my spirit of embracing the world. 

Standard sugar, butter and eggs mix, with a tsp of Orange Extract

Flour, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and of course, ground almonds. 

 All blended together to create a sticky but fluffy mix

I used a family recipe for my cookies but went off piste a little- adding crystallized mango 
and orange extract for a bit of a summery hit.

  And both white chocolate and milk chocolate buttons
 A lovely contrasting mix
 10 minutes in the oven, and they were ready to be eaten- warm and gooey, fruity and nutty but still with a rich chocolatey taste! I would have taken a picture with more, but as soon as the next batch came out of the oven they were gone!

I feel so much better, now back to the library....

Flour mix:
300g Plain Flour
200g SR Flour
 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
30g Cocoa Powder
20g Ground Almonds

150g butter
150 g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp orange extract

Chopped mango
White chocolate buttons
Milk chocolate buttons